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3rd Attempt - Horizon 130 litre


17 Jan 2009
Hi all,
So I've decided its time for a planted tank. Had my first planted tank about 12 years ago, more recently set up a small fluval flex which was low tech but thats now just home to some cherry shrimp and the 2 remaining fish from 4/5 years ago.

The new tank is a Aqua One Horizon 130. Not seen many of these tanks about. The set up came with an LED light, internal filter and heater all which will all be replaced.

Oase biomaster 350 thermo.
I'm still not 100% sure of yet but probably a twinstar of some type.
Will be a Fire extinguisher Co2 setup as I still have my regulator from my marine tank days with an inline reactor.
Tropica soil in the raised sections with a sand around the front and up the valley.

Will mainly be small species. So far below is what I have in mind
15x Chilli Rasboras
15x Blue emperer
6x Neon blue Gobies
6x Peacock Gobies
8x Otos (once its mature enough)
Cherry Shrimp
Amano shrimp

Will mainly consist of plants within the raised sections with maybe the odd piece dotted about on the sand.
Ludwigia mini super red
Dwarf Hairgrass
Rotala Wallichii
Pogosteman Erectus
Anubias Nana
Echinodorus 'Aquartica'
Bacopa Compacta
Lindernia rotundifolia

Thanks for looking
So added the sand last weekend, set up the filter and added some water. Only have the lights on for a few hours a day when I get home as I have no plants/stock in there. There is already something growing on the bogwood. Not sure if its a fungus or algae though? Any suggestions?

Need to set the CO2 up still and need to get an external reactor. Thinking of getting a cheap skimmer from APS as well to take the film away from the surface. Also need to finalise my plant list!


Well you have a good start there and will be interesting to see it planted up. This is only an observation, so please only take this as constructive criticism from someone very new to scaping, but the wood to my eyes is too upright and doesn't appear very natural (except for the 2 pieces left of the valley) I wonder if introducing some angles wouldn't help give more harmony. Maybe when planted up this will be less obvious.

The growth on the wood is perfectly normal and will soon go. You can remove it with your finger tips or a toothbrush if it bothers you at all. You could try facing the spray bar upwards to give some more surface agitation, that will hopefully help reduce the surface skim. Saying that the little skimmers do work well.
Thanks Paul. Growth on the wood is still going strong!

Not much has really happened since last post other than setting up the co2 over the last week!

I finally got round to making a quick and experimental reactor and plumbed in a few days ago. Not sure how it will work but there are currently no micro bubbles going through. Hopefully the picture explains but the water is acting as a vortex and is fairly rough where you can see the bubbles gathering at the top. I purged a fair amount of air out the tube so I know I have co2 entering the system which is why there is so much already gathered. Hoping in normal operation there won't be as much. When I first set it up I had about 2/3x the amount of air at the top which took about 2 hours to dissipate.

I have placed the drop checker close to the bottom as the instructions said. My only worry is the bromothymol blue is a few years old although never been opened so not sure if it goes 'off'

If all is good I'm hoping to start planting it soon!

Fish wise thinking of the below. Feel like I need something to complement the Rasboras but not sure what. I'm sticking to small fish!
35/40 Chilli Rasboras
8 Otos
Few different gobies


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So I changed the co2 reactor to something similar made by foxfish which is working well. Only change to the design was adding the co2 via a T piece between the filter and reactor.

Also upgraded the light to a Twinstar 900 with controller which I purchased from Sam (SPR3006). Looks much better than the standard light and works well with the controller.

Plants were ordered on Sunday from AE so hopefully they will be with me Tomorrow although I won't get enough time to plant them. Below is a list of what has been ordered. 2 plants unfortunately were not in stock so will need to order once they are (In italic)

Tropica Rotala macrandra
Lobelia cardinalis (Scarlet lobelia)
Cryptocoryne petchii
Limnophila hippuridoides
Myriophyllum mattogrossense
Ludwigia palustris red
Tropica Bacopa carolina
Pogostemon helferi (Little Star)
Micranthemum Monte-Carlo
Hygrophila corymbosa thailands
Cyperus helferi
Murdannia keisak
Pogostemon erectus
Heteranthera zosterfolia
Looking good, plenty of fast growers in that plant list should help you get a good start up.
Cheers Sam, sure with the new light they will grow well. I've no excuses now!

Just placed the plants in the tank for now. Hoping to plant tomorrow. Might leave the Heteranthera zosterfolia and just get the Pogostemon erectus as its looking pretty full right now. Maybe substitute with a few and dot them around next to the rocks in the sand. Any suggestions?

So over weekend I planted the tank. I wasn't too sure if I ordered enough plants when I placed the order but its filled the tank nicely. Can see the growth on some of the plants already.

Need to add a dosing pump to does the TNC Complete. Plants seem to start pearling soon after I add it which is half way through the lighting cycle.

The growth on the wood is a fungus that grows on starches in the wood. Mine hung around for a few months (a fresh cut piece of pear wood that I boiled before using) and then gradually disappeared as fish ate it and the starch ran out.
Tank looks great.
Really like the split between planted and sandy areas.
Tank is ticking over. Didn't have time to vacuum the sand this week before the lights/co2 came on so just had to do a water change.

Trimmed the plants on the back right hand side as they have been growing well. Also trimmed the MC. Happy with how it's going though. Also removed some of the longer algae.

Hoping to order/collect 40 chilli rasboras in the next few weeks if time allows. I have added 2 white cloud mountain minnows that I've had for about 4 years now from another tank just so I can redo that tank!

Before prune

After prune