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FishMad 10-29-2010 05:30 AM

Total Rescape of my pride and joy! More pics to come of my latest additons.
Just thought I would share a few pics of my rescaped tank. It is not 100% as I would like it but, I just can't seem to get it right.

I love the right hand end, fully planted with the terracotta pot however, the rest of it I *like* but, if anyone has any ideas of how I could improve it, I would love feedback.

I have just completed stocking the tank today. My final additions were 3 more Clown Loaches (pics to come). That's it! No more, just focus on maintaining the fantastic plant growth as well as the growth of all my 'babies'.

All comments welcomed, good or bad (constructive criticism please);-)

x5 Angels
x5 Clown Loaches
x3 Silver Dollars
x4 Corydoras
x1 Black Ghost Knife
x1 Royal Whiptail
x1 Long Finned Bristlenose
x2 Mystery Snails

thefishboy 10-29-2010 07:05 AM

Wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow!! That is a very nice tank!! You should be very proud!

Calmwaters 10-29-2010 05:54 PM

It looks nice. If I were going to change anything I would put more plants along the back of the tank and I would get a black background instead of the blue one it would really make the plants and fish stand out. The blue in my opinion draws the attention away from the fish and plants. Also I can't tell but do you have any driftwood in there? I ask because you have the plaeco and they need driftwood to keep them healthy.

thefishboy 10-30-2010 04:58 AM

I think its a it of drift wood in the right hand corner with some plants tied to it?!

FishMad 10-30-2010 05:45 AM

Thanks for your comments yes, there are 2 pieces of driftwood in there. One on the right hand side which we attached an Anubias to and the other on the left hand side, between the Alodeas which we also attached an Anubias to.

Regarding the black background, the other side of the blue is black however, I am concerned that my beautiful black angel and bristlenose will never be seen.

I think I have an addiction which is incurable and tank. My wife and I have been working on getting the tank to where we are now for the past 4 months. We are happy with the fish we have, no more will be added (not atleast until we upsize to our dream 8"x2"x2")

We both agree to rescape the tank, spend hours doing it and then, a week later we aren't happy with it and start over.

Any more suggestions are encouraged, thanks

thefishboy 10-30-2010 05:52 AM

I definatley agree with calmwaters you should definatley have some plants along the back, something like Vallisneria will look lovely, i do think the black background would look lovely but then as you say you may never see your angelfish!?!?

Byron 11-01-2010 05:29 PM

Yes, I agree with others on the black background, and a few more plants on the left half. As you already have the black on the reverse, try it and see. It may be a problem if it is shiny black, but...

For those background plants, look at swords. Echinodorus bleheri and Echinodorus cordifolia suit large tanks like this one.

FishMad 11-07-2010 06:17 AM

and AGAIN......rescaped but with changes from advice given
Ok so, my happiness with the rescape of the tank was as usual, short lived. I decided that the tank looked too cluttered and the whole reason for the huge quantity of plants etc was, to provide cover for my baby Angels.

Well, they don't want to/need to hide from their bigger couterparts it turns out. They now happily swim along side the 2 larger Angels. The bullying we were seeing has also all but stopped now which, is a huge relief and just proves that getting the extra 3 Angels and extra 3 Clown Loaches did the trick.

It would seem as though the tank has a nice 'balance'.

I took the advice regarding a black/darker background. It turned out that on the back of the blue it wasn't black but a grey colour. I can now see what was meant by the colours of the plants and fish standing out more. I also think that perhaps this is a good 'in between' way to still be able to see my Black Angel, Ghost Knife and Long Finned Bristlenose.

Now, I did say that we had finished stocking the tank as far as fish were concerned however, I am still not 100% satisfied. I find that being such a large tank filled with so many fish who prefer to spend 90% of their time hiding, the tank most often looks quite bare. I had hoped that having 5 Clown Loaches would have encouraged them to hide less and play more. But, this hasn't happened.

I have wanted to put a largish school (approx 20) of a smallish schooling colourful fish into the tank to 'bring it more to life'. My problem however, seems to be in finding appropriate fish that match my requirements.

Neons are out as they will be eaten. Barbs are out as they are nippers. So, what is left? No matter how much time I spend scouring through our many lfs, I continue to come away empty handed.

Is there a schooling fish whom would be ok in with my other fish that would add some colour and activity? Obviously they have to be non agressive and big enough to not be eaten.

Ideas? Suggestions? Anything? I would really love your feedback, be it good or bad.

Here are some photos of the NEWLY rescaped tank with the GREY background. Sorry my photography isn't so great, I am far from a professional photographer as is my camera.

Excuse the state of my plants, I have been treating for Gill Flukes and high Nitrite levels and haven't been able to give the plants a good feed of Flourish for around 3 weeks now.

With the Blue Background.....before rescaping again. Showing off 'Ghosty' and an Angel

Feed time.......the only time you will see the Clown Loaches

OK, I guess I have probably posted WAY too many photos already so I will stop there.


Byron 11-07-2010 11:52 AM

That is much better. Glad you tried it, and also glad you like the result.

On your shy fish, this is only natural, but there are ways to gain their confidence so that they will come out more. First, most of the forest fish (soft acidic water fish from SA and SE Asia) occur in dimly-lit waters and avoid bright daylight by remaining under wood, plants, overhanging branches, etc., plus there is usually significant forest canopy further reducing the light. Ironically, providing more hiding places can result in such fishes being out and about more; however, there is still the light aspect. And that is what I see in your photos. The plants will settle in and grow, and when they reach the surface this will improve. But another useful strategy is to have floating plants. I have always found that introducing floating plants brings out the fish more. This works with angels, discus, characins, catfish, loaches--all of which are forest fish from dimly-lit waters.

That will/should solve the shy fish problem. As for companions to angels, in our profile of the common angelfish Pterophyllum scalare, it mentions suitable companion fish. Characins (tetra) of the Hyphessobrycon genus are particularly suitable, since they are mainly colourful and peaceful. Just make sure they have a group of 8-9 or more.

Edit: Here's a link to a video showing angelfish in their natural habitat. It is instructive for the darkness of the water, and this is at mid-day as can be seen from the above-water sscenes.


FishMad 11-07-2010 04:08 PM

WOW! Thanks for that video link, what a wonderful insight into the natural habitat of these gorgeous fish. I could sit and watch a documentary like that for hours.

I do have the Banana Lilly which has so far sent 7 lillies to the surface. I have noticed that it has reduced the light quite significantly down that end of the tank.

I find that my Angels are fine, they spend their time hanging out with the Silver Dollars and are very friendly and curious when I am fiddling with the tank.

Ok, so I can get Tetras without them being eaten. As they are so small I was thinking of a school of between 20 and 30. This wouldn't overload the tank bioload would it? I have a Eheim Classic 600 Canister filter running which keeps the tank crystal clear.

On another note, what would be the reason for Nitrate to get a little high? I have noticed that my Nitrate is pushing above the ideal maximum level of 40ppm. This was the case even straight after a water change. The fish are not showing any signs of distress, the tank is clear of waste but I am currently treating with Stress Guard as one of my Silver Dollars has an injury on his upper lip.

0nce again, thank you so much for your extensive knowledge Byron, it is so good to know that the advice you give is not based on guessing but, is experience and fact. Thanks

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