The upgrade!

Discussion in 'Journals' started by Egmel, 20 Aug 2008.

  1. Egmel

    Egmel Member

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    Well I went and picked up my new tank on Sunday, it's a metre long Juwel Rekord 120l.

    I've kept the original filter but just filled it with filter wool in place of the sponges. My eheim 2213 is doing the brunt of the biological filtration.

    I've got the original 30W lamp in still and have added 2 15w lamps from my old 70l. So I currently have 30w of GE 'white' and 30w of arcadia 'freshwater'.

    At the moment my DIY CO2 kit is still leaking so I'm using easy carbo, about 5ml per day (~2ml per 50 litres).

    I'm using a DIY TPN+ with double the normal phosphate levels and adding 20ml per day.

    My substrate is plain play sand from argos.

    Current livestock is 1 gold spot dwarf plec (similar to the pitbull plecs), about 20 cherry shrimp, 5 apple snails, 2 mini nerites and lots of trumpet snails of various types. Any recommendations for fish greatly received as I've found someone willing to ferry me to a fish shop in return for tea and cake :)

    So... some photos :)
    2781160850_ae76c7b621.jpg
    Adding the substrate, my original idea was to use hydrocela (fired clay balls) as a base under sand. They floated while I was priming them but I figured if I put enough sand on top of them then they'd get the idea and stay down. I was wrong :( but since they float they're easy enough to fish out. I think there's still a few left in there but most popped up as soon as I added the water :rolleyes:

    2780304363_08489b0906.jpg
    I know you're meant to start with the hardscape but I knew I wanted a 'curtain' of vallis at the back to help hide the pipe work/wires behind the tank (this tank is without a background). I also wanted to use the swords to hide the Juwel filter a bit.

    Once these were in I could get on with the hardscape.
    2781161848_598362e9af.jpg
    I'm using wood for the 3rd on the right and slate for the left and centre thirds, I'm intending that the right hand side should be more woodland feel whilst the left hand side a cleaner finish.
    2780305765_d9fd659264.jpg
    I've used the stems from my old scape still in their bunches. I'm not sure that I'm entirely happy with their positioning and I may end up swapping them all about. Since they're still in lead that should be a simple enough task.
    2780306359_e460dae154.jpg
    I split the foreground crypts etc into green and red to ensure an even spread, these are the green ones in, I've used more at the wood end than at the slate end.
    2780306935_10f9b1808a.jpg
    And with the red crypts and hairgrass added. I've used the hairgrass exclusively on the right by the wood to add some depth under the long stemmed crypts.
    2780308417_9614c3c4d0_b.jpg
    The finished tank after the water has had a chance to clear and the inhabitants have been introduced to their new home :)
    2781165656_eb66d86e8b_b.jpg
    Under its own lights.

    All these photos are available in original resolution on my flickr site in the 30G fish tank set
     
  2. beeky

    beeky Member

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    Looks good. You'll have to be heavy with the ferts if there's no nutrient substrate though, especially with crypts and swords.

    How about some corys, they'll love that sand. And maybe a pair of apistos? Not sure if they'll snack on the shrimps though.
     
  3. Egmel

    Egmel Member

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    That's the plan, I'm basically aiming for EI levels but with DIY TPN+ since it's easier to dose (I can never remember what day of the week it is!)
    I really like the idea of getting some panda corys, I've always wanted them, not sure if the tank will be to cluttered for them though.
    I'm not a huge fan of cichlids, I was looking more for some sort of shoaling fish. I had some penguin tetras which were cool, but they never really shoaled, they tended to be quite territorial in fact.
     
  4. beeky

    beeky Member

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    The best shoaling fish IME is the rummynose. Nearly everything else disperses on their own once they get settled. I've got 7 glowlights which shoal most of the time though, but they share with 2 angels to keep them on their toes/fins!

    I've also got some pandas in my jungle and they seem happy enough.
     
  5. a1Matt

    a1Matt Member

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    Without a doubt, couldn't agree more.

    They even inspire other fish to shoal! :D

    30 neon tetras just lazed about in my tank, I put just 3 rummy's in and the whole lot were shoaling all the time!
     
  6. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

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    Looking great :) now you just have to let those plants grow and fill it in more, keep us posted ;)
     
  7. Egmel

    Egmel Member

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    If I didn't have shrimp then I might consider getting some bigger fish to encourage smaller ones to shoal. Saying that a group of one or 2 types of fish, even if not shoaling tightly all the time still look good.
    So very nearly convinced... not sure they'd be best going in first, although the filter is mature it's had a very low bio-load for quite some time now. I might be best off getting other fish first.
    Now that's an interesting point. I was looking at some other tetra or small danios so possibly I could have a shoal of each and see what happens.

    Unfortunately I'm going to be slightly limited by what they have in stock at my LFS, I have as yet to find any review, good or bad, on shops in my area.
    Cheers LD, I'm looking forward to the crypts creating a dense little jungle on the right and probably splitting the stems up a bit to fill out the mid ground. Then of course there's the vallis curtain though I'm not sure that it'll make any great headway whilst the main carbon source is EasyCarbo.
     
  8. Egmel

    Egmel Member

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    Well in return for tea and cake my friend played taxi and took me fish shopping :)

    Since the tank has had a low bio-load for the last month or so I decided to start slowly and i got 10 Rummy Nose tetras and 6 ottos.

    2816640147_b8a87a3ba2_b.jpg
    These guys are shoaling beautifully and even confuse my ottos into shoaling with them sometimes!
    2816639495_a71849212e_o.jpg
    Though not when there's food about, then they're all about the algae wafers!

    I'm really happy with these and over the next month I need to decide whether to add another small shoal of something else or to up the number of rummy noses. The ottos are better than I expected, I've never had them before, always been told they were a little weak and prone to dying easily, but when I looked at them in the shop I decided to take the risk. They seem to really be enjoying the fact that the tank is planted, they must look really lost in a non-planted tank in comparison.

    Unfortunately the staghorn nerites weren't happy and I'm fairly certain they're dead, plus a couple of my apple snails seem to be on their last legs (not that they had any to start with). I've moved them all into a holding tank so that if they are dead they wont pollute the water for my new fish but if they're alive then I can keep an eye on them. Fingers crossed. :bored:
     
  9. Garuf

    Garuf Member

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    My ottos always shoal with what ever fish they are in the tank with them. They're my favourite fish to watch, I find them really characterful.
     
  10. Egmel

    Egmel Member

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    I've heard mixed things, as I say I think they come into their own in a planted tank. Which is probably why people on this board rave about them but others are less enamoured! I'm loving them, they're fun to watch and they do seem to be nibbling on just about everything!
     
  11. a1Matt

    a1Matt Member

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    Otos and Rummies what a great start Egmel :D
     
  12. beeky

    beeky Member

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    Got another full pic of the tank now?
     
  13. TDI-line

    TDI-line Member

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    It's coming on well Egeml.
     
  14. Egmel

    Egmel Member

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    Will try to get one this evening, it needs a prune so it might well be before and after shots if you're lucky :)
     
  15. Egmel

    Egmel Member

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    Sorry for the delay on these, w*rk's been getting in the way.

    The vallis as predicted isn't making the bid for freedom that I'd like it to, though it has started to put out some new runners :)

    The crypts have stopped melting (I only lost a couple of leaves in the end) and are bedding in well.

    The stems are growing well, at the moment I'm concentrating on getting them to spread out so I'm chopping the long ones in half at each prune. Seems to be doing the trick nicely.

    I've shuffled a few things about to try and pull some of the slower growing stems out of the shadow of the faster growing ones.

    Prior to a good prune (please excuse the flash)
    2827803004_d176e618bb_b.jpg
    After a good prune (need to get the knack of getting the stems to face the right way)
    2827803484_1663a8c63a_b.jpg

    A couple of inhabitants photos...
    MTS in full glory
    2826966141_512d0069c4.jpg
    A nice chunky bellied Otto
    2827803716_2437f09af1.jpg
     
  16. beeky

    beeky Member

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    Great pics, and nice tank. Definitely a jungle in its infancy!
     
  17. Egmel

    Egmel Member

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    Thanks, I'm sure it'll change a lot before I'm truly happy with it. I can't wait for the swords and vallis to take over their respective roles, by then the stems will hopefully be bushier and healthier too.

    You may notice I'm back on the nutrafin ladder, my DIY kit refused to play ball so I reverted to tried and tested. As I say I'm hoping to get pressurised CO2 for my B'day in Oct and that should make life easier. Until then I'm going to use the nutrafin kit and easy carbo.
     
  18. GreenNeedle

    GreenNeedle Member

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    I really like it. Reminds me of my first scape (left of signature) only brighter.

    I never found Otos weak or sensitive but they do seem to starve quite easily. Yours look great though and you have a great position there in a nice bright room.

    AC
     
  19. Egmel

    Egmel Member

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    Thanks, the room actually has only one window and it's on the east wall, but it's a magnolia wall colour (rented accom) and whilst I have way too much furniture almost all of it is white to keep the room feeling light. I've tried to position the tank out of direct sunlight on the south wall and in fact now I've got the bigger tank it's the only place it can go!

    The ottos have only been in under a week so I'm going to have to defer to MA@Guildford for them looking healthy, fingers crossed they're looking as good in a couple of months time.

    I think the reason I so like the jungle scapes is that you can fit so many plants into them. At the end of the day, that's the bit of this that I really like, the plants. I love all the different colours and shapes, they don't all go together but then sometimes I think life is a bit like that. :lol:
     
  20. beeky

    beeky Member

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    The only thing I would say, is that I'm not too keen on that piece of vertical slate. Looks like a partition's been put up.
     

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