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Aqua oak 200l first scape


20 Apr 2017
Derby uk
After having a couple of smaller tanks i got permission from the good lady to have a decent sized setup in the living room as i wanted to do a proper planted setup.

started with an ebay bargain - 6mnths old
Aqua Oak 110 draws edition
aquamanta efx200 external filter
internal heater ( may swap for inline)
test kit, gravel, internal filter etc
receipts for £1200 and she wanted just over 1/4 back! collected it from ooop north using a mates van.

so once home the light oak cabinet got sanded down and stained ( twice as the first stain was like paint!) to be a dark oak with some red through it to match the decor. Several coats of danish oil and i think it looks great. 2 cats means we needed an enclosed setup.

Then the spending started!
Ada Aquasoil Amazonia 18l
sansibar sand 8l
both layered over the old gravel.
25kg of layered rock
mini Bonsai - maiden head find
lots of Elocharis grass
java moss for the Bonsai
plus a few others to help the tank stabilise that may get swapped.

several hours of playing and i finished with this:


Decided it needed more green and something on the left so added some more java covered wood.
Also found some mini versions of the big rocks and a handful at £2.50 meant a cheap addition that i think helps set it.

based on a valley cut through in the peak district ( i mountain bike and climb too so up there quite a bit) with layered rocks and a big tree on the side as inspiration.


Ordered some more plants tonight, will update with names shortly.
2 weeks in so far.

next on the shopping list is a better light ( on a interpet 3 strip led thing currently)
looking at the Finnex Planted 24/7 se as it reviews well and importing one from the states works out pretty cheap.
CO2 also in a week or so, using liquid at the mo but i know gas works better. Will prob piece a kit together as i have a couple of pub gas bottles from welding work.

Any tips or advice so far?
Last edited by a moderator:
Sounds good mate! Always likes those stands with cupboard and drawers. Might be just me but the links aren't working on your photos?

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Photos working now and I like it! Also love how you've hidden the heater haha. In my new scape. I want to use dwarf hair grass. Be nice to see how it all grows in.

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Great work. I would suggest moving that tree forward by 15cm or so. Then plant a contrasting plant at the back to highlight it.
The tree is sat on a flat rock, there a good 10cm behind it so could plant something back there, especially if i go inline heater too. Really hate the look of the intank one.
Made a few changes this week.

Nice delivery of Tropica 1-2-grow plantlets arrived and made their way into the tank. Removed some stuff to make way.

Added a CO2 system using an inline JBL diffuser, great deal from my local maidenhead aquatics store (derby branch is proving to be very good)

Removed the intank heater and added an inline to de clutter the tank (hated seeing the cables)

Added a small powerhead to improve the CO2 circulation - Fluval Sea CP1

most excitingly after a chunky water change and lots of testing the fish from the BiOrb have been moved across, 6 neon tetra' ( soon to double i think) 2 guppys and a honey gourami that will be rehomed as he is a bit of a bully!
planning a shoal of 5 band barbs, corys and maybe some threadfin rainbows. Want to keep the fish small to keep the perspective looking right.

Awaiting my Finnex light, going to add some shrimp as i am starting to see a very small amount of algae on the left moss covered wood.