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Celestial Glade - 125Ltr Low Light, Low Maintenance

GreenNeedle

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Here is a pic of the tank but I am finding it very hard to get pictures of the fish at the moment as they are still very skittish (getting used to a 2 and 3 year olds faces pressed against the glass all the time I suspect.)
FullTankShot.jpg


Will post pics of the fish when I can get them. The microrasboras and Otos are stunning. The Corys come on Friday.

Andy
 

GreenNeedle

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Just a quick update on this journal. A shameless bump I suppose.

I am in Portugal at the mo and have been since 29th August. The scape was 2 months old on my departure and the CO2 was turned off, dosing stopped and light at 8 hours/0.9WPG. I have been using the old 0.6WPG freshwater for a noon burst again to speed the "thickening" up a bit.

Prior to Leaving:
Fish:
The microrasboras seem to be getting used to me. When I sit in front of the tank they are very wary of me but if I stay relatively still they will go about the tank. The slightest movement and they all fly off into the Java Fern which is their home.

I added 14 red cherry shrim supplied by TheBullit and unlike the rasboras these dont give a damn who is watching or what they are doing. They flit around all over the place.

The Zebra Otos are still not to be seen. I started to wonder if they are dead? Hopefully they are just in hiding.

The MTS have spiralled out of control at the same time due to the melt and initial algae probs. Hopefully the shrimp will deprive some of their food source because they block my syphon up when I remove them that way.

Plants:
The Philippine Java is so tall that several leaves poke out of the water and have their tips burnt/dried by the heat
of the lights. lol. The Crypt Spiralis is a mjor success at the back left of the tank. The Wendtii at the front is thickening quite well although a long way from the desired effect. The needle Java is now spiralling out of control and all the old growth that got a little too dried whilst out of the tank has gone to be replaced by new growth.

When I return on Tuesday (2am ish):
First job of course after a short sleep will be to do a little pruning, checking etc then do a quick 20% water change. Then on with the CO2 and a double dose of ferts.
There was a problem with the corys that shouldve come last month and I have rearranged for them to arrive on Tuesday (yes I shall have 6 hours sleep.) Then I plan to relax and admire the inhabitants for a long time before leaving for work at
12-30pm - allowing 40 minutes for the 8½mile bike ride.

I will of course take some pics and hopefully capture some of the fish and shrimp this time. I am not the best when it comes to photography.

I will also be off to P@H over the next couple of weeks looking for some Crypt Parva. I think 2 Tropica pots should do it. I may get a Wendtii green as well to get the 3 for £9 deal. Not bothered if its dying as crypts will die anyway before rejuvenating. Its the crowns Im after. lol

AC
 

beeky

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Coming together nicely, the parva should fit in well.

Maybe you need some more mid water shoaling fish to give the others some confidence?
 

GreenNeedle

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I was orig trying to stay within the traditional inch per gallon rule but I have thought about getting some zippier fish to shoal the higher regions. something like zebra danios but slightly less common. I have had zebra danios in this tank before and they were great but I want something similar but not black and white. lol

AC
 

Egmel

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I'll be interested to see how you get on with those dwarf rasboras, they were the ones I always wanted but I'm limited in where I can buy fish.

If I do ever see some though I think they would be an ideal shoal to complement my rummy noses :)

I really like the sense of depth you've created in the tank (though that might just be the angle of the shots) it has a nice woodland feel to it, the ottos must love it, they're probably hiding somewhere enjoying all the leaves and cover!
 

beeky

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SuperColey1 said:
I was orig trying to stay within the traditional inch per gallon rule but I have thought about getting some zippier fish to shoal the higher regions. something like zebra danios but slightly less common. I have had zebra danios in this tank before and they were great but I want something similar but not black and white. lol

AC

I've got some glowlight danios (danio choprai) which are nice. Kind of orangey pink vertical bars
 

GreenNeedle

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a small update after my belated return from Portugal.

I had to arrange for my Dad to come round and receive plus acclimitise 6 Black Cory Aeneus/Schultzei for me and he has done a grand job. Pics below. Cant get focused pics of the group yet but these are some inividual and couple shots along with some pics of the cherry shrimp that I got from TheBullit.

Story of the tank while I was away was 8 hours@0.9WPG, no dosing, no CO2, no water changes. Results were surprising. The Anubias have gone a gorgeous dark green, the needle leaf Java has gone mad, the phillipine had a few deteriorating leaves, the crypts were unphased!!! After some pruning and general cleaning up it all looks grand.

I also returned to a bacterial bloom. Am doing 25% water changes each night to remove it and the water is getting clearer daily. It is clear for the first few inches and not really that cloudy further in but its annoying when you are used to a crystal clear view to the back!! Will take pics of the tank after Ive finished.

On to the photos:

Firstly the Black Corys and then the cherry shrimps.
CIMG1864.jpg

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CIMG1883.jpg

CIMG1871.jpg

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These fish are lovely, the shrimp are cool and all seems to be going well. The microrasboras are shoaling but are still at the back of the tank. Very hard to photograph. Still not seen the zebra Otos since I put them in!!!

AC
 

jay

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Lovely corys. So black corys are just a colour morph of Aeneus/Sterbai?? Whatever they are, I love corys and they look real nice.
What do you mean by 'bacterial bloom'?? Just I've only known of a bacterial bloom as in when a load of filter bacteria dies and clouds up the water... If this is the case for you then isn't that going to mean bad news for the fish?
 

GreenNeedle

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From what I understand black corys are a hybrid of Schultzei (I put Sterbai by accident) and all the bigwig cory people are arguing wether they are Aeneus or Schultzei. Frank Falcone says Schultzei though contrary to what is said below.

An extract from another forum:

Shane Linder of Planet catfish fame collected three forms of C. aeneus in Venezuela during his two year tour there. Amongst these were very dark forms, which he considered to be the natural black aeneus. I believe it is from this that the breeders in the Czech Republic produced the very dark, almost black forms.

So I assume that they are a sort of hybrid. All the really dark ones are tank bred. The wild ones are not so dark apparently (I ain't no Cory expert. lol)

No idea what happened but when I got back there was a slight 'smokyness' to the water. 5 days of 25% water changes has cured it now. Still not as clear as was but it is much better and continuing to improve. Was maybe the introduction of the Corys disturbing the substrate making for an ammonia boost on top of their own spike.

Andy
 

GreenNeedle

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I keep saying I will post up some new pics of this scape and never get round to it. I will make sure I do tomorrow.

One problem with tanks that are long term is that growth changes the effectiveness of the circulation which in turn of course changes how well the bubbles are moved. In this case the Crypt Spiralis in the left rear section has gone rampant!!! Much faster than the balansae in the same area. The Philippine Java in the rear right was getting a bit large too. Reminded me of Carlos Valderama!!! Therefore I have been moving it all about trying several positions within the tank for the diffuser and the powerhead.

I eventually settled on returning to the needle wheel concept!!! but with a difference in that the powerhead is now placed next to the Lily pipe and therefore both are pushing the water from the same place in the right rear corner to the same place along the back to the left rear corner. Then the diffusor is positioned near the substrate directly below the powerhead intake. From there the bubbles rise, enter the powerhead, get chopped even further to the point that you can hardly see them at all (I wondered if some were missing the intake at first) and then blowing along the back. Proof of the pudding is I can then see them traveling along the front glass so I'm pretty happy with the new positioning.

While I was getting it all sorted I took Carlos out and gave him a haircut (and beard trim - you should see the roots that I cut off!!! like a ball of wool.) As usual I got a little carried away but this plant grows like mad. When it regrows there will be a plus in that the diffusor and powerhead will be totally hidden. There will be a minus though in that it will be quite awkward getting out each week to clean. At this moment I am getting quite interested in the inline Boyu that Zig used on his mountainscape.

There are some new additions in the way of some Rotala Macrandra that I am experimenting with to see how they will grow in this 'low light' setup. Not so much as part of the scape, more of a test really.

Pictures tomorrow I promise.

AC
 

GreenNeedle

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I promised some pictures and here they are, untouched except for resizing in irfanview:

p.s. This is the first time I remembered to turn the daylight tube on to balance the pink and I think it looks much better. The pink is the tube used for the photoperiod. The daylight just for photos mainly.

This first pic just shows the tank / scape from the front. Ignore the Macrandra at the front as this is a test only. If it succeeds in growing under this light then there is some at the back which I may keep in dependent on how it looks. The Philippine Java in the right rear is about a third of what it was prior to last night when I took to it with some sharp scissors. lol
fullfront-2.jpg


This second one show the tank from a more 'arty' angle. I think it looks fuller and a little better from this angle too as you can't see through the stalks of the crypts while I wait for them to fill out more.
angledfront.jpg


One more pic of the corys 'schooling'. They are actually feeding and they tend to congregate at this time.
3coryfront.jpg


Now onto some fish that are darned hard to capture and even when you do get pics of them they are not very good when using a compact. I guess someone with some decent equipment and knowledge to go with it could get much much better. Unfortunately I only have pics of the Microrasboras. I haven't seen the Otos since the first week I put them in about 2 months ago and I think they must have died and been consumed. Pity because they were stunning little fish when I set them free!!

These 2 pics show males. Notice how intense the blue stripes on his side are. They are more intense in real life but again compact camera etc. His fins are red and his head yellow to go with the blue stripes. I think this is the same male. How can I tell? Each fish although having the stripes has slightly different stripes. Some are wider and less of them, some are fine like this one. the wider ones are the more spectacular as the contrast between the white/silver flesh and the blue stripe is even better than this:
zeb1.jpg

zeb2.jpg


These 2 pics show females. Now you can see the difference in that although they still have the red fins and yellow faces their stripes are a dullish grey/blue. Nowhere near the intense blue of the male.
zeb3.jpg

zeb4.jpg


Finally one more shot of the tank a few days ago in the daylight (before I trimmed the Philippine)
macrandratop.jpg


I was asking a while back about a top dweller to put in this tank and had several suggestions which I liked. Then while I was getting the Macrandra and Crypt Parva the other day from P@H I noticed a tank with 14 little fish in it a tiny bit smaller than the microrasboras. Very plain little fish, but together in the top third with absolutely stunning eyes like mini LEDS. Yes they were lampeye killies and I decided then and there that these will be the fish. I won't be getting them yet. They will be for the future. Maybe at christmas.

AC
 
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I love this tank, the jungle feel is similar to what I'm trying to create in my tank.

Lampeyes are great fish, how many are you thinking of getting?
 

GreenNeedle

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I think 8-12 will look good. they inhabit a different area of water to all the others and they are small. Plenty of plants and filtration helps of course.

AC
 

GreenNeedle

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I thought I would do an update as there have been some developments this week.

Firstly some bad news in that on Wednesday I noticed 1 of the Cory Schultzei floating at the top!! From people’s suggestions on planetcatfish it seems it could be a internal bacterial infection. The others seemed OK so I did a 10% water change and then left the tank as it was.

Then on Thursday I noticed one of the microrasboras at the filter outpipe. Must have been dead a couple of days as it was already half eaten. Maybe this was the cause of the cory dying?

Anyway have been doing a 10% water change each night and everyone else seems OK. Will keep on the daily water changes for another week and see how they go.

On the planted front I have made several changes to the equipment.

I have been having a few problems with BBA in the centre of the tank on the needle ferns.

Due to the increase of plantmass in this tank and a large quantity of it being ‘substrate free’ I have now doubled the original dosing. This is not because the original quantity was wrong as the tank was going along very well with that quantity for quite a while. Its just that as the plants have grown in so well they are now using the original amount very quickly and is probably the reason for the small algae outbreaks.

Firstly I decided to try out the Boyu inline diffuser that Zig has used in his mountainscape V2 scape. Its not because I’m not happy with the Rhinox. More a case of not having to clean it as often which was a bit troublesome because of the new position I had had to put it in as the plants have grown. I bought 2 as they are really cheap and that way I can swap them every couple of weeks.

Here is a pic of the diffuser in Situ:
diffuser.jpg


The initial observations were good. Very small bubbles, however this led me onto another debate.

I have been using glass in and out pipes for a long time and I started a discussion on wether these tubes due to their smaller intake capacity (the intake on stock tubes is a large strainer, whereas on glass tubes are small slits) and also that as they are quite thick they reduce a 12/13mm to 8mm. The screw on connector for hoses of course reduces the diameter but not as much. I decided to put the pipes that came with the filter in to see. This is the spray bar and intake strainer:
spraybar.jpg

strainer.jpg


There is a noticeable difference between the flow. Therefore I have decided to return to the spraybar and inlet originally supplied with the filter. The microbubbles are now blasting all over the place. I still have the powerhead in there but I may ‘trial’ not using it and just having the 6 x volume filter running.

Here is a front shot of the tank (picture in the daytime I’m afraid and with only the 0.9WPG on so the colour is a little pink.) I haven’t reduced the size of this picture as much as usual so that if you want you can take a much closer look and try and find the algae. Lol
fullfront-3.jpg


So a week where I lost 2 fish and took 3 pieces of glass out of the tank. Heartbreaking but the fish seem OK and the circulation is much improved!!!

AC
 

GreenNeedle

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Thanks matey. That thermometer is the 99p one from Wilko. lol. Is about 4inches long.

I have been looking at this picture (and previous ones) and have been thinking. Very dangerous thing. lol.

I am thinking of totally removing the Cryptocoryne Spiralis and Balansae (the spiralis is the dominant 2 ft long plant on the left starting to trail the water surface.)

Then moving the Philippine Java from the right rear to the left rear where it will totally fill out this area especially once it has grown back to its fullest!!!.

This would then produce the 'triangle' effect sloping from top left to bottom right.

Any opinions?

AC
 
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