A Great British Biotope

Discussion in 'Planted Tank Gallery' started by George Farmer, 29 Sep 2009.

  1. George Farmer

    George Farmer Founder Staff Member

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    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
     
    chka and zozo like this.
  2. Stu Worrall

    Stu Worrall Forum Moderator Staff Member

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    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:
     
  3. NeilW

    NeilW Member

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

    rawr Member

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    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.
     
  5. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

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

    Cheers,
     
  6. rawr

    rawr Member

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    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.
     
  7. chump54

    chump54 Member

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    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
     
  8. Stu Worrall

    Stu Worrall Forum Moderator Staff Member

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    Cheers Rawr, I misread this quote that george had got the plants out of the lake
    Thanks for the stickleback name. He looks hard as nails!
     
  9. hydrophyte

    hydrophyte Member

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    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.
     
  10. Dave Spencer

    Dave Spencer Member

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

    Dave.
     
  11. YzemaN

    YzemaN Member

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    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?
     
  12. George Farmer

    George Farmer Founder Staff Member

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    Thanks for all the kind words, everyone! :D

    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.

    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.

    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.

    Thanks, Clive!

    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)).

    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!

    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.

    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!
     
  13. andyh

    andyh Member

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    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:
     
  14. Graeme Edwards

    Graeme Edwards Founder Staff Member

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    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.
     
  15. Iliveinazoo

    Iliveinazoo Member

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    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.
     
  16. Mark Evans

    Mark Evans Expert

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    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.
     
  17. George Farmer

    George Farmer Founder Staff Member

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    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

    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... ;)

    That's really great news!

    And thanks for the constructive critisism. :D

    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
     
  18. paul.in.kendal

    paul.in.kendal Member

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    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!
     
  19. andyh

    andyh Member

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    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
     
  20. Mortis

    Mortis Member

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    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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