Aquascaping The Fluval Spec 3 - Progress

Shardicle

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It does look Instresting
 
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-Mak-

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Silister Trench said:
Man, that's looking very nice!
Thanks Sil!

Jocelyn Adelman said:
Looks amazing! That's some growth since planting time, almost no rebound issues!
Indeed! All of the plants came from submersed growth situations so luckily no melt and regrow stage. I'm kind of developing a technique in my mind for how I'd like to plant future tanks, mostly involving heavy planting and daily water changes with fert overdosing for the first few weeks of a tank's life.

Prism said:
-Mak- What are you using for the substrate, it's interesting.
Stripe said:
It does look Instresting
It's UP Aqua Sand. Really not very well known, I happened to stumble across a review of it on spec-tanks.com and saw it was available on amazon. I was originally looking at getting an ADA soil but the prices put me off a bit. UP Aqua Sand give you more for the price you pay, I think. From what I can tell, the substrate is really hard, compacted balls of soil with a black outer casing. When the black casing comes off the soil still stays in place, which I like. It needed no pre rinsing and didn't cloud the water a single bit, which I also like. No idea how much it helps the plants though, I don't have anything to compare it to. It also claims to buffer water to 6.5-7 ph, which I can't comment on either since my water is extremely soft and my low ph of 6.2 could be a result of the wood as well as low KH.

I might write a review of it on the appropriate forum section, it's really quite interesting as you say and very easy for the shrimp to graze on, but that's a summary of my thoughts on it.
 

Jocelyn Adelman

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Interesting... I thought it was the fluval shrimp stratum... have you used it before?
My concern with the shrimp stratum was that people had said when the balls break they make a mess, super hard for general maintenance or rescaping... wonder if this is improved with the up aqua?
 

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Jocelyn Adelman said:
Interesting... I thought it was the fluval shrimp stratum... have you used it before?
My concern with the shrimp stratum was that people had said when the balls break they make a mess, super hard for general maintenance or rescaping... wonder if this is improved with the up aqua?
I think it's the same with all soil. My LFS uses both ADA and Fluval, and you can tell their display tanks have been set up for a while because the soil is compacted like clay or mud. I actually think it looks better and more natural that way. As far as scaping is concerned, it does take a while for the soil to break down, so there are plenty of opportunities to redo or adjust the layout.
 
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-Mak-

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Sorry for the lack of replies guys, I must have missed the alert for this thread

Jocelyn Adelman said:
Interesting... I thought it was the fluval shrimp stratum... have you used it before?
My concern with the shrimp stratum was that people had said when the balls break they make a mess, super hard for general maintenance or rescaping... wonder if this is improved with the up aqua?
Haven't used shrimp stratum, this tank and my 3 gallon are the only proper planted tanks I've set up and this single bag was more than enough for both. I can definitely see the up aqua sand being an improvement on the breaking, but even with these I think they break down after a while. If I tried to rescape my 3 gallon I'm sure I'd have a mess with at least some of the balls of substrate. I suppose it's just the nature of soil based plant substrates.

scarface said:
I think it's the same with all soil. My LFS uses both ADA and Fluval, and you can tell their display tanks have been set up for a while because the soil is compacted like clay or mud. I actually think it looks better and more natural that way. As far as scaping is concerned, it does take a while for the soil to break down, so there are plenty of opportunities to redo or adjust the layout.
Agreed, the surface layer of this substrate has held its shape quite well and I haven't had too many issues with it breaking down yet.


My biggest complaint with this substrate is the difficulty I have with planting, it may be my cheapo aquascaping tools but the balls of substrate completely move out of the way when planting and don't come back to fill in the space very well. I have to push my tweezers in really deep to get plants to stay.
 

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I really like the up aqua tweezers (pincets to be proper), both the straight and curved are super thin... way easier to plant with then what I had before, got on Amazon...
Any new growth pictures?
 
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Jocelyn Adelman said:
I really like the up aqua tweezers (pincets to be proper), both the straight and curved are super thin... way easier to plant with then what I had before, got on Amazon...
Any new growth pictures?
Yeah, I might splurge a bit on fine tipped ones if my current ones give me too much trouble. My curved pair do well enough but my straight ones are a nightmare.

So, not really growth, but a massive trim and replant! The bacopa and ludwigia were starting to grow out of the water. I also removed the last of the terrestrial hydrocotyle and kept the leaves they grew submerged, they grow very fast but the leaves stay small. May not be a bad thing in such a small tank.

IMG_5257.JPG IMG_5258.JPG

Our upstairs is getting re-carpeted so both of my tanks were moved downstairs, you can see the 3 gallon in the background. I complain about it a lot, maybe you can see the mass of ugliness. Cyano and overgrown java moss everywhere. Remind me to never use java moss again
 
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-Mak-

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*slow claps hands* I finally have algae! I think the amano went in too soon and now I can't do large water changes (a difference of 1.2 in ph between tap and tank har har)

IMG_5261.JPG IMG_5262.JPG

These pictures are from a couple days ago, it was a lot worse today when I did a 20% water change.

I ordered another small rimless tank (hint hint nudge nudge wink wink) as a hospital tank for my betta, his fin rot's not improving and I need to resort to meds, but once he's out I may move Darwin the amano in and do some bigger maintenance on this tank.
 

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Your lighting is high light if it's really over 700 lumens. Something to keep in mind.
 
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KeeperOfASilentWorld said:
Your lighting is high light if it's really over 700 lumens. Something to keep in mind.
Perhaps, but since lumens is only for the human eye and I don't have a way of measuring PAR there's no way to know for sure. I don't think Fluval would put too much effort into making a high light for such a small tank kit though.
 

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Lux - Wikipedia
Photosynthetically active radiation - Wikipedia

Think of it like the plants are the human eye. PAR would play part if we talk about penetration or get specific about spectral ranges which are only a little relevant in your situation. Lumens, Lux and PAR are very related siblings FLUVAL is also one of the best when we talk about spectral values and PAR.
 
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KeeperOfASilentWorld said:
Lux - Wikipedia

Think of it like the plants are the human eye. PAR would play part if we talk about penetration or get specific about spectral ranges which are only a little relevant in your situation. FLUVAL is also one of the best when we talk about spectral values and PAR.
Not to get too technical, but since plants don't grow according to lumens, knowing the lumens of the light doesn't really help very much. I know lumens and PAR overlap but isn't it entirely possible to have a light with high lumens and low PAR, or a light with high PAR, lower lumens?
 

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Yes it is possible to have a light like that. I am sorry for the confusion.
 

Jocelyn Adelman

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How's it going???
 

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Oh no! No replies is not a good thing
 
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Very sorry! I should have popped in here to mention that I was leaving for vacation, I was gone 11 days without wifi. I have internet access now but won't be home until Saturday. My family says there's a lot of algae, but they aren't aquarium people so I don't know what it's like right now. They're with me so they can't send a picture either. I plan on doing some massive water changes and cleaning once I'm back though!
 

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Enjoy vaca!
 

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How's the tank after vacation?
 
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Jocelyn Adelman said:
How's the tank after vacation?
Uhh not good haha, this is what I came back to:

IMG_5417.jpg

It's been a couple weeks since I got back and after removing most of the brown algae it hasn't come back as strong. The plants survived surprisingly well, but the new growth was very small from the lack of light. Darwin the amano is in a separate smaller tank. I've been cleaning out my 3 gallon for a new scape, and the spec has kind of taken a back seat. I will probably take the plants out, clean them, replant, move Darwin back in, introduce some more amanos, and see how it goes.
 

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Oy!
 
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