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Cryptocopia

bazz

Member
Joined
24 Jan 2009
Messages
701
Location
Lincoln
Hi,
I've recently been thinking to myself that it is not really fair for me to offer any advice to people without showing my wares so thought I would post some photographs along with a bit of history.
I got my first tank at the age of 11 back in 1971, a 2' x probably 15"x15" a metal framed affair with putty sealing the glass in. Since this time I have had more often than not (working away etc) various tanks mainly consisting of undergravel filters, fish and slowly dissolving plants. That is until my first visit to The Water Zoo in Peterborough approximately 30 years ago, where they had a 4'x2'x2' Dennerle furnished Aquarium, I was smitten. I saved and spent any available cash I had (I had two very young children at the time and now have 4 grandchildren of which one is 15) slowly collecting all the Dennerle Paraphernalia until I ultimately had everything to adorn a 42"x24"x24" aquarium. It was definitely the best looking aquarium around these parts but it was never 100%. During this time I was also one of the founding members of The British Rainbow Society where we used to post the eggs of different species to each other. Unfortunately I do not have any photos form this period of time. I forgot to mention that when I was 15/16/17/18 years old I had a fish room in our garage with about 10-15 tanks.
Fast forward 10 years and for some strange reason I found myself in a position to pretty much replicate the above....

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Unfortunately that was the end of my relationship and this tank was never filled with water, the tank was given away as I moved into a first floor flat along with all equipment.
So the next iteration was an AquaOne AR 850 (I think) of which I utilised some of aforementioned equipment.

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Along with the nano in the kitchen...

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It was around this time that I discovered the Barr Report so it was time to retire from Dennerle's way of thinking and embrace EI and all philosophies that go with it. So out with the old and in with the new and next came the AquaOne 300l UFO corner tank.

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Along with the nano in the kitchen..

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I think it was around this time that I first met George Farmer and Dan Crawford at The Green Machine during a workshop by Oliver Knott. I must reiterate at this point that I am most definitely not a Scaper just a modest Aquatic Plant and Fish Keeping enthusiast so onward and upward with another scape.
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Along with the nano in the kitchen

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Next I fell into some kind of love when I spotted a Juwel Lido 200 in my LFS, by now I was getting fed up with the rounded glass front of the UFO and I'm sure the Fish were more skittish when approaching the tank so time for a change.
Along with the nano in the kitchen...

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I unfortunately didn't take many photographs of this I don't know why, R2D2...

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Along with the nano in the kitchen....

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Incidentally while I'm here, a couple of photographs of my other passion...

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The one above I built entirely myself and anything that could be carbon was, including the bottle cages.
I'm going to leave it here for now because I'll probably need to go back and do some editing when I can see the full picture and I also now fancy a couple of pints.
In the next couple of days I will come back with the grand finale, my latest aquarium. Hope one or two of you have enjoyed witnessing at least part of my journey in the world of Aquatic Plants according to bazz.
Cheers!
 
Wow!
How things have changed! My first fish tank sat on a fancy wrought iron stand. I don’t think I even considered the possibility of plants. In my teenage years we had a tank with an under gravel filter and the outlet pipe stuck in the middle. It would burp out big bubbles of air - not sure it did any good but it was the way to do filtration in the 70’s.

Looking forward to seeing your latest aquarium!
 
So... I had to go work in Bristol for almost 3 years (5 years ago) and thus returned my livestock to the LFS. Coming towards the end of my stint working away and enduring lockdown I thought on returning home of re-establishing the Lido 200 (not much else to do at the time). Already having everything to pretty much plug in and play I did what all blue blooded English males do and bought a Kessil a360x Tuna Sun. 'What's the point in having a new light over an old aquarium?' I asked myself and set about reviewing the latest wares. I soon discovered that my old friends at AquaOne had recently introduced the AquaSys range and the dimensions of the 230 suited my requirements exactly. I would have preferred one of the larger models but not wanting to amalgamate it with the car parts they sell in the shop downstairs plus carrying it up the stairs etc limits my scope (although the floor is block and beam on steel). I searched the interweb in earnest and made a couple of phone calls of which the most promising reply came from Viscum Aquatics saying he could have one for me in 2 weeks. In such a state of excitement I raced the 50 or so miles to the shop, viewed the smaller model (of which I was pretty Impressed) and paid in full at the request of the proprietor. 2 weeks? haha, I finally picked it up 4 months later after AquaOne sales (I had been hassling them a little) let me know that a few had arrived in England from China. I spent those 4 months buying everything I didn't need or already had, setting up a 40cm nano in the kitchen and refraining from buying any more bikes as space was becoming a premium.
In the past I had always had a penchant for South American biotypes and decided it was time to give SE Asia shot, bearing in mind after initial start-up a lowish long term maintenance Crypt dominated aquarium was the goal.
01.05.21. Anyway, the day came for the ball to start rolling...I have since stopped smoking (again) and vacuumed the rug.

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01.05.21. I think I've already mentioned I'm not a scaper (or photographer), so with that in mind I built a garden wall (tacky I know, but the intention was not being able to see it once attached Buces had grown in. I put another course loose on top filled with substrate (of which I was soon to be reminded of Newtons law of gravity).

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01.05.21. I have a 130l potable water container in which I remineralise RO water and heat etc so filling would be a 2-3 stage affair.

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04.05.21. ...and full, on hindsight I should have planted some more faster growing stems.

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07.05.21.

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21.05.21 3 weeks. I would just like to say at this point, my iPhone 12 takes absolutely crap photos of this tank and loses all the depth making the lower front 25% of the tank look deep and sparse while the higher rear 75% look like a narrow strip.

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28.05.21. 4 weeks.

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09.06.21

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27.08.21.

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27.09.21

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19.11.21. As you can see I've slowly been removing the fast growing stem plants and replacing them with Crypts and Buces which is why it never looks any more grown in.

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20.02.22

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05.06.22.

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23.10.22.

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05.12.22

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05.03.23

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10.04.23.

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16.06.23

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So that's where I am at, at the moment.
I'm really hoping to move in the next 6 months to a year max where I will definitely have a much larger tank, until then I suppose I could rescape but for now I'm just keep trying to curtail the encroachment of the Crypts (to give the others a chance of survival), get out on the bike and vist a few beer gardens while the summer is here.

Cheers!
 
Hi @bazz,

I really love the look of the crypts and Buce together. It kind of reminds me of the rebel Zoa tanks when sps were the must have.
 
Was great to look through your journal but commenting just to say I’m a fellow Guvnor owner. The wife also has a Pashley. Great bikes.
 
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