Journal of The Big Tank.

Melll

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Joined
8 Feb 2018
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402
Location
Leicester. UK
A quick update on this slow revamp. The Hubby and I yesterday went on a jolly, he drove while I sat and watched the countryside go by, we met up with @REDSTEVEO in a car park, him with his red carnation and us with a copy of PFK tucked under the reg plate for identification ;) I bought a couple of wonderful, large, dramatic shaped bits of wood from him, we nattered and he mentioned he was off to The Abyss. I cannot resist a new fish store so we followed him. Some maybe would call it stalking 🤔 😃 What a great shop, lots of reduced priced tanks, they had frozen foods in, my fish will be pleased, loved the plant and fish they had. The staff were friendly and chatty but not pushy. I bought some big chunks of Dragon stone, can never have too much rock or wood casually lying around, it may come in handy one day :) We will definitely be going back to The Abyss.
A great day out, thank you @REDSTEVEO 👍
 

steveno

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Joined
11 Oct 2013
Messages
452
Location
Manchester
Hiya Melll, sounds like you had a nice road trip yesterday 😅, the Absys is my local aquarium store, yeah agree they have a reasonably good stock of fish and hardscape and some aquatic plants.
 
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REDSTEVEO

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Joined
31 Mar 2008
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1,318
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Planet Earth
A quick update on this slow revamp. The Hubby and I yesterday went on a jolly, he drove while I sat and watched the countryside go by, we met up with @REDSTEVEO in a car park, him with his red carnation and us with a copy of PFK tucked under the reg plate for identification ;) I bought a couple of wonderful, large, dramatic shaped bits of wood from him, we nattered and he mentioned he was off to The Abyss. I cannot resist a new fish store so we followed him. Some maybe would call it stalking 🤔 😃 What a great shop, lots of reduced priced tanks, they had frozen foods in, my fish will be pleased, loved the plant and fish they had. The staff were friendly and chatty but not pushy. I bought some big chunks of Dragon stone, can never have too much rock or wood casually lying around, it may come in handy one day :) We will definitely be going back to The Abyss.
A great day out, thank you @REDSTEVEO 👍
It was a pleasure to meet two like minded people from UKAPS who are just as nutty as I am. Glad you had a good day out.

Looking forward to seeing what you do with the wood and stone.

Best regards,

Steve
 

REDSTEVEO

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31 Mar 2008
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1,318
Location
Planet Earth
Hi Mell, this sounds like an amazing project!

I am sure you have seen the Tropica Video on the 3 meter tank Scaped by Liquid Nature. It has co2 injection , however a lot of the plants seem to be the ones that would thrive in a low tech environment.


Liked the video. I was quite surprised to see the amount of different snails inside this tank, especially with injected CO2. The last time I added Nerite Snails they didn't survive because the CO2 dissolved their shells. Even though I thought the CO2 was below 3pm :rolleyes:
 

Melll

Member
Joined
8 Feb 2018
Messages
402
Location
Leicester. UK
The Abyss is a very good store compared to some we have visited. I am not including the likes of @Aquarium Gardens or Scaped Nature as they are just awesome and in a class of their own :thumbup: hopefully Riverwood Aquatics will join that class, we are planning a visit at some point.

who are just as nutty as I am.
Who us :crazy:
So far the rock has not come out of the bag and the wood has been adjusted on the floor several times :)
 

Melll

Member
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8 Feb 2018
Messages
402
Location
Leicester. UK
A quick question for you, I think I know the answer already but would like what I think confirming.

A Dark Start, I assume is where the substrate and hardscape is set up, flood the tank, switch on the filter and let it run without lights, is that right? or does the tank need blacking out so no light gets to it at all?
 

Geoffrey Rea

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Joined
27 May 2017
Messages
880
Location
Cambridgeshire
A Dark Start, I assume is where the substrate and hardscape is set up, flood the tank, switch on the filter and let it run without lights, is that right? or does the tank need blacking out so no light gets to it at all?
Yep. It’s questionable whether you would want to do this. Personally tried it before to see if it’s worth it. If you have a minimally planted scape in proportion to water volume then there’s an argument for a dark start.

Plants will utilise the ammonia at start up and if there’s no stock to consider what’s the point?

Try it @Melll and see if you think it’s worth bothering, good experience.
 

alto

Member
Joined
24 Dec 2014
Messages
5,897
If you have pre-existing tanks where you can pull some cycled filter media etc, what can a dark start provide???
(I seem to have lost my favourite “confused” emoticon with the forum upgrade
o_O is a other rather odd substitute)


I suppose presoaking of the wood so it’s (hopefully) immune to floating up
BUT does it also reduce those unsightly mould/fungus slimes (that can slay mosses and epiphytes) ?
 

Melll

Member
Joined
8 Feb 2018
Messages
402
Location
Leicester. UK
Until I started reading on here I had never heard of a Dark Start, not sure if it would be of benefit or not as yes I can swipe filter media from other tanks to get the filters going :) but I am in no hurry and if I learn something from it, all is good :)

Sorry can`t help you with the confused face 😕 😃
 

Melll

Member
Joined
8 Feb 2018
Messages
402
Location
Leicester. UK
I have not posted anything for a while so I thought I would add a photo of the tank I am in the process of setting up to move the Discus into.

It is 150cm x 60 x 60 cm custom made, glass bracing.
Interpet Trispec light, 120cm.
Argos play sand substrate, not too deep as no plants will be planted in it, just going for Anubias and Ferns on the wood, maybe some moss covered stones as well. I may have a Bucephalandra red somewhere that can be moved over.
It will have the filters moved across that the Discus have now which are an Oase Biotherm 600 and an AquaManta 600.
4 large bits of of driftwood, a couple of the pieces are from @REDSTEVEO also some Acacia root that is now floating even though it has been soaked and sank for 3 weeks :rolleyes:
I have run out of Catappa leaves so got the dark effect using decaff tea bags boiled in a saucepan of water and added straight into the tank.

There is no livestock in there at the moment as I will be getting some Tetras which will be quarantined in there for a month before the Discus get moved over, I also need to get the plants in before the Discus. They get a little upset with hands in their water. Skittish blighters :)

The livestock will be
6 Discus, already got.
11 Sterbai cories, already got.

24 Lemon Tetras
24 Black Neons

or

50 Cardinal Tetras.
 

REDSTEVEO

Member
Joined
31 Mar 2008
Messages
1,318
Location
Planet Earth
I have not posted anything for a while so I thought I would add a photo of the tank I am in the process of setting up to move the Discus into.

It is 150cm x 60 x 60 cm custom made, glass bracing.
Interpet Trispec light, 120cm.
Argos play sand substrate, not too deep as no plants will be planted in it, just going for Anubias and Ferns on the wood, maybe some moss covered stones as well. I may have a Bucephalandra red somewhere that can be moved over.
It will have the filters moved across that the Discus have now which are an Oase Biotherm 600 and an AquaManta 600.
4 large bits of of driftwood, a couple of the pieces are from @REDSTEVEO also some Acacia root that is now floating even though it has been soaked and sank for 3 weeks :rolleyes:
I have run out of Catappa leaves so got the dark effect using decaff tea bags boiled in a saucepan of water and added straight into the tank.

There is no livestock in there at the moment as I will be getting some Tetras which will be quarantined in there for a month before the Discus get moved over, I also need to get the plants in before the Discus. They get a little upset with hands in their water. Skittish blighters :)

The livestock will be
6 Discus, already got.
11 Sterbai cories, already got.

24 Lemon Tetras
24 Black Neons

or

50 Cardinal Tetras.
Hi Melll,

Have a look around for something called Rooibos Tea. No need to boil it, just pour it into a net or a muslin bag and add it to the tank. Gives it a lovely reddy brown colour.

But change loads if water first to get rid of the dark brown tannin colour.

Cheers, Steve
 

Melll

Member
Joined
8 Feb 2018
Messages
402
Location
Leicester. UK
I thought I had some Rooibos tea but obviously have run out, I do have some catappa leaves on order though :)

I will be doing a partial water change tomorrow as I want to get in there and attach plants onto the wood.
 

Melll

Member
Joined
8 Feb 2018
Messages
402
Location
Leicester. UK
Thank you for the link, now I have sorted out how to bookmark stuff I can return to it :) Picking my own stuff, what time of year is best ?
 

dw1305

Expert
Joined
7 Apr 2008
Messages
10,477
Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
Picking my own stuff, what time of year is best ?
For the Oak leaves and Alder cones, anytime from November until April. A lot of Oaks don't shed their leaves until Christmas now, and leaves will hang on until the spring on smaller trees. Beech (Fagus sylvatica) and Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus ) leaves last <"on hedges until the spring">, and most <"Beech woods have dead leaves on the floor"> that you can collect any time of year.

The evergreens (Magnolia grandiflora, Camellia spp. and Eriobotrya japonica) shed more leaves in spring, but they are shedding throughout the year in small amounts.

Italian Alder (Alnus cordata) <"stays green until really late in the year">, and is <"often planted in supermarket car parks etc">.

A good way of finding the trees is to just look for trees that have rounded dark green leaves in November. By then, if it is the right tree, it will have cones on it.

cheers Darrel
 

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