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Old 02-04-10, 20:00
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Ok Here we go.

The tank as you know is a dennerle nano cube, I got the 30 litre complete plus one as it has everything you need to get you started with the exception of a heater and any sort of CO2, The heater shouldnt be a problem as it will be for shrimp and possibly a few nano sized fish but i will ensure they dont get too big and they can tolerate lower temperatures. Even so i reckon the temperature would never get too low anyway.

Here is the tank with all the equipment you get. 2 bags of very fine black gravel, 2 bags of substrate fertiliser, internal filter, 11 watt light with built in reflector, black backing, base mat, thermometer and a sample pack of shrimp food, shrimp conditioner, tap safe and a plant fertiliser.


I started by trying to fix the black backing on the tank. Its rubbish and not only did it rip it also stuck to parts of the tank i didnt want it to so i decided to paint the back with blackboard paint, i have used it on all my other tanks and cant fault it, it gives a nice matt finish and looks very good. Black also brings out the colour of the plants and hopefully the shrimp.

Doesnt look great does it?


Thats better.
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Old 02-04-10, 20:41
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Another shot of the back painted.
.

Once i rinsed the tank out i put in the two bags of substrate fertiliser.


After the substrate was added i started the difficult bit. Deciding what hardscape to use and where to put it.

I had some redmoor that i didnt use but it wouldnt fit so i cut it up.....but it didnt look right. So mini landscape rock it was http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/mini...kg-p-1437.html
Very natural looking and made famous by planted tank guru Takeshi Amano.

Here is the finished Hardscape layout
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Old 05-04-10, 15:16
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Next is the planting stage.

I filled up the tank with a little water first to make it easier to plant then took the potted plants and removed them from the pots and gently took of the rock wool that they are grown in. Ensure they are kept moist while doing this as they can dry out pretty quickly. Remove any dead/dying leaves and trim the roots to promote new growth. Here is a pic of Pogostemon Helferi being prepared.



Now it is time to prepare Hemianthus callitrichoides. Same as above but i have split the plant up. Doing this you can put a few bunches around the tank, the plants will grow better and hopefully fill in quicker. I have used this plant in the past with great success with just enough light and liquid CO2. it does however require regular pruning to keep it from growing too high.




Using tweezers plant the plants how YOU want them but keep in mind the eventually height and spread of the plants. You dont really want a a low growing carpeting plant at the back of the tank where it will not be seen. However if you scape is much higher at the back using small plants like Hemianthus callitrichoides could work well, providing you can see it.

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Old 05-04-10, 15:27
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Time to plug it all in and see it if works!

As i bought this tank from Germany it came supplied with European plugs. No big deal.
I took a trip to Maplins and found some very good adaptors, not the kind you take away on holiday. You can see the adaptor looks like a normal UK plug with a slot in the bottom. Just push the 2-pin Euro plug into the slot and secure using the screw in the middle of the plug. They have a fuse too and a much safer and less time consuming option to the regular adaptors or cutting the 2-pin off and replacing it with a UK plug



Here it is Secured and ready to plug in.

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Old 05-04-10, 15:40
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So here it is. The tank all set up and everything in place, or is it..........




After a day of looking at this scape i decided i didnt like it so......
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Old 05-04-10, 15:49
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..... I rearranged the rock.



Much happier with this layout.

This is still a work in progress. Im still waiting for some hairgrass and another bunch of vallis nana for the background that was supposed to be with me last week. Im dosing daily with liquid CO2 and weekly liquid ferts. At the moment there is no livestock. Im sure i will have problems along the way but i will share them with you all.

Also i will try to do monthly photo updates so you can watch it grow with me. Any questions or criticism please dont hestitate to ask.

I hope this has inspired some of you to try your hand at a planted tank, they dont have to be big and they are not as difficult as some people think.


Original thread for comments and feedback
http://www.plecoplanet.com/forum/sho...0164#post40164
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Old 13-04-10, 11:13
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UPDATE:

After Stans suggestion of moving the far left rock i had a think and set about moving it. Looks better IMO. The remaining plants arrived (hair grass and another bunch of vallis nana) so i planted those.

I was using Easycarbo from the outset and didnt think it would cause any problems, However looking on another forum i found out this is pretty potent stuff and that it "melts" Vallis species....Not good as this was my choice of background plant. Unfortunately the easycarbo did melt the first lot of Vallis and i stopped using it. I think it also had an adverse effect on Pogostemon Helferi as a few of the leaves turned mushy. So i am now looking to get a pressurised CO2 kit.

I also separated the Hemianthus callitrichoides into individual plantlets, a big pain to do but better in the long run.

Heres the tank with ALL the plants minus a few vallis nana



And a shot of the Hemianthus pearling after a cool water change.
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