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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone, just setting up a new 20g that will be a hybrid Dutch style. Hard scape is done and looking for some comments. I call this scape the "hole in one" 🙂. Fire away!


 

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Hello Kiyvee.

I hope you don’t take this as gospel, but.....

1) The cave is too central and too high (it does not look natural).
2) The manzanita branches are too thin and they remind me of “arms” on a snowman.
3) Reposition the rocks so they have a more natural flow without a central mound of substrate/cave.

Respectfully,

Stuart


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Discussion Starter #4
Decided to do the cliff scene I always wanted...More rocks! Thoughts?
Gravel is a filler...aquasoil to go on top.
Debating if I should put some soil down then aquasoil...

 

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Decided to do the cliff scene I always wanted...More rocks! Thoughts?
Gravel is a filler...aquasoil to go on top.
Debating if I should put some soil down then aquasoil...

With that much hardscape you will find it hard to plant, if you are going deeper than ~2" of aquasoil, I would put down a base layer of power sand/power sand special.

Best regards,

Stuart

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Almost ready for planting...Hit two petstores in rush hour traffic to find some white sand and no luck...So I guess I'm waiting another day...

 

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Discussion Starter #7
With that much hardscape you will find it hard to plant, if you are going deeper than ~2" of aquasoil, I would put down a base layer of power sand/power sand special.

Best regards,

Stuart

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Exactly....That's why I had pea gravel fill in most of the lower layers and have about 2-3inches of aquasoil in the larger planting areas. Thanks for your input Stuart, got me thinking and I think I'll be happier with this scape 🙂
 

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I love the look of Dutch style tanks! Looking forward to your updates! What plants and fish are you planning?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
All done! Still waiting for my pearl weed and making some subwassertang bushes, but just about there!
Planting with two hands in dry aquasoil is so nice...So much easier compared to my fluval edge...

Filling. Not cloudy at all.

Filled!

Closer shot
 

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Discussion Starter #10
It's really hard to resist messing w the plants to straighten them etc but I will try to wait till they root. Only one plant came loose so far :)
 

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That’s looking much better! Good job.

Stuart


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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Planting is pretty much done.


Just have to wait for the plants to grow in and for the tank to cycle. Currently doing 30% water change every couple of days so ammonia doesn't spike too high, to reduce the cloudiness faster, and hopefully reduce new tank algae. I've been squeezing my dirty filters into the tank water to add bb to the substrate...Can't hurt 🙂
 

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Certainly does LOOK nice. Just needs some fish. :)

However, on a matter of practicality, there appears to be a small opening between the rocks (right/foreground). There will be decaying organic matter which will find its way into that space under the rocks. How will this decay be removed from time to time?

Note: Even though my filtration system keeps the water in pristine condition, I have a couple of natural wood logs in my tank which I have to lift every once in a while to vacuum out "stuff" that accumulates underneath.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Haha you found my cave 🙂. Not super concerned with organic materials making it in there. To be honest...I never vacuum my substrate. I don't believe in vacuuming aquasoil. Instead I rely on snails, shrimp and plants to use/convert the waste. I think if the tank is heavily planted it works. I then don't dose macros and only micros. I also make sure I don't overfeed. The times when I've accidentally poured too much food in I suction that up right away.

Fish are ready to go...Just waiting for the tank to be cycled.

2nd water change, 6 days in. Plants are pointing up 🙂
Here's a collage showing the progression

 

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Discussion Starter #17
Update...Continuing to grow in...No sign of algae so far. Fingers crossed! Dialing back the water changes now that the tank is stocked. Using old media and submersed plants cycles the tank a lot quicker! Was expecting higher ammonia levels since it's new aquasoil. Pretty much zeros except nitrates at 5-10ish.

 

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Discussion Starter #18
Oh ignore the drift wood on the side...Just there temporarily until I find a different use for it...Trying to incorporate some "roots" in the scape but not much room with how I laid out the plants...
 

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I actually had to "look for" the driftwood, so it must be pretty natural, as is . . . It would have stood out like a sore thumb if it looked out of place. I would leave it there. Looks good to me. :D
 
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