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Tank overhaul!

Col1in

Member
Joined
27 Oct 2017
Messages
36
Location
Ayrshire
Greetings!

Well that been just over a year now and my tank has been through some ups and downs but I now think its time to do some re-jiggling...

My tank went from this -

120641-588a0ebe8478ca7448d97a95abf0a11c.jpg


To this

120642-8be6374fd2814448a393bc1866fc36c5.jpg


And now looks like this
120643-bcd6d83a8f393cdcc58181f2797cf9a1.jpg


One of the dimmers on my Chirrios lights melted so I went down to one light. Then had the great idea of running the pair of them without the dimmers on full power and the water started to turn green, so I'm back down on one light. I think it looks kind of eery!

My main problem I'm trying to solve right now, other than the general look, is disappearing substrate. The two islands were made up of pond compost and a horticultural sharp sand. I have 3 Cory's which over the last year have spent most their time kicking it up and its made its way into my filter. So most of the top layer has disappeared. So I'm currently looking to replace it with something. I was thinking about some pea shingle or maybe some aqua soil.

The jungle val was growing like crazy but the last time I trimmed it back it just started dying off. Along with lots of other plant.. Now all I'm left with is amazon swords, anubias, java fern and java moss. It perhaps coincided with me going down to one light.

I had a huge moss bush that was full of shrimp, so rather than cut it back I bought a large piece of bog wood and turned it into a beautiful tree!

So now I don't really know what I'm doing. Over the year I have added bits from my other tank that I was emptying, rather than bin the plants, so its a bit of a mess. I was thinking about removing the swords, putting some new substrate down and planting some crypts. My thinking being the crypts would be smaller and might look better next to the big moss tree. Or I could try and build it up to do a sloping hill.

Anyway if anyone would like to offer their opinion I would greatly appreciate it!

Cheers,

Col

My tank specs are-

5ft x 1.5ft
400l

I haven't check my water parameters in ages as they never seemed to change. I'll maybe do that tonight!
I've been EI dosing and doing 50% weekly water changes. I've also started dosing liquid CO2 to combat the BBA algea.

I've got
2 Angel Fish
10ish Neons
6 Cherry Barbs
6 X-ray tetras
3 Corys
1 Rainbow shark
8ish Guppies
8ish platies + 2 babies
1 Plec
Lots of shrimp
Loads of trumpet snails
 

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Joined
17 Aug 2018
Messages
1,095
Location
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Happy to help but must admit I'm a bit confused about the pictures... are these the same tank over the years? Which photo do you like the most / what look are you shooting for?
 

tam

Member
Joined
5 May 2011
Messages
1,276
I wouldn't go for pea shingle - but a fine gravel or aqua soil e.g. tropica would work. Aquasoil has the benefit of giving you a nutrient rich substrate. Decide what substrate colour you want - the aquasoil limits choice a bit, so if you don't like the colours you could always put something down as a base and cap it. If you use a good layer of fine gravel rather than sand it should stay in place.
 

Col1in

Member
Thread starter
Joined
27 Oct 2017
Messages
36
Location
Ayrshire
Happy to help but must admit I'm a bit confused about the pictures... are these the same tank over the years? Which photo do you like the most / what look are you shooting for?

Its my tank over the course of last year, I set it up in November 17...

This is the problem I'm not really sure what I want to do. I need to put something down over the soil to stop it getting into the filter that's my main objective just now.
 

Col1in

Member
Thread starter
Joined
27 Oct 2017
Messages
36
Location
Ayrshire
I wouldn't go for pea shingle - but a fine gravel or aqua soil e.g. tropica would work. Aquasoil has the benefit of giving you a nutrient rich substrate. Decide what substrate colour you want - the aquasoil limits choice a bit, so if you don't like the colours you could always put something down as a base and cap it. If you use a good layer of fine gravel rather than sand it should stay in place.

Why not pea shingle? Too big??
 
Joined
17 Aug 2018
Messages
1,095
Location
-
I guess the first step is to decide if you want to stick with having the two islands or if you want to change the layout??
 

Col1in

Member
Thread starter
Joined
27 Oct 2017
Messages
36
Location
Ayrshire
Yeah, what I want is something that looks nice, is easy to maintain and is a nice habitat for the fish. I would really like to do a fancy aquascape but firstly I don't have the skill and secondly I tend to lose interest in the summer so things get a bit overgrown. I'd also need to buy an inline heater. So maybe getting rid of the islands and going for a flat bottom or mild slope would be the way forward. I could extend the dirt layer to cover most of the tank then cap it either gravel or pea shingle, I think pea shingle looks natural. My previous tanks I've used play sand but again it ends up disappearing. The corys won't like it but worst comes to worst I could re-home them or maybe stick them in another tank, my daughter is desperate for a tank in her room so that could the answer.

When I set this tank up I kept the substrate as shallow as possible as I was worried about getting gas pockets but I've had no problems, so I could go deeper!

Then I just need to plant it up again!

It's not easy being this indecisive!
 
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