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Return of the Shallow

Discussion in 'Aquarium & Aquascaping Journals' started by TimHarrison, Jul 9, 2017.

  1. TimHarrison

    TimHarrison Super Moderator
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    I recently found an awesome peace of DW; a eucalyptus root which I thought would be ideal for scaping.
    I kind of envisioned the root embedded in rock, but it's a tricky manoeuvre to pull off so it looks convincingly natural.

    Specs:

    Tank: 60x40x25cm(h)
    Stand: IKEA hacked Besta cabinet
    Light: EcoTech Radion XR15 Freshwater LED
    Filter: Eheim Ecco Pro 300 with Cal Aqua Labs lily pipes
    CO2: Fire Extinguisher, Dual Stage Reg and UpAqua Inline Atomizer
    Steriliser: TwinStar Nano II
    Fertz: TNC Complete
    Substrate: Amazonia
    Rocks: Seiryu Stone
    DW: Eucalyptus Root

    upload_2017-7-9_10-17-17.

    upload_2017-7-9_10-16-17.

    upload_2017-7-9_10-16-30.
     
  2. moss-maniac

    moss-maniac Custom Text
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    Wow - this is really a gorgeous root Tim (y)

    I like the stones, you used and how you arranged them.
    Maybe some separate pieces on the right side in the front to make the "hill" look less massive,
    Wonder how it would look like without the ivy-leaf-like looking stone in the middle... A cave under the middle of the root could produce still more perspective and it will look a bit more "washed out"...?.

    I am already curious to see how you will plant it.
     
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  3. TimHarrison

    TimHarrison Super Moderator
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    Thanks Evelyn, interesting take on the scape. You've got me wondering now about that central rock ;)
    And I've already been playing around with the negative space on the right hand side, I'm in two minds about it.
    At the moment I'm thinking it'll look better just planted, but that could change...it usually does :rolleyes:
     
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  4. Keith

    Keith Administrator
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    Tim
    It looks very natural to me your planting will either make it or just another tank. I have seen similar to this in the bush and its certainly not in a bowling green area.

    Keith:cathug::cathug:
     
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  5. TimHarrison

    TimHarrison Super Moderator
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    Haha...thanks Keith, that really does put things in to perspective.

    As for planting I think a mixed carpet - Stauro, Monte Carlo, Hydrocotyle sp. Japan, and maybe a couple of others.
    There are quite big planting pockets at the back where I'd like some colour so Rotala 'H’ra', Rotala wallichii, Rotala green.
    On the rocks and DW a combination of small buces and mosses.
    The top of the stump is hollow so some emergent growth as well, maybe small ferns, Crypts etc.
     
  6. Keith

    Keith Administrator
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    Tim

    With the planting I would keep it to a bare minimum other wise the planting will become the feature not the washed out Rocky Tree Stump.

    Keith:cathug::cathug:
     
  7. TimHarrison

    TimHarrison Super Moderator
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    Thanks Keith, that's a good point. I'm not sure the hardscape is good enough to be the main feature of the finished scape though. It'll also be hard for me to resist the temptation to cover it in plants; which for me is usually the main feature. But I'll definitely keep your advice in mind.

    I also tried Evelyn's suggestion of placing some rocks in the negative space on the right...I've tried several in different combos and they just seem to throw the scape out of balance.

    I think I've identified the cause, the scape really wants to be a concave island scape (it's actually more of a triangular arrangement) especially when viewed from the front. However, I've built it to be viewed primarily from the right hand side, it's how the tanks sits in my study.

    So overall I've come to the conclusion it's best left as is, if needs be I can add a bunch of slightly taller bushier plants to add contrasting juxtaposition to the rocky root outcrop...

    29627133632_f050847d96_b.
     
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  8. TimHarrison

    TimHarrison Super Moderator
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    Holidays are as good as over, so my attention has returned to the shallow.
    I rejigged the right hand side of the scape a bit, and then got busy with the glue gun and added a bit more wood.
    The carpet plants arrived today as well, along with some mini Christmas moss and Pelia, so I'll do some planting tomorrow.
    I'm going to try the dry start method with this scape. The level substrate should lend itself to DSM pretty well :)

    36733874516_d0147e578f_b.

    36733874726_fa99e177ce_b.
     
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  9. Keith

    Keith Administrator
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    Seeing every thing is very dry I was thinking would it pay to fill the tank first for a few days then syphon it all out ready for the DSM?

    Keith:cathug::cathug:
     
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  10. TimHarrison

    TimHarrison Super Moderator
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    Hi Keith, that was a good suggestion but as you know by now I've already planted the carpet, and so far so good...

    36795960035_cdf30ae9f0_b.
    35986812093_4aa5a5d757_b.
    35961298974_3fe04fc59c_b.
    35986812053_c1b916e3bd_b.

    Strange though, I could have sworn I'd posted the above here already :confused:
     
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  11. Keith

    Keith Administrator
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    Did you post those photos on ASW as I have seen those last three?

    Keith:cathug::cathug:
     
  12. TimHarrison

    TimHarrison Super Moderator
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    Yes I posted all 4.
     
  13. Keith

    Keith Administrator
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    Hello Tim

    Old brain a bit tired today, it was the last photo that pushed the memory button, I remember seeing those two white ???? between the two displays.

    Keith:cathug::cathug:
     
  14. TimHarrison

    TimHarrison Super Moderator
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    Haha...it happens to the best of us ;)
     
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  15. Keith

    Keith Administrator
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    As you get younger it happens more often, trust me I know only too well.

    Keith:cathug::cathug:
     
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  16. TimHarrison

    TimHarrison Super Moderator
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    The DSM (dry start method) seems to be working well...so far. The methodology has been:

    1. Firstly, I added water to a level just below the surface of the substrate, and aim to keep it that way; spraying every day can raise the water level above the top of the substrate.
    2. I've kept the tank sealed with clingfilm, but have let fresh air in for 5 minutes every day to replace the old stagnant air, hopefully this will prevent mould.
    3. The plants have been sprayed on a daily basis with a dilute fertz solution, about 1ml TNC Complete per 0.33 of a litre; that's the capacity of my sprayer.

    It's been around 10 days since the carpet was planted and I'm fairly pleased with the growth rate.
    The moss has taken hold as well and appears to be growing; I was worried it wasn't getting enough moisture.
    I've also pinched out the tops of the Staurogyne repens, hopefully this will encourage side shots and quicker coverage.

    36878142631_6eb19e74da_b.
     
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  17. Keith

    Keith Administrator
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    Have you thought or could a small air pump/fan be used while its open to get a better air exchange?


    .
    What is the situation when there is a big difference in the substrate heights?

    Keith:cathug::cathug:
     
  18. TimHarrison

    TimHarrison Super Moderator
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    Hi Keith, the air stone is a great idea.
    A level substrate means that the level of moisture is the same throughout, so it's easy to control without water logging the surface layers too much. With steeply banked substrate, for instance, the top would probably be too dry, whilst the bottom would be too wet.
     
  19. Keith

    Keith Administrator
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    Tim you would have to mist spray the higher areas more often to keep them moist.

    I have some so called DSM the plants are practically swimming in the low water levels because a LFS said it was OK.

    Keith:cathug::cathug:
     
  20. TimHarrison

    TimHarrison Super Moderator
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    I guess spraying more often could be a solution, but pulling back the clingfilm more frequently might be counter productive too. I suppose it's all a bit of a balancing act.
     

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