27 Dec 2009
Denton, Manchester
Hi all,
With the new build optiwhite currently underway for my new big tank, which I'm hoping will be a good one again especially as Dan George Stu and Iain are all getting stuck in too, I thought in the meantime, it would be nice to have a small Hi tech set up going.

The title may give it away, the tank is my shallow and cabinet that was really well liked on here, and what helped my passion grow for this hobby.

DSC_0057 by Mr-T-, on Flickr

I've been out collecting wood near where I now live, and have found some amazing pieces. One of which was This beauty which is identified as an elm by Darrel ( thanks for the help again mate).

DSC_0055 by Mr-T-, on Flickr
It's a stunning piece of wood which was sat in my garden for a few nights but just got an urge to use it and maybe use in my big tank when it is ready. After lots of scrubbing, and steaming, and more scrubbing, it looked ready for planting.

So base layer of a mineral rich substrate went in under where the wood was to be placed and then In squeezed the wood

1414025612209 by Mr-T-, on Flickr

Very happy with the placement of the wood so down went the rest of the base soil.

Plants are to be in shortly along with the substrate.
I've gone for Dennerles new Scapers Soil, similar in texture to ada, but a darker colour, and a variety of grain sizes some almost sand like. Very very nice.

Lighting was a tough one on this but feel the choice I've gone for fits this set up perfectly..

Current specs:
Tank Size 120cmx70x30 lxwxh

Filtration: Fluval G6 with prefilter and carbon

Lighting: Arcadia's Eco-aqua Led freshwater x 2 suspended via cables

Co2: pressurised via ista premium 1 litre aluminium cylinder and reg with solenoid built in, diffused into a inline diffuser at uncountable bps

Substrate: 20kg of Dennerle scapers soil

Plant choice:
terrestrial moss attached to the main trunk of the wood with just it's toes dipping in the water,

Main plants kindly sponsored by Hortilab who sponsor all my tanks, and personally think are the best quality I've had.

Micranthemum sp Monte Carlo as main carpet plant
Staurogyne repens
Lots of bucephelandras attached to the wood
Cryptocoryne wendtii brown
Three Erio Species, not sure on ID yet
Marselia Hirsuta
Pogostomon Helferi
Eleocharis Parvula
Echinodorus tennelus
Hydrocotyle tripartia Japan
Fissedens fontanus
And possibly a stem plant but not sure which just yet.

fertilisers are:

Easy life's full range

Will start adding easy carbo as plants start to grow/settle in but on low dose to help during initial start up but prevent any algae.

Easy life kindly sponsor me, from off their own back for as long as Im doing this which i can't thank them enough for and I'm using these products as I've seen them work from my own tanks, and tanks of others and have seen great results and are products I genuinely believe in.

I use their other products alot for fish health such as Voogle, non chemical medication and health booster, and Fluid Filter Medium for water changes and clarity once a month and the cattappa x in my black water species tank and shrimps tanks and they really do work a charm.
I'm giving the redfield ratio a go on this tank just for a bit of change..

Here's how it stands currently

Shallow routes by Mr-T-, on Flickr

may look into an alternative method of co2 diffusion as I lose half my filter flow through having an inline diffuser

Will get some more pics up very soon.

Thanks all

Last edited:


20 Mar 2013
This is absolute perfection already. This is exactly what I've wanted from my driftwood since I started the hobby. Looking forward to this one enormously.


23 Mar 2014
:eek: As if it were made to fit...
Well we're all expecting another masterpiece now Alastair, so no pressure!

Might I ask where and how you are finding all of these amazing pieces of wood?


Global Moderator
Staff member
15 Aug 2013
Lelystad, Netherlands
Looks ace Sir:thumbup:
Not sure about going hich tech on a shallow with this amount of possible dead spots, just my 2 cts.
It would make a perfect biotope for some very special species though.
Similar threads

Similar threads