Wed, 8 April 2015
Killing Blue Green Algae/Cyanobacteria - SFPT009
Today, it’s all about ways to knock out the smelliest of all algaes - blue green algae a/k/a cyanobacteria!
Yes my friends, those of you that have been visited by this nasty, slimy type of algae know what I’m talking about. It’s an ugly bugger. Here’s how to get rid of it.
More details available in the shownotes.
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Wed, 1 April 2015
Sat, 28 March 2015
Takashi Amano's Underwater Forests - Behind the Scene by Jurijs | SF029
The largest nature aquarium in the world is located at the Lisbon Oceanario. It's a temporary exhibit created by Takashi Amano called Florestas Submerses or Underwater Forests.
Our very own Jurijs was there as one of the volunteers. In ScapeFu Podcast 29, Jurijs takes us behind the scene and walks us through what it was like to spend a week with Takashi Amano and his team.
Questions covered include:
Read more about it and see pictures by visiting the show notes: http://www.scapefu.com/29
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Wed, 25 March 2015
Sat, 21 March 2015
<a href="http://www.scapefu.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/episode27header1.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-1250" src="http://www.scapefu.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/episode27header1.jpg" alt="Perfect Substrate" width="730" height="350" /></a>
<h1>5 Characteristics of the Perfect Substrate | ScapeFu028</h1>
<h3>What type of substrate should I use in my aquarium?</h3>
This is a question we hear all the time. Perhaps you’ve asked it? It’s a good one because the substrate you use in your aquarium has a lot to do with whether you succeed or fail. Depending on the size of your aquarium and your aquascape, it may be one of the more expensive things to buy as well.
<li>Aquatic Gardeners Association 2015 Convention in Reston, VA April 10–12</li>
<li>Aqua Design Amano’s “<a href="http://www.adana.co.jp/en/release/detail?id=88">Largest Nature Aquarium in the World</a>” in Lisbon. The gag order on Jurijs is now lifted! Come back for the next episode of the ScapeFu Podcast where Jurijs will give us all the “behind the scene” details!</li>
<h3><a href="http://www.scapefu.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/50758813d0f74.jpg"><img class="alignleft size-thumbnail wp-image-1253" src="http://www.scapefu.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/50758813d0f74-150x150.jpg" alt="Oliver Knott Substrate" width="150" height="150" /></a>5 Characteristics of the PERFECT substrate</h3>
<li>Appearance suitable for the aquascape. Does it meet your vision for the aquascape? It’s got to look good to you or everything else doesn’t matter. Remember that you’re trying to <a href="http://www.scapefu.com/scapefu023-3-ways-put-story-aquascape/">tell a story with your aquascape</a> and the substrate must help you do that. Consider the color, size and texture of the granules and what sense of scale it will give the viewer.</li>
<li>Any good substrate must properly anchor your roots. It’s got to hold them down well. Use too large of a granual size and your tiny rooted plants will have a tough time staying down. Also, it should won’t turn to mush over time. If you use soil, for example, you’ll end up with a mess. Soil + water = mud…</li>
<li>The <a href="http://www.hallman.org/plant/soilchem.html">substrate must be capable of functioning as a nutrient storehouse</a>. What I mean by this is that a good substrate will have/absorb essential nutrients and hold them (out of solution or in solution but only in the substrate) so that plants can take them up. A substrate’s Cataion Exchange Capacity (CEC) is one way to measure how good a substrate is at doing this.</li>
<p style="padding-left: 30px;"><a href="http://www.scapefu.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/ADA-PowerSand-Special-S.jpg"><img class="alignright size-thumbnail wp-image-1255" src="http://www.scapefu.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/ADA-PowerSand-Special-S-150x150.jpg" alt="PowerSand Substrate" width="150" height="150" /></a>The all-knowning Wiki tells us that CEC is the total capacity of a soil to hold exchangeable cations. CEC is an inherent soil characteristic and is difficult to alter significantly. It influences the soil’s ability to hold onto essential nutrients and provides a buffer against soil acidification.</p>
<p style="padding-left: 30px;">Another way substrates create a nutrient storehouse is by providing the proper home to bacteria and microorganism that convert nutrients to forms available to plants. They also finish certain cycles such as the nitrogen cycle. They are critical for the long-term success of your aquarium.</p>
<li>The perfect substrate won’t negatively affect water chemistry. Substrates with limestone/calcium will change the hardness of your water. Pour some muriatic acid (CAREFUL!) on a substrate that you’re unsure of and see if it bubbles, fizzles or melts. Don’t use it if it does.</li>
<li>The perfect substrate won’t cloud the water by constantly releasing substances such as tannins.</li>
<li><strong>Bonus!</strong> The perfect substrate is cheap and easy to obtain. But, should it be cheap?</li>
<h3><a href="http://www.scapefu.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Tropica-Aquarium-Soil-Powder-3-Liter_b2.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-medium wp-image-1256" src="http://www.scapefu.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Tropica-Aquarium-Soil-Powder-3-Liter_b2-300x200.jpg" alt="Tropica Substrate" width="300" height="200" /></a>Question: is a combination of substrates (for example, Power Sand + Aquasoil) better than only one substrate (Aquasoil)?</h3>
We’ve done it both ways and either works.
<h3>What are some of the commercial substrates we’ve used?</h3>
<li><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00025YSB0/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00025YSB0&linkCode=as2&tag=aquaticplan06-20&linkId=HQT3UF6X7V52VV2J">Seachem Flourite</a></li>
<li><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0002DH0QM/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B0002DH0QM&linkCode=as2&tag=aquaticplan06-20&linkId=BNH5OWO42QMSZEXP">CaribSea Eco-Complete</a></li>
<li>ADA Power Sand and Aqua Soil</li>
<h3><a href="http://www.scapefu.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/ada-aqua-soil-amazonia-powder-3-l.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-medium wp-image-1258" src="http://www.scapefu.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/ada-aqua-soil-amazonia-powder-3-l-300x300.jpg" alt="ADA substrate" width="300" height="300" /></a>HELP US SPREAD THE WORD!</h3>
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The easiest way to reach us is via email. Art is at <a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com</a>, JJ is at <a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com</a> and Jurijs is at <a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org">JS@scapefu.com</a>.
Thu, 19 March 2015
<p>This Wednesday Pro Tip comes to us courtesy of Giuseppe! It’s using pumice as a base layer in your substrate and it makes a lot of sense.</p>
<p>If your aquascape calls for a thick substrate and you’re wallet is starting to hurt because it’s going to cost a lot to use 100% expensive substrate, think about using a base layer of pumice to build it up. Then cover this layer with the substrate of choice.</p>
<p>This is a great idea because:
1. Saving money because it’s <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IIUCZH0/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00IIUCZH0&linkCode=as2&tag=aquaticplan06-20&linkId=GKDU5QNP7GN5JYCZ">cheap and easy to get</a>.
2. It creates a great environment for the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Substrate_(aquarium)">microbes that are necessary in the substrate</a></p>
<p>It doesn’t have to be pumice. You can also use <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00F4NAHXS/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00F4NAHXS&linkCode=as2&tag=aquaticplan06-20&linkId=RMKW2VC2LSPJJS25">ceramic rings</a> like the ones you put in filters. Really almost anything that’s inert will work.</p>
<p>If you have a tip that you want to share with your fellow hobbyists, pay it forward and send it to us at <a href="mailto:email@example.com">firstname.lastname@example.org</a>. We’ll share it with the world!</p>
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Sat, 14 March 2015
Dry Start Method - 7 Tips for Success | ScapeFu027
What is the Dry Start Method?
Popularized by Tom Barr back in 2007, the Dry Start Method is intended to solve a problem people have with setting up an aquarium with tiny carpet plants. The problems are:
From Tom’s article, the benefits of the dry start method are:
Dry Start Method: 7 Tips for Success
Not everyone thinks the dry start method is the bomb. Niko’s post on APC for example. He suggests an ebb and flow system.
Focus on You
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Ways to Subscribe to the ScapeFu Podcast
We’d love to hear from you about today’s topic or anything else. How can we help you?
Links Mentioned in This Episode and Additional Resources
Wed, 4 March 2015
Fri, 20 February 2015
Fri, 20 February 2015