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Critique my aquascape First tank, first scape

ScaperJoe

Member
Joined
20 Mar 2021
Messages
135
Location
Channel Islands
Hi Folks

I posted on the members introduction, but I think this is probably where I should have posted for feedback on my first aquascape.

Planted on 2nd March 2021. I added a few more plants after 1 week to plug some gaps (and my Anubias Petite arrived):

Day 1
day-1-jpg.jpg



Day 19 (today)

day-19-jpg.jpg


Setup:


ADA 60P tank (60 litres)
Twinstar III 600E (6.5 hours per day for now)
Fluval 107 Canister Filter (+ 16/22mm lily pipes)
^ Seachem Matrix + Purigen ^
CO2 injection
Eheim Skim 350
RO water (+ Seachem Equilibrium to TDS 120)
No heater but keeping around 23 degrees
ADA Power Sand Advance (2L)
ADA Amazonia Normal Type (9L)
ADA Amazonia Soil Powder (3L)
Hardscape - “Brown Holey Rock”
Hardscape - “Desert Finger Wood”
Basically the whole Seachem ferts range
Plants:
  1. Anubias Coin
  2. Anubias Petite
  3. Bucephalandra Kedagang
  4. Eleocharis Acicularis 'Mini'
  5. Alternanthera Reinekii 'Mini
  6. Cuba + Monte Carlo (1-2 grow)
  7. Hygrophila 'Araguaia'
  8. Cyperus Helferi
  9. Marsilea Crenata
  10. Spiky Moss, Weeping Moss + Flame Moss (1-2 grow)
The tank has cycled now and I have ordered my fish, shrimps and snails. I'm keen for some feedback, plus any tips and tricks on how to improve + maintain this. I'm thinking I need to either move or get rid of the Cyperus Helferi in the foreground as it is just too big?

I'm also starting to see the start of some hair or thread algae (not sure which) that worries me.

Cheers!
 

REDSTEVEO

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31 Mar 2008
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Looks excellent for a first scape so well done on achieving that. Hair and thread algae is quite normal on a new tank. Should go away on its own in a few weeks, watch the light intensity and duration early on. Add some Ottocinclus to help keep it under control.

Great scape. Photo update would be good.
 
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REDSTEVEO

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Location
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Just one observation. I see you are using the CO2 Bazooka Diffuser which is against the left wall near the bottom of your tank which is good. However look at the position of your glass Lily Pipe for your outflow.

Ideally you want the water flowing towards the stream of CO2 bubbles and dispersing them all around the tank. So I think you should relocate the Bazooka Diffuser to the other side of the tank if possible, or redirect the flow from the lily pipe.
 

ScaperJoe

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Thread starter
Joined
20 Mar 2021
Messages
135
Location
Channel Islands
Just one observation. I see you are using the CO2 Bazooka Diffuser which is against the left wall near the bottom of your tank which is good. However look at the position of your glass Lily Pipe for your outflow.

Ideally you want the water flowing towards the stream of CO2 bubbles and dispersing them all around the tank. So I think you should relocate the Bazooka Diffuser to the other side of the tank if possible, or redirect the flow from the lily pipe.

Thank you Redsteveo, someone else mentioned this to me also, but I am trying to keep that side of the tank free from tubes & equipment, as the door to the room is right beside it. However, I believe I'm having CO2 issues because of this commitment to aesthetics. It takes forever for the drop checker to go green in the morning and then it stays green many hours after the CO2 has stopped. I'm having thread and hair algae issues too.

Here is the tank today, day 34:

Day 34.jpg


I know I need to clean the intake lily pipe, but I'm waiting for a double hose connector to arrive so that I can make the job easier in future.

I also have a tiny HOB filter on the way, which I may place over the CO2 diffuser to encourage the bubbles to disperse towards the lily pipe outflow. This should replace the skimmer and the bubbler in the back corner also, because the skimmer is a death trap to my phoenix rasbora, even with a metal mesh insert!

I will update further, but let me know if you/anyone have any thoughts. I might have to bite the bullet and move the diffuser as suggested anyway.
 

REDSTEVEO

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That is looking very very good indeed. The Bazooka Diffuser would be barely visible amongst the heavy growth you have to the right of the tank. If you really want to improve the aesthetics and remove equipment from the tank why not go for one of the inline diffusers, JBL do one, but there are drawbacks with these also. Like reduced flow, having to switch off the filter and disconnect the pipes to clean it etc.

I have used every diffuser ever made and still not found the perfect one. Currently using the Colombo Large 3 in 1 Diffuser in my shrimp tank, and so far quite happy with it. Bubble counter, check valve and Diffuser all in one piece of kit.
 

REDSTEVEO

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Incidentally, if you do relocate the Bazooka Diffuser to the opposite end make sure you switch the drop checker to the opposite end.

Your drop checker should always be dark green no matter what, and light green / dark yellow when CO2 is at its maximum saturation. If your drop checker ever turns blue then the PH is high, possibly because the water is too hard. Measure KH and GH and post results here.
 

ScaperJoe

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Thread starter
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20 Mar 2021
Messages
135
Location
Channel Islands
That is looking very very good indeed. The Bazooka Diffuser would be barely visible amongst the heavy growth you have to the right of the tank. If you really want to improve the aesthetics and remove equipment from the tank why not go for one of the inline diffusers, JBL do one, but there are drawbacks with these also. Like reduced flow, having to switch off the filter and disconnect the pipes to clean it etc.

I have used every diffuser ever made and still not found the perfect one. Currently using the Colombo Large 3 in 1 Diffuser in my shrimp tank, and so far quite happy with it. Bubble counter, check valve and Diffuser all in one piece of kit.
Thank you @REDSTEVEO - I ended up getting an inline diffuser as suggested, amongst a load of other equipment and some minor rescaping so it looks a little different now. I have a slight cloudy water issue at the moment (not sure if bacteria bloom or iron+phosphate situation), but taken some steps to try and fix.

Water change tonight and i'll fit the inline, then try to post a picture tomorrow!
 

ScaperJoe

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Day 48

A few changes:

1. I've changed lily pipe to a 'spin' outflow in order that I can open up the filter to full flow and not churn the tiny rasbora around the tank;

2. I added the tiny HOB filter for a bit of surface movement + extra Seachem matrix;

3. Changed the airstone and CO2 diffuser (a glass Blau one), but I'm not happy with it and I need to get the inline one installed. Yesterday's maintenance overran so I couldn't do all the changes I wanted to and the fish needed a break from my ugly mitts wondering around their home; and

4. I removed 1 Cyperus Helferi that was overgrown and doing nothing for the foreground. I planted some Eriocaulon Cinereum in its place, so we'll see how they get on against the Marcilea Crenata that seem to really be taking off; and

5. I now have 2 smaller drop checkers in place at both ends of the tank.

Day 48.jpg


As you can see, I have a bit of a cloudy water situation at the moment that some members are helping me work out if its a bacteria bloom or a iron+phosphate issue.

I also have some Celestial Pearl Danios on order to help boost the fish pop and would like to get a short video up once they've settled in.
 
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REDSTEVEO

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Day 48

A few changes:

1. I've changed lily pipe to a 'spin' outflow in order that I can open up the filter to full flow and not churn the tiny rasbora around the tank;

2. I added the tiny HOB filter for a bit of surface movement + extra Seachem matrix;

3. Changed the airstone and CO2 diffuser (a glass Blau one), but I'm not happy with it and I need to get the inline one installed. Yesterday's maintenance overran so I couldn't do all the changes I wanted to and the fish needed a break from my ugly mitts wondering around their home; and

4. I removed 1 Cyperus Helferi that was overgrown and doing nothing for the foreground. I planted some Eriocaulon Cinereum in its place, so we'll see how they get on against the Marcilea Crenata that seem to really be taking off; and

5. I now have 2 smaller drop checkers in place at both ends of the tank.

View attachment 167131

As you can see, I have a bit of a cloudy water situation at the moment that some members are helping me work out if its a bacteria bloom or a iron+phosphate issue.

I also have some Celestial Pearl Danios on order to help boost the fish pop and would like to get a short video up once they've settled in.
Wow that is looking great. What is the name of those Red Plants, they are doing really well and look amazing against the Green colours.
 

ScaperJoe

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Location
Channel Islands
Thank you folks (@Zeppo @noodlesuk ), I appreciate it. I'm loving this new hobby and I hope to stick at it for a long time to come. I actually planted my second tank today :D - I think I might be an addict. Reckon I need to move to the 'Journals' thread to document them together 👍

Wow that is looking great. What is the name of those Red Plants, they are doing really well and look amazing against the Green colours.

Thanks @REDSTEVEO !!! Those plants are 'Alternanthera Reinekii 'Mini' from Tropica 1-2 grow cups and I agree, they really contrast to all the greens well. Beware though, that Amano Shrimp are particularly fond of munching them!
 
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REDSTEVEO

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Joined
31 Mar 2008
Messages
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Location
Planet Earth
Thank you folks (@Zeppo @noodlesuk ), I appreciate it. I'm loving this new hobby and I hope to stick at it for a long time to come. I actually planted my second tank today :D - I think I might be an addict. Reckon I need to move to the 'Journals' thread to document them together 👍



Thanks @REDSTEVEO !!! Those plants are 'Alternanthera Reinekii 'Mini' from Tropica 1-2 grow cups and I agree, they really contrast to all the greens well. Beware though, that Amano Shrimp are particularly fond of munching them!
I'm surprised that they are Alternanthera Reinecki Mini. I've never seen them grow that big before. I've never had much success with them in the past.

Those in your tank look like the Altananthera Rosafolia or the larger version of the Reinecki species. Whatever, they still look amazing. Great job.
 
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