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AL's Setup Mk3 - Sorry, I don't name my tanks.


29 Apr 2010
Hi Guys,

Thought I better get a new thread up before I forget! I originally purchased this tank in May 2011 with the intention of going for a Jungle type theme (see Mk1 below) - loads of big growth and plenty of fish for movement and colour.
Then due to a lot of time spent away from home for work, the growth was strangling the tank somewhat so I thinned it all out, lost the moss etc and ended up with Mk2 (again, see below).

The tank has been ticking over for some time, just with a couple of Crypts and a bit of stone in there. Its become a breeding ground for Corys and unfortunately also for pest snails. Despite a snail trap and a load of Assassins its become overrun with them. I've also never been overly happy with the JBL substrate as it seems to attract crap and is impossible to vac as its so fine!





I also wanted to use this piece of wood that I bought ages ago! I'd even gone so far as soaking it previously in readiness but never actually used it.


I pulled the remaining plants out on Friday night ready for fish catching on Saturday morning... They weren't too impressed!
Amazingly, I found 11 Otto's in there when I thought there were only one or two left. Must have been plenty of algae for them to eat :p


And here is their new home... one of the sump tanks at the MA where I used to work :) I kept my Otto's and Amano's in another tank that I've had running for a while with just a Fighter and some moss :p


Got the chance to give my kit a proper clean whilst the tank is dry. Shame to lose all my mature filter media but couldn't chance keeping it will all the snails unfortunately. The filter was full of them too!


Clean tank with my new TMC Nutrasoil in there;



I'm probably going to leave it dry until about mid November (mainly due to work) then my stocking plan will be very simple; a nice moss on the wood and a tonne of vallis everywhere else. And that's it! Won't be to all tastes i'm sure but I have a vision in my head and am going to stick with it.
As for Fauna, I have a number of Amano's already and approx. 11 Otto's which will make their way back in once its up and running. I want to stick with one type of 'feature' fish this time - planning on Celestial Pearl Danio's currently although will take a trip down to Sweet Knowle Aquatics soon to see what they have and if there is anything else I fancy.

Overall I just want to keep it simple, easy to maintain and cheap to run!


Aqua Manta (Maidenhead Aquatics) Eco80
Eheim Ecco Pro 300
Fluval E200 Heater
Arcadia ECO LED Lamp in addition to stock T5's
And that's it!
Cheers, was pretty dense then!

Tried the wood in the tank yesterday - had to trim a little off the bottom to get it sitting how I wanted. Soil will need a tidy too before filling!


Think I've decided on my plant list (grown slightly from the first post);

Vesicularia ferriei for the wood
Echinodorus tenellus front left and around the end of the piece of wood on the right
Vallisneria nana on the left and around the wood
Vallisneria americana planted heavily at the rear

Hoping that the similarly styled plants will create a decent sense of depth if planted carefully. Not going to plant too heavily from the start, want to let it grown in over time this time around.

Thanks :)
Moved my holding tank to the living room whilst painting upstairs. It looks crap inside... Just some old moss, a load of BBA and some wood/stone.

Stock is a few Assassin Snails, some Amano's, a load of Otto's and a Fighter.


All of the stock will move in to the big tank once it is back up and running - will probably chuck the fighter in there too!
Erm, so the tank currently looks like this :p


Decided whilst it was empty to chuck a coat of paint on the walls! (Matt Soft Pebble by Homebase if anyone is interested :p)
Good news is whilst the tank has been covered up by a plastic dust sheet, the inside has gotten really really condensated (assuming moisture in the Nutrasoil) so, I reckon with a couple of strategically placed bits of clingfilm I might be able to do a dry start on this take to let the moss get established on the wood.

Anyone know how well Echinodorus Tenellus does in a dry start?

Not sure if it does alright long term in dry start and not exactly the same but I have a bit in my wabi kusa thats doing well but it has only been in there a week
Afternoon All!
Had a ridiculously early start today to drop the wife at work so decided to carry on down to Aqua Jardin in Gloucester (via Strensham Services for a nutritious McDonalds breakfast :p)... My intention was to buy some stone to go around the base of my existing piece of wood to weigh it down so I could do my dry start then with any luck they'd have some 1-2 Grow Tennellus...
Instead I bought two entirely different pieces of wood and some hairgrass?! I have issues... haha.

Found these two pieces of wood that fitted together nicely - just needed a little trimming to fit and I bought a 4kg piece of slate which is cable tied on the bottom to keep it all weighed down. Hope I don't get too much in the way of tannins from the wood...


So part way through planting the power went off... Annoying!


Fortunately it came back on so is now saw with the lights on and warming up nicely. Got a decent amount of condensation in there so assuming its fairly humid!


Got two pots of dwarf hairgrass which I've spread over the foreground. Also have weeping moss all over the wood. Planning to order some Tennellus to go on the left then when its all filled it'll have some vallis at the rear also.

Stay tuned!
Day 2 of the DSM... Struggling with humidity currently as my moss is drying out on the higher branches (heat of the light I guess). Not really sure what else I can do to keep it moist as i'm not there to spray it every hour haha....


Think I may have gotten the soil a little too damp aswell so going to try and siphon some liquid out later :-/
Day 4


Left some of the moss at the bottom bit of the wood where there is more moisture so hopefully that will keep going! If not, i'll get some more moss when I am due to fill it up nd attach it with cotton.
Day 9 update... Removed the wood tonight as the moss has dried out - some mould appearing on the wood too so stuck it to soak in a big bin with a load of hot water :)


Tenellus due to arrive on Thursday! Will give it another week or two of DSM then fill her up!
Yeah it was a proper lid then I clingfilmed over the top. Temperature too low i think. Its definitely wet in there!

Ah well, get some more when I fill it!
What I meant to say was ... did you fit a vapour barrier between the light source & the tank?
As a rule you need to keep the humidity really high without getting any dry heat in there, so the best method is to cling film the tank top & keep the light above the cling film, you can take it one step further & use a heat matt under the tank.
With a sealed top & bottom heat you can get a rain forest effect - complete with dripping rain !!
Unfortunately due to the shape/design of the tank there is no way of getting clingfilm between the light and the top... so yeah the dry heat is very prominent unfortunately. The lights side within the lid basically :(
I'm starting dry the same mate. I have rio125 with lid and lights re under the cover. cling film is wrapped on a top of the lid.
You can easy keep DSM to the way you do it, just for the ground plants, to let em root in and stabilize the rooting system

My project is 1,5 weeks from flooding and this is my 3rd week since planted. so far I'm managing well and the plants are
doing well. I have a tree to be planted in but this was the main reason to plant it in temporary tank before moving in my project.
And it will be moved in on the day when flooded. Otherwise the moss would just dry out

I'm spraying twice a day, lights ON for 12 hours.

Humidity over night time 90% and T 16-17C
Humidity during the day 80-85 and T 22-23C

I suggest to move your tree in with tighten moss just before flooding
Bit of an update...
Had a load of goodies in the post today;
From TGM 2 x 1-2 Grow Echinodorus tenellus and 1 x Utricularia (bit of an impulse buy, doubt i'll make it thrive!)
And from Claire on here a load of Blyxa Japonica and a chunk of Weeping Moss (which i've chucked in my other tank for now).

Planted up in the areas around where the wood would sit;



Also cut some blocks of wood to raise the light and clingfilmed the top of the tank so hopefully i'll get a decent rise in humidity now!

More soon :)