The Impossible Dream

AdoraBelle Dearheart

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So I'm trying to get the equipment and possibly the tank second hand so that I can spend more on the hardscape haha! Need to decide on the tank size but I can get FX4s and 6s for about £100-£120. I'd like 2 on there but I'll start with one to save cost. Also going for MD's LED lights from Amazon which will only be about £24-36 over all.

I know the rest of the cost is a lot though.

Hey! Can we get an update on how the tank plans are going please? :D


I like the sand you linked too, I'd go for it! Yes, setting up a tank is crazy expensive, but for a dream set up especially, for fish that you've wanted for a long time, it's worth it. You also clearly know the best ways to save some money, and you don't have time pressure forcing you to make decisions fast, so can take the time to hunt for great deals second hand!


About which of the tanks to choose - It's probably going to depend on what's available since you're going for second hand. I buy second hand tanks from gumtree too, brand new tanks are crazy expensive! And you can find some real bargains when people are closing down their tanks, especially a big tank that they want gone because they need the space.

Since you have space for, and want the 90, obviously hunt for that one - the bigger the better. But if you find say, a 90 in poor condition/very expensive, and a 75 of the brand/model you're after that's in great condition and a bargain, you can decide to go for that one instead. I'd focus on getting the tank first, since you can't do much with hardscape, substrate etc until you have a tank! ;)

I don't know cichlids at all, so forgive me if this is a daft question! But the idea of the three female nics, and one possibly being brighter and leaving the other two more drab, while at the same time, perhaps it could work since they're gregarious in the wild - do you think it would be possible for you to try it out? Get the three, and perhaps it will work beautifully. But if it's not working for whatever reason, keep your favourite, and rehome the other two? Or is that you'd need to stock the other fish before introducing the cichlids due to territorial nature, so need to know the numbers first, and removing/restocking if you end up rehoming two would be a nightmare?
 

AdoraBelle Dearheart

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Another thing, you've mentioned "George Farmer style V scapes" in my thread and in this one, do you have an example/video of what you mean by those please? I'd like to check it out before I finalise my scape and plant it up!
 
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Wills

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Hey! Can we get an update on how the tank plans are going please? :D


I like the sand you linked too, I'd go for it! Yes, setting up a tank is crazy expensive, but for a dream set up especially, for fish that you've wanted for a long time, it's worth it. You also clearly know the best ways to save some money, and you don't have time pressure forcing you to make decisions fast, so can take the time to hunt for great deals second hand!


About which of the tanks to choose - It's probably going to depend on what's available since you're going for second hand. I buy second hand tanks from gumtree too, brand new tanks are crazy expensive! And you can find some real bargains when people are closing down their tanks, especially a big tank that they want gone because they need the space.

Since you have space for, and want the 90, obviously hunt for that one - the bigger the better. But if you find say, a 90 in poor condition/very expensive, and a 75 of the brand/model you're after that's in great condition and a bargain, you can decide to go for that one instead. I'd focus on getting the tank first, since you can't do much with hardscape, substrate etc until you have a tank! ;)

I don't know cichlids at all, so forgive me if this is a daft question! But the idea of the three female nics, and one possibly being brighter and leaving the other two more drab, while at the same time, perhaps it could work since they're gregarious in the wild - do you think it would be possible for you to try it out? Get the three, and perhaps it will work beautifully. But if it's not working for whatever reason, keep your favourite, and rehome the other two? Or is that you'd need to stock the other fish before introducing the cichlids due to territorial nature, so need to know the numbers first, and removing/restocking if you end up rehoming two would be a nightmare?

No real material updates but I have made some decisions. I'm going to go for the Aquariums4Life V Scape tank as it has a wooden stand and adjustable legs - its also the biggest. The AquaOne tank is a wooden stand but no adjustable legs and the cheaper Evolution Aqua/D&D tank is the same. There is a metal framed Evolution Aqua tank which is the same as my current tank with adjustable feet but one thing I'm not sure on this is that the frame wobbles, its strong but yeah it does jiggle a bit and I saw this on a 1200 in a showroom. On my 100 litre thats acceptable but at 300 litres not sure I'm ok with that haha! The metal framed one is also over £1k and the V Scape is just under and the Evolution Aqua one is only 75 gallons vs 90. I've also heard bad things about the build quality since D&D have taken it over - I saw a video yesterday where one of the front seams had just fully gone and in the comments people were like half the tanks bursting right now are D&D so yeah I'm going to pass!

I did message Aquariums4Life and I can get the tank a bit cheaper if I just go for just a front pane of optiwhite which suits me better as you can only see the tank front on really.

Still really torn on the stocking, I sometimes think single nicaraguan with a community around her but then I still find my self wanting an EBJD or even try a Salvini. I'm also contemplating an Oscura Heterospilla or a Rheoheros Coerleus but not confident I could sex them in a store... I dont think they fit my disco criteria but they are both stunning fish!

The gregarious nature of Nics is not truly evident in the same way as a Geophagus, Angelfish or Cribroheros so I don't know how that would go in a tank but we can maybe see how it goes?

Just the way things are right now with the world and my work it is going to be a while before I can go for this. I am saving up but its going to be gradual. I've decided to start selling some of my equipment that I've been holding onto like my Co2 regulator and probably my ADA tank and filter I think I can get about £300 for all that and then I've just told my family to give me money for my birthday in a few weeks so will be interesting to see where we are past that point. But even just a quick tot up budget just to get it viable let alone fish and scaping is £1,300 for tank, stand, lights, filter and heaters.

In terms of George Farmers V Style (different to the actual tank I'm talking about above) here are some screen shots from his channel.
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The thing I like is the way it creates instant perspective and makes you look at the focal point in the middle of the tank. It's using two big branches of wood to create that dynamic effect.

Also just to mention these pics are not mine and are from Georges YouTube channel - make sure you follow him if for some reason you are not. https://www.youtube.com/c/gf225

Wills
 
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Wills

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I know no one asked but made a bit of a decision on a basis for the layout of the tank.

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These are the two volcanoes in the middle of Lake Nicaragua and its given me the idea of doing a 2 island tank, I don't think I can match the composition perfectly as its not the right ratio for the tank I'm getting.

An other option is just to do some of the base like this and incorporate other elements, I was wondering if I want to get an Aqua Decor style rubber mat for the base and I know you can do custom designs so could also send this off as an example and then have it at a scale like this so it reached maybe a third of the way up the tank on the bigger one? Then have the rest of the tank feeling like a river bank with sunken logs and roots twisting down, leading up to the riparian planting I'm planning?

Wills
 

AdoraBelle Dearheart

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These are the two volcanoes in the middle of Lake Nicaragua and its given me the idea of doing a 2 island tank, I don't think I can match the composition perfectly as its not the right ratio for the tank I'm getting.
Sounds like a great idea! Matching the composition of the hardscape to the landscape of the area. Only if you find it working out for you in practice of course, since the fish won't care - but if it'll add depth and meaning to you, then it's worth at least trying. The two focal point thing seems to work in many aquascapes, saw a few like that in the Tropica Inspiration pages.
An other option is just to do some of the base like this and incorporate other elements, I was wondering if I want to get an Aqua Decor style rubber mat for the base and I know you can do custom designs so could also send this off as an example and then have it at a scale like this so it reached maybe a third of the way up the tank on the bigger one? Then have the rest of the tank feeling like a river bank with sunken logs and roots twisting down, leading up to the riparian planting I'm planning?

Wills
An Aqua what style rubber mat? Inside the tank? Have never heard of this?
 

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I know no one asked but made a bit of a decision on a basis for the layout of the tank.

View attachment 161224

These are the two volcanoes in the middle of Lake Nicaragua and its given me the idea of doing a 2 island tank, I don't think I can match the composition perfectly as its not the right ratio for the tank I'm getting.

An other option is just to do some of the base like this and incorporate other elements, I was wondering if I want to get an Aqua Decor style rubber mat for the base and I know you can do custom designs so could also send this off as an example and then have it at a scale like this so it reached maybe a third of the way up the tank on the bigger one? Then have the rest of the tank feeling like a river bank with sunken logs and roots twisting down, leading up to the riparian planting I'm planning?

Wills
Really like the sound of that wills. What kind of background you going for?
 
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Wills

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Sounds like a great idea! Matching the composition of the hardscape to the landscape of the area. Only if you find it working out for you in practice of course, since the fish won't care - but if it'll add depth and meaning to you, then it's worth at least trying. The two focal point thing seems to work in many aquascapes, saw a few like that in the Tropica Inspiration pages.

An Aqua what style rubber mat? Inside the tank? Have never heard of this?
Yeah thats what I'm thinking, a 2 island scape to represent the two volcanoes and try and use lava rock with mosses to match up with some underwater footage of Lake Nicaragua.

The rubber mats are by Aquadecor who do silicone 3D backgrounds but these are for the base of the tank which I like the idea of as you can put sand etc on top and then when they fish dig they only get through to the rocky look of the mat. Though I've just tried to find a picture and can't find them now so not sure if they've stopped doing them.
Really like the sound of that wills. What kind of background you going for?
I don't think I'd do the background I did to start with but I'd like to be able to change it over time.

Wills
 
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Wills

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Thought I was getting closer with affordability on this but keeps getting knocked back and back... for now it remains the impossible dream but it is a dream.

Being a dream I've been fleshing out my plans a bit, following some of the advice from Colin I'm going to keep a mixed group of Rainbows. Made up of Lake Aytinjo Bosemani, Millenium Rainbows, Kamaka Rainbows and Wapoga Red Lazer Rainbows. The Aytinjo and Milleniums are amazing and grow to about 4 inches and the Kamaka and Wapoga are 2-3. The Wapoga look a lot like Dwarf Neons but get Red stripes through the flanks and are more pure, less mass bred than the Neons so just better quality (seen bad things about Dwarf Neons atm).

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Probably 4 of each species with a mix of 3 of them? Not sure yet though. Been interesting reading about them though, especially the variants of Bosemani available these days and coming across the Milleniums. I didnt realise they were different to the regular Reds, which put me off as their colour is a bit patchy and they get huge where as Millenniums are a more reliable colour and stay around 4 inches.

Wills
 
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Wills

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Stunning rainbows Wills, Wapoga and the Aytinjo Bosemani are beautiful😍
I've loved learning about Rainbows, so much more to them than the common species. I always thought that the non-common species were probably quite dull too but not at all. Never realised how much they varied through the day and temperamental on colour they are - especially the non Melanotainea species which I've always worried just look good on certain photos...

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AdoraBelle Dearheart

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Oh I don't think the dream is impossible! It's just had to become more of a long-term plan. Which sucks on some levels, but you will get there, and it'll be all the better because of all the time, thought and love you've put into it!

I've heard a few worrying things about the dwarf neon rainbows too recently - I don't know much about rainbow fish - which should change at some point since I'm in a hardwater area, but I did fall in love with a tank of dwarf blues in the store once - that blue always draws me in! What have you been hearing about them that's concerning?
 
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Wills

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Oh I don't think the dream is impossible! It's just had to become more of a long-term plan. Which sucks on some levels, but you will get there, and it'll be all the better because of all the time, thought and love you've put into it!

I've heard a few worrying things about the dwarf neon rainbows too recently - I don't know much about rainbow fish - which should change at some point since I'm in a hardwater area, but I did fall in love with a tank of dwarf blues in the store once - that blue always draws me in! What have you been hearing about them that's concerning?
Just that they are becoming quite sickly and the quality of the colour is fading so they are not as neon blue as their wild counterparts. I don't think the species is standing up well to the mass breeding that the industry is demanding of them. They could also be being cross bred with other rainbows, either on purpose or by accident. I don't think its a Neon Tetra disease situation just yet but does not sound great - I've kind of noticed it in shops as well, even in the good stores they dont look right, bit skinny, really pale (even for in a store).

I think with things like the Kamaka and the Wapoga Lazers though there are some good alternatives around at the moment for a small blue Rainbow Fish. But there is something unique about the Praecox.
 

AdoraBelle Dearheart

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Just that they are becoming quite sickly and the quality of the colour is fading so they are not as neon blue as their wild counterparts. I don't think the species is standing up well to the mass breeding that the industry is demanding of them. They could also be being cross bred with other rainbows, either on purpose or by accident. I don't think its a Neon Tetra disease situation just yet but does not sound great - I've kind of noticed it in shops as well, even in the good stores they dont look right, bit skinny, really pale (even for in a store).

I think with things like the Kamaka and the Wapoga Lazers though there are some good alternatives around at the moment for a small blue Rainbow Fish. But there is something unique about the Praecox.
Thanks man. Yeah, I've heard similar things about the neons, what a shame. But as you said, you're spoilt for choice when it comes to species! The ones you've mentioned I'd never even heard of. Rainbows seem like a whole world to explore. :) With my tendency for smaller tanks, I'm thinking more about potentially going for pesudomugli's in the future, lots of choice there too, with some stunning little fish!
 
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Wills

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Thanks man. Yeah, I've heard similar things about the neons, what a shame. But as you said, you're spoilt for choice when it comes to species! The ones you've mentioned I'd never even heard of. Rainbows seem like a whole world to explore. :) With my tendency for smaller tanks, I'm thinking more about potentially going for pesudomugli's in the future, lots of choice there too, with some stunning little fish!
Yeah it is such an interesting niche to the hobby - and still emerging really its a pretty small group of people that are going out on expeditions collecting fish, breeding them and then supplying them to fish farms. If you are interested check out Aquarium Co-Ops video with Gary Lang its a few years old but really interesting, Bentley Pascoe is a good guy on Rainbows too.
 

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Thanks man. Yeah, I've heard similar things about the neons, what a shame. But as you said, you're spoilt for choice when it comes to species! The ones you've mentioned I'd never even heard of. Rainbows seem like a whole world to explore. :) With my tendency for smaller tanks, I'm thinking more about potentially going for pesudomugli's in the future, lots of choice there too, with some stunning little fish!
Weren't you breeding Pseudomugil furcatus?

Something to wet your appetite. The following link has all the known rainbowfishes from Australia and New Guinea.
 

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