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A Chocolate Puddle -

Discussion in 'Featured Journals' started by Alastair, 30 Apr 2012.

  1. Alastair

    Alastair Member

    Messages:
    4,426
    Right, thought it was about time I finally start my journal especially after a few people pushing me to start it up. Brownie points to the first person to guess why I chose the name for the journal ( those who know are excluded).
    Having had so much fun running high tech, there was one tank alone that gave me so much inspiration to give the low tech el natural tank a go and that was Bigtoms bucket of mud. I have read that journal so many times. It was especially the shallow tank and the immersed growth and the fact the tank can be left to its own devices with little intervention from me. A bonus whilst I'm on the road to recovery.

    Unfortunately, i was unable to get a large square shallow tank due to my dining table so opted for diffrent dimensions.
    Lxwxh is 120cmx70x30 and 10mm thick
    Here it was as of last weekend when it arrived.

    b01b08dd-b652-b231.jpg

    With this being a low tech no co2 etc, obviously lighting needs to be low, but I couldn't resist the urge to purchase an ati sunpower 4x54watt, however I'll be having it hung about 3 to 4 foot above the water level.

    Cabinet is a DIY one. Had so much problems with joiners and cabinets so this is not an ada one but the front is similar. Yet to be varnished up etc.

    Tank finally in place after some chopping adjustments of the stand
    b01b08dd-de0d-825e.jpg

    That isn't how the wood will be finally placed.

    Substrate is a very small amount of John innes number 3 mixed with a large amount of aqua pond soil to just about an inch. This will then be topped with about 35 litres of Ada Amazonia/ flora base

    Current plant list is cyperus alternifolious which will be planted in shower caddies and stuck to the rear right corner of the tank as part of the immersed corner.
    I have seen a few other plants I'll mix in with these and big Tom has kindly donated a triffid off his monster of an echinodorous which will add to this.

    To also go in
    Needle leaf java fern
    Java fern trident
    Frog Bit
    Crypts
    Bolbitus
    Anubis and some mosses.

    Flow is going to be by way of as small a filter as possible.

    Will be updating through the week.






    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  2. pariahrob

    pariahrob Newly Registered

    Messages:
    646
    Re: A Chocolate Puddle

    I really like the proportions of that tank and it site really well on the cabinet. I'm subscribing to this. I'm fascinated by the whole emmersed planting thing.

    I'm not going to try to guess the name's origins though? Reminds me of when the dog ate a v hot curry!
     
  3. a1Matt

    a1Matt Member

    Messages:
    2,407
    Re: A Chocolate Puddle

    chocolate puddle = chocolate gourami's in a shallow tank?
     
  4. Ian Holdich

    Ian Holdich Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    3,315
    Re: A Chocolate Puddle

    get a lid!!


    looking forward to the scape mate!
     
  5. darren636

    darren636 Member

    Messages:
    1,930
    Re: A Chocolate Puddle

    for an air breather no doubt....
     
  6. darren636

    darren636 Member

    Messages:
    1,930
    Re: A Chocolate Puddle

    bucket of mud is the reason my 4 foot shallow is now set up. cyperus helferi in flower along with nomophila stricta. so thanks tom and good luck alastair ;)
     
  7. BigTom

    BigTom Forum Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,302
    Re: A Chocolate Puddle

    :)

    Lovely dimensions, I'm sure this will turn out great.
     
  8. Tim Harrison

    Tim Harrison Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,000
    Re: A Chocolate Puddle

    Looking forward to your journal.
     
  9. Quetzalcoatl

    Quetzalcoatl Member

    Messages:
    324
    Re: A Chocolate Puddle

    Finally... :lol: Can`t wait to see this progress. Chuffed to see it finally underway after all the rotten luck you`ve had. Subscribed! :thumbup:
     
  10. HarryRobinson

    HarryRobinson Harry

    Messages:
    456
    Re: A Chocolate Puddle

    Gonna look brill mate :) Im definitely following.
     
  11. Iain Sutherland

    Iain Sutherland Forum Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    3,363
    Re: A Chocolate Puddle

    Cant believe you bought a sunpower!! That will be wasted on a low tech mate, fancy a swop for a 150MH ;)
    Looking good bud, id love to see the choco's breed.
     
  12. foxfish

    foxfish Member

    Messages:
    3,726
    Re: A Chocolate Puddle

    Hi Alaster, nice size tank!
    I have been running my attempt at a low tech for about 5 months now, things happen so slowly :?
    I have been waiting for certain plants to break out the surface but they have a few more inches to go yet.
    I am beginning to run out of patience to be honest & I feel a squirt of gas is coming very soon!
    I have struggled with BBA but, it is the slow growth that I find rather boring, it even took a month for the old leafs to melt.
    The fact that I am home every day & actually like the maintenance thing is another factor too - there is just nothing to do!
    One thing though, the fish, 30 (adult) corry's are loving the tank & are breeding every few weeks.
    I am using a 70w MT flood light for 8 hours a day suspended 600mm above the tank, this certainly give a nice effect.
    I tried lots of different light period to start with & did add some liquid carbon for a for two weeks to try & get rid of the BBA but, now it is fighting on its own.
     
  13. sanj

    sanj Member

    Messages:
    1,493
    Re: A Chocolate Puddle

    Exciting stuff,

    the only thng about the ATI raised so high is that is might be a little annoying with glare when sitting at your dining table.

    You could have always opted for a smaller dining table and got the square tank you originally envisioned... priorities and all that. :p
     
  14. awtong

    awtong Member

    Messages:
    421
    Re: A Chocolate Puddle

    So glad you now have another tank to stun us with after the amazing 450l was retired.

    Andy
     
  15. Alastair

    Alastair Member

    Messages:
    4,426
    A Chocolate Puddle

    Matt guessed it straight off, chocolate gouramis will be the main focal point of this set up hence the name.,
    Thanks everyone for your kind comments so far.
    Sorry it's taken so long to get updates on this but haven't been great again.

    Right, layered the John innes and aqua soil down with the capping of florabase, although I don't think I put enough soil down as to what's suggested. However if I do start to see any nutrient deficiencies I can add the odd but of kno3 and kh2po4 if need be.

    The most painstaking part of this so far was trying to Seperate the soil from the cyperus Alternifolius as they'd arrived in 9cm pots very well rooted In the soil and not knowing what soil it was I didn't want to leave any on. So once stripped of soil, it was time to get filling the bath Caddys half with hydroton balls, place the cyperus into each caddy and top with a mixture of cat litter and columbo.

    Here's a pic of the process
    plants Befire separation
    027d2a61-8212-8886.jpg

    And into caddies
    027d2a61-8250-10c0.jpg
    027d2a61-826d-12c9.jpg

    027d2a61-8291-99c8.jpg
    I made 4 of these in total and I know they only look quite small at the moment they soon shoot up

    And, the tank with soil, capped and the planters placed into the corner I want them

    027d2a61-8328-1c1d.jpg
    027d2a61-834a-b171.jpg

    Plus the wood positioned and time to fill with a little help from josh the young plsnted tank enthusiast in the pic
    027d2a61-83f1-2b13.jpg

    And, as nothing normally ever goes smoothly for me, it didn't this time either with the hosepipe deciding it was going to do a dance all over the bottom of the tank blowing a crater into the substrate bringing up the soil from underneath creating literally a mud bath
    027d2a61-8482-e2ce.jpg

    Excuse the oven dish holding the wood down at present as it just wasn't staying down. The water despite a change stayed very murky so thought I'd leave it to settle and get giving the cabinet a coat of varnish, I chose antique pine BUT, as I'm sure you'll all agree this certainly doesn't not appear pine coloured at all
    027d2a61-8568-5de7.jpg

    But, it doesnt seem to bad for me.
    Will pop some ore pics etc up today.

    Thanks



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  16. darren636

    darren636 Member

    Messages:
    1,930
    Re: A Chocolate Puddle

    nice update. liking your emersed corner, and i thought my water turned murky!
     
  17. foxfish

    foxfish Member

    Messages:
    3,726
    Re: A Chocolate Puddle

    Hi Alaster, hope you are felling better today.
    A good overall start then, I was surprised that you added soil to the planters though!
     
  18. Alastair

    Alastair Member

    Messages:
    4,426
    Re: A Chocolate Puddle

    Cheers Darren, it's actually clearing up nicely now after a good few water changes

    .
    Hi mate, thanks not feeling too bad today. I didn't add any soil to the planters, any that's left stuck to the cyperus was what was too difficult to removed without the risk of damaging the roots
     
  19. Antipofish

    Antipofish Guest

    Re: A Chocolate Puddle

    I think I want to revise my suggestion for why this will be called a chocolate puddle...... LOL. Its bloody frustrating when that happens ! Happened to me and as well as the water turning brown, the air turned a little BLUE too ! Sure it wont take long to settle and its taking shape made. Good on ya :) Love that emersed section. Seems "poking out" is all the rage at the moment, but that is a particularly nice choice of plant for it :thumbup:
     
  20. darren636

    darren636 Member

    Messages:
    1,930
    Re: A Chocolate Puddle

    is it a gourami -only tank? i really love the sparkling gourami but they prefer warmer conditions than my microdevario...might have to steal some cyperus off shoots from you when they get bigger! :twisted:
     

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