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75G: Updated Picture

May 26th, 2010

I just wanted to provide an updated picture for my 75G aquarium. Since the last update, I have made relatively few changes. The most significant is that I’ve replanted the Glossostigma elatinoides foreground, which has now made quite a bit of progress in growing back. Given a couple more weeks, and maybe one trimming, I think the foreground will be perfect. I probably ought to thin out some of the Trident Java Fern, as it is doing quite well in this aquarium.

75G Aquarium - May 18, 2010

75G - Click for Larger Image

Equipment-wise, I have replaced the previous Aquaclear powerheads with two similarly powered Koralia Evolution powerheads. The Koralias draw less power than the Aquaclears, are much quieter, also clog far less frequently with plant matter. I realized just the other day that I had accidentally turned off one of the light strips over top of the aquarium. I bet it was off for at least 2-3 weeks, yet nothing really suffered from the mere 110W of power-compact lighting. I’m glad to have the second 110W (220W total) back in commission however, as I know the tank is better for it long term. Comments/critiques welcome!

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20H – Filling in, Growing Nicely

May 20th, 2010

Two months ago, I tore down the Riparium that was in my 20H, and replaced it with a more traditional aquascape. I was using it as more of a practice aquascape in advance of an aquascaping demonstration I was giving at the time, rather than an earnest attempt at producing the best scape ever. Despite not fitting that description, I’m rather pleased with how it’s shaping up.

20H Aquascape - May 18, 2010

For starters, I’ve always been more successful with larger aquariums in the 40G-75G range, while the 10-20G aquariums never seemed to return the results I was looking for. I think I’ve finally managed to balance out the lighting, CO2, and dosing for this 20H as I don’t have any algae, and the plants are looking really good. I had some initial problems where the plants were melting, but after raising up my metal halide light and adjusting the fan, I think I can attribute that problem to excessive heat.

20H Aquascape - May 18, 2010

I’m housing some Super Red Kribs in here along with some white clouds and zebra danios. A few of these fish will likely end up out in my pond for mosquito control very soon. The Ranalisma rostrata has nearly filled in the foreground. The Blyxa aubertii is contantly sending up flowers, and the Bacopa sp. ‘Araguaia’ is poking out of water surface. Comments/critique welcome!

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GLA Bookshelf Aquarium: New Aquascape

May 18th, 2010

About a month ago, I order my first rimless aquarium from Green Leaf Aquariums down in Florida. The aquarium that I had been eying for some time was their “bookshelf tank,” which is a 36″x8.3″x9.4″ rimless aquarium; dimensions that are unique to GLA’s product line. The alluring and challenging thing about these dimensions are the fact that it is such a wide tank, without very much depth to create a smooth transition from foreground to background.

GLA Bookshelf Aquascape

Three and a half weeks ago, I decommissioned my 20L aquarium that was sitting on a wire shelf and began preparing to setup the new 12G bookshelf tank. Since rimless aquariums generally need more support than traditional designs, I built a small platform out of 2x4s and plywood to for the aquarium to rest on. For padding and aesthetics, I cut down a green yoga mat and laid it over the platform. Now that I didn’t have to worry about the wire-rack bowing and causing a leak in my new aquarium, I set out aquascaping it.

GLA Bookshelf Aquascape

I decided to go with a minimalistic approach for this aquascape, consisting solely of a locally collected crumbly slate, and only two plants species – Eleocharis sp. ‘Japan’ and Blyxa japonica. For substrate, I combined several different bags of old ADA Aquasoil consisting of Amazonia, Africana, and Malaya, and set to work positioning the rock. I built up a prominent structure on the right side, leaving an expansion of loosely united pieces on the left.

GLA Bookshelf Aquascape

Three weeks later, the Blyxa japonica is growing wonderfully, while the Eleocharis sp. ‘Japan’ is exhibiting the same slow growth that I’ve seen in other aquariums. That’s okay, however, as I really like the look of the three mixed Aquasoil types against the Blyxa background.

GLA Bookshelf Aquascape

Click for larger image

For filtration, I’m using a miniature ZooMed canister filter, and have a Hydor Koralia Nano running for added circulation. The tank shares a 20 pound canister with three other aquariums so it has pressurized CO2 running throughout the day. I’m very pleased with the aquarium itself, being a very clear, well constructed, and attractive unit. Comments/critique welcome!

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