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Hello from South East Asia

4313 Views 17 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  camperintent
Greetings from Singapore! Thought i would share my past and current low tech nano scapes here. :)

First of all, I would like to say that this is an excellent forum that I came across back in 2011, where i first started venturing into the idea of using garden soil after browsing through some of the threads here. So i came up with this:


Eheim HOF
28 PC Watts
GEX acrylic tank size 'S'
Potting soil topped with playsand

Some water sprite, wisteria and tadaa, plant grew nicely in a dirt setup.

Then i hopped on to the moss train..

The mixture of mosses took 2 1/2 months to grew in a 30C degrees setup

Somewhere along the way I decided to upgrade into a slightly bigger tank so i could try out more variety of plants and this happened:

40cm wide GEX Acrylic tank
Gex HOF size 'S'
Potting soil topped with 3mm sized gravel

Plant list:
Tiger lotus
Java fern
Windelov fern
Bacopa caroliana
Water wisteria
Crypt undulata
E. Tenellus
Anubias barteri

Back to the present time:

Just set up this on 20/4/2014 and going to be a month old soon.

Equipment List:
14 Watts Phillips PC bulb on a Dymax Astro fixture
Gex Acrylic Tank Size 'S'
Aleas HOF
Potting soil topped with leftover shrimp soil

Plant list:
Windelov fern on wood
Spiky moss tied to the wood
Crypt wendtii "green"
E. Tenellus
Anubias barteri var. nana mini
Water wisteria

Inhabitants are 3 red ballon platies

Comments and questions are welcomed! :)
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Hello from the US of A. Looks like nice work and good progress.
Hello and welcome!! Those are some nice looking tanks. Looking forward to seeing more pictures.
Thanks for the warm welcome and the comments all :D. Will update again once everything grows in.
1st Month progress report

Here goes. Got a rental DSLR camera for my recent graduation so i took the opportunity to snap the tanks.

E.Ten carpeting nicely on a low tech setup.

Also, i noticed that the water surface had tons of dust (presumably from the parking lot behind my estate) so I DIY-ed a surface skimmer from my leftover small pump parts. Attached it to the service HOF. All parts are movable and removable.


As the plants growing in mass, I procured some fertilizers from the local aquarium store and hydroponics just in case they show signs of deficiencies.

500g worth of Ca(NO3)2 & 100g of KH2PO4 for macro source
500ml Excel for carbon source
250ml flourish comprehensive for trace

Thanks for viewing! :hihi:
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Welcome! Not much to add other than my appreciation of the lush, healthy-looking plants!
Welcome! Not much to add other than my appreciation of the lush, healthy-looking plants!
thanks for the appreciation. I may probably have a hard time down the road to keep these plant in check, as my water supply has a PH of 8. The dirt and aquasoil is doing a good job at keeping the tank PH to a nice 6 though. Wonder how long it will last..:icon_lol:
I like that surface skimmer you rigged up, I'll have to keep that in mind. Beautiful tanks!
I like that surface skimmer you rigged up, I'll have to keep that in mind. Beautiful tanks!
Thanks! I'm gonna further improve the design. It's very humid where I am at so the tank water evaporates fast, causing air to feed into the skimmer hahaha.

Also, I am planning to switch the tenellus with glosso.. Mr tenellus is growing too tall, making the scape look even smaller.
Nice job.
Welcome to TPT!
Thanks guys :) The tank is currently experiencing high temperatures of up to 87.8 F. Hopefully the moss pulls through. Been conditioning them to grow in warmer waters.:proud:
11th June Update:

Nothing much has changed, plants growing in, fishes going missing in the tank (Yes, missing, I have no idea how they can go missing in such a small tank, suspected they were sick to begin with, died and then got eaten by others)

1) Got my hand on a bottle of Seachem Iron, adding it as to the fert regiment.

2) Also added DIY CO2 in an effort to increase CO2 content in the water, which I believe is really low as my tank's temperature clocks in at 87.8 Degrees these past few days. The plants are growing still though, including the Spiky Moss and a small patch of Fissidens I got from a local hobbyist. (Myth about moss not being able to grow in warmer is busted i suppose :icon_surp)

3) Last but not least, I upgraded the HOF to the largest model I could get my hands on. Wasn't disappointed, apart from the larger compartment, higher water flow is a +1 for this tank. Fishes enjoying it too.

4) On another note: I'm going to be enlisted into the army very soon (compulsory in my country). So in the mean time, teaching my parents to care for the tank during my confinement period - To top up tank water. hahaha. It's cute and funny at the same time to see my parents stepping in to look after the tank

5) I also won an Eheim Autofeeder in a recent Eheim Giveaway, which will be very helpful in automated feeding while I'm away. (PS: Its not that I don't trust my parents to feed the fish, they tend to overfeed them :hihi:)

Without further ado, pictorial updates: Sorry if it seemed small, i edited them with a android app on my phone and they resized the pictures :icon_frow

Hope you guys enjoyed this journey as much as I do. Feel free to ask me any questions
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Wow, very nice! I hope the tank does well during your absence...
Thanks guys :D Hopefully it can flourish even better. Recently, a local retailer in my country has offered a TEM mini chiller (comparable to a small PC speaker), which I, high likely will purchase one to keep the tank temperature down. Seen the reviews and it's quite promising, some of the local users were able to bring the temperature down to a whopping 75F degrees! :eek: (although I am still skeptical about it's cooling capabilities since it a TEM technology..).

The price is also quite affordable (only USD95) and is rated at 100 Watts. Will update again once I got my hands on a set of this mini chiller. :D
Another update :D

Took a trip to the local fish shop yesterday. The original plan was to source for a suitable LED lightset in view to replace my clip on PC due to the heat generated by the bulb.. Instead I came back with these. So much for self control. LOL

Moving on the the Lightset. Up Aqua T Series Pro LED - Perfect for the tank. Not too bright nor too dim, managed to see the ferns pearling during its service yesterday so I guess it's enough lighting for this small tank. (0.5W x 7, 40Lm per LED)

Also, got a mini TEM chiller from a hobbyist to combat the high temperature. Works wonder for this tank. This chiller's concept is similar to those in-line chillers.

1) Cools the tank according to the temperature set
2) Cuts off power once it reaches the desired temperature
3) Kicks in after detecting 1-2C change in water temperature.

"The mini chiller a.k.a Glorified Speaker fan"

In a move to further reduce any potential heat source, I took out the HOF and replaced it with a 1 watt eco friendly Internal pump (which also moves the water into the chiller and then back into the tank via the spray bars). Here a picture of the current setup.

If you notice, I removed all the e.tenellus up front and replaced it with Marsilea Hirsuta, great plant and long time favorite. Also, swapped the bamboo diffuser for a ceramic one. Way better at diffusing the Co2. Planning to remove the Co2 once the hirsuta settles in and carpets.
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