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Roots and Lava v2

Joel S

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Joined
13 May 2013
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203
Location
Oxford
Starting a new cube tank using roots (so far manzanita, bogwood, and redmoor that I had lying around) and Lava rock. Tank is a 60l Dennerle cube.

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Substrate is Nutribasis 6in1, then Dennerle Scaper's soil, topped with Unipac Samoa fine sand and small Dennerle Yukon pebbles. (Probably will add more pebbles and beech leaves etc. for final layout).

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I went quite far down the path of setting up a nano reef in this tank (check eBay now if you want a bargain on an AI Prime light!) but I decided that for now I can't afford the time, money, and stress it would require (from what I can tell a nano reef is probably less work than a high-light high-tech planted tank, but with much less room for mistakes). For the moment I'm holding on to the AC70 filter and Jebao SW-2 I bought for making a reef/macroalgae tank. The Jebao may be overkill but it's very adjustable and I wonder if it might be good for moss growing. With it flowing over porous lava rock perhaps I'll get similar "live" rock benefits in terms of filtration as on a saltwater tank. Thinking of planting emergent plants in pots in the AC70 filter box (the heater is in there too).

At the moment I'm planning Riccardia, Fissidens, Bolbitis, Buces, and maybe Blyxa for this one. Lighting will hopefully be the new Kessil A80, which I've ordered with the free mounting bracket on offer currently from sponsor Aqua Essentials (that offer was what made my mind up to get on with the tank and shelve the saltwater plans).

Here's how the 30l Roots and Lava V1 ended up. I was quite happy with the look, but at the small size it was quite unstable for fish (hence none in the photo), and I think pure London tapwater was too hard for the mosses and Bolbitis to really thrive. This time I will be using 2/3 RO and 1/3 London tap, which should help but I think may mean I have to give more careful thought to fertiliser.

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Joel S

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Oxford
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Mostly planted (some Blyxa and Crypt Balansae coming). Lots of superglue patches to grow over but otherwise I'm fairly pleased. The Kessil A80 is gorgeous.

Thinking of stocking with a shoal of Corydoras Habrosus if possible. We'll see!
 

Joel S

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13 May 2013
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The smaller pebbles are Dennerle Yukon pebbles (small size -they do slightly larger size too but I couldn't justify a £10 bag for the small amount I'd use.) The bigger ones I picked out at a lfs feeling stupid all the while for not bringing a handful home from a north Wales beach just a couple of months before.
 

Joel S

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2 Weeks. I've had to take out the Jebao pump for now as I lost 3 shrimp to it. I've put a small internal filter in its place but am going to maybe try some mesh around it as I think the mosses and ferns appreciate the flow. Depends on fish choice too I suppose.
 

PM

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15 Dec 2007
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615
Location
London
Looks great!

I have a few questions:

What percentage are you running the light power roughly?

Are you using co2?

Have you had more luck with RO water and Bolbitis? What is your dosing scheme?

I also live in London and have tried Bolbitis several times and it just dies every time. I'm about to set up a 40cm cube (60 litres) after several years out of the hobby, with the same light as you and low tech. And (hopefully) lots of Bolbitis.
 

Joel S

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Thanks. I should get some more pics up here. There are some slightly more recent ones over on instagram : Yes, much better result with 1/2 London tap water and 1/2 RO. The Bolbitis is now so thick that I have the light almost at 100% (It could be at 100% I think but something holds me back just a bit -there is quite a lot of natural light in the room).

I am using co2 and Tropica ferts (brown one day green the next) and a 20% water change each week, though I'm behind at the moment.

My other tank is just liquid carbon. Recently I have some algae issues due to lack of water changes but Bolbitis is also growing better in that with 1/2RO than it did over the years with co2 and London tap.
 

PM

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Joined
15 Dec 2007
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615
Location
London
Great pics on your instagram. I have bolbitis and ram envy.

Do you have to take any extra precautions using 50% RO? Like adding anything additional to the water at all?
 

PM

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15 Dec 2007
Messages
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Sorry to hear that. I had a similar experience with a pair of rams in a 60 litre and I see it a lot online. I've only seen them successful in far larger tanks for some reason.

Such beautiful fish I refuse to get more because it's horrible when they don't last long.
 

Joel S

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13 May 2013
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Location
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Everything Must go!

I have to move, and seriously downsize, so this tank and Crypts Palace have got to go. All plants, decor, and equipment free to anyone who can pick the lot up from E17 -except £80 for the Kessil A80 and maybe £45 for the ro unit (Co2 canister will need to go back to gas supplier but regulator available.) Proviso is you need to take the tanks too.

Look at all that prime Bolbitis and Ricardia and Fissidens. You know you want it!

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