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Fluval spec V replanting

Discussion in 'Aquarium & Aquascaping Journals' started by Aquahorti, Nov 22, 2016.

  1. Aquahorti

    Aquahorti Member

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    (Sarah)

    Tommy ended up not using all the Hemianthus callitrichoides in his Iwagumi style and didn't need much convincing to help re rescape (slight exaggeration) my desk aquarium.

    Fluval spec v
    ADA co2
    Stock filter
    stock lights
    Tropica substrate
    Tropica fertiliser
    The betta safe flow reductions have all been made to this aquarium to drastically reduce the water movement so Conan does get too tired

    The original layout has been rearranged a few times as we've been using this aquarium as an overflow tank for keeping plants in. This is a picture from a few months ago and the only real change is that there were a few small clumps of Hemianthus callitrichoides on the right hand side. This is the aquarium that Conan (the barbarian) my very hungry, aggressive betta lives in.

    IMG_0189.JPG

    Conan was the ugliest fish in the store and once I woke him up was very alert and flirty. He was, and still is a bit of a brute, territorial and aggressive. He will tolerate Otto's in his aquarium but attacks other fish and unfortunately thinks small invertebrates are snacks. He can't fit a cherry shrimp in his mouth when they are fully grown but will happily hunt and eat the babies.

    ugly conan.

    I've been planning on redoing this aquarium for a while and the combination of leftover plants from Tommy's aquarium and a delivery of shrimp today seemed like a good opportunity to replant.

    We removed Conan, the otto's, amano shrimp, and 3 red cherry shrimp. Then drained the aquarium and removed all the plants. The Amano shrimp and cherry shrimp were moved to a different aquarium and started the acclimation process for the new yellow golden back neocaridina.

    I started separating the Hemianthus callitrichoides into individual plants while Tommy levelled the substrate and I butchered the other plants, cut back roots, removed uneven leaves the amano had eaten and split plants that were ready to be separated.

    Tommy planted the Hemianthus callitrichoides keeping roughly to the original layout with the rocks and plant placement. The major restriction for this re build was Conan my betta. In the extra slow flow area on the far right of the aquarium, Conans sleeping and bubble nest anchor plant, (limnophila aquatia) has to remain. This might sound a big extreme but he likes the water conditions in the spec and my suspicions about crown tail genes have been confirmed. To put it mildly his fins are growing like crazy and he looks very different now and needs a low flow aquarium.

    Unfortunately I wasn't planning on posting this as a journal so didn't take any pictures before or during. After the rebuild, the carpet and other plants looked really nice so I decided to post this to track how the Hemianthus callitrichoides copes with the stock lights and with the addition of neocaridina just after planting before the roots have formed. It's good contrast to the Iwagumi, high light, high co2 that Tommy has started.

    Rebuild pictures...

    Hemianthus callitrichoides carpet. The in vitro plants were separated and planted as individual plants. The amano shrimp from our LFS are all obsessed with digging and we have't been able to grow a carpet with them in the aquarium. Hopefully the yellow neocaridina will clean algae without digging up the plants before the roots can grow in.
    carpet and neocaridina.

    Anubis flower
    anubis flower.

    Conan hiding behind the co2 bubble counter. He's incredibly difficult to photograph and this is one of the few pictures I have where the maroon and copper tones in his head are visible.
    conan co2.

    Here is picture of the aquarium after the rebuilt,(Conan resting against the filter grating). The white coral has christmas moss anchored to it. The coral is full of holes and tunnels for the shrimp to hide in so Conan doesn't eat them. The forested area behind and to the right hand side of the coral will hopefully provide space and protection for the shrimp. The indian almond leaf tucked behind the heater is to improve the water quality for the shrimp and to increase the tannins to prevent Conans new fins growing in curly.
    full view after rebuild.

    Same view with Conan's fins extended. Co2 not attached.
    full view after rebuild and fins.

    Angled end view
    angled end view.
    End view

    end view.

    After a few hours the yellow back neocaridina started to colour up.
    Yellow neos starting to colour up.

    Hopefully the carpet will root in and start to spread over the next few weeks. I'll be dosing with tropica fertiliser at the recommended doses.
     
    #1 Aquahorti, Nov 22, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2016
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  2. moss-maniac

    moss-maniac Custom Text
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    Hi Sarah,
    my congrats: Conan really changed like the ugly little duck into a pretty swan (y)

    Your plants look healthy - what about adding still an interesting root in the background, to divide the tank a bit in different areas for the inhabitants?
    I also could imagine, that Conan prefers a dark background behind the glass to feel good - he also likes the dark soil.
    I am very curious how the tank will develop.

    Kind regards
    Evelyn :)
     
  3. Aquahorti

    Aquahorti Member

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    Originally when I got the tank I was hoping to add an interesting piece of wood unfortunately the spec is so narrow it's difficult to find a piece small enough to fit but I'm still looking. I also need to be careful and find a piece with smooth sides etc or Conan will rip his fins to pieces while he's patrolling the tank. The tall plant, with a little bit of help will fill in the back wall bit more which should improve things.
     
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  4. Keith

    Keith Administrator
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    You would be surprised the number of Beta owners do not think that way.

    Keith:cathug::cathug:
     
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  5. Aquahorti

    Aquahorti Member

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    I can easily believe that. They are probably the same owners that believe heaters and filters are optional.

    I've heavily modified the tank to reduce the flow for him and am very careful to avoid co2 build up on the water surface. The only reason i've kept the coral is it doesn't have any sharp edges and is covered in moss. I also prune plants so he has swim through paths through them.
     
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  6. Aquahorti

    Aquahorti Member

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    (Tommy)

    The problem with adding a background, is that in most cases that will make the glass on that side act like a mirror. Conan would most likely spend too much energy on attacking his own reflection for his own good.

    It is not that we think that the wall makes a good background, we just have to live with it for the sake of Conan's sanity o_O.
     
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  7. Keith

    Keith Administrator
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    You can use a flat black water based paint.

    Keith:cathug::cathug:
     
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  8. Aquahorti

    Aquahorti Member

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    Unfortunately our non aggressive betta in one of our other aquariums was always attacking his reflection on a matte black background. Conan flares like crazy if anyone walks past his tank.
     
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  9. Keith

    Keith Administrator
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    Sounds like its a job for a tall backing plant eg thin Val.

    Keith:cathug::cathug:
     
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  10. Aquahorti

    Aquahorti Member

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    Is that the grass type plant? Do you know it's Latin name?
     
  11. Keith

    Keith Administrator
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  12. MarcelM

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    What you could try to do is no background against the glass and placing the tank 5 to 20cm away from the wall and make the wall behind the tank dark. Try it first with a dark piece of cardboard to see how it looks. Afterwards you can always deside to paint the wall behind the tank darker so the coarse structure of the wall shows and gives a bit more natural feel. placing a uncovered backpanel away from the wall gives a greater sence of depth. Glass still will reflect a bit without cover. But like this the faint reflection of the plants in front of it and the shadow they casts on the wall is what creates this extra sence of depth in the tank.. If you look now as the pic above shows, you see a dark shaddow band and above it a light band on the wall, this is from the top rim of the glass, with a dark wall behind it this looks more natural.. The further away you pull the tank from the wall the dark band will get smaller. This is a matter of taste, just play a bit with the distance tank to wall, i personaly like that cast schadow the dark lower band also contributes to the depth it mimics looking like the light not penetrating deeper into the background area.. Now that it is white wall in your case it is a bit to much in your face and reflecting to much light, a darker color will dampen and absorb this a bit more. :) And it will pop your tank colors..

    I also have no backpanel cover and did the same, painted the wall behind the tank with Old English Bluish Black chalk wall paint.. I'll see if i can make a pic tonight to give you an idea how it looks.. :) But a picture can never show how it looks in real time..
     
  13. Aquahorti

    Aquahorti Member

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    Ok people it's update time.

    I planted on the 2th november so it's now been 3 weeks. I've taken pictures with my iPad and have shaky hands today so the pictures are not the best quality but they should be more than good enough for an update. I've lightly trimmed the cuba taking approximately 2-5mm of the longest plants as it was getting leggy due to the stock light.

    Overal I've been very happy with how this is going. I'm using the stock light on the fluvial spec V which is officially low light and was not sure how the cuba would manage. I had a small clump of cuba in this aquarium before and it survived in the shady end quite happily producing very small leaves and with trimming become bushy over time. This clump was removed and planted as individual plants with the left over in vitro cuba from Tommy's iwagami scape. IMG_0686.

    Close up of carpet. Some of the cuba has been uprooted by my shrimp and otocinclus and the larger pieces have been replanted. My Otos like to suck on the shrimp algae pads and would uproot the cuba with their tails. The cuba is rooting in now and is no longer being disturbed and I'm planning on buying some algae wafers for the otos unless I move them to our big edge to clean the back wall.

    IMG_0698.

    My anubis bud is getting more mature but still hasn't flowered. I have no idea if it will fully flower submerged.
    IMG_0691.

    End view of the aquarium.
    IMG_0713.

    Here's a picture of Conan as he's insisted on photobombing and generally getting in the way of all the plants.
    IMG_0721.
     
    #13 Aquahorti, Dec 13, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2016
  14. Aquahorti

    Aquahorti Member

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    If anyone is curious my water chemistry is 6.8 pH, 10-15 dKH(carbonate hardness), 14-15 dGH (total hardness) 0 nitrite and nitrates less than 10. That's almost exactly the same as my tap water except for the nitrates.
     
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  15. Aquahorti

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    image. My anubias barteri is flowering
     
  16. Keith

    Keith Administrator
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    Congratulations on flowing the Anubia unless I am wrong that Anubia is going to be a very large specimen in the near future.

    Keith:cathug::cathug:
     
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  17. Aquahorti

    Aquahorti Member

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    image. I've been a bit slow updating as I dislocated my knee last week and had to go to ER to get it put back and have found recovery really hard this time.

    Tommy and I upgraded the light to a dennerle 49cm tropca strip light and within minutes my HC started pearling. Unfortunately the photo attached is not the best picture but the pearling is just visible
     
    #17 Aquahorti, Jan 4, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2017
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  18. Aquahorti

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  19. moss-maniac

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    All the best Sarah - get well soon! :)
     
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  20. Keith

    Keith Administrator
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    Sarah

    Now that can be rather painful and a slow recovery are you allowed to do any walking/swimming in a swimming pool as that should help the recovery.

    Looks like the tank is very healthy.

    Keith:cathug::cathug:
     
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