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Matt's 220 Litre Aquaoak

Author Topic: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak  (Read 15986 times)

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Offline Helen

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #100 on: January 21, 2018, 09:47:01 AM »
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My Seneye hasn't shown me any daily variation in ammonia levels in my tank. Interestingly there wasn't even an increase when I added the barbs and I think that worked out as about 50% stock increase. My Seneye measures 'free ammonia' (NH3) in increments of 0.002 so with a level starting around 0.030 before I added the barbs, it didn't even go up to 0.032. You might not see anything @Matt , especially if your plants are visibly growing.

Offline Sue

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #101 on: January 21, 2018, 09:47:45 AM »
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It is the conversion of CO2 and water into carbohydrates (photosynthesis) which needs light. The processing of ammonia into amino acids and on to proteins, and other nitrogenous compounds, is not light driven, that just requires energy from the breakdown of carbohydrates into CO2 and water (respiration).
Plants must take up ammonia 24 hours a day or those people with heavily planted tanks (few bacteria in these) would wake up to fish gasping in ammonia laden water.

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #102 on: January 21, 2018, 10:21:29 AM »
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That's interesting @Sue  and makes more sense than my comments above... I did start wondering after i posted that about the impact of fluctuating ammonia levels on the fish!  Great to have such a knowledgeable community here where I can post silly things without too much shame coming from it!!

Good to have @Helen direct experience when increasing stocking in a planted tank... that gives me some confidence I've made the right decision.

Thanks both  :cheers:

Offline Sue

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #103 on: January 21, 2018, 11:23:08 AM »
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It helps that I have studied biochemistry  :) The uni I went to had an unusual degree structure so I studied chemistry, biochemistry and zoology equally in year 1; chemistry and biochemistry in a 2:1 ratio in year 2; and just chemistry in year 3.

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #104 on: January 21, 2018, 01:26:23 PM »
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3 new and 1 existing goby added :)

The goby from MA Wigan were huge too, basically fully grown, so my little guy is going to go from tank ruler to smallest fish...

Catching him was a nightmare too... I left algae wafers in a jug and a net... both of which he ignored! Ended up on permanent 'goby watch' in shifts with Mrs Matt and chasing him round the tank any time he came out...

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #105 on: January 27, 2018, 10:57:56 PM »
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Schoaling species numbers successfully increased.  I now have 6 harlequins and 6 cardinal tetra (is a slightly odd mixture of sizes!). 

I also picked up 6 rummy nose tetras which have been schoaling beautifully this afternoon.  I have wanted rummy nose for a long time now.  They look so much more impressive in the tank then they did in the little tank at the LFS... they are all swimming in a tight group back and forth across the front of the tank. 

        :fishy1:    :fishy1:
              :fishy1:
   :fishy1:    :fishy1:
           :fishy1:

The new harlequins almost seem to have a thin white 'neon' stripe (like on a black neon tetra) above the black "lambchop"... not sure if I'm making this up, or if it will fade with age but they certainly look very impressive.

The store has some really nice honey gourami in which are a gorgeous deep orange colour so 2 of these were picked up as well.

I'll get some photos of all of these tomorrow.

Next weekend I will get 2 more of each of the schoaling species to bring the numbers up to 8, and 2 more gourami.  I will then be about 70% stocked and I don't think I will want to go much further than that.

Unfortunately there has been one casualty.. the golden ram never looked quite right and it had an "off day" on Wed, was fine Thursday, back to behaving strangely on Friday and unfortunately it died overnight. The other rams are doing fine and I think this was just a poorly fish from the store, these bred colour forms of the rams are known to be weak genetically also.

In other news, I have also been using the new "theaquascaper complete liquid plant food" and must say it is doing wonders for the plant which are now growing faster than I've ever   :))  I would definitely recommend it. It even comes with a little syringe to dose it accurately.  You will probably be able to see the growth in tomorrow's photo.

Finally, I have also fitted a light into the cabinet below the tank as it can be very hard to see what you're doing in there, possibly due for the depth and the contrastingly bright lights above it.

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #106 on: January 28, 2018, 08:35:20 AM »
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Great update, you have been very busy.
Can't wait to see lots of pics.  ;D
Sorry to hear about your golden ram though.

Offline Sue

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #107 on: January 28, 2018, 11:07:03 AM »
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Deep orange honey gouramis - was the tank labelled with the colour morph? Deep orange sounds like two males of the natural colour. If they are two males, make sure the next ones are females.
Honeys are fine with more than 1 male in a tank this size  :)

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #108 on: January 28, 2018, 11:31:51 AM »
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Yes it is two males Sue, they were labelled as red honey gourami.  I will indeed be getting two females next week, I have been perusing my LFSs to find them and there are some in Preston with the right body colouring and find shape.

General tank photo attached. You should be able to see the plant growth :)

I'll try and get some of the fish later... I can't get anything decent at the moment as they are too fast for me!

Offline Sue

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #109 on: January 28, 2018, 11:44:00 AM »
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If they are red ones, that does make sexing a bit trickier.
I have 1 male natural colour - he is definitely a male as he is bright copper with a very black throat - and two females which are both beige with a brown line down each side. They are both definitely females because after the first male died and the tank was male-less for a couple of months neither of them developed male colouring. The females have longer pointier fins than the male  :o  Though I suppose he could just be younger and not fully mature yet.

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #110 on: January 28, 2018, 12:11:34 PM »
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Here's a photo @Sue

Offline Helen

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #111 on: January 28, 2018, 12:13:50 PM »
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What a beauty.

Offline Fishbeard

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #112 on: January 28, 2018, 12:14:38 PM »
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He's a lovely looking fish. :)

Offline Sue

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #113 on: January 28, 2018, 12:15:09 PM »
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I agree, lovely fish  :)

It does have the feeling of being male. I can't really explain why.  ???

Another way it is said to tell the difference - look at the anal fin. In a male, the end of it goes out towards the tail ad curves back in.With a female it is supposed to straighter.

Look at their behaviour. Males will be out and about all over the tank. Females spend a lot of their time pootling round. It is quite hard to explain but I can often tell the males from the females in a shop tank by the way they behave. But then I have kept honey gouramis for 15, maybe 16 years so I am very familiar with them.

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #114 on: January 28, 2018, 12:59:19 PM »
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Very handsome.  :fishy1:

Offline fcmf

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #115 on: January 28, 2018, 03:30:52 PM »
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Thanks for sharing your updates - much appreciated, although sad news about the golden ram. Interesting feedback on that liquid plant food - note to self, for when current supplies run out.

I now have 6 harlequins and 6 cardinal tetra (is a slightly odd mixture of sizes!).
Within a few weeks of being in the QT, my harlequins had quite a size variation - 4 larger, 2 smaller. The situation has remained like this for the past 2.5+ years. I seem to recollect that sizes can vary, depending on the location they're originally from.


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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #116 on: February 04, 2018, 07:21:45 PM »
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Cleaned out the filter for the first time today, giving the sponges a good squeeze in old tank water.  Quite a but of muck was produced. I think it is worse with the tank being new - everything seems to have stabilised a lot more now so hopefully it was the right time to do the clean. The Eden filter was very easy to clean and reprime now I know what I'm doing. Only problem is the bottom sponge can't be removed without the ceramic media being disturbed.  I just gave it a good squash whilst in place and tipped the manky water out afterwards. 

I've not added any fish this weekend. I need to get used to the number of fish in there. I think because I have all nano species it seems like there is a lot going on in there as there are a lot of individual fish.  I probably wont be expanding the numbers of schoalers any more until I get used to it all.  Love the tank as it is so no need to rush! I do really like the idea of agassizi cichlids though!!... I also want to get a tall piece of wood to go on the middle left to balance it out a bit with the right hand side.  There is a gap behind the existing wood here which it will fit well into.

The hygrophila is going redy brown on top given the liquid co2, lights, better ferts etc etc. A flower spike has grown up from the aponogetum and reached the surface in just the last 2 days! I have lots of baby java ferns growing on the bigger leaves too.

Offline Sue

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #117 on: February 04, 2018, 07:25:38 PM »
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Word of caution - it is not a good idea to have more than one species of cichlid in a tank and you already have rams........

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #118 on: February 04, 2018, 07:39:06 PM »
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Ok thanks Sue  :fishy1:

I thought you just had to avoid mixing cichlids from different parts of the world?

Offline Sue

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #119 on: February 04, 2018, 07:46:33 PM »
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Cichlids from different continents are a definite no because they don't understand each other's signals. But male cichlids are territorial and one male will consider the whole of the bottom of your tank as his territory. A newcomer would not be permitted in this territory.
If you had a 6 or 8 foot tank, it might be do-able but I wouldn't risk it in anything smaller.

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #120 on: February 04, 2018, 08:12:47 PM »
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Loving your tank.  :afro

Offline Helen

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #121 on: February 04, 2018, 11:44:15 PM »
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Looking good.

And that ram is just gorgeous.

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #122 on: February 06, 2018, 04:46:17 PM »
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Well unfortunately last night I had to put my elderly Ram transferred from my old tank down. She had dropsy and a number of other conditions were starting to take hold as well.  She had gone in and out of health over the past few months. She didnt resist the process i put her through to bring things to a quiet end so it was her time...  :'(

Offline Helen

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #123 on: February 06, 2018, 05:46:12 PM »
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 :'(

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #124 on: February 06, 2018, 06:46:34 PM »
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So sorry to hear about your ram.  :(

Offline fcmf

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #125 on: February 06, 2018, 10:12:54 PM »
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Very sorry to read about this but, as you say, it sounded like it was her time. :'(

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #126 on: February 07, 2018, 06:11:35 AM »
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Thanks everyone.

Offline Paddyc

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #127 on: February 27, 2018, 08:25:44 PM »
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Matt, mixed emotions for me. Never nice to have to say goodbye to a wee fishie... But I'm impressed at your developments! Your new tank is very smart and your aquascaping is top drawer! Is your hygrophila the same that I sent you? The amount I have to remove from my tank now on a monthly basis is ridiculous...

Loving being back and catching up on everyones tanks!  8) 8)

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #128 on: February 27, 2018, 09:35:05 PM »
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Yep that's the stuff @Paddyc (thanks again for sending me some). It seems to be growing a lot better in the new setup. I used to have a few strands which needed the lower leaves removing frequently due to holes appearing in them and the whole plant replanting... it wasn't exactly thriving... now though (and possibly linked to change in fertiliser) the growth has increased and there no longer seems to be any die off. I'm even getting brownish red leaves on the top of the plant when it reaches near the light. I've chopped a couple of stems and replanted and all seems to be going well!

I'm thinking of changing the right hand side of the layout of the scape a bit actually... looking top-down it's a bit 'diagonal' with half sand and half scape from one corner to the opposite corner. I think I'd like it more like sand across the front, scape across the back... perhaps with a bit more height to it too... not sure yet though. Next task is to clean the algae off the rocks... not looking forward to that one!!

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #129 on: March 18, 2018, 06:33:42 AM »
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Just a few baby java fern were taken off their mother plants last night...

A couple of other recent photos attached too.

Offline Sue

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #130 on: March 18, 2018, 09:38:19 AM »
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You gotta love stiphodons  ;D They are so ugly-cute.


Is your java fern planted in the sand  :o

Offline fcmf

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #131 on: March 18, 2018, 09:50:56 AM »
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Gorgeous pics. I especially love the last one - rams are beautiful, and the depth created by the rocks and roots and plants makes their habitat look so enviable.

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #132 on: March 18, 2018, 10:56:41 AM »
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Beautiful.  8)

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #133 on: March 18, 2018, 03:45:46 PM »
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Thanks everyone.

@Sue yeh the 30ish individual baby java ferns got dumped in the sand... I'll be rescuing them later today... I was running out of time before lights out and wasn't too sure what to do with them all... they are breeding like rabbits!  :o

Offline fcmf

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #134 on: March 18, 2018, 06:29:23 PM »
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I bought some java fern recently and found some stone/rock in the fish cupboard to attach it to with just some covered twisty wire (forgotten what the official name for these things are).

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #135 on: March 18, 2018, 08:43:25 PM »
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I superglued it all round an old stone and have placed it in the puffer tank... first time I've used superglue and to be honest I think I would do the same again... quite an easy way of doing it, especially when you can hide the stone and therefore the little white glue patches.

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #136 on: April 09, 2018, 05:54:09 AM »
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Epic day of "faffing" with the tank... done  :cheers:

I'm now much happier with the layout of the rocks on the far right and I've redone the wood on the left hand side which looks much better now I think.  There is now a distinction between two areas where the wood seems to 'grow' out from at the base rather than it just being everywhere across the tank.

The plants have grown significantly and also needed some work. The original planting had all of the plants distributed evenly across the width of the tank. This worked well when there were not as many of them as it filled the scape. Now though some plants have grown taller, shading others and dominating the scape, it all started to look very homogenous. So... I've now rearrang3d the planting into clusters of different plants meaning they will fair better and they can be told apart in the scape and be seen a lot more easily.  The hygrophila corymbosa thailand has really taken off like wildfire. I bought quite a lot of it originally and now it's growing so well I can see myself having to trim it all down in a about a months time... this is really not something I'm going to enjoy... throwing away healthy plant growth! Only ever had to do this with the  hornwort previously... still it's great that everything seems be be growing well. :))

I'm really tempted to try some red plants but can't convince Mrs Matt who thinks they just look strange for some reason... I can see a red plant appearing in the tank by accident lol...  :P

I've also removed the background from the tank.  All I'll say is if your thinking about adding a background to your tank, use oil to put it on rather than water as I did on the 64 litre years ago. That background is still perfect... the one of this tank had got loads of bubbling after the water dried out. I always wanted a frosted background to this tank in contrast to the black background on the other tank which created a dark and moody feel I wanted this to look lighter and more open. Unfortunately I stand no chance reattaching it as I can't move such a big tank with al it's hardscape etc but I've managed to find a way to fit the filter inlet and outlet  at the right hand side of the tank so that it's all hidden behind the planting in the darkest corner of the tank... also means you can't see the dirty filter hose from where we sit normally now which is a bonus. Fortunately the light beige wall directly behind the tank just means that really it looks no diffeelrent now to how it did before so for the sake of hiding the filter hose it's worked out quite well. It's interesting to see how the different flow direction has impacted the vallis I've added as it now reaches across the top of the scape perfectly too.  :D

The planting on the left hand side it a little space at the moment. I've added the vallis though there is only one long stem and a few shorter ones... these will grow with time and spread as they grow.  The hydrocotyle and the other plant... must look up the name later... I'm hoping will also grow much better now theyve got access to more light.

I've not yet attempted cleaning the rocks. I'm not sure this is something I want to start as I'm not sure I'll ever be happy with it once I have... something to leave until it really needs doing I think...

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #137 on: April 09, 2018, 07:38:45 AM »
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Your epic day of faffing with the tank was totally worth it, the tank looks fantastic.  :afro

Offline daveyng

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #138 on: April 09, 2018, 09:31:03 AM »
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Looks great Matt. Reminds me of an island with a sandy ‘beach’ in the foreground and a rocky shoreline.

Offline TopCookie

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #139 on: April 09, 2018, 09:48:03 AM »
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Love those AquaOak aquariums...!!!  You've done a blinding job there Matt, that looks sweet...!!!

Offline Helen

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #140 on: April 09, 2018, 05:04:55 PM »
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Wow, your tank is gorgeous. You really do have a talent for aquascaping. Mine is definitely more jungle!

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #141 on: April 09, 2018, 07:20:13 PM »
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Thanks everyone  :cheers:

Just one piece of anubias to put back today so my planting seems to have been successful.  The gobies have decided they wanted more aquasoil on the sand than in my original photo so this will need putting back too... pesky things...

Can't wait for the vallis to spread and grow, I really like how it looks which has surprised me and it is providing some interest at the surface for the gouramis.

I will have to see if I can make it through the weekend without buying more fish... not sure that will happen...  :))

Offline fcmf

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #142 on: April 09, 2018, 07:55:54 PM »
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Well done on your tank "faffing" - it looks absolutely amazing; you clearly have a natural talent for aquascaping. Congrats also on the plant growth.

As for the red plants, what might be more palatable to Mrs Matt would be some plants which are green and red (eg the underside being one colour and the top another colour) or else where some leaves grow through as brown/red, positioned beside some red plants, so that the change in colour when the eyes are looking at/across the tank is gradual rather than dramatic. Hope that suggestion might be a feasible option for you / Mrs Matt.

[Edited to add some pics to illustrate above - please excuse dusting of plants due to red-coloured root tabs' upheaval and/or brown diatoms, as well as other decay/plant problems! Turn your head to left to view second one - it tries to capture both sides of the hemiographis colorata plant plus a (decaying) alternanthera rosaefolia in the background.]

Online Matt

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #143 on: April 09, 2018, 08:46:23 PM »
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I think I need a plant that will grow slightly red once planted rather than one that is is red when purchased... Ill not be likely to maintain a super red plant as my tank is not high tech enough... these do look quite garish in the shops to be fair. There are a few ludwigia that might work and also seem to have the red underside to the leaves that you mention fcmf...

Oh dear... I'll be plotting another tank soon. " I'm just buying these emergency glass panels in case..."

Actually I think I might be able to wangle a tank size upgrade if I go about it the right way for the dwarf puffers...

 :vcross:

Offline Helen

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #144 on: April 09, 2018, 09:30:39 PM »
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For a plant that starts green, try rotala rotundiflora.

http://tropica.com/en/plants/plantdetails/Rotalarotundifolia(033)/4447

I have this as a background plant in my tank. It is relatively slow growing for a stem plant and it only turns red with lots of light - in my tank it turns pink as it reaches the surface because I have pretty low light.

Offline TopCookie

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #145 on: April 09, 2018, 10:20:44 PM »
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That Rotala is lovely...   ;)

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #146 on: April 10, 2018, 04:12:50 AM »
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I'll be keeping an eye out for that! Thanks @Helen That does look perfect for what I'm after  :afro

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #147 on: April 10, 2018, 08:15:33 AM »
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Oh dear... I'll be plotting another tank soon. " I'm just buying these emergency glass panels in case..."

Actually I think I might be able to wangle a tank size upgrade if I go about it the right way for the dwarf puffers...

 :vcross:

Possible tank upgrade for dwarf puffers....are you considering getting a larger group of the tiny bundles of adorableness?  ;D

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #148 on: April 10, 2018, 10:23:23 AM »
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....are you considering getting a larger group of the tiny bundles of adorableness?  ;D

 :rotfl:

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #149 on: April 10, 2018, 08:41:15 PM »
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Well the tank is on a larger cabinet now... so obviously it just makes sense to put a larger tank to fill the larger space..... am I convincing you??

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