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The Nymph's Spring (EA900)

shangman

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10 pages in and we are finally starting to get somewhere...

About 2 days ago I read someone on UKAPS say that with scapes you need to go BOLD, and I thought that was great advice, so here we are!

Of course I couldn't wait to try the wood in the tank. As you can see it's too big atm, but I'm going to cut a bit off the right side so it does. Imagine it 95% underwater and a bit to the right. The angle might change too, once I can fit it in I'll play with that. I also bought some extra bits to make it look more rooty at the bottom, and a big horn-like bit with 4 different sized "horns" on it that I'm going to cut up and add where needed, I want to emphasise the right-to-left flow of the big piece with them, and they might stick out a bit too. I think I'll have to try to hang my light from the shelf above the tank now to get a bit more height. Ignore the soil and rock, that will all change when I actually set it all up. Can't wait to see the fish swimming through that hole in the middle ! !

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Something I really loved was the bits of wood just emerging out of the tanks at Aquarium Gardens. They have moss and buces coming out and it looked so magical, so I want to have a few bits poking out to add a bit of that vibe. The buces were particularly amazing, there were loads of them flowering just above and below the water. Buce is beautiful in lowtech, but in a hightech WOW they are stunning, I want to grow quite a few on this hardscape. The buce along with the bolbitis add really great deep dark greens and blue-purples which add a lot of richness. Seeing those tanks, and the wood I have, I think I'm going to change up my plans for it a bit and take another look at the plant list. I still want to try a nice mix of stems, but I don't think they will be as much of a feature as I thought before, with a piece of wood like this I think a jungley vibe makes a lot of sense with lovely epiphytes. On a recent Green Aqua video I saw a plant called Crepidomanes cf. "Malabaricum", which would be perfect, I wonder if anyone has any in the UK in their tanks, cos it only seems to be sold in the EU.

Also seeing all the lights and the different colours they brought out at Aquarium Gardens was so interesting. Was astonished at how vibrant the tank with the ADA light was! I'm hoping one day I can get that light (secondhand!), or a similar one (what are the Chihiros lights like??), the greens were very deep and a bit blue, and the ludiwigia super red was.... SUPER red, with a deep pink that was mesmerising.

At Aquarium Gardens I met @George Farmer and had a lovely chat about my aquariums and my philosophy behind what I like to make (especially as a fashion designer), when this tank is set up and looking good he's going to film my tanks for that UKAPS video series he posted about a little while ago. Since I joined the hobby during covid I've only been able to talk a little bit here and there to other enthusiasts irl about aquariums, so it was great to talk about it all. I think I need more irl aquarium friends, atm whenever I meet someone I just go on and on about it, whoops! 😂 My poor parents and boyfriend have unwittingly heard loads about the hobby since I joined, cos I just wanna talk aquariums 24/7... Luckily my dad likes the hobby too (just took a few months of convincing), at AQ he bought the Aquarium Plant book by Christel which looks fantastic, it's got so much practical useful info.

IDK what it is about this hobby that makes me so obsessive, I'm glad you all are too otherwise I'd think I'd gone mad. 😅
 
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Cait1

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My poor parents and boyfriend have unwittingly heard loads about the hobby since I joined, cos I just wanna talk aquariums 24/7
I’m seriously excited to get up every morning because my aquarium lights come on at 0700, so I totally get it! 😂
Can’t wait to see what you do with that piece of wood, it’s pretty awesome.
 

shangman

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I’m seriously excited to get up every morning because my aquarium lights come on at 0700, so I totally get it! 😂
Can’t wait to see what you do with that piece of wood, it’s pretty awesome.
That's a great way to make sure you get up in the morning! 😂 It's the first thing I also have a peek at too, even when the lights are off there's always things happening. Will always remember fondly how exciting it was to look in the tnak one morning and discover motherfish was herding about all these tiny fry!!

I'm honestly SO pleased about the wood I got! Feel much more relaxed about the tank now, I can see it developing before my eyes. 😍

Was thinking recently that aquariums are like theatre - you make the set, you add the "actors" and watch the ensuing drama of their lives. It's why I love apistos so much, their personality is so funny. The past 2 days I've noticed a lot of mating behaviour from my 2 bigger apistos, including motherfish going orange and chasing every fish she sees away... I didn't want this yet! The tank is too crowded!!
 

shangman

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I spent a bit of yesterday breaking up lava rocks, since all the ones I have are quite large. Luckily with a bolster, a hammer and an old towel wrapped around them, they break really easily and look great. Interestingly on the inside they're often black, so it's a nice mix of colours too, will post a few pics later. I'm really pleased with it 🙂 Might break a few into even smaller bits, I think it's good to have a big range of sizes to make it look really natural.

I have a question about hardscaping - I want to balance the wood in the tank to sit at a certain angle that looks best... but it doesn't want to sit at this angle and keeps falling down. I need to attach it to rocks or something to keep it in the right position, is there a best way to do this? I kept a few of the lava rocks bigger to do this, though they're quite light lol. Or was thinking could glue wood + rock to some egg crate to stabilise? What glue do people recommend for something like this?
 

Courtneybst

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I have a question about hardscaping - I want to balance the wood in the tank to sit at a certain angle that looks best... but it doesn't want to sit at this angle and keeps falling down. I need to attach it to rocks or something to keep it in the right position, is there a best way to do this? I kept a few of the lava rocks bigger to do this, though they're quite light lol. Or was thinking could glue wood + rock to some egg crate to stabilise? What glue do people recommend for something like this?
I had a similar problem with my wood as the angles I wanted didn't play nicely with physics lol. What I did was secure some sturdier pieces to large rocks with superglue and cigarette filters/filter floss. I then positioned the less stable parts and connected it at some point to the main structure so in the end everything was connected to each other in some way, either in a daisy chain or t directly to main part. But I guess it depends on your design and how close your pieces might be.
 

ScareCrow

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As Courtneybst says super glue (make sure it's cyanoacrylate). I find gel is better for porous materials but I think liquid is recommended when using cigarette filters. Zip ties are another good option. I found that super glue didn't really work for thinner branches but there was little contact area, even with cigarette filters.
 

Michael1212

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I had decent success drilling holes through my wood then threading zip ties through and attaching it to lava rocks. I did it this way to keep everything out of sight. A problem i later faced though was some lava rocks blocking my planting.

I found it tricky to super glue wood to lava rock due to the porous nature of the rock.
 

shangman

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Oh. My. God.

Was just watching the tank (cleaned the filter yesterday and today it's looking gorg, what a difference it makes so quickly!), and saw motherfish bright orange and black and being very agressive going in and out of her seedpod on the right. Haven't seen baby female for 2 days and assumed she was hiding because of motherfish being agressive. And then, out of nowhere, she appeared from a small seedpod on the other side of the tank, tiny and bright yellow and black herself and wiggled at Mister Apister Jr.! Omg... She's so tiny I didn't think this would happen. This weather :eek: May have to put the smaller pair in the 45L if things start to get hairy... better get this big tank ready quickly. No wonder the male has been confidently swimming front and center the past few days!


I had a similar problem with my wood as the angles I wanted didn't play nicely with physics lol. What I did was secure some sturdier pieces to large rocks with superglue and cigarette filters/filter floss. I then positioned the less stable parts and connected it at some point to the main structure so in the end everything was connected to each other in some way, either in a daisy chain or t directly to main part. But I guess it depends on your design and how close your pieces might be.

As Courtneybst says super glue (make sure it's cyanoacrylate). I find gel is better for porous materials but I think liquid is recommended when using cigarette filters. Zip ties are another good option. I found that super glue didn't really work for thinner branches but there was little contact area, even with cigarette filters.

I had decent success drilling holes through my wood then threading zip ties through and attaching it to lava rocks. I did it this way to keep everything out of sight. A problem i later faced though was some lava rocks blocking my planting.

I found it tricky to super glue wood to lava rock due to the porous nature of the rock.

Thanks for all these super useful tips! I think I'll try a combination of ALL of them, this wood is so heavy. Maybe drill + ziptie wood and rocks together + to some eggcrate to spread/balance the weight as much as possible. Thinking I might need to use one or two of my big heavy stones I used to scape the 60L with, the lava rock is just not that heavy. Will also get a good amount of both types of superglue, filters & floss too to reinforce it, and cos not only do I have to get the wood to balance, but also decided to be really extra and break my lava rocks into a range of smaller pieces so I can have more control and build some interesting structure with it! I want to try to do a scape where the soil + sand are kept apart properly with the lava rocks,.

What a job, really excited and can't wait tbh. If I wasn't so busy with work rn I'd do the hardscape tomorrow!! I've been watching so so so many making-of aquascape videos while planning this tank, I can't wait to try it myself properly this time.
 
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shangman

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Even though this tank is filled with spirogyra (and my buces started to melt so have been moved), it still looks rather nice atm :) (or at least does irl, the camera doesn't pick up the lighting and colours well at all)

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Starting to make a plant list for the new tank now I have the wood I cna imagine it a bit better, the vibe of the tank is going to be rich tropical lusciousness - big richly coloured, patterned and shaped leaves, amongst mosses and tiny grasses (love a mixed carpet). I want a rich dark green as the main colour, using hints of reds, blues and purples to add variety. So will be using a variety of buces, maybe a coffeefolia anubias, and I think a few interesting echinodorus with rich reds and greens in there (saw that amazing echinodorus rubra for sale and thought... ooooh, though I think it's too big for the tank as it is!). Also want some stems, particularly a nice bush of blood red/red ludiwigias, but not sure past that. Will 100% have leaves and seedpods littering in the sand, and the lava stone will hopefully be covered in moss! Not sure which moss to use though, what do you guys think?

There's a lovely ADA echinodorus tank, but other than that I haven't seen many hightechs with them in, does anyone have any suggestions for inspiration?

 
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Wookii

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ScareCrow

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There's a lovely ADA echinodorus tank, but other than that I haven't seen many hightechs with them in, does anyone have any suggestions for inspiration?
Flowgrow also has loads of information and sometimes has scapes with the plant you searched in.
Not sure which moss to use though, what do you guys think?
I'd go with a mixture. I currently like the combination of Fissidens fontanus, mini xmas moss and Leptodictyum Riparium. The Fissidens and mini xmas have nice contrasting leaf shapes and the L.riparium adds height.
 

shangman

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Flowgrow also has loads of information and sometimes has scapes with the plant you searched in.

I'd go with a mixture. I currently like the combination of Fissidens fontanus, mini xmas moss and Leptodictyum Riparium. The Fissidens and mini xmas have nice contrasting leaf shapes and the L.riparium adds height.
Ahh Flowgrow looks awesome, that's another lovely night's aquatic reading sorted!!

I think a mix is the right too. I think fissidens, Christmas Moss & ricardia... This was the mix I tried in my lowtech, but the fissidens really took over, and the ricardia has hardly grown so would be great to see how things are different in thsi one. I also have a bit of cameroon moss that's never done much which I'm intrigued to try in a hightech. Also would LOVE to get my hands on some Crepidomanes cf. "Malabaricum", and some afro moss, but we'll see if that's even possible to find now!
 

shangman

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Ok conundrum for the day... What pond pump should I buy to do my waterchanges?

I watched a video about doing the waterchanges with a pump, and they suggested the Oase OptiMax 1000 Pump. However, I noticed the max head height was 1.3m. My aquarium is in my room on the top floor, where there are no taps, so the water has to be pumped from the second floor - down the staircase and through the hall so a good few metres (will check tomorrow). The height between the two floors is 3.2m, plus to get into the tank add another 1.4m to make 4.5! Does anyone have any advice about what pump could work for this? Have been feeling generally hmmm about how to do waterchanges, now I feel like the anxiety was more justified. Really hoping I don't have to spend shedloads on a water changing pump !
 
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Conort2

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Ok conundrum for the day... What pond pump should I buy to do my waterchanges?

I watched a video about doing the waterchanges with a pump, and they suggested the Oase OptiMax 1000 Pump. However, I noticed the max head height was 1.3m. My aquarium is in my room on the top floor, where there are no taps, so the water has to be pumped from the second floor - down the staircase and through the hall so a good few metres (will check tomorrow). The height between the two floors is 3.2m, plus to get into the tank add another 1.4m to make 4.5! Does anyone have any advice about what pump could work for this? Have been feeling generally hmmm about how to do waterchanges, now I feel like the anxiety was more justified. Really hoping I don't have to spend shedloads on a water changing pump !
I think I spent about a 10/15 quid on mine, got a cheap chinese one from Amazon and it’s worked fine for years, it’s noisy but it doesn’t matter as it’s only used for water changes.

cheers
 

ScareCrow

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I've not had to do it but I'd look at submersible drainage pumps. They tend to be pretty robust, cheap and are intended to move water vertically. A lot of them have a float switch too, which might be handy to avoid it running dry if you can't see your water change tank/barrel. As you've found not all (pond) pumps are designed to 'lift' water, some are more flow oriented.
Something that interests me is ram pumps. It would probably be too much faff to make one for this but I'd like to try adding one to a pump one day to see what if anything would happen.
 

shangman

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I think I spent about a 10/15 quid on mine, got a cheap chinese one from Amazon and it’s worked fine for years, it’s noisy but it doesn’t matter as it’s only used for water changes.

cheers
Yeah noise is fine, since it'll only be used for 30 mins or so each weekend. How far/high do you pump yours?

Just curious about the pump actually, are you not able to just use a hose and tap connector?

I use a 20ft hose to drain my water into the toilet (nearest waste point) and then connect it to the kitchen sink to refill the tank.
I can just use a hose for siphoning out, since gravity is on my side there, but it's about going up that's the problem. If it was going across only I wouldn't bethinking about it, but since it's 4.5m up it seems a bit more hmm. I have a garden hose already to use.

I can't just use the hose because I have to pump 50% rainwater and 50% tap up, so I want to be able to run the water into a bucket in the shower (so I can also control temp really easily), and pour rainwater into the bucket too/at the same time, and use the pump to get it all up.

Also, our taps are all rubbish and slightly weird shapes for some reason, though hopefully am getting a new kitchen tap soon so maybe that will make things easier, but I'm sure it'll be some modern tube thing.

I've not had to do it but I'd look at submersible drainage pumps. They tend to be pretty robust, cheap and are intended to move water vertically. A lot of them have a float switch too, which might be handy to avoid it running dry if you can't see your water change tank/barrel. As you've found not all (pond) pumps are designed to 'lift' water, some are more flow oriented.
Something that interests me is ram pumps. It would probably be too much faff to make one for this but I'd like to try adding one to a pump one day to see what if anything would happen.
Ahh this is a great suggestion thank you, I'll look into this type. It def seems like verticality is not something that usually has to be considered, almost none of the pond pumps I've found can get water above 1.3m, so this looks v interesting. I want to try to get something as simple as possible tbh, already feeling somewhat overwhelmed by setting everything up and using all the new systems!
 
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