My tank

Discussion in 'El Natural & Low Tech' started by gixer, 6 Mar 2008.

  1. gixer

    gixer Member

    Joined:
    29 Jan 2008
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    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    Well i've been asking advice for a while now and recieved some great answers, so i thought it about time i showed you guys what me tank looked like.

    I'll show a few photo's as it went through it's transformation.

    So we bought a complete setup from a large supermarket on 04-01-08.
    It came with a hood and light (30w) internal filter, pump, heater, tank and stand, all for €160 so we couldn't resist :)

    Quick trip to a LFS and we had decorations:
    07-01-8
    07012008014.jpg


    Cheers
    Mark
     
  2. gixer

    gixer Member

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    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    11-01-08

    4 days later a Goldfish found it's way into the tank along with a couple of REAL plants and terrible background that wouldn't stick.

    391.jpg


    Cheers
    Mark
     
  3. gixer

    gixer Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    20-01-08

    Few Corydoras and Halequin Rasboaras added, as were a few more real plant and a sand substrate (on top of the gravel) the Goldfish went to a good home.

    011-2.jpg


    Cheers
    Mark
     
  4. gixer

    gixer Member

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    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    13-02-08

    Few more fish and plants, got sooooo pissed off with the background i removed it and painted it black.

    IMG_3311.jpg


    Cheers
    Mark
     
  5. gixer

    gixer Member

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    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    15-02-08
    Removed the sunken ship :)
    Still a couple of fake plants in there though :(
    IMG_3324.jpg


    Cheers
    Mark
     
  6. gixer

    gixer Member

    Joined:
    29 Jan 2008
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    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    01-03-08

    Bought a Eheim 2026 external filter, couldn't resist a few Albino Corydoras, i know i'm overstocked now, but the fish seem very healthy and lively, i'll just need to keep on top of the water changes.

    06-03-08
    Bought some wood t'other day and a few shrimp to help with the clean up.
    Me lily pipes came today as well so i fitted them.

    NO ORNAMENTS NOT 1 FAKE PLANT :lol:

    IMG_3533-1.jpg
    No idea on what wood it is, but that and another piece i have yet to fit was €50 :eek:

    One of the shrimps Caridina japonica i believe
    IMG_3522.jpg

    Cheers
    Mark
     
  7. gixer

    gixer Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    Bit of a journey in 3 months.
    As i guess everybody here i wish i knew then what i know now.
    I also wish i'd done more homework and reading up as well.


    Future plans?
    After another 3 weeks or so the internal filter will go, i'll use that time to replace the substrate, i saw some Seachem Flourite in the LFS so i think i'll pick up a couple of bags next time i'm there.

    I also fitted DIY CO2 yesterday, not ideal, but should last till i ditch the internal filter and eventually decide on which way to go with a decent CO2 system.

    Once the CO2 and substrate is sorted i'll upgrade the lighting, it's gonna need a fair bit of trimming to the hood but i think i'll go for 2 x 39w T5's.

    Still not sure if i should keep all the fish, i know i'm over stocked right now, but theres no Ammonia and no Nitrites, none of the fish are gasping and they all seem to have plenty of space, so i'm inclined to leave them as they are and just not replace any if the worst happens.

    I think it's pretty amazing that through ALL the cockup's i've made i've not lost 1 fish.
    Even the Goldfish is still happily swimming away :lol:
    First and only casualty was a shrimp had climbed out the tank last night and was dead this morning on the floor. :(

    The journey continues :)


    Cheers
    Mark
     
  8. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

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    Location:
    Aston, Oxfordshire
    Looks cool, great to see the progression. I know what you mean about knowing stuff, there is so much to learn at the beginning, I've wasted so many plants on scapes that didn't work!

    Keep up the good work :)

    Sam
     
  9. vauxhallmark

    vauxhallmark Member

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    It's an amazing journey - and it's not three months, it's only two!

    Can't believe you ditched that ship though! ;)
     
  10. gixer

    gixer Member

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    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    :lol:

    Cheers guys.

    The ship is under the tank in the cabinet if your interested? ;) :lol:
     
  11. TDI-line

    TDI-line Member

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    Location:
    Yaxley, Peterborough
    You've turned it around very well.

    Shame about the ship. ;)
     
  12. johnny70

    johnny70 Member

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    Location:
    Bakewell, Derbsyhire
    Nice to see the progression, looking good

    JOHNNY
     
  13. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

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    Looking good mate! :D

    Keep it up. One idea - continue to clip those stems in the back and replant the tips. Don't wait for them to reach the surface otherwise their structure becomes flimsy. If you cut them early they will become more bushy and the stem diameter will become more sturdy. It will look unbalanced for a while but long term will be better.

    Cheers,
     
  14. gixer

    gixer Member

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    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    Great tip thanks :)

    I find it really odd how it progressed from being an environment that i believed was healthy and comfortable for the fish.
    To an environment which IS actually comfortable and health for the fish, AND looks a hell of a lot better.


    Cheers
    Mark
     
  15. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

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    You're not wrong there. There is a noticeable difference in the fish in my planted tanks compared to non-planted tanks.

    Sam
     
  16. gixer

    gixer Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    07-03-08.

    Managed to find time to chop up and get the other wood to fit.

    IMG_3548.jpg

    It's still floating just off the substrate so the position isn't exact yet, plus i need to move round a few plants and trim some (cheers ceg ;))

    As i say in a couple of weeks the on-the-side filter will come off and i'll change the substrate for the seachem Flourite.


    Couple of questions though please.

    What do you guys think of the Seachem Flourite?

    I don't think me Corydoras will be to chuffed nosing through it for grub, so i was thinking about laying down a layer of sand on top, whats your thoughts on that?

    Lastly any tips, recommendations, opinions or advice on the layout plants etc?


    Cheers
    Mark
     
  17. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi gixer,
    Well, that's a nice bit of wood there on the left, but you know me, I'm a bit of a nutter and I would rather have that space filled with more plants and maybe a couple small stones. I always think about flow/circulation in the tank and it's easy to choke the flow with the hardscape. Sometimes less is more. In my opinion it might even have worked better if the three antlers were to somehow get shed (they really unbalance the overall shape). I actually preferred the picture labeled 06-03-08. It just seemed more optimistic. In this one I feel like Jabba The Hut just moved in. Look how he's muscling out that poor stem on the far left...:wideyed:

    Flourite works fine and putting sand on top should not pose any problems either. Think about sloping the Flourite (higher in back)

    Cheers,
     
  18. gixer

    gixer Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    Aye i know where ya coming from.

    I was worried about circulation as well, i did a bit of a test at feeding time with some shrimp eggs, they did seem to circulate the whole tank before the Ras ate em :)

    No idea where to go next, it's only ever going to be a home tank for the family to enjoy, but i must admit this scaping lark has really set the artistic side in me off.

    Which surprised me and Mrs as it's never even slightly popped it's head up in the previous 38 years :lol:


    Can't really do much until the externals done it's cycle though.

    I really really realllyyyyyyyyy fancy a nice carpet of plants, problem is me Cory's are me fave fish in the tank and i'm pretty sure they're not gonna be to chuffed about having their sand removed and replaced by a nice lawn.

    Plus that'll mean i'll HAVE to buy stronger lights and CO2.

    Hmmmmmmmmmmm choices choices.

    Might go for the star wars theme now, could replace the wood on the right with a death star model or even the melon falcon thing or what ever it was called? :lol:

    Keep the suggestions coming guys the more the merrier.


    Cheers
    Mark
     
  19. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
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    Hey Mark, after that Chinese Dragon boat the Death Star would be an improvement. :p

    You've got a couple of options with the sand. remember that you don't necessarily have to sand the entire substrate surface. You could do just pockets of sand or a central area of sand quite effectively. James3200 did an effective Job http://www.ukaps.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=571

    Jimboos large tank can give you some ideas for mixing substrates as well: http://www.ukaps.org/forum/viewtopic.ph ... c&start=70

    Check out the Graeme's (the maestro) latest effort: http://www.ukaps.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=968

    You see you don't need heavy pieces of wood and you can use stones to balance.

    You can get nice , albeit expensive sand here: http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/index.p ... th=102_280 The Sawarak has a reddish tint but the Nile is more gray.

    Check here for their stone, again, you don't need lots of heavy ones: http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/index.p ... ath=11_239 I really like the knife stone, the mini, leopard and the zebra.

    With a minor lighting upgrade and better CO2 you could combine the sand with a less obstructive carpet plant like Pogostemon helferi, my favorite these days because it's easy to plant, has a decent root structure and leaves room for the cory to rummage around. This plant would look really nice in Sarawak sand.
    [​IMG]

    Cheers,
     
  20. gixer

    gixer Member

    Joined:
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    69
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    Wowwwoo weee waaaa
    Some fantastic setup's there, i reallyyyy like jimbooo's tank and james3200 tank looks amazing.

    2 more scapes that i really liked are these 2.

    5.jpg

    4.jpg

    Problem i've got though is size James tank is 800L and Jim 450L.
    When i tried moving things over to 1 side to free some room for a beech type blahblahblahblah on the other side everything just looked cramped up on 1 side and empty on t'other.

    The impresion it left me with was it looked like someone had picked up 1 side of the tank and everything had fallen to the lower end.

    With Jim's and James scapes they look well balenced and very natural.
    I think part of it is they have the length (ohhhh errr Mrs) and the height, my tank is only 30cm wide and 45cm high.

    I guess i could really trim all the plants back so they look smaller and try again.

    When i do the substrate change and remove the internal i'll have a play about.
    It's a bit difficult now as i have 3 VERY obstructive Albino Cory's, i was placing the new wood and one would NOT move, tried gently kicking it up the blahblahblahblah, but it just sat and stared at me.
    I recon that's the longest it's sat still since i got it over a week ago :rolleyes:

    As always though GREAT advice and links thank you :)

    Cheers
    Mark
     

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