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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Specs:
Tank: 80ish gallon rimless (outside dimensions are 86g, inside is 79. I say 80 ;) )
Substrate: organic potting mix, kitty litter, azomite, osmocote+, decomposed peat and sand mix, paver sand cap.
Filtration: Fluval 404
Lighting: 2bulb T8 shop light

Inhabitants:
2 BNP
4 angels
2 bolivian rams
3 Pelvicachromis pulcher
6 corys
2 wild caught atabapo sevrums

After first fill 1/7/2014.


Closeup of the substrate. I like it.


FTS 1/25/2014 still dealing with some new tank syndrome algae.


FTS 2/3/2014. Did some rearranging and some new planting in the middle.


FTS 3/30/2014


FTS 5/10/2014 - did a little rearranging on the scape. Notice severe carpet melt after incorrect 1-2 punch application.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
This is my first setup that I've taken time on to do right. All my other ones were pretty much thrown together with no real planning on anything.

I'd had this tank sitting in my garage for a while and I was getting the bug to start something new. My 45 jungle was about a year old and was in desperate need of a revamp. Plus I needed something bigger as I had 4 rams, 2 angels, 3 kribs and a half dozen corys that were all growing out their current space.

First thing I needed to do was build a stand.

Some of these pictures are in the stand build thread.

Starting the dirt process. About 3/4" of organic potting mix (not the name brand kind). Lots of wood, but I don't care. It seems to break down well after a while and I didn't have time to sift it.




Next a layer of plain kitty litter topped with a dusting of azomite and osmocote+ granules (didn't get pictures of this phase. It was late, sue me ;) )

Next layer is old substrate from my 45. Its essentially decomposed sphagnum moss with sand mixed in.


And of course I didn't get a picture of the paver sand cap going on. I think it looks pretty good. I'll get close up pictures of that tonight as well.

Initial hardscape set. Not bad for placing it and liking it from the get go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Now its planting time. This sword I got from a buddy late last summer and was about half this size. Its pretty big. I split it in half and got to big ol swords.


When I was digging up my 45 I could not believe how much chain sword was in there. (or is it blyxa joponica? same thing? I fail at plant ID) I kept pulling, and pulling and pulling. This is only about half of what I had to plant. Well over 100 plantlets ranging from 1/2" tall to 12+. It became apparent what direction I was going in with this setup.


Hardscape set, swords placed and some crypts on the right. Stupid drift wood is still floating after almost 18 months being submerged.



Grass planted and filling.

I found a stupid easy way to fill this thing. I had a little 90gph pond pump that I put into the bottom of a rubbermaid tote and filled it with 5g of water and set it pumping into the tank. I set the hose on a big rock so as not to disturb the sand and then I just kept filling the tote. Made it so much easier especially since it was so late and I was tired.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
While I was at it I added some new drift wood. All the apistos are already migrating to it. I'm hoping it will start leeching tannins to help soften the water and lower the PH to be a little more apisto friendly. Rock to the left is to hold it down as it is still a little buoyant.



 

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I have a GBR MF pair and the primary difference is in coloration, there are other distinctions as well. I imagine that these distinctions are displayed in all variations of the species. Look for longer first ray on the dorsal fin. It looks almost like the Little Rascals' Alfalfa hair sticking up, but in the front. My female does not have this. Her dorsal looks like it is relatively the same length throughout, tapering smoothly at the tail end.
 

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I'd say in my limited knowledge that the one that we really only get a back view of is a male. Only because of the extended dorsal fin tips. But from what I've read also te females top and lower fin will not extend past where the tail ends and the fin begins. I just picked up 4 Bolivian rams over te weekend so I've been trying to figure this same thing out
 

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I'm by no means an expert, but I'd agree. Typically males have stronger coloration and more elaborate fins. So that one we see the tail end looks a bit male. The top left GGR is a male. I cant see the dorsal of the other one.

Didnt say it earlier, but those Cocama are awesome!
 

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Yeah the one in question seems to be a female. Notice the lack of "spike" at the front compared to the photo of the Gold ram you posted? The gold ram would be a male.
 
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