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My first two Aquascapes, 2 months in

Epiphyte

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15 Dec 2020
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90
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Hemel Hempstead
New to the aquascaping hobby after keeping fish before. It's really been about 6 weeks to 2 months since I finalised the layout of my main tank and the same time since I built my shrimp breeding tank. There are still things that "aren't right" with it compared to the amazing scapes I see here, but I keep learning and keep improving as time goes on.

FullTank1_1.jpg


And my little 19L "Shrimp Factory"

Shrimptown.jpg
 

Epiphyte

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15 Dec 2020
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Hemel Hempstead
Thanks all! Been a huge learning curve but I'm enjoying it. Put 4x Apistograma Macmasteri Red Masks in the big tank which finishes the stocking. Now it's just a case of growing plants and maintenance.

On to tank 3 I think!
 

Paul Kettless

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17 Aug 2015
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Lowestoft
Both look very nice indeed, the smaller tank gives the impression of scale and looking much bigger than it actually is.
 

Milopapa

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26 Jan 2021
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Sződliget, Hungary
Hi Epiphyte - really nice aquariums! Is that a Rio 240? I'm just planning set one up myself.
Curious to hear more about your experience and what equipment you used. I see you kept the internal filter, how's that working for you?
Also, did you upgrade the lighting to make it open top or did you want the extra lumens for CO2?
 

Epiphyte

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Hemel Hempstead
Hey @Milopapa, it's a Rio 350. I've kept the internal filter but it alone isn't strong enough for the tank IMO. Fine if you're just going for a simple fish based setup but aquascaping needs a lot more flow. I've also got an Oase Biomaster 600 Thermo in the tank which is a much better filter.

The standard Juwel lighting isn't that good, again more than capable for a fish tank but not strong enough for a 60cm deep tank with aquascaping. I'm a bit of a DIYer so I thought I'd experiment with LED flood lights as a cheap alternative to proper aquascaping lights, it's very effective but a bit ugly, but I enjoyed making it (still am actually, always modifying!)

If I were to do it again I wouldn't buy a Juwel tank. The tank itself is fine, it's built really well, but by the time I replaced the filter and lighting I might as well bought a frameless tank.
 

Milopapa

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If I were to do it again I wouldn't buy a Juwel tank. The tank itself is fine, it's built really well, but by the time I replaced the filter and lighting I might as well bought a frameless tank.
Yeah, that's my big conundrum too. The thing is, though, I quite like the top of the Rio - I think the lids are pure genious and the fact you can easily slide the lighting out of the way for maintenance is also a plus.
I want to go for a closed top due to a number of reasons, and this one seems to do the job well.
Not to mention, I'm a sucker for the matching decorative rim with the base cabinet, both on top and bottom.

But yeah, I am replacing the filter for sure (either the Aquael 1500 or 2000), and in the long run, probably the lighting too. I'm eyeing the Juwel Helialux, the gradual sunrise and sunset seems like something the family would enjoy, although very expensive.
 

Epiphyte

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Hemel Hempstead
Yeah, that's my big conundrum too. The thing is, though, I quite like the top of the Rio - I think the lids are pure genious and the fact you can easily slide the lighting out of the way for maintenance is also a plus.
I want to go for a closed top due to a number of reasons, and this one seems to do the job well.
Not to mention, I'm a sucker for the matching decorative rim with the base cabinet, both on top and bottom.

But yeah, I am replacing the filter for sure (either the Aquael 1500 or 2000), and in the long run, probably the lighting too. I'm eyeing the Juwel Helialux, the gradual sunrise and sunset seems like something the family would enjoy, although very expensive.

It's a difficult one as you're paying a fair amount of money for stuff you're not going to use. I did so at the beginning as I planned a discus tank before getting hooked on aquascaping.

It's perhaps a good idea for you to take a trip to Green Aqua, you're lucky to live fairly close (just going by your profile location) and are probably the envy of many of us on here. At least there you can take a look at many of the products up close before making an expensive decision.
 
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