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About Me

  1. The photo shows looks right now. With the exception of my having already removed the chunk of mopani that was in the left side of the tank, this is how it has looked for years now, with the exception of the plants coming out of the back and the duckweed, pogostemon, and monte carlo you can see in the middle area. Definitely time for a change. The pogostemon will be moved to a different spot, of course, don't want that right there in the middle. A lot of the crypts will come out. For now, I'll drop those into the QT I just set up. I'm waiting for the dragon stone I ordered, and I'll be ready to go to town on redoing this tank. New plants arrived from AC yesterday, and my new substrates are on hand. Just need the stone. I'm excited to redo this tank. I plan to part of the existing substrate in there as a base, as well as there being no change in the filter media, so it won't have to cycle from scratch.
  2. Gonna try a river set up, not really going full biotope but definitely want to create a river scene. Still in the beginning stages of planning and researching. I’ll need to figure out a flow rate that is comfortable for the stocking I have/ will select. Also I want it to be adjustable to mimic different times of slow to faster currents. For hides, flow blocks, and grouping areas I will use straight-ish 2-3 inches round limbs with large river stones. May also go with a tree trunk type log and large river stones. Or ? This will be in a 55G and my first thought for flow is, 2 intakes with aquarium coop sponge pre filters at one end. Connect that with PVC to 2 aquarium coop power heads. Each power head would be on its own power source. Then use 2 micro pumps all at other end. 🤷🏻‍♂️ I want to plant some val and maybe other plants but definitely a lot of val. The stocking I have already chosen is rainbow shiners and some hillstream loaches. Shiners arrived today 😁 they will stay in QT until this is ready.
  3. 29 gallon community tank before and after trimming. I even trimmed back my bolbitis which I hated to do but it was heading across the front of the tank. It usually takes a while for me to start liking the tank again after a trim but I like it a lot this time around. It also allowed me to float some of my wisteria trimmings which I always like doing. Tank inhabitants lost in the forest: Several Apistogramma Cacatuoides(triple reds), Amano Shrimp, Celestial Pearl Danios, Blue Ramshorn Snails and Cherry Barbs. Plants: Water Wisteria, Ludwigia Repens, Bolbitis Heudelotii, Java Fern Windelov, Anubias Nana, Anubias Barteri. Struggling plants: Monte Carlo, Staurogyne Repens.
  4. I have a couple of little 3 gallon rimless cubes that were housing some shrimp. The shrimp moved into the community Tanks and the little cubes were looking sad. I had some supplies laying around so on the spur the moment I decided to see if I could make one of these cubes look decent while I watched the live stream. I think it turned out pretty well. No fish, but some snails probably hitch hiked in. Plants are: Java Fern, Rotala H’ra, Baby Tears, Java Moss, Guppy Grass and Moss Balls.
  5. Hi All! For my next tank (20 gallon long), I'd love to have a sand beach for my cories surrounded by another substrate. Thinking eco complete and maybe some gravel. What kinds of dividers have you used to keep the sand separate from the other substrate as best you can? Pictures of your setups would help too!
  6. Ok so I've recently become obsessed with designing a species only tank for some panda cories, hopefully long finned. My goal is a 20g long. How important is it to match their habitat of origin when aquascaping? Do I just stick to plants from South American? Is that too limiting? I've gone down a research rabbit hole and need to get pulled out of it. Thank you Nerms!
  7. Hi Nerms! I'm planning my next tank and would love to try out a variety of red plants. I don't have the tank yet so I don't know what lighting I'll have but I'm looking for some beginner friendly recommendations. What should I start with?
  8. A road I drive every so often has a spot where the river, tree line, and foreground are nice to look at. Nothing real spectacular but enough to notice. About a week ago as I was driving through this spot, the sun was setting at just the right time and it made the sky behind a certain color and I was instantly almost overwhelmed. Inspiration hits me sometimes with a rush of emotions and my brain starts clicking, next thing I know I’ve got the baseline idea for a whole project. How does a setting sun color turn into a fish tank? It’s amazing how inspiration works! I’ve always been on the artsy side of everything but never took much of it seriously. It works the same in my work as well, being a finish carpenter I get to use design, flow, vision, problem solving, and more to create custom cabinetry and interior woodwork. I find inspiration to be a very useful tool I use every day. It comes from some of the strangest places too. What are some of the ways you’ve been inspired in aquascaping? Hardscape, plants, water parameters, stocking, types of equipment, whatever it may be as long as it’s fish keeping related.
  9. I’m gonna be setting up a new style of tank (for me) and it got me thinking about the different styles of aquascaping. Over 30 years most of the time I would buy whatever decorations at the box stores I liked and try to mesh it together. Then I steered towards natural rock and driftwood only tanks, keeping mostly African cichlids it worked best. Now over last year I’m heavily into planted tanks. So what’s your favorite aquascaping style? 1) box store decor = fake plants, fake logs, shipwrecks, castles, ect… 2) natural stone/ wood = real stone or wood only 3) lightly/ moderate planted = some plants some decor fake or natural 4) heavily planted = very heavy plants real wood/ stone all styles included 5) biotope = specific natural environment to mimic or recreate an exact location 6) themed = non aquatic decorations to create a special environment or feel that has little to no natural decor (like they do on the show Tanked a lot) 7) other = other pics if possible! This thread is meant to inspire others to try different styles and go outside their comfort zones. I never thought I would do a themed tank but I really wanted to try something way different than anything I’ve done in the past.
  10. Is there anything I need to know? I have a 60 gal tank with gravel and artificial plants-I have about 8 really hardy fish-they've been through a lot-2 Rainbowfish, 3 tetras, 2 rasboras and a pleco.. I want to kick it up a notch. I just bought a beautiful piece of manzanita that will stretch about 2/3 of the way across the aquarium (I covered it with boiling water and now it's soaking-it's in a clean big garbage can). I have collected up some nice rocks-I got some slate pieces from Amazon and some petrified wood and assorted other rocks from my dad's collection (the rocks have all been scrubbed with a brush and are soaking) I'll check the rocks with some vinegar before I actually use them. My plan is that next week I'll do my 20% water change and gently put the driftwood and a few rocks into the tank (the fish will still be in it), add water to the top and see how it goes. A week or so after that, I'll order some live plants and add them. Is my timeline OK? I don't want to stress the fish out any more than I need to. Any suggestions are appreciated.
  11. Hey everyone! I’m going to be setting up a 75 gallon tank soon and I’m looking for aquascape ideas or examples. I’m not trying to steal ideas because I do want to make it my own but I have no idea where to start. Thank you! Below is my current 40 gallon and the stock that’s going to mostly in the 75. Any constructive criticism is appreciated
  12. So I was recently going through the Home Depot website and decided to try searching "seiryu stone", I came up with these results: Home Depot seems to be selling the bulk amounts of stones that Lowes was, although from what I can tell some of them are a bit more expensive. I've also noticed them selling other hardscape such as ohko/dragon stone as well as others. If you search "lifegard" on the Home Depot website you get a bunch of options in terms of hardscape for pretty good prices. Hope this helps!
  13. Through some spectacular mistiming, I have a load of mail ordered aquarium plants 2 months before I can set up the aquarium that they go into. Perfect for quarantining! My question is, for that long a time, do I need to plant the stem plants in substrate, or can I just leave them as bunches? I'll have a light and air stone going, with liquid fertilizer. Light no more than 6-8 hours. Since they will have time to adapt to water, should I run CO2, or can I just let them poke along with short light and fertilizer?
  14. I'll be following this Biotope/Aquascaping collaboration project with interest for the next few years. 50 - 60 tanks in 2 years sounds like hearty chunk to digest maintenance wise.
  15. Hi all! I wasn't sure where to post these questions, sorry about that. I want to start aquascaping my fish tanks, I feel like I'd enjoy them more. I don't want to spend a fortune on more substrate, rocks, or plants so does anybody know a place cheap for those? I am only scared about the fact that if a fish dies I won't see it and it will pollute the tank. Does anyone know how to aquascape? What kind of plants do you grow and what looks the best.
  16. Hi everyone, I need some advice on scaping a 65 gallon tall. It is 24 inches tall. I would like to avoid using Val as I already have a tank with Val in it. Thoughts?
  17. Greetings everyone. Hope all is well. I was hoping I could get some advice from the community. I planted my Fluval Flex 9 gallon for my shrimp with a ground cover plant from seeds. The seeds took off really well. I got great coverage in just a few weeks. However the plants have got way out of control. I have aqua scissors I could use but I’m too scared I would injure the shrimp hiding within. Also on that note I have not seen most of the shrimp. I am just assuming they are hiding. Does anyone in this community have any suggestions in getting the plants under control and if it’s normal for shrimp to stay hidden within the tall ground cover. Here are photos from three weeks of growth and current about a month later.
  18. I'm just getting started with the early planning stages of my 55 gallon tank! Where do you begin with scaping? How do you come up with a theme? I'm lost when it comes to getting started! My first tank, a 29 gallon, was for me to play around with and just get my feet wet with the hobby. Now I want something with a more cohesive look to it. Do you buy hardscape pieces first and build around that? Do you go seeking hardscape to fit your vision, then build a plant aesthetic from there? I'm a complete novice to scaping. I'm using a natural color off-white sand as my substrate (inert) and Il'l be keeping the tank low tech. I want something that is low maintenance and easy to clean, and I'll need a little driftwood because I'd like to try a bristlenose pleco for this one.
  19. Hey guys! this is my first Aquascape that i really took seriously with the planning and didn’t rush into. it’s an AquaJapan AJ-60 115L (30 gallon) aquarium that i’m doing a South American/Amazonian biotope in. planted in there right now are 3 Red Flame Swords, 5 Valisnerias, 2 Staurogyne Repens (All of these are from the Co-op), some dwarf saggitaria i propagated from my Endler tank, and a “Sparkling Sword” from my LFS (looks like an ozelot sword except white speckling instead of red). There is also a Pothos cutting i stole from one of my sisters plants that is dipping into the water and running up my Mangrove root. Because of the built in Sump system in this tank, i was able to hide my heater and my thermometer in the back of the tank, as to not interrupt my aquascape (even though i have 2 Fluval passive C02 systems there in the back by the filter outlet.) other than showing off this aquascape (waiting for the plants to grow in a little more/for the tank to season a little better before i add fish), i had 3 main questions… 1.) my LFS has a Gold Nugget Pleco in a display tank that no one has bought yet, and i wanted to make sure it would be a good choice for this tank. I think size wise it would do well, but my main concern is if it would eat the mulm that has accumulated on my wood and some of my plants. I know that it will eat the green string algae and the brown diatomaceous stuff that has started to grow, but i want to make sure it’ll eat the ugly bits that i’m really worried about with this aquascape (will be pictured). question #2: stocking ideas? I was thinking 3-4 bolivian rams, 13-15 ember tetras, and the gold nugget pleco. I was debating on apistos instead of the rams, but i would want to have 2 separate caves for them and i really only have room for the 1 drift wood cave pictured. I love hearing other ideas about stocking ideas Water Parameters: PH 7.2-7.5 GH about 120-150 according to API test strips KH about 80-120 according to API strips i’m mid cycle so ammonia just started going down, nitrates have shown up but still spiked nitrites (no fish at the moment) question #3 what do you think about the aquascape? I love constructive criticism and would appreciate plant ideas, hardscape ideas, or any overall ego boosting about this tank xD sorry for writing so much, don’t post on here often but i want to start becoming more active on here, and hopefully become a member soon! here are some pictures!
  20. New here, almost decided to trade all my fw fish in since my 10 g reef tank is a fraction of the trouble of my fw tanks. Here is my 1 yr old 75 g about one year ago, just starting with red algae and bba: And here it is today, substrate removed and replaced with inert sts. Algae and cyano is about half as bad as it was 2 mo ago: I'm planning on pulling the co2, removing the (despised) fluval canister, and placing a sicce silent 1.5 behind the fake rockwall, running the return along the top of the wall like a very wide, trickling waterfall. Tank will be 2/3rds full of water. Nothing but the sicce wire coming into the tank. Matten filter foam on the edges of the rackwall closing the 3/4" gap. Right now my black marbled angels live behind the rockwall due to bullying from the panda angels. Flora will be java ferns, anubias, etc on the wall and in the water. Maybe a few ocelot sword. Also I have a 6 g fluval edge with the top removed Id like to turn into a pond tank. Also have a mostly softy reef tank that is being slightly remodeled 1st!
  21. Where should I put the last few plants? Any other suggestions? Leave them here or on YouTube 🙂
  22. Planted Nano Pea Puffer Cube For the first time ever, I have a beautiful rimless all-in-one aquarium. Over the weekend, my partner and I picked up a Tideline AIO 11.3G, which is just under 14” cubed. Our eventual goal is to house a single pea puffer (and possibly some amano shrimp as cleanup crew). As a seasoned aquarist, I know this aquarium will take a while to establish before I can add our new tiny friend. In the mean time, I will be keeping a journal about its progress. Full disclosure, I did pretty much pull this entire post directly from my blog. I use the blog to share information with friends and family and document my journey, but it makes it rather easy when I can format it there and just paste everything over here to spark conversation. Hope you enjoy! 💚ALL PLANTS ARE FROM AQUARIUM CO-OP💚 The Process Substrate Egg crate structure with *Magic Mud™️ There are two additional layers of egg crate stacked in the back to create depth without using excess substrate. It also brings the nutrient layer up a bit so it’s easier for the plants in the back to reach. As you can see, there’s about 1/2” of space from the edge of the egg crate to the glass, allowing me to keep a clean edged look on this rimless tank. In the back, I have a total of 1.5” of nutrient-rich layer. This will help feed the Sagittaria subulata (dwarf sag), Ludwigia repens, and Helanthium tenellum (dwarf chain sword) without having to reach their roots through 4” of sand. Hardscape Initial substrate pour. Sand is Caribsea Super Naturals Torpedo Beach and accent gravel is Spectrastone shallow creek regular. Addition of hardscape. I am unsure what kind of wood this is, but it’s very splintery and the glue wasn’t holding very well. Instead, I chose to zip tie it temporarily to ensure it doesn’t disturb anything or shift when I filled the tank. The rocks are a grayish toned dragon stone. All hardscape and sand was acquired from Dallas North Aquarium, which is an excellent store and I do highly recommend them. Top-down view. As you can see, I chose a budget light, the Lominie Asta 20. I will write a full review once I have tested the light for a decent period of time, but so far I really like it. Planting Addition of Sagittaria subulata – contained in the back corner behind the hard scape. My hope is that the hardscape will keep it from taking over the tank. This stuff grows fast and I really don’t want to be yanking up runners every week. Cryptocoryne wendtii sp. pink flamingo in the front (I am so ridiculously excited about this plant, it’s so pretty!) and Ludwigia repens just behind. Althernanthera reineckii and Helanthium tenellum added, and some baby java ferns tucked into the holes in the rocks. We added some Anubias nana petite, some Bucephalandra sp. Green wavy, and shoved some moss (Christmas moss? Unknown sp) into the splintery bits of the driftwood. The zip tie is a bit unsightly, but I would much rather have an unsightly zip tie for a month than have my hard work ruined by a stubborn piece of wood. I squeezed an established sponge filter over the tank, filled it, and started up the filter! After about 10 hours, the water is tannic, but no longer super hazy. The filter pump is a little too aggressive for my liking, so I have one on order that’s a much slower 80gph instead of 150gph. A single pea puffer isn’t going to need that much crazy filtration, and quite honestly the poor thing would probably get blown around by the flow. I’ll reserve the pump that came with the tank for another project. Final thoughts This scape turned out pretty great, and I’m really enjoying staring at it, even without livestock. I uploaded a YouTube short of the “sparkle” that happens in this aquarium that photos just can’t accurately capture. You can find that video here if you’re curious. *Magic Mud™️ is a product of my own design that I am still working on perfecting. Its main components are organic worm castings and natural red clay. The egg crate is simply there to keep everything in place and to avoid having the soil slide down to the edges of the aquarium, giving it a nice clean look all the way around without sacrificing a nutrient-dense base layer. Want to see more? Follow me @Nirvanaquatics on Instagram and Facebook!
  23. I was looking through some old photos I had. Some of these pictures were of the plants when I first got them. I relized when looking at some of these "wow, this has really grown!" Show off some pictures of that plant the day you got it to present day. Hygrophillia Compact | March 7 2021 Present Day. Its already split into 3 different hygrophillias. Cryptacoryne Wendetii Red | May 21st | Plant right infront of the spongefilter Present Day, its probably doubled in size! It hasn't even been a month.
  24. Good afternoon fellow Nerms! I have a quick question as I begin to set up my 10 gallon tank for my halfmoon Betta, Sakura. I've done some research and keep coming across conflicting answers. I was planning on using some small and medium-sized rocks to anchor some java fern and anubias to, as well as to help create a more natural-looking environment for him along with a tall, smooth piece of manzanita driftwood, and I love the look of dragon stone, especially when used with fine sand substrate. I worry, however, about it possibly ripping his fins. I wasn't sure if it would be ok since I'm only using smaller pieces at the bottom of the tank and not using big ones as center pieces like we see in those cool, fancy aquascapes. I'm also using them as "dividers" between my sand at the front of the tank and the little bit of Ecocomplete I'm using in the back of the tank for the stem plants to root in and enjoy. It's a 10 gallon column tank (don't worry, he has a coconut cave that will be suction-cupped towards the top and I'm using tall stem plants he can rest in and on as well), so I figure he won't be spending a whole lot of time at the bottom, which is going to be heavily planted around the rocks and bottom of the driftwood with different crypts and other smaller plants...Any advice?? Anyone have experience with Bettas living happily with dragon stone in their home? Or am I creating a fin rot disaster waiting to happen? I'm not dead set on dragon stone at all, I know Seiryu stone or large river rock stones would be cool, too. Totally open to suggestions as well. 😊
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