15 UK Gallon rescape journal

Discussion in 'Journals' started by nry, 29 Oct 2007.

  1. nry

    nry Member

    Messages:
    1,239
    Location:
    Cumbria, UK
    Hi all,

    Below is an image of my current tank layout etc, though I need to sort a new one out, I cannot believe the growth in the past 7 weeks!

    [​IMG]

    I am changing this tank (Juwel Rekord60) pretty much entirely. Current and forthcoming plans:

    Current:

    * Juwel internal filter (no carbon, added filter wool)
    * JBL AquaBasis Plus beneath (worthless) pea gravel
    * 2x15w T8 (all original Juwel lighting removed to give better light spread) - Arcadia Freshwater and Arcadia Original (8 hour photo period)
    * D-D Pressurised CO2 running through Dymax ceramic atomiser
    * 4dkh drop checker with bromo blue
    * Estimative Index dosing relevant to tank size inc. 50% weekly water change

    The current plant layout was temporary as I had to rehouse some fish and plants from a different tank. The new layout etc is planned as follows:

    New wood:

    [​IMG]

    * Juwel filter taken out and replaced with TetraTec EX600 and PM Lily pipes
    * Paint back of tank with black acrylic paint
    * External CO2 reactor (Dymax from AquaEssentials sale for £5!)
    * Hydor external heater (cheap from eBay)
    * Tropica plant substrate beneath Hagen Black River Sand (extra fine)

    Keeping windelov fern from current layout to go at the base of the wood above, and I will probably be using some of the vallis mini twister and rotala wallichi to provide a high back-left area sweeping down to the right which will be carpeted with either utcicularia graminifolia or H.C.. The p.helferi is now much bigger and I am aiming to use this around the base of the windelov fern mixed with some 4-5" black pebbles and a handful of <1" black stones. I have some Indian moss to fix to the wood and that is about it.

    I am starting this all tonight with this evening being the setup of a temporary tank to house the fish/plants/filter during the intial stages of the new setup. I am hoping to do a full photo diary of this, if anyone wants to see anything specific in more detail let me know and I will do appropriate pictures/description!

    Livestock:

    7 x rasbora maculatus
    8 x algae shrimp, plus loads of babies if I can rescue them during the rescape
    6 x otocinclus haurani
    4 x cordoras pygmaeus
     
  2. beeky

    beeky Member

    Messages:
    879
    Location:
    Chippenham, Wiltshire
    Any chance of getting close up photos of the tropica substrate and sand? Photos are never close enough to see the grain size on these things and unless you can afford to get a bag of each, it's difficult to compare and get something you like.

    Cheers
    Graham
     
  3. nry

    nry Member

    Messages:
    1,239
    Location:
    Cumbria, UK
    Will do my best, if I stick a ruler in the photo with it I assume this will be OK!?
     
  4. beeky

    beeky Member

    Messages:
    879
    Location:
    Chippenham, Wiltshire
    Perfick!
     
  5. nry

    nry Member

    Messages:
    1,239
    Location:
    Cumbria, UK
    Temporary tank is set up, the filter is almost as big as the tank! My wife is not convinced that the new filter will fit in the cabinet of the 15-gallon...it should fit....a bit snug maybe, but it will fit! I'm also surprised at how quiet the filter is, not noticeable at all.
     
  6. Dan Crawford

    Dan Crawford Founder Staff Member

    Messages:
    3,266
    Location:
    Daventry, Northants
    Hi mate, this journal looks good.
    May i suggest not painting your tank's background, I can send you a piece of REMOVABLE black opaque vinyl in the post. Paint is far too perminent for me.
    I made this background.
    IMG_1331.jpg
    PM me for details.
    HTH
    Dan
     
  7. nry

    nry Member

    Messages:
    1,239
    Location:
    Cumbria, UK
    That tank looks familiar!

    I know there is the typical 'I wish I never did that!' thought possibility in the future - how does the vinyl compare to the complete coverage of paint in respect to bubbles, the stuff lifting over time etc? I have black film at present but it is taped at the edges, I have seen the vinyl options but opted for £3 of acrylic paint (yet to be applied) as I felt it would give me a very even colouring...if the vinyl is not going to drive a picky sod like me nuts then it is certainly worth a go?!
     
  8. nry

    nry Member

    Messages:
    1,239
    Location:
    Cumbria, UK
    The fish and plants are moved - I noticed this morning that I still have loads of baby shrimp in the 15-gallon tank, cannot believe how many there must be, I reckon on at least 30!

    Tonight I am aiming to strip the tank down entirely, remove the Juwel filter box and prepare for painting the back of the tank tomorrow - I may regret this, I may not - I have had a black background for ages now and really like it so not overly concerned at the moment.
     
  9. Dan Crawford

    Dan Crawford Founder Staff Member

    Messages:
    3,266
    Location:
    Daventry, Northants
    Sorry for the late reply.
    With regards to bubbles there would be none, i'd give you instructions!
    It won't peel unless you want it to.
    If you already use a black background and you like it then go for the paint! I'm sure it would scrape off with a glass scraper once dry anyway if you did deside to change your mind.
    I change my tank and background way too often and i can't paint either for that matter! :rolleyes:
    I look forward to seeing it.
     
  10. nry

    nry Member

    Messages:
    1,239
    Location:
    Cumbria, UK
    The fish and plants are moved - I noticed this morning that I still have loads of baby shrimp in the 15-gallon tank, cannot believe how many there must be, I reckon on at least 30!

    Tonight I am aiming to strip the tank down entirely, remove the Juwel filter box and prepare for painting the back of the tank tomorrow - I may regret this, I may not - I have had a black background for ages now and really like it so not overly concerned at the moment.
     
  11. nry

    nry Member

    Messages:
    1,239
    Location:
    Cumbria, UK
    You replied just before I posted :) Cheers for the offer, time will tell if I regret not taking it up :)
     
  12. nry

    nry Member

    Messages:
    1,239
    Location:
    Cumbria, UK
    Stripping a tank down is not pleasant :)

    The tank is now empty, the Juwel filter out (pretty easy actually!) and the first coat of black acrylic paint is on the background - even with only one coat the depth of black is superb, just what I was hoping for! Second coat goes on tonight then pictures of initial layouts to follow over the weekend.
     
  13. nry

    nry Member

    Messages:
    1,239
    Location:
    Cumbria, UK
    Some pictures along the way:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Need to polish that glass!

    Will do a sand/substrate size image tomorrow, need the metal ruler from the shed!

    Provisional planting concepts:

    * Windelov fern (on some other wood for ease of fixing) to the right of the left-hand upright wood
    * P.Helferi to front left
    * Vallis mini twister to back left
    * HC carpet across remaining substrate
    * Indian moss to go on wood

    I have some rotala wallichii which as yet I am undecided on, may not use it in the end...
     
    Samuran likes this.
  14. nry

    nry Member

    Messages:
    1,239
    Location:
    Cumbria, UK
    Size comparison of Hagen Black River Sand (Extra Fine) and Tropica substrate:

    [​IMG]

    Ruler shows 1" and smaller lines.

    Suggestions as to whether HC or U.Graminifolia would be a better carpet plant choice....eBay has some expensive UG for sale and I am tempted!
     
  15. nry

    nry Member

    Messages:
    1,239
    Location:
    Cumbria, UK
    Started the planting last night - certainly a right pain tying ferns to wood which is already fixed in the aquarium but I had little choice, it would have been as hard to fit the substrate around the fern if I did it the other way! Pictures taken as I went along (which I will post tonight hopefully), the windelov, p.helferi, indian moss and vallis are all in, just waiting for my U.Graminifolia to arrive.

    I have a 'gap' in the aquascape which I will take advice on once the pictures are up - other than that I am extremely happy with this tank at the moment. Thanks have to go to the massive amount of inspiration this forum has given me!

    Tonight I am aiming to move the filter in and set it all up, CO2, external heater etc, then maybe tomorrow night move some fish in. Found a dead oto in the windelov fern last night, mustn't have appreciated the temporary home, I'm keen to get the fish back into the 15-gallon ASAP.
     
  16. nry

    nry Member

    Messages:
    1,239
    Location:
    Cumbria, UK
    Picture update:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Waiting for some utricularia graminifolia from eBay. The Dymax reactor I have certainly is not external, even sealed with loads of waterproof tape it leaks like mad! For now my old Rhinox 1000 is sitting directly under the intake pipe - seems to work well, the bubbles are all going in to the filter which is hopefully blasting things around! I may look into one of the Jaqno reactors via AquaEssentials or eBay (if i can find them again), mainly to keep things out of the tank and also to further minimise maintenance.

    To show how un-fragile algae shrimp are, 3 baby ones came through to the tank with the windelov fern - all are alive and well despite no heated water ever, the tank was filled yesterday with treated tap water, but certainly not heated! They seem to be loving all the space just for them!

    I can also see the teeny whirlpool above the lily pipe outlet spout, rather mesmerising!
     
  17. Dave Spencer

    Dave Spencer Member

    Messages:
    1,389
    Location:
    N. Wales
    Loving the Windelov nry!

    Sorry if you have already mentioned it, but what lily pipe are you using?

    Secondly, have you considered running the tank open topped in the future?

    Dave.

    Oh, by the way. Amano shrimp and UG are a bad mix in my experience. My shrimp just pulled the UG apart, plant by plant. Every morning there was plant material floating on the surface.
     
  18. nry

    nry Member

    Messages:
    1,239
    Location:
    Cumbria, UK
    Lily pipes are PM via AE...

    I have just been thinking about the tank and open-topped - my main concern is my pygmy cory which have jumped out of my smaller tank in the past, probably when they sip up for air. I still don't entirely like the lighting spread from the current setup but that may be down to loads of light reflection back from the bare substrate.

    As for shrimp, I am dubious about them - partly tempted to leave them all in the 5-gallon for a while to let the UG get a good hold....I did debate HC instead but I'm willing to try the UG given I have wanted to try it in a decent tank for ages, I tried it in my 5-gallon but it all died off (poor lighting, ferts and CO2 I reckon!).....if it doesn't take then I'll go for some HC :)
     
  19. nry

    nry Member

    Messages:
    1,239
    Location:
    Cumbria, UK
    Moved the fish over last night. Left the shrimp out for now, may leave them in the 5-gallon for a while to give the soon to arrive UG time to settle. One shrimp has eggs again! I have 5 baby shrimp in this 15-gallon that snook in with the windelov fern, they can stay, I might move some other babies in too next week.

    Longer term I cannot house masses of shrimp in any tank, if anyone want some let me know, pick-up only from Carlisle FOC.

    Edit: my UG has just arrived :)

    I also dont trust the CO2 going in to the filter. Every now and again I get a big burst of bubbles into the tank from the filter which I assume is CO2. Unsure how 'stable' this leaves CO2, I've ordered a Jaqno 'CO2 Mixer' from eBay for the sake of £20, time will tell how good they are!
     
  20. beeky

    beeky Member

    Messages:
    879
    Location:
    Chippenham, Wiltshire
    Are they shrimps you mention amano ones or cherry/tiger ones?

    Just interested as I'd love to be able to breed my few amano ones as they're so expensive, but no sign of any eggs since I've had them (I know they need brackish water for the larvae).

    Looks very nice, I might set my 2' tank up in a similar way (wood, black sand) for a breeding pair of apistos.
     

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