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Fallen Tree - low light-low tech nano dirt tank.

EnderUK

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26 Jan 2014
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So with the fish all bought and settled in my roma 125 I thought I would make use of my Aquastart 320 which started off as a gold fish death trap, then was used as a quarantine tank, and now will have new life as a asian biotope shrimp tank. The lass is helping me with this one but I am trying to influence her a bit.

equipment:
Aquastart 320 28L tank. 300x330x380mm LxWxH.
PL-11w 6500k Tube.
Ocean Free Ultra Slim US-01 HOB filter. Inlet covered by asda smart price ladies tights :D
50w heater.
Air pump.

Scaping
Large Redmoor root approximately 250x250x250
Westland Aquatic Pond Soil
Unipac course sand.

Plants: TBC
Java Moss
Lindernia rotundifolia
Hygrophila corymbosa 'Siamensis'

Livestock: TBC
Reli Shrimp.
Black MST.

Got to make the final decision on the Hygrophila, the lass chose the root I wanted something a little bit bigger glad she had the final say as I don't think the piece I want would of fitted in the tank.

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This is what a months worth of water of my canister filter looks like, should seed the new tank nicely.
 

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Bufo Bill

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Wolverhampton
Really nice piece of wood, should look great emerging from a stand of stem plants! Good luck mate!
 

EnderUK

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26 Jan 2014
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Hadn't thought of that. Might still be possible I have some spare sponge sheets lying around that might do it. Might be a little to late now though, would have to tear it all down and I've used the last of my clay on this so would have to try and salvage the dirt.

The tights got clogged up with all the mulm pretty quickly. I have zipped tied a 10 ppi sponge around it now and that seems to of done the trick. I'll rarelly see it from that side anyways so it should be okay, Going to stick the corymbosa there so that should hide it well.

Going to order the plants on Wednesday night should get them by friday so planting on the weekend after a very deep clean. The rotundifolia will be front right with moss climbing up the root and leaf litter scatterd on the ground.

Really wish I had thought of the matternfilter before hand.
 

EnderUK

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26 Jan 2014
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Okay well Aqua Essentials sent me two beautiful 1kg maple rocks, I choose one to keep for future projects and then took a hammer and chisel and proceeded to smash the other up.

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sorry for the dirty glass, didn't want to wipe it as it still had the gunk from the filter on it.

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Tried to give the roots a reason to twist the way it did. I also found that I needed to support the back of the trunk or it fell down. I decided not to go with the matten filter as I would have to cut the root up more to bring it forward to fit it in. In a later shot you'll see I've changed the tight pre filter with a 10ppi sponge wrapped around the inlet cage and tied with zip ties.

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PLUG!!!! Always impressed with the quality of aqua essential plants and the speed they ship them. Oh and the 1-2-grow java moss ended up loads. Hopefully it won't take too long to grow in and hide the super glue. The lass was a big help with this and she choose the plant placement after okaying my placement of the rocks.

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The heater and filter won't be seen once these plants grow in I hope.

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Shame it's not a seamless tank but for 35 quid you can't complain.

So next I need to drink a 2l bottle of coke so I can pump the DIY CO2 in it for a month of rapid growth before I start getting some shrimp and snails in it.
 

Lindy

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29 Jun 2012
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Location
Ayrshire, Scotland
That looks fantastic. Can't help but feel fissidens would have looked nicer on the wood as java grows fast with no shape to it. You will have to trim it lots!

Sent from my GT-I9505 using Tapatalk
 

EnderUK

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I went with Taxiphyllum barbieri to keep the asian theme, okay I know I have no idea if you would get redmoor in asia haha. I like a lot of chaos, I'm not really one for these neat and trimmed aquascapes, there will be catappa leaves going down in that gap in the front.

The sand is medium grit unipac aqua gravel, I got it at my LFS with the label ripped off so can't give you the exact colour but it does look like the 2-4mm Nordic. The size seems perfect for a cap and I love the natural colour over the black substrates you get.

Some shots with my new camera

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Lindy

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Ayrshire, Scotland
I like a lot of chaos, I'm not really one for these neat and trimmed aquascapes, there will be catappa leaves going down in that gap in the front.
I'm not either but the moss will quickly cover all of the beautiful wood without a hint of whats beneath. Something like fissidens covers but you can still see the shape of the wood and individual roots. Java will happily fill your tank!
 

EnderUK

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Okay haven't posted an update for a while because quite frankly the tank looks terrible, lots of melting, brown sediment, just awful. You have to be either brave or stupid to show a tank in this condition but here it is...


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Looking pretty terrible. This is after trimming the worst of the leaves.


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On the plus side there's starting to have new growth on both plants and the moss, So I'm hopeful it's not a total melt. Just going slow and steady.

So I'm hoping in a months time plant growth will be much better, will keep you folks posted.
 
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Robbie X

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20 Mar 2014
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South Wales
How are you finding the ocean free HOB filter? They look like really good value.
Any update pics coming soon?
 

EnderUK

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Its working okay, I'm actually sleeping on the coach next to it (long story not in trouble with the girtl friend or anything) and you cant hear it, only slight trickle of water. I did have to cut a small section out of the hood to fit it.

I am just running it with two strips of 10ppi sponge, hasn't blocked up. I do have a rubber band around it to keep the top on it.

I can probably gets some pictures of it later in the week.
 

1stgolf

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29 Mar 2011
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kent
After reading this lastnight I have this morning taken my daughters gold fish out of her aqua start 320 and re-homed it into my juwel lido 100 with the other 2 gold fish we have. Now to start buying bits and bobs for the 320. I can tell you my 6 year old daughter wassent to happy lol
 

faizal

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1 Mar 2011
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Alor Setar , Malaysia
Hey Ender,...:). hang in there mate. Stems always gave me nightmares in a low tech. How long are you running your lights for? I keep mine @ just 3 hours.

Just my 2 cents,...but some really hard to kill types are anubias petite nanas,vallisneria natans, assorted crypts, aglaonema minima (marsh plant) .
 

EnderUK

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good luck 1stgolf,

Hey Ender,.... hang in there mate. Stems always gave me nightmares in a low tech. How long are you running your lights for? I keep mine @ just 3 hours.
Just my 2 cents,...but some really hard to kill types are anubias petite nanas,vallisneria natans, assorted crypts, aglaonema minima (marsh plant)

Yeah I'm hoping when the stems kick off it will be okay, what seems to be happening with the Lindernia rotundifolia is that the new growth is breaking off, I'm then replanting these 1" long stems so hopefully it will grow thicker. I have anubias nana and bonsi in my main tank and I'm trying to keep it all asian. Someday I would love to do a kribnese tank and just deck it out with anubias. When I had jungle vals in my main tank (before I was EI dosing it) they just melted or grew transparent, I've read they really don't like soft water.

I'm currently running the lights for 5 hours, might lower this, it also gets defused light from the window so I might lower the time a little. I've also thrown in a bit of frogbit so that will hopefully help shade the tank a bit.
 

EnderUK

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Okay back from holiday, tank is still looking pretty direr but I have some critters in it now.

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and last but not least, well okay least....

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Green Hydra which are apparently the best hydra, they were all over the glass till I gave it a quick wipe down. There was one shrimp loss but he didn't look good when I put him in the tank, there's also another spiral horned nerite snail but haven't got a good shot of him yet. I did throw in a sprinkle of chicken grit as the ph had dropped down to 6.6, the grit has taken the ph back up above 7.

I'm tempted to throw in some hygrophila corymbosa stricta from my main tank into the back. I've also ordered some salvinia natans, and in the process of getting some blackworms and some black MTS.

Overall despite the terrible state of the tank I'm quite happy with it.
 

EnderUK

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Okay so had a few moves in the last week. The amano shrimp went into my main tank....

The nerites are now starting to move around the tank after their adjustment.
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The Hygrophila corymbosa is starting to grow quite nicely, there's some monosolenium tererum tied to the rock donated by Kirk.

From Darrel I got some Stringy moss, Calliergonella cuspidata (possibly) and some blackworms

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Some black MTS and mini water lettuce (possibly) from Gerard, yes I know that's salvina natan in the picture.

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Kirk also sent me one of these berried cherry shrimp......

And and army of these......

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Rili and Sakura shrimp. I really didn't realise how tiny these guys actually are, they're pretty amazing little creatures, who needs TV.

I also threw in some Daphnia, I've spotted copepods, leeches and the hydra, all sorts of wired and wonderful little bugs most people get rid of :D Got me a x2-x5 magnifying glass to make the watching easier on my old eyes :D So the tanks changed quite a bit over the last couple of weeks. I think I need to up date what exactly is in there fully.

Just like to make a final big thank you to Kirk, Darrel and Gerrad. These guys have been a great help and full of useful advice.
 
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I'm currently running the lights for 5 hours, might lower this, it also gets defused light from the window so I might lower the time a little. I've also thrown in a bit of frogbit so that will hopefully help shade the tank a bit.

Hey EnderUK, tank is looking good. The tree root is very nice.
I know I'd be shot but in your case I'd plant heavier with healthy plants that have grown submerged previously and increase the light, not decrease it.
I can't get a low tech to grow healthy plants and balance well with light less than 6hrs and that's on a tank next to a window otherwise 8hrs on all the rest. I can't tell you par readings but they need to be bright enough. I have the same size tank with 11W light on 6hrs a day next to a window getting direct sunlight, grows extremely well, no algae.

You need a combo of heavy rooters like a crypt or echinodorus(echinodorus parviflorus is lovely and small), fast growing plants(bacopa, ludwiga) and then the slow growers of your choice such as anubias, java fern or moss. Floaters are good when you start a tank to compensate for problematic growth below if the tank has issues at the start.

That's what I'd do. You started with low plant mass and low light in a soil substrate and this scenario is hard to make successful. I presume the tree root doesn't allow for heavy planting too.
 

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