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The Witching Tree

Karmicnull

Member
Joined
6 Sep 2020
Messages
620
Location
Cambridge
9865 - 2022-03-07-FTS.jpg
 

Karmicnull

Member
Thread starter
Joined
6 Sep 2020
Messages
620
Location
Cambridge
As usual the fast-follow post with words ends up being several weeks later. At which point all the photos are out of date. Hey ho.
For the obsessives amongst you (and yes, I'm definitely one of them), here are the gory details:

Substrate: Tropica Aquasoil, a bit of JBL Manado in the corner, and some arbitrary aquarium sand from some corner of the interweb
Water: 80% Rainwater / 20% Tapwater. Works out as about GH 5 and KH 4.
Ferts regime: Loosely based on one of the many from Vin Kutty's Rotala Kill Tank thread. A low-N version of EI with a bit of Urea thrown in, dosed at 30% as this is low-tech. Micros are APFUK with extra EDDHA FE (the micros are used across all my tanks, and the biggest is all tap water and PH 8+). Yeah I know that's pretty vague. I'll do a proper post dedicated to this either here or on the lean dosing thread. I'm still working out what my destination ferts are - there are some interesting suggestions knocking around, so this is going to change.
Lighting: Two dirt cheap lights from ebay, of which one has about 20% of its LEDs covered with little red stickers, as it felt too bright. At some point I'll upgrade these....
Filter: Tetra EX1200 plus. Nominally 1200LPH, so plenty for this 70L tank, but in practice I suspect not remotely close to that. Connected to metal Lily pipes which look beautiful but are puzzling me at the moment. More on that in a bit.
Livestock: just spare snails and cherry shrimp in there who are doing a not-quite-good-enough cleanup job. I'm interested in people's opinion on fish. More on that in a bit too.
Hardscape: Frodostone, Carboniferous Limestone from Cheddar Gorge, and about 10 pieces of wood from Aquarium Gardens, the Abyss warehouse in Stockport, and Ali Express. In case you are wondering my younger son started at Manchester Uni last September, and I have worked out a route between there and Cambridge that conveniently happens to pass the Abyss warehouse. My daughter is a couple of years off Uni, so I'm keenly researching what ones are near Horizon Aquatics and Scaped Nature. I need to make sure she makes a choice that will set me her up for life.
Plants (the good bit): these break into two lots: The ones I bunged in to give a bit of mass to kick the tank off that are all off-cuts from other tanks and will likely not be permanent, and the ones that will be there long term:
Bunged in:
AR Mini, Crypt Wendtii brown, Heteranthera zosterifolia (Star Grass), Hygrophila Siamensis 53B, Potamogeton Gayi (slender pondweed), Limnophila sessiliflora (Asian Marshweed).

Long term:
Floaters - Limnobium Laevigatum (Amazon Frogbit), Pistia Stratiotes (water lettuce)
Anubias Nana Pinto
Anubias Nana Pangolina
Aponogeton Madagascariensis (Madagascar Lace Plant)
Bucephelandra Pygmea "Bukit Kelam"
Bucephelandra Mercedes
Bucephelandra Green Jade
Bolbitis heteroclita difformis
Cryptocoryne Flamingo
Cryptocoryne Parva
Eriocaulon Cinereum
Helanthium Bolivianum "Chain Sword"
Helanthium tenellum 'Green' (pygmy chain sword)
Hydrocotyle leucocephala (Brazilian Pennywort)
Hydrocotyle Tripartitia Japan (Three-part pennywort)
Microsorum Pteropus (Java Fern)
Nymphaea micrantha
Pogostemon Helferi
Taxyphyllum Barbieri (Java Moss)
Vesicularia Ferriei ('Weeping' Moss )

And at some point in the future once I've sorted the ferts out some Ammania and some Rotala will go in. And anything else that piques my interest.

Here are some of them.
Water Lily
9760 - 2022-02-26-Nymphea.jpg


Anubias Pangolino and Bolbitis
9881 - 2022-03-30 Anubias Pangolino.jpg


H. Leucocephela
9784 - 2022-02-26-Hydrocotyle Leucocephela.jpg


Buce Bukit Kelam
9795 - 2022-02-26-Buce-Bukit Kelam.jpg


Ericaulon Cinereum, This is my wild card plant. It shouldn't really survive, but if it does it will look awesome!
9877 - 2022-03-30 Eriocaulon Cinereum.jpg


An arty frogbit shot just for the hell of it
9804 - 2022-02-26-Water Surface.jpg


Side tank shot showing the Crypt. Flamingo, Crypt Parva, the Madagascar lace plant, and the crazy growth that the dwarf chain sword has put on. The Madagascar lace plant was growing nice small leaves for a month or so in the potting shed / quarantine tank, and then I planted it here and it's gone bonkers with these huge leaves - it's putting out about one a week. I've also been snipping a leaf off the Lily every week as well. This is supposed to be a low tech slow growth tank dammit. Why won't these plants behave?
9876 - 2022-03-30 Side Tank.jpg




And finally the latest FTS with enthusiastic chain swords and the usual complementary reflections.
9878 - 2022-03-30 FTS.jpg



Will look brilliant when grown in
Thanks - fingers crossed!

Cheers,
Simon
 
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Karmicnull

Member
Thread starter
Joined
6 Sep 2020
Messages
620
Location
Cambridge
Metal Lily pipes. Aesthetically they are fabulous, but how do people use them? I can raise the output pipe high, in which case I get decent surface disturbance, but not great flow for the overall tank. Or I can have the output pipe low, in which case I have decent flow round the tank and the surface is like a millpond. I had a loose intention of making this a high-flow tank (and I have my eye on a tiger hillstream loach in the LFS), but I'm starting to think I'll have to add a powerhead if I want to do that, which is crazy given my headline hourly turnover is 17x tank volume.

Any hard-bitten metal Lily users who know how to solve this?
 

Karmicnull

Member
Thread starter
Joined
6 Sep 2020
Messages
620
Location
Cambridge
Any hard-bitten metal Lily users who know how to solve this?

From the radio silence I am concluding that either everyone else has the same problem or it's Friday night and everyone has a life. Or of course both. I know @J-Bonham came up with an excellent solution <here>, but it is way beyond my technical competence level. So for the moment my two options are adding a power head or going low-flow.
Diving into these in a bit more detail:

Powerhead
Pros
- I have a couple of cheap ones in a drawer somewhere that I picked up in black friday
- I get to say 'Powerhead' a lot when showing people the tank, which makes me sound competent and authoritative (ho ho ho).
Cons
- A wire feeding in and a bit of black plastic in a tank which to-date is completely unsullied with anything other than the Lily pipes.

Go low-flow
Pros
  • Maintains the aesthetic of the tank
  • I can pick up those two Apistogramma erythrura that have been skulking in the corner tank of the LFS for the last month and win the enduring approval of @shangman and other UKAPS Apisto lovers
Cons
  • I've spent bloody ages researching high-flow fish for nothing
  • I don't get a rather lovely Hillstream loach
  • I'll need to create a cave for the Apistos. I'm not sure this is actually a con - more like a challenge to do it in keeping with the rest of the tank.

Decisions, decisions. I'll have a beer and mull it over whilst doing a WC on one of the other tanks.

Cheers,
Simon
 

shangman

Member
Joined
13 Jul 2020
Messages
1,009
Location
London
A friend of mine was recently talking about those metal pipes, apparently you can get a lilypipe head attachment on it to change the flow and disrupt the surface a bit more? <Riverwood has one, but out of stock atm>, maybe message them on Instagram and ask when they'd restock if you're interested in it, Pete is always very nice and helpful. My question is, is the top having little surface aggitation really bad? To me just sounds like a good chance for some nice floating plants :D For me surface film goes away after 2 months or so, even with not much flow.

Having a powerhead and turning it into a stream-style tank does sound really nice, but then... Apistogramma erythrura .... also very very nice! Either way you have two very good options!!

If you go with the apistos, then I have found that seedpods work best for caves, they always go for the seedpod over the rock or wood caves I've made. Cariniana/savu pods are the ones my fish seem to like the most, and they have bred in a sterculia pod which was msotly closed too. Also useful as they look natural and are easy to camoflage, and easy to take out too if needed.
 

plantnoobdude

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Joined
17 Mar 2021
Messages
754
Location
uk
the tank looks stunning! as for the erio cinereum they might do well! I have grown it without any co2 as it is one of the less picky species. and liquid rock london tap aswell. it looks a bit shaded though, try thin out the plants around it, that should give it a better chance.
 

Karmicnull

Member
Thread starter
Joined
6 Sep 2020
Messages
620
Location
Cambridge
A friend of mine was recently talking about those metal pipes, apparently you can get a lilypipe head attachment on it to change the flow and disrupt the surface a bit more? <Riverwood has one, but out of stock atm>, maybe message them on Instagram and ask when they'd restock if you're interested in it, Pete is always very nice and helpful. My question is, is the top having little surface aggitation really bad? To me just sounds like a good chance for some nice floating plants :D For me surface film goes away after 2 months or so, even with not much flow.

Having a powerhead and turning it into a stream-style tank does sound really nice, but then... Apistogramma erythrura .... also very very nice! Either way you have two very good options!!

If you go with the apistos, then I have found that seedpods work best for caves, they always go for the seedpod over the rock or wood caves I've made. Cariniana/savu pods are the ones my fish seem to like the most, and they have bred in a sterculia pod which was msotly closed too. Also useful as they look natural and are easy to camoflage, and easy to take out too if needed.

Nice one - thanks! Now that I know the outflow attachment exists I've managed to source one on Ali express - which may get here before Christmas. Hmm.
WRT surface agitation, it's more that I want to get plenty of oxygenation. I tried putting in the power head yesterday at WC time, and it worked just fine, but was super-noisy. @Simon Cole mentioned the All Ponds Solutions Skim 1 <here>, which looks perfect, so I'm going to give that a go. I'm also quite tempted by botanicals. There's a ring of sand at the base of the witching tree, which may end up serving as a home for a couple.

the tank looks stunning! as for the erio cinereum they might do well! I have grown it without any co2 as it is one of the less picky species. and liquid rock london tap aswell. it looks a bit shaded though, try thin out the plants around it, that should give it a better chance.
Thanks! I'll cross my fingers. The photo is deceptive - there's plenty of top-down light for this and the other couple I have snuck in, so they have at least a fighting chance.
 

Simon Cole

Member
Joined
25 Dec 2018
Messages
672
Location
Buckingham
It's looking great!
Ryan from You Tube has a very different opinion on how you can keep and breed Hillstream loaches. It's well worth a watch. I'm not posting a link because the image it will detract from your thread, so just paste in: The TRUTH About Keeping and BREEDING HILLSTREAM LOACHES (They Lied To You) - Sewellia Care Guide.
Aponogeton Madagascariensis does get large, and in looks best with minimal flow. Nymphaea does get quite large too, and it will accelerate growth if it's leaves reach the surface.
I've got two Skim-1 in 40cm cubes. Ideal for low flow species like the Rocket Panchax (Epiplatys annulatus), easy to adjust to get higher flow.
 
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