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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-07-2005, 11:10 AM Thread Starter
 
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Our latest laboratory tank

This is the semi-completed tank (more fish and plants to follow) at feeding time.



Between feedings:



The tank has the following fish:

1 Kissing Gourami
3 Bronze Corydoras
3 Peppered Corydoras
14 Blue Neon Tetra
10 Black Phantom Tetras
2 Black Widow Tetras

The fancy goldfish tank after the addition of a large Java Fern.



Our lone Kissing Gourami fighting its reflection!

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-07-2005, 11:11 PM Thread Starter
 
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No comments at all? I'd appreciate any advice anyone has to offer, particularly about the new tropical tank.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-07-2005, 11:22 PM
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Neil_L

Any advice in particular you are after?

Goldfish are not tropical and eat plants?

Upgrade the lighting and stuff it full of plants?

Moved to Tucson.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-07-2005, 11:30 PM
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I would put a center piece in the first tank, like a nice piece of driftwood or something. I would also have some type of foreground plant, my fav. is dwarf sag.

Are you using any co2?
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-09-2005, 12:15 PM
 
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Hello Neil,
You say this is a labratory tank, is this tank going to be used as a test tank for fish or is it just to decorate the labratory? You will find that the lighting is definately gonna be an issue if you want any success at growing plants. What size tank is that new one ?
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-11-2005, 12:23 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the comments guys. The Goldfish have nibbled the Java Fern a little, but are generally leaving it alone, I'll pull it out if they do serious damage.

The new tank is 240 litres with about 70W of lighting. I think the way I've taken the photos has diminished the effect somewhat, although I'm considering adding reflectors once the plant stocking has finished. Unfortunately, I can't go overboard because management will never stump up for uber-lighting or CO2.

We're still halfway through our stocking phase, there are more plants and fish to come, including a donation of Guppies. I'm hoping to find a good (i.e. free bit of driftwood as a centre piece, and scatter some rocks around. It's just a decorative tank for the lab (we're a school, btw), but I try and use species that are relevant to research, or biologically/behaviourally interesting.

As for advice, I'm basically learning as I go, so any constructive tips are appreciated.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-11-2005, 04:44 PM
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Neil_L:

The lighting is going to be your biggest problem. At the very least you should get a glass top (if you don't have on already) and a second fluorescent fixture. Dual bulb is the best but work with what you can. Reflectors are manditory.

Since this is a 'public' tank keep it simple. I would choose a school of one type of fish and a minumum cleanup crew (ottos mainly). As far as interesting you could pick A) something local <not much to work with in England> B) zebra danios as they are common lab fish but boring C) Something that will breed <but it sounds like you are a bit beyond grade school> or D) something that is easy and maintence free like Endlers etc. Tanks with 'two of each kind' seldom come out right and limit your options not to mention the task of explaining to a coworker why THEIR fish died...

With the plants I would again stick with few and simple. The java fern can be matched with java moss and anubius for lower light growth. I am partial to crypt retrospiralis and rotala rotundifolia but that is all I would try to grow.

Moved to Tucson.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-11-2005, 05:16 PM
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-16-2005, 03:52 PM Thread Starter
 
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I've been thinking along similar lines BlueRam. Working within the stock of our LFS, I'm probably going to build up the Tetra population. It really depends on what's there when I turn up on the day. I've added the Java fern from the Goldfish tank, and I have three other juvenile ferns in there already, so it looks like a Java jungle is taking shape. I have a list of mainly smaller foreground plants to select from to fill in.

The problem is that, whilst I've been around for a few years, I don't have control of the budget in my department, so a lot of what I've got so far is due to gentle persuasion. I would love CO(2) injection, but I don't hold out much hope for it. I'm going to experiment with DIY in a separate tank as a way of building a case. It might also be possible to link it to the curriculum as a component of photosynthesis (we're the Biology dept).

ddaquaria, I really like Crinum thaianum (I assume tha's what's you mean). The first plant I got a couple of years ago grew really well in my 30 litre tank at home (I was always trimming it). However recent specimens have been very poor quality, not exhibiting the broad leaf growth of the first. They also seem very intolerant of new tank conditions, and it's hard to keep algae of them. I'm probably going to go for some Amazon swords and Echinodorus to bulk out the tank.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-16-2005, 04:34 PM
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My suggestion is to add more plants and a lot of them. Are you dosing and nutrients now and do you have c02 running?

If so im just gunna guess youve got some algae growing here and there. Adding more plants will help balance the tank out

Whats in your glass box?
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-20-2005, 03:58 PM Thread Starter
 
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Here's what it looks like now:



I'm not too convinced with the placing of the right-hand member of the Java Fern pair, but I'll give it time to grow out some more. I'm going to add an Amazon Sword and a selection of smaller plants to fill out.

I'm not dosing at the moment, but I'm going to ask the LFS for advice when I get the next batch of plants. I might pick up some test I'm missing, such as phosphate, nitrate and trace metals. I can also 'sell' the tests as educational
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-06-2005, 09:29 AM Thread Starter
 
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My 240L, with new and improved pics

Here's the tank a few months on, that Hygrophila is growing like nobody's business. We've also has some new fish donated, including guppies, a pleco, a loach, several neons, one honey gourami and one pearl gourami. I think some of the guppies are pregnant already (edit: found one dead on the substrate this morning )



I'll try and update with a sharper picture later on.

In the other tank, the wood sank well. It did leach tannins, although I quite like the effect. I spent three hours tying java fern to it, and our semi-blind black moor seems to have taken to it quite well. I just hope it grows out before it gets nibbled away.



Pity about the reflections. For some strange reason, our web filtering software at work blocks the second picture, and has actually "logged this event". Never knew Java Fern was so controversial.

Last edited by Neil_L; 04-06-2005 at 02:37 PM. Reason: Replaced pic with better one
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-06-2005, 04:38 PM
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Looks good, you plan to do any hardscape in that first tank or is there already some?
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-06-2005, 08:48 PM Thread Starter
 
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I've considered it as an option (I was thinking of slate), but couldn't really come up with anything by the time I had the rest of the materials together. I'm hoping to get a large tank when I get my own place (whenever that might be!), so hardscaping will hopefully go in that design.

In the meantime, if anything interesting comes up when the next trim is due, I'll whack it in I wasn't really expecting the H. corymbosa to grow that well, so the tank has evolved on its own.
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