75G – Pictures (10/18/2006)

October 19th, 2006

Below are a few updated pictures of my 75G. Since the last update, I’ve replaced most of the anubias barterii with anubias barterii var. nana, per the recommendation of some GWAPA members to use smaller leaves in the scape.  

75G - 10/18/2006
(75G – 10/18/2006 Darker)

75G - 10/18/2006
(75G – 10/18/2006 – Photoshopped brighten the picture.) 

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Every Old Plant is New Again

October 18th, 2006

Didiplis Diandra

This weekend, I decided to make the 30-45 minute trip out to Aquarium Center, in Randalstown, MD. A lot of folks have a lot of different feelings about this store, but as far as plant selection goes, this is one of the better stores in my area. From GWAPA, I’m so used to seeing the latest and greatest plants that enter the hobby, thanks to a few folks in the club who actively trade and acquire plants from all over the world. This time, I decided to finally try out some of the plants that have been around for awhile, but have never graced my tank’s aquascapes.

Didiplis Diandra Top viewThe main plant I wanted to try was didiplis diandra. Over the years I’ve seen a number of nice aquascapes using this plant. It’s got a nice greenish, bronze color, but the knock on it is it that the stems can be quite delicate, causing the bottoms to rot and the tops float up. I’m looking forward to see how this grows in my 40G in aquasoil.

Another plant that I’ve never truly tried in ernest is baby tears. This is a small leaved plant that can be grown and trimmed into a bush-like form. I did buy this plant once before, but I didn’t have the proper equipment or trimming techniques to really get this growing how I wanted it to.

Baby Tears

 Finally, the last plant I got was rotala wallichii. I’ve never been able to maintain any of these thread leaved plants over the long haul. Invariably, the stems end up branched and ugly, and the leafs themselves end up with algae or other crap in them. This time, I’ve promised myself that I’ll take a little bit better care of it. We’ll see how long that lasts!


Rotala wallichii

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Phyllanthus Fluitans Flowers!

October 11th, 2006

Last week, I ordered a few new compact flourescent bulbs from AHSupply to replace some old ones over my 54G. Previously, I had always had 6700k bulbs over that tank, and I always thought that the tank was a little bit off in color. So, this time I decided to mix one 6700k bulb with a 10,000k bulb.

Phyllanthus Fluitans Flowers! 10/11/2006
Dozens of tiny phyllanthus fluitans flowers

Phyllanthus Fluitans Flower - 10-11-2006Now, I’ve had phyllanthus fluitans in this tank for 2.5 years. Basically, we had an agreement: I did nothing, and it grew like crazy providing the rainbowfish shade, and sucking up any excess nitrates. One of my goals for the pond this past year was to get my “red-root-floater” to flower outside under the full sun. It turned bright red, but never a single flower. So, anyways, I opened the lid to the tank this evening to feed the fish, and low-and-behold, dozens of little white flowers are sticking up from each phyllanthus fluitans leaf. These aquariums never stop giving me nice surprises!

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Pond – Down for the winter…

October 11th, 2006

Last night, I finally broke down and emptied out my raised brick pond for the winter. The night-time temperatures have been slowly teetering around the 50 degree mark, with a few night last week in the high 40’s. In good conscience, I didn’t want the Endlers to freeze to death.

Empty Pond - 10-10-2006
The pond is emptied for the winter.

So, I pulled out my trusty net and siphon and went to town. The ludwigia aromatica was still flowering away, but I was surprised to still find a few stems of rotala macrandra ‘green’ still alive — I had long thought they had melted away. The sagitaria subulata looked more like Val, as nearly all of it was 2 feet tall due to the shading walls of the pond.

I had netted out 100-200 Endlers the week before, but I still managed to pull out remaining holdouts. To my surprise, I also pulled out about a dozen cherry shrimp! I had thrown in about a half-dozen pregnant females earlier in the summer, but hadn’t seen them since. I figured that fell victim to the weather, or perhaps the frogs that frequented the water hole. (Do frogs eat shrimp? They obviously enjoy other their insectual invertebrate cousins.) Then of course, I pulled out more pond snails than I have any practical use for.

Just bricks and pots left
The bricks and pots are stored away inside of the pond.

I have my bricks and planter pots stored away inside of the pond. Otherwise, the only thing left to do is to build a lid over the pond to keep out any rain/snow/leaves that are sure to come over the next few months. Otherwise, I can just look forward to this Spring, when I’ll do it all over again.

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40G – Updated Picture…

October 9th, 2006

I realize that I haven’t posted any updated pictures of the 40G since I posted about the hardscape. Well, I took all of that blyxa japonica out of the 75G, and inserted it here. I probably ought to remove some of it from here, but I imagine a few clumps will remain in the final scape. I’m in the process of growing out enough ludwigia cuba, p. stellata, rotala macrandra ‘green,’ and ludwigia aromatica to fill out the back of the tank. For now, they’re just long stems waiting to be trimmed, and replanted.
40G - 10-08-2006

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Male Apisto Borellii – Nice Color

October 8th, 2006

Apisto Borellii MaleEven though the tank itself has been in pretty poor shape lately, my male apistogramma borellii have been showing really great coloration lately. Perhaps it’s because I have two want-to-be-dominant males in the same tank, with enough females for them to show off to.

It’s been a pleasure to watch them. I have no doubt that with their colors, there are probably some babies somewhere. I haven’t seen any little swarms, but that doesn’t mean they’re not there.

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GWAPA – National Zoo Tours

October 1st, 2006

The National Zoo in Washington D.C. was kind enough to give GWAPA behind-the-scene tours of two of their exhibits – Invertebrates and Amazonia. Both tours were fantastic, so I wanted to share a few pictures from our tours.

The coral on the right is believed to be the largest captive-kept coral of it’s type.

GWAPA members looking at the salt-mixing station for all of the Invertebrate tanks.

Checking out a big tank.

Watching as they try to feed a large starfish on the glass.

Hermit crab.

Spiny lobster. They later fed this lobster while we were there.

Baby Cuttlefish being reared behind the scenes prior displaying to the public.

Fairly young arowana cruising around the service of the pool-style tank in Amazonia.

Java moss carpet, with lots of LARGE fish!

Emergent growth from the pool.

Two very large Arapaima. Amazingly, they showed us two young Arapaima behind-the-scenes that would easily fit in our conventional aquariums, albeit, not for long.

Those are big filters!

View of one of the pools, looking down on it from the rain-forest style display above.

And what would a trip to the zoo be without seeing the seals?

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