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Starting a Terrascape

Discussion in 'Terrascaping Journals' started by Keith, Dec 7, 2014.

  1. Keith

    Keith Custom Text
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    I am starting another Terrascape this time it will be in the 5ft x 15ins x 18ins high, I have to pull the 5ft fish tank down purely for health reason.

    The 45lt was a big lesson I had to learn and learn it fast, it took too long to finish, health reasons and the wrong plants slowed me down too much.

    I have done a few very rough sketches and I mean "Rough"
    5ftterrascapecorner_edited-1-1.
    The back and back corners will be built up and shaped.
    foambacking11014.
    It will be shaping it similar to this but the rocks will not be a flat wall with shapes, I will be hoping to have gaps for backing plants/mosses etc
    FG5ft2ndideaTERRASCAPE1114_edited-1.
    No1 will be a dry water fall similar to the 45lt Terrascape.
    No3 a dry creek bed for mini Tills
    No2 not doing

    The next big job will be once I get all my DW I will be drawing up a full sized plan.

    The more I look at it the more I want to have the dry water fall in the back LH corner.

    I have a few plants photos coming soon.

    Keith :cathug::cathug:
     

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    #1 Keith, Dec 7, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2014
  2. Jason

    Jason Founder
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    im really looking forward to this Keith its a monster :D

    as always your pre planning is great :)

    a terrascape is surely a lot less work even if its a shame that you had to take it down ;)

    any idea to plants species Keith?
     
  3. Keith

    Keith Custom Text
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    FG5ft2ndideaTERRASCAPE914-copy_edited-1.
    That is the latest think tank a dry rocky waterfall back LH corner and one dry creek bed, with a small outlet RH side, I will be planting several varieties of very low growing Tills in the creek bed.

    Plantsonshelf191214edited-1.
    Here are some of the plants that will be planted in the ground level areas, I will be getting after Christmas 3 Bonsai Jap Maples, these will be planted in their pots and treated as Bonsai (another skill I must learn)
    Top shelf

    2 Fittonia Verschaffeltii

    3 Agapanthus Baby White

    Middle shelf

    3 Peperomia Cv Silver ripple

    1 Fiitonia

    Bottom Shelf

    1 Selanginella Apoda Meadow Spike Moss

    2 Pllea Glaucophylla Silver Sprinkles

    1 Selanginella Apoda Meadow Spike Moss

    3 Chamaedorea Elegans Mini Parlour Palm


    Keith
     

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    rodoselada likes this.
  4. Jason

    Jason Founder
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    Very nice, sounds good :)

    What substrate will you be using I'm in the middle of planning an emersed aquascape and decided again using aqua soil as im sure I'm getting fert burns in my testing..plus the fact it's expensive :)

    I'm leaning towards seeding soil or coco soil as this proved well in my other project.
     
  5. Keith

    Keith Custom Text
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    I will be using a high grade multi purpose potting mix about 150lts, the dry creek will be the 1-3mm natural river stones and scattered with a mix of small to medium sized smooth river stones to give it the natural appeal.

    This is most of the DW I have, one lot with mainly small pieces, the second all mixed medium and another lot all rather larger pieces.

    Some will be cut to size to grow the Tills on and buried in the dry creek bed to make it look like they are growing in the creek bed.

    I do not have the rocks in photo as I have a good large bucket full of mixed sizes and shapes

    The next step is a full size plan working around all the DW I have.

    Some of the pieces will be built into the backing and ends including the dry water fall

    DWJayQldtwiggybits1114_edited-1.
    DWSamALNSW1114_edited-2.

    Keith
     

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    #5 Keith, Dec 19, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2014
  6. Keith

    Keith Custom Text
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    I will be doing similar to what Jason did regarding the back finishing with a mix for the Mosses.

    After I shape the styrene backing to my liking, I will be coating a Multi purpose Polyurethane glue, then pressing in a mix of the following.
    Backingmix1pottingmix1214edited-1.
    Open Potting Mix.
    Backingmix5substratemix1214edited-1.
    1-3mm Substrate.
    Backingmix2largemulchmix1214edited-1.
    Large fresh mulch.
    Backingmix4Sievedsmallmix1214edited-1.
    Sieved fine aged mulch.
    Backingmix3smallstonemix1214edited-1.
    Small stone mix.
    Backingmix6completemix1214edited-1.
    The finished mix.

    Next step make a few sample piece up and at the last minute before it dries a sprinkle of 1, 2 & 3
    1 Adding Dry Sphagnum moss.
    2 Adding Peat moss.
    3 Adding the fines from the aged mulch.

    Keith :cathug:
     

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  7. Jason

    Jason Founder
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    looking good Keith :)

    and a awesome collection of substrates / decor.
     
  8. Keith

    Keith Custom Text
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    By adding all that it should look very natural "when" its all finished.

    I have a list of Mosses to look for sometime in the near future the Daughter will take me to a very good garden store a good hrs free-way drive.

    Keith:cathug:
     
  9. moss-maniac

    moss-maniac Custom Text
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    It looks "natural" already now Keith! :encouragement:
     
  10. Keith

    Keith Custom Text
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    With the help of Jason attaching the mix of materials to the backing has been solved.

    I will be using Gorilla Glue.

    Looks like there could be two methods of attaching it to the backing, as one of the surfaces must be dry and the other damp.

    1 Lightly paint the styrene foam (backing) place the materials over the surface and lightly mist spray and press it down.
    2 Lightly paint the styrene foam (backing) then place the materials (that I have previously dampened) over the surface and press down.

    If there are any gaps in the test there will be a gap repeat the process when it dries.

    Well that is the plan.

    Now onto the dry water fall it will be in the back LH corner width 15-20cm height about 30cm, to complicate it a bit more it will be made in a hollow curve (I hope) well that is the general idea.

    There will be no backing mix in that area at all.

    Because of the weight of all the rocks the water fall could sink into the substrate soil which will be about 15cm deep.

    Starting from the base of the tank I will build up layers of styrene foam to about 15cm heigh.

    I will be using a Styrene Foam box corner with the bottom intact as the basic shape of the water fall.

    This is a side section of the water fall I am planning, as you can see its built up of layers of river stones.

    They will be held together by a Foam gap filler (I hope) depending on the setting time this could be along slow process, I have practically an unlimited supply of stones.

    5ftterrascaperockywaterfall231115_edited-1.

    The big question is will it work or not?

    I have been doing design work and solving design problems for a whisker over 60 years now and, this 5ft Terrascape is full of design problems that have to be solved.


    Keith:cathug:
     

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  11. Keith

    Keith Custom Text
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    Great news all fish and plants sold to the LFS

    Next week I will be taking all the plants and the BN fry to the LFS as well.

    Then I can start on the 5ft Terrascape.

    I bought a cheap set of brushes today.

    I will be ordering the 500ml Gorilla glue later today.

    Keith :cathug:
     
  12. Jason

    Jason Founder
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    Great news Keith, im really looking forward to this monster of a terrascape :D
     
  13. Keith

    Keith Custom Text
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    My biggest concern was the dry water fall every one of my think tanks had something that was just not right.

    When I started pulling the DW out the biggest piece I have, I saw one perfectly flat surface and a rough surface back at right angles to each other, a perfect corner piece my old brain went into over drive.

    With a little trimming (with a chainsaw) I have a surface for the water fall and a surface for the backing the other surface (three sides only) moss will grow over it naturally.

    As a test run as soon as all the plants and the remaining fish gone in a few days, I will pack the substrate up as the soil and see what has to be trimmed.

    Any gaps at the back I will fill in with the old fish tank substrate.

    Photos guaranteed in a few days time.

    Then things will move very fast "I hope"

    Keith:cathug:
     
  14. Keith

    Keith Custom Text
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    Dec 2014

    Cork for Mosses

    I will be cutting the cork into small lengths fit and silicone to the backing to grow the mosses in.

    5ftterrascapecorkformoss111115_edited-1.

    The depth of the curve averages 15-20mm.

    The average width is about 10cm.

    I also have two other similar pieces of bark.
    Corkformosses21214_edited-1.
    Corkformosses11214_edited-1.
     

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    #14 Keith, Jan 11, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2015
  15. Keith

    Keith Custom Text
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    DWLHbackcorner3115-1.

    The arrow is pointing at the flat surface which will be one side of the water fall.

    I will have to get a chainsaw to trim it up a bit if I can do what I am thinking of it will have a few thinking how did I do that.

    I did not get the Chainsaw I managed with the Circular saw just as easy and a lot safer.

    The UGF riser if I can will be behind it right in the corner.

    As soon as I clean the tank I will slowly work it all out.

    The layout of the soil and how I shape every thing depends on this piece of wood.

    If you are confused you should be, it will not be shaped like an Aquascape but like a natural looking bush scenery.

    Well that's the theory any way.

    10th Jan 2015

    First big change water fall is out it just would not work main reason being the water fall would finish too close to the front of the tank.

    I played around with the piece of DW a few cuts here and there and finally it fitted.

    DWLHcorner1115edited-1.

    The DW is siliconed on to the piece of Foam which is siliconed to the end glass.

    ? That is to be the back of the cave where the dry creek bed will start, backing undecided yet could be stones or the same backing materials on the back and ends of the tank.

    Keith :cathug:
     

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  16. Keith

    Keith Custom Text
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    11th Jan 2015

    Backingdrawingshapes1115edited-1.
    The red line is the bottom of the backing.

    Above black line is the top of the soil and, the creek bed bottom RH corner.

    Numbers 1-10 are the shapes to be siliconed on and shaped.

    Backingdrawingshapes2115edited-1.
    This is how I will be getting the slope, top 2 thickness and, at the bottom 4 thickness.

    When glued on and dry I will shape the slope and, then silicone the rock shapes on.

    The slope should give it a more natural appeal plus give a natural drainage/run off when I mist spray it every morning

    I have a very rough guide there and, I think every thing should work out OK.

    The next step will be making the backing gluing on the backing bits and pieces using Gorilla Glue, then silicone it to the back and ends of the tank.

    Keith :cathug:
     

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  17. Jason

    Jason Founder
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    Great planing Keith! The plans and detail are great.

    Looking good :)
     
  18. Keith

    Keith Custom Text
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    The 5ft is flying and no big concerns like the small Terrascape, it could be a while before I get all the mosses plus the three Bonsai Japanese Maple as its a 45 min drive, waiting for a lift with the Daughter when she is free to take me, its not a hurry.

    Keith:cathug:
     
  19. Keith

    Keith Custom Text
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    12th Jan 2015

    I picked up three Foam boxes at the Green Grocer today just right for the backing/shapes .

    Cost a please and a thank you.

    They throw them out with the rubbish.

    Keith :cathug:
     
  20. Jason

    Jason Founder
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    Bonus! Good manners gets you free stuff :D perfect for the backing :)
     

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