Nearly there now lol

neilharris

New Member
Joined
11 Nov 2008
Messages
7
Hi there I am quite new to fish keeping having only had a little 35ltr arc tank running well for 6 months but decided to jump in head first after seeing the 2008 AGA aquascaping contest entries, it just opened my eyes to a new world. I have had my fair share of problems and changes of heart but I now have a 180litre black Italian glass rimless tank and cabinet which I bought from Green Machine (what an amazing place and helpful people). My filter is a Eheim 2180 professional 3 thermo filter, lighting is provided by an Arcadia 4x39w OT2 luminiare and have a koralia nano for creating flow on the surface. I have a pressurised CO2 system with the 3kg canisters from green machine running through a aqua medic regulator and solenoid, attached to an aqua medic 1000 co2 diffuser and have a dazs beetle set A glass bubble counter with a chameleon drop checker. I have glass inflow and outflow pipes (ADA rip offs) although currently just connected up my eheim spray bar and inflows. My substrate consists of a large quantity of ada aqua soil amazonia II with power sand M, bacter 100, clear super and tourmalne bc underneath.
Here are a few basic pictures




I hope this gives a better impression of what I'm doing. I am currently dealing with the ammonia spike from the aqua soil and letting my filter mature and hope to plant in a couple of weeks time.
My final plant plan for my tank is based on this picture as I heard for a first aquascape it can be useful to use an existing scape and then make it your own.


Obviously my hardscape is set out very differently and rather than using Hemianthus callitrichoides 'Cuba' I want to use Utricularia graminifolia only to be different, is this a wise move? My mid ground plant will be Eleocharis Acicularis and my background plant will be Eleocharis Vivipara. All opinions welcome on my choices. I do think I should maybe take some of the substrate from the front and give my background more of a slope as well as making my path narrower at the front to make it look more of a path and sink it a little lower into the substrate, is this right?

The reason I've started this topic is because, as I said I'm very new to this and do need advice and help. The questions I have are: in a 180 litre tank (same dimensions as a rio 180) how much of each plant will I need and is there any golden rule for spacing between plantlets? Is there any easy way of protecting my one and only path from disappearing? Also I like the look of my glass pipes all together but for flow purposes should I have one of each inflow on each side of the tank? Although my koralia nano is the other side.

Now onto fish lol, my stocking ideas are to have a little army of cherry or amano shrimp, a couple of Siamese algae eaters and i really want a shoal of green neon's as my main species in number just not sure how many, I was thinking about 30 would that be ok? I was always planning to have probably a trio or 2 pairs of blue rams as target fish to help my neons shoal but I keep being drawn to a pair of Apistogramma cichlids especially Macmasteri, borelli and trifasciata not that I've looked into availability. Mainly because I don't think my hardscape is going to suitable due to no hiding spaces and no spawning sites. Could my tank house these fish? Would my plants provide enough cover or how drastic a change would I have to make to my planned tank to make it suitable? I'm still hoping as a back up plan my tank would be ok for blue rams but could be wrong again.

All advice, comments and help will be greatly appreciated as I really am still learning and find this forum such a brilliant source of information.
 

james3200

Member
Joined
13 Aug 2007
Messages
296
Location
CROYDON
Great start, especially for your first planted tank :) i like your hardscape so far, as you say i think you could do with some more aquasoil to the rear on the left of the big slope. I would add more as in the future the soil will tend to compact especially between the rocks. Not too sure on your sand path, i think it will be lost pretty quickly unless you bulk it up a bit now.

how much of each plant will I need and is there any golden rule for spacing between plantlets? Is there any easy way of protecting my one and only path from disappearing? Also I like the look of my glass pipes all together but for flow purposes should I have one of each inflow on each side of the tank? Although my koralia nano is the other side.
Rule of thumb is to plant heavily from the outset. I would go for as many pots you can afford, with glosso, HC etc you can plant the plantlets a few cm apart, in individual stems to promote better growth. If you can get 2 outlets either side of the tank then you wont have a flow issue in this layout ;)

Now onto fish lol, my stocking ideas are to have a little army of cherry or amano shrimp, a couple of Siamese algae eaters and i really want a shoal of green neon's as my main species in number just not sure how many, I was thinking about 30 would that be ok? I was always planning to have probably a trio or 2 pairs of blue rams as target fish to help my neons shoal but I keep being drawn to a pair of Apistogramma cichlids especially Macmasteri, borelli and trifasciata not that I've looked into availability. Mainly because I don't think my hardscape is going to suitable due to no hiding spaces and no spawning sites. Could my tank house these fish? Would my plants provide enough cover or how drastic a change would I have to make to my planned tank to make it suitable? I'm still hoping as a back up plan my tank would be ok for blue rams but could be wrong again.
Shrimps, great, get lots and you will soon be overrun with them :) Green neons sound good, 30 would be a good start. Rams, not too sure, i would look for an alternative as they tend to dig around.

Hope that helps and i look forward to seeing this planted up :)

James
 

Mark Evans

Expert
Joined
13 Jun 2008
Messages
6,486
Location
newark notts.
if i could make one suggestion?....put the stones on top of the mound and not so close to the front glass to create the sense of depth.

the sand path really needs some attention if its to work. firstly you need to make the sand deeper as it WILL get lost in the AS, you also NEED barriers to stop them mixing. the following image is one of my set ups using a simple plastic barrier.

2ead5780.jpg


IMO you have a tad too much depth (substrate) at the front. it's hard to tell from the image though. carpeting plants dont need as much as others IME.

BTW bacter 100 is already in the powersand ;)

you've certainly splashed out, good luck.

p.s. if your fairly new, UG apparently is real hard to grow! maybe try HC and at this price you cant go wrong!

http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/index.p ... ts_id=2645
 

neilharris

New Member
Joined
11 Nov 2008
Messages
7
Thanks guys for all your comments much appreciated. Oops I did not know that about the power sand. I agree with all the opions most definetly, I'll put alot more height to the back by taking from the front. I am now in two minds about removing the path when i go to plant, I'd love to keep it but would it be too late and to much work to now take out the sand try and put in two divides then recreate the path? It just so happened i saw Amano using two divides in this months aqua journal and realised the error of my ways lol. I'd love to do it but as all my soil is wet and mushy and the divides would have to go through my rocks and through my main hill I'm worried I'd make things worse. As for the UG to be honest I was drawn to it by how little its used in comparison to HC but my research also suggested that it was with good reason due to its difficulty to grow. Is it worth trying? Anyone have any good tips on growing it or words of warning for a newbie? I thik it may be a case of running before i walk but I do like the idea of trying it.

Do you think my fish selection would work I'd love a trio of Apistogramma's or at least blue rams to go with my other selection but I am worried my aquarium won't provide a suitable habitat?
Thanks for all comments and all other opinions would be greatly appreciated. By the way that tank looks wicked saintly.
Cheers
 
Top