Journal - My 1.5m Discus Challenge

Discussion in 'Aquascaping and Member's Setups' started by manteroo, Oct 14, 2008.

  1. manteroo
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    manteroo Algae harvester

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    Okay, where do I start ?

    Ordered my aquarium about 2 months ago from our friend Sam's Aquariums in Bergvliet. It took Sam 3 weeks to build. I went for the "old school" method of light trays and the black perspex finish on top and bottom of the tank.

    [​IMG]

    Tank then stood in my family room for ages as I waited in anticipation for the plants I had ordered from Nick - Hartlands. My friend Richard "Rattail" has been really patient and keeps offering loads of knowledge and guidance.

    We found a pic in one of Takashi Amano's books which inspired me..........

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    So far so good.....

    The substrate was also on Richard's suggestion and is as follows...

    1. Clay balls
    2. Rose and Shrub mix
    3. River Sand
    4. Malmesbury building sand

    1. Clay balls

    [​IMG][​IMG]


    [​IMG][​IMG]

    2. Rose and Shrub mix

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    More to follow........
     
  2. Alwyn
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    Alwyn Algae harvester

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    "More to follow........" - Cant wait!!!
     
  3. manteroo
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    manteroo Algae harvester

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    3 and 4 - River sand and Mulmesbury on top....

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    I was advised to rinse all of the substrate ingredients......

    THIS WAS A LESSON LEARNT - I DID NOT RINSE

    I hoped that a "settling" period would be sufficient for all suspended particles to drop. I was counting on gravity to oblige. This was the start of a salvo of water changes and loads of frustration as I need my plants to get as much light as possible at this stage.

    Before we get ot the filling of the tank, let's talk aobut the plants. I waited for an age before Nick advised he was unable to source my Java Ferns. He did however manage to get all the Crypts I was looking for.

    Luckily Richard sponsored the Javas from the SouthEast Asian setup. Excellent stock and some nice specimens. All in all there were more than 40 plants donated to my cause. We spent most of a Saturday attaching them to 2 pices of wood.

    Some of the Javas...

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Some of the wood...

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Some more wood with Javas settling onto their new home...

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Anyway, got work to do now. Will keep uploading pics when I get a chance. I have loads as I have been delaying this Journal for some time.
     
  4. Rowland
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    Rowland Algae harvester

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    Wow...looking great! Look forward to further updates!
     
  5. manteroo
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    manteroo Algae harvester

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    Thanks Rowland.

    Has been a long hard struggle getting plants. Also, the lack of rinsing of substrate material really set me back. Anyway, water is relatively clear now. I have taken a pic of the tank almost every day since filling. Will upload all of them eventually.

    Also for interest.......

    Canister Filter - AquaOne (Australian make). Filter sponge and filter wool in base tray. Ceramic noodles and curlers in mid tray. Peat and filter sponge in top tray.

    Heater - Jaeger 300W

    Lighting - 4 x 1.2m 40W ZooMed Floral Grow Lamps - each 8500K. I think I may need to add 1 or 2 more though. Luckily the plants I have are mostly low light and also the Discus which I eventually include are also fonder of low light.

    Cheers for now.
     
  6. Andre
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    Andre Green fingers

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    Hi Andre

    You can buy one of the Aquaclear powerheads with the water polishing pads to help clear out the tank for now.

    Things are looking good!
     
  7. Ryan
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    Ryan Green fingers

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    Hi Andre

    I'm really looking forward to seeing how your tank goes.

    Keep well,
    Ryan
     
  8. Silikube
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    Silikube Moderator Staff Member

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    Hey manteroo, great start to a well planned tank.

    Looking forward to future updates!
     
  9. manteroo
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    manteroo Algae harvester

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    Morning all

    Moved my internal filter sparybars last night. They were all at the top of the tank and looked rather invasive. I divided them into thirds. Two thirds of them are now vertical with a gentle u-bend at the base. The final third now lies horizontal about 10mm above the substrate with the feeder holes pointing upwards.

    I tried my best not to disturb the substrate but managed to cause enough turbulence to cloud things up a bit again. Anyway, it was worth it as this morning the tank is 90% clear again and you can hardly see any of the filter internal spray bars anymore.
     
  10. Peter
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    Peter Algae harvester

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    Great planing and looking wonderful...well done and don't keep us hanging for up dates..lol More photos
     
  11. Rattail
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    Rattail Algae harvester

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    come on... ;D show them what it looks like if you don't wash your substrate materials ;)

    PHOTOS!!! PHOTOS!!!! hahaha!!!

    [NOTE: before you report my post the mods: I mean no harm. Manteroo and I are buddies! You know how I feel about flaming].
     
  12. Risen
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    Risen Algae harvester

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    Looking good. It is good to have a mentor like richard to bounce ideas off.
     
  13. Rattail
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    Rattail Algae harvester

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    if only he'd listen!! hahaha!!

    Seriously now...
    Nice job Manteroo. I think you need to spoil your missus for having been so patient with having to stare at that great big empty tank for so long.....
     
  14. manteroo
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    manteroo Algae harvester

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    Okay guys. Wait for it.........

    What NOT TO DO (a non-wash substrate fill)

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    BUT

    Don't worry......................here is a pic a bit later on after some water changes and settling in. I have since removed the top filter spray bar and placed it vertically as mentioned earlier.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Don't be too concerned about the orange looking rocks holding the wood in position, we are busy working on a solution to "disguise" them.

    Chow for now.
     
  15. manteroo
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    manteroo Algae harvester

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    Guys I have a small problem at the moment. Even though the water is now 90% clear and the substrate has settled I have noticed that even the smallest of movement creates small "puffs" of fine dust.

    I am concerned that once I eventually get to adding some fish they will cause untold problems when swimming too close to the bottom or when looking for food etc.

    Some ideas are to add another layer of riversand on top of the Mulmesbury sand OR keep disturbing the substrate each morning and evening until the filter has managed to get the worst of it out.

    Any ideas or suggestions welcome.
     
  16. Rattail
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    Rattail Algae harvester

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    Normally I would advise against going thicker than 20mm on the top layer - especially given that you only have 20mm of soil under all that lot. But in your case it's different. Your javas get their nutrition directly from the water column (because they are not planted in the substrate). Only ones that really get their nutrition from the soil is your crypts. I remember Prof Dirk once posted that sticking nails in at the roots will help crypts grow. So in this case... add some more playpen sand on top of the current Malmesbury sand (if it is indeed that!)

    On the safe side: conduct an experiment in a small 1ft tank (I can loan you one) and see if the proposed new sand still puffs.

    WASH SAND FIRST THIS TIME!!!
    8)
     
  17. manteroo
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    manteroo Algae harvester

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    A powerhead just about 20mm from surface of substrate with micron-filter (polishing pad canister) attached to it.

    The current from the powerhead will keep disturbing the substrate just enough to lift all the very fine dust. The micron filter attached will filter out all the fine particles.

    The powerhead can also be moved to be in line with all plants as to also lightly blow off any dust on plant leaf surfaces.

    Does this make sense ???
     
  18. neilh
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    neilh Algae harvester

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    I used plain river sand in my 6ft, but I made sure that the last 20-30mm was rinsed plenty ie at least 20 times before adding it and it still gives the occassional puff of dust. Nothing like what you are experiencing now :eek:

    Stupid question, why not use an overflow and sump rather than canister? Cost
     
  19. manteroo
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    manteroo Algae harvester

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    Never been a fan of sump - just personal choice.

    Think I'm going to try the Aquaclear 1 Micron canister with powerhead just above substrate for a few days / weeks and monitor progress.
     
  20. neilh
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    neilh Algae harvester

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    Any particular reason?

    Coming from canisters to a sump, i've found that my water is a lot clearer and murky/turbid water clears up a hell of a lot faster. Personal choice I guess ;)

    Ps black silicone tanks rule
     

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