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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been gathering info on this forum for a long time and wanted to share one of my tanks with you.

It is mentioned as a planted Vietnamese biotope on a budget resembling a Vietnamese river stream. I've a 100 gallon planted community tank and used this 10 gallon as a breeding tank for my angelfish. I sold my angelfish and wanted to turn it over cheap. I took out the corner filter and used the pump only with a sponge. Took out the broken 15W ballast and replaced it with a 36W and added another 15W t8 (see pictures), one 3.000K and one 14.000K old but still grows plants and algae:) Painted the inside white to save on reflectors and added a free 95gram co2 set which I later replaced with the 500gram spare bottle of my big tank.

There is no heater because I the room won't come below 18 degree celcius and the tank is usual a few degree warmer thanks to the lighting.

Flora & fauna:
25 x Tanichthys micagemmae
4 x Sewellia lineolata
10 x Paracaridina sp. Princess bee (lost a few)

Rotala sp. 'vietnam'
Ultricularia graminifolia
Limnophila aromatica
Riccardia chamedryfolia
(Blyxa japonica)

All fish and plants are from Vietnam but the Blyxa japonica didn't do very well. I will try again later because I've enough in my big tank.

As you can see in the pictures I had some trouble with snails (there number decreases a lot) and also cyano bacter, staghorn algae and some other algae (morning sun on the tank). The algae on the stones is intended as food for the sewellia's.

Modified hood:



The setup:



Growth:




Details:





The tank isn't finished jet but getting better more bushy and healthier every week so I was even thinking about entering the iaplc contest. (Although it will be hard to get the UG good with the Sewellia's in the tank) Was wondering whether you think I need to clean the stones before a final picture or not. And also all comments regarding layout are welcome!

Yo-han
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Took the time to make a proper photo without equipment and clean sand although the UG still needs time to grow in nice, hope you like it!

 

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Beautiful, and a very interesting combination of fish!

Opinions will differ, but I like the growth of algae on the rocks. It certainly is not excessive or unhealthy, and looks very appropriate in a biotope.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Beautiful, and a very interesting combination of fish!

Opinions will differ, but I like the growth of algae on the rocks. It certainly is not excessive or unhealthy, and looks very appropriate in a biotope.
Why do you think it is an interesting combination of fish? At first I also had 4 pseudogastromyzon fasciatus planned to be added to this aquarium, but I thought that would overcrowd the rocks so I resigned from that idea and added these four fellows to my 100G.

About the algae, it looks appropriate for a biotope, but what if I would enter a contest like IAPLC for example, just as planted tank. Would the algae still be appreciated or would it be better off with me cleaning rocks?
 

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It's interesting because most hillstream loach tanks I've seen do not include a small schooling fish.

I am far from an expert on any of the aquascaping contests. But I notice in the judge's remarks that visible algae often brings a negative comment. The assumption may be that algae means neglect, except in biotopes. If you enter in a general category, but explain why the algae is present in your notes, it should prevent any negative judgement.

You'll have less competition in the biotope category, and few entries will look as good as this tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The tank looks great. I think the algae on the stones looks natural. As long as it not on the plants the gravel and the glass and its not Brush Algae!
Plants are (now) free of algae, the glass of course does have a little from time to time and no bad algae at the moment, I'm pleased!

Moved the L. aromatica a little to the left yesterday after trimming, to see whether it looks better than straight in the middle. Hoping it fills in before my vacation. If in time, I'll show the picture here!
 

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There is nothing in the judging guidelines for either the ADA or AGA contests that would preclude algae on rocks. Algae on the PLANTS would be a problem, but it is a design decision whether or not to leave it on the rocks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I did entered the IBAC contest with the last photo. Never expected to do good, just wondered how judges would see my tank. Very mixed opinions with scores ranging from 59 till 172, so I guess for a serious contest entry I need to make a more mainstream tank. And cleaning the rocks would help I guess, so I started yesterday. UG is filled in more now (it wasn't really at the photo I submitted in the contest). Will do another trim and see how it turns out! For now (quick shot with my mobile):
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Little update, I first putted in a new Fluval U4 in the tank for 3 weeks with the old filter media added inside. Next when the filter was running well I redid the tank, took out all the plants and added lots of rocks (algae needs to fill in) and new sand. There are 5 Sewellia lineolata in ther now and 1 Sewellia sp. albisuera (spotted). The Sewellia are more in the open now and the Tanichthys' don't seem to mind the extra flow. In the LFS where I work we had two more Sewellia sp. Albisuera in the batch Sewellia, really tempted... Also would love to add some stiphodon, but first want to see these Sewellia breed!

 

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Well, Yohan, I thought that your tank was brilliant the way it was with the rotalas, and so on. The only thing that matters is whether YOU like it or not. To heck with anyone else!

The new set up is very cool! Seems almost like a cichlid tank, and is a stark contrast to the last set up, which was pretty "cheerful"! :D Cool! Are you planning any plants to this latest look, or are you going to leave it looking a bit "barren" or "river-bank" looking?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
This is the first non planted tank I did in years, even my cichlid tank 6-7 years ago had a huge bush of java fern. I'll add some Riccardia between the stones today, but other than that there will be no plants, the flow is too much for stems. The main purpose is to see these Sewellia breed (although I must say I already regret it a little and I might add some extra plants in the near future;))
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
A little update: Added some Riccardia moss:


A new resident (sewellia albisuera, formerly known as Sewellia sp. 'spotted', came in, in a batch of Sewellia Lineolata:


Algae covered the rocks nicely by now and I added some CRS (C and SS grade:p):
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
It's really funny, it seems you either like this one or you don't. Heard more people who wanted something like it, but get a lot of negative responses as well (boring, where are the plants?)
 

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It's funny you say that Yo-han :) I just had an inner dialogue in my head debating whether I like it. I love it for its simplicity, but I'd really start to miss plants after a while. It would be great to have a large tank with both elements. It really is beautiful, and I agree with Don: what matters is that you like it. I really like the Sewellia albisuera :)
 

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A lot of people are stupid, then. Lol!

Well, if I were a betting man, I would say that most of the Negative Nancy's out there that dislike this system are probably people somewhat new and inexperienced regarding this hobby? Unable to appreciate a true biotope setup, in my opinion. They don't have to like it, but they should have it within them to give themselves a reality check. This hobby isn't all about collectoritis tanks (me), Dutch-style aquascapes, or making nifty little mountain settings using some moss, HC, and rock and setting those as the "pinnacles" by which all other tanks are measured. Some look nice, but they do not depict "reality." You would never, ever, ever, ever, ever find what someone has in their tank out in the natural realm by any means. I really think that it's sad that the new hobbyist doesn't understand this.

Whether you meant to or not, Johan, I appreciate the relative "boldness" of this tank. It truly is what a a Vietnamese river biotope would look like. The beauty IS the simplicity and the difficulty lies in NOT messing around with this type of tank too much by adding more plants, then some wood with moss, then some Rotala Vietnam (because it still "technically" is Vietnamese in origin) which leads to something else, which then leads to additional plants being added, etc. before you know it. You have this result that doesn't look bad, but doesn't stand on it's own merit either.


No. Compromise. That is what makes this tank excellent and strong.
 
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