January 17th, 2014
A few days ago I introduced the Bermuda inspired aquascape in my 33g cube. Here is a bit more of a progression from hardscape to more/less completion from July to October.
Hardscape – July 6, 2013
The hardscape is quite barren, but I really wanted the represent the sandy beach.
Just Planted – July 6, 2013
After planting, the original goal was to continue to leave a lot of exposed sand, with just minimal scrubby plants lining some of the rocks.
A few weeks of growth – July 27, 2013
I added more varieties of plants to provide lots of different textures from the plants. This seems to be fairly representative of the dunes that have lots of different flora.
Several months of growth – October 13, 2013
The plants all grew in, reclaiming most of the sand. While this is not necessarily the original intent of the scape, I like how it’s evolved and like the mixture of different plants. I never completely groomed the plants to create that final photo, but enjoyed it nevertheless. It is still up and running today, but is even more overgrown. I’ll post an update soon.
January 14th, 2014
Back in April I had the pleasure to travel to Bermuda to speak to the Bermuda Fry-Angle Aquarium Society. While I was there, my wife and I took some time to site see, walk the beaches, etc. I noticed that the beaches are all lined with a gray sandstone, with scrub brush and palms above them. Many of the scrub is mixed in with dead underbrush, bleached white by the sun.
Up close, the sandstone really looks similar to basalt and the underbrush looks a lot like sandblasted manzanita. I had all of these materials in my fishroom, so I decided to put together a Bermuda-inspired scape. I mainly used Syngonanthus anomalous ‘Madiera’ with some Staurogyne ‘Porto Velho’ in the foreground.
This picture was taken back in July. In a future post, I’ll show how it’s evolved and grown in…
January 5th, 2014
After battling BBA for a couple months, I think it’s finally starting to subside as the plants grow in my 50G aquarium. Shortly after setting this tank up, the combination of intense lighting, too few plants, and a couple CO2 outages resulted in black brush algae to cover most of the rocks, and many of the plant leaves. I also had a brief bought with green algae, which I believe was due to an insufficient bacteria colony to help break down the organics in the tank.
Recall that this aquarium was basically started afresh, removing very old Aquasoil and replacing it with Seachem Flourite Black. I also made a couple of equipment changes, adding an inline CO2 atomizer on my filter outflow and a surface skimmer on the inflow. This has helped a longtime problem with surface scum. I’m planning to keep up on the manual removal of BBA until it’s gone. Let me know what you think of the aquascape in the comments.
December 1st, 2013
I came across this kick-starter project today, and thought it to be pretty interesting. I seen other aquarists run dedicated aquariums in their racks that were veggie filters, but I haven’t seen a filter designed to incorporate this idea inherently. The EcoQube setup include the tank, filter, LED, and seeds for the plant.
The medium itself stay hydrated from the filter water, replenishing nutrients from the detritus of the tank. In this picture, they’re growing a basil plant, although, I wouldn’t recommend consuming any plants grown in this way, particularly if you’re using hobby-grade substrates and chemicals.
Take a look at their kickstarter video to get a sense of what their inspiration is for this project.
The guys behind this filter and setup are the folks from Aqua Design Innovations, who have been working with planted aquariums for some time. If you like the concept, consider donating to help to this product into production.
November 21st, 2013
When I pulled out all of the wood in my 75G while rescaping, I felt something slimy. Turning the wood over, I noticed a clutch of bristlenose eggs belonging to the Huacamayo Dwarf Ancistrus (L279) in that tank. I removed the eggs and put them in my shrimp tank, figuring that either the shrimp would eat them, or I’d get some fry. Well, I got fry!
I noticed several of the eggs were hatching, with the head and tail first coming out. They then wiggled constantly try to further separate themselves. See the video below:
No matter how many times I find fry in my fishroom, it’s amazing to sit and watch them hatch.
The Ancistrus fry truly are miniature versions of the adults, and they immediate suction themselves to the glass and scavenge for food once hatching.
It’s even more amazing to see their hearts beating and blood pumping while still hatching out. See the video below of three young fry still hatching:
I probably have 20-40 fry in this batch. In the past, as long as I feed them well and keep up on water changes, most can survive without any problems.
If I’m lucky, they’ll all grow up to look like this.