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29 Jun 2012
Ayrshire, Scotland
Ok, so this is my 2nd attempt at scaping this tank. I don't want to use EI ferts, do large water changes or have to look at that pink kitty litter anymore so have opted for ADA Amazonia. Also didn't want stems again as they require alot of maintenance. What can I say, I'm lazy.
The inspiration for this tank was The Green Machines 'Riverbank' scape. Somewhere my shrimp might be happy....

54ltr 60x30x30
Beamswork LED 24''
Pressurised C02
ADA Amazonia
Redmoor rootx2 (+maybe some black lava rock that has fissidens f growing on it)
Fluval 106 external filter with full length spraybar.

Plants; Java fern 'windelov'
Java fern
Sagittaria platyphylla
Crypt. beckettii'petchii'
Vallis. americana 'mini twister'
Lilaeopsis Mauritiana
Fissidens Fontanus
Mini Pelia
Taiwan moss
Livestock; CRS and Sakura shrimp, shoal of Lampeyes.

The 2 pieces of redmoore root came from my 2 tanks. They were stacked one on top of the other, bits sawn off then restacked. They were then tied together with zip ties and then tied to a very heavy slate. In my last tank the wood moved at the slightest touch and it really annoyed me so determined not to have the same problem.

Tank as it was

Once the 2 pieces of redmoore were tied solidly I plugged any gaps at the back with some coarse filter foam. Experience has taught me that even the tiniest shrimp can shift a surprising amount of substrate and I didn't want the hill mined from underneath. The Amazonia was added and then supports made from ikea plastic food storage containers were pushed down to keep the banks. Substrate was poured into the nooks and crannies in the 'cave'. Just need to tidy substrate up now.


I think If the shrimp continue not to thrive/breed then maybe an Apisto or 2 might like the cave like feel I'm going for?
Of course now looking at it, it screams mini hairgrass cascading down the banks around the wood but that stuff is prone to filling with debris. Isn't it? Planting suggestions are welcome...
I'm also waiting for the arrival of an 8mm sheet of perspex to sit on top of the tank. Lampeyes are jumpers.
Anyway, this is how the tank looks at the mo, just done the 1st 50%wc today and will do that every day for the next week.
planted this up a few days ago and today replaced the spray bar and intake with perspex tube.

Before perspex, just planted



After perspex


Also fitted the perspex lid so no more evaporation

Big improvement with the perspex spraybar you are right i would like to see some kind of hairgrass in there,looks very nice anyway.Cheers mark
Thanks Mark, decided against hairgrass as it gets filled with debris and I will have less time to spend on the tank in the coming months so went for low maintenance plants. Was very tempting to hairgrass that hill though!
The tank has now been running for 3 weeks and planted for 1.5 weeks so decided to put the shrimp and fish back in today. I have had no melting of the crypts or anything else. The fissidens F on the wood is starting to grow as is the Taiwan moss. Shrimp are busy cleaning up and the Lampeyes are surprisingly relaxed.

Taiwan moss

Fissidens Fontanus


Full Tank

I've also had no algae or diatoms:)
Looking really impressive Lindy.
I like the way you've planted around the wood and left it nice and open under the main branch which will provide a great accent to all the greenery around. The larger groupings of plants are great too, and once the hydrocotle starts growing in and amongst them it will give a really natural look :) The windelov fern is a belter and creates a strong focal point.
Like Dean, I also like the substrate gradients, they work really well with the hardscape and planting scheme.
A really nice, natural looking scape. Looking forward to watching it develop.
Hi what do you think to the beamswork unit

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I really like it. I don't get algae or diatoms, infact I think i'm going to have to get rid of my ramshorns as there is nothing for them to eat! It is well built and I've had no problems with it at all. It isn't going to grow anything super fast but then it doesn't create the problems you see with high light. My new plants are still looking healthy. I guess it depends what you want to grow?
Ah, thanks very much Ady. Its always nice to get feedback, good or bad, but good is the best! I learned alot with the last tank and hope not to get bored with this layout as quickly. The CRS seem extremely happy and have been very active since going in so fingers crossed....
I've been trying to resist feeding the shrimp too often but they always seem to be starving and fight viciously over food even when fed every couple of days. Fed this morn with tiny bit of white pellet then couple of hours later I find a big shrimp eating a smaller one. Can shrimp kill another that is smaller and am I starving my shrimp? will do a 10%wc now that was due tomorrow..
Oh no.....I've seen them eat the shed shells before, but never each other.
How many do you have? I'd be surprised if they were starving in a tank of that size with the amount of plants in there. Perhaps the small shrimp had already died? I often see my large and minute shrimp hanging off each other and scrabbling about snatching food from one another when its added, but the large shrimp never attack the smaller ones. Very odd.
Can't wait to see what its like all grown in, agree with the chaps, nice gradient mate, the cave will soon find some permanent residents... Gotta say the acrylic tubes looks the biz. Can't wait to get started again once house move is out of the way. Till then I'll stick to ogling over the tanks here. I thought I'd mentioned that shrimps - cherries, crs, bees etc are very carnivorous. I've seen mine attack a mature shrimp coming to the end of its life and the group set about feasting on it whilst it was still alive. I guess it's like that in the wild. I fed them a little everyday but I guess that's why they're the clean up crew. Nothing goes to waste, it natural.
Basil has suggested raising the tds to 150 over next couple of days on the inverts forum. I have about 11 shrimp left.
Looks really nice! Will look great with the rear corners filled out :) Look forward to seeing it grow out!
While I'm at it, any suggestions of fish for this tank? I quite like apistos and killis but unsure what would suit and be happy in this tank. Was thinking 1 or 2 fish, something a bit bigger than the lampeyes but wouldn't eat them. Would be nice if it was colourful! I'll only get something if the shrimp continue to die off. Posted in fish section but no joy.
There are some panda apistos on ebay that look nice...