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Critique my aquascape Would love to hear some thoughts/suggestions on my first tank!

Aetherial

Member
Joined
17 Feb 2021
Messages
32
Location
The Netherlands
Hey all,
Figured I'd post my tank in here as well as I'm always looking to improve and learn new things!

Some general info:
Got a Superfish 100 liter starter kit for my birthday last August (Still haven't figured out why. Never even thought about wanting an aquarium prior to that)
Did a ton of research before setting everything up (I suppose being a perfectionist isn't a bad trait to have in this hobby)
I was initially really happy with my scape but after learning more and more I quickly started noticing things I wish I'd done differently, etc.
Fast forward a month or so, I decided I could do much better and completely emptied the tank to start over again. (I'll never forget the smell that came out of the tank once I started pulling hardscape out of the soil)
I put a lot more thought and time into the new scape this time and I'm still happy with it. It's nothing compared to all the stuff I see online of course, but hopefully I'll reach that level some time in the future, many years and scapes from now.
Anyway, enough rambling.

Gear etc:
120 Liter tank (68x51x35cm)
2x Superfish Bright light - 2x Superfish Combi light (Will be replaced eventually by quality lights, but I can't fit any other brand lights in the lid/hood of the tank so I'll have to see if this tank can fit a system that clicks on the tank or perhaps a hanging light and get rid of the lid)
Oase Biomaster 350 Thermo - Bottom tray with 30PPI sponge and a layer of filter wool on top, 3 trays of Seachem Matrix, top tray with a bag of Purigen.
CO2Art Pro-SE Regulator + Bazooka Flux Diffuser + 2kg cylinder
ADA Drop Checker
PlantedBox All in 1 plant nutrition
A-Complex supplement
Dr. Bassleer fish food (Regular, Acai, Chlorella and Garlic) + frozen food (Artemia)
Water change once every 3 days, 50% (Not sure where else to put this)

Stock:
10x Cardinal Tetra
7x Corydoras Julii
7x Otocinclus Vittatus
10x Bloody Mary Shrimp
10x Anatome Helena Snail

Plants:
Limnophila Sessiliflora
Rotala Araguaia Red Cross
Ludwigia Mini Super Red
Rotala Rotundifolia Blood Red
Microsorum Pteropus
Microsorum Pteropus Trident
Christmas Moss (Probably gonna rip it off and replace it because it looks, well..)
Cardamine Lyrata/Hydrocotyle Hypartita sp. Japan (Not sure which one it is)
Anubias Barteri var. Nana
A bunch of crypto's that have melted and disappeared

I'm not sure what the bigger Anubias and the Vallisneria-looking plant are.

Plans for the tank:
  • Finding a new spot for those tridents that are way too high up on the wood
  • Reattaching the tridents that are on the lower left part of the wood neatly. (had to use sewing thread, but I have glue now)

I'm also gonna order a whole lot more plants after I've made my decision this weekend.
As of now, I'm thinking of at least the following:
Cabomba Piauhyensis - to the right of the Limnophila, so the background goes from green to orange to red.
Monte Carlo covering the sand, so the entire foreground up till the hardscape and then the curve towards the right back corner. I'll keep a small area open for the cories, and they'll still have the entire area of black gravel which is the same small diameter as the sand.
Some more red touches in the middle and foreground but not sure what yet.
Some small groups of Anubias Nana Mini

I also made a little "wishlist" of plants I really like that are available at the store I buy my plants (Not all of them of course, more like a list to choose from):

Rotala Vietnam H'Ra
Rotala sp. Vietnam
Rotala Wallichii
Rotala Rotundifolia "Orange Juice"
Ludwigia Senegalensis
Cryptocoryne Petchii "Pink"
Bucephalandra Super Blue
Alternanthera Reineckii Mini
Limnophila Hippuroides
Nesaea Pedicellata "Golden"
Proserpinaca Palustris
Bucephalandra spec. Brown/Red
Bucephalandra Theia Red
Cryptocoryne sp. Flamingo
Bucephalandra Godzilla
Christmas/Java Moss or whatever other moss, I'm not sure.
Weeping Moss

If you have any recommendations/plants you think would work well in this layout (Doesn't have to be something from that list) feel free to let me know!

Right, I think I've gone on for way too long so I'll leave it at that.
I'd love to hear people's thoughts and if you have any tips/suggestions/recommendations, etc. Please do let me know!

Cheers!
 

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Last edited:

Kezzab

Member
Joined
18 Jan 2016
Messages
1,393
Location
Carlisle
Hi, looking like a good start. This may have been said previously, but I'd maybe change how you have your spray bar, diffuser and filter intake set up.

First, id angle the spray bar holes so the are more horizontal, so there's more of a push of water across the surface.

I'd then move the diffuser to the front the tank so that the water being pushed down the front glass catches the bubbles, pushes them down and back across the substrate to the back of the tank.

Alternatively, you could literally put the diffuser inside your filter intake pipe (some modification to the pipe might be needed) or dispense with the diffuser and put the co2 tube direct into the intake pipe (drill a hole).

Any of these should improve your co2 distribution and hence growth.

If you put the co2 direct into the intake you may find your filter cavitates (ie gets co2 bubbles trapped in it which affects the impeller and makes it noisy) so worth experimenting before gettingbthe drill out.
 

Iain Sutherland

Global Moderator
UKAPS Team
Joined
7 Jul 2011
Messages
3,738
Location
Cambridge
I wish my first tank had looked like that... seems like you have a good plan including adding more plants and if you carry on as you've started then you'll be grand.
Keep reading, keep learning and youll have a wicked tank in no time 👍
 

Aetherial

Member
Thread starter
Joined
17 Feb 2021
Messages
32
Location
The Netherlands
Hi, looking like a good start. This may have been said previously, but I'd maybe change how you have your spray bar, diffuser and filter intake set up.

First, id angle the spray bar holes so the are more horizontal, so there's more of a push of water across the surface.

I'd then move the diffuser to the front the tank so that the water being pushed down the front glass catches the bubbles, pushes them down and back across the substrate to the back of the tank.

Alternatively, you could literally put the diffuser inside your filter intake pipe (some modification to the pipe might be needed) or dispense with the diffuser and put the co2 tube direct into the intake pipe (drill a hole).

Any of these should improve your co2 distribution and hence growth.

If you put the co2 direct into the intake you may find your filter cavitates (ie gets co2 bubbles trapped in it which affects the impeller and makes it noisy) so worth experimenting before gettingbthe drill out.
I angled the holes upwards just a little bit because I noticed the fish going to the surface a little too often for my liking. They do look more angled on the photo than they are in reality for some reason.
The placement of the diffuser was suggested in my other thread. I did try placing it on the front glass as well but the 2 problems I have with that is that it looks ugly to have the diffuser and tube on the front of the tank and that the entire right side of the tank is filled with bubbles.

Appreciate the comments!
Cheers
I wish my first tank had looked like that... seems like you have a good plan including adding more plants and if you carry on as you've started then you'll be grand.
Keep reading, keep learning and youll have a wicked tank in no time 👍
Cheers mate, appreciate it!
 

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