wijnands' 33 gallon riverbank
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Old 10-22-2012, 08:40 AM   #1
wijnands
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wijnands' 33 gallon riverbank


Over here in Europe we have somewhat different tank sizes than in the Americas. Biggest tank company on the market is the German firm Juwel. I started out with one of their starter tanks, a 60cm 72 liter model, back in 2000. Thank tank is now slowly developing some faults in the silicone so I looked for an upgrade. I managed to find a Rio 125 model, 81 x 36 x 50 cm 125 liter/33 U.S. Gallon for 50 euros.

Now that may not seem like much but it's a big difference if you see them side by side:



After quite a bit of pondering I decided to remove the internal filter which is factory installed in these. I know that system and the filters work really well but because of the placement in the room it's a bit of an eyesore. It also resonates somewhat with the hood. I'm replacing it with a second hand Eheim 2211 that I got the gunk out and got running again.

This weekend I had some time so decided to start the hardscape:



Due to budget problems I did the initial contours using rinsed play sand. I used some yoghurt pots cut to strips to keep it in place.



Covered that using filter sand, lovely stuff! We're on river clay here and the beaches are sand so I had to buy the pebbles. 90 cents got me all those pebbles at the local garden centre.

Next up, some wood:



and another piece of wood that was in the first incarnation of my small tank. It's spend the last few years in the garden and has gotten a lovely weathered finish from that.



The heater on the right is temporary. The filter intake will stay but will be camouflages with plants.

Because I can't part with my existing stock of plants I've decided to reuse most of them.



In may I bought a single pot of Pogostemon Helferi, that has multiplied considerably now. I planted a clump near the wood on the right and used it to camouflage a cave a bit more on the left.



Also on the left some Rotala rotundifolia, Lysimachia nummularia and some vallis.



For the empty space more or less under the wood I want to get an echinodorus of some kind, not sure which one yet. It will have to be something that will thrive in the slightly lower light levels in that part.
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Old 10-23-2012, 07:34 AM   #2
andrewss
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I really like the style, not many people on here go with this river look with the smooth rocks... only thing I would say is maybe you could work more rocks with more size difference - but yeah the smooth rock style is real nice here - good work so far
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Old 10-23-2012, 07:58 AM   #3
wijnands
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Thanks!

Yes, I do want to work in some smaller rocks or even a bit of coarse gravel into it. First want to plant it though and I need to find some proper material. All I've found so far is coarse pebbles and these are much lighter in colour.
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:11 PM   #4
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Nice start to the tank.
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Old 10-26-2012, 07:57 AM   #5
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Wednesday I got a load of vallis from a friend. I also used some tie raps to stick some anubias to the back wall. Curious to see how that develops.



Tomorrow I hope to get some echinodorus for the left part under the branch. I'm thinking E. Bleheri and E. latifolius. Looked at E. Martii and love the looks but I think it will get too big. After that some bits and pieces to tie on various parts of the branch and then it's more or less finished.
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Old 10-29-2012, 02:38 PM   #6
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Saturday the last plants were planted. Sunday evening I transplanted the Windelov fern. Also the bacteria transplant seems to take, the water is noticeably clearer now.



Visible here in the back is that crypt I bought yesterday. Stems are very dark with a slight reddish tint. Funny enough in more that 20 years of aquarium keeping this is my first crypt. In the foreground is echinodorus latifolius.



I got this wendelov in the spring in a sorry state and didn't know what to do with it so I stuck it in on the edge of the anubias patch. Since then it has recovered tremendously and even managed to create some off shoots. I tied the smaller plants to the wood and stuck the big one in a hole in the wood.



For plants and scaping this is pretty much it now. If I do find some very small pebbles that match the big ones I'll buy some to scatter in the foreground. I may transplant some anubias cuttings but other than that I'm just waiting for the plants to take and start growing.

I also introced a few shrimps and snails. They seem to be doing ok. Way things are going now I think I can start moving in a week or two.



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Old 10-30-2012, 08:38 PM   #7
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Took the time for a proper picture:


DSC_5708 by j_wijnands, on Flickr
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Old 11-14-2012, 05:44 AM   #8
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DSC_5915 by j_wijnands, on Flickr

It's growing in now and plants are establishing.


DSC_6065 by j_wijnands, on Flickr

My male boraras are in top shape again:



My ancistrus are really enjoying the leaf litter and sand.


DSC_6025c by j_wijnands, on Flickr

enough that the hormones are starting to act up:
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Old 11-27-2012, 01:19 PM   #9
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A composite of 2x3 pictures using panorama and focus stacking.


Focus stacking and panorama (click for bigger!) by j_wijnands, on Flickr

I added some hatchets:


And I'm now seeing these algae on the brightest lit pieces of wood:

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Old 11-27-2012, 01:39 PM   #10
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Nice setup. Love the background and that pleco.
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Old 11-27-2012, 01:48 PM   #11
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Beautiful hatchets! I like the background also
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Old 11-27-2012, 01:59 PM   #12
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Thanks! That background is actually one of the cheapest styro ones I could find
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Old 11-28-2012, 07:18 PM   #13
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Got three patches of Limnobium laevigatum on saturday. One has lodged itself agains the branch and send a root down in just a few days. That's about 10cm/day



Hatchetts are a lot calmer now, they still argue a bit but I now see this more often:



And even though the wendelov is doing a bit poorly at the moment, I just had to take this:


shrimp's paradise by j_wijnands, on Flickr
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Old 02-10-2013, 05:30 AM   #14
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IT's filling out nicely now.


DSC_7526 by j_wijnands, on Flickr
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Old 02-10-2013, 05:51 AM   #15
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Such a beautiful tank - I love the combination of rounded rocks, sand, and leaf litter. Very natural looking!
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