Once upon a time at the riverbank - Final update

GreenNeedle

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Re: Once upon a time at the riverbank 125Ltr

16th September 2009

Following my return from holiday the scape was looking pretty good considering it had been under 0.4WPG with no dosing and no CO2 for 17 days. As the CO2 bottle I was currently using was nearly empty I made a decision that this tank will be moving to a non CO2 slow growing method. Therefore I sold my pressurised CO2 kit.



13th December 2009

2 months on from switching the setup over to the non CO2 route things are still going great. This scape is now over a year old. On the fish front the Otto kept playing 'chicken' with the filter intake and after several rescues I think it had had too much and disappeared. The young cory fry has been doing great and is almost as large as the male adult. The rasbora count is now at 15 although one seems to have a growth on its side.

Other news is that I built another cabinet for the tank. This was due to a total revamp of the lounge and therefore a change of decor. The new cabinet is stand alone rather than being supported by walls and then veneered to match a tall display unit I built.

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I will try and get this right up to date as soon as I can :)

AC
 

rawr

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Re: Once upon a time at the riverbank 125Ltr

Great to see you back :) I've missed this aquascape and of course it's looking good as ever.
 

GreenNeedle

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Re: Once upon a time at the riverbank 125Ltr

This aquascape is now 14 months old. It has not had CO2 injection or water changes for 8 months yet the water quality is still fine. It rarely has any ferts added, maybe 4 or 5 times in that period have I added anything. The only maintenance I do now is a monthly filter/pipe clean and daily feeding.

This is what I wanted. This is what most people would like. All my time is free to sit and watch.

On the fish front there are now 14 Rasbora Espei and 2 black corys. since the last update in December the juvenile cory fry which was at the time already as large as the male but a definate female in shape disappeared. Also during this period one of the rasboras had a 'cystlike' growth on its abdomen and succumbed after a month or so. Other than this there have been no worries.

During the past 5 months the corys have spawned twice. The first time no eggs hatched but the second time approx 12 fry appeared. They are in the nursery tank 'Castaway'

The new cabinet is finished and looks great.

The LED unit is now 16 months old and has had no problems at all. Nothing needed repairing, nothing blown, no issues at all.

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The tank looks dark in these last 2 because I reduced the EV to show the light.

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AC
 

bigmatt

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Re: Once upon a time at the riverbank 125Ltr

Very nice! Did youcustom build the lights AND the housing? I'm thinking about a custom build light set with halogens and was wondering how to go about it
Cheers
Matt
 

George Farmer

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Re: Once upon a time at the riverbank 125Ltr

Brilliant low-maint set-up, Andy! Looks wonderful and great bonus that you hardly have to touch it.

Is there any need for the additional circulation from the powerhead in such a low-energy set-up?

And nice you see on UKAPS again... :)
 

GreenNeedle

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Re: Once upon a time at the riverbank 125Ltr

Did youcustom build the lights AND the housing
I Custom built the housing, the lights and the cabinet. They're LED not halogen :) Not a fan of Halogen lights really. Kitchen lighting that needs bulbs changing far too often put me off those for life :lol:

George Farmer said:
Is there any need for the additional circulation from the powerhead in such a low-energy set-up?
Thanks for the compliment George. Personally I think whether it is slow speed low maintenance or high speed 'high maintenance' the nutrient and CO2 still needs pushing around the same.

After all proportionally the amounts may be the same. High light fast growth we add CO2 and nutrient. Low light slow growth we don't. It is only low power consumption so I just leave it in there. I may remove or move it at some point though as the Philippine Java Fern below it has never really taken off like it did prior to being sat under it. I don't know whether it is as simple as having a little more shade or if the Koralia is starving that corner. Something to try out with a simple test of:

If I leave the Koralia there but not turned on does the plant start to grow.
If I remove the Koralia altogether does it start to grow :)

Another reason for it is that I find that since I went the non CO2 and non fert route that my filter clogs pretty quickly (5.6x) and so needs cleaning monthly rather than 3 monthly as I did before and therefore there isn't too much circulation a week after cleaning.

We shall see as your point is something I have been pondering over the last week or 2 :)

AC
 

GreenNeedle

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Re: Once upon a time at the riverbank 125Ltr

WOW just noticed I haven't updated this for 3 whole months :)

17 MONTHS IN NOW AND STILL COUNTING. 10 MONTHS SINCE LAST WATER CHANGE.

A few changes since then so I will be taking some pictures in the next week and doing a proper update BUT for now:

I mentioned that I had 12 Cory fry that hatched and that was about April 20th or so. They were left in 'Castaway' until they were about a month old so about 1cm long and filled out.

10 survived to the month stage. These were then transferred into this tank at the end of May and since then they have been growing rapidly :) Good job because just before this the adult male looked like he had a cataract. He died shortly after so no adult male!!! I'm not too bothered about blood lines etc. These aren't going to be sold. If I do decide to breed and sell I shall get some more and mix 'em up.

To date I know 1 juvy from the 10 has died. Was the runt and less than a third the size of the others. Just noticed this morning a mountain of shrimp at the front and a tap on the glass revealed their 'swag'. I assume the other 9 are fine but as with all my scapes you can't see these things. I counted 8 the other day but there are far too many hiding places and unviewable areas. lol

I have also spotted the espei spawning but as yet haven't seen eggs. Apparently they do the same as Corys in laying eggs on leaves but unlike the Corys who spread eggs everywhere, rasboras lay their eggs only under large broader leaves as they are affected by light. the leaf protects them. When they do this they look like they are flicking except as a pair. This is what caught my attention. I rushed to the tank thinking there may be a problem due to their 'flicking' ;) Would be cool if I can get these breeding too as there is no bloodline problem with them.

Now I must give George some credit r.e. the post above on circulation. :thumbup: He mentioned about the need for the Koralia and whilst I had also been thinking about removing I needed the nudge. I did it the next day and still no algae :) We shall see what happens as I have redone the Java fern that was sat below it and guess what? I was surprised to see that the surprise I spoke about (a year or more ago) is still in there although smaller than it was when I put it there. I won't keep you in suspenders any longer as it will probably never ever be seen :lol: I planted some Vallis right in the rear corner behind the Java. It was mixed with some Crypts I bought at the time and I thought I'd put them in and see if it looked any good once grown. Unfortunately it was about 3 inches tall then and only 1 inch now but its still there and looks healthy.

Something I will whisper as I have always laughed and joked about the EOC (Eheim owners club) and how defensive they are over their beloved brand. Hmmmmmmmmm--- :shh: :text-imnewhere: I joined them.

I got sick of the Tetratec. It was noisy even with its second impeller in (was 3 years old when I ditched it) It was hard to clean, clogged quickly, flow slowed considerably due to clogging quickly, looked ugly, was big and made a vibration through my cabinet from its hard rubber feet.

Of course I thought that it was normal until I got an Eheim pro II 2224 inc media for £75 delivered and brand new. When I hooked that up I knew all of the above was not normal and so for all the berating of the EOC :text-imsorry: You were all correct and I most definately was in the wrong.

I must also add that as I have no concerns r.e. cycling etc I just washed the new media, put it in and started up the filter. No swapping of media. I didn't see any problems in the tank. No bacterial blooms, no flicking, no gasping.

Why did I go for the 2224? Not for the price or I would've gotten a classic. It was because it was the same flow rating of 700lph as the Tetratec and also because it was the same diameter hose so I wouldn't have to change Lily pipes.

I love it. This really is virtually silent and with it's soft rubber feet the vibration through the cabinet is gone. I can only hear the filter working if I put my head close to it but move away or close the cabinet door and nothing.

plus points:
The powerhead comes off with no force. Just unclip and take off. The Tetratec was a brute force effort to take off and put on.
Has never leaked whereas the Tetratec could take a few attempts at replacing the powerhead before it didn't leak.
Flow is better when cleaned and stays better until I want to clean.
Looks better and is smaller.
The powerhead and hose connection assembly is much easier to disconnect. clean and the clip around the hose rather than the scew on 'compressors' are much better.

minus points:
hoses are rubbish. Made of too soft rubber. I put them on and instant kinks. Put the Tetra ones back on and they are fine.
The media is top draw at doing its job but means I have to clean it seperately rather than throw the lot from the filter into the bucket. those little balls and little hopps in the same bucket means I am there for 30 minutes seperating so I clean them seperately instead.lol

Why is not having a prime button not a minus? Because on the Tetratec the prime button was as stiff as **** and even when you got it pushed down you felt water come out from it. Always hurt my shoulder muscles trying to contort myself into a position to get enough force. So the prime button was pretty pointless for me :) Easier to connect the Eheim up, suck the lily for a second and then walk away.

Oh and the LED MkII has now got proper luminaire hanging equipment. No more chains.

Piccies soon and Long live Jungle. Whoever said it was dead (on page 2 or 3 or......). lol You shall see.

AC
 

NeilW

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Re: Once upon a time at the riverbank May 2010 Update

Sounds like the tank is going from strength to strength! :thumbup:

You must be really doing something right for all those fish wanting to spawn. Maybe this is one of the benefits of a low-tech scape in that it emulates the 'natural' world better without the stresses of CO2 and lack of hiding spaces.

I love this tank; all the aesthetics of Amano but without all the donkey work with water changes and such.

SuperColey1 said:
I can only hear the filter working if I put my head close to it but move away or close the cabinet door and nothing.
I find this with my Eheim too I love it :D Its a bit scary though because I always think I forgot to turn the filter back on though :lol:

So in conclusion lovely looking tank, great work! :thumbup:

Cheers,
Neil
 

cheesy feet

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Re: Once upon a time at the riverbank May 2010 Update

Great journal, really love this tank...I love the jungley look :thumbup:
It's awesome how you've effectively got a little ecosystem running perfectly. :clap:
 

dw1305

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Re: Once upon a time at the riverbank May 2010 Update

Hi all,
I'd never read this thread before. Congratulations both very interesting and inspirational.
cheers Darrel
 

GreenNeedle

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Re: Once upon a time at the riverbank May 2010 Update

Will get these photos done in the next few days. Casio camera stopped working. Sold it as faulty for £23.50+shipping on ebay and then bought a Fujifilm for £23 inc shipping. 50p profit. lol

The Fuji camera is only 7mp compared to the Casio 10mp but I was never that happy with the Casio and this one has good reviews (should say had due to its age. lol)

Now just waiting for a card adaptor because XD cards don't fit into any of the slots on my PC :(

Takes everything else except for XD it seems without adaptors. lol

So a few days waiting for the adaptor then a couple of days getting used to how this fuji works and how to get something reasonable out of it and away we go. lol

Thanks for the compliment Darryl.

I've been doing some serious work on both scapes. Mainly trimming the needles right back to open up the view to the wood, show the sand foreground and also to give a little more room for the Java Fern to grow into in the right rear. I'm also trying to sort out the transition from the front to rear on the left hand side and centre. It was not going the way I wanted really in that it went from low (Crypt Parva/Anubias etc. Straight to the larger Crypts. BasIcally the midground was just a view through stems.

I want them both ready for IAPLC next year :eek: Thats right, I am going to enter a 3 year old non CO2 setup into IAPLC. lol These photos will be the last full shots until May or so next year.

AC
 

hydrophyte

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Re: Once upon a time at the riverbank May 2010 Update

I remember this setup from some time ago. You have had it going for a while. I look forward to seeing a photo update.
 

Mark Evans

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Re: Once upon a time at the riverbank May 2010 Update

need a hand Andy, with images? gimmee a shout. I reckon we could improve on the last images ten fold.
 

GreenNeedle

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Re: Once upon a time at the riverbank May 2010 Update

Mark

If this camera shows what I am seeing you are going to be pestering me more than last time :)

Ianho came round today and I took the black background away to show him what it looked like then. It hasn't gone back :)

Looks fantastic. Just got to wait for plants to fill in a little now. Did a little rearranging.

I'll try and do some basic pics with the webcam. I am eager to show it :) The Espeis are looking incredible. and 10 month old water looking as if I am using purigen and fresh water :eek:

AC
 

Ian Holdich

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Re: Once upon a time at the riverbank May 2010 Update

i saw this scape today in reality, after getting some Needle fern and java moss from AC (top quality stuff BTW). Its an awesome looking scape, even though Andy kept saying he'd thinned it out, it still looked very natural and very asteticly pleasing. Nice one AC!
 

GreenNeedle

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Re: Once upon a time at the riverbank May 2010 Update

Ianho (a member on here) came round today and I thought I would share with you what he saw.

So I made a video. Unfortunately I used my webcom as I am waiting on a card reader for my phone but it gives and idea albeit with not great clarity :)

Hope you enjoy and yes the scape has had a bit of 'surgery' this week and been thinned out incredibly.

I will say one thing though. Not being negative but this is the only forum that I can't embed the video!!! Looks much better than a link. Maybe something for the future.


Regards
AC
 
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