fandango

Member
Joined
20 Jul 2008
Messages
108
Hi everyone,

This is my first post on this forum.

I've have learned so much from people here and on The Planted Tank Forum and Aquatic Plant Central. After all that reading and learning I thought I needed to share my experience with the community 8)


I had my tank now for about 8 years. Around 2 years ago when I first started reading planted aquarium forums it looked like this:
http://[URL=http://s526.photobucket.com/user/quadriglia/media/270806008_zps3e52dc34.jpg.html][ATTACH=full]96995[/ATTACH][ATTACH=full]96995[/ATTACH]

This is how it looks today:
[ATTACH=full]96996[/ATTACH]


And this is how it looks in the evenings with three 20w halogen spotlights on (silicone-glued inside the lid):
[ATTACH=full]96997[/ATTACH]


The changes were achieved by:

1) Adding two additional T5 lights- GE Starcoat T5 54w/865 [URL]http://www.lampspecs.co.uk/Light-Bulbs-Tubes/860-and-865-Daylight_14[/URL] to my existing three 40W T8 Power-Glo lamps, all together giving up to about 2.8 WPG. The photoperiod is 9 hours, before and after which I have the 3 halogen spotlights on (see the 3rd photo) which creates a really nice look for the evening.

2) By adding pressurised CO2 system (CO2 fire extinguisher, solenoid valve and pollen glass diffuser- all on ebay)- 3 b/s, comes on and off together with the big lights.

When it comes to fertilization it gets a bit approximate... the reason for that- I work a lot abroad- one month to up to three months at a time. The thing is- the tank looks as good if not better after I come back.. So, when I'm here I add
15ml Seachem Flourish on fairly irregular basis :oops: . No other fertilizers are added.

I use RO water. I used to add a mineral formula to it, but since about three years ago when I decided to add an additional bag of a black gravel (GEOsystem extra fine black river gravel) to my almost white one to improve the look, I noticed that the GH and KH climbed up to about 3dH and 2dH in between my weekly 50% water changes. So I now use the RO water only. When I’m away, I DON'T change the water and all the measurements (NO3, KH, GH, PH) stay more or less the same :rolleyes: .

I have two filters- Fluval 304 (8 years old!- only replaced the impeller once) and Eheim Professional II 2026. The Eheim is proving to be an excellent incubator for my cherry shrimps as the female ram is very successful at hunting their babies :twisted: . Each time I clean the Eheim (once about every 3 months), there are a lot of (around 30) shrimps of various sizes, in a good condition living under the bottom container of the filter media. They do not surivive in the Fluval.

The plants are: ferns, anubias, tenellus, crypts and moss. The moss, togehter with some crypt. parva, grows between the tenellus, which creates the effect of a real grass lawn with some weeds in it :) .
[URL=http://s526.photobucket.com/user/quadriglia/media/mytank070808025_zps78621d12.jpg.html][ATTACH=full]96998[/ATTACH][/URL]



The fish are narrow-wedge harlequins [I]Trigonostigma hengeli[/I] (60+), cardinals (20?), pair of rams, bristle nose and 6 corydora sterbai. I used to have a large number of cardinals but then decided to change to harlequins. The surviving few cardinals must be at least 3 years old. I also have a large number of cherry shrimps and about 20 Amano shrimps.

The tank gives me a lot of pleasure and I really like the fact that it is a living organism and I try and not interfere too much. The fish and shrimp seem to be very happy and healthy. The rams and sterbai breed often (one of them survived being eaten and grew up :D ) Oh, yes, I forgot to mention, they do get fed Tetra Prima by Eheim auto-feeder when I'm away ;).

Please do ask questions. I will try and answer them as well as I can :D and I would really appreciate for you to suggest things :idea:
 

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Mark Evans

Expert
Joined
13 Jun 2008
Messages
6,486
Location
newark notts.
Re: Low Maintenance 120cmx60x60 Tank

is it me or does that first image look strange?...the left hand side of plants looks photoshoped.

apart from that looks good
 

fandango

Member
Joined
20 Jul 2008
Messages
108
Re: Low Maintenance 120cmx60x60 Tank

aaronnorth said:
welcome to the forum, loving the tank, the anubias is awesome. How many is there?

Thanks Aaron,

There are two varieties- nana and barteri. Nana grows on a peace of wood at the bottom of the lot and barteri- there must be at least 30 rhizomes (started from one)- are simply pushed together and down. Their roots, which are vell developed, keep them all together. Once in a while (once a year) I take it all out and throw a lot away, then I put it all together and back in again. It looks a mess for a short time after but soon the old leaves straighten out towards the light and the new ones find their way out.

This is the view of anubias from the front
mytank070808022_zpsde0149d7.jpg

And this is a view of their root system from the side of the tank- next to the wall- hidden from the eye ;)
mytank070808021_zpsd511e3ab.jpg

There is bb algae growing on the leaves. I suppose it's there because of the lack of the fertilizing. I just cut the few bad ones off every now and then. It doesn't bother me a lot but it would be nice to get rid of it :twisted: .


Thanks for asking,
fandango
 

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fandango

Member
Joined
20 Jul 2008
Messages
108
Re: Low Maintenance 120cmx60x60 Tank

saintly said:
is it me or does that first image look strange?...the left hand side of plants looks photoshoped.

apart from that looks good
Hi saintly,
I know, it's not a very good shot.. In the first image there is a reflection of the light coming through the curtains from the opposite wall. I simply didn't have any other image from that period (two years ago) to illustrate how the tank looked back then, before all the changes were made.

Best,
fandango
 
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fandango

Member
Joined
20 Jul 2008
Messages
108
Re: Low Maintenance 120cmx60x60 Tank

Thank you Aaron for the compliment, you're too kind,

Most of the growth is from the last two years after I introduced more light and CO2. The problem with barteri is that it wants to grow up and out of the water. Because I have a covered tank with the lights creating heat under the cover glass, the new leaves which grow above the water get burned and you can't see them anyway :( . Therefore I have to prune heavily the rhizomes at their tops to encourage the side growth. I then push those cut-off-tops in the side of the 'ball'- that's how I end up with so many rhyzomes.

Best,
fandango
 

fandango

Member
Joined
20 Jul 2008
Messages
108
Re: Low Maintenance 120cmx60x60 Tank

Cherries grazing in the field :)
mytank070808031_zpse3e7816a.jpg
 

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John Starkey

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Joined
8 Jul 2007
Messages
1,602
Location
worcester
Re: Low Maintenance 120cmx60x60 Tank

Hi Fandango,welcome to UKAPS,i must say this a very nice low maintenance setup,have you concidered trying a arcadia luminaire it would solve the problem with the anubias,regards john
 

fandango

Member
Joined
20 Jul 2008
Messages
108
Re: Low Maintenance 120cmx60x60 Tank

john starkey said:
Hi Fandango,welcome to UKAPS,i must say this a very nice low maintenance setup,have you concidered trying a arcadia luminaire it would solve the problem with the anubias,regards john
Thank you John,

Yes, that would be my next dream tank- open top 150cmx60x60 with Arcadia luminaire. That would solve the anubia problem.

Best,
fandango
 

fandango

Member
Joined
20 Jul 2008
Messages
108
Re: Low Maintenance 120cmx60x60 Tank

Themuleous said:
Thats some lovely Anubias, I never do very well with Anubias.

Sam

Thanks Sam,

I didn't do well at all with barteri at the beginning. In fact I didn't do well with anubias for years. I had one rhizome and I kept it in my tank for a long time before it decided to give it a go.

There are a few points I could point out though:

They did start to grow much faster after I introduced more light and CO2 two years ago (compare the first 'before' and second 'after' photos in my first post).

There is almost zero NO3 and PO4 in the water. Perhaps that is one aspect which is different from most planted tanks? I used to keep discus in this tank and the heavy feeding was driving N and P levels up. Then barteri and ferns were only surviving but Echinodorus Bleheri and Tiger lotus were thriving (I no longer have those).

Also I suspect barteri filter the water with their enormous root system (there are much more roots than leaves inside the 'ball'). The Eheim intake and outlet (vertically positioned spray bar sending the water forwards along the side of the right wall of the tank) are situated behind barteri creating constant water movement trough the roots.

Best,
fandango
 
Last edited:

fandango

Member
Joined
20 Jul 2008
Messages
108
Re: Low Maintenance 120cmx60x60 Tank

Here is my female ram hunting daphnia (cherry babies are safe for few hours...)

mytank070808028-1_zps7442b3cf.jpg
 

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beeky

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Joined
21 Aug 2007
Messages
879
Location
Chippenham, Wiltshire
Re: Low Maintenance 120cmx60x60 Tank

Very nice. I used to have a mass of anubias (though not as big as yours) but I never trimmed it, so the old manky leaves would be at the bottom or fall off in amongst a mass of root with all the new growth at the top. I find it surprising just how fragile the rhizomes are with anubias. They look like they should be really tough but snap very easily.
 

Spider Pig

Member
Joined
18 Mar 2008
Messages
141
Re: Low Maintenance 120cmx60x60 Tank

Looks really impressive. Really like the combination of the harlequins and the cardinals. The shape looks nicely balanced too.
 

fandango

Member
Joined
20 Jul 2008
Messages
108
Re: Low Maintenance 120cmx60x60 Tank

beeky said:
Very nice. I used to have a mass of anubias (though not as big as yours) but I never trimmed it, so the old manky leaves would be at the bottom or fall off in amongst a mass of root with all the new growth at the top. I find it surprising just how fragile the rhizomes are with anubias. They look like they should be really tough but snap very easily.

Thank you beeky,

Yes, you're right- they are fragile. I guess it is because that's one of the ways they propagate - when the rhizome brakes you have two plants instead of the one :)

Best,
fandango
 
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