Bookshelf and 33g Aquascape Updates

February 27th, 2013

I snapped a few pictures before feeding the fish today. The Bookshelf tank is basically filled in. I’m starting to get a little bit of algae in this tank, but the combination of shrimp/baby bristlenose are keeping the problem at bay. If anyone has found a good solution for getting consistent and constant water circulation in a tank of this dimension , please comment below.

Bookshelf Tank Update

The 33g tank has exploded in growth. I was suffering from a terrible spirogyra outbreak , but managed to successfully eradicate that with AlgaeFix. I am not usually a proponent of chemical solutions, but the infestation was bad enough, and this tank does not have any invertebrates, so I decided to drop the bomb. I’m wary of any product that lists its ingredients as known carcinogens, therefore, during treatment and for several water changes later, I took extra effort to avoid any physical contact with water from this tank.

33g Update


The only issue I’m having now is some green spot on the glass. I’ve adjusted my phosphate dosing upwards to address this issue. Otherwise, I’ve added a dozen black-neon-tetras which hang out in the open. I’ve noticed that they seem to have calmed down the sunfish some, so they are out in the open more as well, which is a nice development. Comments/critiques welcome!

Dungeon Striker

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Bookshelf Tank Iwagumi

December 31st, 2012

I’ve been working on an Iwagumi scape in my bookshelf tank since August. Back then, I spent several days working on the hardscape, using ADA Aquasoil (powder and regular types) to create the mounds. Originally I planted the entire aquascape with an Eleocharis species that I found growing abundantly near my house. In nature , it looked very much like Eleocharis parvula, the 1-2″ tall dwarf hairgrass that makes such a nice foreground plant. Unfortunately, my lights must not be as strong as the sun, and so it turned out to likely be Eleocharis acicularis, the 4-8″ tall hairgrass that remains as my background plant.

Bookshelf Tank - First Stab at New Hardscape

Hardscape – Click for larger

About 6 weeks ago, I pulled most of the hairgrass and replaced it with two types of Lilaeopsis, L. brasiliensis and L. sp. ‘micro’. Below, you can see that it’s starting to take off. The hardscape itself has remained pretty much unchanged since the initial setup. I have added a frosted background to the back glass, and finally put a heater in this tank, which has definitely helped to speed the plant growth.

Bookshelf Tank Update

Aquascape – Click for Larger

I’m not currently using any filtration, but the two nano powerheads do a good job keeping the water circulated and my weekly large water changes keep it in good condition. The only livestock right now are a Dario hysgninon , a few rosy loaches, and a few baby bristlenoses that I pulled from my 50G. The hairgrass on the right background always seems to want to clump together and lay to the right. I need to figure out how to make it stay more like the hairgrass on the left. Otherwise, I’m really happy with how this is turning out, and am looking forward to it filling in. Comments/suggestions welcome!

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White Clouds Come Indoors

September 18th, 2011

We’ve started to get some cooler evenings as we’re days away from the start of Autumn. Therefore, I decided to begin the process of shutting down my raised brick pond for the year by netting out my mosquito controlling white cloud mountain minnows and bringing them indoors.

White Cloud Mountain Minnow

I had put a dozen outside in the spring, but so far I’ve netted about 20 adult sized fish, and quite a few tiny fry (2-3 mm). I’m going to try to collect as many of the tiny fry as possible and raise them in an extremely densely planted aquarium inside. I love putting fish outdoors, as when I bring them back inside, I almost always multiply the number of fish I have, and the colors on the fish are fantastic from all of the live food they’ve hunted down over the summer.

White Cloud Mountain Minnow

All of these minnows are going into my 12G bookshelf aquarium, which has a large colony of orange-eyed-blue-tiger-shrimp in it, plus about 50 juvenile bristlenosed plecos. This is a low-tech tank without any CO2 added and minimal fertilization, but there has a noticeable increase in plant growth since I’ve added the baby plecos and minnows. I guess they’re producing just enough waste to spur the plants on.

Hemianthus glomeratus

The baby plecos are also progressing pretty well. I’m keep their small bellies round and full by feeding them a mixture of veggie pellets, with earthworm or shrimp protein foods added 1-2X a week. Of course, I just noticed a brand new spawn of bristlenose in my 50G aquarium, so I’m overflowing a little bit with these fish at the moment.

Young Bristlenose Pleco

Nevertheless, my 12G bookshelf tank is becoming one of my favorite aquariums to sit and watch. The bottom is always moving with shrimp and plecos scavenging about, and now the white cloud mountain minnows are constantly active in the upper water column. Comments welcome!

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Bookshelf Tank Update

August 10th, 2010

I wanted to share an updated photo of my 12G bookshelf aquarium. The aquascape is largely unchanged since the last photo, but the hairgrass has grown in a little bit. I also went to the trouble of removing the equipment for this particular shot. Notice the pleco in the back left. I put those guys in this tank when they were only a few millimeters long.

Bookshelf Aquarium

Rimless Bookshelf Aquarium - Click for larger image

I’m fairly pleased with this aquascape, although I’m not very happy with this Eleocharis sp. ‘Japan’ hairgrass. It just grows WAY too slow. Because of that and some beard algae on the rocks, I’m kind of getting the itch to rescape it. What do you guys think? Comments/critiques 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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