My 200L Journal

Jamepsss

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I suppose it's time I got round to doing my own journal since I've enjoyed and appreciated countless others on here.

Bought this tank in January 2010 and for the first 8 or 9 months the tank looked pretty terrible. For this first post I'll add some pictures from the 'early days' so you can see what I mean. I'll go in to more detail about my set-up on a later post.

January 2010

The night I set it up.

February 2010

A month later it looked like this

March 2010

Things were growing.

April 2010

Vallis all bunched together :blush:

May 2010

I bought a large Bristlenose Plec which wreaked havoc in my tank.

May 2010

Once the plec was rehomed I decided on a simple new layout using Vallis and Amazon Swords only.

June 2010

A month later and everything was growing as planned. By the end of July the Vallis and Swords were ridiculously big but you'll have to trust me on that as I don't have a pic.

August 2010

Got fed up with Vallis and the layout in general and had a big plant clearout/trim and threw some new pieces of wood in there. Looked awful I know.

September 2010

Redmoor wood looking bright green, :lol: even the Egeria Densa was dying slowly. This phase was more about experimenting with a few different plants to see what worked and what didn't in preparation for a new layout which I started in October.

That's it for now, thanks for reading.
 

ian

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Nice to see you got round to doing a journal. To be fair this tank has looked good from day one! :good:
 

Verminator89

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Nice progress. Looking forward to seeing the current tank.

When you say Redmoor looking green, what was the green. Moss or algae, its looks good either way! My Redmoor would would be "Redmoor looking BBA" :lol:
 
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Jamepsss

Jamepsss

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Nice to see you got round to doing a journal. To be fair this tank has looked good from day one! :good:
Finally :lol:

Nice progress. Looking forward to seeing the current tank.

When you say Redmoor looking green, what was the green. Moss or algae, its looks good either way! My Redmoor would would be "Redmoor looking BBA" :lol:
Cheers! It was algae, at that point I had the lights on for 12 hours a day :crazy: I had BBA badly a bit later but I'll cover that on my next update, it's gone now thankfully, what a pain in the **** that stuff is!
 
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Jamepsss

Jamepsss

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For the new layout I wanted to use a wood only hardscape and easy, quick-growing plants. All of the Amazon Swords were binned, the green algae was scrubbed off the wood and it was time to start again. At this point I decided to cut my photo-period to 8 hours, 3pm - 11pm, much less than before.

Tank: Fluval Roma 200
Substrate: JBL Aquabasis+ under Argos playsand
Ferts: None
Co2: None
Filtration: Fluval 305 external filter
Lighting: 2 x 30W T8 Fluval Stock lighting

October 2010

The three pieces of wood are redmoor on the right, mopani in the centre and whatever the other piece on the left is. The intention here was to have an open space in the centre with a jungle at either end joining at the back.

The plants on the left are Hygrophila Difformis and Mayaca Fluviatilis. I tried to fill in the space between the woods in the left foreground with dwarf hairgrass. There's Blyxa in the right foreground, which wouldn't grow for me at all.The plants on the right are Java fern and Hygrophila Angustifolia (I think).

The Angustifolia looks completely different when you buy it in it's emersed form and over the next few weeks it would shed all of it's leaves and the new willow like leaves would come through quickly.




By the end of October it was starting to look something like I'd hoped for. The Blyxa was ditched and I replaced it with Sagittaria Subulata. I replaced the dwarf hairgrass with a piece of Christmas Moss which I bought already attached to wood. The pic on the right shows the early stages of a BBA outbreak (look at the wood) which would have me tearing my hair out by the end of the year.

November 2010

The plants were growing well but you can see BBA growing on the Java Fern leaves on the right pic.

December 2010

In to December and I was pleased with how the tank looked so entered it in TOTM.


But towards the end of December the brush algae was clearly taking over. I've got no shots of the worst of it (why would I?) but you can see it on the wood in the left pic and the sag under attack from it on the right pic.

Once Christmas and new year were out of the way I knew I had to strip it down, salvage what I could and start over again.
 

kiriyama

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Very nice tank, and some nice pics. also, tank looks great mate, nice rainbows, job well done :good:
 
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Jamepsss

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This section which brings us up to date has been covered already in the members pics section but I'll try and expand on it here a little bit...

1st January 2011

This was the last photo I took of this tank before I stripped it down. I had allowed it to become too overgrown, the hygro on the left was leggy and although you can't really see it on the pic black brush algae had taken over badly.

9th January 2011

Scrubbed the wood, massive trim, cleaned the back wall as best I could. Decided to do away with all of the sag as most of it was bba covered. Opted to have a go with dwarf hairgrass instead. Trimmed the moss and tied the cuttings to some rocks for the right side foreground. Tank looked depressing, you can still see some BBA on the filter pipes. Started treating with Flourish Excel overdose.

24th January 2011

Time to address the flow. I added an old internal (Fluval 3+) while waiting for delivery of my new 2000LPH filter and Koralia 1 powerhead. Added a Siamese Algae Eater to help with any remaining BBA. Around this time there was hardly any bba left at all, the Flourish Excel method really does work. Also, the Java Fern on the right was looking bigger and healthier than ever. The dwarf hairgrass hadn't died yet which was a good sign and some runners were already poking through.

5th February 2011

New filter and powerhead up and running and the plants starting to look much happier. I also had Seachem Purigen (100g) added to the filter which made the water crystal clear. Added some Pogostemon Helferi which didn't last long unfortunately. I really like the look of that plant but found it really difficult to plant and keep down. Also, I'm pretty sure my rainbows liked the taste of it. Also added a couple more crypts front left, they are Cryptocoryne Undulata which once established turn a really nice deep brown/green colour. Re-homed my Gold Gourami as she was getting more aggressive by the day and moved cories to my other tank. The flow was keeping the sand spotless and the cories seemed a bit reclusive in this tank.

I got my hands on a better camera around this time so made this YouTube vid:


And took this photo:



3rd March 2011

Pogostemon Helferi removed (what was left of it).Otherwise growth has continued, the hairgrass seems to doing really well suprisingly. The Hygro Difformis has started growing horizontally in certain places but I like it. Hygro Angustifolia is going crazy and the Christmas Moss patch is looking greener than ever.

I'm going to try and include better quality pictures and more videos in my future updates, thanks again for reading.
 

lljdma06

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I like this layout with the bare patch of substrate. It makes things tricky for plant mass though, so you have to be careful that you have enough plant mass. H. difformis is a great plant to work with. A lovely stemplant.

Some close-up shots would be great to see.
 
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Jamepsss

Jamepsss

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Very nice tank, and some nice pics. also, tank looks great mate, nice rainbows, job well done :good:
Forgot to say - thanks for the comments

I like this layout with the bare patch of substrate. It makes things tricky for plant mass though, so you have to be careful that you have enough plant mass. H. difformis is a great plant to work with. A lovely stemplant.

Some close-up shots would be great to see.
Thanks!

I'm not sure what you mean by having enough plant mass though? Like, in what respect will I need to be careful? Also, Now that I'm up to date with the journal I'll be able to take more specific pics including close-ups. :good:
 

mikka23

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So jealous of your tank as I mentioned in the other thread. Whats your stocking? I love your red rainbows (I have them as well but not as colored).

I am dealing with insane bba like I mentioned as well. Going to try your method of Flourish Excel and an SAE if I can find one. Might just remove most of the plants and buy some new ones as well. Really like the way you arranged your tank as well, may well copy that as well, hopefully my pleco and zebras will venture onto the bare patch of substrate. :hyper:

How can you tell if you have enough flow? Surely if you have a high flow the plants will be swept around, atleast thats what used to happen when I used an internal filter.
 
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Jamepsss

Jamepsss

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So jealous of your tank as I mentioned in the other thread. Whats your stocking? I love your red rainbows (I have them as well but not as colored).

I am dealing with insane bba like I mentioned as well. Going to try your method of Flourish Excel and an SAE if I can find one. Might just remove most of the plants and buy some new ones as well. Really like the way you arranged your tank as well, may well copy that as well, hopefully my pleco and zebras will venture onto the bare patch of substrate. :hyper:

How can you tell if you have enough flow? Surely if you have a high flow the plants will be swept around, atleast thats what used to happen when I used an internal filter.
Thanks, stocking is 8 Rainbows, 5 Congo Tetras, 1 Angel, 1 Bolivian Ram and 1 SAE. Oh, 10 Rummynoses as well but they aren't really adding anything to the tank so I might rehome them at some point.

It would be interesting to see a clone of my tank, I think you should go for it!

I have a lot of flow but I have a spray bar and the plants are well routed so don't get swept around.

By the way, I don't have a red rainbow (G. Incicus). I used to and it was a stunner, but it mysteriously picked up columnaris and died. The one you can see is a commonly available hybrid sold under all sorts of random names.
 
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Jamepsss

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14th March 2011

Some close up pics as requested...


Cryptocoryne Undulata in the left foreground, seems to be doing well.


Christmas Moss


Eleocharis Parvula on either side of the bare patch. Not expecting a carpet out of this but it's nice to see runners coming through.


Cryptocoryne Wendtii. This melted for a few weeks but seems to be growing now.


And a full tank shot. I can't decide if I should allow the hygro on the right to reach the surface like this or keep it a bit shorter, what do you think?
 

PDSimon

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The parvula may well carpet out. It likes growing into the better lit areas... Not sure whether its worth cutting it down or not though, might increase growth even if it does look bad temporarily.

Looks great btw :good: lovely natural feel and the plants look very healthy.
 

mikka23

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Just wondering where you got your power-head from and whether you would recommend it. My water circulation seems to be struggling a bit and could do with a boost.
 

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