259L bookcase rebirth

Discussion in 'Journals' started by greenink, 26 Dec 2011.

  1. greenink

    greenink Member

    Messages:
    944
    Location:
    London
    Starting my second tank... Journal will be a slow build as am waiting for various pieces on order. But I’ve learnt that planning things properly, and taking time to get it right, is the best way to go.

    Hoping for help in thinking it through! Comments and advice on my other journal have been seriously helpful (am amazed that it’s now had more than 4300 views). This one I hope I’ll get right.
     
  2. greenink

    greenink Member

    Messages:
    944
    Location:
    London
    New journal - 259L bookcase tank - bits of kit

    So here’s the hardware set up, arriving in dribs and drabs through the post, with some of the thinking behind it. Have found you can do most of it for much less than you’d think if you’re prepared to DIY a few things (especially intakes with acrylic pipe and clear pressure hose bought online NOT from an aquarium retailer).

    TANK

    Custom built 259L rimless, braceless tank, with OptiWhite front panel, 120w * 40d * 53h. White frosting sheet applied to rear of tank.

    Roma 240 stand (120w * 40d * 70h) - this is a good size, but want something rimless, so am going for just the base and a custom tank on top

    Aqualumi 48 inch light pendant, with 4 * T5 lights, hung with Easi roll reflector hangers to allow easy movement up and down. Planning on 5hrs a day with two tubes to start, maybe a 1hr burst in the middle with all four. Much cheaper than other lights - and have been unimpressed with LEDs - so will see how it goes!

    FILTRATION AND CO2

    All Pond Solutions 1000 EF filter (1000LPH) with 9W UV steriliser. No idea if the UV has any impact, but is a cheap filter for the power and has had good reviews. 15mm internal hose diameter.

    Sachem Purigen (100ml) bagged, to get the water seriously clear. Otherwise standard filter media.

    DIY filter intakes and outlets using clear acrylic tube, a paint gun and a pipe bending spring, as in my other journal. Also using clear plastic pressure hose bought online (much cheaper).

    Additional (variable) flow, CO2 and heating provided by a second circuit of Eheim Compact+ 3000 Pump (1500-3000 LPH, 19mm internal hose diameter). I like doing it this way as it keeps the filter circuit free of flow-reducing paraphernalia and gives more options. In this circuit is an inline Aquamedic 1000 diffuser, 2KG FE CO2, ebay solenoid and regulator, and Hydor 300W inline heater. Aiming for 23 degrees and lime green drop checker.

    Three glass drop checkers from HK on ebay, as want to check the flow is right in my first big tank and that CO2 is getting everywhere - as won’t be able to see the bubbles with the Aquamedic (I hope) and am used to an UP inline diffuser.

    HARDSCAPE

    Visiting a quarry at some point over the next few weeks. Hoping for some Gneiss or other nice rocks. Amazed by how much cheaper they are than from aquarium retailers - these are about 15p a kg.

    rocks.png

    May recycle the redmoor from my current tank too, but will see if that’s overkill. Would like a much more mountainous look in this tank so may not work. And plan to get the hardscape bang on before planting up - this was a major error in my previous tank as I had to redo it lots.

    Substrate will be largely akadama, with a dorset pea gravel foreground and ‘river bed’ going into the background.

    DOSING

    Plan on EI dosing, with 50% water changes a week using London tapwater and Seachem Prime dechlorinator.

    FEEDING

    Will use mixed frozen tropical fish food, every couple of days, in a floating worm feeder with a bit cut out of the bottom so the food drops out the bottom when it thaws: do this in my current tank and releases food slowly enough for fish to eat before it hits the bottom.

    PLANTS and FISH

    Am doing a nifty plan... will post later.
     
  3. Mark Evans

    Mark Evans Expert

    Messages:
    6,492
    Location:
    newark notts.
    Re: New journal - 240L bookcase tank

    I've been going to CED stone supplies for a couple of years now. My IAPLC top 100 was using their stone. My current 90cm is also using their stone.

    Great start to a journal :thumbup:
     
  4. greenink

    greenink Member

    Messages:
    944
    Location:
    London
    Fauna

    The plan is: test the water with a few neon tetras from my existing tank. then start off an algae crew: amano shrimp, cherry shrimp, ottos, maybe some other shrimp too - blue shrimp breed in freshwater so probably those. I’ll slowly grow this crew.

    Then a proper shoal of tetras (probably neon). And then I’ll think about something more interesting...

    Have learned to keep it simple in terms of fish, that big shoals of small fish make the tank look much bigger, and that catfish are to be avoided at all costs if you’re trying to grow a carpet of HC / glosso. Also want to give the shrimp as much chance as possible to breed, so the dwarf puffers will stay in the smaller tank...
     
  5. greenink

    greenink Member

    Messages:
    944
    Location:
    London
    Hardscape

    Thanks Mark - have learned a lot from your two recent journals. Wondered if you had any tips for how to break up stone into smaller pieces.

    Am trying to put up as much technical detail as possible, as I found that really useful in other people's journals when I first started.

    Here’s a sketch of my initial plan for the hardscape.

    Hardscape%20plan.002.png

    Going for a twin peak type layout, with a gravel foreground and akadama in the back. Obviously will depend a lot on the actual stones I get and whether I can break them up...

    Want an open feel to the front of the tank, with a big slope towards the back. Will try and use golden ratios as much as I can.
     
  6. greenink

    greenink Member

    Messages:
    944
    Location:
    London
    Planting plan

    Here’s a sketch of my planting and initial layout plans over the top. Sure it will all change before I get the kit assembled properly. But thought useful to give an idea of what I'm aiming for.

    december%20tank%20plan%2001.png

    [If you click on this, you can see a bigger version with more detail]

    Think in the long run would look better with the left and right 'mountains' to be more similar than in this plan, but am torn between two different schemes so thought might as well have both to start with... particularly as I'm still learning how to grow different plants. The better looking side may take over the worse side in the long run!

    Foreground of Hemianthus cuba on the left side and Glosso to the right. Maybe some Marsilea around the ‘river’ channel in the middle - have never used this before so want to try it out. Has anyone had experience with it?

    May put some Hydrocotyle in just behind these to break up the transition to taller plants - have in my smaller tank now and love it. The round shaped leaves and brightness are good, and provide a strong contrast with other plants.

    Then Ranunculus behind the HC and Staurogyne behind the Glosso. Haven’t used Ranunculus before, but have seen it in some forum tanks and looks great - like the layering it provides. Staurogyne is now growing well in my tank as a carpet so hope I can just transfer some of this over.

    Then various Crypts in the mid-ground: not sure about my choice of these though! Any suggestions would be really welcome. Want a deeper colour behind the Stauro and Ranunculus. Have been a bad judge of how big they get in the past, so thought I’d go for mainly low growing ones.

    Then tall red stems at the back. Have grown Pogostemon in my smaller tank, which I love, and have some Limnophila aromatica, which is also great. But put will put in some Rotala and Aponogeton - neither of which I've grown before.

    Expect the final tank to have fewer species of plants in it - but want to try out this lot and then take out plants that aren’t doing so well or don’t work with the others. Would appreciate any suggestions on plants to try, or better replacements for my suggestions.

    How does that sound? Haven’t done a tank this large before so not sure if that’s too ambitious in terms of planting - will it be too cramped when it’s grown in properly? Do I have space for a little bit of gravel foreground and four ‘rows’ of plants? Any other advice or thoughts?
     
  7. Mark Evans

    Mark Evans Expert

    Messages:
    6,492
    Location:
    newark notts.
    Re: New journal - 240L bookcase tank

    What an incredible plan!

    For sure you plant choice will work. Maybe be a bit sparse with plants like crypts, just to accent areas.

    depending on what rock you choose, add a second one to the right hand side.

    Brilliant homework though mate.
     
  8. Re: New journal - 240L bookcase tank

    got to echo what mark said. superb planning, i'm off to go cut and paste some plant pictures now :)

    plus i've just discovered there is a CED stone supplies in scotland!
     
  9. darren636

    darren636 Member

    Messages:
    1,929
    Location:
    dorset
    Re: New journal - 240L bookcase tank

    good god man!
     
  10. Antipofish

    Antipofish Guest

    Re: New journal - 240L bookcase tank


    LMAO ! Thats what I thought. This has to be the most thorough and well put together start to a journal I have read so far. What incredible effort :)
     
  11. greenink

    greenink Member

    Messages:
    944
    Location:
    London
    New journal - 240L bookcase tank

    Thanks - now just for the growing plants part
     
  12. greenink

    greenink Member

    Messages:
    944
    Location:
    London
    New journal - 240L bookcase tank

    Final piece ordered - substrate. Have found this instead of akadama:

    http://www.kaizenbonsai.com/shop/index.php?cPath=84_87

    The moler clay at the bottom is the same as tesco cat litter (supplied by the same danish firm) but no perfume and pretty much the same price.

    moler.jpg

    Comes in a 'powder type' too so have got 30l of that and 60l of the standard. Want to see if the powder type works better with carpet plants. After all ADA seem to think its worth doing...
     
  13. Gill

    Gill Member

    Messages:
    2,805
    Location:
    Stenson Fields South Derby
    Re: New journal - 240L bookcase tank

    What did you use to do the scaping mock up ??
     
  14. greenink

    greenink Member

    Messages:
    944
    Location:
    London
  15. Antipofish

    Antipofish Guest

    Re: New journal - 240L bookcase tank

    Hi Mike, are you saying this is exactly the same thing until Tesco have the perfume added ?
     
  16. greenink

    greenink Member

    Messages:
    944
    Location:
    London
    New journal - 240L bookcase tank

    Yes
     
  17. Antipofish

    Antipofish Guest

    Re: New journal - 240L bookcase tank

    WOW ! :) And how does that compare to Akadama (they do different grades too), or Shohin pre molar clay ? Are they all pretty much the same thing / density / CEC etc ?
     
  18. Ian Holdich

    Ian Holdich Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    3,315
    Location:
    lincoln uk
    Re: New journal - 240L bookcase tank

    ditch that APS filter Mike, i ran one of the 1000's on my old 190 ltr and tested it after a few weeks and flow dropped to near on 200 lph... a very very poor filter IME. I also know of other who have had the same problems.


    ps, good plan.
     
  19. Re: New journal - 240L bookcase tank

    also grain softness.... crushability :)
     
  20. greenink

    greenink Member

    Messages:
    944
    Location:
    London
    Re: New journal - 240L bookcase tank

    Thanks - really useful. Seems a lot of people have had flow issues with it. By coincidence my Eheim Ecco snapped today :woot:

    Photo%2030-12-2011%2009%2025%2041.jpg

    So it means I'll have to get one new filter anyway. So have gone for the Eheim Professional 3 2073 which I'll use on this tank and downgrade the APS one on my 70L, where it should be fine. The Pro 3 is much much easier to prime and generally better feel all round. Wish I'd gone for it in the first place.

    Otherwise progress coming along. Lots of stuff arriving by post, including a package from
    Tony Swinney who sent me all the plants from his nano, so I'm growing those up.
     

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