Stan's freshwater 240 gallon extravaganza. Trials and tribulations of a sunlit aquarium

June FOTM Photo Contest Starts Now! Fish of the Month
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Quote That's it ,Back in the fold. I keep telling myself maybe I should make a water change...but its fine. Clean the filter is about all I do now.
Originally it was going to be a fish only setup....THEN i added some plants and then the bug bit me.


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The full tank. The reason its not in "planted tank journals" is it never was going to be one!..ugh,did I go plant crazy or what? That's all Java fern to the right and a mix of trident,bolbitis,crypts and Hygrophila angustifolia to the left. Notice the plants with color are centered. THAT is where the aquarium gets direct sun the longest. Syngonium on top. Maybe I can't afford top of the line lights,but sunlight I can. ;)


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Its taken three years to grow a small cutting of Trident fern to about size of a basketball cut in half. Jacob's plants are not even in business anymore!
In the photo with a orange male Bristle nosed catfish,Ancistrus.
Well,folks my aquarium now looks more like a planted pond...small water changes once a month is all I do- plus feed the fish and occasional glass cleaning. The fish are the same as last year and older back three years or more. The Clown loaches pushing 4",Rainbows 5".
My best set up- by far- in near 50 years in the hobby.


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Thanks backinthefold! With no Co2 and only the sun + normal LED and fluorescent lights,you never are going to get in that situation where you are constantly pruning. Java ferns,Anubias,Crypts ( some) are great for long term plans. I've never pruned Anubias- they get longer is all.
Rules are different in low tech..the proverbial rabbit vs tortoise- only underwater.
February tank of the month will be for tanks sized 31 gallons and larger….hint…..hint

Now looking for entries for TOTM for tanks 17 to 30 gallons
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You know I set up this aquarium in May 2018. I have to admit,I don't want to spend any more than I have and the fish I have are all I intend to have. The Boesemani@5+ inches have reached full size. Only the Clown Loaches are still growing.
So,why risk them with new fish and possible diseases? Plus I feel a little burnout-I hardly look at aquarium vids anymore and to tell you the truth,most plant tanks now look alike to me. Same designs,same plants. SAME!
The aquarium is humming along and its now just maintenance and food costs..cross fingers on lights and pumps not giving up the ghost.
Thats where things stand for now!
Let me see if I have this right. The fish are healthy , the only thing required is maintenance and food and nothing is wrong , so much so that it even feels a little routine.
What more could you want ? A perfect thing in your house that only needs to be enjoyed.
How many clown loaches do you have in there ?
Thats about right. The aquarium has evolved in five years. Plants that get along thrive,plants that need special care are not part of the group any longer. Just iron is added.
I've never had this kind of status quo in a plant tank before.
Also the nine big Rainbows,three Clown Loaches,trio of Giant Danio's and two orange Bristlenose Plecos are now in the years old range. Rainbows oldest at four years plus.
I just trim dead leaves and all the rest we all do once a week. Trimming the plants into cuttings I toss away since they are too small for trading. Thanks!
I am getting interesting results from my vaguely similar set up, at a mere 8 months. It isn't as worked out as yours is.
I get strong direct sunlight from above and behind the tank, and I have really good, red Ludwigia flourishing. I'm not a plant person, and not killing Ludwigia is a first for me. I was kayaking last summer and looking at how the Ludwigia grew in a Canadian small river, and decided to set up similarly. It's working.
I do more water changes than you, weekly 30 percent. I also have the tank surrounded by terrestrial plants. I put a few Aphyosemion poliaki killies in as a single species set up, and now I have a large colony with males showing off in the sunshine - it's a great tank. There's always something going on and the colours of the fish in natural light....

With enough plant growth, I just have to wipe the front glass every second water change or so. I have a sort of wall of emerged plants along the back. In front of that, some Bacopa drifters have settled down and I expect flowers there shortly.
Caught the CL resting in formation...
Clown Loaches are worth every penny you paid for them.


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I lost my SECOND largest M. bozemanii today. It was an even 6". I have one male thats about 6 1/4 and deeper bodied.
I don't have any idea why it died at over 4 years old. It showed pale colors yesterday and today was dead.
Sort of ironic that in that big tank? One rainbow fry has survived to become a tiny fish..but the other fish recognize it as one of their own. Bozys are great fish to keep.


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I love this tank, so beautiful 😍 sorry about your rainbow, he was a beast! What and how often do you feed them?

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