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Tidy Jungle II & III

Deano3

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8 Feb 2012
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Thanks Dean!

So far it looks it will be fairly easy to maintain. My main job will be hoovering detritus from the many pockets and crevices and keeping the sand under the wood clean. I was thinking to get a hang on filter for that + moss trimming but I think I'll use my Filtosmart 100 until it gets tedious 😅.

I mean, needs must but I wouldn't be without a big tank. It just has a whole different feel compared to smaller tanks. There was a campaign brewing to get a 150cm but that was squashed after seeing the significant price difference! It was MORE than double the price. Plus everything more awkward (equipment wise) when you go over 120cm.

This more or less the same size my old tank with some reversed dimensions, but the rimless design can't be beat!

Even with a 60cm, as long as you have some kind of aquarium!
Yeah keeping the sand clean will be hard work 😬 but looks great, and i know will have to see but i love the impact and possibilitys of large tank.

Looking Forward to updates
Dean
 

Garuf

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Keeping sand clean is usually down to planning, plugging and attrition.

Planning; as few places where sand meets soil without a boundary as possible.

Plugging all the holes you can see and the ones you find later straight away.

Attrition with the cleaning, a nano gravel vac going over it once a week and then the magnet on a stick to pick up the grains shrimp absolutely insist on dragging onto the sand.
 

Courtneybst

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A wave of gratitude
There's not much to this post in the way of updates, but I'm just grateful that this scape has gotten off to such a good start. The fish seem happy and are already spawning, the plants are starting to grow and the new lighting and form factor makes photography of this tank SO much more enjoyable.

Here's some nice pictures I took of the tank last night.

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Keeping sand clean is usually down to planning, plugging and attrition.

Planning; as few places where sand meets soil without a boundary as possible.

Plugging all the holes you can see and the ones you find later straight away.

Attrition with the cleaning, a nano gravel vac going over it once a week and then the magnet on a stick to pick up the grains shrimp absolutely insist on dragging onto the sand.
Yes I agree! There's actually not even half a bag worth of soil in this scape and it's physically barred by rock and sponge so I'm not worried about soil mixing. More so, just the waste that gathers in the 'dead spot' under the wood.

The corydoras seem to do a good job of keeping the sand turned over at the front. I'm hoping that because my lighting isn't strong I won't need to replace the sand. In my IAPLC tank the lighting over the sand was low so I never replaced any of it for the whole 9 months it was setup!
I'm certain it is! When I go out walking I keep seeing fallen trees and wondering how big a tank I'd need to fit it in!
I do exactly the same thing 😅
 

Garuf

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You shouldn’t need to replace the sand if you mechanically turn it over yourself, be it gravel vac or hand. Ime even large Corys in my observation rarely disturb more than the top Mm.

Sand will darken, but if it’s kept clean and turned over, you would only need to change it for aesthetics.
 

Courtneybst

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You shouldn’t need to replace the sand if you mechanically turn it over yourself, be it gravel vac or hand. Ime even large Corys in my observation rarely disturb more than the top Mm.

Sand will darken, but if it’s kept clean and turned over, you would only need to change it for aesthetics.
The deepest bit of sand is an inch at most! I had my sanity in mind when doing this scape.😅
 

Courtneybst

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Oh really...
A small update for today. The scape is ticking over nicely. The established media and plants clearly helped in the early stages because there was no obvious sign of any diatoms and I only suffered a little bit of plant melt.
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One thing I've realised is the the plants lower down (including the beloved ferns) aren't getting enough light which explains why they kept getting uprooted even after 2+ months. I have raised the light slightly but have also increased the intensity to 100% to see if that helps. I'll see how that goes but I honestly think it might still be inadequate and I may have to upgrade to a WRGB II or vivids (yikes).
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I have added an AI Nero 3 to the right side to help with water movement as I noticed detritus was settling on the plants furthest to the left. It works well but I'm waiting to find a guard for it before I run it 24/7 as it looks to be a bit of a fish vacuum! Nobody was harmed during this discovery!
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I've removed all of the floating plants. I feel they've more than served their purpose now and I want the bucephalandra that's just under the water surface to shine. The floating plants also kept getting stuck in the skimmer which was annoying.
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The Gold Tetras that were in my contest tank are now in this scape after enduring two months in a bucket with the black cherry shrimp (sorry!). They've really come to life being around the other fish. They school and eat well, appear to be much less skittish and they glow in the slightly tinted water. I almost tempted to get more. 👀

On a recent visit to Maidenhead Aquatics I also picked up 3 GIANT otocinclus. They're so big it's actually a bit comical, they're easily the biggest fish in the tank. I saw them and just had to. You don't come across them every day!
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The Laetacara have attempted to spawn several times but are most likely eating the eggs because there's too much going on in the tank. The apistos keep at it as per usual.

I also really really want a light screen for this tank. I've got them on my other tank and it just makes things pop. It would cost almost the same price as the tank for a 120p so I might have to DIY. Can I be bothered though? Not really. 🙃

Other than that, there's not much else going on. Things are steady.
 

plantnoobdude

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honestly think it might still be inadequate and I may have to upgrade to a WRGB II or vivids
Lower the light distance to substrate? Because of how light behaves, a small decrease in distance can be a relatively large increase in intensity. Tank looks lovely by the way!
 

Wookii

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I have added an AI Nero 3 to the right side to help with water movement . . . it looks to be a bit of a fish vacuum!

The AI Nero 3’s are a superb stream pump, but you’re right in your thinking - they are a fish and shrimp blender!

You can get good 3D printed guards off FleaBay:


They’re from the US though, so postage hurts - unless you can convince @LondonDragon to print you one 😉
 

LondonDragon

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They’re from the US though, so postage hurts - unless you can convince @LondonDragon to print you one 😉
I actually managed to find the file, so if you want it let me know ;)

Screenshot 2022-08-25 233019.png


Ready to go!

Edit: just found a low profile version too!

Screenshot 2022-08-25 233515.png
 

Courtneybst

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Lower the light distance to substrate? Because of how light behaves, a small decrease in distance can be a relatively large increase in intensity. Tank looks lovely by the way!
I originally had them lower but it really killed the light spread and the buce started to develop a bit of BBA. The light level at the substrate was pitiful. I might lower it a little bit again and see if I can find a middle ground. Ultimately I'll have to wait to see how the plants respond, and most of my plants are slow growing!
The AI Nero 3’s are a superb stream pump, but you’re right in your thinking - they are a fish and shrimp blender!
Yeah! I think your tank was the first time I saw it used in a freshwater setup. It took a long long time to get hold of but I'm glad I got it, especially now they've gone UP in price. My plan is to run it at low speed 24/7 to aid with CO2 circulation and then maybe 5 minutes before the lights are out run it on a high speed to clear off detritus settling on leaves and then back to low speed. I'm thinking this should be useful?

Edit: just found a low profile version too!
Ooooo yes please! I didn't even think about this. I don't trust running it without the guard and mine didn't come with one. 🙃
 

LondonDragon

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Ooooo yes please! I didn't even think about this. I don't trust running it without the guard and mine didn't come with one. 🙃
I will print it tomorrow and let you know to post on Saturday ;)
 

Wookii

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Edit: just found a low profile version too!

Ooooo yes please!

I'd recommend you go for the cone one guys. Because the Nero 3 is so low profile, the forward force of the pump creates a really strong vacuum effect on the rear. The first style of guard I tried on mine was a low profile one, but shrimp (and one fish) that got too close to the sides, got sucked against it and couldn't get away. The cone shaped one, is that shape for that exact reason, it allows enough space at the rear between the Nero and the guard that the suction effect is reduced.

Also @LondonDragon - just make sure your printing pattern is for the Nero 3, as a lot of the 3D printed guards for sale are for the larger Nero 5.

My plan is to run it at low speed 24/7 to aid with CO2 circulation and then maybe 5 minutes before the lights are out run it on a high speed to clear off detritus settling on leaves and then back to low speed. I'm thinking this should be useful?

The world is your oyster - the AI app allows loads of configuration options. From memory I think I used the lagoon function which creates a slow variability in the pump speed to simulate a randomised ebb and flow of gentle waves in a lagoon - quite good for CO2 distribution I thought, as you get occasional higher power circulation to push water through any slower moving spots without having the tank constantly like a washing machine.
 

Courtneybst

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without having the tank constantly like a washing machine.
Speaking of which, I can't understand why it's programmed to come on at 100% when you start it up. I had water gushing out over the sides of the tank whilst I tried to block the flow with one hand and attempt to turn it off with the other. 🙃 Why wouldn't you start it at 1%?
 

Wookii

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Speaking of which, I can't understand why it's programmed to come on at 100% when you start it up. I had water gushing out over the sides of the tank whilst I tried to block the flow with one hand and attempt to turn it off with the other. 🙃 Why wouldn't you start it at 1%?

No idea lol - I always test new pumps and stuff in the sink before they hit the tank, so I probably dialled it down at that point. It's quite amazing how much water it pushes through for its tiny size! I did contact AI when I bought mine, and asked if they had any plans to make a smaller 'Nero 1', as even 50% of the output of the Nero 3 is more than enough for most tanks, so an even more miniature form factor would be even better for a planted tank.
 

LondonDragon

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Also @LondonDragon - just make sure your printing pattern is for the Nero 3, as a lot of the 3D printed guards for sale are for the larger Nero 5.
The file names do say Nero 3 ;) I guess Courtney will find out when he receives it ;) worst case scenario is less than an hour of printing time!
 

LondonDragon

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I'd recommend you go for the cone one guys. Because the Nero 3 is so low profile,
Forgot to mention I printed both so he can decide what works best! ;)
 
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