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Matt's 220 Litre Aquaoak

Author Topic: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak  (Read 13301 times)

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Offline Littlefish

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #150 on: April 10, 2018, 09:21:07 PM »
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I, personally, would never need convincing on the topic of a larger tank.
However, if I were the non-fishkeeping half of a partnership, yes, I would think that getting a tank to fill the top of the cabinet would be perfectly reasonable. No point in having all of that empty space around the tank, especially when that space could be filled with dwarf puffers.  ;D

Offline fcmf

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #151 on: April 10, 2018, 10:26:36 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??
Absolutely! Having said that, my 54-litre tank is on top of a longish cabinet but it clearly stated that max weight/load is 50kg, so I daren't risk it any more than that. :yikes: Hmmm - in my case, maybe time to look at other sturdier cabinets for the living-room. ;)

Offline TopCookie

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #152 on: April 10, 2018, 10:35:16 PM »
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lolol you guys...   :rotfl:

Offline Matt

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #153 on: April 11, 2018, 07:07:46 AM »
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When I took the tank of the old cabinet there was a lot of water damage on the surface of the wooden cabinet. Where the tank rested on the wood. I thinks over time bits of water trickling down the outside (probably as a rsult of me being messy at water change time) have reached the bottom and spread like a coffee mug ring around the base of the tank. Just be prepared for that if you ever want to move a tank... the cabinet was ruined. I'm going to have to sand off the top and try to 're wax it or something... turn my hand to furniture restoration!

Offline fcmf

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #154 on: April 11, 2018, 08:00:17 AM »
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If you manage to get the cabinet fixed, or if you have to buy a new one for the fishtank, then it might be worth having a glass panel on top to protect it. My fishtank is on top of a unit bought at the same time and specifically because it came with this protective glass panel https://www.ikea.com/gb/en/products/storage-furniture/shelving-units-systems/best%C3%A5-top-panel-glass-white-art-20196529/ As far as I can recollect from 3.5 years ago, that was the only protective glass panel in stock ie they didn't make different-sized panels for different purposes or pieces of furniture - but I'm sure something similar could be bought from elsewhere. That's not to say that there isn't water damage on the doors and shelves underneath from water changes when, regardless of how many towels I have draped around, I seem to drench everything (including myself) and don't always get to wipe up the spills immediately.

Offline Matt

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #155 on: April 29, 2018, 11:06:45 PM »
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Rescaped a little today to make things look a bit more balanced. Previous scape I was never happy with as one side was too different to the other.  I did this to hide inlet and outlet of the filter. They are a bit more visible now, but the tank looks a lot better overall.  Pushed all the tall plants to the back so the smaller planta can be seen more near the front and added a subtly red plant (rotala rotundifolia) to the front middle.  Java fern was laargely removed... it kept producing little farnlets on the leaves which killed off the old leaves. So all new baby leaves were  bunched together to start again. I'll be picking them off asap from now on.  Still a lot of tidying up to do but here a piccy so show what I have done...

Offline TopCookie

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #156 on: April 29, 2018, 11:14:42 PM »
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Looks brill Matt...  :)   I liked it before anyhoo, but I agree that the balance overall looks better now... 

Offline Helen

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #157 on: April 30, 2018, 12:51:53 AM »
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It looks really good. I always enjoy seeing pictures of your tank. Your style of aquascaping is so different to mine (tidier).

Offline Matt

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #158 on: July 09, 2018, 11:51:59 AM »
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The Amazon swords had got far too big on the left and right sides. I have got rid of a lot of the larger leaves and moved them to the middle. Took the opportunity to fiddle with the planting layout given some of the tips I'd been working up for an article on my website.  Looks a lot better I think.  Though I need to fiddle with the wood on the left hand side at some point as it doesn't look like it is all one piece at the moment. The best layouts have the wood all eminating from one point as this obviously looks more natural ( or you can do it from two points if you have a concave layout where you have a mound on both sides of the tank ) hopefully that makes sense?

Anyway here's a photo...

I will take one of the LHS later which is also vastly improved as this is one angle I view the tank from.

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #159 on: July 09, 2018, 02:32:51 PM »
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Looks great  8)

Offline daveyng

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #160 on: July 09, 2018, 06:34:39 PM »
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Looking good.

Offline Matt

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #161 on: July 09, 2018, 11:01:31 PM »
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Side photo and updated front shot.

Thanks Dave and Donna

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #162 on: July 10, 2018, 11:24:57 AM »
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Several of my tanks can be viewed from the side as well as the front, and it's quite nice to have that slightly different perspective.
Unfortunately I seem to be completely lacking in design/aquascaping skills. In theory I understand the different styles and designs, and I see other people aquascaping effortlessly, then wonder why my tanks don't look like that.
I have come to the conclusion that several of my tanks can't be aquascaped  - the axolotl tank, river tank, and mudskipper tanks - because the needs of the inhabitants, rather than the aesthetics, are the priority.
Time constraints are also an issue - with the number of tanks I sometimes find that pooh hoovering, picking out dead leaves, and water changes are as much as I can do.
However, in the chaos that is the reorganisation of tanks in the Littlefish house, I think I will start small and have a bash at aquascaping a tank for Kimi the betta within the next few months, and see how that turns out.  ???

Offline Matt

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #163 on: July 10, 2018, 08:49:07 PM »
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I'd be happy to help with this... just get in touch nearer the time with some ideas and we can go from there if you like?

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #164 on: July 10, 2018, 09:41:30 PM »
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Cheers.  :cheers:

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #165 on: August 28, 2018, 07:56:43 AM »
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Some new additions today...

After the loss of all but 2 of my harlequins whilst I was away, the tank looked quite bare on the fish front and my stocking was at about 45%. I wanted a surface dweller ideally to fill a gap at the top of the tank, though was struggling to find any i liked (hatchetfish dont do it for me!) and  / or a smaller 2cm fish. I had galaxy rasboras at one point but they were very hidey and I didn't see much of them but I liked that they added another dimension to the tank amongst the mainly 3 cm fish. My honey gourami arnt really a surface dweller in my oppinion spending time through the whole tank... one is quite poorly too, it has a very large growth which developed shortly after I got it. I'm surprised it has lasted this long to be honest...

Anyway long story short now... I was deciding between chilli rasbora and ember tetra. I couldn't get the chilli rasbora in the numbers I wanted on the day which helped my decision making and I got ember tetras (impossible to photo). I am really glad I did! I have 12 and the schoal beautifully and are out and about and very active. Their colours also go great in the tank. Very happy. Ill get a decent photo at some point. I only have pictures of orange blurs at the moment...

I also got 6 dwarf pencil fish (that hurt my wallet a bit at £5 each) after seeing them in the shop and falling in love with them. I had seen hockeystick pencilfish and golden pencilfish before though they don't really stay near the surface like the dwarfs do, plus i find their colouration much more attractive. They settled in super quickly (as did the embers) and were eating half an hour after being put in the tank. They have been in the top third / quarter of the tank ever since as a little group making little adventures from their hidey hole near the vallis where there is some surface cover (I'm going to spread the vallis out a bit more for them) where they hover and display to each other regularly. Again I am very happy with my purchase! Photo attached.

Finally, I also got the golden eyed dwarf cichlids I had been on about in another thread. They have been quite hidey so far. Though I have seen them both out, when I approach the tank they quickly retreat. I'm sure they will be more comfortable after a night in their new home. The coloration of the male (the female is likely the same) I have observed to be very changeable, I have seen a dot a stripe and a general pattern across his side already and they are quite 'detailed' for example in comparison to the blue ram which whilst beautiful is essentially blue with a bit of orange near it's head, these are like a rainbow of colours. I will get some good photos of them in different moods and post them here soon.  More to come on these guys as they settle in!

The tank looks nicely stocked again (back up at 75% stocked) oh and I changed the layout recently too so there will be some full frontal shots to come of that too... I've basically changed it from an island layout to a triangular "slope" layout.

Offline Rustle

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #166 on: August 28, 2018, 08:22:19 AM »
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WoW matt what some lovely looking fish, I have to say i really like the look of them  :) 

Fish Community Creator Tanks - Assess Tankmate Suitability Tool
Cherry Barb (6) - Neon Tetra (7) - Harlequin Rasbora (11) - Honey Gourami (2) - Guppy (male) (3) - Otocinclus (5) - Japonica Shrimp (8) -
Note: The user may not necessarily own these fish, these are tanks that they may be building or researching for stocking purposes


Offline Sue

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #167 on: August 28, 2018, 09:29:08 AM »
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These pencilfish are one of my favourites, I love the way they hover in the water  :) 

If you think they were expensive, you should see the price of the related N. mortenthaleri  :o

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #168 on: August 28, 2018, 09:40:49 AM »
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They're lovely, their markings are stunning.

Offline Sue

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #169 on: August 28, 2018, 09:42:19 AM »
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When I posted a pic of mine on the old forum, someone described them as humbugs. To me they look more like everton mints  ;D

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #170 on: August 28, 2018, 09:52:28 AM »
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 :rotfl:

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #171 on: August 28, 2018, 10:21:19 AM »
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These pencilfish are one of my favourites, I love the way they hover in the water  :) 

If you think they were expensive, you should see the price of the related N. mortenthaleri  :o

If it's any consolation, the price of annieae gobies is  :yikes:

Offline Matt

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #172 on: August 28, 2018, 06:21:50 PM »
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Most expensive fish I've bought was a £25 German Blue Ram... I'm just a bit tight really (or so my friends tell me!)...

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #173 on: August 28, 2018, 06:27:06 PM »
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Here is a photo of the tank  :D

I'll get some better shots and some close ups and some of the other new fish soon...

Offline Matt

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #174 on: August 28, 2018, 07:26:55 PM »
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I managed to get a couple of shots of the golden eyes at feeding time... not the best photos but I know most of you are probably more interested in the fish than the photo so here goes...

Male in the first photo and female (and some other guys and girls in the second).

Offline fcmf

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #175 on: August 28, 2018, 07:32:38 PM »
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Wow - these new additions are such an exciting development!  :fishy1:  :fishy1:  :fishy1: So envious of the full-tank pic and the various species you can accommodate, and indeed all of the pics, but the pic of the pencilfish is particularly amazing.

Looking forward to seeing pics of the embers once you're able to.

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #176 on: August 28, 2018, 07:42:58 PM »
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All fantastic. Well done.  :cheers:

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #177 on: September 03, 2018, 07:58:54 PM »
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My honey gourami arnt really a surface dweller in my oppinion spending time through the whole tank... one is quite poorly too, it has a very large growth which developed shortly after I got it. I'm surprised it has lasted this long to be honest...

That gourami passed quite suddenly and seemingly quite peacefully last night (after looking 'a bit off' esterday night. Im quite gald really.

I realised I have all South American apart from the remaining gourami and harlequins. I'll have to look up where all my plants are from. I don't think there will be any similarities!

Offline Sue

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #178 on: September 03, 2018, 08:04:12 PM »
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If you still have the gobies, they are not south American either. Neither are a lot of shrimps  ;D

Offline Matt

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #179 on: September 03, 2018, 08:14:21 PM »
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I do still have the gobies... forgot about them for a second. I was hoping to move them to the puffer tank for a while but since I've now managed to stop them brining the planting substrate out into the sand, they can stay! I do love their characters :) they are not peaceful though! Constant fighting!! Are yours the same?

Offline Sue

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #180 on: September 03, 2018, 08:24:26 PM »
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I have 4 males and 2 females - I think. I definitely have 2 females it's just the number of males I'm not sure about  :-[ I have never seen all the stiphodons at the same time.

Because these fish can change colour so quickly I cannot be certain that it's the same fish every time, but one of the males is often bright royal blue though he spends his time chasing the females. Not as in 'I want to spawn' but as in 'go away'. I have occasionally seen circles in the sand but have never witnessed who caused it - though I strongly suspect stiphodons are to blame.
If my male stiphodons fight, they do so when I'm not watching or behind a chunk of wood.

Male rice fish, that's a different matter....

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #181 on: September 03, 2018, 08:35:15 PM »
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Mine tend to raise their heads at each other, so it looks like they are raising themselves up using their fins, and holding their heads as high as possible. One will then usually swim off, sometimes chased briefly by the other.
I did watch a proper scrap a while back, which I think was between two annieae gobies, I think I may have posted pics. It only lasted a few minutes, and I've not seen anything like that since.

Offline Helen

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #182 on: September 13, 2018, 01:05:46 PM »
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Those pencil fish are beautiful. I will have to have a look into them. 😉 Though if they are south american, they won't go on my shopping list. Apart from my bn plec I have all asian fish.

Offline Matt

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #183 on: September 30, 2018, 06:26:07 PM »
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I fitted glass lily pipes this afternoon and rearranged the background plants.

Also made use of aquascaping tweezers which are a revalation to me after I received them as a birthday present earlier this month... I would definately recommend getting a nice long pair so that tank tasks can be completed without getting sleeves etc wet.

I'm happy to finally call this scape complete now  :)  though I'll need to get a proper photo later, when its dark but, I'm excited so... here it is from rubbish angle to get rid of most of the reflections...

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #184 on: September 30, 2018, 06:49:02 PM »
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That tank looks fantastic.  8)

Offline fcmf

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #185 on: September 30, 2018, 06:59:24 PM »
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I agree - looks great. Well done!

I also concur with how beneficial aquascaping tweezers are... I'm forever tinkering with mine. One piece of advice I'd give re them, though - I've had inquisitive fish attempt to swim through them and almost get squashed when I've been about to tinker with something, so best to lower them in the tank already in the squeezed-together position (as opposed to open, then squeeze once you find what you want to tinker with).

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #186 on: September 30, 2018, 07:09:23 PM »
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I also use mine for feeding worms to the axolotls.
Very useful.

Offline Matt

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #187 on: September 30, 2018, 07:12:04 PM »
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 :sick:

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #188 on: September 30, 2018, 07:20:30 PM »
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...and for feeding bloodworms to the mudskippers and dwarf puffers.

Offline Helen

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #189 on: September 30, 2018, 07:59:11 PM »
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My aquascaping tweezers also get used for retrieving small children's toys out of the cracks in our tree stump coffee table!

I use them a lot in partnership with my aquascaping scissors - hold the leaf with the tweezers and obviously snip with the scissors. I don't think I could have done my major substrate refurb without the tweezers. It makes it a lot easier to get plants into the substrate.

Offline Matt

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #190 on: September 30, 2018, 10:22:20 PM »
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Tonight's shot...

Offline Helen

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #191 on: October 01, 2018, 09:54:35 AM »
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Sigh... That's such a beautiful tank.

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #192 on: October 01, 2018, 11:21:05 AM »
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Thanks all... I'm still not totally happy with the photo lol!

Offline Helen

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #193 on: October 01, 2018, 01:45:52 PM »
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 :yikes: why not????

I keep thinking about my tank, and whether I can apply any of the things I'm learning from you. It'd never look anything like that though.

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #194 on: October 01, 2018, 01:47:27 PM »
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That tank looks amazing.  8)

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #195 on: October 01, 2018, 07:45:18 PM »
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I just added this to my blog and thought it worth sharing here too ...



Easy aquascapers beware of your nitrate levels!

Having recently increased my fish stocking level a few weeks ago I took a regular nitrate test. It is clear I need to change my complete fertiliser dosing regime to reduce nitrates in my aquascape. I had been seeing more diatoms (brown algae) than normal too which are linked to high nitrates.

More fish equals more nitrates and easy plants generally means slow growing plants so beware of not overdosing your fertiliser...

Fortunately I have some biological liquid carbon which contains potassium as well. This means I should be able to dose this for a week or two whilst I bring my nitrates down (as well as doing some extra water changes). Nitrate and potassium are the two elements plants need the most of to grow healthily.

Fortunately I spotted this early enough to take action slowly so as not to shock the fish, else I would be changing much more water much more quickly.

I will continue to test my nitrates for a good while longer whilst I adjust to a new fertilisation regime which does not lead too unreasonable levels of nitrate before my weekly water change. You ideally want it at less than 25ppm... be warned though you tap water may have a higher nitrate concentration than this so water change day is ALWAYS a day when you skip adding ferts.

I'll be adding this to the website shortly... get testing!

Offline Matt

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #196 on: October 17, 2018, 09:00:16 PM »
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Some better photos of the Golden Dwarf Cichlid (Nannacara Anomala)

Offline Sue

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #197 on: October 17, 2018, 09:45:12 PM »
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Love those fish  :)

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #198 on: October 18, 2018, 08:57:40 AM »
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Great colours/markings, and the face on the second one is so cute.  :)

Offline daveyng

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Re: Matt's 220 litre Aquaoak
« Reply #199 on: October 18, 2018, 10:29:50 AM »
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Lovely looking fish.

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