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Sandy Nook . . .

Wookii

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OK, so I’ve pulled out most of the botanicals, just left a couple of small leaves and couple of the smallest cones:

FC8DD7B8-1550-4145-A1B6-8E3B826BB513.jpeg

CED27577-13CD-420C-88D3-9934A237BD49.jpeg


Hopefully the little pathways through are a little more evident now - I can’t wait to see the Cory’s exploring it.
 

SRP3006

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I prefer that if I'm honest, I really like the whole scape. Much better scale, the cories will love all that space.
 

Wookii

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I prefer that if I'm honest, I really like the whole scape. Much better scale, the cories will love all that space.

Thanks Sam. By the way, this is the weird effect from the backing film - if viewed from the front it’s bright, by viewed from the side, it kind of blocks the light:

3EDB8E4E-BAD9-457D-8093-7C591FD10816.jpeg
 
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mort

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I like the open areas in the new scape and think it looks better less crowded but I'm not sure if you have to many plants. For my tank I envisaged something very similar to what you have achieved but I did want more sand area. So I think I'm really talking about my own tank at the moment where I have added more plants than I need at the cost of being able to fill little areas with botanicals for interest. I'll admit I just like plants to much to not cram them in and wish I had a little self control to keep planting less dense, leaving space for other interesting aspects.
 

Wookii

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I like the open areas in the new scape and think it looks better less crowded but I'm not sure if you have to many plants. For my tank I envisaged something very similar to what you have achieved but I did want more sand area. So I think I'm really talking about my own tank at the moment where I have added more plants than I need at the cost of being able to fill little areas with botanicals for interest. I'll admit I just like plants to much to not cram them in and wish I had a little self control to keep planting less dense, leaving space for other interesting aspects.

Yeah, I probably do have too many plants for sufficient open area, but like I said above it’s a bit of a transitionary tank for me, between styles, so I’m happy with it for now on that basis.

If I had done away with the stems at the rear, and pushed the whole hardscape back, it would have doubled the open area at the front. Or better still, if I had an Aquascaper style tank that was 60cm front to back, rather than 40cm, that would again have given me an additional 20cm at the front.

I do have the same affliction as you though, I have no self control, and just want to keep adding more plants! I wish I was one of those people with the mental fortitude to just add three different species and leave it at that.
 

Cait1

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I actually really liked the botanicals, but I think the blue background doesn’t work with that look. I prefer no background with tannin stained water, and then you get that glowing amber look to the water. Either way though, stunning scape, and the perspex idea is ingenious.
 

Wookii

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I actually really liked the botanicals, but I think the blue background doesn’t work with that look. I prefer no background with tannin stained water, and then you get that glowing amber look to the water. Either way though, stunning scape, and the perspex idea is ingenious.

No, you’re probably right, it’s pretty much black background all the way on habitat style tanks for that dark shadowy look.
 

Wookii

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Great scape, admire your use of perspex and great planting. I like the botanicals but then I like botanicals in tanks 😂

Thanks - I like them too, but for this scape it’s possibly a case of less is more.
 

Wookii

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Time for an update.

I hit a wall with the stems at the back - they were just growing so damn fast, I was having to trim and replant one or the other at what seemed like almost weekly, and despite my best efforts with a divider at the rear of the tank to separate the P Gayi, it was still running wild in a matter of days. So . . . . I've ripped them all out! :eek: They're all gone - no more stems in this tank.

Instead I've replaced them with some Echinodorus and Cryptocoryne species. The new plant list for the rear of the tank is:

Echinodorus Aflame (had these from the start as invitro and moved them to the back, they are starting to push out some nice deep purple leaves)
Echinodorus Ozelot Red
Echinodorus Purpurea
Cryptocoryne Amicorum
Cryptocoryne Costata
Cryptocoryne Spiralis
Cryptocoryne x-Willisii
Cryptocoryne Undulatus Red
Cryptocoryne Wendtii Affinis Red
Microsorum Pteropus Narrow Leaf

Some of these were invitro plants, which I've not had success with in the past, but happily they all seem to be doing well - I've not had melt on any of them. Ironically the only crypt that melted on me was the Beckettii that I already owned, and was transferred from the rescape.

Other than the Echindorus and Narrow Leaf fern, most of the crypts are very small currently, and have a lot of growing to do so the rear is a little bare.

I've also added in a load of floaters; mainly dwarf lettuce and red root floaters, which has improved the fish behaviour no end. That has reduced the light on the majority of the tank by a fair amount, so I have also reduced the CO2 too since most of the plants are now slow growers.

Here are a couple of FTS where I've been messing with the DOF on my new camera:

FTS 4000px.jpg


FTS 2.jpg
 
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Wookii

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I also upgraded my 12 year old DSLR, an aging Canon 450D recently. I've never been able to get very good images of my tanks with it - mainly due to my own ineptitude in setting it up I think - and mainly use it for product and site photography at work, which doesn't happen very often these days, so it hasn't been used in years. Seeing @CooKieS amazing shots inspired me to upgrade to a mirrorless camera, so I got a new Canon M6.

I still need a lot more practice, and a new tripod mount, but this camera is soooooo much easier to use and get decent images. Here are a few quick (read "minimum effort") sample shots (the focus isn't great on some of them due to the lack of tripod mount):

These are new shrimp which were added to the tank a few weeks ago - Black Panda Caridina:

Black Panda.jpg


One of my plumper (presumably female ) Embers:

Ember 1.jpg


An Oto relaxing on a partially eaten oak leaf:

Oto.jpg



Some of my very cute Cory Habrosus:

Corys.jpg


. . . . and of course I have to include some of my favourite Chilli's (which are very difficult to photograph!):

Chilli 1.jpg


Chilli 2.jpg


Hopefully I'm not overloading browsers here - if people experience loading issues, let me know!
 
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CooKieS

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I also upgraded my 12 year old DSLR, an aging Canon 450D recently. I've never been able to get very good images of my tanks with it - mainly due to my own ineptitude in setting it up I think - and mainly use it for product and site photography at work, which doesn't happen very often these days, so it hasn't been used in years. Seeing @CooKieS amazing shots inspired me to upgrade to a mirrorless camera, so I got a new Canon M6.

I still need a lot more practice, and a new tripod mount, but this camera is soooooo much easier to use and get decent images. Here are a few quick (read "minimum effort") sample shots (the focus isn't great on some of them due to the lack of tripod mount):

These are new shrimp which were added to the tank a few weeks ago - Black Panda Caridina:

View attachment 172637

One of my plumper (presumably female ) Embers:

View attachment 172638

An Oto relaxing on a partially eaten oak leaf:

View attachment 172639


Some of my very cute Cory Habrosus:

View attachment 172640

. . . . and of course I have to include some of my favourite Chilli's (which are very difficult to photograph!):

View attachment 172641

View attachment 172642

Hopefully I'm not overloading browsers here - if people experience loading issues, let me know!
Fantastic shots man! really worth the upgrade from smartphone right?
 

Wookii

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@Wookii Great pictures! what lens did you use for those closeups?

Tank look amazing... I love that background.

Cheers,
Michael

Thanks Michael, the close up’s were with my old Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM using the Canon adapter for the M6.

Yes the background is quite effective. I have that at around 50% brightness, and I’ve also applied two lots of the gradient film in order to make the blue a bit darker.
 

Wookii

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Fantastic shots man! really worth the upgrade from smartphone right?

Thanks mate, yeah, definitely an improvement over the phone, and a massive improvement over my 450D, which I just couldn’t seem to get a decent shot out of when photographing the tank. As I say, the above shots were just just an initial test with the camera for about an hour - I’m sure I can get mush more out of it with time.

The mirrorless unit is significantly smaller the the old DSLR also, and the fairly decent kit lens is tiny too, so I’ll be much more likely to take this out and about with the family.
 
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Wookii

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I suspect I'm overdue an update to this journal - the Crypts and Echinodorus have grown in well - in fact the latter have got massive and probably need some hacking back.

The tank survived a two week holiday absence fortunately, other than a massive explosion of the surface plants, despite thinning them to almost nothing before going away.

That said, I have had some losses sadly. Firstly all of my Black Pandas have vanished. I can only assume they have all died. It could be because of the surface plants covering most of the tank whilst I was away, reducing the CO2 off-gasing, increasing the water column levels - the drop checker was a bit lighter than usual when I came home (though not to a point of concern) - I can't think of any other reason? I'm gutted though, as they were lovely shrimp, and not cheap!

Also over the past couple of months I've also lost all but one of my Kubotai. I've not found a single corpse, and they have not jumped. None of them showed any health issues, all have been happily eating and interacting, as the last remaining one continues to do. Also all my other fish are doing great including my Chilli's which are growing, plumping up and colouring up beautifully on the regular live food, so its a bit of a mystery. All fish have been treated for worms and parasites too, though as I say I've seen no flicking or any other behaviour that might suggest a health issue.

Long and short though I'm looking for a different species of fish to take their place. I've started a thread here: (Fish suggestions please . . .) but if anyone here has any fish suggestions, please let me know. As I posted in that thread, I'm considering some Honey Gourami or Threadfin Rainbows initially, but having kept neither species before, I want to be sure of compatibility and appropriateness for my tank?
 

Wolf6

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I suspect I'm overdue an update to this journal - the Crypts and Echinodorus have grown in well - in fact the latter have got massive and probably need some hacking back.

The tank survived a two week holiday absence fortunately, other than a massive explosion of the surface plants, despite thinning them to almost nothing before going away.

That said, I have had some losses sadly. Firstly all of my Black Pandas have vanished. I can only assume they have all died. It could be because of the surface plants covering most of the tank whilst I was away, reducing the CO2 off-gasing, increasing the water column levels - the drop checker was a bit lighter than usual when I came home (though not to a point of concern) - I can't think of any other reason? I'm gutted though, as they were lovely shrimp, and not cheap!

Also over the past couple of months I've also lost all but one of my Kubotai. I've not found a single corpse, and they have not jumped. None of them showed any health issues, all have been happily eating and interacting, as the last remaining one continues to do. Also all my other fish are doing great including my Chilli's which are growing, plumping up and colouring up beautifully on the regular live food, so its a bit of a mystery. All fish have been treated for worms and parasites too, though as I say I've seen no flicking or any other behaviour that might suggest a health issue.

Long and short though I'm looking for a different species of fish to take their place. I've started a thread here: (Fish suggestions please . . .) but if anyone here has any fish suggestions, please let me know. As I posted in that thread, I'm considering some Honey Gourami or Threadfin Rainbows initially, but having kept neither species before, I want to be sure of compatibility and appropriateness for my tank?
My kubotai also died after 1-1.5 years, I believe they are just not very long lived. Never saw health issues, just vanishing after a while. I replaced them after I had 3 out of the original 10 left, buying 10 new ones (13 in total). Shortly after 3 more disappeared, and the (presumably) new fish would go on to live between 9 months and 1.5 years and vanish again.

Lovely tank though :) looking forward to more pics!
 

Wookii

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My kubotai also died after 1-1.5 years, I believe they are just not very long lived. Never saw health issues, just vanishing after a while. I replaced them after I had 3 out of the original 10 left, buying 10 new ones (13 in total). Shortly after 3 more disappeared, and the (presumably) new fish would go on to live between 9 months and 1.5 years and vanish again.

Lovely tank though :) looking forward to more pics!

Thanks mate. Glad it’s not just me having issues with their longevity. They didn’t particularly get any larger whilst I had them, so they must have been fully grown too.
 
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