Sunday, May 11, 2008

'Secret Shore' - A Step-by-step Documentation

Creative Aquascape BY Samit Roy

The above image shows one of my creative aquascape project "Secret Shore". This is one of my favourites among the Creative Aquascapes, I have done in recent past. Unlike, Nature Aquascapes, my Creative Aquascapes are much short-lived and being prepared for the final photo session, from the first day.

Please rate this tank here at RateMyFishTank


Below are few photographs taken to document the set up process:

1. Rounded riverbed rocks goes in the form the base of the layout

Secret Shore / 072607 wk00 setup001

2. Card board goes in, creating the boundary of the planting area

Secret Shore / 072607 wk00 setup002

3. Substrate goes in, forming the base of planting area

Secret Shore / 072607 wk00 setup003

4. Fertilizers goes in forming the nutirient layer

Secret Shore / 072607 wk00 setup004

5. Planting area ready

Secret Shore / 072607 wk00 setup005

6. Fine white river sand goes in, for non-planting area (for decorative purpose)

Secret Shore / 072607 wk00 setup006

7. Ready for planting

Secret Shore / 072607 wk00 setup007

8. Dry planting started with Ferns and Anubias

Secret Shore / 072607 wk00 setup008

9. Dry planting finished and ready for wet planting

Secret Shore / 072607 wk00 setup009

10. Planting completed

Secret Shore / 072607 wk00 after planting

11. Few hours after planting (right part)

Secret Shore / 072607 wk00 after planting

12. Few hours after planting (left part)

Secret Shore / 072607 wk00 after planting

13. Full shot after set up is done

Secret Shore / 072607 wk00 after set up

14. Two days after set up

Secret Shore / 072807 wk00 front

14. Close up of the right corner after eight days

Secret Shore / 080207 wk01 Cabomba

15. Close up of Hygro after a week

Secret Shore / 080207 wk01 Hygro

16. Another close up of Hygro in 2nd week

Secret Shore / 080207 wk01 Hygro

17. 'Secret Shore' after 12 days

Secret Shore / 080607 wk02 front

18. Full front after 2 weeks

Secret Shore / 080607 wk02 front

19. Close up of Hygro after 2 weeks [Notice the change in color]

Secret Shore / 080607 wk02 Hygro

20. Bacopa close up after 3 weeks

Secret Shore / 081407 wk03 Bacopa

21. Full front after 3 weeks

Secret Shore / 081407 wk03 front

22. Close up of middle are after 3 weeks

Secret Shore / 081507 wk03 middle

23. Cabomba Close up - 4th week

Secret Shore / 081707 wk03 Cabomba

24. Hygro Close up - 4th week

Secret Shore / 081707 wk03 Hygro

25. Mid area close up

Secret Shore / 081707 wk03 middle

Planted Tank Tips

Nature Tank

I was looking at this archived image of one of my initial planted set ups. I thought it would be great to share the mistakes I made in my first attempts, with fellow aquarists, especially the ones who are new into this amazing world of planted aquascapes!

1. Choosing the plants: In those initial attempts, I have done a major mistake by picking up plants almost randomly, sometimes depending on the availability and off course by their look. I have never considered their compatibility with each other or their requirements. Choose the plants wisely. Know them before you plant them (or even before you get them). Identify the plants and know their requirements, habitats and nature.

2. Examining the specimens thoroughly: Examine all the specimens you get, very VERY carefully. Algae, snails and other pests and infections can travel smoothly to your tank, using these plants as carrier. Algae and snails are easy to find. Remove the Algae-infected leaves and pick snails with your fingers. But finding snail eggs are difficult, and off course much important, too. A tiny leaf covered by snail eggs can set hundreds snails loose in your tank. And most of the snails are vegetarian and have huge appetites. I'd suggest keep the newly sourced plants (must if the source is unknown or not so reliable) in a quarantine tank for few days and watch them closely, before you introduce them to your main tank.

3. Choosing the fishes: Choosing the right fish for a planted tank is also very important. Avoid compulsive plant-eaters and root-diggers, like gold fishes, Koi carps, Gouramis, African lake Cichlids. Also DO NOT keep large fishes, as the turbulance created by their body movements (also consider the filter flow rate that you need to have if you want to keep a large fish) will tear apart the delicate plants.