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Hey guys! So I'll start a thread for the restart of this tank, see what you guys think... The idea is to redo the tank and eventually put in some nice fire reds, or something Neo. Here's what we've got so far-



Tank- It's a 5g Fluval Chi, modified to be open top (essentially all the guts ripped out) 10'' x 10'' x 12''.

Light- Clip on Fluval 13w, brand spankin new bulb

Filter- We have an AC 30 that was on it previously, but I wouldn't mind getting another mini-canister for this, we'll see.


Hardscape, etc:

Eco Complete, very severely used and old as the hills- it's not thrilling me, I might replace it.

Ohko-ish stone

Cholla wood, holla

alder cones


Planty goodness:


Mini bolbitis

rose moss

stagocourne repens

bucce (prob 2-3 kinds, still deciding)

annubias nana micro? Maybe?


So, enough lists- pics:



I will say, this rock was a huge PITA to clean, though I am glad I took my time- there were so many holes and nooks I never saw until I scraped the mud out of them. Just beautiful stone...nooks and crannies galore, it's screaming for moss.




Though this rock is super sexy, 'scaping with it in such a tiny footprint is driving me insane. Tried a lot of things.






I had settled on that last one, but after feeling it out for a couple days I decided it wasn't right- side views were kinda jenky and it looked a little too...even... and predictable for me, so I played around again and am pretty sure this is it:



Side view, much better:



I'm thinking, "rockslide turns to moss/epiphyte-rich bank" kind of thing...lots of tiny plants, no stems. Thoughts? I also have a tiny wood piece that would fit, like so:



I'll probably sit on this awhile, live with it while we plan our massive moss-and-goodies order (mwah ha ha).


Question- are any of those bacteria powder start-up products worth it, should we look into them? We've never used them before. Usually just seed with filter mulm from an established tank and run a few months with fish. Does it really do anything we can't with patient cycling?


So excited to get it going, though! I think this might be my new favorite tank...lol.








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You are such a better scaper then I am, lol. I really like that wood in it and am stoked to get a plant order going soon.

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Really awesome scape! I have one suggestion place some small pieces of stone at the base of the lager stones like a little rubble piles you would see this in natural rock slide formation's.

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Thanks! Yeah, that's what I was shooting for, but I'm out of little rubble. :/ And it is hard to see, but there is a couple of half-buried rubbly pieces in the front...they're all dirty and full of gunk from being flipped so many times. I'm going to have to pull them all out and wash them again before I finalize it...sigh. I've never had rock that made me feel so much like a crackhead raccoon. Scrub, scrub, scrub. Scrub.

And I forgot to mention, but the soil level will come up in the back quite a bit, I usually leave out a bunch while I'm playing around, makes it easier. That might help smooth that transition, and cover the foot of the biggest stone.

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Love it! I wish my phone didnt suck so I could share pics... might try the wife's. .. my problem is that I have tank add... I bounce around from one project to another lol... most of my tanks look kinda crappy at the moment because of it... allot of ambition and great ideas... just on a budget. .. lol

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That Ohko-ish stone is really beautiful reminds me of these formation's found in china.


That's gorgeous. I would love to see that in person, I bet it's breathtaking.


keep an eye on the parameters something tells me it might leach and raise the tds. i have even had petrified wood that rased the tds quite a bit. so just a warning


I will, thanks. If what I've read here- http://www.redcherryshrimp.net/hardscape/ohko-stone/ - and elsewhere is correct, it's supposed to be clay-based and inert. But the mud I cleaned out of it was RED, really red. And it does have threads of red in the stone too, as well as being super soft. I am also suspicious...I'll start testing it when it floods but I think it'll be fine even if it does, we're going neos and insane TDS is normal for our Houston tap anyway. Not going to use RO or buffering substate on this one.


Love it! I wish my phone didnt suck so I could share pics... might try the wife's. .. my problem is that I have tank add... I bounce around from one project to another lol... most of my tanks look kinda crappy at the moment because of it... allot of ambition and great ideas... just on a budget. .. lol


Lol, we usually have had the same problem...grand ideas but try to do it quick and on the cheap. But I'm trying to focus on quality this time, go back and re-do some of these tanks we just threw together...maybe I will still be proud of them in a year if I slow down and really invest in them! ha. *fingers crossed*

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So once the new substrate went in, I started playing around again. (Am I indecisive? I'm not sure...ha.ha.) This is it-









I blasphemed- broke apart one of our nice ADA stones for a smaller piece, plus rubble. I don't know why that feels like such a sin, but as usual...sin feels GOOD. Glad I did. I think it does look much more natural...thanks for the rubble suggestion, High5's!


And then...THIS came this morning. I am blown away by H4n's care and expert packaging (for our rediculous high temps here in the south), and gorgeous plants! And extra goodies..oh my! You just got another fan girl..thanks again!



Yaaaay! Now the fun begins. Time to play...

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So I've been browsing TPT and getting inspired (famous last words)...






And of course, this tank in France which has been my inspiration from the word "go"- http://www.aquascapingworld.com/threads/30l-the-rocky-plain.6892/


Did my research, and the hubby's on board- we're doing DSM/moss graffiti method to get started. Not sure if I'm insane or it's the best idea I've ever had...we'll see.


Going to split all mosses just in case this goes bad, never tried DSM before but I think this is a perfect 'scape to get my feet wet (misted?) on. Anyone here tried it?- words of advice/caution are welcome.

Sounds like the blender+yogurt method has the biggest chance of going icky, I think we'll either just use water+chopped moss, or use a *tiny* amount of yogurt. Heard of using beer instead, but can't find a journal that actually does it, let alone successfully.


My only major concern is a lack of nutrients- with just rock, no nutient rich substrate- if we don't use yogurt or beer, how do I "feed" the moss while it's in dry start? Drop of flourish in the mister? Does it really need it? Any ideas are welcome...definitely a newb in the DSM department.

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That looks great! Love the moss on top, is that mini xmas moss?

Yeah, I have one little stone that has a shrimpy-size tunnel straight through it. I placed it so that I can see if the shrimp use it...! ^_^

Sent from my PG06100 using Tapatalk 2

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