Beeky's Rescape

Discussion in 'Journals' started by beeky, 10 Apr 2008.

  1. beeky

    beeky Member

    Messages:
    879
    Location:
    Chippenham, Wiltshire
    As you may have picked up in past posts I recently changed jobs, moved house and had a new baby in the space of a month. In fact, my wife went into labour the evening after moving in to our new place!

    What's this got to do with anything you might be thinking? Well, as you can well imagine my fish tank has seen better days. Sometime ago (about a year probably) I had a nasty attachk of BGA and it took quite a while to get it sorted, but sorted it was and this was how the tank looked once it settled down:

    1276605564_32c91e8343.jpg

    A bit of growth:

    1288832446_485260386f.jpg

    I can't find anymore pictures of it since then (although I'm sure I've taken some), but just imagine it with the back right Hygro at the water surface, Vallis trailing over the water surface and considerable thickening of the Crypt at the front left. Also imagine a little bit of hair algae and a bit (read: quite a lot) of BBA on the Anubias.

    This all had to come out in the house move and due to being a bit disorganised and having higher priority things to do at the time, the plants were left outside overnight (actually a few nights) in a bin bag and they didn't like the frost....
    The tank has now been sitting half full of water with a few bits of wood and the Anubias since the end of January and being lit by one T8 tube.

    Time now for a rebuild.

    A few weeks ago I got some Cryptocoryne Affinis from Thailand and some Hygro. siamensis and dwarf Sag from Sam (cheers again Sam). I also got some Tropica substrate and Hagen black river gravel (Extra Fine). Incidentally, previous posts referred to this as river sand, extra fine. Not sure if I have the same stuff but looks OK anyway. I've only ever had standard gravel or silver sand (in another tank) before so going dark is going to be a new experience for me. Thanks go to Nry for the inspiration for that one.

    Here are some stats:

    Tank (Clearseal I think)
    Age approx 9 years old
    36"L x 18"H x 15"W (approx. 90cm x 46cm x 38cm)
    Volume 159L or 35 UK gallons

    Decor
    3 Pieces of bogwood, one quite large. I don't have any spindly bits, just lumps!

    Current Planting
    Anubias with healthy growth of BBA (considered ditching this, but it has sentimental value now - the Anubias, not the BBA)
    C. Affinis from Thailand (remains to be seen whether this is the proper stuff)
    Hygrophila siamensis
    Sagittaria subulata? Dwarf sag anyway.

    Additional Planting (coming tomorrow (Friday))
    Ludwigia palustris
    Ludwigia ovalis
    Ludwigia mullertii
    Ludwigia arcuata
    Limnophila sessiflora

    CO2
    DIY, currently one bottle but "upgrading" to two!

    Lighting
    2 x 39w T5
    1 x ?w T8 (for an hour morning and evening only)


    As the tank is quite old now the general trim bits round the side are a bit grubby with some areas impossible to clean due to being sandwiched between two bits of glass, so I'm hoping this will work in my favour and reduce/diffuse the light a little bit which will allow me to use the DIY CO2.

    My scape plans are to have the L. palustris in a curtain around the left hand side starting at the front, the ovalis in front of that but towards the back, the arcuata in the middle, the H. siamensis on the right at the back and the C. affinis popping up around the wood in the midground. The sag will be my foreground, although I want to keep the right hand side foreground fairly clear. Carpets are overrated IMO! I'm not too sure what to do with the L. sessiflora, but everything could (and probably will) change anyway, so we'll see.

    I have tomorrow off and my wife is taking the kids out all day! Woohoo!
     
  2. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

    Messages:
    4,428
    Location:
    Leamington Spa, UK.
    How about having the Limnophila sessiflora poking up from the back in one of the corners? Its quite prolific isn't it?
     
  3. TDI-line

    TDI-line Member

    Messages:
    1,535
    Location:
    Yaxley, Peterborough
    Very nice.
     
  4. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Aston, Oxfordshire
    Yeh nice looking tank :) have you thought about moving the central black rock either back or take it out completely?

    Just a thought

    Sam
     
  5. beeky

    beeky Member

    Messages:
    879
    Location:
    Chippenham, Wiltshire
    The black rock was put in there from another tank as it had some algae on it and I thought my bristlenose could help out! It's not there anymore. It did stand out quite alot.

    My planned scaping day didn't quite work out as planned as the the family were going to go and visit a friend but they (the friend) was ill so cancelled. My wife did take the kids out for a few hours though in the afternoon to give me some space but it all became a bit of a rush (trying to catch the fish took about an hour on it's own!) and I finished the planting over the weekend. Quite pleased with how it's turned out, although the wood was problematic as it all started moving as I put the water in. I think this was due to it becoming top heavy as the water 'lifted' the lower part.

    The plants arrived on time on Friday, although it's surprising just how little space 3 bunches of a stem plant take up. The L. mullertii were in great condition, very pleased with those and the L. palustris were OK, although they look like they've grown for a while floating as they were very curly. The L. arcuata looked OK as well but when I put them in the water half the leaves floated off. The worst were the L. ovalis though as a few stems were mush and many of the leaves were going brown. The Limnophila sessiflora looked good though.

    I've also had to replant the stems a few times already. I suppose that's the problem with putting fish straight back in after replanting, especially with bigger fish.

    Hopefully, photos tonight.
     
  6. beeky

    beeky Member

    Messages:
    879
    Location:
    Chippenham, Wiltshire
    Right, pictures!

    I caught the fish and put them in freezer bags and then in a polystyrene box we get out meat delivered in every month. Then took all the water out and the gravel/sand/laterite I had in there (it was so long ago I can't remember what was in there!). This is the empty tank:

    2417629492_f2058d5a39.jpg


    This is my chosen substrate: Tropica and black river gravel (extra fine):

    2416810239_b01f49074b.jpg


    Added the tropica substrate. Some of it floated on the the couple of cms water I still had in there, but I swished it about a bit until it sank. I also pulled off the printed plant picture and replaced it with a black bin liner (I heard they were surprisingly effective, so though I'd try it)

    2416811561_b57f93d741.jpg


    I put the two bags of gravel in by scattering it evenly over the bottom rather than dumping in a pile and spreading it, as I was concerned it would push the tropica substrate to the side. Positioned the wood and started planting. I spent ages with the wood as I had it just right, but after the first few buckets of water it started toppling over. I think the water was 'lifting' it up and making it top heavy. I put another piece of wood at the back as support (not visible), but this didn't help too much so I used another, longer bit, to hold it up. I had every intention of trying to remove this upright piece once the tank was filled, but I quite liked the way the two pieces looked joined at the top so it's remained. Time was getting on by now after the faffing with the wood, so I needed to start getting the fish back in. This is after the first stage of planting:

    2417638950_410084f06b.jpg


    I decided I didn't like the bin liner effect as it was too shiny, and basically looked too much like a bin liner. This is the tank after final planting the next day and with no background:

    2416826127_3c17097364.jpg

    A couple more pics of the whole tank:
    2416827335_eb7d53e447.jpg

    2417648714_70cd80b126.jpg


    L. palustris (the green one) and L. Ovalis (the slightly red, mushy one):
    2416829939_39e539aaf0.jpg

    C. affinis (possibly!)
    2416831131_f10e84c37c.jpg

    Limnophila sessiflora and Hygro siamenis. The latter should recover it's 'greenness' in time now the lighting's been sorted out:
    2416832289_39927a9ee1.jpg

    A fish shot; my two warring angel fish:
    2417653374_5c7088eba2.jpg

    The latest photo, taken last night with black card background:
    2416842921_c9aea555a3.jpg


    Even after a few short days, some of the plants are disentegrating at a rate of knots. My L. arcuata are shedding leaves like they're going out of fashion and my L. ovalis are turning to mush. Not just the ends but half way up the stems. I don't know if these are particularly delicate and easily bruised but I don't think I'll have any left by the end of week! On the upside, I'm pleased with my L. palustris (green ludwigia) and the L. mullertii (red) seems to be doing OK. Becoming a pain though already to net all the leaves out of the tank twice a day and replant the stems my bristlenose has taken out. Overall though, I'm pleased with how it's turned out. I'm thinking a few tropica pots would not go amiss....
     
  7. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Aston, Oxfordshire
    Nice scape :) you obviously put some thought into it. The sags will carpet in no time. You are right as well, a few tropica pots would be cool if you could get them.

    Sam
     
  8. daniel19831123

    daniel19831123 Member

    Messages:
    736
    Location:
    Blackpool
    Love these photos. the bogwood arrangement in the middle made me start thinking that it could be scape into a cave like structure with lots of mosses around it. Water is crystal clear too. Looks as if there is no water in there!
     
  9. TDI-line

    TDI-line Member

    Messages:
    1,535
    Location:
    Yaxley, Peterborough
    Nice work Beeky.
     
  10. beeky

    beeky Member

    Messages:
    879
    Location:
    Chippenham, Wiltshire
    Thanks. The water didn't stay that clear for long!

    I forgot to mention that it's filtered with an Eheim ecco that's as old as the tank, so getting on for 8 years or so. It's not the really big one (can't remember which one it is!) so I'm going to replace it. I have a Fluval 204 that was actually in a 2' tank and seems more powerful than my ecco so I'm going to use that. Running in parallel for a while first though as it hasn't been used for a while.

    My CO2 isn't diffusing as well as it did before, can't see any pearling to speak of. I did buy an external reactor some time ago but I can't find it so I guess it's still packed in a box somewhere. We've still got quite a few boxes unpacked :oops:

    I'm dosing easycarbo, 5ml every day (may drop this to 2ml) and a capful of Flourish (is this 5ml as well?) every other day.

    Where do people get syringes for spot dosing their easycarbo/excel?
     
  11. beeky

    beeky Member

    Messages:
    879
    Location:
    Chippenham, Wiltshire
    It's been a bit over a week now, so thought I'd put up a couple of pictures of how things are going.

    My L.sessiflora is reaching for the surface and most things seem to be doing well. A few tiny shoots on my Ludwigia ovalis which is encouraging, especially as 98% of the leaves have fallen off. Also lots of shoots coming from the leaf axials on the Ludwigia mullertii, although not much top growth. Also pleased with the Crypt. affinis as it starting to send out a couple of new leaves and the old ones are getting bigger. It's 'fluffing up' nicely and no melt (yet!). Also, the Ludwigia arcuata has stopped shedding leaves and has grown a bit (I think).

    The pics; first of the C. affinis:
    2439741188_b6e54eeeee.jpg

    and a full tank shot:
    2438914657_16332fe52d.jpg


    I finally found my CO2 reactor the other day and was hoping to set it up last night, but instead of cutting some tubing for it I sliced into my finger with a stanley knife instead :? Feel especially silly (and sore) as I keep telling my son to be careful with knives and I was trying to cut it while holding it instead of on a board....

    The reactor will replace the 'hopper' which is the thing at the back of the tank, as it's pretty much next to useless.
     
  12. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Aston, Oxfordshire
    Photos dont seem to work?
     
  13. beeky

    beeky Member

    Messages:
    879
    Location:
    Chippenham, Wiltshire
    Should be OK now. The URLs seemed to have changed, I could see them from work but then they vanished. Oh well.
     
  14. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Aston, Oxfordshire
    Looking good :) keep ontop of the sags or they'll take over the place! haha :lol:

    Sam
     
  15. beeky

    beeky Member

    Messages:
    879
    Location:
    Chippenham, Wiltshire
    Cheers Sam.

    I can see why you were going to replace them with ET; I was going for a step down to the crypts and then to the sag, but at the moment the sags are sending out quite big leaves. Maybe I'll swap them over with the crypts!

    I've got some algae forming on the top growth of the Limnophila, possibly GSA. I read the bottle of Flourish I've been dosing last night and discovered it's only trace :oops:
     
  16. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    10,271
    Location:
    London
    So far so good :) Just have to let it grow more, trim and replant, it will be full in no time ;)
    Shame about the finger, I did that with my CO2 diffusor :rolleyes: broke and went right into my finger, next time we will know better lol
    Keep up the good work and keep those updates coming ;)
     
  17. beeky

    beeky Member

    Messages:
    879
    Location:
    Chippenham, Wiltshire
    Really pleased with the way things are going at the moment. I knew things were growing but it's only looking back at the previous picture that I can see how much. Hope to get another picture up soon.

    The L.arcuata is doing well, much better than I expected in fact and the L.mullertii has also grown quite a bit. L.sessiflora is now trailing across the surface, and dwarf sag is sending runners all over the place.

    That's the good news, the not so good news is that the few bits of L.ovalis I have left are barely hanging on and although the L.palustris (green Ludwigia) and the L.mullertii are doing well, they do seem a bit 'leggy'. I always thought leggy plants were caused by not enough light, but I've got 2xT5s and a T8 tube in there. Do I need more? Maybe extend the photoperiod? I've got the T8 tube on for 10 hours with the T5s coming on for 8 hours in the middle of that. The Hygro.siamensis also seems a bit slow, not sure why. I thought it would growing out of the tank by now!

    On the fishy side, I thought my two angels were going to spawn a few days ago. This week the stripey one was noticeable fuller than the gold which was furiously cleaning the bit of upright wood and showed a very distended breeding tube. The stripey one was also picking on the gold one quite a bit! Anyway, I was quite excited about them breeding but now they seem to have gone back to normal and are pretty much ignoring each other. They certainly haven't spawned yet as the female is still swollen. I'm wondering if they've abandoned attempts as the tank is too 'busy'.
     
  18. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Beeky this is symptomatic of less than optimal CO2. Believe me, the last thing on earth you need right now is more light. Leggy growth and especially disintegrating plants are sure signs of CO2 deficiency. Perhaps you can add more Easycarbo? Is that the diffuser in the back on the right? Why place it so high? Wouldn't it be better served low down under the filter outlet flow?

    Cheers,
     
  19. beeky

    beeky Member

    Messages:
    879
    Location:
    Chippenham, Wiltshire
    Cheers Clive.

    I'm dosing 5ml of easycarbo every couple of days. I could probably do this every day. I've removed it now, but the the thing at the back is the "hopper" which the CO2 bubbles into. I had it quite high as this was where the flow was strongest as I guessed this would lead to better difusion. As I said, I've removed it now and replaced it with a reactor (the type Ed was making) although it's seriously impacted my flow rate. This could be what's causing the problem. I have my fluval 204 which I was thinking of using in addition to my ecco, so I'll definitely be plumbing this in asap now.
     
  20. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Is the reactor filled with media that's restricting the flow? If so you could remove it as the CO2 will still diffuse in an open void as the water swirls around. I've removed mine at the moment until I can make a new one with larger hose connections as my Ehiem has 16mm tubing and the reactor is 12mm! That really restricted the flow!!!!!
     

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