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Old 09-15-2011, 01:50 AM   #1
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My new hardscape

So after a multitude of problems with bad driftwood and dying plants I've started fresh with some Malaysian driftwood. This is the hardscape for my South American biotope. Any advice or critiques?
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Old 09-17-2011, 06:43 PM   #2
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Cool but the water looks discolored by the tannins. Perhaps boil out the tannins in the driftwood and start over? Maybe add some plants here and there? Perhaps some Swords or Java Fern? I like the substrate and how it contrasts with the wood though.
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Old 09-17-2011, 07:14 PM   #3
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A dark background is really going to make the DW, substrate and any plants pop!
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Old 09-17-2011, 07:36 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcolon
A dark background is really going to make the DW, substrate and any plants pop!
^^^ yup! I Second that!
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Old 09-17-2011, 09:24 PM   #5
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That's a bit of a bad pic since the driftwood was in less than an hour. I actually want the tannins though because I always have to be different lol I even planned on a black background. I'm thinking on the sides possibly as well. I wish I could have done a better job of hiding the equipment.

I had amazon frogbit in the tank for a while but managed to kill it sadly. I'm new to plants. I want to check out the swords though. Are they easy to keep? like really, really even i can't screw up easy?
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Old 09-17-2011, 09:38 PM   #6
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I never thought I would like it, but after accidentally staining my water, I'm really liking the 'blackwater' look.

Swords get big, in general. I had an amazon sword that out grew my 40b, then eventually out grew my 125. Is that a T5HO fixture on top? If so, how many watts? What size tank is that? I've got ideas as to what I would do with that scape, but the lighting will determine a lot
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Old 09-17-2011, 09:42 PM   #7
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Well Swords are considered to be good beginner plants that are low to moderate light and won't require any c02 injecting. Swords do however require a good source of iron in the substrate. You can either get some root tabs or use a layer of laterite below your sand bed. Once they get going though, they look pretty nice! The Java Fern on the other hand are less demanding than the Swords and (I think) you can just get away with dosing with ferts and using low lights. I've seen some striking driftwood with some Anubias species attached to them. I personally like the Anubias Nana and/or Java Fern on the DW. You can tie them on there with some translucent fishing line until the roots grow attached to the wood on their own. Maybe get creative with some Java Moss to cover the roots and fishing line... I dunno, just some suggestions!

BTW, what are you thinking in terms of stocking for a S. American biotope?
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Old 09-17-2011, 09:51 PM   #8
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I never thought I would like it, but after accidentally staining my water, I'm really liking the 'blackwater' look.

Swords get big, in general. I had an amazon sword that out grew my 40b, then eventually out grew my 125. Is that a T5HO fixture on top? If so, how many watts? What size tank is that? I've got ideas as to what I would do with that scape, but the lighting will determine a lot

It's a 40b. I figured that it was a good size tank but not too big since everything I'm doing or using is something I've never done before. The light is 2 39w 6700k bulbs and yes it is T5HO.
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Old 09-17-2011, 09:54 PM   #9
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Ahh ok. You've got tons of options then. If you want, there's a link in my sig to my 40b build. Start to finish. And, I've not run across a plant yet that 'needs' co2 injection. None of my tanks have been injected for the last 3 months, nor will they be (i sold my stuff)...
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Old 09-17-2011, 09:57 PM   #10
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Well Swords are considered to be good beginner plants that are low to moderate light and won't require any c02 injecting. Swords do however require a good source of iron in the substrate. You can either get some root tabs or use a layer of laterite below your sand bed. Once they get going though, they look pretty nice! The Java Fern on the other hand are less demanding than the Swords and (I think) you can just get away with dosing with ferts and using low lights. I've seen some striking driftwood with some Anubias species attached to them. I personally like the Anubias Nana and/or Java Fern on the DW. You can tie them on there with some translucent fishing line until the roots grow attached to the wood on their own. Maybe get creative with some Java Moss to cover the roots and fishing line... I dunno, just some suggestions!

BTW, what are you thinking in terms of stocking for a S. American biotope?
lol I love research so you gave me plenty of good ideas there to look up. To be honest the only plants I had looked into before were Amazon frogbit, dwarf water lettuce, red roat floaters, and x-mas moss. Apparently I have abrown thumb though since that's what my frobit turned into.

As for stocking. I looked at a lot of different tetras and corydoras. I like the smaller sized shoaling fish since the tank isn't very big. I was thinking of seeing about lemon tetras, glowlight tetras, three line corydoras, and possibly a small group of pitbull plecos if I have the room.
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