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" A piece of Sintra" - 180L

30656 Views 41 Replies 34 Participants Last post by  dabrybry

It has been awhile since I´ve posted my tanks in this forum so here goes my latest project:


Dimensions: 90*45*45 cm - 180L
Lighting: 4 * 39W T5HO
CO2: Pressurized
Filtration: Eheim Profissional 2228
Heating: Jager 150W
Substrate: Thin Akadama
Decoration: Root and basalts
Fertilization: K2SO4 and KH2PO4 for now

Flora: Rotala sp. " pink"; Ludwigia arcuata; Pogostemon helferi; Eleocharis acicularis; Singapore moss ( true Vesicularia dubyana); Hemianthus callitrichoides " Cuba"

Fauna: A. bitaeniata " Kleei"; Otocinclus sp. ; Neocaridina sp. " Red Cherry"; Planorbis sp; Neritinas natalensis

In the first two weeks:

One month after the algae appeared in full strenght:

Today, the tank almost algae free due to the maturation of the plants and frequent water changes:

Next update will be a little bit cleaner and 100% algae free. Its just a matter of patience. :)

Fell free to comment.

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Great start! Can't wait to see it grown in!!
Oh very, very beautiful! (I say such things about a tank rarely.)

Please post pictures of the progress any time you care to.

Great job! I like the placement of your wood, good use of the golden ratio Very pleasing to look at and will only get better! I nice school of small fishes (smaller than cardinals), would look great once everything fills in.

I would leave out the K2SO4 for now and add KNO3, pehaps in a 1:10 ratio with K2PO4. You should have enough potassium just with these two. I don't even use K2SO4 anymore and get phenomenal growth rates. Don't forget your calcium/magnesium additions. Mg is needed for each chlorophyll molecule.

Is that an ADA tank or did you make it?
Very nice! Not sure if I like the Rotala behind the wood. Still great and will look wonderful when it fills in
Great set-up of the wood! I would rethink the rotala in the back. Great Job!
Where did you get the wood from?

It looks great!! The wood is beautiful and really well laid out.

Looking forward to watching the progress!

I've got to agree about the rotala. That, plus the wood, gives a very disorganized look that distracts from the beauty of the tank.

Otherwise, it's a very nice tank and I'm glad the algae is being beaten back!
Love the woodwork! I agree about the Rotala as well. Beautiful tank!
Hello folks and thanks for the feedback.

Let me explain you the use of Rotala pink and Ludwigia arcuata, since the opinion is unanimous: the goal is to create a bush behind the driftwood, exposing the reds and yellows/greens of the Rotala ( in the lower portions). The area of the driftwood in contact with the steam plants will be covered with a soft touch of moss ( don´t want to cover the entires branches) to make the transition between the reds of the steam plants and the red/brown of the wood. So, there will be a portion of green between the two red colours. :)

This has to be seen in the long run, as well as the compact bush that the steam plants will create. For now, they are all desorganized since I have only trimmed them once. The tank, in the last pic, is as it is today and the tank made 2 months yesterday. I think it still has much to offer and to mature so I will update frequently.

The wood I got from a friend of mine. You can have the same wood though, in this site: - Der Aquaristik, Terraristik, Gartenteich Onlineshop

Again, thank you for your kind comments and constructive criticism. If somehow, the steam plants won´t give the effect I expect, I will surelly rethink them and change them for another plant.

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Sweet tank looks great as is and can only get better in time.
Love the wood placement (octopusish) to cool. keep it up can't wait to see it in two more months.
This tank makes me remember jukai, the forests around Mt. Fuji. That was one place that was so over-whelmingly beautiful, really almost too perfect, that I felt just very very small. For me, this lay out brings back a bit of that feeling-- though immature, it's got great potential dude. Good job!
Matthew thanks.

This tank makes me remember jukai, the forests around Mt. Fuji. That was one place that was so over-whelmingly beautiful, really almost too perfect, that I felt just very very small. For me, this lay out brings back a bit of that feeling-- though immature, it's got great potential dude. Good job!
Steven, it´s funny you mention that, the coincidence couldn´t be greater. The title of this project is called " A little piece of Sintra" in wich, Sintra, is a vulcanic mountain surrounded by beautiful forests. Big woods with beautiful glades everywhere, in wich the rays of light penetrate the dense vegetation. In a pedestrian walking through these woods, I found an inspirational scenary with a fallen tree over some big rocks. The smallest rock had at least 2 m high, just so you can picture the enormous view. Big ferns, mushrooms and moss were covering part of the tree. Rocks were also covered by moss. Behind the wood/rock group, dense vegetation was present, a mix of berries bush with big ferns. I had no camera at the momment but the scene has been present in my mind ever since. I tought I should use this as an inspiration for this tank and so, a piece of Sintra was born in my tank. :)

Thanks for the inspirational feedback.

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gorgeous wood placement, and with some growth time, the Rotala will make sense with some pruning.
A forest around a volcanic mountainside??? Really??? I win!!!! :D just kidding, but wow, that says something about your scape that it could give me a message that specific. Actually your description also reminds me a lot of jiku-- I guess forests around volcanic mountains must share a lot in atmosphere.

Judging from the comment that "the smallest rocks is 2m tall" that means that this lay out is pretty "zoomed out" right? I also had the impression looking the tank, that I was looking at say, a large hill or cliff off in the distance in that type of area.
nice and neet tank
it looks so natural!! Where did you get the wood from?


Sorry for the late reply but I had some minor troubles with this tank regarding algae. In addition, time wasnt in my side so I could not update this thread.

Edwin, I got this driftwood from a friend of mine when he worked at a LFS.

In 29th September, I went out for the weekend and fertilized with enough nutrients for those days. When I came back, the water was like this:

I never had green water before so this was a bit new to me. I picked up some Pistia stratiotes at a friend of mine and dumped them in the tank. Here are the pics of the following days:

Dia = Day

With the green water, some plants were damaged due to the lack of light such as H.C. and Eleocharis acicularis but the mosses went crazy. Beautiful growth by x-mas moss and Singapore moss. Here´s a pic of the tank taken in 15th November with cristal clear water:

From this day, the tank has been recovering very well. I did some changes in the Flora as, some of you said, R. Pink wasnt working very well with the driftwood.So I removed most of the R. Pink and placed R. green and Valisneria nana. R. green has yet to show herself as the plant is all creeped and compact behind the driftwood. The ideia is to have a little bush of R. Pink, sorrounded by R. green and, behind the vertical branches of the driftwood, V. nana. Anyway, this tank still has a long way to go, tough I am very pleased with the way it turned out after so many misfortunes.

Some singular shots:

V. nana, very beautiful:


I have buyed a small school of Pseudomugil gertrudade: 2 males and 4 females. I hope they breed in the tank as this little guys are a bit expensive. Very active and peaceful though and they make a nice choice for small tanks.

Sorry for the big post. After so many pics and text, you guys will want my head in a plate. ;)

Thanks for watching and Happy New Year,
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Long post when your tank looks that good! You must be kidding! Awesome tank. Thinking about totally ripping my jungle apart and getting serious about aquascaping, but i like my big amazon swords too much to be so restrained!

Great job, well done.
wOW that almost looks too good to be real!! I wish i had the skills to make mine look that good!
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