Evolvement of a nature aquarium addicts tank.

jay

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Harrow, Middlesex
I got back into fish keeping last year after a few years away. Back then I just kept the usual Clearseal tanks with community
fish, plastic plants!
Anyway, got the bug again last year and brought a nice standard Fluval Roma 125 and upgraded the internal filter you get with it for a Fluval 205 External. My main goals were keeping healthy fish in a planted tank. (never heard of Amano)

Got some Tetraplant substrate fertilizer and a nice sand bottom, some easy plants, amazon swords, java fern, crypts, hygro and vallis and some nice lumps of wood. let the tank cycle fully and dived in with all S.American species, cardinal tetras, corydoras Davinsansi, apistogramma and... Discus!! got 2 on a spur of the moment. My water was fine for them as i did water changes with RO/tap mix every week, they were healthy, happy characters.
Image072.jpg


Then i found out about Amano and nature aquarium!! brought all three books and just stared at the images and soaked in the text religiously. My girlfriend nearly got rid of me through lack of attention :oops:
Decided to lose the discus to a very good home to lower the fish load
Anyway, a small re scape and many pots of Tropica plants later I came up with this
Excuse the mood lighting, I was in the middle of Book 2 :)
Image116.jpg

Quite a lot of experimentation going on, see the riccia in the back? wanted to see how it would cope with my parameters.
Also the three (at least!!) carpet plants. Tennelus, sag subulata and hairgrass. New they were all going to have problems because of the sand, but I've always been too scared for a complete overhaul.
Ths is how it looked around October. Changed some since then so more pics to come.
 

jay

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Harrow, Middlesex
Last xmas was time for a re scape. Went for an open space style for the new rummynose tetras i got, i love these guys.
Image170.jpg

The mass of plants on the right is all hygrophila corymbosa and ech. bleheri. two red stems were alternanthera (roseafolia).
Thined down and clumped together the tenellus and eleocharis parvula.
Was too bare for my liking so a couple days after xmas I went mad at my loca Maidenhead Aquatics that do tropica (6 pots for £20!!) loads of tenellus and pavula and upgraded my Tetraplant Co2 cylinder with a Redsea yeast system.
Image214.jpg

You can see the hygro went nuts.
Thinking back, i should have cut back the tenellus but i've always been worried about this as when i did it before, it never grew back.
This all lasted until Feb/March when i noticed that my corys were hating the mass of plants at the front of my tank and stayed away all the time.
Image230.jpg

Git rid of the reineckii as it kept getting holes in the leaves (some deficiency) and found a new love of moss! covered some blocks of wood and slate pieces in the stuff. Also got a couple of pots of plants i never tried before. A little experiment with pogostemon and cyperus helferi £2.50 each so had to try. Didnt think the cyperus would work in my lighting but... well you'll see. The pogostemon was staring to spread but my rams developed a taste for it. :rolleyes:
 

jay

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Harrow, Middlesex
Here it is at the end of April after installing pressurised Co2 with Rhinox 2000 diffuser.
Image259.jpg

The hygro kept getting holes and was swamped by the amazon sword so i took out the corymbosa.
Could'nt believe the cyperus helferi grew that much. invested in some more moss and anbias barteri.
started to evolve into something i had in my head...

Last month I decided the amazon swords were getting too much. Might have been nice in an open top!
I took them out and left a couple for the back. As my cyperus was doing so well i thought i'd get some more for the other side.
Image268.jpg

Really sorry for the photos.. most are from a phone :(


They get better, honest
 

jay

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Well here it is as of last week.
004.jpg

Moved the cyperus on the right, over to the left with the larger one with crypt balansae.
Brought 2 pots of microsorum pteropus 'narrow' which I've fallen in love with. going to get some more to fill it out.
Bacopa australis to the right, behind my male ram :) want more of this behind it and some over the other side of the tank in place of the anubias. Effectively having two nice cushions of bacopa surrounding the scape. The anubias under the java fern is going... i'm thinking of replacing it with bolbitis heudelotii. Trying out some HC cuba in the foreground. Its growing with some nice roots forming, but my rams keep uprooting it... they they may be going on the FOR SALE list soon.

Oh and yes... that is Hollyoaks in the reflection. My lady cant do without it for 5 mins while i take a pic :rolleyes: hehe

007.jpg

My rams just would not leave me alone! Like this picture.

Anyway, I've been coming on this forum for a whole now, soaking up information an ideas, and really loving the way the hobby in Blighty is growing.
All comments and critiques are more than welcome and I'd love everyones opinion :)

Thanks.
 

jay

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Location
Harrow, Middlesex
Should this be in the 'journal' forum?
I thought I should maybe post this there but I figured since its all been done then you wouldn't be seeing it evolve in real time... if you know what I mean.

If any mods feel this should be elsewhere then please feel free to move it.

Know the pics are trash but the last 2 are on my bros new camera. I'm still getting to grips with it.

Really though, any suggestions on scape or plant choice would be very welcome.
 

jay

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spaldingaquatics said:
Jay, where in the tank have you put the tetraplant diffuser?

You can see it on the side in one of the earlier pictures. I took it out a while ago and got pressurized co2 with rhinox diffuser (which I love!)
Towards the end of using the tetraplant, I had it at the back of my tank right down near the substrate. I felt I got more out of it there.
 
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Spalding, S.Lincs
ah, I did wonder if it had be removed, i was just wondering as I've still got mine but just can't decide where it should be placed, I was going to copy you. I've got mine underneath the outflow pipe but I think I'll move it

thanks mate
 

jay

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They do recommend about 7 inches from the water level for some reason, but I always found it worked better at the bottom.
It was the bare minimum for my size tank though, although I never got a scrap of algae with it.. I even ended up using 2 next to each other.
When I 'upgraded' to the RedSea yeast system, thats when hair algae became a bit of a problem because of the fluctuating co2 levels. Its near gone now with pressurized co2 and Excel.

The Tetraplant bottles and diffuser chambers are fine for nanos IMO, but nothing over say... 60 litres?
 

jay

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Harrow, Middlesex
Well I got my 11Kg of mini landscape rocks the other day.
Had to go collect from my local DHL, useless people kept holding it back for some reason. It was free delivery too.
Anyway, no harm no foul.
Image271.jpg

Theres a lot more than this laying around. Wasn't sure if I liked the grey dusty look to some of them but when I took a chisel to some of them I noticed I got the dark white veined goodness I see in Amano set ups.
Not going to go for the Iwagumi look, but just get rid of some of the moss covered wood and keep some of the exposed wood.
 

jay

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Well I've been chipping away at the rocks and went for a complete re-scape.

The water is still a bit cloudy and I want to get the backing sorted.

Don't know whether to go for black or white...
Also, for photography purposes, where should I put the backing?

Actually on the back tank glass?
Or on the wall behind the tank?


Guess if i'm going for white, then the paper should go on the wall, then that will allow for light to hit the paper?

Pics coming soon.
 

jay

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Joined
22 Apr 2008
Messages
693
Location
Harrow, Middlesex
Well I've just took a few quick pics to show the new layout. Not done much work on it, just letting it grow out.
Added Tropica capsules to the substrate about 2 weeks ago and Dosing Excel as I installed a 24W T5 light to my existing lighting.
Anyway, here is my final layout for a while i think, just want to let it grow and fill out.
P1000192.jpg

Know it looks a bit off balance with Bacopa in one corner and hairgrass on the other side, just cant decide which looks best.
I will be trimming the Bacopa down and planting the cuttings to create a nice cushion, see how it goes.
The Anubias is coming further down towards the wood as i feel it sticks out like a sore thumb :)
Can't wait for the HC Cuba and P. Helferi foreground to kick in, haven't given it the best of starts in sand.
Not a lot of algae, bit of green spot here and there.


Noticed this after adding the extra light and dosing Excel. I LOVE IT!!!! Never had pearling before :D
P1000188.jpg


Cardinals are going into a 2ft Iwagumi i'm setting up for my dad in the living room (he got the bug)
Think I'll be trading in the rummynose and cory's for a big school of Ember tetras.

Going to go for a white background for a final shot.

Oh and for any moderators who feel like this should be thrown in the Journals section, please feel free.
 

jay

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22 Apr 2008
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Location
Harrow, Middlesex
Thanks guys.
Yeah, I'm really happy with the island style, never tried it before. Just contemplating whether to let t all grow out or trim it all back down. the lady loved it when It was first scaped, she said it was "minimal" and "simplistic" think she was being complimentary.
I cant wait to get some good ground cover, really noticed the fish coming out more as it grows... dont think they like the sand reflecting the light I suppose.
 

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