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Thread: Among the best artistic displays made by any man

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    BrassLeaves's Avatar
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    Been a while since I listened to Metallica. I gotta admit it sounded cool with a violin doing the lyrics.

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    RL7836's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vraev View Post
    I have had an aquarium years ago and I remember that no matter how many times I tried...the plants always die.
    Ditto. However, now with the internet and the sharing of info, there is a large amount of knowledge out there to almost ensure success. Algae proliferation (especially one or 2 types) can be really tough but successfully growing the plants is now possible. The Tom Barr methodology for CO2 & non-CO2 tanks is very robust & fairly foolproof - basically provide all nutrients on a weekly / daily basis (depending on specific nutrient) coupled with large weekly water changes to keep nutrients from adding up & wrecking chemistry.

    Amano is a genius. I have his 1st book and fully intend to create one or more of his tanks. For me, the issue isn't as much the setup as the regular, required pruning. Once you give the plants everything they need to grow well, they do - they explode with growth. It only takes a little bit of laziness to kill all your efforts - whether its doing fewer water changes or fewer chemicals or neglecting the trimming - if you get lazy, you lose control ...

    I really love the low 'lawns' in front of other plant / non-plant aquascaping. It probably makes sense for me to get one or 2 plugs of a 'lawn' species and let them spread in a small tank and use that material as seed material for the larger one. Then there's always U. graminifolia ...
    All the best,
    Ron
    You must do the thing you think you cannot do. --- Eleanor Roosevelt

    *** Growlist / Wants / Offers ***
    (with Pics)

  3. #11
    swords's Avatar
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    Siamese algae eaters, malaysian trumpet snails and ghost shrimps are all good friends to the aquatic plant tank. Reef tanks had their soil stirrers and clean up crews and these were the ones used when I was into planted tanks. The shrimps were nearly impossible for me to keep alive more than a week though.

    Utricularia gibba is a evil pest but it's the only Utric I ever had in a planted tank. I got a strand of it in a bundle of aquatic plants long before I was into carnivores and wondered what sort of plant it could be? I tied it to a stick and put it in the tank and forgot all about it. It grew and curled around my other plants knotting up and I would pull out handfuls of the stuff and from each bit that broke off in the tank more would grow. It was getting not only light and Co2 but probably enjoying plenty of the live foods I was feeding to the killies and their fry as well! Though i had no idea it was carnivorous at the time. I posted to the AFM fish forum asking if anyone knew what this stuff was and nobody had a clue. Finally I tore the tank down and made it into my first terrarium. Then I found the Savage Garden book in 2000 or so and saw the picture of U. gibba which looked almost exactly like the photo I posted online of my "weird string algae with little balls all over it" a year or so earlier...
    life's little cycles.

  4. #12
    What is and what should never be Crissytal's Avatar
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    These guys are good for algae too:


    (yes this guy is in the filter, he thought it would be a good place to hatch his brood)

    Albino long finned bristle-nosed plecos. I used to breed them some years ago. Some of the other varieties of plecs are known to eat plants or badly damage them. These guys don't. They also max out at about 6". I had them in all of my planted tanks, though they never looked anywhere as good as Amano's creations. I was always too chicken to try DIY CO2. My water is extremely hard here and I always worried about the pH crashing and killing my fish. Oh well, maybe I'll set up a plant only tank one day.
    Where do we go when we just don't know,
    And how do we relight the flame when it's cold?
    Why do we dream when our thoughts mean nothing,
    And when will we learn to control?
    --Godsmack

  5. #13
    swords's Avatar
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    Wow Crystal he's very pretty! I like the yellowish color with the red eyes.

    How did it get in the filter?

    Did anyone here who has ever kept aquariums ever develop an allergy of sorts from dipping your arms in fish tanks all the time? I did after a couple years of having my hands in the water all the time doing water changes and playing with the plants. Sort of red bumps would develop after messing with the tanks and last until the next day. I tried to do all the water changes and pruning on the same day near the end of my fish tank days so I wouldn't have to get the rash more than once a week. I asked the cricket counting girl at the pet shop about this and she said she developed that too after a while of messing with the fish tanks. I wonder if a pure plant tank (no fish at all) would give me the same rash...?

  6. #14
    Carnivorous plant enthusiast vraev's Avatar
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    wow crystal...that guy is really very cute. lol!! yeah!! I don't think I have seen one in such a beautiful pure color.

    Yeah!! I do remember that when i did have the 2x T12 flouroscent light on the tank, there was tons of algae growth in the tank. i guess probably the other mistake was the substrte whcih I used. My dad didn't want to try using the sand based substrate as its harder to clean. We had hence chosen the gravely type of aquarium substrate.

    but yeah.... I do understand your point though....a lot of it is just marketing and all. but man..... do they do their job well Those tanks are just gorgeous.

  7. #15
    swords's Avatar
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    What size tank was it? If a 55 gallon then two bulbs is not enough light to get the plants growing and absorbing nutrients from the water column but more than enough to make the algae think it's a time for some fun in the sun. You'll need at least 4x 40 watt T12s over a 55 gallon tank to activate the aquatic plant's rapid growth and nutrient absorbing qualities. In this way you don't allow the algae to even get a chance to start up. Just like growing CPs or corals you want to use as much light as you can possibly get over the plants without straying into unsafe temperatures.

    Standard hardware store sand is not a good choice for aquatic plant soil at all. You want something granular about 2mm-4mm in size like APS, Flourite or size 2 quartzite turkey grit. The Malaysian Trumpet Snails can easily burrow through these substrates and keep the soil aerated for the plant roots. Think "living perlite"! Also when it's time to uproot the plants these products will not cloud the water or compact the plants roots making your work more difficult.

    If you start a 55 gallon tank with at least 75-100 stems, pieces or clumps of plants they should be able to keep well ahead of algae blooms. Start up is when you MUST spend the most on plants. You can swap some out later for cooler specimen plants but you have to have a lot of them there from the git go to maintain the tanks ecological stability. The tanks success hinges on this, and that's why adding a plant here and there doesn't work as a standard practice. As people generally find out. You have to make a fully dedicated leap or simply not bother. Some aquatic plant sellers in the fish magazines recently have actually been selling whole planted tank starter kits based on what size tank you've got. Kits like: 100 bunch plant stems for use in a 55-75 gallon tank for $45.99 and so on which is cheap but you do get whatever their choices are. But this will get someone new started with all rapid growers who will deplete the water of excess phosphorus which is the main algae nutrient. The plants will suck up all the nutrients, only if you have lots of light, otherwise they will simply sit in the tank and add more phosphorous and then it's algae party time!

    You really CAN do it and make yours just as beautiful as any Amano, if you just follow a few simple guidelines pertaining to aquatic plants. Also don't forget that the tanks ADA show and Amano creates/photographs are not lit the same all the time as they are in the books and such. They use mood lighting to make the tanks have deep shadows and so forth so they actually look better in the publications than in person as the light will be much more even and intense to keep plant growth and water quality properly aligned.

  8. #16
    What is and what should never be Crissytal's Avatar
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    Thanks guys!

    Swords, I was using a pretty big hang on the back filter. It was rated for a 30 gallon, the size tank he was in was a 10g. They love the current. I kept the water level up pretty high too. When I started hearing the splashing and figured out it was him jumping around to get in the filter, I did lower the level. It didn't help. Somehow neither him nor the two female ever jumped out of the tank.

    I never developed any kind of allergy. I was as careful as one can be with playing in water though. It's possible to contract Fish Tuberculosis from fish. It's rare, but it is possible.
    Where do we go when we just don't know,
    And how do we relight the flame when it's cold?
    Why do we dream when our thoughts mean nothing,
    And when will we learn to control?
    --Godsmack

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