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Paul’s 90G Updated Aquascape

March 23rd, 2010

Last fall, a couple GWAPA members got together at Paul’s house to help him aquascape his 90G aquarium. To remind you, just after planting, the new aquascape looked like this below. Obviously, the initial planting did not feature many stems in the background.

Paul's 90G - Aquascape Just Planted

Just after planting...

Now, several month later, the tank has really grown in. Paul made a few minor adjustments to the original placement of the wood in the aquarium, which I think now looks better than one day one. The foreground is growing in very nicely, and the Sagittaria subulata in the middle background is adding a very nice jungle look. The Cryptocoryne looks especially healthy in this aquarium.

Paul's 90G Aquarium

Currently...

I think the hardscape, foreground, and mid-ground look pretty good. The background looks good, but I probably took the picture about a week past its prime. I think that when Paul trims the stem plants, and they grow back up to about 3-4 inches above the tallest rock, it’ll be perfect. What does everyone else think of this aquascape? I will pass any comments onto Paul…




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20H – New Aquascape

March 16th, 2010

This weekend I decided to rescape my 20H aquaruim. Previously, I had been running this as a Riparium, but while I really did enjoy setting up the Riparium, I was ready to go back to a more traditional aquascape. In addition, I am doing a 20H aquascaping demonstration this weekend, and was told that I would have bogwood to use, so I wanted to practice a little bit in these dimensions.

20H Aquascape

I started by setting up the hardscape using a combination of African bogwood and slate. I was going for a large broken root system look in some form of a loose mound setup.

20H Aquascape

I also wanted to keep this aquarium somewhat low-tech using plants I had on hand, so I pulled out some standby Trident Java Fern, Anubias barteri var. ‘coffeefolia’, and assorted Cryptocoryne.

20H Aquascape

In the foreground I placed Ranalisma rostrata, and in the background I used Blyxa aubertii and Rotala sp. ‘Hra’. Of all of the plants in this tank, I would probably replace the Anubias with a smaller nana or petite variety, as the coffeefolia is a little bit too large. I should also probably tie some moss to the wood to make it a little bit softer.

20H Aquascape

Above is the aquarium shortly after filling it up. It’s definitely not the best aquascape I’ve ever done, but for simply toying around for a little while, I’m not too disappointed with it. Comments welcome!

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Syngonanthus sp. “Madeira”

March 11th, 2010

Over the past few years, a number of plants from the Syngonanthus genus have become quite popular in the hobby. One of these is Syngonanthus sp. “Madeira”, a beautiful green stem plant from the Eriocaulaceae family. S. sp. “Madeira” is a delicate plant in mass, but doesn’t seem to be terribly difficult to grow given the proper conditions.

Photo Credit: Jake Adams, editor of ReefBuilders.com

For me, the proper conditions seem to be medium to high light with CO2 and water-column fertilization. Without sufficient iron, this plant tends to appear more pale than when it is in prime health. One of the beautiful things about S. sp. ‘Madeira’ is the shear number of leafs that come out of its crown. Usually it takes a couple months for the plant to adjust to your aquarium, but once it does it’s a pretty faster grower, and bushes out readily after trimming.

Syngonanthus sp.

I’ve also grown this plant in my emersed setup, throwing a bunch of stems in and allowing them to float on the surface. About a week later, a few of the plants sent up flower stalks!

Syngonanthus sp.

When you see the flowers, it’s easy to understand how Syngonanthus is in the Eriocaulaceae family, as the flowers are hat-pin type, just like their cousins in the Eriocaulon genus. The flower stalks are slightly pubescent (hairy), with the bud being indented in the middle.

Syngonanthus sp.

I’m hopeful that these flowers will help us identify the true species for this plant. It’s somewhat probable that several of the Syngonanthus variants being traded, such as Belem, Lago Grande, and Madeira are all actually the same species, but from different localities. Nevertheless, all of these are wonderful aquarium plants that I recommend trying.

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Lynn Canyon, Vancouver, B.C.

March 5th, 2010

While out in Vancouver, we were able to take a short trip north to Lynn Canyon, a wonderful municipal park known for their suspension bridge.

Lynn Canyon, Vancouver, B.C.

Vancouver is blessed with a warm Pacific stream which makes the weather much more mild than other places around the globe at the same latitude. The Northwest has a number of temperate rain-forests, with Lynn Canyon being a second-growth forest, but still very much influenced by the weather.

Lynn Canyon, Vancouver, B.C.

The first thing you notice is that everything is absolutely covered with several different types of moss. Some trees are 100% covered from the base all the way to the top. It’s pretty incredible!

Moss

Besides the moss, ferns are prominent throughout the forest there. We were hiking with a couple of locals from Vancouver, and they said that this was the greenest they’d ever seen the ferns. Of course, it was pouring down rain while we were out walking about. (Our friends told us that if we let the rain stop us from doing things in Vancouver, we’d never see or do anything.)

Lynn Canyon, Vancouver, B.C.

We followed a trail up above the canyon, about 3-4 stories up from the water, for awhile before heading down toward the river.

Lynn Canyon, Vancouver, B.C.

As I mentioned, it was raining pretty hard that day, so the water was very high and very rapid. Large rocks lined the sides of the water, leading to some breaks with sandy and peddle bars near the still areas.

Lynn Canyon, Vancouver, B.C.

Moss even covered the rocks by the river, despite getting more sunlight than under the tree cover. It made for some very pretty scenes, that reminded me of Riccia fluitans stones used in an aquarium.

Lynn Canyon, Vancouver, B.C.

We spent some time exploring the various nooks and crannies along the river, and at times hit sections that were impassable. In several instances, we had to climb 4 flights of stairs up the side of the canyon in order to continue following the water.

Lynn Canyon, Vancouver, B.C.

The folks in Vancouver are really lucky to have such a nice public forest so close to them in North Vancouver. If we had more time, I could have spent several days exploring the trails throughout this park.

Lynn Canyon, Vancouver, B.C.

Of course, that’s just reason to come back another time!

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