Cale Tanks

Discussion in 'Members Systems' started by Cale24, Oct 28, 2020.

  1. Cale24

    Cale24

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    Been a difficult couple months for a couple of my tanks, battling numerous issues. As part of that, I cleaned up and tweaked a few things.

    Just added some sand (and a few of the plants that were in my 54l Juwel) to this 37l. Hardscape largely the same as when it was setup, and the foreground still looks rather artificial (like snow in the pic), but I like the change in general - it'll darken with time. I'd have used ADA La Plata or Colorado sand ideally, but had other stuff on hand.

    Will also tweak some of the plants when things turn up at LFS. No livestock in it - any suggestions? Room temperature is 21-23°C without a heater so might stay within that region. Considering crystal red shrimp and a few pygmy cories, and/ or a small shoal of tiny rasbora species.


    IMG_4037.jpg

    Initial hardscape:

    IMG_2641.jpg


    Below is the hardscape in the 54l tank I just took down. I'd planned to use mostly hairgrass (taller variety) for a minimal approach, but couldn't find any at the time. Used other (wrong) plants and it just never panned out like I hoped (foiled by lacking patience again).
    I'm selling the wood at some point in the classifieds (beautiful pieces on both sides - more pics when I advertise). Also have the rocks on hand but may use them again.

    IMG_2999.jpg

    IMG_3003.jpg


    Final tank is my girlfriend's 20l office setup. A bit scruffy and made up using stuff I had lying around, but I still like it. Wood isn't the best but with newly aded root tabs, I'm hoping the left side fills up a bit more. Been running in this configuration for several months, housing my ram runts (alpha male of which is a now a stunningly beautiful fish, just really tiny). Pic maybe a month old.

    Been interesting managing such a small tank (15l water volume). Low bio load, gets fairly large 60% water changes once a week/ 5 days, and light is 10W. Runs for only 5 hours a day and algae still more excessive than I'd like. Temp is at 26°C. May add a few neocaridina shrimp to have a crack at things, possibly splitting water changes up a bit more to accommodate them. Two of the rams have paired up and I see eggs (20, tops :lol:) now and again, but yet to see nanoram fry. I remove the wood when doing maintenance - one definitely has to plan carefully when working within such a small amount of space, but I weirdly enjoy the intricacy. I'm thinking of maybe doing a similar scape in the 54l, but at this 'scale'.



    IMG_E3756.jpg


    Nothing to show on my other tanks for now, which are just breeding or QT related.;)
     
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  3. A new day

    A new day Moderator

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    :)Yay I’ve been waiting for this thread like forever :thumbup:

    Incredibly beautiful! You’re such a perfectionist and it shows in the hardscape.

    Pygmy corys and microrasboras sound great for the 37L! I’ve never kept caridina with success but you probably would :)
     
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  4. OP
    Cale24

    Cale24

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    Haha thank you! Always learning, I'll just be more patient with plant stocking next time as getting that wrong can seemingly ruin a scape :rolleyes:

    I'm looking out for some nano stuff in general. I have some juvenile sparkling gouramis which I considered for the 37l but I'm reluctant to add a lid unless I have to.
    Pygmies apparently also jumpers, as are killifish :/

    Seems the aqua-empire website is down still - they tend to get some nice nano species, so perhaps order when its up again.

    Edit - I remember you had some crystal reds/ blacks - were they not happy with tap water? My TDS is 55 out the tap, KH 1; GH 4/5 - not far from their paramters with GH and KH boosters, aside from the high pH. I have an RO water supplier near me, so could maybe cut it as needed.
     
  5. A new day

    A new day Moderator

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    The crystals were not happy with me / my water apparently, not sure which one :D Amanos and Neos do very well for me so that’s what I’m sticking to :thumbup:

    I’ve been eyeing out sparkling gouramis for a long time myself... same thing about the lid.

    Perhaps drop Aqua Empire a line as their website isn’t always up to date and they often have stock (including plants) not reflected on their website?
     
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  6. OP
    Cale24

    Cale24

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    Cool, I had a friend offer me a few neos (he may take a few of my gouramis in exchange ) so will likely start with them anyway.

    I was worried AquaEmpire had closed down but will email them, thanks!
     
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  7. A new day

    A new day Moderator

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    Look out for bucephelandra catherinae, super tiny leaves, could be great for scale in one of your tanks. Anubias bonsai also, but it looks like you have it already?
     
  8. OP
    Cale24

    Cale24

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    Not sure what kind of buce I have in the 37l, but it would also be a good candidate. I have some Anubius bonsai in the 20l yeah, love it. Very fragile though- each accidentally removed leaf is like R10 falling off haha.
     
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  9. A new day

    A new day Moderator

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    :lol:
     
  10. scotty_88

    scotty_88

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    Wow, great, job with those scapes. The clarity is so good too. Well done!!

    Sent from my VOG-L09 using Tapatalk
     
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  11. MariaS

    MariaS Moderator

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    @Cale,

    Those tanks look amazing
    Love the hard scape on all of them, beautiful pieces of wood
    Im not the best at giving advice with plants but I like the idea of the rasboras for the tank, they gorgeous
     
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  12. OP
    Cale24

    Cale24

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    Thank you @scotty_88 @MariaS

    Experienced some real frustrations the past few months, almost temporarily leaving the hobby, but experience has taught me things can look up quite quickly with a little perseverance.
    We hobbyists all lose sight of that at times, I suppose.
    But yes, looking forward to some new things! :thumbup:
     
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  13. A new day

    A new day Moderator

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    Glad you hung in there :thumbup:
    Yes when things go wrong it can make one want to tear your hair out!
     
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  14. OP
    Cale24

    Cale24

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    Me too :) I lost my best rams, which had become like dogs to me, such was their character, but onward and upward.
    It's at least been a time to simplify and consolidate a bit!
     
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  15. A new day

    A new day Moderator

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    Aaaaw shucks I’m so sorry to hear :(
    Do you still have breeding stock?
     
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  16. OP
    Cale24

    Cale24

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    I have ONE survivor from my best stock's last spawn - a male at maybe 3 months old, very good genes, so will find a female and try again I think.
    He's currently living with the baby gouramis and half chasing them around like rams tend to do :lol:
     
  17. A new day

    A new day Moderator

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    Come get the pair from me. You gave them to me for free, and your kindness has been your insurance policy :thumbup:

    I will miss them dearly but I insist, and you can give me another pair of offspring. End of discussion.
     
  18. OP
    Cale24

    Cale24

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    Thank you for that offer- very kind! No rush to breed though, and I’d be most glad that they stay in the nice pad they’ve grown into :cool:
     
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  19. Chandz

    Chandz

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    Absolutely stunning scapes! I especially love your hardscape composition.

    I would definitely give the sparklings a skip if you don’t have a lid, mine weren’t jumpers, but the humid air a lid provide is very beneficial to them. Scarlet Badis would be a great alternative, especially if you have some live cultures or bbs.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
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  20. OP
    Cale24

    Cale24

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    Thanks! I tend to enjoy working on a hardscape the most.
    And good point regarding the gouramis - I recall reading that somewhere, and during the spawning period I did have a lid on. They'll be moving to that tank again soon though...
     
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  21. OP
    Cale24

    Cale24

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    With all the neatening up around the comps, figured I'd update this thread a bit.

    I changed up my 2ft (54l) tank, reusing most of the hardscape materials. That consisted of Ironwood (may be mangrove root, can't recall which- it cost a lot), dragon stone pieces and the same ADA substrate.
    The wood has great texture, and like the previous scape, I used it almost like one would use sharp rocks in an Iwagumi setup.
    This sharp, sheared appearance however made smaller root/ branch extensions (ie. twigs) look a bit out of place, and so I avoided that altogether.
    Bit frustrating as those elements usually add a lot to a scaped scene.

    Basic hardscape and layout:

    1.jpg


    Quick light/ shadow test. Looks very blown out as it was just a quick reference snap:


    2.jpg


    Adding substrate in the middle, for a sort of asymmetrical island. Realised at about this point that I should have used an egg crate layer below everything as this Eheim tank has a plastic piece of base trim.
    That's great when building up the usual 5cm aquasoil/ gravel layer, less so for the thin layer of sand I had planned:


    3.jpg


    Plant wise, I mostly used some offcuts from my other tanks, aside from the narrow leaf java fern and a bit of bolbitis.
    I'm hoping the latter creeps forward and over the wood/ rocks:


    4.jpg


    Finally, added in my black background, mainly to hide the AQ30 filter (and temporary intake sponge/s).
    Plants pop, but the hardscape loses impact a bit. It's gloss black, and the partially reflected plants almost seem to resemble other plants fading into darkness.
    Super hard to photograph, but in person I like the black:


    5.jpg


    Considered entering it for the comp but used my smaller tank instead. Did a few test pics with my girlfriend's old camera though.
    Amazing how different the colour temperature looks over my iPhone 8:


    DSCF9475R.jpg


    Currently stocked with a few otos, a couple nerites and green jade shrimp (plus four industrial grade Amanos). Had them a few months and they've barely grown for whatever reason.
    I'd like to add a Kubotai rasbora shoal, maybe some corys. Might add some miniature hydrocototyle tripartita bits into the susswassertang, or may replace the latter with something else.



    6.jpg
    7.jpg


    The tank didn't really have too many algae issues, not surprising given it's unheated (room temp is around 22C on average) and lightly stocked.
    I had planned to add some coral moss on parts of the wood at the top, but it developed a fine green algae fuzz (which was quite cool I thought).
    Added the beastly amanos and they cleaned it away in 2 days, so perhaps I will try find some of that moss after all.


    Then just a few random pics:

    Got a couple Checkerboard cichlids (Dicrossus Filamentosus) that are currently in my 37l tank - absolutely loving them so far.
    They're juveniles and pretty small still, so should be fine in that tank for a while. I impulse bought two of them, the second they came up (bucketlist nano fish for me).
    Likely both male although they seem to get along great. I believe they're very hard to breed - I know Marco had a go a year or two back?

    Yet to really try photograph them but here's a quick one:


    8.jpg


    Lost the last of my micro-rams on Sunday :(
    Not sure why they died, possibly just digestive tract issues given they're so tiny. The largest of them, a pair in the pic below, spawned a few times but I never really attempted to raise them up.
    Beautiful little fish though, loved them:



    9.JPG


    I added some cull shrimp and two horned nerites after the pic above was taken and the algae disappeared for soon after.

    Of my Electric blue breeding, the only surviving fish is my blind EB ram, which lives in my QT tank. Ironic!
    She pecks at the ground for most of the day, so I just grind her food up into a dust and let it settle. She also hoovers up microworms.

    Watching her is interesting, as she does 'laps' around the tank and slows just as she approaches corners and obstacles- all from memorised repetition.


    Anyway, sorry to drag on!
    Next up I'm rescaping my smallest 20l tank - mopane bits and black lava rock with some sand on the right side again. Basic hardscape is done, just need to find time for the detailing.
    I might run it as a blackwater setup, ignoring the inevitable tannin leeching for a couple months.
    Also breeding rams again, so will hopefully have more to sell in a few months.
     
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