Hello fellow enthusiasts!
This is the start of my 33 gal. journal. I am looking forward to trying out some new equipment and techniques. The end result will hopefully be a creation that resembles a Nature Aquarium.
This is my aquarium at its previous “best”.
Now it is empty and dry as I have been in the Falkland Islands for nearly 4 months. I sold all the plants and fish to a fellow hobbyist. It was a mixture of emotions – sadness to see my cherished plants and fish go, but excitement for the future.
There has been some major benefits to my time 8000 miles away from home….. Hardscape! Whilst exploring a beach in San Carlos, East Falkland Island I found some great ADA-style branchy driftwood. My excitement was rather perplexing for my non-fishy friends at the time. I don’t know if you guys are aware but decent wood is very rare in the UK. Aqua Essentials stock ADA wood but it’s rather expensive. I believe they are getting some new cheaper but good stuff in soon though (and rocks).
I have read that wood collected from seawater actually has advantages over freshwater. It has already been cured, it is denser, less likely to leech tannins and rot. Here it is.
I have positioned the pieces in all sorts of combinations and I can get it looking similar to this.
I have also collected some great rocks. The first type are “Riccia/moss stones”. They are 2-3” diameter and a quite flat with a rough-textured surface that makes them ideal for anchoring the Riccia/moss. I’ve also sourced some great larger rocks ideal for future potential aquascapes. One day I’d like to try my hand at an Iwagumi (Japanese rock arrangement style) composition.
– Juwel Rio 125 (32”L x 14”W x 20”H) – 125 l. / 33 gal.
– Eheim 2028 Pro II (750 lph – 6x turnover rate)
– 2 x 25w T8 Interpet Daylight Plus (6500K), 2 x 18w T8 Interpet Daylight Plus all with Juwel reflectors. 2.6 wpg, 10 hour photoperiod.
– ADA Aqua Soil Amazonia 2 x 9 l. ADA Power Sand Special 2 l. and ADA Bright Sand for the foreground.
– Tropica Nutrition (was TMG). KNO3 and KH2PO4 (EI).
– 500g pressurized with Dennerle reg. May upgrade to 2Kg CO2 fire extinguisher. D&D solenoid. 1+ BPS. Direct into filter to start with. If I get sporadic output I’ll invest in an ADA mist diffuser. Does anyone have experience with CO2 straight into their 2028?
– 70:30 RO/tap. KH 2, GH 4. 50% weekly water change.
Substrate will be installed right away. No plants, light, CO2 or fish for first 6 weeks while I mature the filter and let the ADA substrate and water chemistry stabilize. I am maturing the filter prior to planting as I can plant with my desired species from the start rather than cramming it full of weeds. A friend of mine (Nick) had great success with this technique planting mostly crypts, anubias and C. helferi from Day 1 with no algae issues.
- I’m looking at a similar layout to ADA 2005 catalogue NA no.5. Black background, U-shape compostion, dense green stems up at the left and right sides. Lots of narrow var. Java fern on the wood. Group of red Rotala indica or Ludwigia arcuata off-center for focal point. Sand foreground with moss or Riccia stones leaning against wood and possibly some petite var. Anubias.
– Amano shrimp, Otos, 12 or so Harlequin rasboras and 3 Pearl gouramis.
All subject to change depending on wife!
I fly home soon but don’t anticipate starting until September or October. I will obviously keep you posted.
Any comments appreciated.