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A Great British Biotope

George Farmer

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Staff member
Joined
30 Jun 2007
Messages
7,080
Location
Cambridgeshire
This is one of my favourite aquascapes of all time.

The whole process was thoroughly enjoyable, from getting wet and researching the biotope, to executing it in my aquarium.

All the decor, plants and fish you see here are very similar to what I experienced in the lake, that's about 10 miles from my house. The branches were collected from the lake. Elodea and hairgrass were growing in the lake, amongst sand, leaves, stones and rocks, just like you see.

I remember phoning Dan Crawford on the day I did this. Apparently he was literally just chatting to fellow UKAPS members and they were saying how a UK biotope needs to be done...

Here you go! :)

fulltank.jpg


fulltankangle.jpg


single.jpg


singlesurface.jpg


singleturning.jpg


singleweeds.jpg


lakeview.jpg


Georgeatlake.jpg
 

Stu Worrall

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7 Sep 2008
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1,986
Location
Flintshire, North Wales
nice one george, looks really cool. Couple of questions. Whats the fish? looks really knarly :) Did you get any nasties from the collected plants or did you clean them somehow before you put them in the tank?

and wheres the tesco trolley? :wideyed:
 

NeilW

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Joined
25 Jun 2009
Messages
1,113
Location
Basingstoke, Hampshire
Really really nice :D . Curious as to how much light/CO2/ferts you are running in comparison with 'normal', more exotic, tropical plants?
 

rawr

Member
Joined
14 Apr 2009
Messages
604
Location
Enfield
I absoloute love this! I was so surprised when I saw it the other day flicking through PFK. You neve cease to amaze me how you can get any aquascape to look good with ease.
 

rawr

Member
Joined
14 Apr 2009
Messages
604
Location
Enfield
The fish are 'Sticklebacks' if I remember correctly from PFK. ;) And I don't think George actually collected the plants from nature, just bought them.
 

Stu Worrall

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7 Sep 2008
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1,986
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Flintshire, North Wales
Cheers Rawr, I misread this quote that george had got the plants out of the lake
George Farmer said:
The branches were collected from the lake. Elodea and hairgrass were growing in the lake,

Thanks for the stickleback name. He looks hard as nails!
 

hydrophyte

Member
Joined
22 Aug 2009
Messages
774
That's wonderful George. I always wonder why aquascapers don't put together local biotopes like this more often. Do you know the species for that stickleback? We have a couple of different ones here in the north central US.
 

Dave Spencer

Member
Joined
3 Jul 2007
Messages
1,389
Location
N. Wales
Superb stuff, George! My gob is smacked. You certainly aren`t one to let the hobby stand still.

Dave.
 

YzemaN

Member
Joined
6 Nov 2007
Messages
183
Location
Copenhagen
Really inspirational as always, George!
What are the water parameters? Did you do anything special to the tank or has it just been run with EI? I know in the winter a lot of the lakes and ponds in Northern Europe go through a temperature drop, would it be necessary to emulate that in our tanks or would the fish be fine in room temperature all year round?
 

George Farmer

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Joined
30 Jun 2007
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7,080
Location
Cambridgeshire
Thanks for all the kind words, everyone! :D

stuworrall said:
nice one george, looks really cool. Couple of questions. Whats the fish? looks really knarly :) Did you get any nasties from the collected plants or did you clean them somehow before you put them in the tank?

and wheres the tesco trolley? :wideyed:
Cheers, Stu!

The fish are three-spined sticklebacks - Gasterosteus aculeatus aculeatus. I bought five for a tenner from a local garden centre. Great little fish and they bring back memories from my childhood, collecting them in nets in local streams.

The plants were purchased from an LFS. Again, I paid a tenner for all of these you see.

NeilW said:
Really really nice :D . Curious as to how much light/CO2/ferts you are running in comparison with 'normal', more exotic, tropical plants?
Thanks, Neil!

This is relatively low-tech. 1 x 24w T5, non-CO2, no ferts. I relied on ADA Aqua Soil Amazonia and my hard NP-rich tap water to supply all of the nutrients.

rawr said:
I absoloute love this! I was so surprised when I saw it the other day flicking through PFK. You neve cease to amaze me how you can get any aquascape to look good with ease.
Thanks, Thomas!

I hope my work shows how aquascaping doesn't have to be difficult. I really enjoy producing the step-by-step features for PFK for this reason.

ceg4048 said:
Job well done mate. Nice execution and cool photos! 8)

Cheers,
Thanks, Clive!

chump54 said:
thats great George, haven't bought pfk for ages. which issue is/was it in? how much detail have you gone into in the mag?

Cheers

Chris
Thanks, Chris!

It's in the November issue which has just come out. I go into detail about how I set the tank up and the photos are better than on here (the full-tank shot is a double page spread (DPS)).

hydrophyte said:
That's wonderful George. I always wonder why aquascapers don't put together local biotopes like this more often. Do you know the species for that stickleback? We have a couple of different ones here in the north central US.
Thanks, hydrophyte!

I think local biotopes are vastly underrated and are something that can be easily replicated at minimal cost. It's a no-brainer really and I can't believe I've waited until now to do this!

Dave Spencer said:
Superb stuff, George! My gob is smacked. You certainly aren`t one to let the hobby stand still.

Dave.
Cheers, Dave.

I try my best. PFK has 'neglected' plants in recent months but that's changing now... Look out for a very exciting announcement in the future regarding aquascaping.

YzemaN said:
Really inspirational as always, George!
What are the water parameters? Did you do anything special to the tank or has it just been run with EI? I know in the winter a lot of the lakes and ponds in Northern Europe go through a temperature drop, would it be necessary to emulate that in our tanks or would the fish be fine in room temperature all year round?
Thanks, Yzeman!

The lake parameters were pH 6.8, GH 16, KH 6, I think. Lake temp. was 19C on the day I researched it. I talk about it in more detail in the PFK feature.

My water is pH 7.8, GH 15, KH 7, which is very similar to the stickleback supplier.

I didn't run EI in this. I haven't run 'traditional' EI for years now, relying more on daily dosing of off-the-shelf, usually Tropica, ADA or Easy Life. In this set-up I didn't dose the water at all and relied on good old Aqua Soil.

Long-term sticklebacks should be ok at room temperature as long as it doesn't go much above 20C.

Thanks again, all!
 

andyh

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Joined
1 Jan 2009
Messages
1,921
Location
Derby
George Farmer said:
Cheers, Dave.

I try my best. PFK has 'neglected' plants in recent months but that's changing now... Look out for a very exciting announcement in the future regarding aquascaping.

Oooo come on tell us whats the gossip!! ( i love a bit of gossip!)

Is PFK going to finally acknowledge us Aquascapers? :crazy: and give us a section in PFK? That would be cool! Look i am resorting to making stuff up now! :silent:
 

Graeme Edwards

Founder
Joined
21 Jun 2007
Messages
1,161
Location
Wirral/Chester Cheshire.
Nice one G,

How is the tank in these pictures? The hair grass doesnt look like tis moved much.

How long are you going to give this one?

I love the red bellied stickleback, i think it has three spines. I wonder how many of us caught them as kids, and know me and Dan probably did when we where growing up. Dan had a stream 3 houses down. Ahhh the good old days,lol.
 

Iliveinazoo

Member
Joined
23 Apr 2008
Messages
130
Location
Southampton
I have been thinking recently about what I want to do with my 40l tank that currently houses my fiddler crab when he goes to crab heaven. I know that I will breed snails for my puffer, and now after reading PFK I will be attempting to create my own British Biotype for them :thumbup:

If I had to play devils advocate my only criticism :silent: is that you have used a couple of invasive species. Mind you, top marks for pointing out that they were invasive species and it is almost impossible to find someone who stocks a decent selection of native british plants.
 

Mark Evans

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Joined
13 Jun 2008
Messages
6,484
Location
newark notts.
nice scape george.

I'm also in the makings of a a native scape featuring roach and chub! Already sourced my supplier for the fish. so river scape here i come.
 

George Farmer

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30 Jun 2007
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7,080
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Cambridgeshire
andyh said:
George Farmer said:
Cheers, Dave.

I try my best. PFK has 'neglected' plants in recent months but that's changing now... Look out for a very exciting announcement in the future regarding aquascaping.

Oooo come on tell us whats the gossip!! ( i love a bit of gossip!)

Is PFK going to finally acknowledge us Aquascapers? :crazy: and give us a section in PFK? That would be cool! Look i am resorting to making stuff up now! :silent:
lol. Thanks, Andy. All I can say is that aquascapers should be very well catered for with this news. I can't say anymore than that, sorry.

But if you want some other serious gossip, following some news I received last night; then I am potentially going to be aquascaping a fully planted 10 foot by 10 foot by 4 foot.... (about 10,000 litres) :D :D :D

Graeme Edwards said:
Nice one G,

How old is the tank in these pictures? The hair grass doesnt look like tis moved much.

How long are you going to give this one?

I love the red bellied stickleback, i think it has three spines. I wonder how many of us caught them as kids, and know me and Dan probably did when we where growing up. Dan had a stream 3 houses down. Ahhh the good old days,lol.
Thanks mate!

The tank is only about 3 weeks old. This is the tank I turnaround a new aquascape every 4 weeks for my PFK biotope features. Like you mate, I have the planted nano for the longer-term stuff.

Good ol' days indeed. We'll re-live them again sometime... ;)

Iliveinazoo said:
I have been thinking recently about what I want to do with my 40l tank that currently houses my fiddler crab when he goes to crab heaven. I know that I will breed snails for my puffer, and now after reading PFK I will be attempting to create my own British Biotype for them :thumbup:

If I had to play devils advocate my only criticism :silent: is that you have used a couple of invasive species. Mind you, top marks for pointing out that they were invasive species and it is almost impossible to find someone who stocks a decent selection of native british plants.
That's really great news!

And thanks for the constructive critisism. :D

saintly said:
nice scape george.

I'm also in the makings of a a native scape featuring roach and chub! Already sourced my supplier for the fish. so river scape here i come.
Thanks, Mark!

All the best with your native 'scape. I presume that you'll be stocking juveniles short-term, unless you've a huge tank! :D
 
Joined
12 Nov 2008
Messages
413
Location
Kendal, Cumbria
Lovely tank, George, and great pictures - I've just bought my copy of PFK, and I'm looking forward to a proper read of your article. I'm interested in your woodwork - obviously constrained by what came out of your local lake, it's not at all what we're used to seeing in a GF aquascape, but it works really well. I wonder if the limited choice of material stretched you, and whether it has suggested any new ideas using straighter lines like these? The sticklebacks are wonderfully prehistoric, too. :thumbup:

Good to hear PFK is ramping up planted tank coverage again, and that monster tank sounds like a blast!
 

andyh

Member
Joined
1 Jan 2009
Messages
1,921
Location
Derby
George Farmer said:
andyh said:
George Farmer said:
Cheers, Dave.

I try my best. PFK has 'neglected' plants in recent months but that's changing now... Look out for a very exciting announcement in the future regarding aquascaping.

Oooo come on tell us whats the gossip!! ( i love a bit of gossip!)

Is PFK going to finally acknowledge us Aquascapers? :crazy: and give us a section in PFK? That would be cool! Look i am resorting to making stuff up now! :silent:
lol. Thanks, Andy. All I can say is that aquascapers should be very well catered for with this news. I can't say anymore than that, sorry.

But if you want some other serious gossip, following some news I received last night; then I am potentially going to be aquascaping a fully planted 10 foot by 10 foot by 4 foot.... (about 10,000 litres) :D :D :D

Your so making it worse now! Well catered for! What a new magazine called Practical Aquascaper? See i am doing it again, ooooo i am a terrible gossip! :lol: :lol: :lol: ;)

I am v jealous about the big tank, although being totally honest, i wouldn't know were to begin! I hope your going to be keeping a journal. After seeing Big G's 1800l at at the TGM machine a 10,000l is going to be very impressive! :sick: :woot:

A
 

Mortis

Member
Joined
17 Jun 2009
Messages
359
Great scape ! Really nice to layout and a great example of a natural aquascape.

Also, 10000 litres !!! Wow !! I dont know whether to envy you or pity you. Thats going to be a lot of work, physically and mentaly planning the scape. Though Im sure you will find it really rewarding experience once you finish it.
What are you planning for the substrate and where are you going to get the boulders and driftTREES for this scape ? :lol:

Please put up pics of the whole setting up and stuff. Im sure everyone will want to have a look.
Tom Barr made sad when he put up a few pics of the large tank he was scaping and then didnt update the thread. :(
 
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