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dusting off the old Fluval Studio aquarium.....

If you haven't got a heater White Cloud Mountain Minnows might be good.

yeah white clouds are a consideration also although i think they tend not to school.
Great hardscape, looking forward for plants to grow.
Me too.....😀
Looks amazing already! I have a shoal of mixed rasbora, maculatas and brigittae, and their tiny size gives great scale. It also means you can get a large shoal which gives them confidence. I have around 50 in my tank and they are not shy at all.
Thanks Lindy 🙂, yeah dwarf rasboras would be cool although i think the maculatas and brigatte may be too small and the flow a bit much......i have a semi natural nano im considering the chilli rasboras for though 😉 Slightly larger Eyespot rasboras would be nice in numbers, i just worry about the openess of the planting and security for the fish under the bright lights, itll need some consideration.
Great hardscape, great planting plan. I'm so sure about Crypt balansae though, they tend to get unruly and everywhere, which is the opposite of a simple iwagumi. Will be watching this one with interest.
Yeah balansae can get a bit overbearing, my plan is to trim off longer leaves once they reach the surface to keep it in scale. Aquavas did a scape recently which inspired my plant scheme where they used balansae to this effect, any runners ill have to try and pull out :

Thanks for the feedback, always much appreciated.
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I have those pauciperforata, they are quiet skittish and jumpy in my small black water tank.
mmm, this tank may make them even more skittish, i do have glass covers fitted to this tank however so jumpers arnt such an issue but thanks for the heads up. How many do you have?
I started with 6 in a 125 lit tank (50x50x50cm), one jumped the next day, one jumped after 2 weeks or so, one died/vanished, three remaining are in a smaller thick planted tank (50x30x30 cm) with some betta females (never maged to find a albimarginata man) and some Paro's females, never got a man for those either. It's a Nursery home for now🙁
The tank is starting to show signs of growing in although I've had to remove most of the HC due to melt and a grey webbing substance which seems to effect neighbouring plants which is disappointing given the extra flow and high c02 levels I'm running.....perhaps I needed more for the initial planting period, I never learn!!!
Now the plants are showing signs of adjusting to underwater life with new shoots on the hair grass, tennellus and lileopsis I've started to increase the Photoperiod, initially to 6hrs which I will continue to increase over the coming week. Still doing 60-70% daily water changes, but this will reduce down to every other day this weekend. I've added carbon and purigen to the filter as I was still having issue with cloudy water which now seems to be subsiding. I've also set c02 to turn off overnight simply to conserve some gas. DC is lime green/yellow for lights on and throughout the photoperiod and will be adjusted accordingly for any livestock addition in the coming weeks. 3ml tropica specialised and premium alternate days.

Fingers crossed for things to keep growing. Here's a quick iPhone picture edited via Instagram effects slightly.....



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Looking good ady just keep at it , large water changes must be hard work every night but nearly there now then only every other day that's the thing I hate is water changes as take so much time but looking really good there looking forward to seeing it stocked

Thanks Dean
Hi Dean, I've actually not minded doing the water changes on this one tbh.
I have a large pond hose I use for syphoning which goes direct to the drain outside and takes less than 5 minutes to drain 70% of the water. I refill with a hosepipe straight from the outside tap and 3 x 10l buckets of hot water from the tap with seachem safe. Takes less than half an hour so not too bad 🙂

In other news I had a nice little surprise in the other tank, baby bristlenoses....



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Sorry about the HC - maybe try again once you've shrimp in to clean up any melty bits as they happen
I really like the contrasts

I like your idea of the glowlight rasboras - try adding 15 -20 for less nervous behaviour 🙂
Sorry about the HC - maybe try again once you've shrimp in to clean up any melty bits as they happen
I really like the contrasts

I like your idea of the glowlight rasboras - try adding 15 -20 for less nervous behaviour 🙂
thanks, unfortunately the hc is no more. I continue to struggle with c02 issues even in a tank without livestock :banghead: Shrimp are proving difficult to get hold of due to one thing and another, but should have 20 amanos and some horned nerite snails early next week 🙂 Hopefully i can strike a lighting c02 balance before then......
thought id continue the journal with the bad and the ugly in hope of some more good in the near future :meh::grumpy::dummy::sick::banghead:😛......

C02......im like a first timer with this every time, never use enough and always think I'm using plenty :lol: I always try to use the minimum as I'm always thinking about the introduction of livestock in the future and try to balance things before they even arrive.....just pump it in and let the plants adapt and strengthen!!!
Well the tank has suffered, mc really struggling and breaking down, although the eleocharis and crypt have faired better. I finally listened to myself and upped the injection rate a few days ago and have seen some signs of improvement so fingers crossed. The flip side of increased injection rate is greater bypass through the c02 reactor. Im getting micro bubbles in the tank but hey ho, if its working i can put up with a bit of mist again.
I have also bought some new lights as even though light is light, the old bulbs are old enough for me to have forgotten how old they are, but lets just say ''Dragons Crypt', my first ever aquascape and journal on ukaps' old!
The combination of increased c02 and new lights has had a noticeable effect on things, pearling and seemingly new growth from the mc in a couple of days. I knew i had livestock arriving this week so didn't push the c02 too far, but was pleased to see the pearling which implies good 02 content in the water for them.

The shrimp and snails arrived today so after 4 hours of drip acclimatisation they are in and completely fine at peak c02, so i will look to increase injection rate gently over the next few days to an optimum level.
I needed the clean up crew to help deal with the diatoms I'm starting to suffer and tidy up the failing bits of plants. Its great to see livestock in the tank though, and the little workers are straight on the job 😀

Ive got a few photos to illustrate the story:

Monte Carlo beginning to suffer;

Light difference from old;

to new;

Balansae looking nice with a hint of pearling;

and finally, amano shrimp in and on the diatoms;


I think these 19 shrimp will do a great job and the 5 horned nerite snails will help too. I have scrubbed the rocks a couple of times with a toothbrush early in the set up, but have left them now for about a week and a half to see how effective the shrimp are at cleaning and ensure they had a good meal 😛😉
Ill need to trim the eleocharis acicularis soon to give it the desired shape at the rear and allow the lileopsis to fill in more in the mid ground. The crypt balansae is filling out and gaining height slowly and time will tell as to exactly how well it works.
Im now on a 6hr 15min photoperiod, 7ml day tropica specialised/premium and every 3rd day 60% water change. Im increasing the photoperiod by 15mins per day.


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Huge difference the light made and coming along great keep updates coming

Thanks Dean
Right, realised now why I knocked my tank numbers down to one! 🙂
I've unfortunately let this slide a bit and have suffered various algae issues including bba and staghorn. To remedy the situation I'll do 2x weekly water changes for a couple of weeks, get a grip on c02 again and I've given it a huge trim removing most of the badly effected areas.
The balansae is realistically not a good choice for this scape currently but with more manicuring of the grassy areas surrounding it I'm hoping to create more of a natural blend up to it. If not I may have to swap it out for something smaller like blyxa or Vesuvius or remove completely.
Up to 8hrs photoperiod and 10ml tropica specialised/premium every other day. C02 back on 24/7 for continuity.



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