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Green Gut

Tim Harrison

5 Nov 2011
Posted the first image a while back elsewhere in the forum. At the time I was unsure where this scape was going, or whether it'd survive our ongoing home renovations. Because of this it's become a perpetual dry start or I guess more of a terrarium. It's gone through the good bad, and ugly. Especially the ugly, the glass was completely covered in green slime at one time; I was either too lazy or too busy to care.

Anyway, I kept the faith and continued spraying it with very dilute fertz and largely left it to its own devices. Although it's had a few native plants added and removed since, and one or two native mosses have found their way in.

i also had a whole load of anubias rot on me within the first few weeks. And I've swapped out most of the sand for Gucci substate. But despite all I think it's turned out okay, I intend to add more plants, especially epiphytes, soon. And eventually flood it.

As for the title, it reminded me of the eponymous climb I've done once or twice in the Dark Peak. It doesn't get much sun and is pretty wet in winter, and if no one has gardened it, it becomes covered in algae, mosses and ferns.

Just planted

Trying out local miniature ferns

Bare hardscape
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With sand and soil
IMG_7502 2.jpg

As it is now

Couple of close ups


FTS ish


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Thanks @_Maq_ 🙂

How do you keep the glass free of condensed water?

It’s not always. But at worst it’s only partially obscured. I keep the water level to a minimum by sucking the excess out with a turkey baster. Other than that the ambient room temperature is always warm. That might have something to do with it.

And I almost forgot to add, the top is covered with cling film which is peeled back slightly across a corner or over the front, so it’s continually ventilated. Which will have even more to do with keeping the glass clear 😁

It's been a while, and neglect had taken its toll; rampant moss completely taken over. I finally found the time and energy to spend an hour or so getting to grips with the scape and removed most of it. I was surprised to see the plants below were still healthy and had grown.

The epiphytes had also grown roots through the moss so removing it has exposed them. I like the look and hope they'll continue to grow. I had to pull the rush out left hand side, it was casting too much shade. I need to plant something else there; any suggestions? It has to be relatively shade tolerant especially since the additional lighting unit has packed up. I plan to buy some more plants to fill out the foreground as well. That can wait till the UKAPS meet at AG.

Below some, warts and all, before and after photos.







@richardcunliffe I guess it’s just experience, and with that comes a great deal of misplaced confidence. I can envisage how it’ll look if I do this that and the other. It doesn’t always work out.

But it’s just a hobby and for me, the essence is daring to try new things and different approaches. What’s the worse that can happen? I’ll have to replant or rescape :)
It's looking very nice! 😘

Good luck with the native ferns, I never had that particular fern shown in your picture... But I have different ferns growing in the garden and always find loads of baby ferns between the tiles. I have tried every single one to grow indoors and for each, the drawback is even tho perennial they all die back old growth in the winter. So they are not evergreens I guess. I never managed to fool them into believing it stays summertime indoors and they die back in the fall. And indoors I never managed to bring the dormant rhizome back in the spring. I have no real clue what the reason is, could it be that the rhizome needs an annual cold stratification period?
Thanks Marcel. I’ve put the ferns back in the garden wall where they belong. Mainly for the reasons you mention above. They’re doing okay there. Although these are evergreen, I think. But just don’t look so good during the winter.

Anyway, spring has sprung and I think we’re all hoping for another installment of Mission Bathtub :)
Made a few small changes. Many thanks to @G H Nelson for sending me some beautiful Anubias mini coin. I've swapped them out with a buce and placed them in a suitably shaded position. Hopefully, they'll fill out the space given time. The buce has been placed higher up the big bolder nearer to the top. All being well it should grow in to the Schismatoglottis above.

Also, I've finally managed to get my hands on another Twinstar 45B II. It's proven ridiculously difficult to source in the UK. So I'm really pleased, especially as the old SuperFish fluorescent I was using gave up the ghost over a couple of weeks ago. Aquasbai sell them, but since we left the EU postage has become prohibitively expensive. The best they could do was £75.00.

Anyway, the scape now has better light spread which is what it needed. Both lights are running at 100% intensity, for 12-14 hrs/day, but will be dimmed to about 60%, 6hrs/day, when it's eventually flooded.


This looks fantastic Tim! Eager to see how it changes once you flood it. Just as it is though, it’s a wonderful set up. Are you planning any fish eventually?
This looks fantastic Tim! Eager to see how it changes once you flood it. Just as it is though, it’s a wonderful set up. Are you planning any fish eventually?
Thanks Steve. Yes, I thought a dozen small tetras. Maybe green neons or embers. And maybe a pair of dwarf cichlids, open to suggestions though 🙂
maybe some a pair of honey gouramis? They might through off the sense of scale though. Or some sundadanio axelrodi or goblinus, they are awesome little fish

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Really nice suggestions @AquaBonsai99, thanks. Sundadanio axelrodi is a lovely little fish, definitely worthy of a biotope themed scape. Absolutely love honey gouramis. I've kept them before a few times. Not a big fan of the new strains though. Much prefer the species in its original natural wild form. I even prefer the plainer looking females, below.

My LFS says he's tried to get the wild form but the places he deals with don't have them unfortunately. 😕
I bought a couple of the banana coloured ones & their character still seems to be the same, they're happily living with a herd of minute rasbora maculata.
My LFS says he's tried to get the wild form but the places he deals with don't have them unfortunately. 😕
That's the problem, the wild form is quite hard to come by these days. Probably not commercially viable compared to the more colourful strains.