Nature style low-tech 17 gallon aquascape

ruud

A nature style aquascape in the making:

IMG_20211217_115449409_HDR.jpg

First things first, a window screen.

IMG_20211217_115954885_HDR.jpg


IMG_20211217_120112490.jpg


Tank
Volume: 17 gallon / 65 liters ADA tank.
Footprint: 60 cm/24 inch x 30 cm/12 inch.
Height: 36cm/14 inch.

Substrate
Contrary to the conventional aqua soil - sand combination of nature style scapes, this tank will only have ADA La Plata sand.

Hardscape
The piece of spiderwood in the image. I will add a few separate pieces.
Elderly stones.

Water
Slightly soft to neutral, 20 C / 64 F.

Plants
My usual ferns, mosses, buces and crypts.

Technology
Twinstar B-line light unit, dimmed and time-controlled.
Eden 511 canister.

Animals
My usual Neocaridina's and Dario or perhaps CPD.
 

ruud


IMG_20211224_210600454.jpg

Added substrate, elderly stones and spider wood. Still on the lookout for a more fitting stone for the center back. The current one will do for now. Perhaps, when plants are added, I'm not bothered anymore.

Up next: more sand in the back and my favorite plant, java fern trident. Lots of trident.
 

Rye3434

Nice hardscape, reminds me of the daichi araki scape at green aqua
 

ruud

Not completely happy with it yet. Scape's center of gravity should be a bit lower. Even if it is just a few inches; it bugs me. Perhaps I can fix it this with just plants.
 

ruud


IMG_20211225_123605994.jpg
Managed to get the center of gravity down by at least an inch and created more room for plants around it. If the hardscape if good, the rest is peanuts. Time to move on.
 

wrs2

That looks amazing!
 

ruud


IMG_20211226_101535953.jpg
Thought it would be nice to show a stage of ugliness as well.

I actually managed to get the woodscape even further down with a little twist 'n turn.

However, I filled 80% of the tank with water, which made the wood, which I never used in a scape before, starting to float a bit; despite the stones I added between the branches.

In case you wonder why I added water so soon; I'm not planting in aqua soil. I don't find planting crypts, which I'll place around the stones, in sand, to be a challenge.

Since the stones have been stored dry for a long time also, and most of the sand is recently bought, the tank has to go through a process called cycling :). Perhaps I was inspired by this forum to start from scratch this time. I added for the time being an internal filter, a heater, two dead shrimp I could find in other tanks, and 3 days old artemia, to get things going. Will check the fridge today to see if I can add more ammonia sources.

It won't take long before mold starts to appear on the wood. I'm a big fan of mold....to a certain extent. The initial mold that feeds off the cellulose, on the other hand, is not a pretty sight.

So I'll leave the tank alone for a few weeks, before adding plants and removing the heater and stones that I placed between the branches.
 

MacZ

a stage of ugliness
Does not compute. What ugliness? :D
Will check the fridge today to see if I can add more ammonia sources.
Check your backyard. Leaf litter and twigs. ;)
 

ruud

Does not compute. What ugliness? :D

Check your backyard. Leaf litter and twigs. ;)

Thought I'd dump in food that is past the expiration date :)
 

MacZ

That's how you introduce Salmonella to a tank.
 

ruud

That's how you introduce Salmonella to a tank.
Hahaha, yes, you are right. I'll add a healthy but dead piece of table shrimp that is also on my plate tonight.
 

Sofiafish17

I’m not sure that’s a good idea with how processed all human food is. I would say stick to leaf litter and/ or bottle pure ammonia and/ or stuff from another healthy clean tank.
 

ruud

Why did I bring up cycling.
 

ruud

Spiderwood is getting its lovely brown tint. Heater and internal filter are removed as well as the stones that kept the wood in check. Diatoms living happily. Mold starting to show up. First copepods have been spotted. In other words: the tank is coming alive.

Up next is about 2 kg of new sand and a big bush of java fern trident. Should be in place later this week.


IMG_20220109_163250571_HDR.jpg

The tank is placed in one of my new racks. Should have used racks a long time ago! Such a space-saver.

Below the new aquascape is one of my Dario myanmar / indoor pond tanks. Nothing scaped; just very useful to store and propagate plants, as well as a breeding place for the Dario fish.

On the left is the second rack that has 3 shallow aquascapes.


IMG_20220109_163330793_HDR.jpg
 

ruud

Added the first mosses, buces and java fern trident.


IMG_20220114_175531795.jpg

It looks .....OK, but the scape should be stretched more to the right for more drama. I don't think adding more plants will achieve this. Time to pay a visit to the aquascaping shop for more stones and spiderwood.
 

Sofiafish17

Aquascaping shop? Is that your LFS is is it a real sure specific hobby store? If so I’m missing out!
 

ruud

There are dedicated aquascaping shops that sell hardscape, substrates, technology and perhaps plants. They can sell (small-sized) fish, but not all do. In aquascaping, fish are "just part" of the whole. Main focus is the hardscape and plants.

Two familiar ones in Europe are Aquarium Plants from Aquarium Gardens UK | Live Aquatic Tropical Tank Plants in the UK and Green Aqua Aquascaping Gallery and Store in Hungary. We have a few dedicated ones in the Netherlands.

I haven't visited an LFS myself in a long while.
 

ruud


IMG_20220122_104446035.jpg

Added another piece of spider wood to stretch the scape more to the right. Still missing is a rather flat rock to stretch the scape even further to the right. And some gravel needs to be added around the stones to give the scape a more natural look.

Also added some Rotala H'ra on the left and a few more buces. Next week, a large Bolbitis heudelotii will be added to the left of the tank.

This weekend the scape will be welcomed by 3 Dario fish; a male and two females. Hope they'll breed this summer; would be another excuse to create more scapes.
 

ruud

The 17 gallon low-tech nature aquascape is pretty much done. Perhaps I'll add a background light later this year. Then again, I have a borneo swamp and river scape on this year's agenda as well, so perhaps leave the tank for now as it is.


IMG_20220130_095705420.jpg
Initially I will change water once a month and add some micronutrients. Macronutrients will be added every other week. Dosing is very conservative.

IMG_20220130_095613848.jpg
Apart from neocaridina "snowball" shrimp, I added a pair of Dario myanmar fish. Below the male in slightly aroused colors. I feed the fish four times a week.


IMG_20220130_104427193.jpg
 

Rye3434

Looks great, one question: why the low water level?
 

ruud

Thanks. Well, if it was just for the picture, I would've raised the water level to the top (and get rid of the diatoms and hire a photographer, as I have no clue what I'm doing). But planted tanks, especially low-tech, benefit from lower water levels. Besides, it makes scaping and maintenance easier.

The tank pictured above is the only normal sized tank I have; all others are shallow tanks. #shallowtanksarethebest
 

ruud


IMG_20220201_154904120.jpg

His head is getting darker; he wants some...
(and it's barely over 18 C / 64 F)
 

Similar Aquarium Threads

Replies
16
Views
720
ruud
Replies
4
Views
349
ruud
Replies
7
Views
664
ruud
Replies
6
Views
284
ruud
Replies
6
Views
271
ruud

Random Great Thread!

New Aquarium Journal Threads

Latest Aquarium Threads

Top Bottom