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450L Vision adventure

awtong

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15 Dec 2011
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I have been admiring a lot of journals on here for sometime and so I stop hijacking threads I thought I would start one to contain my pictures and musings!

So here comes the last 10 months of turning from fish keeper to low tech planted tank keeper.

Tank specs:

Juwel Vision 450l with 2 x 54w T5's with reflectors
Fluval Fx5 with a 300w and a 200w heaters
Sand substrate with root tabs under the plants
No CO2 enrichment and up until this week no water column ferts.
I dosed a small amount of TNC complete liquid ferts for the 1st time this week.

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This started out with all the bits from my 180l and my 125l Rio's.

More pics to follow
 

awtong

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Didn't really want to post a monster 1st post.

This is the tank the day after setting up once it had cleared a bit.

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I am not sure when this was but probably a few weeks after set up ..... maybe?!. Aplogies for the awful picture :rolleyes:

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The left hand side

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The centre

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And the right hand side

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And finally the most up to date pic I have

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The plants have grown in quite a lot since this last pic so I will get some up to date ones to post soon along with pics of some of the inhabitants
 

Ady34

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Nice, and big too..... lovely to see a shoal of congo tetras, theyre beautiful fish. Will be good to see some up to date photos to see how things have progressed.
Not quite sure how your tank has two left sides though?! :lol:
Cheerio,
Ady.
 

awtong

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Thanks for that Ady :lol: post has been edited

I will try and get some more pics soon although my photography skills are shocking!

There are 20 Congo's in there 7 males and 13 females. The males are getting large and they spar a lot.

There are also 7 plecs hiding in amongst the plants, that's why I have so much wood so they can have a territory each
 

sWozzAres

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I like Denisonii barbs - what is their behaviour like in your 450l? I got 3 in a 350l but they are very jumpy, dart about alot and occasionally jump out of the tank into the light reflectors! They don't see much movement outside the tank for the majority of the day so I was wondering if this is due them no being used to people moving past or if it's natural behaviour.
 

awtong

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I have 3 and all are a good size. They do dart about chasing each other and the Congo's sometimes. They never jump bad enough to hit my reflectors though and sometimes the cabinet gets hit by my Staffie playing with his toys!

They can get a little jumpy if I get to close during tank maintanence when I have my arm in the tank.

Maybe it is because I grew them on from babies and they have moved up from a Rio 125l to a Rio 180l and finally into this tank. Maybe they like it as I have quite a few fish and they feel more secure. How many other fish do you have in the tank?
 

sWozzAres

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They are nearly 10 years old and used to live in a 180l with 3 Clown Loaches, but they outgrew that tank a few years ago. They have only been in the 350l a couple of months - on their own. Maybe this is the problem. I spend a couple of grand getting them more space and they spend most of the time swimming in circles in one corner (see picture link). They do venture out and chase each other etc but not as much as I had hoped. They aren't as active as they were when they were younger. If it's dark outside the tank there isn't a problem, they will swim up to the glass and investigate whatever is going on, but it's when its dark inside the tank and light outside, even when they are "asleep" - someone walks passed and they freak out - as you know they can swim very fast and one flip of their caudal fin and they can fly out of the tank! I have learnt to be cautious around them but I had one hit the lights a few years ago and he had to be put down due to what looked like a burn mark, eventually making him lose buoyancy and a few days ago another go startled and hit the reflectors making him lose scales and have a large hole in his head!! Fingers crossed he seems ok now.

I wasn't sure about putting my loaches in the same tank again but I think your onto something, since the loaches are very active and shoal with the barbs, maybe this will improve their behaviour. I've also thought about reducing planting to give them yet more space.

Cheers.

Picture: http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/809/imag0237x.jpg/
 

awtong

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Mine sound positively calm compaired with yours!

Another couple of ideas came to me that may help. I have cover on the surface from the leaves of the long Vallis maybe this helps them feel secure? Do you have any floating plants or leaves providing cover?

Mine also love to shoal with my two Siamese algae eaters so there are 5 fish that often swim together. Maybe this larger number helps them also, plus I get the added bonus of them munching any algae that appears :D

Hopefully this offers you a few ideas to help with them as they are such beautiful fish.
 

awtong

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Just looked at the pic. Maybe my 20 Congo tetra sitting in mid to upper water in a shoal help them feel safer?

That is a gorgeous tank you have there congrats!
 

sWozzAres

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Thanks awtong, I think that comparing our tanks has made me realize that they are probably suffering from boredom resulting in surprise whenever something significant suddenly changes in their environment. More fish is the answer :thumbup:

Have you had any algae issues in your tank? It's look pristine clean :D
 

awtong

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Thanks for the compliment. I have not had any algae apart from a few green spots on the glass and a couple of green spots on the central Anubias :shh: :silent: I just remove this from the glass every two weeks when I do my 25% water change with an old credit card! The other 3 Anubias are fine so I think that one is central under the 2 x T5's and a bit higher in the water so may be getting a little too much light. I might get some floaters and see if that helps.

I also have the two Siamese Algae Eaters so they will munch anything that might appear.

So now you have an excuse to buy more fish for the sanity of your other fish :D
 

danmullan

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sWozzAres said:
Have you had any algae issues in your tank? It's look pristine clean :D

I was going to ask about this too, your sand looks completely spotless. Love the scape aswell, those bits of wood you have are really nice shapes and positioned well.

sWozzAres said:
Thanks awtong, I think that comparing our tanks has made me realize that they are probably suffering from boredom resulting in surprise whenever something significant suddenly changes in their environment. More fish is the answer :thumbup:

Your tank looks great. Is that a Lelaeopsis carpet? I had a small group of rainbows on their own in a tank and they were incredibly jumpy and seemed to swim in just one corner of the tank, I thought they would gradually become more confident but after 2 months they hadn't changed. I added some mid-upper level swimmers though and they began to act like normal pretty much the second the new fish came out of the net.
I agree with awtong, congos would look really good, or maybe 20-30 dwarf neon rainbows?

Cheers
Dan
 

awtong

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Thanks for the kind words. The tank gets 25% water change every 2 weeks and I open the Fx5 every month for maintanence. I will have to get some newer pics as a few bits have changed since the last pics were taken. This is the problem with starting a journal 10 months in!

The carpet is actually Cryptocoryne Parva. It grows by runners so I am trying to carpet it but it grows very very slow in such a low energy set up. Lovely looking little plant though.

Congo's can look a bit dull when young but once they mature and get the extended fins they look lovely. I took a long time and selected the fish very carefully. They are hard on the females when trying to breed which is why I keep them at a 2-1 ratio. The males will shoot up and down the tank sparring with each other which is entertaining.
 

sWozzAres

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Wow! They look amazing. What other aspects of their behaviour have you noticed? Do they chase each other about, swim fast, are they nervy or inquisitive, greedy, passive or aggressive, do they try to eat or destroy plants etc? What sort of things were you looking for when you selected them?
 

awtong

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I have seen both males and females sparring with each other swimming up and down the tank length shaking fins towards each other. The males do it much more than the females. I have seen spawning behaviour when males chase ripe females and then quiver next to each other as they are egg scatterers. No eggs ever survive cause in a tank like this it causes a feeding frenzy and the denisonii's love to get involved with that.

When buying them the best coloured males I have in my tank have showed the orange band at a young age probably around 2 - 2.5cm. Then the blues greens coloured up later. The inferior male I have didn't show this and his colour is not as good now he is maturing.

In LFS bare holding tanks they look washed out but the better males will still have good hints of colour. Nicely elongated fins and tail at a young age means they should get even more impressive when more mature.

Keep females at 2 -1 ratio with males. This is hard as the females don't have the nice colour or long fins. This does however spread out breeding attention and makes the colours in the males even stronger. They stay mostly in the upper and mid levels of the water.

I have never seen them ever touch my plants. They are a bit nervous at times but they will shoal for safety. They are passive with all the other fish I have. They are very greedy if i open the tank to add food I have to be careful not to get tank water splashed in my face! If I put sinking pellets in for the plecs one of them will pick a piece off the substrate and then all the others will chase them to try and get the food from them. If I put my fingers in to remove a bit of floating plant and they haven't been fed they will nibble your finger tips.
 

awtong

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Males 8cm and females 6cm. I bought my males at about 3 - 4cm and they are now 5 - 6cm and I have had them about 6 months. They seem to be quite quick growers.
 
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