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

Putney

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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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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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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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@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

IMG_5974.png
 

Ray

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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

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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25 Sep 2014
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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
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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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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.

IMG_5985-2.png


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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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

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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

IMG_6069.png
 

Putney

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Little update.

I managed to add more soil and replant some of the bigger bunches which seems allot better and more settled into the soil
The Alternanthera reineckii 'mini' has melted. I hear this is normal.. I would be suprised if it will make a recovery. You can barely see them
The Hygrophila polysperma 'Rosanervig' ( I think ) is doing incredibly well. I feel like its growing before my eyes ( Which i'm told is good for a new tank to have some fast growing plants)


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The Rotala H'ra is doing ok at the back and can see some leaves turning a little red
Some of the moss on the log started to come off ( used super glue) so wrapped it with some string.
I thought I added initially Eleocharis acicularis 'Mini' but actully adde eriocaulon cinereum. Added a little details of Eleocharis
I use this angle quite a bit because its mainly the direction of the sitting area.

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I had some left over plants which just would not fit the tank so I wanted to see what would happen on a dry start. I hope to make this a little Terrarium. Not really sure if I will add water
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I've increased the CO2 and the drop checker is yellow (20g pl liquid) I've seen in some cases it helps with quicker growth? No live stock just yet but probably get some today and will decrease it.
Got a little Black beard algae on the redmoore. I'm hoping some shrimp will clear that up.
Wanted to get Amanos but I dont have a lid. Is it too risky to get them as they seem to be some crazy escape artists?

Got my SLR out for some higher res photos :D
 

Putney

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Location
Putney, London
The plants are growing - This was taken 4 days ago and even in that small time I can see significant changes.

IMG_0176.jpg


Changed the heater to try minimize the impact of foreign objects but I really need to get an external one.
Also added a little led strip i had to the back.

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I added 6 Cardinals but 2 died. Really hard to tell the cause as the water is almost perfect condions.

GH 150,
N02 0,
NO3 < 5,
PH 7,
Ammonia 0 - 5

I added another 3 to make it 7 but then the 3rd one died. Only thing I can think of is, its a flow issue. Maybe its too strong.. I moved the inlet to the same side as the outlet on the left hand side back to really reduce the current on the right and let the fish chill there. Trying 3 types of food and hopefully no more will die.

Considering the crazy stats I got from the water that was at my local fish store I'm really surprised they are struggling in my tank. It was breaking my TDS meter as the GH PPM was over 1000 and nitrate was also incredibly high

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The Rosanervig is just a few centimeters away from the top. Does this plant grow out of the water? I like that look.
 

hogan53

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Hi
Nitrite 0 - 5:eek:
That's your problem..... this should be zero!
Your aquarium is not cycled properly.
Get some fast-growing stem plants, leave them on the surface to aid filtration.
Do the biggest water changes... twice a day if possible.
You need to get the Nitrite down to zero.
Add some mature filter bacteria or purchase an off the shelf starter beneficial bacteria product.

I wouldn't add any more fish.
hoggie
 

Putney

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Joined
26 May 2020
Messages
74
Location
Putney, London
Hi
Nitrite 0 - 5:eek:
That's your problem..... this should be zero!
Your aquarium is not cycled properly.
Get some fast-growing stem plants, leave them on the surface to aid filtration.
Do the biggest water changes... twice a day if possible.
You need to get the Nitrite down to zero.
Add some mature filter bacteria or purchase an off the shelf starter beneficial bacteria product.

I wouldn't add any more fish.
hoggie

I thought this might be the issue and pretty much did everything you mentioned. Regular water changes, filter bacteria was added when first started , there is some decent fast growing plants and also added some floating plants. It’s usually 0 but will rise a little and I would change the water by then. What was confusing was how the water at the pet store was past the chart limits. I figured the acclimation must be a shock so did it over 3-4 hours drip to really ease them in from such poor conditions. Having my fingers crossed these changes and more time to cycle will fix any issues.

Yeah no more fish for a while


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

rebel

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4 Aug 2015
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Your scape is actually really nice from the front. It looks like you have been scaping for years!

Get rid of that heater if possible though, for asesthetics.
 

hogan53

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Hi
I always switch off my Co2 the night before if I'm going to purchase new fish!
The reason for this is LFS fish are in well-aerated tanks....so its best practice to have similar well-oxygenated aquarium water when acclimatizing them.
Co2 can be restarted slowly when the fish have settled into their new environment :thumbup:
hoggie
 

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