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  1. Ben C

    Algae photo request!

    Hi all, From January I'm going to start blogging about algae in the planted aquarium, but could really do with some images. If you have any algae images that you'd be happy for me to use, I would be really grateful if you could DM them to me. I will of course credit you on the photo (if you...
  2. Ben C

    Waving the white flag! I need your help...

    Hello all, I need your help. I set up a new planted tank in early December. It started off perfectly, but has declined over the last couple of months to a mess. I've had planted tanks for years and this is the toughest ride I have ever had. I've made a video to help illustrate where I currently...
  3. Ben C

    10 years in the making

    So, this is my latest aquascape and one that has taken 10 years to get to! On my recent 10 year work anniversary, my company gave me £500 to spend on anything I like, so I took the opportunity to indulge my hobby a little. I spent £300 on the two Kessil A80 Tuna Sun LED lights, ADA substrate...
  4. Ben C

    £500 to spend - please help!

    Evening all, I have been given £500 to spend (long service award at work) and would like to upgrade my CO2 (complete new set-up) and upgrade from a cheap T5 unit to an LED lighting unit. I've been looking at the TGM complete CO2 kit and the ADA Aquasky 601both at The Green Machine. Not only...
  5. Ben C

    Staurogyne melt and Cyperus browning tips

    Morning all, I re-scaped my tank three weeks ago and planted one pot of Tropica S. Repens. It gradually yellowed and melted. The stems have now completely disintegrated and the only thing left is the roots. The tips of my C. helferi have also started to brown as well. Oddly, Blyxz japonica...
  6. Ben C

    How would you arrange the flow in this tank?

    I am hugely inspired by this tank but was wondering how best to organise the flow in this tank? The natural flow of the wood and plants is right to left, so the direction of water movement would need to reflect this. I'm thinking filter outlet front right to filter inlet back right. Is that...
  7. Ben C

    Getting MC to lie down!

    OK, so my MC is growing fairly healthily - nice green leaves, is not straggly (internodal length is reasonably short) but its growing vertically and refuses to lie down. I have 24W over an 81l tank - used to have 48W but things are growing much better since reducing the light. Injected CO2 via...
  8. Ben C

    Distribution advice needed

    Evening all, I need your help. My tank is not happy.. plants are just existing and really thriving. I'm convinced this is down to CO2 distribution and want to sort it out once and for all. A few specs for you: Tank: TMC Signature 60cm x 45cm x 30cm (81l) Filter: Eheim Professionel III (50%...
  9. Ben C

    Silicate removing compound

    Evening all, I currently have an outbreak of long diatom synedra and reading about it a couple of other sites recommend using some form of silicate removing compound in the filter. Can anyone recommend such a thing? or any other method of overcoming this horrible brown algae? Will Amanos and...
  10. Ben C

    Brown hairlike algae - what is causing this?

    Hi all, I've never really had algae problems before but this is a new set up and I cannot work out what is causing this. This is an 81l Signature. I have an Eheim Pro III giving me 10x turnover per hour (reduced media content), EI ferts and CO2 at around 30ppm. I don't have any livestock in...
  11. Ben C

    60cm Signature (untitled)

    Morning all, So, at long last, I've been able to set up my 60x45x30 TMC signature. I've had to acquire everything I've needed for it over the last three years or so, upgrading my kit from a standard 60x30x30 that I've had for quite some time. This is a high-tech tank and I am experimenting...
  12. Ben C

    Eleocharis acicularis or Eleocharis sp. 'mini' ?

    Super simple question - which of these two is the smaller of the two (in terms of typical height). They're sold as different plants, so I'm assuming there is a difference. Many thanks, Ben
  13. Ben C

    What is killing my shrimps?

    I've successfully kept and bred red cherry shrimps for years and I've read about largely unexplained mass die-offs before, but its now happening to me.. I'm losing about 10 shrimps a night at the moment but just a moment ago, found one in the final throes of death. On closer inspection, I...
  14. Ben C

    Couple of quick Purigen questions

    Evening all, Am still trying to understand whether Purigen is counter-productive in a high-tech EI tank. Can anyone give me a bit more clarity (;)) on this? Also, do people use it in their filters permanently, or just when they are trying to achieve a specific aim, i.e. increased water...
  15. Ben C

    Inlet/outlet on Signature

    Hello there, I've just bought a 600 x 450 x 300 TMC Signature and will be using gUSH glass lilies on it. I'm not concerned about flow rate, more flow direction and specifically the best positions for the inlet and outlet pipes. I cannot get the pipework on the sides of the tank without cutting...
  16. Ben C

    The Amazon Abyss programme on BBC

    Just in case anyone missed this - available now on iPlayer. Definitely worth watching - we don't get many programmes on TV! BBC iPlayer - Amazon Abyss: Episode 7 A one hour documentary on the fish and other wildlife of the Amazon. Some cool images and an insight into the natural habitats. We...
  17. Ben C

    The Moss Temple, Kyoto - pictures

    Morning all, I thought I'd post a few pictures from a trip to the Moss Temple just outside Kyoto, Japan. Known as Kokedera in Japanese, its invitation-only so few tourists get to see it. The name of the temple building itself is Saiho-ji. I thought these might serve as inspiration for a few...
  18. Ben C

    The secret to lush green Fissidens fontanus

    Evening all, Can anyone share the secret to lush green Fissidens fontanus with me? I've grown it a few times and although it grows, it always seems a bit dark and almost grey. How do you achieve beautiful green growth like this? Thanks everyone, Ben
  19. Ben C

    gUSH - OPipe or OBubble?

    Hi, Just looking into some gUSH glassware - can anyone tell me the differences between the OPipe and the OBubble? Why would one buy one over the other? 17mm Outflow - gUSH Lily Pipes - Aquarium Glassware - Tools & Glassware Also, anything to consider when buying inlet glassware? Many...
  20. Ben C

    Best external for a 60cm x 45cm x 30cm Signature

    As you may have read in other threads, I've just bought an Eheim Pro 3 (2075), in anticipation of upgrading my tank to the above Signature sometime in the new year. Ian Holdich used the 2073 on his Signature but recommended going for the 2075. However, sadly I have had problems with this...
  21. Ben C

    Problem with brand new Eheim Professionel 3 600 (2075)

    Evening all, Around 10 days ago, I bought a brand new Eheim Professionel 3 600 (2075) and set it up fine. However, overnight the flow dropped right off. Even 10 days later its still 'burping' out air, which I'm assuming is not normal. I gave it a good check-over last night. All taps, screw...
  22. Ben C

    My company's Movember promotional video!

    Folks, My colleagues and I made a promotional Movember video yesterday - please watch, enjoy and if you like - donate to our cause! Thanks all - enjoy, Ben
  23. Ben C

    BBA on substrate between glosso...

    Afternoon all, At the moment, the ONLY algae I have any sort of issue with is BBA which is forming ugly pom-poms on the substrate.. Its only in the lower layers of my tank, so I am assuming this is a circulation issue at those lower levels. The tank is 54l and filtered by an Eheim 2213...
  24. Ben C

    Help tracking down an aquascape I saw...!

    Hi, Sometime last week, I stumbled across an image of a beautiful aquascape on here somewhere, but I cannot for the life of me find it again, despite hunting high and low! Here's what I remember: Pretty sure it was a 100cm tank. Island layout with manzanita wood surrounded by white sand...
  25. Ben C

    Cleaning ceramic diffuser plates

    Hi, Anyone worked out how to remove the stubborn algae layer from ceramic diffuser plates? It's kind of crept up on me and is now affecting bubble flow. Many thanks, Ben
  26. Ben C

    Causes of biofilms....

    Hi all, A really dull topic for my first post, I know, but I've been here in the background for a few months, watching and reading. All has been going well in my high tech planted 54l (60cm) tank until about two days ago when a white biofilm started to develop. It has worsened overnight into...
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