60L Tank first AquaScape

Paul Lane

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Back Story

I have been a pond keeper for many years when I lived my parents, dug a huge pond by hand, just weighed in my biggest carp came in at 20lb, I was shocked lol. I have had a few fish tanks over the years but nothing serious was more focused on my pond. I have since moved out got married and have my own place and a child, ponds are not viable so have now decided to get into keeping a fish tank to fulfil my joy of keeping fish, and to help with stress and anxiety. Was only really thinking about the fish but then discovered the art of aquascaping and looks amazing and a great hobby to get involved with. So this is my first attempt:

Equipment:

Tank: AquaTropic - 65lt - 44.2cm x 60cm x 30.5cm
Filter: AquaTropic CF1
Heater: AquaTropic - 100w
Light: AquaTropic - Tri LED 4.8w (going to need to upgrade)
Substrate: Prodibio AquaGrowth Soil
Plants: Anbuis - Christmas moss

Yet to purchase: Alternanthera Reineckii Rosanervig - Hydocotyle leucocephala - Helanthium tenellum - Monte Carlo - Co2 System - Fish (lol).

This is very much a work in progress tank, I'm trying to use all thee rules and advice in articles I find and YouTube videos, as I don't have all the funds to finish the tank this will be a slower process than I would like. I have added a bit more wood to the right hand side of the tank as you can see in the second picture to create
 

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Paul Lane

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The lid led Tri light 7 hours on a timer. The tank is away from any natural light so I have put timer on 1300 - 2000 so I get to enjoy looking at the tank when I get home from work. I have access to free RO water, but initially filled with tap water and used tap water conditioner, but I think this has caused the high level of Nitrate and phosphate but won't get fish until levels are right and will be doing a 50% water change with the RO.
 
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7 hours is enough.. You can add more plant mass as it helps your tank gets more stable and act as filter for the water.. Keep it to easy plants as you don't have co2 I guess.. Plants like cryptocoryne, Java fern bucephalandra, vallisneria, will do just fine.
 

Paul Lane

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Been rethinking the look of this tank, and have already made a few changes. But want to change the left hand side completely, as I feel it does not work. I have a huge slat rock out side so tomorrow will break in down to place pieces in the left hand side of the tank. Will post the pictures tomorrow when done, think this will totally transform the tank.
 

Paul Lane

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So I broke up the slate rock I had outside from my pond days and create a nice rock feature for the left hand side of the tank. I think this will look much better then how it currently looks, will move the Anubis towards the back.
 

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Paul Lane

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So I did some drawing out to have a look at the ratio of my set up as I really didn't feel it was working. Originally I never thought about aqua scapeing when buying the tank was just thinking about keeping fish, but then cam acrrosss the hobb yand just got inspired. So I removed a lot of stuff from the left hand side of the tank and moved the Anubis more towards the back, move the centre bog wood to the right to bring it off centre and move the small stones at the front again to off centre. I feel this is much better look, especially once i start to plant up. The water is cloudy but just due to moving everything, I did a water change as well with RO. Now just waiting to afford Co2 system to put in the rest of the plants.
 

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Paul Lane

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This is a really rough layout idea for the plants in the tank, planning on plating: Alternanthera Reineckii Rosanervig - Hydocotyle leucocephala - Helanthium tenellum - Monte Carlo - Pearl moss - Anubias Nana mini.
 

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Jayefc1

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Looks loads better try and straighten the soil at the front and then when you do get a chance try to bank the soil from front to back to give a sence of depth to the tank and planting
Cheers
Jay
 

Paul Lane

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Ok will do that tonight. I'm thinking I might have to remove the slate as I have seen some small silver flecks and wonder if this would be minerals that could leach out into the water?
 

Paul Lane

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Spent the evening redoing the tank, emptied all the water to really give it a good going over:
  • Moved the soil so its higher at the back to the front.
  • Added another slate rock to the top of the pile to the left hand side to blend in the rocks with soil.
  • Move the two bog wood together creating nice cave.
  • Changed the small stones, so one set are more up right and the second set as a tire.
  • Slight reposition of the root wood.
Really glad I took on the advice here and some tips from YouTube channels think I'm now happy as I can be without spending more money. Still need to buy Co2 and plants to really get this tank where it needs to be.
 

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Dadofthree

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15 Jul 2018
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That last attempt looks so much better more interesting
I would plant if i were you sort the co2 later when you are happy with your scape
 

Paul Lane

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Added one extra piece of big wood to the right making a nice arch, I think really brings this Scape together, and creates some nice places for fish to exploit and hide. Have also just purchased co2 soni can look forward to planting this tank up finally, then in another week or so will be able to get some fish
 

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Paul Lane

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I will get some better pictures at some point, but added some Hemianthus Callitrichoides Cuba now I have my co2. Having to do the tank in small stages, not ideal but just the way it has to be. Next tank I will get all the required gear and plant everything first, planning a nano tank.
 

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