STOPGAP

Andrew Butler

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With so much going on in the world, at home and a whole host of other things holding me back for a while now I've opted to move forward with my 'STOPGAP' so I can hopefully enjoy looking at an aquarium filled with something interesting.

I've been completely and utterly against the idea of ADA aquariums, Oase filters, glass inlets/outlets, aquasoil and the likes but seems the easiest option for me now so it's what I'm going with, I just hope it's not something I later live to regret.

Aquarium: ADA 45P
Filtration: Oase Filtosmart thermo 100
Inlet/Outlet: Cal Aqua Labs X2s/G2
Lighting: ADA Aquasky G 451 + mirror unit
CO2: inline
Substrate: Tropica Aquarium Soil Powder
Hardscape: Riverwood and possibility of adding some small pieces of Frodo stone

I've a provisional plant list that I plan to work with, I think the main ethos is to have a large carpet and a 'big bushy bit' around the back and sides of the wood.
The main carpet will be made up of micranthemum monte carlo with a few different plants dotted around here and there.
My 'big bushy bit' I hope to make up out of rotala rotundifolia 'green' and rotala vietnam h'ra.
To the main piece of wood I will be adding some Microsorum pteropus Trident along with a few Buces and Crypts.
Aside from that other plants on the list are rotala bonsai, Staurogyne Repens, Alternanthera Reineckii ''Mini', hydrocotyle verticillata, Salvinia Auriculata, Cryptocoryne Costata, cryptocoryne nevellii, cryptocoryne petchii, cryptocoryne wendtii green and cryptocoryne lucens - I know it's only a 45P so will see how it plants out.

Open to hearing constructive input from people along the way.

Here's how things are looking before any plants are added, I'm thinking over whether I think this piece of wood is enough with plants alone, whether to add any more wood or a few simple stones enough will be enough. It's not here to win any awards, just give me something to enjoy looking at and with any luck not cause me too many problems.
20201021_123912.jpg
 

Andrew Butler

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Banbury, Oxfordshire
Just curious, why are you completely and utterly against the high-end stuff?

Looking forward to seeing how it goes!
I'll assume this you refer to the comment below as 'high end' and will give my reasoning.
I'm sure you (and everyone else) wonder if I hold these opinions then why on earth go forward with it, the answer is convenience, being let down too many times by too many people and just wanting something convenient to enjoy.
I've been completely and utterly against the idea of ADA aquariums, Oase filters, glass inlets/outlets, aquasoil and the likes
-ADA aquariums: If I'm honest I always thought they were more expensive than they are is a big one that I'm pleasantly surprised to learn I was wrong about. Also reading stories of bending glass and finding the popular sizes I saw pictures of lack depth were the other reasons.
-Oase filters: I wouldn't class these as 'high end' but I had one before and found the flow absolutely awful compared to a Fluval G6 filter I had, although the Oase advertised a far higher flow rate. I also don't like how the glass heaters are positioned in the filter heads and felt a heated filter should offer something less prone to damage, his is an opinion I sill hold.
-Glass inlets/outlets: The fragility, how they show up all the dirt and the cost are my reasons.
-Aquasoil: I've used Aquasoil several times in the past and just always found it a nuisance being blown around if it wasn't carpeted, mainly at water changes when trying to keep things clean.

I know reading this back I have made decisions that likely seem stupid to everyone reading this, at least I've been honest about things so is my own fault if I come up against these problems along the way.
 

Deano3

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8 Feb 2012
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Hi andrew glad to see you have went with something convenient , the 45p is a excellent and easy to manage size that i had success with and loved the ease.

Tank and light looks great by the way

The ease of the aquarium and equipment will make it enjoyable. All your points anyone can understand, i do like the look of ada and also like the oase filters as had good success with them but read a few times about being under powered etc.

But cant wait to see some progress mate


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Nick potts

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25 Sep 2014
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Good start so far Andrew, I am liking the mirror unit.

I think I few choice stones might add some more interest to the tank, but if you like really minimal then stick with it as is.

Agree with you on the ADA tanks, there pricing compared to other ADA products is pretty good.
 

oscar

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Perhaps if available, another piece of wood transitioning from behind original ?!
Agree completely some stone, Frodo perhaps very natural placed around wood.
Oscar :thumbup:
 

Andrew Butler

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But cant wait to see some progress mate //emoji.tapatalk-cdn.com/emoji16.png
Thanks Dean, I made a tiny bit of progress by putting the Microsorum on the wood along with just plonking on a couple of small buces I had to hand, not their final location though.
@Nick potts @Wolf6 @oscar I completely had adding some stone in mind when I started but when putting a few small pieces in they seemed to take a lot of space up, quickly - how small do you go before they are a waste of time and a plant could take it's place more effectively? The 45P is a tiny little aquarium with an overall footprint of only 450 x 270 mm and a height of 300mm.

I took a photo when I did add a couple of pieces in, to see how they looked size wise as much as anything so not their final destination and has left me wondering whether they are needed or not as I explain above. You wouldn't believe the detail you can see on the stones in person that don't show in the photos but I guess the smaller you go, the less detail a piece of stone has, regardless of what it is.

20201029_203936.jpg
 

Wolf6

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Maybe a small mound at the base of the tree and slightly following that forward low root? You can always use anubias, mosses and buce to 'green' it up. I believe the contrast of the rock makes it more natural and more interesting, but I am biased, I've always loved rocks :)
 

Andrew Butler

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Maybe a small mound at the base of the tree and slightly following that forward low root? You can always use anubias, mosses and buce to 'green' it up. I believe the contrast of the rock makes it more natural and more interesting, but I am biased, I've always loved rocks :)
Would you explain what you mean by a small mound in simple words as I'm unsure what you mean. I'm always interested to hear constructive input in as much detail as you can give.
I too am a lover of rocks ;)
 

Wolf6

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A few rocks where I put the circles is what I ment with mound. But thats just one opinion, perhaps others have more creative ideas :)
voorbeeldmound.jpg
 

Andrew Butler

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A few rocks where I put the circles is what I ment with mound. But thats just one opinion, perhaps others have more creative ideas
And get rid of all other rocks completely?
I've had input from an aquatic plant shop and following my brief their suggested planting is intended to have the Crypt Costata around the area you highlight, this doesn't mean that's exactly what I'll be doing though.

I think you're offering constructive input so it's most welcome, thank you. :)
 

Wolf6

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I'd personally use the mound as a base and maybe add a smaller group somewhere near where the bigger rock on your pic is now for some effect, but I'm not a pro scaper by far, you could just try out some setups that appeal to you :) and settle for one thats completely different, like I always do XD mostly because I cant replicate what I had but I already have the plants and dont want to wait any longer and its not like it matters because all my tanks end up as jungles anyway.
 

Andrew Butler

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I'd personally use the mound as a base and maybe add a smaller group somewhere near where the bigger rock on your pic is now for some effect, but I'm not a pro scaper by far, you could just try out some setups that appeal to you :) and settle for one thats completely different, like I always do XD mostly because I cant replicate what I had but I already have the plants and dont want to wait any longer and its not like it matters because all my tanks end up as jungles anyway.
Thanks for the input, much appreciated. :)
I'll likely just plant things out and let the carpet establish itself and add them in later if I decide I want to.
 

Andrew Butler

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I didn't manage to get the plants in for over a week after they arrived, so was just a case of get them in quick and allow them to establish themselves. Everything seems to have stayed alive* but have very much been thrown in so I will wait another week or so then I will likely take it all out and start again in a more organised manner.
*Everything aside from the Microsorum pteropus Trident, a plant I just don't seem to get along with for some reason so considering changing that for something else - quite what is the question.

The piece of wood is very unsteady and has moved quite a bit so I plan to get something on the bottom to keep it sturdy and some (a load) of the volcano mineral I put underneath has come to the surface and uprooted plants where the wood has moved quite a bit at the same time- the first time I don't get the piece of wood fixed rigid.

I'm starting to learn what works for me, also understanding this kind of style aquascape (which I've never tried before) and its appeal. Sure I've got some changes to do and a lot to learn about maintenance to keep this style going but maybe this is just as easy as a restricted plant aquascape, which would be more sand/stone only with a few plants - am I right?

No tidying up, water changes etc; just a quick snap with my phone the other evening of how it's looking now. You will likely notice how far back the wood has fallen over.

45p.jpg
 
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