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山のサバンナ (Mountain Savannah)

Discussion in 'Aquascaping Journals' started by Supercoley1, Mar 4, 2011.

  1. Supercoley1

    Supercoley1 Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
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    Location:
    Lincoln, UK
    山のサバンナ is my first aquascape of 2011. I will be doing another new scape on my 125ltr in a month or so but here goes with this one.

    This will be the cheapest setup you have ever seen. From no tank to fully scaped for a grand toal of £0.40p!!!!

    Firstly a review of the little tank I am using. The link below is the manufacturers site:
    TMC: Planted Tank Products - MicroHabitats


    This is a TMC Aquagrow Micro Habitat 8. It is an 8 litre cube 'in essence'. By 'in essence' I mean that the actual usable tank dimension is 16cm width x 16cm depth by 20cm height.

    The tank's depth is actually more than that but it has a built in hidden filtration system behind a black piece of acrylic.

    It comes complete with filter media, micro thermometer and a lighting unit which comprises of 16 LG Ultrabright TopLEDs.

    I actually ended up getting this for free as it was sent to me by mistake. Then it got broken (big crack down the side near the corner of the filtration section.) The company who sent it in error told me to keep it. Therefore with the crack being out of view as it is on the side where the filtration part is I have siliconed inside and out and put the little tank into use.

    The first impression is that the whole unit does look very cool and modern. The lighting looks great and because you can just put this size of tank anywhere it is pretty much a coffee table or sideboard 'decoration'.

    The light output is good but pretty central and therefore while it does higlight the hole substrate any tall hardscape items can mean very dark areas within the tank. Maybe a slightly larger area lighting unit spreading the LEDs out a bit more would have been better.

    The thermometer is pretty useless. It looks OK but it isn't as well made as my cheap (china copy) ADA style ones. It also reads 2 degrees celcius lower than it should!!! All my other thermometers gauge my main tank at 26degrees and my previous unheated nano at just over 21 degrees. So thats 3 thermometers all different makes and all reading very close together.

    The one supplied with this aquarium reads 24 and just below 20!!!! This has gone into storage and been replaced by one of my little ADA copies. Same size, better printing, the blue liquid looks better than the red, the sucker is much much smaller (the sucker that comes with the supplied one is huge) and the printed numbers are much better and clearer than the one supplied.

    This being an unheated aquarium the temperature is pretty important for me to know. Ambient tends to move a little where the temp on my heated tanks stay the same (barring crazy hot summers) because the heater is on less in the warmer weather and more in the colder weather.

    My biggest gripe is it being acrylic. I have young children plus I am very lazy and careless. I clean my main aquarium (glass) with stanley blades and scourers etc (when and if I need to.) I can't do that with acrylic so advice on that would be cool. Also my kids (don't know which one) have already managed to put a 'pinprick' in the front glass!!!

    Is it worth £50 (which is the cheapest from a quick google I can see it being sold for at the moment. The highest I found was £61.49)

    I guess that boils down to what you are after really. If it bang for buck then definitely not. You may as well just get a £15 13/14 litre starter tank for £15. If its for the looks and you do want this size of tank then yes it pretty good.

    I wish these companies that are releasing LED systems would start to look at the practical rather than the aesthetic when designing their lights.

    Review over and you can now view the tank in pictures to cast your opinion :)

    The Tech Specs:

    Tank - 8 litre
    Filter - Rear Filter Compartment - lph???? Probably around 50-100lph but moves the water well.
    Heating - None
    CO2 - Easycarbo Liquid Carbon 0.1ml daily
    Dosing - Full EI - 0.25ml Macros, 0.1ml micros, 50% water change weekly.
    Hardscape - Some stones Ianho brought round to my house. Look like granite of some sort.
    Substrate - Mulm, Leonardite, Tesco value kitty litter, Wilko goldfish gravel.

    Inhabitants - Currently 3 shrimp. I'll put more in once I see they are safe ;)

    Plants - Vallisneria, Microsorum Pteropus sp 'needle', Cryptocryne Parva, Bolbitis heudelotii, Anubias Barteri v Nana 'petite', Lileopsis Brasiliensis.

    How has all this only cost 40p?

    Here is the substrate:
    [​IMG]
    The black on the bottom is Leonardite and mulm which I already had from ages ago.
    The next 'chalky' layer is the Tesco kitty litter which has been lying around the house since a cat owner left it here whilst visiting.
    The top layer is Wilko's cheapo goldfish gravel. Cost £1.60 and I used about a quarter so there's the 40p :)

    [​IMG]
    Here you can see the rocks. There are 5. One is half behind the largest to support it. The 'supporting' rocks may look too large and powerful at the moment but I am hoping the Lileopsis Brasiliensis when it grows will hide all but the upper third of these.

    At the back in both corners plus one just in front of the main rock are Cryptocoryne Parva. Taken from my main tank and as per all of my Crypts they have defied the size guides :) These are circa 15cm in some points.

    The Needle Ferns are attached to the rock supporting the largest rock. These are taken from the main tank.

    The Vallisineria is hidden right at the back. You are thinking I am mad putting Vals in such a small tank. These have been in my main tank for over 2 years yet they have not grown at all. They are healthy and no defficiencies but just not growing. If they get too big for this tank then I will consider that a positive :)

    The Bolbitis heudelotii has come from my emersed nursery where it had suffered a bit of neglect for a couple of years. These are 2 very tiny pieces that have survived from what was once the width of this tank. The Lileopsis is a similar story. Hopefully these 2 will be 'resurrected'.

    The Anubias petite is also from my emersed nursery but I have had it in my main tank for the previous 2 months preparing it for a scape. It was to be in the main tank however plans have slightly changed there so I have put them in this one.

    A few more pictures just for the sake of it (I am no Saintly with the camera. lol)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Hope you like my 40p outlay :)

    p.s. The little kid's toothbrush next to the tank is what I have been using to clean the inside glass at the moment. Was a bit dusty from adding the substrate.

    Regards
    AC
     
  2. Jurijs mit JS

    Jurijs mit JS Admin Staff Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Germany
    Hi Andy, nice to see some of your new work ;)
     
  3. Supercoley1

    Supercoley1 Moderator Staff Member

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    Location:
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    like buses none for ages and then 2 at once :)

    This one this month and the 125 next month.

    Andy
     
  4. Jurijs mit JS

    Jurijs mit JS Admin Staff Member

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    Location:
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    looking forward to it :)
    Glad you are still in touch with aquascaping
     
  5. Supercoley1

    Supercoley1 Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Lincoln, UK
    This little tank had been in the kitchen for 2 months while I did my lounge redesign. There it lay neglected with no fertilisation nor liquid carbon added in the most sun drenched corner of the whole house. No light was added.

    Needless to say the inevitable decline commenced at by the time I could return it to the lounge position it was overloaded with Cyano, Staghorn and BBA.

    All is not lost though, in fact nothing is lost as I am persevering with it and for the past 3 weeks back in Situ it has had daily EI+liquid Carbo and weekly 50% water changes.

    The pictures below are at present and although there is a lot of BBA and staghorn it is much better than it was. You could not se any green nor rock 3 weks ago so about half way back to perfection.

    I've also added a moss wall which comprises of Singapore, Java, Stringy and Christmas moss. Maybe some others too as it has come out of the emersed set up where I use it purely for covering the top of pots.

    I've also added 4 tiny slate pieces (1cm x 1cm) 2 of which have Fissidens Fontanus on them and 2 of which have flame moss. Hopefully they'll spread out past the slate pieces and into the Gravel.

    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]

    Regards
    Andy
     
  6. pupa

    pupa New Member

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    Location:
    Indonesia
    wow....
    moss as a background, that's inspiring me
    thaks :rock:
     
  7. Supercoley1

    Supercoley1 Moderator Staff Member

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    One month on and the recovery continues apace. I have not touched the rocks, plants or substrate. That is not my style. Much more my style to let good routines sort the problem naturally. I have cleaned the glass at water changes though. Dosing of macro, micro and Easycarbo has religiously been followed daily and it is starting to show the result.

    I have removed the moss wall. I don't know why I put it in there to be honest. I always rip them out. One reason is I think they look messy , another reason is I am pretty lazy with regards to pruning etc. Also it was not really viable in a tank this small in my opinion.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Andy
     
  8. randy0319

    randy0319 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Location:
    salt lake city Utah
    world in a dew drop. nice!! Use what you have and watch thw magic happen- best way to go sometimes. best wishes---R:rock:
     
  9. Supercoley1

    Supercoley1 Moderator Staff Member

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    Location:
    Lincoln, UK
    I had gotten tired of this scape. The mosses were a little hard to control in such a small space and I fancied a change so I rescaped it on 21st November. The new aquascape is entitled 'Guly'
     

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