Ulster Exile's Training Wheels Tank.

ulster exile

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6 Jul 2007
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Birmingham, UK
Well I figured it was about time that I bit the bullet and showed you my tank. I am very much still learning the trade having only recently gotten on top of sustaining a stable CO2 level and am starting EI too, so I hope that this serves as a journal until I can take my training wheels off :rolleyes:

The tank is a Cleair BSB 1000. It was sold as a 180l tank, but the dimensions tell me different; I reckon it to be 215l.
Lighting consists of 4x30W T8's.
Substrate is plain pea gravel. Not my ideal, but it is what I have and I don't intend to change it just yet.
Fertilisation is EI.
Plants:
Cryptocoryne wendtii
Cryptocoryne x willisii
Hygrophilia corymbosa
Hygrophilia salcifolia/angustifolia (not quite sure, was lfs bought and had no ID)
Heteranthera zosterifolia
Sagittaria subulata
Ludwigia Glandulosa

To set the scene, this was it in Feb 2007 after I'd been in the hobby for a year.
Mytank125.jpg


This was it last summer, when I stripped the tank to be rid of my monosolenium tenerum which had taken over and I started the move to this current set up...
IMG_1929.jpg


This is is as of today following a major trim, movearound and the addition of the redmoor wood and c. x willisii I bought at TGM. The wood's position isn't fixed yet - it is wedged under one of the bracing bars atm but will be zip-tied into place at some point.
280408.jpg


Comments and criticisms welcomed.
 

ulster exile

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6 Jul 2007
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Birmingham, UK
Cheers Lisa! The crypts may look nice, but tbh they were a bit of a mistake since they are covered in GSA - the underside of the leaves are a beautiful pink, but the tops are dark green (and not in the nice way :rolleyes: ). In retrospect, sticking algae magnets in a high light set up was not a good idea, but I like the look so I tend to trim the worst leaves and let the new ones coming through.
 

LondonDragon

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I have those crypts in my tank and they are great ;) makes a nice contrast to the light green of everything else ;)
Nice looking tank, the wood will look great once in place ;) keep us posted
 

beeky

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21 Aug 2007
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Chippenham, Wiltshire
Good luck with the L. Glandulosa. Cegipedia mentioned it was a bit tricky and needed good light and good CO2 to flourish. I was going to get a pot but bottled it! (I've got DIY CO2)
 

ulster exile

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6 Jul 2007
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Location
Birmingham, UK
Thank you for your comments :D

Beeky - I read cegipedia's comments just after I'd bought mine (d'oh!). It's been in a few weeks and has grown quite well (so far!!!), although two stems became uprooted and I left them to float for a couple of weeks. The floating stems are now a lovely red colour, whilst the rest are much lighter/greener. I don't mind the less coloured stems because they still provide a contrast to the green plants on either side if you know what I mean.
 

ceg4048

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Yes, this is a lovely plant and I wish more people would try it. Leaves nearer to the substrate are green, presumably in order to be more efficient light collectors. As the stem nears the surface (or as the available light increases) the leaves change to red. Unlike it's rowdy cousin (repens) it doesn't seem to branch out and get bushy nearly as quickly, so you might have to prune more often.

Cheers,
 

ulster exile

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6 Jul 2007
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Birmingham, UK
Thank you for the info :) It is a pretty plant and I am fairly pleased that it hasn't died off after it reached the tank - the seller kindly sent it the day before the easter break meaning that it didn't arrive for 5 days. I'm also pleased that the new growth leaf sizes are much larger than the existing growth, hopefully testament to CO2 and the new EI regime.
 

ulster exile

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6 Jul 2007
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Location
Birmingham, UK
I have to say that I'm undecided just yet.

I have always struggled with the disproportionate (to my eyes anyway) depth of the tank and I kind of liked the idea of having something reaching down into the tank to contrast with the effect of seeing all of the plants reaching up. I always looked at the plants reaching up and it seemed to emphasize how deep it looked.

Do you think it would look better bottoms up, so to speak?
 

ulster exile

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Joined
6 Jul 2007
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Location
Birmingham, UK
Ok, I had a bit of a play with the position of the wood tonight following a water change so let me know what you think please?

IMG_0908.jpg


IMG_0910.jpg


IMG_0911.jpg


And the initial pic over again - although the wood was angled a bit more this way
280408.jpg


I like the very first picture in this post.
 

Martin

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28 Dec 2007
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125
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North Wales
Hi Chrisi, sorry to throw a spanner in the works, but I like pic no. 2, the branch at the front creates a really nice shape. :)
 

ulster exile

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6 Jul 2007
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350
Location
Birmingham, UK
Apologies for not answering your comments, the feedback was most appreciated. When it came to actually attaching the wood to the brace bar, I was a bit restricted and the wood ended up choosing its own place. This was the tank a couple of days ago. Sorry for the poopy pics.

260508.jpg


The ludwigia is turning nice and red
260508Llacustris.jpg


However, I am struggling to keep up with the heteranthera zosterifolia - it grows pretty fast and is very unruly and messy looking (this is it after I'd hacked it back down). I realise that I'm supposed to trim it very frequently, but I'm not sure where to start!
IMG_0697-1.jpg
 
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