George's Journal

George Farmer

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This is a Journal of words and photos for my Planted Juwel Rio 125, 33 US Gallon, 29 UK Gallon. 32"L x 20"H x 14"W. It has gone through many changes up to what you see here and will no doubt evolve a lot furthur.

My aim is to share my experiences, highs and lows with you all in the hope that it will provide a beneficial learning experience to anyone reading it. Hopefully people can learn from my mistakes and triumphs.

Here is my tank before I re-aquascaped in an attempt to acheive a low-maintence more "nature" (Takashi Amano fans will know what I mean) style layout. Many would say that this is my tank at its best.

Please feel free to post any questions, critisisms or comments that you have.




I've spent the entire afternoon removing and repositioning plants. I realise it looks crap at the moment but you can see the more natural stlye. I'm getting a big delivery of Vallis and Hairgrass next week so things will look better then.

I've lowered my lighting from 3 to 2 WPG and I'm using the 3000K Dennerle tubes only in the hope to limit any algae. Thankfully my fish seem perfectly fine, although the Rams took a while to colour up.
 

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BigC

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Ah! so you went ahead and did it.... Comming along nicely though, I particularly like the illusion of depth you've created from foreground to the back, nice job. Keep the posts comming, it's providing inspitation for others. Just outta curosity and for future reference could you post the specs of the Dennerle tubes, and where to purchase in the UK.

Brilliant tank so far, I told ya it's the "Bug"

P.S. Did the Amano's make it.....
 

Yenko

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Wow! It doesn't look too good now, but it should look better soon. It may just be the areas I've experienced nature in, but too me an overgrown tank seems to be more natural than any of Takashi Amano's tanks. I'm going for a natural look in my 10 gallon tank, and I allow the plants to do almost whatever they want; including lots of stuff that goes against some of the common design principles of nature aquariums, like allowing stem plants to grow up to the front glass, not using short foreground plants and not using rocks. Personally, I think there's something to be said for an aquascape with nothing but plants and wood on gravel or sand; it looks VERY natural in my opinon.

Takashi Amano's tanks seem more like paintings than nature to me. I'd take a tank completely full to the brim with plants and a population of guppies living and breeding in the tank over a carefully maintained aquascape with Discus. That doesn't mean I wouldn't like to own a natural discus tank with nothing but a single pair of Discus, but I'd like to see the full spectrum of fish and plant life in my aquarium.

I also don't trim dead leaves unless I have a nutrient problem; it saves a huge amount of time and adds to the natural appearence of the tank. I do remove them from the top once they've detatched, however.

I may try some limited aquascaping once my 70 gallon tank is set up; I plan to plant the back 3-4" of the tank with a solid wall of Vallisinarea, broken up by a large clump of some kind of red stem plant like Rotala. The sides of the tank will be fully planted, with plants like pennywort, anubais and Java Fern. If I use a carpet plant it will be Water Sprite and allowed to grow to about 8-10".
 

lovebuzz

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Interesting change....yes you can definitely notice the difference from dutch style to natural...I like it. I think you're not going to use the driftwood you planned on? The plants look like they're in the driftwood's spot...unless you're putting wood on the side possibly?


Looks good so far, good to hear the fish aren't hurt at all. Keep us updated, MAKE IT JOURNAL STYLE! :thumbs: :lol:
 

nitro

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It certainly looks different at the moment and it will be interesting how it turns out in the end.

Good luck :thumbs:
 
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George Farmer

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BigC- The Dennerle tubes are high-output, tri-phosphor but peak more in the orange/red part (3000K). Dennerle has carried out extensive research and have found that aquatic plants do fine with limited blue thus limiting algae. They are a little too "warm" on their own IMO but look great when balanced with higher colour temps. I bought mine from The Waterzoo in Peterborough, I know that these guys sell them
http://www.newleafaquarium.com - they have a shop in N Yorks
and Hobbyfish in Milton Keynes stock Dennerle too.

Yenko - I understand what you mean by an overgrown wild look being more natural. My taste is more "clinical" or clean cut I suppose, I don't like to see imperfections - that's just me, I realise it's not the standard "natural" definition but more the "natural" term as pioneered by Amano. I wish you luck with your tank's progress.

Lovebuzz - I know what you mean - it's a long way from it's final layout.

Thanks for all the input - appreciated.
 
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George Farmer

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I've floated the Riccia to make room for my hairgrass and moved the pennywort temporarily (I'll probably discard it eventually) to fill the space.

I think I'll discard the Limnophila aromatica (stem) plant on the right and just have loads of vallis filling the right. I'll fill out the left more with vallis too so it'll be almost symetrical creating a classic "U" shape composition. The hairgrass will fill the foregorund nicely. Overall I think it will look very simple but effective. I find it a bit hard to beleive I'll be going from 16 seperate species of plant to about 3!!

Here's the plan
 

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nitro

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Good plan.

IMO i dont think the vallis will be effective enough, i would choose a different plant but thats just me.....
 

lovebuzz

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Good plan. I think the vallis will be very effective if you make it thick enough. The lawn of hairgrass will look niceif you keep it as thick as you have it now instead of the look where it stands straight up. I guess you're keeping the other plants you have left in that picture? And that will be the focal point? Whatever you choose I'm sure it will look nice, you seem to have a good artistic ability.

Good luck :thumbs:
 
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George Farmer

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nitro said:
Good plan.

IMO i dont think the vallis will be effective enough, i would choose a different plant but thats just me.....
I've chosen Vallis as the only maintenance required will be a "hair cut" or removing plantlets occasionally. Another advantage is that individual leaves won't grow into my co2 diffusers thus blocking them.

Any other suggestions are more then welcomed.
 

BigC

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Hi again gf225..
Got some Ottos as an algae deterrent on Friday. Had a slight problem with a little bit of brown algae on the Anubias.(due to the formentioned light defiency) Within an hour I'd say the little fellows had cleared it up. Well impressed. Haven't seen my amano's for quite some time though. No big species in the tank.. The only thing I can think of is Bronze Corys, but again these are juveniles. What do you think.. What happend your amano's during the transition did they make it.
 
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George Farmer

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Otos are great for brown algae. I have 2 Siamese Algae Eaters for other types of algae, although they prefer the dry food so the occasional "starving" is required to get them to clean up. It seems 4 out my my original 7 Amanos made it, even with hardly any plants they were hard to see.

edit - we've got a baby girl! - 6lb 13oz Florence Daisy Farmer ( that's her full name BTW) - so future posts will be limited. Home birth too, got to be happy with that!!
 

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BigC

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Congratulations!!!! on your new arrival, you must be very proud, don't expect to see you around all the time gf225, but hope you'll drop in when you get a spare moment, to share more of your experiences, thanks for the advice to date though.

BigC...
 
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