My First Tank | 35cm Cube - "Up the Hill"

Putney

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26 May 2020
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Putney, London
I had goldfish in my room when I was a teenager which my parents looked after and I never really appreciated them...

Now I'm much much older and having seen the potential of aquascapes from the likes of Cinescaper and Green Aqua with also the range of aquatic plants available, I just had to try it out for myself. Unfortunately my flat in London is not very big and don't have a lot of space for a large tank, however I thought it would be good practice and start to gain some experience with a Nano tank.

I got my tank from ebay (new) 35cm cube but only a 4mm thickness. I'm a bit paranoid about this but I'll use this for now and replace it with possibly a 60P after i make some space.

Eheim 150 - Ebay ( bargain £25)
Bog wood and seiryu stones - The Aquatic Design Centre
Tropica Nutrition Capsules - Pro-shrimp
Tropica Aquarium Soil Powder 9L (Only used 3L)
JBL ProScape Volcano Mineral 3L ( To get height)
Twinstar 300EA - Scaped Nature

Playing around with some ideas
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Few days later
Glasswear from Amazon - Chinese versions which were allot cheaper than some of the pro ones ( Trying to keep costs low)

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Trying to get some height by using the bags full of Volcanic rocks. I'm not sure if I should have left it loose and add the soil on top :pompus:

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After a bit of fiddling around and using some fine filter mesh to block parts of the back I've got to this
 

Putney

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26 May 2020
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Putney, London
I've only seen a very few plants at Aqutic Design Center with my own eyes and I have no idea on scale of the plants. Also Im pretty sure some of these plants will not fit in the areas at the back

Concept and trying to visualise the plants and moss. Adding ADA Colorado sand on the right.
concept.jpg
 

Ray

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31 Oct 2007
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Location
Switzerland
I like what you did. Are you planning to use CO2?
The Tropica website is your friend:
No CO2 = easy category
Using CO2 = easy or medium mix
They give pictures and sizes and the “Inspiration” section gives lots of ideas.
 

Putney

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26 May 2020
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Putney, London
@Ray Yeah Tropica site is great and their prodcuts looks good too. Did some research but i guess the best way to learn is just try it out youself.
I will be using CO2 but with my limited space I'm trying to get the Co2 cylinder into a cabinet that will be 70cm high. Luckily I saw a post by @kadoxu that had a similar predicament and I plan to do the same thing in the future.

I did however order the Tropica Nano System CO2 before seeing this post and with a recommendation from a staff member as Aquatic Design Center I bought a little adapter which would fit the regulator to a Disposable Gas Bottle sold at Tool Station. If this is not feasible or prone to gas dump I'm going to try out kadoxu's system. If anyone had any experience with this please let me know your thoughts.

I bought a inline reactor (cheap £20) and also a neo nano diffuser (Aquasabi). I want to keep the tank minimal as possible, unfortunately I couldn't find a single inline reactor (small) which had good reviews so I thought I'll just try it out for myself. I did buy a 50w heater but I hope to change to a filter with inbuilt heater in the future.

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After seeing a vid by Jurijs Jutjajevs on Dark start I thought i might as well flood the tank and let it run until my plants arrive. Added Sand and some Redwood

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Ray

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31 Oct 2007
Messages
643
Location
Switzerland
After seeing a vid by Jurijs Jutjajevs on Dark start I thought i might as well flood the tank and let it run until my plants arrive. Added Sand and some Redwood
Dark start is a good alternative to dry start for avoiding teething troubles and massive water changes. Your tank will start to cycle and with no light on, no algae, no need for daily changes.
 

Nick potts

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Joined
25 Sep 2014
Messages
99
I actually really like the mock up you have done with the plants, as said by kishan313, very unique, If you could replicate it it would look stunning with real plants.

The back piece of redmoor looks good (except the colour contrast imo), but i am not sure on the front piece.
 

rebel

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4 Aug 2015
Messages
1,960
Unusual scape and it's really cool with that sand on the side. If this is your first scape, it's already breaking established rules and creating great tension!!!

It makes me uneasy though due to change in balance. Much like if you played continuous diminished chords in a locrian mode or something. ;)
 

Putney

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26 May 2020
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Location
Putney, London
I've gained a whole new respect for Aquascapers. OMG Planting can be a nightmare for first timers. The soil is very loose and every plant would come back with the tweezers.

Added the first lot of plants from Pro-Shrimp and realised I did not order enough. Luckly Aquatic Design Center is not too far from me and did a quick trip to stock up as well as getting a bubble counter. The inline co2 reactor was the wrong size :( and unable to use that. I first tried the 3-1 Tropica diffuiser but its not very good at low bubble count but the AquaRio Co2 Diffuser is awesome and nice tiny bubbles that seems to cover more ground and thought it required a bubble counter.

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After the trip.. I bought too much but

First Lot
Bucephalandra 'Wavy Leaf' Dennerle
Tropica Hydrocotyle tripartita (Japan) 1-2-GROW
Tropica Cryptocoryne crispatula 1-2-GROW
Tropica Alternanthera reineckii 'mini' 1-2-GROW
Bucephalandra 'Lamandau Mini RED' Dennerle
Vesicularia montagnei Christmas Moss Dennerle plant-it!
Rotala indica (in-vitro) Dennerle plant-it!
Micranthemum MonteCarlo (in-vitro) Dennerle plant-it!

Second Lot
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I just wanted to try everything :D.

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MonteCarlo was a real pain to plant and the Hemianthus callitrichoides in the middle feels as if its too high off the soil and need to be pushed down more into thee soil.

I now wished I did a Dutch scape to cultivate and learn the plants.

I agree on the comment @Nick potts made about the front redmore and removed it.

Its not exatly like the mock up but still learning Im going to leave it for a while now and see what happens.
 
Last edited:

si walker

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30 Mar 2020
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76
Location
uk
I did however order the Tropica Nano System CO2 before seeing this post and with a recommendation from a staff member as Aquatic Design Center I bought a little adapter which would fit the regulator to a Disposable Gas Bottle sold at Tool Station
Hi. Really enjoying your posts and progress! thank you.

Could you let me know about the 'Adapter for the Tropica Nano System' that you purchased, enabling you to use a disposable gas cylinder?
I too will eventually be setting up a smaller size tank so this could fit the bill? I do like the look of the simplicity of the Tropica system.

Thanks again.

Simon
 

Putney

New Member
Joined
26 May 2020
Messages
12
Location
Putney, London
This is after the second plant. I made a huge mistake by rushing this and not splitting up the plants well. Having a larger surface area meant the soil would move around too much and rather than going into the soil, it would just disperse and not hold the plant.

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I've been doing 40-50% water change daily and dosing Tropica Specialised and Tropcica Premium.

I had the opportunity to take some of these plants and split them into much smaller bunches which was so much easier to plant while I'm doing a water changes. Havent done them all but will do more on each change

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@si walker Unfortunately i threw the box away and have no idea of the brand or size

This is what it looks like, I have not tested it yet . I got it from the ADC and will check the next time I go to get some livestock. The regulator is good but if you can wait I would like to buy this from Co2 Supermarket when they get it back in stock. Having some automated control to turn off at night would be nice and it would similar price to Tropica Nano with a £13 disposiable co2 cylinder

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