EA600 Nature style (first scape)

Discussion in 'Journals' started by ralfred, 28 Jan 2019.

  1. ralfred

    ralfred Member

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    Hi all

    Firstly, many thanks for running and contributing to a great forum. I've been silently stalking for the past couple of years, but have recently taken the plunge with the following setup and wouldn't have been able to do so without this great resource.

    I'm new to aquascaping but not to fishkeeping. Having said that, I have tended to stick to easy to keep fish with a little and often maintenance approach. This time, livestock-wise I'm thinking a simple school of five banded barbs, or rummy nose tetras.

    My tank is the well known EA Aquascaper 600, Oase 350 thermo filter, Twinstar 600E light with dimmer, CO2 art regulator with 2kg fire extinguisher. What else? Rocks and azalea root from LFS, sand and soil from aquarium gardens.

    I think I'm pretty happy with the hardscape now, and am hoping to order plants to be able to plant up this weekend. Any pointers welcomed - most things are easily changeable at this stage (he says!).

    Best regards
    Tank.JPG
     
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  2. nakaKon

    nakaKon Member

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    Ohh that look really cool!

    Sent from my LM-G710 using Tapatalk
     
  3. Raquascape

    Raquascape Member

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    Nice equipment and great scape! I'd possibly add some more transitional pebbles/rocks to give a nice transition to the sand.

    R
     
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  4. FishLifeLondon

    FishLifeLondon Member

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    That's an impressive aquascape for a first timer. What is your plant list? I think some Pencilfish would be perfect, but without a lid, it's not advisable, so Tetras seem like a good choice. Maybe if you fancy something different, Green Neon Rasboras or Threadfin or Psuedomugil Rainbowfish would look cool. Corydoras are also a favourite of mine as they are so rewarding with their charachter and they'll make use of the sandy foreground.

    Aquascaping wise, I would add some more transition stones if you can crush some stones up. I would change the main rock for something smaller, as I feel it's detracting a bit from the woods impact. However, do what ever you like, as you'll be the one staring at it day after day, but I would like to see more updates in the future.

    As a aquascaper algae will be your Nemesis. I would start with >50% water changes every other day if feasible. Two weeks in maybe only twice a week and then a month in only once a week. Anyway, when you get algae water changes always help. As George Farmer says, it might be helpful to just focus on keeping the plants happy as when they are, algae tends to be minimal. Also, as you're not a beginner fishkeeper you'll probably have mature media which reduces Ammonia and depending on your algae belief system, it will help prevent/reduce algae. I credit this to my Low tech aquascape taking 5 weeks to get diatoms, only after I skipped a weeks water change. Finally, use your dimmer! Perhaps half or even a quarter intensity and also before you add fish, you can have CO2 above 30ppm (tolerable for fish) and I've heard that 40ppm is the critical concentration for optimal photosynthesis in aquatic form plants.

    Anyway, good luck and make sure to use this forum.
     
  5. ralfred

    ralfred Member

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    Thanks - all great advice. I agree I need to add some more transitional stones - particularly around the main rock, and possibly around the RHS headland. I've bought some more wood to build that out towards the RHS a little more, and will look at elevating it a tad.

    I'll experiment with the big rock. Can't decide whether I like it, or hate it because I don't think it was worth the money but now I've spent the money I'm damned if I'm not using it :inpain:.

    Plant list as follows (all beginnerish):

    Bacopa Compact
    Crypt. Balansae x2
    Crypt. Petchi x2
    Crypt. Wendtii
    Ludwigia Repens Rubin
    Microsorium Pteropus Windelov
    Microsorum Narrow Leaf
    Java moss for wood/rocks

    This sounded like a good blend of back/mid/foreground, maybe not enough back - will see how it looks.

    I've read some algae horror stories and am not looking forward to when I'm struck down! I must admit I never had too much of a problem in my fish-focused (very poorly maintained) tanks - but was not dosing with nutrients not particularly intense lighting, and was using a spraybar, so probably high O2 with few nutrients (apart from shed loads of nitrate I'm sure).
     
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  6. J@mes

    J@mes Member

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    Hi Ralfred, I have a very similar layout in the same tank. Very happy with how it’s turned out. Do you intend to plant in to the foreground substrate?
     
  7. ralfred

    ralfred Member

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    Hi James - just checked your thread. Uncanny likeness, and your tank also seems to be surviving toddlers which is something I need to get some tips on if recent experience is anything to go by - even before flooding!

    To answer your question - no planned planting in front of rocks- it’s all going to be confined to soil in the corner but I’m hoping I’ll have the bacopa and moss creeping across the rocks.

    Plants ordered - so will be planting out this weekend and will update then.
     
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  8. ralfred

    ralfred Member

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    Scape complete. Started at 1930 last night and didn’t finish until 3am (toddler so no time in the day). I must admit I didn’t find the affair particularly relaxing as a result!

    Added more transitional stones. Had the usual issues with floating wood so have had to improvise by rearranging a few rocks and using the terracotta discs.

    I found the Ludwigia really difficult to plant - it was quite leggy to begin with. You can see tall bits at the back already - have read that you can prune and replant so I’ll monitor and do that if so.

    Also think that some of my java moss placement looks a bit ropey. Thinking of trimming that back too - when is too soon?

    I didn’t have any filter media to hand so am doing a cycle from scratch - looks like it has begun within 24 hours (began getting cloudy today). I received this pro-Bacter kit with the prodibio soil so perhaps that’s helped. I’ve just performed a 25% water change and will try to keep those up as much as possible through the week until the weekend when I’ll have more time to do a larger change.

    Not running co2 at the moment - it’s set up but waiting for the arrival of a diffuser, so running for 6hrs light at 30%.

    All comments welcome.
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  9. ralfred

    ralfred Member

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    Mist has cleared. White slime appearing on wood which I take to be a usual thing.

    Still at 30% light for 6hrs while I await CO2.
    B0A5B7B8-C8D5-4562-BBAF-E1D45DD04931.jpeg
     
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  10. Matt @ ScapeEasy

    Matt @ ScapeEasy Member

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    That slime is totally normal and can manually be removed with a siphon hose if it gets a bit much. How is this doing now?
     
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  11. oscar

    oscar Member

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    I like the look of the sand, what is it?!? I’m after something similar in colour :happy:
     
  12. ralfred

    ralfred Member

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    Hi guys - thanks for asking. Plants seem to be taking - I’ve trimmed the Ludwigia and Bacopa a few times now. Also bought some root tabs for the Balanasae which seems to have coincided with them looking pretty a bit perkier.

    I have been experimenting with getting the flow right with my triangular set up - currently settled on inlet/outlet in each corner. This means a little dead zone between the two but there’s not much growing there (just a couple of crypts) anyway.

    I’m getting algae on the wood - I thought BBA at first but it’s quite easy to remove with a toothbrush so perhaps not. Sand gets a green tinge to it but seems to be manageable with a vacuum once a week. Still on 6hrs light a day with EA complete fertiliser once a day.

    Sand is Hugo Kamishi from AG - though have seen it in my LFS recently too.

    Also worth saying is I have two diffusers - the new CO2 art bazooka (white one) and a neo - have to say I think the neo produces a finer mist.

    6FD344D8-45C2-4E8E-BAD2-265319102583.jpeg
     
  13. ralfred

    ralfred Member

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    Added a few fish over the last few days. 5 Julii Corys, 10 neons and 2 Otos. One Julii jumped out on the first night, but otherwise they seem ok.

    Otos are making short work of the algae on the wood.

    I’d like to add some cherry shrimp and potentially some Rummies, though want to keep an under stocked look so will decide as it grows in a bit.

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  14. ralfred

    ralfred Member

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    Full tank shot - apols for bubbles. Post-
    Water change
    A39BF08F-15BD-4243-BF58-FAC6B868FBC9.jpeg
     
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  15. ralfred

    ralfred Member

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    Hi guys Well I'm about a year in and have really enjoyed having the tank up and running.

    Around 6m ago though I had a.little mishap, went away for 2 weeks and had left the light off timer and on! I managed to remember about 5 days in, but algae took hold and I've struggled to get rid ever since.

    I've used floating plants, frequent water changes, snails, shrimp and otos to little effect. It's not completely overrun now but the plants are completely stifled of growth other than the crypts. Eg the ludwigia as the back barely gets growing before algae on its leaves seems to hamper it.

    I currently do around 70% water change once a week. TNC all in one ferts once a week. 22*C. Dose CO2 such that drop changer is green on other side of tank. Light is twinstar 600es on 35% regulation on for 6hrs a day. (I have reduced to 15% for a few months with no real effect).

    Lastly I've had a few fish deaths recently - mainly neons which were looking a bit old bit also corys which were only a year old. I thought that maybe I had blue green bacteria but the rummies I have are fine. Suggestions and thoughts welcome! Particularly in type of algae!
     

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  16. Kezzab

    Kezzab Member

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    Hi, that's frustrating.

    I'm no water chemistry enthusiast so I'll leave that alone as a possible reason.

    I reckon i would cut back hard all the affected plants/leaves and get several pots of something fast growing like H zosterfolia or Bacopa and plant loads in the back. I think your tank would benefit from more plant mass. Maybe see if someone can sell you a big load of trimmings.

    Slightly voodoo, but id also consider adding one of those aquarium starter bacteria bombs.

    Counter intuitive' but you could try increasing light intensity as an option aswell. Your task is to make your plants grow better rather eradicate algae, more light more ferts (you dint say how much you dose) might help.

    K
     
  17. ralfred

    ralfred Member

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    Thanks that could be a good idea. I dose 10ml of TNC complete which is the recommended dose for my size tank.
     
  18. oscar

    oscar Member

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    I have same tank/light unit, dose 3ml all in one aquascaper fert/ 1.5ml liquid carb - all daily.
    I still only have my lights on around 60/70%..

    Im sure things will improve soon for you, as was / will be soon a great looking aquascape again :thumbup:

    Oscar.
     
  19. Andrew T

    Andrew T Member

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    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    At this point I’d take all hardscape out and scrub/wash really good.
    Take sand out and wash it well .
    Clean filter and re-scape while adding a lot more plants.
    If everything was glued in I’d probably re-think my advice but your rocks /wood are easy to take out. That would be my attack plan.
    Good luck!
     

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