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Epiphyte 'Tree'

Andy D

Member
Joined
27 Apr 2013
Messages
1,461
Hi All!

I'll start with a little bit of background on the idea for this tank. Many of you may well be in the same position as me in that your other half is as interested in aquascaping and/or fish keeping as they are being tortured using some medieval contraption. Therefore you can imagine my surprise one day when my wife mentioned that she liked the Platies I used to have.

Not one to miss an opportunity to visit a LFS I gave her the option to pick a group of fish for the empty tank I would soon have. We went to the LFS and without any intervention from me she settled on Celestial Pearl Danios. I was quite pleased with this choice as I have wanted to keep them for ages. I was also impressed that she did not pick any tank busters!

With the fish chosen this dictated certain aspects of the set-up:
- dense planting to cut down on aggression
- dark substrate to show of their colour
- low flow

Given the requirement for low flow I have decided on a low energy approach with a lot of 'easy' plants. The main feature of the set up would be a tree (tree is really stretching the truth a little bit but I could not get that out of my head as the title for this journal ). Details etc:

EQUIPMENT
Tank - ND aquatics 60cm x 30cm x 36cm with Opti-White front.
Lighting - TMC aquabar with dimmer.
Filtration - Fluval Nano filter
Heater - Rena Smart Heater 100w

SUBSTRATE
Pond soil base layer
Unipac black micro-gravel

HARDSCAPE
Pear tree branches
Seiryu rock

FLORA
Bucephalandra 'Green Velvet'
Vallisneria Nana
Hygrophila Pinnatifida
Sagittaria Sabulata (1-2-3 grow)
Cryptocoryne Wendtii Brown
Cryptocoryne Undulatus Brown
Cryptocoryne Undulatus Green
Microsorum Pteropus 'Windelov'
Bolbitis Heudelotti
Anubias Nana
Pistia Stratiotes

FAUNA
Celestial Pearl Danios (once tank is established)
Red Ramshorn snails

FERTS:
Tropica Specialised

I sorted the substrate and hardscape a few days ago. I tried a few different positions for the rocks and settled on this: (ignore the Anubias and Java Fern - they were just chillin' in the tank.)
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I got the plants from AE today (excellent quality and service as always!) and got the various epiphytes onto the wood:
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I stuck this in the tank and have to say I was very pleased with how it had come out:
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Planted the remaining plants. It still amazes me the amount that comes out of an in-vitro pot:
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The end result:
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I must also give a special mention to the Bucephalandra. What a stunning plant!
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scootamum

Member
Joined
13 May 2015
Messages
69
It looks gorgeous Andy! :)

I'm glad you provided a close up of the Bucephalandra as I was wondering which plant it was. It's a lovely colour, and really attractive leaves. :)
 

REDSTEVEO

Member
Joined
31 Mar 2008
Messages
1,388
Location
Planet Earth
Many of you may well be in the same position as me in that your other half is as interested in aquascaping and/or fish keeping as they are being tortured using some medieval contraption.

Hi Andy,

Its always great when you can get the other half enthusiastic!;)

By medieval contraption, do you mean one of these? Scootamum was a bit of a give away:)

119_1971_zpsb5dutlb2.jpg


This is my 1971 Italian Lambretta GP 200cc my pride and joy, (next to my aquarium that is.

I have never heard of anyone sticking pear tree branches into their aquarium before, maybe your platies will pair off?

Cheers,

Steve

ps sorry for hijacking your thread with something not aquarium related but couldn't resist it!
 

Andy D

Member
Thread starter
Joined
27 Apr 2013
Messages
1,461
ps sorry for hijacking your thread with something not aquarium related but couldn't resist it!

Never a problem!

I have a pear tree in my garden and another one in a garden I work at. In Autum/Winter I cut a few branches and leave them to dry out and then see what can be done with them in summer.

Not as good as Manzanita but they are free!
 

Andy D

Member
Thread starter
Joined
27 Apr 2013
Messages
1,461
Not a lot (if anything) has changed since planting.

I had some diatoms on the Pistia and upper leaves of the Bolbitis. I have put this down to leaving the light on too long. I typically start a tank with 5/6 hours but had left this one on for 9. I have now reduced the duration to 7 hours and things seem to be much better.

It seems a requirement of good aquascaping is to have a decent camera and the ability to take great shots. I have neither of these at the moment so another phone shot will have to do!

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Andy D

Member
Thread starter
Joined
27 Apr 2013
Messages
1,461
A few minor things:

1. The plan was for the tank to be home to some CPD's but due to a re-scape of another tank it is now home to Ember Tetras, Chilli Rasbora and Green Neon Tetras.

2. I added ten yellow cherry shrimp. I am now down to two. I could not work out what the problem was and then one day noticed there were both Hydra and Planaria in the tank. It has since been dosed with Panacur so I will see how things go. On a more positive note I have come across a few red cherry shrimp babies.

3. The bark was coming off the wood so I took it out and removed as much as I could. I also took the opportunity to remove all of the original bolbitis leaves as I had plenty of much healthier looking newer growth. Despite the newer growth this area now looks quite bare.
I have added some Java Fern and Cryptocoryne Balansae to the left hand side.

4. Lighting has been increased to max intensity. The Sag is starting to show some growth and spread now thanks to this.

With all this being said the tank does not look much different (maybe worse in fact) and it will take an absolute ago (low tech) to grow in. Fortunately with things like this I am a patient man.

Some shots:
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Also wanted to add an overview shot of all the tanks. I have some wonderful aquascape shots on the wall thanks to Viktor Lantos who was very generous in letting me use his images.

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Smells Fishy

Member
Joined
25 Oct 2015
Messages
474
Location
Scarbourgh, UK
Your pictures have woken me up a bit more! Another tank in the middle would look amazing. Food for thought.
 

James O

Member
Joined
16 Nov 2013
Messages
891
Location
South Coast
Oh how I miss having high ceilings and a huge fireplace......just a little bit envious :D

Lovely tank room Andy ;)

Fireplace is solid brick as are walls, so stick 3 shelves in each side and move from tank room to FISH HOUSE :cigar: :singing:
 
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