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alafish 11-20-2011 06:31 AM

Planted Island...Journal
Planted island aquarium: Started on Oct 26, 2011.

Tank: 60x35x40 cm, 20 G rimless, black silicon.
Stand: DIY, ADA style red oak stained brown-to mach the rest of the house!
Filtration: Ehiem Pro 3 + AquaEuroUSA 290 pump .
Lighting: 150w MH 10,000 (Replaced with 6700K-much better colors in my opinion) 10 hours/day. Cheesy Ikea colour leds for background effect.
Heater: Hydro 200w in-line.
UV: Helix Max UV Sterilizer - 9 W.
CO2: Pressurized 5 lb. Aqua Medic Co2 Reactor 1000 (inline).
Substrate: Flourite Black, Laterite, ADA Aqua Soil- Malaya normal + sand. White river sand for decoration.
Fertilization: Seachem Flourish , Flourish Iron, Flourish Trace. Dosing every 3 days with water change.
Water changes: 1/3 every 3 days + maintenance and trimming.

glossostigma elantoides
Cardamine lyrata
Aponogeton ulvaceus
Java moss
Ludwigia glandulosa
Cryptocoryne sp. (Tropic label on the plant says it is a bran new species. To me it looks like Cryptocoryne parva, but wuth wider and more point leaves).
Echinodorus 'Ozelot' .
Rotala rotundifolia
Cryptocoryne wendtii 'brown'
Hygrophila corymbosa 'Angustifolia'

Amano shrimp (Caridina multidentata) x 5 . x1 left evil angelfish.
Red cherry shrimp (Neocaridina Heteropoda var. Red) x5 . Killed by the angelfish
Otos (Otocinclus affinis) 5 x4 left
SAE (Crossocheilus siamensis) 5 x3 left
Horned Nerite Snail (Clithon corona)
Angelfish (Pterophyllum scalare) x3 -wild pattern!!
Hemigrammus bleheri x10

The plan was to be as simplistic as possible as to avoid any distractions when you look at the setup. So the rimless tank, the simple box design of the stand and all the pluming that has to be out of sight.
The light was initially attached using a 3/4"x3/4" wood bar from the centre of the stand. Then I decided to changed it a 1/2 water pipe bent to support the light.

Pluming: inflow>filter>co2 reactor>UV sterilizer>Heater>pump>outflow

The stand was built with red oak. All biscuit jointed. Stain + varnish for water proofing. Painted with white water resistant on the inside. (It took one week to build)

Protect the hard wood floors:proud:

Tank was drilled to have two take 3/4" bulkheads at the bottom (Rest of pluming was 1/2" though, just because of the limited space inside the cabient).

Aquarium filled with water and tested over night.

Putting it all together:

Day 0:

Testing different layouts and settled on this:

Substrate layout: First layer is bit of leftover flourite black mixed with Laterite. secon thin layer of ADA soil then placed the hardscape material and then more ADA soil, white gravel and finaly ADA sand.

Planting on the day after the setup:

Week 1: placed the filter from the old aquarium to help speed up cycling. Added algae crew.

Changed the light support from wood to metal pipe ;): I am not sure if it was worth it but it look out of the way...which I guess good:proud:

Week 3: Added anglefish. Ludwigia growing nicely. Removed the Echinodorus 'Ozelot'. The leave grew huge to the proportions of the Tank. Moved to my 180 planted.

Week 4: Better pictures this time :proud:.

Week 4.5 !

I Did some changes.
1-Trimmed the Cardamine and moved some of it around.
2-Moved the Ludwigia to the front and the Aponogeton to the back. I think it looks better this way.
3-Changed the bulb from 10,000k to 6,700K. Also, I moved the light fixture from 18" from water surface to 10". It brings in way more light intensity, but because of the plants mass now, after 4 weeks, I think they are doing very well to keep the algae in control. A lot of bubbling from the plants (; .

Week 6

The glosso is growing nicely and covering the rocks-that everyone complained about :wink: - around the island. I removed some of the big rocks around the rim let the glosso flow nicely.

After moving some of the Aponogeton to the back; some of the stems died. So, to fill the gap, I planted some Hygrophila corymbosa 'Angustifolia' to the right back side. This usually grows relatively fast and will fill the space in no time.

Also, planted some stems for Rotala rotundifolia to the left back side.

finally some Cryptocoryne wendtii 'brown' in the center to fill in some space there.

The Cardamine is growing like crazy, I have to trim it some times weekly :)



more shots:

Week 8
Added some Rummies (Hemigrammus bleheri).[censored]Also, I have an infestation of what I think is Staghorn Algae. It started right after I lowered the light source. The light caused the glosso to turn yellow/red as well. I might have to lifted up again :frown:
Left side:
Right side:
Glosso turning red:

Enjoy everyone and Merry Christmas :fish:


Problems I ran through during the last 8 weeks:

1)Wood fungus: I wouldn't call this a problem, but for people who don't know it; it grows on wood after soaking for the first time. It is not common. It is a self limiting condition. My otos helped removing it by nipping on the wood just beneath it (they don't eat it). It can be easily cleared if you attached a cycled filter to you aquarium as I did or if you add some mollys to you aquarium they will enjoy eating it.

2) Green water: this was cleared after turning the UV sterilizer for one night. It was the MH with the plantes still catching up with nutrients pickup. other ways to clear it up is to do more frequent water changed and turn the light off (or cover the aquarium) for 2-3 days:

3)Staghorn Algae!!!
I am not 100% sure about what kind of algae. Can any one help identify it.

I will update the threat later. I hope you enjoyed it. I'll try to answer your questions if you have any.

Bahugo 11-20-2011 06:40 AM

I like the tank alot. I think my only issue is the circle of perfectly aligned rocks is really distracting and very unnatural feeling. I liked the scape much more without the circle of rocks.

alafish 11-20-2011 06:46 AM

Bahugo, I totally agree. I only added it later because the shrimps scattered the ada soil over the white gravel. This is the only way to stop it. The plan is to get the gloss to cover the rocks. Thanks.

Li@m 11-20-2011 07:04 AM

I love your stand. Tank looks good, Keep it up.

bryfox86 11-20-2011 07:41 AM

tank looks great!

alafish 11-20-2011 07:44 AM


green_valley 11-20-2011 11:09 AM

Nice indeed. Lovely island.

orchidman 11-20-2011 01:14 PM

wow! this looks great.

the only thing i really dont like is how the edges slope up and are higher than the island. making the island look like its in a crater

love the angels!

Geniusdudekiran 11-20-2011 02:06 PM

Sick tank man. Not many people can pull off an island theme like you have. Your photography skills blossomed in just a few weeks (or did someone else take those pics?)!

alafish 11-20-2011 07:14 PM


Thanks for your comments. I was using my crappy iphone cam during the build. Here is one of Amano shrimp staring from an older tank I had in 2010.

allaboutfish 11-20-2011 07:23 PM

love the angelfish

ghotifish 11-20-2011 08:02 PM

Nice looking tank! We've also got a raised area that we're keeping up with a ring of rocks, hoping to have the plants grow to cover I'll be interested to see how it works for you.

You've done a nice job with plant selection, I don't know if I'd be able to be so subtle.


plecostomouse 11-20-2011 08:03 PM

great tank :D

and thats one cool shrimp pic

bmwguy525 11-20-2011 09:18 PM

This a great idea and a phenomenal execution! I thought it looked great at week 1, and to see its transition and current state in week 4 is just a great sight. On top of your newer, better photos, the tank in general is amazing. Nice work! It will be great to see this tank continue to grow!

alafish 11-20-2011 09:25 PM

Thank bmwguy525.

Here is a shot of one of my angelfish. Enjoy.

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