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Starting my first (maybe second) aquascape.

Lemonhands

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Joined
19 Apr 2022
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58
Location
Bristol, UK
Finally got round to setting up my Fluval Shaker 345 as my first proper aquascape, possibly second as i did build another tank with a waterfall log thing, but that was a much smaller tank with hardly any plants, i also have another tank that i set up long before i had ever heard the term aquascaping, anyway...
I thought i would post pictures/updates as i progress, and people can give feedback/advice (and if im lucky, hopefully some happy responses) as i go.
So i started off by laying down some alfragog and other leftover stoney/gravely bits to build a little bit of height, then put some bagged aquasoil (tropica) on top. I then placed my hardscape and fiddled around with it for ages until i found something that worked and my partner and I were happy with then super glued some bits together. I filled in the back with more aquasoil and then put down some slatey stone gravely shards (i dont have the box of what they are called atm) to block up some gaps to prevent the aquasoil from migrating (probably temporarily). Then i started putting down my sandy substrate (Hugo Kamishi) however i realised i was possibly a little short on it, so need to go to my lfs and pick up another bag, and while im at it maybe grab a couple more smaller stones of the same type I have used.

Apologies the pictures arent great quality, its been a very long day of DIY before even touching the tank so photo quality wasnt top of my priorities, but will try post better ones going forwards.

I have a big tub of plants to go in after i have manged to go to my lfs, ill do my best to update this thread as I progress
 

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Lemonhands

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Just preempting a possible question, but the wood has been soaking for like 1.5 months and is very much waterlogged. Ive currently covered it with a rainforests worth of wet kitchen towel to try and prevent it from drying out until i can go to my lfs (The Aquatic Store in Bristol, great shop)
 

Midwife

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8 May 2021
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Down south
Just preempting a possible question, but the wood has been soaking for like 1.5 months and is very much waterlogged. Ive currently covered it with a rainforests worth of wet kitchen towel to try and prevent it from drying out until i can go to my lfs (The Aquatic Store in Bristol, great shop)
I find once a piece of wood beomes waterlogged and sinks it tends to sink again when it isn't being used. Lovely scape though.
 

Lemonhands

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1659361133810.png

So have topped up the substrate and filled in the smaller decorative stones. Later I will be adding the plants finally, will do my best to take photos as I go along, unfortunately the reflections on the glass seem to be causing some issues as you can see, so any tips on how to get rid of it for future photos will be much appreciated.
 

Lemonhands

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Ok so big update on this one as I add all my plants. I set up the filter (fluval 407) using half the media from an established filter (fluval 307), the tank that has that filter will be fine as it also has a fluval u1 and u4 on it so has more filtering than it possibly could ever need, ill probablu end up moving the u4 into this new tank sometime soon too. I have taken photos of each type of plants ive added, i had somewhere between 2-4 of each pot, and have photod the tank after adding each one. I have filled it up to just under halfway with treated tap water and a bit of RO water, but have another tank that is overdue for a water change so will add the waste water from that too tomorrow as well as more RO water, will probably have to use more tap water too, but as I live in a hard water area i want to try and keep a good balance with the RO water
 

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Lemonhands

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My goop and over 50 ramshorn snails arrived today. Waiting on some more filter media to come as didnt realise the Fluval 407 comes with like 2 sections for carbon (4 packets total). I have replaced one with filter floss but am adding more biological filtering to the other. Once that arrives and have moved everything about i should be good to go. Unfortunately one of the bits of wood wasnt as waterlogged as i thought and floated, but i have propped it down with a rock atm so hopefully it wont take long to get back to not floating on its own
 

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_Maq_

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the Fluval 407 comes with like 2 sections for carbon (4 packets total). I have replaced one with filter floss but am adding more biological filtering to the other.
Do you know that activated carbon not only reduces organic pollutants - which is very important especially in the beginning - but also provides unparalleled surface for bacterial colonization?
 

Lemonhands

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Do you know that activated carbon not only reduces organic pollutants - which is very important especially in the beginning - but also provides unparalleled surface for bacterial colonization?
There seems to be a lot of mixed views on activated carbon as to whether or not it is an overall benefit to aquariums, particularly planted aquariums, especially with the frequency which it needs to be changed. I am using media that I have moved over from an established filter, plus the goop, plus will move a smaller established filter (fluval u4) over to the tank also so I think I will have plenty of bacteria in my tank to get it going without the need for carbon.
 

Lemonhands

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I am now fairly at the end of the aquascape, im mostly happy with the result and got my first fish/shrimp/snails (white fin tetra, peppered corys, bristlenose pleco, amano and ramshorn) in - the goop stuff in combination with precycled media really is instant start, still will do daily water tests for a while.. When the plants have settled a bit I will trim and replant the stems to fill it out a bit more. Also sadly one of the wood pieces did decide to float, its the smallest of the three so guessing it just dried out a little during set up, i have glued it to some slate for now which i will remove when im happy it wont float.
Im just waiting on a co2 regulator (co2 art) and then i will be setting up my co2 system. I bought an inline diffuser which i have used before as finding it quite difficult to find a reactor that might be good and not cause a leak and where a 407 will be powerful enough for it, any recommendations?
In the next few weeks if everything keeps going as planned i will be looking to add some electrc blue acaras, but would like the plants to establish their roots a bit more first.
20220805_152532.jpg
 
Last edited:

goldscapes

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21 Aug 2018
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Surrey
Looking forward to seeing this progress, I have my eye on a similar tank myself :)

You might find you don’t need a reactor, maybe try the inline diffuser on its own first and see how you get on.

If you still need one then I had some success with an All Pond Solutions filter booster. I removed the sponges and replaced them with some bio balls. They come in a couple of sizes depending on your tubing diameter.

This is the smaller of the two:
 

Lemonhands

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Bristol, UK
Looking forward to seeing this progress, I have my eye on a similar tank myself :)

You might find you don’t need a reactor, maybe try the inline diffuser on its own first and see how you get on.

If you still need one then I had some success with an All Pond Solutions filter booster. I removed the sponges and replaced them with some bio balls. They come in a couple of sizes depending on your tubing diameter.

This is the smaller of the two:
Thanks for the advice, if you were using the filter booster for a reactor, would you put the unit on the outflow side of your existing external filter rather than the inflow side? I'd think it would be better than having the co2 pass through the cannister filter itself. I have bought a reactor from here, annoyingly there is also a little bit of a delay on the regulator I purchased from co2 art and so still waiting on tha before I can even set up my co2 system.

For a general update about the tank: I have had a little bit of melt with some of the plants which is to be expected, more frustratingly I have found that some of the plants have come out of the aquasoil so had a bit of a faff trying to replant them, once I did though I added a bit more aquasoil and some gravel to the back hopefully to build up a bit more aquasoil on top of the plants and add a little weight to stop it from happening again. Its quite disheartening when it happens so hoping It has put an end to it.
 

_Maq_

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I rather like the scape as it is. There's no hurry to let the plants overgrow it. What about trying it without CO2 injection?;)
 

goldscapes

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Thanks for the advice, if you were using the filter booster for a reactor, would you put the unit on the outflow side of your existing external filter rather than the inflow side? I'd think it would be better than having the co2 pass through the cannister filter itself. I have bought a reactor from here, annoyingly there is also a little bit of a delay on the regulator I purchased from co2 art and so still waiting on tha before I can even set up my co2 system.
I’m no expert but I had mine as:
filter->diffuser->reactor
I did a fair bit of research on this forum before I did though.
Good luck!
 
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