Thursday 13 June 2013

The Small Tank

One of my two aquarium.

A 120 litre Fluval tank donated to me by a friend, now establised just
over two months and still very much a work in progress. Intended
primarily as a planted tank, it has a biological based CO2 injection
system and an external Fluval cannister filter. Substrait is Underworld
Aqua Grit.

Plants include:
Vallisneria americana
Alternanthera reineckii 'Roseafolia'
Echinodorus 'Ozelot Green'
Limnophila sessiliflora
Elodea canadensis
Hygrophila polysperma 'Rosanervig'
Eleocharis parvula

Livestock includes:
White Cloud Mountain Minnow
Red Platty
Siamese Fighting Fish
Amano Shrimp
Assassin Snail

The CO2 has made a huge difference to the plant growth. The big tank
next to it (260 litres, established about 10 years now) is almost
entirely planted with cuttings from this one.

Need to replace the lighting tubes as they're old, especially the back
one. Think the Platties were, visually, a mistake, I brought them to try
and control the algae, but the Amano Shrimp have more than managed that
on their own. Thinking of adding one last shoal of fish, haven't quite
decided what. I like the idea of Rainbow Fish, don't know if they're
suitable. Might move the Platties to the big tank. Maybe. Need to
consider how they'd cope with the Clown Loaches and Silver Shark already

The planting and hardscape are continually evolving. Intend to add a top
layer of sand substrate to cover the Aqua Grit and give the bottom some
more weight. The grit is a little too coarse for the lighter cuttings.

Half wish I could empty the tank of stock and start again, as I've
learned so much since starting this in April. But we are where we are.
Overall, generally very pleased with how this one is turning out, so
can't complain.

Tuesday 4 June 2013

A random post, just to try out Android voice recognition on my mobile :)

This is something of an experiment. I'm dictating this to my phone, and it has nothing to do with sailing. Instead, this is all about my newest fish tank.

120 litres, it's set up as a tropical planted tank and, about 40 days in, seems to be doing quite well. It's my first foray into using CO2 to suppliment the plants. I'd originally intended to set up a DIY yeast / sugar arrangement, but buying an off-the-shelf JBL ProFlora CO2 kit pretty much came to the cost of a decent diffuser.

It doesn't use compressed gas, but instead uses the same idea as a DIY setup, and produces CO2 by fermentation. You buy the charges at about £7.50 and they're supposed to last 40 days.

The first charge worked really well, and there was a noticable improvement in the growth and health of the plants. About 40 days later however, it was running out so I brought another charge and refreshed it. Replacement charge didn't work well at all, and we barely got 1 bubble every 11 seconds after about a week, which was about a fifth of the original output.

So I gave up on that one, washed out the canister, and replaced it with two cups of sugar and teaspoon of the Wife's "Easy Bake" yeast (I asked first)

Six hours later, and it's bubbling away like bubbles are going out of fashion.

The catch will be in how long it lasts. I'll count it a win if we get a week or two. Sugar and yeast are quite cheap, especially compared to the commercial ProFlora bio charges.

Current population of this tank:

Four white cloud mountain minnows and an unspecified amount of their fry.

Five red platies; one male and four females.

Three assassin snails.

Twelve amano shrimp.