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Naija's 1st planted tank

naija

Seedling
Joined
6 Oct 2009
Messages
23
So, this is my tank journal. I've finally taken the plunge after perusing as many forums and getting as much as advice as I could. I decided to get a Fluval Vicenza 260 which fits well into an available alcove in the living-room. I've only previously had artificial decor in my tanks apart from a goldfish tank as a child, so I expect to make a lot of mistakes along the way.

Kit list:
1. Fluval Vicenza 260
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2. Fluval 305 external filter
3. Fluval M300 heater
4. Hydor Ario 4 aerator
5. Substrate - Caribsea Eco-Complete, Seachem Flourite Black, aquarium sand and gravel
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I couldn't initially decide what hardscape to go with, but got some helpful advice from the forums. I'll show the pics later :)
 

naija

Seedling
Thread starter
Joined
6 Oct 2009
Messages
23
I finally decided on TGM Blue stone from the Green Machine, it cost a pretty penny but I couldn't find anything I liked from the lfs or nearby garden centres.

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I then discover that getting the stone was only the beginning. I wanted to go for an Iwagumi arrangement, and hurt my brain researching the layouts. Finally I came up with this,

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Any comments welcome.
 

AdAndrews

Member
Joined
22 Feb 2009
Messages
1,125
Location
Kidderminster, Worcs
Very nice stone, and great arrangement, only thing i would say is that in a big tank, you may need higher rocks to achieve a nice scape', dont forget that the rocks have to stick in the substrate too, and a little bit of the height will be stolen by the plants too.
 

Maurits

Member
Joined
8 Jul 2009
Messages
138
Location
Gamlingay
Hi Naija,

I can't see the picture with your lay out, shame but seen Adandrews reply I think you need what to do.

Don't worries about making mistake only nobody is perfect, and that's not my name.

One tip because your tank is quit high, put much more substrate in the back than you do on the front, id doing so , in combination with some high growing plants,

Have you already thought about what kind of plants you want to use ?
 

naija

Seedling
Thread starter
Joined
6 Oct 2009
Messages
23
Thanks Maurits,
These are the plants I've gone for,
Vallisneria spiralis
Cabomba caroliniana
Bacopa caroliniana
Hemianthus micranthemoides
Eleocharis parvulus
Microsorum pteropus
(on driftwood)

Update on tank setup,

Initial design

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Aquarium sand as bottom layer

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Eco-complete...

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...followed by Flourite Black

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Pictures with the rocks and final touches in next post :thumbup:
 

naija

Seedling
Thread starter
Joined
6 Oct 2009
Messages
23
Not sure if the previous pics were large enough to view :oops:

Here's how I laid out my newbie Iwagumi

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The main rock arrangement is too far to the left I think.
 

naija

Seedling
Thread starter
Joined
6 Oct 2009
Messages
23
Water and plants ( Vallisneria spiralis, Bacopa caroliniana, Hemianthus micranthemoides, Eleocharis parvulus )added,

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followed by Java fern and some Cabomba (for fast growth / algae suppression)

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I'm now on the fishless cycle and daily dosing with Seachem Flourish Excel. Unfortunately right now the Vallis are turning brown / transparent (is this 'melting' due to the Excel:?: ) and the Bacopa has black blotches on the lower leaves. :oops:
 

naija

Seedling
Thread starter
Joined
6 Oct 2009
Messages
23
13 days since initial set-up.

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I've added another Java fern and some other stems, also the melting seems to be easing.
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Unfortunately today I've noticed about 5 small snails. I really don't want them taking over the place as I have several beautiful Nerites in my old tank waiting to move in once the fishless cycle has completed.

Suggestions anyone?
 

AdAndrews

Member
Joined
22 Feb 2009
Messages
1,125
Location
Kidderminster, Worcs
beautiful! For the snails, you will have to purchase an assasin snail- only get 1, 1 is enough, otherwise they will create another problem if they breed, however im not sure about this, but i think they will eat other snails too like nerites, maybe get someone else to check this, so just incase, dont move your nerites over until Mr Assasin has done the job, then take him out.

Adam.
 

naija

Seedling
Thread starter
Joined
6 Oct 2009
Messages
23
I've had to take out the smaller Java fern, it was failing quite badly with spreading brown patches and yellow leaves AND it introduced small pest snails :mad: . I'm also having some problems with my fishless cycle (more about it here - Has my cycle stalled?)
I'd like suggestions regarding additional foreground and midground plants. I'm also planning to put in some more wood, this time with moss and placed to emphasise the rock formation as a focal point - what do you think?

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naija

Seedling
Thread starter
Joined
6 Oct 2009
Messages
23
The tank is finally cycled and I've made some additions.

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There's a coconut shell with Anubias, moss and a fern (for future more timid inhabitants), I've moved the heater on the advice of RoughIt(thanks :thumbup: ), and I've added a couple of Echinodorus bleheri as well as 3 moss balls.

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The Nerites are in and seem quite happy, (the pest snails have earned a reprieve for now)

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naija

Seedling
Thread starter
Joined
6 Oct 2009
Messages
23
Latest pictures! Since my last post I've transferred all the occupants from my old (non-planted) tank to the new set-up and added some new ones. Apart from the fish and snails there are now 6 Cherry Red shrimps who also seem to enjoy their new home. The Nerites and shrimp have cleaned up the slight green tinge (algae! :wideyed: ) that the rocks and some of the substrate were acquiring.

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The Vallis never really recovered from the melting unlike the Bacopa, and I've replaced them with something from the LFS marketed as 'Dwarf Green Rush'. I've also put in Pogostemon helferi which is acting as an intriguing counterpoint to the nearby Eleocharis parvulus.

dscf1475a.jpg

I'll try to get some shots of the shrimps next time. :wave:
 

naija

Seedling
Thread starter
Joined
6 Oct 2009
Messages
23
Latest picture.

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Thinking about making a significant addition to the hardscape plus/minus major pruning.
 

Dave Spencer

Member
Joined
3 Jul 2007
Messages
1,387
Location
N. Wales
I love the lay of the hardscape on the right hand side, and the look of the gravel too.

Dave.
 
Joined
26 Oct 2008
Messages
1,649
Location
Cheshire
I like the layout and once the plants fill out more its going to look grt. Can i give you a tip regarding moss ball - keep rolling them around the tank as you don't want a flat side on them.
Regards
Paul.
 

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