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Dave's TMC Signature Island

Dave Pierce

Member
Joined
14 Jan 2013
Messages
195
Location
England
Hi everyone,

:happy: So pleased to have received my TMC signature this week from my LFS. It really is a top quality piece of kit & looks very smart. Today marks the beginning of a new aquascape, one that I'm not going to rush in to.

This will be my 2nd Journal, having previously posted on here with a 'on the cheap' kind of aquascape i.e. 2nd hand tank stand, clear seal £35 glass tank, 2nd hand co2 kit, low cost T5 lighting etc. This was a great learning process for me, I have learn't a lot from it & also from many members & posts on here, so a big thank you to UKAPS. :)

The tank is a TMC Signature Optiwhite 60x45x30 with a black TMC cabinet to match. Like many have found, it's extremely good value for the quality of build & materials. The depth on these tanks are superb, looking forward to using all the room you get to aquascape.

I am going to be using a piece of wood from and old tank and some Baltic Rock. I'm going to experiment with the wood and rock layout before deciding on plant choice. But one thing I am keen on is not going overboard with the light, therefore I may simply use a 24W T5 tube. This will have a deciding factor upon the choice of plants. Some plants I am keen on using are Anubias Nana Bonsai, Java Fern and mosses attached to the wood; then a mixture of Crypts & Staurrogyne Repens around the rocks and foreground.

I have two filters ready to use, about 500LPH each, with two sets of lily pipes (one on order) along with more more glassware including a glass drop checker & a glass hang-on thermometer.

I also have on order an in-line co2 diffuser, in order to keep equipment out of the tank. I plan to do the same with the heater.

I un-boxed the tank earlier so here are some pics:


9640188722_eb31a28497_c.jpg
TMC Sig1 by dpierce5, on Flickr


9636949579_3d7f22c374_c.jpg
TMC Sig2 by dpierce5, on Flickr

9640185426_18bb9483b7_c.jpg
TMC Sig3 by dpierce5, on Flickr

9636946201_229ac0a37c_c.jpg
TMC Sig4 by dpierce5, on Flickr

9636943885_87637f9160_c.jpg
TMC Sig5 by dpierce5, on Flickr


I'm about to order the substrate and rocks to hopefully receive these on Tuesday so I can have a play around with different layouts. So excited!:happy:

Cheers,
Dave
 

Deano3

Member
Joined
8 Feb 2012
Messages
2,176
looking good, nice tank and stand looking forward to updates and seeing tank come together

Thanks Dean
 

Dave Pierce

Member
Thread starter
Joined
14 Jan 2013
Messages
195
Location
England
Welcome to The Signature Club. :)
Thanks, I'm a proud owner of the Signature :)

Took a shot of the lighting I'm using last night. Only one T5 bulb. I found it very hard to succeed with high lighting on my last scape so I'm going to stick with a medium level of lighting.

yqusypug.jpg


In the long run I'm looking to have suspended lighting...hopefully a TMC tile. Must get saving £££ :)
 

Dave Pierce

Member
Thread starter
Joined
14 Jan 2013
Messages
195
Location
England
Well, the first rule of Signature Club is that you must talk about Signature Club as much as possible by creating a journal on UKAPS. So you're in. Congratulations. :)

Whoop I feel privileged! There aren't many in the club yet!?

I have just placed an order for plants, rocks and substrate. Here's the list:
Java Fern mini
Anubias bonsai
Staurogyne repens
Cryptocoryne wendtii brown
Cryptocoryne mixed
Spikey moss
Clinopodium brownei

May add some more plants at another stage, if I feel it needs a few more species.

Looking forward to doing the hard scape on Tuesday :)
 

Dave Pierce

Member
Thread starter
Joined
14 Jan 2013
Messages
195
Location
England
Well after saying I was just going to do the hardscape today I actually got a bit carried away and did the whole thing including plants! My reasoning for this is my next day off work is in 9 days and I can't wait this long :lol: I also had the whole day to myself (doesn't happen often!)

I spent the morning arranging the wood and baltic rocks, I had a nice piece of redmoor from an old tank with established java fern mini and spikey moss on. This was always going to be the centre piece and the rocks were worked under and around the centre piece. I've gone for an 'island' look and I intend to keep pruning the plants so that they never reach the front and sides of the glass. This will make glass cleaning very easy from all angles. The thing I like about this layout is it looks good from the front and the sides, which I think is important as the tank it situated in the middle of the room.

I planted more java fern behind the centre piece and superglued the anubias bonsai onto the different rocks. Cryptocroyne Nevilli was planted inbetween rocks and Cryptocoryne Wendtii Brown was plants at the back and sides.

Staurogyne Repens was planted in the foreground. I am going to prune these by 2/3 tomrrow and replant the cuttings to encourage growth and get more low coverage. A small amount of hair grass was planted in small clumps inbetween rocks also.

Lastly Clinopodium brownei was planted at the back, you will see the tall stems poking out from behind. This plant was also taken from another tank.

I am using a inline co2 diffuser which I couldn't recommend more, fantastic for keeping away the mist of co2 bubbles and keeps equipment out of the tank.

I currently only have one filter running at the moment with lily pipes. My other filter is ready to go, I'm just bleaching my other set of lily pipes as they are filthy!

The pictures were taken about an hour after setup so it's still a bit cloudy and bubbles on the glass and glassware.

9667001420_7690f7c36c_c.jpg
TMC Sig7 by dpierce5, on Flickr

9663769683_3a7986fd33_c.jpg
TMC Sig8 by dpierce5, on Flickr

Please let me know what you think, I am happy with how it's turned out but no doubt there will be some tweaking along the way.

Just to re-cap, lighting is 1x24W T5 (6 hours for first two weeks) , co2 injected using inline diffuser, and will be dosing EI dry salts. So I can get an idea of when people start dosing ferts, how long does everyone normally wait until they start dosing? 1 week? or perhaps 2 weeks?

I will get some close ups and more shots throughout the week when things clear up a bit. I only have an iphone, so sorry but picture quality isn't great, but it has to be said...pretty good for a phone.

Thanks for looking!
 

George Farmer

Founder
Staff member
Joined
30 Jun 2007
Messages
7,080
Location
Cambridgeshire
Looking good, Dave. :)

Most of us will dose from day one.

My biggest tip is to 50%+ water change every for the first week. Then every other day for week 2. Then every 3 days for week 3. And so on until one 50% water change per week. Try to water change well before lights on, or after lights off.

I look forward to following your progress. :)
 

sa80mark

Member
Joined
2 Oct 2007
Messages
861
Location
Leicester
It looks fantastic im really growing to like these island scapes, the mix of leave shapes and shades of green makes it look much older than it is, also the scale is brilliant if you dont look at the equipment you would never guess its only 60cm, looks much bigger,

I can see why your happy with it im sure many many people would be

Mark
 

Dave Pierce

Member
Thread starter
Joined
14 Jan 2013
Messages
195
Location
England
My biggest tip is to 50%+ water change every for the first week. Then every other day for week 2. Then every 3 days for week 3. And so on until one 50% water change per week. Try to water change well before lights on, or after lights off.

Thanks for the advise George, will make sure I follow it and will start dosing straight away.


It looks fantastic im really growing to like these island scapes, the mix of leave shapes and shades of green makes it look much older than it is, also the scale is brilliant if you dont look at the equipment you would never guess its only 60cm, looks much bigger,

Thank you sa80mark, yes I was pleased with the scale. Just got to maintain the shape, and I don't want the rocks eventually being completely covered, so I anticipate lots of regular pruning!


It looks really nice mate, you must have gone some to get it all done in a day....! I look forward to seeing a few more pics as it grows in - well done


Thanks Gary, Yep it took almost 9 hours! A full days work, but I enjoyed it! :happy:
 

Ian Holdich

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Joined
18 Feb 2010
Messages
3,289
Location
lincoln uk
Well done dave! This'll take on a whole different look once those plants settle in.
 

Dave Pierce

Member
Thread starter
Joined
14 Jan 2013
Messages
195
Location
England
I have a few pictures now the tanks cleared up and the bubbles on the glass have gone.

I added the 2nd filter and lily pipes last night. I have one set of lily pipes at the rear and another at the front, both pointing in the same direction. Hopefully having to sets will get a more even flow over the entire depth of the tank, and I will get some flow in front and behind of the island.

I'm already getting a slight film on the surface, I put this down to co2. Drop checker is at green but I have upped my co2 to achieve a lime green colour. I imagine the film will clear up soon enough like it did in my last set-up.

I have transferred a few fish from a smaller setup, as I have taken that one down. Just 4 Tetras and some Amano shrimp (the best dam algae eaters around!). More tetras will be introduced in about 3 weeks when I decided which ones.



9682789854_d7cc599e14_c.jpg
TMC Sig9 by dpierce5, on Flickr

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TMC Sig10 by dpierce5, on Flickr

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TMC Sig11 by dpierce5, on Flickr

I will update again in a week or so.

Currently performing 50% water changes each day, as advised :)

Thanks for looking.
 

Dave Pierce

Member
Thread starter
Joined
14 Jan 2013
Messages
195
Location
England
One week in and things seem to be going to plan. No traces of algae yet. Plants seem to be happy & pearling in the evenings.

Still doing 50% water changes every day but going to start doing them every 2 days starting tomorrow.

I've been messing around with extra lighting to take better pictures with my iPhone. The first shot is the one I'm happy with and the 2nd shows the lighting I used to get the shot. The EnviroGro light is one I used for my propagators.

The photo has been edited only slightly with PS express iPhone app, a quality free app for your phone! Basically it's been sharpened jsut a tad, too much and it starts to look too sharp to believe! To be honest I think this is the best quality picture I'm going to get from an Iphone, until I can afford a proper camera. This will do for now though :)

9734429374_99550c8c33_b.jpg
TMC SIG12 by dpierce5, on Flickr


9731201227_718d1f2b6a_b.jpg
TMC Sig13 by dpierce5, on Flickr

Let's see what the next month of progress brings!

Thanks for looking.
 

Ady34

Global Moderator
Staff member
Joined
27 Jul 2011
Messages
4,814
Location
Co. Durham
Looks great Dave, the microsorum looks like its been there forever!
 
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