Sunday, May 18, 2014

[Emersed Setup] DAY 1

I have been wanting to do this for a long time but procrastinated badly. Emersed setups are very cool because the plants that you are familiar with look very different above water. These types of setups have many advantages.

1. They are fun
2. Plants look very different and some even flower
3. Plants that may be difficult to grow under water tend to be easier
4. Some plants grow faster and can be easily propogated
5. You may keep a variety of different plants in case you need to rescape your aquarium in future. This frees up your current aquascape allowing you to choose which plants you wish to use and prevents it from being too cluttered.
6. Did i mention it was fun?

Anyway here is the list i purchased from Bunnings for this setup

1. Green house with included pots
2. Peat moss
3. Osmocote Seed raising Cutting mix
4. $6 desk lamp
5. 6500k 25watt globe
6. ADA substrate (Already have this)
7. Some labels
8. Light timer
9. Osmocote granules

Next I filled the pots in this order

1. First the Peat moss down the bottom to retain moisture
2. Next i added a couple of Osmocote granules above the peat moss. 
3. Next i filled the pots with Osmocote Seed raising Cutting mix
4. Lastly i topped of the cutting mix with some ADA amazonia 

Here are some close ups of some of the plants I will be keeping an eye on:

picture1 - Hemianthus Callitrichoides
picture2 - Pogostemon Helferi 
picture3 - Bucephalandra

I have had trouble keeping Pogostemons in the past. My fish always seem to tear it apart and the 2-3 week settling in period does not help at all. I have decided to grow this particular plant emersed away from the hungry fish before placing it in my aquarium.

Finally a photo showing the overall setup. Thanks for looking and watch for updates!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

[EHEIM OPAL] Blyxa and Peacock moss Garden

Wow it has already been a year since my last post!

I have decided to remove a number of plants from the scape as everything seemed so cluttered. This has been replaced with more Blyxa Japonica. The Red Macranda mini has been moved to the right side. (It still is not receiving enough light to grow very well). The anubis nana petite is temporarily sitting in the foreground until it roots properly on stone. I have recently divided this plant and will be moving it to a corner in the near future.

Over the years I have come up with a low maintenance setup that I am happy to share with fellow hobbyists.

Most of the fish in the aquarium are clean up crew, but i have had other fish in there.
For the glass i got plecs, for the substrate i got cories and loaches and for the leaves i got Siamese Algae Eaters.
Plecs and SAE are great to have in any setup. The SAE will keep away any brush like algae with plecs are amazing for large
flat leaves and other large surfaces. I autodose my feed once a day. The cardinals eat most of it and the shrimp and cories finish the rest off.

Here is a brief rundown of the equipment:
- Size: 3 foot Eheim Opal (I like this aquarium as there is almost nil evaporation through the breathable hood)
- lighting: - 2x T5HO (I find any less than two and some of my plants do not survive)
- Substrate: - ADA Aquasoil Amazonia II
- Fertilisation: - Recently changed from PMDD to Seachem Comprehensive in an Eheim autodoser (EHEIM autodoser is great - simple to use and easy to clean. I refill it every 1-2 months)
- Life: 50-100 Red cherries, 10 cardinal tetras, 2 plecs, 3 cories, 2 loaches, 5 mini cories, 2 SAEs
- CO2: 4kg Keg King cylinder with Tunze regulator and solenoid. The Keg King cylinders only cost $30 to refill @ any Keg Kind outlet and will last a year or more depending on your CO2 output.
- Powerhead: I use an Vortech powerhead. Although these are not necessary, i do find they help distribute ferts and CO2 through the aquarium. I run the CO2 diffuser underneath the powerhead
and drop the ferts above it. I really love the Vortech as it has an variable adjustable flow setting. I think a powerhead is probably the last thing anyone should invest in.
- Plants: I have compiled a list below. Trying very hard to move away from stems but I keep a few of my favourite ones.
- Filter: EHEIM professional - Used to run a bag of purigen in this but it causes my filter flow rate to slow down significantly. I do not do this anymore.

Here is the plant list:
When choosing plants, I basically chose the ones that seemed to like my ecosystem the most.
Also i like plants with small leaves. They seem to make the whole scape look bigger.
My number favourite would be the Pogo Helferi. Unfortunately it does not like me hence i do not keep it anymore.

1. Red Macranda Mini - my favourite red plant
2. Trident Java Fern
3. Mini Java Fern
4. Blyxa Japonica
5. Tricolor lotus - This plant is amusing. It dies off once a year and returns the next year
6. Anubis nana petite
7. Hygrophila pinnatifada - I love the leaves of this plant. My friend has trouble growing this and i do not know why.
8. Polygonum Sao Paulo
9. Windelov Java Fern - Great fern! Fills in so nicely and it has bright green leaves that contrast well with peacock moss
10. Eriocaulon shiga - Another one of my favourite plants. Stays small and symmetrical. Looks beautiful.
11. Bolbitis fern
12. Needle leaf java fern
13. USS fissidens
14. HC - A great carpeting plant. Needs a lot of CO2

That is all i have time for now. Ill update again later.

Thanks for looking