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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Two tanks to share! Both weighing in at 40 gallons, but these aren't your usual breeders, folks. These contenders are the uncommon 36" x 15" x 17" size. I'm running 2 bulb, T5HO fixtures over both of them, so this will be a low/mid-light, slow-growing grudge match.

In the red corner, we have the returning champ, a riparium I've had going for some time. It's coming in hot with a recent rescape, but definitely needs some more plants to fill it in. The water portion isn't planted, but the emergent plants get a dosing of ferts each week. About 15 gals of water in there.
Current stock:
4 Cherry Barbs
3 Spiketail Paradisefish
A few peace lillies
Black mangrove
Leather fern (love this plant)
Hygrophila sp.



In the blue corner, we have a newcomer to the fishroom. I plan to use mineralized topsoil with a sand cap and fill this thing to the brim with cryptocoryne species. Not too sure on the fish at this point. Can't wait to get started on this one!



I'll follow up with some pics of the riparium build. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Riparium build

The tank was a tangle of emergent Brazilian pennywort and hygrophila from January until summer. Same fishes in there today.


I graduated from school, trucked my tank back home and it was time for a makeover. Took the rim off the top.


Reworked the wood:


Foamed in a riparium planter made from plastic flats from Home Depot.


Filled it up and planted with hygrophila and the leather fern in the DIY planter, peace lillies and mangrove in riparium planters from Riparium Supply. Fishes added later! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thinking of a different layout for the hardscape in the new tank. I'd like to cover the wood in moss and go nature aquarium style on this tank with a lot of crypt species.

 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Added some magnolia leaves to the riparium today. Hoping to coax out the rather shy spiketails. They never took too well to the sandy, brighter rescape.

Leaves still floating.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Seems like it's working!

Also, trying out a few photo edits...


Added some more photos of the spiketails. Pictured are two females which squabble a lot. I've yet to get a good shot of the male, the most impressive of the bunch.



 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Picked up some MGOCPM for the new tank. Plan to mineralize it and mix/cap with the stuff next to it, my "custom" substrate... Just a bunch of substrates from previous tanks mixed together!

 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I took some time to investigate what was going on with the spiketail male. He had been very territorial around a specific hollow in the driftwood, ferociously chasing off the cherry barbs and one of the female spiketails. My guess was that he was guarding a bubble nest... So I stuck a camera in there to find out. :)



I'll try and capture any fry I find. Hopefully they don't get gobbled up immediately like a previous spawning...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Moved 4 Cherry barbs from quarantine into the riparium. They're still pretty small so I hope they don't get predated by the spiketails, but they seem to be ignored so far.

Lil guys in the top right:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Split one of the peace lilies into a few small plants. Hopefully it'll grow into a nice bushy bunch of dark green around the back.

 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Finally got this 40 gallon filled! Went light on the hardscape and heavy on the planting. Needs some time to grow in before I put fish in here, but I think she'll be a real beaut!

Lots of Crypt. wendtii bronze and tropica in the middle. Some small undulata around the driftwood. A big clump of undulata in there too! Hygrophila corymbosa "angustifolia" and another Hygro are in there for a lush background behind the crypts.


 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Some updates!


Tank is growing in well! Still trying to bush out the hygro, but I love where the crypts are at.



Everything survived a few days outside while we got the house fumigated. The spiketails are stoked to be back inside!


The cherry barbs are doing well, the younger ones are starting to show some more red.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Nice tank! What' the lighting and flow like on the tank with the crypts? No co2?
Thanks!

There are three 54w bulbs of T5HO on the tank, with a 150gph powerhead pushing the water around. Maybe higher gph. No CO2 on here, just some excel early on to get the ball rolling. I'll dose ferts according to e.i. every couple weeks, but I think the mineralized topsoil under the substrate is doing most of the work. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
A bit of a trim for the 40 the other day. Moved the lily out from the corner to liven up the center of the tank and added ten cherry barbs from quarantine. :)



 

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Hey Tiptop,

I'm trying to setup a Sri Lanka biotope and have had a lot of help from your thread, but I'm stuck on the paradisefish.
Where did you source your two spiketails from?

Cheers,
Butterfield
 
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