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Welcome :) Tell us about yourself

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Hi everyone, I'm Roy and I've just joined this forum, rather belatedly really as I have been into planted aquariums for 20 years or so. Nontheless, many of you will be more experienced at aquascaping than myself as I have only ever had one or two aquariums that have tended to gradually evolve over the years rather than regularly setting up new aquascapes from scratch.
Like many people I started with a single 2 footer with undergravel filtration and a single florescent. I was able to grow java fern, crypts, Echinodorus, Hygrophila polysperma etc. but was always dissapointed when other plants faded away. I will never forget turning off my undergravel when I installed a canister filter. Suddenly my amazon swordplant that had been growing quite nicely (I thought) as a centrepiece took over the whole tank!
From then on I avidly read everything I could find about aquarium plants which mostly consisted of old books in libraries and secondhand bookshops. There was lots of information about plant species (that were mostly unobtainable) but usually only very short sections on how to actually set up a planted aquarium. I did find odd snippets about the mythical Dutch aquariums as a result of which I upped my lighting (to two grolux!) and added peat, clay pellets and even rabbit droppings to my substrate. I remember growing great crypts but not much else in this period.
When the english translation of the optimum aquarium was published I toured the aquarium shops in and around London to locate laterite, heating cables and CO2 equipment. My aquarium was now clean and bright and at last stem plants grew in profusion so that my attempts to grow orderly groups and 'streets' of contrasting colours ended in disorderly jungles.
Then along came Mr. Amano and, suddenly, the whole planted thing took off! I think the first pictures I saw of his aquascapes were in TFH magazine and I was straight down to put more order in at Foyles when Nature Aquarium World was published. I even subscribed to the english edition of Aqua Journal and was really dissapointed when they stopped arriving after a few months. Not that I've ever really set up a true 'Nature Aquarium' as such, but moss, ferns and shrimp did begin to feature heavily in my aquariums.
My next big influence were the AGA forum and magazine, as a result of which I started using PMDD and then later adding pottasium nitrate and phosphate as water column fertilisers rather than just the common pottasium sulphate plus (sometimes) iron. I've also dabbled in the Dianna Walstead low tech method, mainly by adopting the more restrained version of the enriched substrate. Incorporating small amounts of garden soil enabled me to grow foreground plants like hairgrass and glosso really well for the first time.
Phew! Sorry, didn't mean to go on like that. Anyway my adventures in the planted aquarium world have been on hold for a couple of years. Since getting divorced and moving into a small flat my few remaining plants and fish have been crammed into a single 80 litre tank. I have now ordered a new 4 ft x 18" x 18 " aquarium and cabinet and I am ready to start afresh. Any advice would be welcome. At the moment I am debating whether I should go for one of the 'new' commercial substrates or stick to a fertilised bottom layer with a top layer of sand and should I re-cycle my old T8's or invest in some T5's (or other lighting system). The aquarium will be focused on housing Rams and some Apisto's (probably aggassizi's) as dwarf cichlids are my other main aquarium interest,
OK I will shut up for now. Look forward to 'meeting' all you other UK planted aquarium fans, Roy.
Hello Everyone, My name is Tim and I have come back to "fishkeeping" after about 20 odd yrs away from the hobby. Originally from London, moved to Wales in teens and due to water chemistry differences (spring water and ignorance)I had to knock the hobby into touch (lots of ill fish). Having been yearning to start again for years, a little research has shown me that technically, everything has changed. There are no longer any barriers to fishkeeping due to use of RO etc.

I am a Test Engineer (electronics) working for a manufacturing facility in Mid-Wales where I support test equipment on a permanent night-shift. I enjoy technical challenges and this is probably one of the reasons I want to get back into the whole aquarium thing as there are many different technical aspects to become familiar with before the desired result can be achieved.

Have just turned 40 so not quite over the hill yet (but I can see the summit). Two great sons (5 & 16) and a wonderful wife at home. Home is a "doer upper" which may well see me into an early grave!

My aims for the medium term are to get a medium sized planted tank and a minireef nano tank, but everything will be at snails pace as I want to get everything just right....... (and my other half keeps directing my attention to an unpaved patio area and the holes in the ceiling of the living room and dining room (I jest not!))

I am also interested in the technical side of things and am notoriously tight-fisted so will be looking to use and develop home-made alternatives to some of the control gear that is available. I have a little electronics and even less programming experience but I know a few people who have a lot of experience so if anyone has anything they would like to know please drop me a mail.

Hope to talk and laugh with many of you in the years to come.
Hi everyone,

My name is Clement and I'm a 46 year old hospital manager living and working in Birmingham with my wife and 9 (going on 29) year old daughter. First started keeping fish in 1970 at the tender age of 8 and haven't looked back since. I tend to specialise in South American fish for no reason other than that's where my mom and dad are from.

My current set up comprises of a 48x20x18 aquarium and Beech cabinet drom Classic Aquarium Cabinets. Equipment is as follows;-

182 watts of T5 PC lighting all on electronic timers
Electronic heating with digital display controls
Eheim 2226 Professional II power filter
Eheim autodoser for fertilisers
Pinpoint ph monitor
JBL CO2 on timer with night time solenoid
Thermostically controlled fans in cabinet hood to vent out hot air generated by the T5s

The aquarium has quite a lot of wood in it which praticall covers the entire back wall and has ferns and mosses growing on it. There is also a large piece of Redmoor wood (from Aqua Essentials) which is used as a slightly off centre , centre piece. Stonework is all Dragon rock once again from AE.
Plants include java ferns, saggitaria , crypts (Wentii & Balansae),hygophila difformis, weeping moss, Echinodorus Ozelot and an absolutely huge red Barclaya.
Fish include large shoal of Cardinals , Dutch Rams, Hockey Stick pencils and Appistogramma Cacatuoides double red. There are also a number of Amano and bamboo shrimp.

The aquarium is heavily planted in the 'jungle' and need prining roughly every 2/3 weeks.

I first got into planted aquaria back in 1979 when I discovered a book called The Complete Encyclopedia of Tropical Freshwater Fish by J D Ramhorst.It was this book that first introduced me to aquascaping and the 'Dutch' style of planting. I still remember the satisfaction I got having built my first terraces and then planting in them One could say the book was my inspiration that has kept me an avid fan of planted aquaria to this day. I still have a copy of the book and although it has dated a little it still remains (for it's time) a brilliant book.

So although with 38 years in the hobby I still enjoy as much as I did in the early days. It will be interesting to see how the hobby develops/changes over the next few years.


Hello Everyone
My name is Maciek, I am 35 and I am polish guy working as structural engineer in Caithness. I live in the UK for over 4 years now. I was keeping fish and plants for over 15 years back in Poland. Because this hobby is so addictive :D than I have 180 liters tank from some time here in this country. Polish fish keeping market is slightly different, so I decide to sign up to this forum for take some lessons of "british fish keeping" :D . Also hope to shear my own experience and "polish" my english of course.

Czesc Maciek :)
Hi Guys,

My Name is Jack, I'm 32 and live in the lovely town known as Slough, Berkshire. For a living I work as a Desktop Support Engineer (internal) for a well known IT company in Bracknell, Berkshire. In fact I've just been offered a new job as a consultant which I will be taking after doing desktop support for 15+ years. I
I've had you're normal non planted aquarium for 4-5 years now, with a few plants stuck in it for aesthetic reasons. But only recently have I discovered the world of Planted Aquariums, and I have to say, WOW :wideyed: I am so impressed and so jealous of all you guys in here, especially at the works of art (as it is art to me ) that you guys gave created with your fish tanks. They are simply amazing and take your breath away. With this in mind, its made me determined to try and attempt a planted aquarium. I'm VERY, VERY new to the world of Planted Tanks and its terminology, so Im constantly trying to find my feet and understand what a lot of you guys mean and talk about, and its relevance/importance. but I'm defininitley trying.
Hi everyone,

My name is Bobby and I'm 24 from London. I've recently graduated from Uni so am currently job hunting (but looking on the bright side as I can spend more time on the planted tank!). I've been keeping fish pretty much all my life (got the inevitable bowl with goldfish when i was 3 with the help from dad who incidentally had a fish tank well before I appeared) and I've have kept lots of different types of fish over the years including discus and a marine nano tank. I have had plants before but this is the first time I am doing it "properly": with CO2, high lighting, ferts etc. The tank as it is now has been running for just over two months now, having previously been an african cichlid tank. The premise of this tank was to do everything as cost effective as possible so the CO2, for example, is homemade and many of the plants were cuttings friends have given me. I am quite pleased with how it is coming along as I invisaged it being smothered in algae.

I am so impressed by everyone's tanks and knowledge on here and also how welcoming and inviting everyone is. I am so pleased that I joined now. Finally, just to say thanks for all those who have helped me out upon joining!
well, this is me, back in the days when i played.only about 4 years ago.
my name is mark, from newark. im currently (coughs) 33 (coughs) and in thiose 33 years ive had a colourfull life to say the least ;)

my first trade(the one that earns the dough) is as a leadworker (putting lead on roofs.) mainly historical buildins etc...very rewarding actualy.

heres a pic of my most recent job @ oxford university buttery and kitchens.the chap to the right is my mate "h" the one on the left...a kid who thinks he's on a slide!


within the last 4 years ish i turned my hand to photography (in the profesional manner) but got fed up with it. it killed my passion for it when i had to try and earn money.

prior to that i was playing in a band with a guy called jon amor (whos just had robert plant feature on his album, which also features a song that id wrote track 12)
ive played in every country in europe even as far as kazakstan! whwre i met my wife natt (the one on the left) :lol: then 1 year later we had daniel, my beautifull son.
ive played on radio 2 several times, played at montreaux jaz festival along side jamiroquai, radio head and the likes. had features in guitar magazines etc etc and could never earn any money.thats why i had to stop.



anyway i could go on for hours and hours. i think you get the jist.

see you all soon

Ejack said:
Czesc Maciek :)
Czesc Ejack :D Milo widziec ojczysty jezyk na obcojezycznym forum :D .

aaronnorth said:
Hi spider, can you tell us what is different in Poland? It would be interesting to know.
Hi aaronnorth
The main difference is that for long time in the past on polish market basic equipment have been not accessible or have been just to expensive for average fishkeeper. For this reason Poles developed many DIY solutions for lower the cost of fishkeeping. On polish aquatic forums you can find for example how to build denitrator or hydroponic filter or diatomic filter. They even managed to build DIY aquarium computer 4 years ago which uses ATMEL AVR ATMega32-16PU processor. This is open source project and all details how to build it you will find on the dedicated site here http://skalar.mcten.pl/index.php?option ... &Itemid=47 From time to time is possible to buy this computer in some on line shops in Poland and it cost about 450 zlotych (about 110£). They have more "DIY patents" and hope that you will find some of their tricks helpfull.
After Poland join EU and polish currency is stronger and stronger, basic aquatic equipment is cheaper and more accessible in Poland now, so I think in a next few years time will be no differences between polish market and rest of civilized world ;) and some usefull tricks will be forgoten :( .

I have just registered on the advice of John Starkey - who I met in Maidenhead Aquatics the other day.

I was given a 4 ft clearseal about 6 years ago which was fairly well set up for what it was. It had various different plants & fish in there including angels which kept trying to breed to no avail. I ended up spending the next 4 years totally absorbed in breeding my angels ending up with another tank to bring on the babies and pretty boring and bare 'No 1 tank'.

My breeding pair have since died and due to lack of funds I was resigned to the fact that as my fish died off I would not replace them as I really wanted a bigger tank and a new interest that I couldn't afford.

3 nights ago I was offered a Juwel Vision 260 and took it...... at the same time my last pair of angels laid a batch of eggs.....

I now have three tanks in my house. My two original breeding tanks and the new one. The new one is going to be planted and have a more 'entertaining' view. The breeding tanks may have to go as my OH is a bit concerned about the space they are taking up!

I am very new to the whole planted tank hobby and will be bouncing questions around everywhere I should think.

My first I am about to put on the 'lighting section'

Look forward to conversing with you all,


PS besides fish - I train and ride horses - if anyone in my area (Worcester) ever needs any help!!!!
Hi all,
I'm James and I'm sure some of you will recognise me from various other forums which I post on from time to time. I've been keeping fish for around 5 years, and have always tried to achieve a nice planted setup - however it never seemed to work. I'm currently in the process of clearing down my tank, so I can set it up as a medium/high tech tank but on a reasonably low budget.

My main hobby's include computer gaming, sudoku, poker and comedy. I'll be starting sixth form next year and hope to take physics, maths, English lit and History. I must admit I had a hatred for chemistry, but since seeing practical applications that I can use in my everyday life (The Fish Tank!) I am growing more tolerant of the subject :p

My favourite games are Halo 3, Rainbow Six Vegas 2, Hidden and Dangerous 2 and Team Fortress 2. If you play any of these send me a PM of your Xbox live tag/Steam Username and we can play together sometime.

My favourite TV Shows are lost and heroes and I can't wait for the next series of each of those.

I'm so pleased I've registered here. When I first came onto the site I only saw a few forums, but when I registered I saw that there was so much content I was missing as a guest! I wish I had registered sooner.

Hi all

The names Robert I'm 24 and currently studying electronics at college.

I live in Tamworth,South Staffs.

My hobbies include Bushcraft,Tracking,Art and Yoyoing.

I have two rotties a male and female call Colt and Alice.

I'm returnung to tropical fish keeping after a five year break.

I only have a 18X12X12 tank set up for my male betta at the moment.

I have plans to start a mid tech nano aquascape very soon.
Hi, my name is Jo, aged 30 from Basingstoke and I am a complete novice so expect some daft sounding questions! The only experience I have of aquariums is the ubiquitous funfair goldfish so since being given a 50l tank by a friend who no longer wanted it I have been reading this forum from start to finish!
I work full time as a school caretaker (no, I don't get the holidays off!) and along with taining my 2 dogs (Dan and Myrtle) for competetive agility, keeping up with the housework and looking after my husband who is on the long-term sick, I haven't a lot of time or spare cash! Therefore (and as I am a total newbie!) I am going as low-tech as possible whilst still using electricity! This forum has been a Godsend as I nearly pass out when I think of the money I'd have had to fork out on books to find this much information!
Thanks for all the info and inspiration!
Hi, I'm Mike and I live just outside Hereford in the middle of a forest, it's sooooo peaceful :D
I've been keeping fish for over 40 years, but hey at least I have some experience due in the main to making loads of mistakes. I have 2 planted tanks, one is a very low tech, low light 4 x 2 x 2 which houses my clown loaches and a few Syno's with a male bristlenose who only shows his face at night, so I hardly ever see him.

The other 4 x 2 x 15" is heavily planted with some of my favourite plants (crypts of course). This one is for the missus, so have to keep all the pretty community fish otherwise I can't have my catfish tank, just love my L numbers.
Just joined the forum and really impressed with the info given so freely. hope I can make a positive contribution too.
Hi everyone!

I am new to this forum as of yesterday but have been on the pfk one for a while...

I am 20 and live in benfleet, near Southend On Sea, Essex. I work as a customer service assistant/mortgage administrator.

i have been keeping fish for about 2 years, but only in the last 9months been involved in planted set-ups.

I am currently setting up a 300l high tech, slowly buying the parts over the last 6months and am almost at a stage to set it all up. I am going for high tech with 3-4wpg, pressurised co2 and EI dosing. I have been reading continuously over the last 6months, mainly from posts on forums.

Expect to hear from me soon with my large-scale algae problems :?
Hello! I'm Natalie, been keeping fish on and off since I was about 10, however nothing tropical, all goldfish.
Started my tropical tank about 5 months ago and recently upgraded to a 180l as bigger really is always better :lol:

I'm a bit of a newbie when it comes to aquatic plants, so expect to hear some stupid questions from me too :)

I've got a thread in the gallery, and thanks to the guys who've welcomed and given me advice so far!

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