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New member - would love opinion/advice

natalie

New Member
Joined
12 Aug 2008
Messages
15
Hi guys!

New member, thought I'd show my 1st attempt at a proper planted tank. I've had plants in a tank before, but nothing aquascaped.

The plants are as follows,
Java Moss
Java Fern
3/4 different types of anubias (not sure about them though)
2 Moss balls
Salvinia molesta (I think)
Lots of plants I have no idea about because they were in the LFS and on sale and didn't have a name tag Naughty I know.

I know the pictures are fairly small but I'd really appreciate if someone could tell me what plants are in there!

fulltank.jpg

whiptailandrasbora.jpg

corysmossball.jpg


I would like to add a carpet of something on the left hand side, sweeping down from the plants waiting to grow out, forwards to the front left hand side of the tank to make a kind of half circle. Sort of.

The lights are the Juwel ones, one is "nature", the other "day" and they're both 45W. I have a little c02 canister on there too, the Tetra one - aerosol type thing. I have noticed a difference in the plants growth, though there's no pearling.

Looking forward to your comments!
Nat
 

GreenNeedle

Member
Joined
19 Jul 2007
Messages
2,729
Location
Lincoln UK
from the pics you have echinodorus, anubias, Bacopa, Crypt Balansae crispulata, Java Fern, mosses and marimo algae balls. Not sure of many of the others. Pictures look quite green.

Do you have only one bulb over the tank? Is it a daylight one? If poss could do with a pink light to balance the colour a little.

AC
 

natalie

New Member
Thread starter
Joined
12 Aug 2008
Messages
15
Thanks guys, and thanks to Supercoley for the plant ID.

The lighting in the tank is the standard Juwel lighting, 45W x 2 bulbs, one is a "day" one is a "nature". All the lights were off in the room and I suspect the green is reflecting off the white sand a bit. Or, my camera is rubbish :lol:
I was thinking about getting some different bulbs but they are quite expensive at the size I need and I'd need to do a bit of research first.

Do you have any recommendations for a carpeting plant?

Nat
 

Garuf

Member
Joined
30 Oct 2007
Messages
5,005
Location
Copenhagen
Not many carpet plants will do very well with an optimat, pressurised co2 being the norm and industry standard if you like.
Regarding lights many on this forum will endorse lampspecs for lights, there's even a thread somewhere on here about which are the best colours to pick.
I personally really like your tank, I'd add some landscape rocks though and swap the java moss for fissedens fontanus.
That aside, welcome to the forum.
 

natalie

New Member
Thread starter
Joined
12 Aug 2008
Messages
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Thanks very much Garuf!Fissidens fontanus is gorgeous looking, it's very delicate.
To be honest, the only reason Java Moss is in there is because it's relatively cheap, the fish like it and it's very hard to kill. I thought it was best to start with things that were hard to kill or cheap so it didn't matter :lol:

With guidance I don't see why I can't progress to more "difficult" plants. I was thinking about pressurised c02, however, it's the cost involved that puts me off
 

Garuf

Member
Joined
30 Oct 2007
Messages
5,005
Location
Copenhagen
You could get a second hand regulator and a fire extinguisher for about £50. It's always the initial outlay that is the most expencive part. Infact I think I have a regulator going spare...
 

natalie

New Member
Thread starter
Joined
12 Aug 2008
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15
I'm not sure if I'm ready to take the leap into pressurised c02, I'm quite scared of blowing up my living room! :lol:
Do you think it's worth it with my tank setup and how much would you want for the regulator?
 

Garuf

Member
Joined
30 Oct 2007
Messages
5,005
Location
Copenhagen
Now there's a point... What is your set up?
Tank size:
Filter:
lights: 2x54watt
substrate:
fertilisation:
 

natalie

New Member
Thread starter
Joined
12 Aug 2008
Messages
15
Tank size - not sure of the dimensions, but it's a Rio 180
Filter - standard Juwel
Lights - 2x 45W
Substrate - Argos play sand :? (please don't tell me off, I didn't know about fert when I stuck it in! :lol: )
Fert is a brand I bought the other day that I can't remember the name of - it's a liquid one that I dose once a week after a water change. I'm planning on getting some root tabs when I find some reasonably priced
 

Dan Crawford

Founder
Staff member
Joined
21 Jun 2007
Messages
3,265
Location
Daventry, Northants
Hello and welcome to the forum!

I really like your tank so far, just a couple of ideas that may or may not enhance the scape....
Personally i'd do away with the moss balls or move them to just in front of the base of the wood. The swords in front of the wood could be moved back to behind the wood and maybe replaced with some crypts?

The Green Machine have an offer on Tropica Root Tabs at the minute and maybe you could think about dosing TPN+ too.

Cheers

Dan
 

natalie

New Member
Thread starter
Joined
12 Aug 2008
Messages
15
Hi Dan and thanks!

The swords are actually behind the wood at the moment. Where it looks like the wood is hidden behind the plants to the right, it actually stops. It's almost like a triangle shape. I've got a crypt to the left (you can't really see it) and I think the addition of some crypts/different long-leafed plants instead of the swords is a really good idea. I'm not so fond of the swords in all honesty, they're a bit frail. Although it's probably my lack of knowledge about them.
Thanks!
 

natalie

New Member
Thread starter
Joined
12 Aug 2008
Messages
15
Garuf said:
Now there's a point... What is your set up?
Tank size:
Filter:
lights: 2x54watt
substrate:
fertilisation:

Tank size: 180l
Filter: Juwel standard
lights: 2x45watt
substrate: Argos playsand
fertilisation: Nutrafin Plantgro liquid
 

beeky

Member
Joined
21 Aug 2007
Messages
879
Location
Chippenham, Wiltshire
The problem with the common swords is that they just get too big for an average tank. Just one plant can take over most of a 2 foot tank. Nice 'scape though.
 

natalie

New Member
Thread starter
Joined
12 Aug 2008
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15
Ah, well that's not the look I'm going for. To be honest, I'm not sure what kind of look I'm going for, but it's not a tank full of swords.
I'll have to see what else I can find to put there instead. Ta beeky!
 

a1Matt

Member
Joined
10 Mar 2008
Messages
2,497
Location
Bromley
Nice tank :D

I actually like the plain sand look, it works well with your layout . As such I wouldn't hurry to get a carpet :)

There are so many facets to the hobby you could spend all day every day reading up and still learn somehting new. A good place to start might be with this fert article. viewtopic.php?f=34&t=1211 It takes a while to get your head around it, but once you do, it is easey peasey and a LOT cheaper to use dry ferts than buying any bottled mix.

If you do jump into CO2 be prepared for everything to get a lot bigger! I had my first 'real' planted tank for a year before I took the plunge and have never looked back!
 

natalie

New Member
Thread starter
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12 Aug 2008
Messages
15
Thanks! I've thought about EI before but it looks quite daunting even though it's not really. I spent £7.99 on a bottle of fert that I'm pretty sure isn't really doing anything much to the plants.
I'm going to take the plunge into pressurised c02 when I get some extra money together, but even the cheap stuff is quite expensive. Mind you, all my hobbies are expensive - I'm an artist as well as an aquarist and that can get pretty pricey too. I really love the idea of a carpet, although I'm aware it's probably out of my league at the moment.
Thanks for the compliment and advice!
 

vauxhallmark

Member
Joined
29 Jan 2008
Messages
570
Wow, for your first planted tank you've got a great eye!

You will probably replace every piece of equipment that you've bought, and most of the plants, and possibly even the tank as you get more and more into this branch of aquarium keeping, but with the flair for the overall shape, balance, and design that you're demonstrating already, it's really just the icing on the cake.

Don't worry about using swordplants, even if most of them won't work in your tank long term (some others might, quadricostas or tenellus for example). It's great to see tanks which don't stick to the 'big 5' plants, or the current trendiest/hardest/newest plant. I'm guilty of doing both those things. It's hard not to look at some of the great tanks on this (and others) sites, and not think - 'I must achieve that effect' - so it's always good to see someone coming at it with a completely fresh mind.

Congratulations!
 

natalie

New Member
Thread starter
Joined
12 Aug 2008
Messages
15
Thanks very much!
I've had to physically walk away from the external filter section of my LFS as I know that I'm going to end up buying one if I'm not careful. I could get rid of the internal Juwel one then - more room for plants!
I've got to admit, it's a constant struggle not to buy new stuff. I've already got a small list of stuff that I think would help out a lot or make the tank look better - for instance the carpeting plant that I've set my heart on, or the root balls (that are quite expensive) and so on.

Thanks for the compliment! I wasn't going for something that was wholly natural I suppose. It's more of a sculpture type tank. Don't get me wrong, I love the different styled tanks that the guys here do, it's just that I don't think I'd be very good at maintaining half of them! I'm really glad you like the tank, thanks again!
 
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