Covid Boredom Buster

Claire

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Joined
18 Apr 2013
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333
Location
Cumbernauld
So sitting around the house got boring. So I dug out an old tank and some equipment I had lying around and decided to set up the little tank for a bit of fun.
Everything part from the plants and the CO2 diffuser I had lying around, so it was fairly friendly on the pocket!
It’s certainly not going to win any competitions, but it was fun to plant up and I’m looking forward to watching it fill out.

Most of the plants are vitro style ones but not tropica. They were half the price of tropica and still very good quality, even after a longer than expected journey time with RM.
I’ve got Monte Carlo round the front, some Lileopsis and Hydrocotyle verticuluata behind that. Crypt w brown at the right and crypt w green back left. Some Hygrophila araguaia between the pieces of wood and then Rotala wallichii and Hygrophila rosanervig at the back.
I was left with a gap at the back left so the seller I got the plants from had sent some random free mini hairgrass and Helanthium, so I just mixed these together and stuck them in. I’ll see how it looks grown in but if it looks rubbish then I’ll pull it out and put something else in.

I’m just needing something to soften the hardscape a bit, especially at the base to cover up the “joins” between the wood and rock. I thought about bucephalandra or anubias bonsai, but it will be right under the light and I don’t know how they’d be? I’ve always had them in a shady spot in previous setups.

Photo from planting and just filled, very bubbly and lots of reflection from the window but lets you see what I mean with the wood!
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Overall details:
Tank: 55cm wide, 35cm deep, 25cm tall
Light: Unbranded 14W LED - currently only one over tank but may put 2 on if needed
Heat: Currently very ugly glass heater, hoping to get/find something more discreet!
Filtration: APS 600lph HOB
CO2: FE with bazooka diffuser, unknown bubble count at the moment as I’ve lost my counter but enough to turn drop checker green!
Fertiliser: EI - homemade recipe!
 
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Claire

Member
Joined
18 Apr 2013
Messages
333
Location
Cumbernauld
Interesting tank dimensions, did you build it yourself?

No, it was bought cheaply from a local tank builder to fit in a shelf in a racking system previously when we used to breed plecos, hence it’s quite short! It makes a few challenges with planting but the natural depth is nice. I haven’t banked the substrate much towards the back as obviously I would lose a lot of height for the stem plants.
 

Ady34

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27 Jul 2011
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Co. Durham
Looks great.
Perhaps use a more light happy plant to cover the joins, say hydrocotle tripartita or the newly popular epiphyte use of micranthemum Monte Carlo.
Cheerio,
Ady.
 

Claire

Member
Joined
18 Apr 2013
Messages
333
Location
Cumbernauld
Almost a week in now, got some melt on the crypt w green but the brown is doing ok which is odd. Ended up just using Anubias on the wood as although Ady suggested some nice plants, I already have MC as the carpet plant and I was worried that the hydrocotyle would be too similar to the verticulata in front of it.

The rotala at the back has come on well. It has really greened you and sprouted from the vitro pot and has already started to develop a pinky orange tinge to the tips. Looking forward to seeing this when it is surface level.

Also added a few fish - I am lucky in that I am a vet and my practice is inside a pets at home store, so although their livestock is off sale to the public I was still able to get some! Obviously they don’t stock anything particularly exotic nor fancy, but their cardinals looked fab so I got 9 - asked for 8 but a rogue one slipped in! Also got 5 amanos to start on the wood fuzz.

No sign of any algae yet which I’m very happy about. Will hope this continues! Also very pleased with both this LED light and the bazooka diffuser. The light only cost £14 and is covering the tank well. My only gripe is that it has a button switch to alternate between colours only, whites only or mixed, and every time it’s turned off then back on it seems to default to colours only. I guess I could botch the switch to bypass this but I’m home so often at the moment that it’s not really a hassle to change it over each day at lights on.
The bazooka creates an excellent fine mist, so much so that the water just looks hazy/cloudy in pictures.

My husband has decided that he likes the tank so much he wants it moved to the lounge (it’s currently in my office) - this is high praise of course, but also raises the challenge of trying to move a planted scape without destroying it... I think I will leave it where it is until the carpet is more established as I think I will otherwise end up having to replant all the MC.

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sparkyweasel

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30 Jun 2011
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1,502
My husband has decided that he likes the tank so much he wants it moved to the lounge (it’s currently in my office) - this is high praise of course, but also raises the challenge of trying to move a planted scape without destroying it... I think I will leave it where it is until the carpet is more established as I think I will otherwise end up having to replant all the MC.
It's much easier to set up a second tank. :)
 

Claire

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Joined
18 Apr 2013
Messages
333
Location
Cumbernauld
Managed to make a mess of the front substrate doing a water change last night - the last bit of water glugged down the pipe into the tank and boom, substrate everywhere :lol:
Soooo the MC got replanted after all ...
:rolleyes:
 

Claire

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Joined
18 Apr 2013
Messages
333
Location
Cumbernauld
Another update. MC has almost formed a solid carpet now, rotala looks good. I replaced the left hand side plants with some pogostemon helferi and extra crypts for those that had melted in the post.
The Hygrophila is almost a bit too chunky for this tank and grows very leggy compared to the neat growth of the rotala, may need to swap it out for something else as well.
I have 9 cardinal tetras and one German blue ram in the tank currently, but all are very shy and spend a lot of time hiding in the plants. I am tempted to add something bold like endlers that will add a splash of colour and hopefully encourage some of the other fish out of hiding!
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Claire

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Joined
18 Apr 2013
Messages
333
Location
Cumbernauld
What is this tub that overhands on left hand side?

The black thing is the HOB filter, the two white things with the air stone beside them are the automatic top up - I used to keep marines so had one for that. Thought I may as well use it on the tank to be lazy! The white bits are floats and then the air stone is just stuck onto the top up pipe to diffuse the water coming in, otherwise it blows the substrate around a bit. I use the auto top up for my water changes - turn it off while I drain the tank and then let it refill it from the reservoir.
 
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