New Tank Setup, 165L 3rd tank on the go.

asoftuk

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Well, today I was a little bored so I went and purchased yet another AquaOne AquaStart 900 Tank.

Cleaned the tank out fully as it was a little bit messy due to being sat in a shed for a year (previous owner). Popped over to my local tropical fish store and purchased 18 kilos of Plant soil plus 8 kilos of gravel and 8 kilos of medium grit sand also various plants, carpeting grass, moss plus a few pieces of wood. New 200 watt heater, 2nd hand Fluval FX6 external filter, Co2 injection kit, I admit I am no Aquascaper, not even close by a long shot, however, I'm going to give it a go and see what happens. Many Youtube videos later and this is how I put it all together.

Spent an entire night working out how to put the wood I had purchased together to look like one piece. I never used glue after deciding the best way to go joining it together would be to drill it and use thin small cable ties to hold it all together. If I had thought I was going to start a journal I would have taken stage-by-stage photographs of how I was doing things. Oblivious to this fact I forged ahead.

First attempt. I placed the soil in the tank and started flat on one side then raised it up to 6 inches high on the opposite side. Not happy with how it looked I rearranged it several times to try and get a decent slope angling down across the tank. Still wasn't happy with the way it was looking. After a quick visit to the local garden center, I now had 6 decent-sized lumps of rustic slate to use in the tank.

Second attempt. The soil was removed from the tank and various pieces of slate were placed on the bottom of the tank to form a drywall effect. The soil was then built up behind the slate to a height of about 5 inches behind and 1 inch in front of it. Happy with the way the slate was looking I then proceeded with the placing of the wood then stepping back to see how it looked. I think I took around 30 mins or more trying to find a location that looked ok. Once I had found a location I then removed the wood and added the gravel plus sand mix to the tank. the gravel is 2 inches high at the rear of the slate and 1.5 inches at the front. Then I placed the wood in position. Second mistake, not taking notes of what plants I had purchased. Plants were placed by the size they were before planting so I may have to move some around if they turn out to grow too large for the position they are in at this moment. Plants were also sourced from my other tank then placed into the new one. Carpet grass was added and moss tied to the wood plus placed in gaps along the slate wall to lessen the impact of big cracks glaring out at me.

Mental note and a really daft mistake to make, wood floats in water. Next time make sure I secure the wood before filling the tank with water. I won't have to secure it with a piece of slate that looks out of place holding the slate down until it takes on enough water to stay where it is.

All other electrical and mechanical fish-related items are placed in the tank, plus Co2 fully set up. All fertilizers and water conditioners were added.

Overall I am happy with the way it has turned out but may have to swap some plants around if they grow too much.
 

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Bruce Leyland-Jones

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Looks very promising.
Soaking wood for a week or two is usually enough to get it totally waterlogged and to stay sunk.
The plant in the back right, (Limnophila sessiflora?) would tolerate trimming to half height and the cuttings planted next to the mother plan. If you don't, it can become quite 'leggy'. Be sure to use sharp scissors, to avoid crushing.
 
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asoftuk

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A tiny bit of housekeeping on the Limnophila sessiflora as was mentioned above thank you for the advice plus the name of the plant. The plan is to have it grow and hide the Heater plus the inlet of the FX6. Big pieces of plastic look unsightly. I may swap them out at a later date for some glass inlets and outlets.
 

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Bruce Leyland-Jones

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A tiny bit of housekeeping on the Limnophila sessiflora as was mentioned above thank you for the advice plus the name of the plant. The plan is to have it grow and hide the Heater plus the inlet of the FX6. Big pieces of plastic look unsightly. I may swap them out at a later date for some glass inlets and outlets.
Looking good.
If all goes to plan, you'll be able to use further cuttings to hide all manner of unsightly equipment. That said, your clear kit looks quite unobtrusive to my eye.
 

xxBarneyxx

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Second mistake, not taking notes of what plants I had purchased. Plants were placed by the size they were before planting so I may have to move some around if they turn out to grow too large for the position they are in at this moment.
That sounds like my normal planting strategy. I could probably look up my order and figure out what is what but its way more fun* to have to relocated that 2ft long plant from the front of the tank in a few months time :)
*activity may not actually include fun.

Scape is looking good. I like slate but it can be hard to get right. Think you have nailed it here though.

What fert regime are you using?


Edit: Glassware does look nice but I find in a lot of tanks that aren't heavily trimmed back you don't really see it anyway.
 
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asoftuk

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The Fert I am using is called TNC Complete at 17ml once a week along with Co2 injection. I also have Black Water Extract but I'm not too sure whether I should mix ferts on a weekly basis or just solely use one and stick to the one brand. Along with Tropica's complete active aquarium soil plus Tropica's Substrate underneath the gravel/sand mix, I'm hoping that should be enough to get things going nicely.
 
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asoftuk

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Noticed a developing white surface on the wood. Not sure if it is a normal process or if it is a fungus of some sort. Any information would be helpful as to what it actually is.
 

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xxBarneyxx

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From what I have seen TNC complete can work pretty well. Not sure on the blackwater extract.

The growth on the wood is fairly common. Boiling it for a bit before hand can help stop it but can also damage the wood. Generally it's one of those things that burns itself out after a time. I just remove with a toothbrush and gravel vac it out.

Apparently some forms of this can be toxic to fish if they eat it but I don't know enough about that to confirm. My guess is considering a lot of people use this wood and have perfectly healthy fish that is mostly pretty safe.
 

Tacocat

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Noticed a developing white surface on the wood. Not sure if it is a normal process or if it is a fungus of some sort. Any information would be helpful as to what it actually is.
I believe it's known as driftwood snot, due to its look. I'm not entirely sure what it is, but it's not harmful and some fish will eat it, as barney said. you can just scrape it off, and the only bad thing about it is that it's a little ugly.
 
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asoftuk

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I'm thinking of adding surface plants to the tank. I would say the tank has a medium to fast surface flow generated by the Fluval FX6. I know some surface plants do not like a decent flow rate, any ideas folks?
 

Tacocat

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I'm thinking of adding surface plants to the tank. I would say the tank has a medium to fast surface flow generated by the Fluval FX6. I know some surface plants do not like a decent flow rate, any ideas folks?
Don't get duckweed. Whatever you do, not duckweed.
 

Bruce Leyland-Jones

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I'm thinking of adding surface plants to the tank. I would say the tank has a medium to fast surface flow generated by the Fluval FX6. I know some surface plants do not like a decent flow rate, any ideas folks?
I like Salvinia auricula.
Currents produced by bubblers or the filters don't seem to bother it and I'm now always having to consign lumps of it to the compost heap. It also produces a nice depth of roots, without overwhelming the water column.
 

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