Where Did You Start?

Discussion in 'General Planted Tank Discussions' started by mattyc, 4 Sep 2009.

  1. mattyc

    mattyc Member

    Thelwall, Warrington
    I was looking on the internet for aquatic shops in the north west where i stumbled across TGM. i had a look at their website and decided to go have a look for myself. I was amazed by their tanks the size and they just looked so good i had to have one. i asked for some advice and was pointed in the direction of this site so i got on and had a read. all the tanks on here looked realy cool so i got some aqua soil from TGM and some plants and i made a tank. which turned into a huge mess of algae! i then graduated from uni and could spend more time on my tank i went back to TGM and spent about 3 hours getting my hard scape i ripped the tank down and went about building the tank as it looks now.

    Please post up your stories about how you got into planted tanks!

    (if this is in the wrong place will a mod please move it to the correct one thanks :) )
  2. AdAndrews

    AdAndrews Member

    Kidderminster, Worcs
    I brought pfk every week and was inspired by Georges planted tank series... also being a member on TFF I stared in awe at saintlys micracle mire, making me want to create something similar, havnt got that far yet, but im learning!

  3. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth Member

    worksop, nottinghamshire
    i used to read the blogs on PFK by George and his "blyxa hills" caught my attention. He set it up at the correct time as i bought a new tank which was getting a fair amount of algae so i thought i would give plants a go, 3 months after it wasnt really working so i bought another tank dedicated to plants, and that is how "The Forgotten Valley" was formed :thumbup:

    When researching TFF came up a lot so i joined, and i noticed Geroge & Sam had links to UKAPS which is why i have joined :thumbup:
  4. CeeJay

    CeeJay Member

    Surrey UK
    Hi mattyc
    Like yourself, I took a trip to TGM (from Surrey :wideyed: ), back in May and was blown away by their displays. The best bit for me was when seeking advice. I was pointed in the direction of Graeme Edwards who just happened to mention this site. Not only that, I arrived around midday and I was still there at 6pm seeking advice as I'd never done a planted tank before. No question was too much trouble for him. This shop is certainly different to any other 'plant or aquatic shop' that I know, in the fact that during my 6 hours of advice there was not one bit of 'sales pressure' which I was well impressed with. Graeme is absolutely passionate about this subject, he is a credit to the hobby (and TGM :D ). He might even remember me, I had the other half in tow and she's got a dodgy name (Tisa).
    Unfortunately for me, I walked out of there some £300 lighter carrying a full co2 setup, redmoor wood, all the glassware and a whole raft of other bags and boxes. Upon reflection I probably only had a spend up because there was no sales pressure.
    As I travelled up by train, the boys even gave me a lift back to the station with all my bags and boxes. I've since bought all my plants from there too, and they always arrive next day and well packed.
    It was a long day for me, not arriving home until around 11pm, but a thoroughly enjoyable experience.
    Top marks to TGM for outstanding service. A credit to the hobby. :thumbup:
    I'll definitely get back there one day.
    Like yourself mattyc, my tank is still evolving :lol:.

  5. bugs

    bugs Member

    I first got in to planted tanks about 10 years ago. I was vaguely aware of the idea of using CO2 and had sought out Dennerle and realised their kit was A. expensive and B. not readily available. Somehow or other I stumbled across a company called Hobby Fish, run by two brothers who, if my memory serves me correct, had taken over a long standing business from their father who had been growing aquatic plants successfully for years. N'theless, they had a shop up in Milton Keynes and subsequently opened a shop tucked out of the way in Crews Hill. I visited the Crews Hill shop, bought a load of kit - all of which they'd developed and packaged themselves plus some Dennerle tubes, and set about putting together my first planted tank. It was probably the most successful planted tank I've had to date. Hobby Fish still exist I believe.


    and the first planted tank:
  6. Fred Dulley

    Fred Dulley Member

    Cardiff, Wales
    Years ago I spotted Jimbooo's tank Journals on TFF, including his Rekord 60, Rio 180 and 55gallon cube. They inspired me enormously. I also noticed in the journals that James had learnt a lot from George Farmer so I investigated his journals too. From then on I was hooked because of these two guys and I participated in the planted forums till this day where we have our home sweet home, Ukaps baby. ;)
  7. Mark Evans

    Mark Evans Expert

    newark notts.
    same with me. who is jimbo actually?

    he was the riccia on slate man right?.....

    is he here?

    from then discovering you had to design a tank. i fell lucky and stumbled across an amano tank pretty quickly. then aaron north pointed me to here....then ceg's advice guided me to where i am now regards to the science and healthy tanks.

    i've just looked in the folder containing my first ever iwagumi layouts :oops: :shh: horrid! :lol:
  8. mattyc

    mattyc Member

    Thelwall, Warrington
    is nice to hear other peoples stories, all the tanks i saw before i got into the planted tanks are the ones with floressent sculls and ships in them!!! i will Never look back and im in the process of making a malawi biotope, the only plant will be algae!!
  9. misscaretaker

    misscaretaker Member

    Never having kept fish before (except for the standard goldfish as a kid!) and not liking things going to waste, I got a tank from a woman at work who was taking it to the tip. I was trained as a gardener with the National Trust and so wanted to grow aquatic plants as well as fish. I had never heard of planted tanks and after hours trawling the 'net I found this site which has been invaluable. I have only been keeping fish and planted tanks for a year now and it has been a steep and expensive learning curve, but enjoyable nonetheless! My tanks are in no way comparable to any of the journals on here (especially not at the moment :( ) but I've had no major disasters and not many fishy deaths (3 ottos, 1 bandit cory and a frog which accidentally got sucked up the filter intake after the end fell off) in that year thanks 99% to this site!
    Thanks UKAPS! :thumbup:
  10. paul.in.kendal

    paul.in.kendal Member

    Kendal, Cumbria
    There's a huge beech tree on the Green opposite my front door.

    Last autumn, when it dumped all its leaves and the council failed to sweep them up promptly, I decided to collect and compost them for my garden.

    Googling "beech compost" turned up the UKAPS forum - probably a Diana Walstad-style thread. I started rummaging, as anything plant-related gets me going.

    Nine months later and I've now spent a small fortune (mainly at TGM - what an incredible shop with fantastic staff!) and I still haven't got my arm wet - yet!
  11. Fred Dulley

    Fred Dulley Member

    Cardiff, Wales

    James Flexton aka "JIMBOOO"
    http://ukaps.org/forum/memberlist.php?m ... ofile&u=80
  12. dsandson

    dsandson Member

    Belfast, NI
    Another vote for Jimbooo. Truelly stunning tanks. Reading through the journals they just got better and better and better! I was hooked from that point on, and it didnt take long to migrate over here to ukaps.

  13. jonnyf84

    jonnyf84 Member

    I've kept fish since i was a little boy, my first was Billy, i won him at the local gala when i was 7, tough old Billy lived in a washing up bowl for a week in standard tap water (i was of course clueless), my dad finally agreed to buying a tank (the other option was Billy been flushed down the toilet which made me very upset), from there me and my dad got more and more into fish, after some time dad bought his first tropical setup and that was me smitten, we bought the odd plant here and there but we didn't think much about it when they died. It was 12 years later that i decided i wanted to try a fully planted tank so i hastilly bought one of those full tank plant packages, i called in sick to work the day they came through the post and spent all day doing my first scape, i bought some cheap plant fert on recommendation from the pet shop man and sat back and enjoyed my new creation, i transfered some of my favourite rare Limia's into the new scape and i was amazed by the difference in behaviour and how there colours were enhanced, once again i was smitten. However, to my dismay after a few days the plants started to die back and i couldn't understand why, after 3 weeks the tank was 120 Litres of mush, i was infuriated so i spent as much time as i could figuring out why this happened and how to fix it. Needless to say it was too late for my very first scape but this is what introduced me to the wonderful world of TFF, Green Machine, Plants Alive, Aqua Essentials and all the joys of aquascaping. My girlfriend now curses the day i ordered that first set of plants, as you all know it's a hobby that is not shy on the wallet, regardless, scaping has become my second love, a very close second :) I am now the proud owner of two high-tech aquascapes and it is a passion that will be with me for life, theres just something fascinating about creating your own underwater fantasy, a way of expressing yourself in a unique and testing way. I'm currently getting some funds together for a sub-tropical scape to house my favourite fish, Billy, aged 18. And needless to say there will be plenty of sick days to come.

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