Day 4 of my planted Jungle

>> Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The day 4 of my cute jungle

The tank is looking more lively. All the plants are longer. Some of them grown more than 8 inches!

Continuous bubbling from the plants. Pearling looking so beautiful on the leaves.

New leaves are forming.


Water Changing technique I use for my tank

Was searching in the internet for easy way of changing water in the aquarium. In all the sites the same method like siphoning out the water and bucket etc was described. To me these are very messy procedure and time consuming too.

I thought of a very quick and non messy procedure of changing water of the tank. I need to change 25% of water at least once a week and even more. This procedure should be quick and not messy.

Here is the procedure- how I did it ...It worked like a breeze!

I bought a 20' plastic tube. The source of water and the drain is about 20' from my tank.
I used my power filter to drain the water. It took less than 5 minutes to drain 30% of my 30G tank.

i) Power filter is switched off
ii) Detached the DiY Co2 pipe from the vent of the power filter. This is important, otherwise tank water will flow into the DiY Co2 bottle.
iii) Attached the adapter for the tap on the end of the tube ad fixed it to the outlet of the power filter

iv) Now run the pump for 5 minutes
v) Detach the adapter from the tank end of the tube and attached it to the tap/ drain end; and attached to the tap
vi) Run the tap for 5 minutes

and in 10 minutes 30% water is changed before I go to my work and while enjoying my breakfast!


Preparing my aquarium for a jungle - Part III

>> Monday, July 27, 2009

Today the second day of my planted world. Everything is going beyond my expectation. DiYCo2 is working fine. Water is crystal clear. Nice movement of is seen on the leaves; as if a soft breeze is blowing over them. The whole tank is lush green.

The few surprises was there for me when I returned from my work. All the plants are taller in length in just one day. some of them grown about 3"! See this photo and compare with previous day's picture.

The next surprise was few purple flowers! Never expected on 2nd day

This is the view of the tank on 2nd day

Another view on the second day


Preparing my aquarium for a junngle - Part II

>> Sunday, July 26, 2009

Today was THE DAY for planting my first planted aquarium. Went to Galiff street to collect the plants from there. With the help of Abhirup, Avik, amd Mithun my first bunch of plants was bought.

I am so thankful to Avik, Abhirup, Jayottam, Anindya - They accompanied me at my home to help my planting.

The beautiful driftwoods were presented to me by Supriyo. Those have changed the whole look of the tank. Missed Amitava due to some of his unavoidable circumstances.

Planting going on

Get a closer look of plantation ceremony

It is time to fill the tank

Snap just after filling the tank

DiY Co2 set up

Thank you Avik this is working fine now! I made some mistake with dilution may be!


View of the tank from side

Final Look of the planted tank on the first day


Preparing my aquarium for a jungle! Part I

>> Friday, July 24, 2009

After gathering information and considering the availability of space I will get @ my home; the tanl size came 36” L* 15” W* 15” H. According to the veterans the size is perfect for beginner.
The points I was told to have the proper substrate, lighting @ 3 watt/gallon with good reflector, Co2 injection, and cooling of the water. Water has to be kept below 28 degree Celsius. The current trend and opinion is towards open tank. At my home d├ęcor I cannot keep open tank. So I had to design a hood with the advantages of open tank!

These are few photos of my initial activities.

This is my aquarium with the wooden hood. It is made of water proof ply and a teak ply suface to give a teak finish to blend with other furniture. I have made this hood little high and kept 1" vent all round for the ventilation, an effort to simulate the open hood environment.

Now it is the time for lighting and temperature control of the tank.

These are the materials I purchased with the help of KA members. Thank you Abhirup for accompanying me. The list are as follows:

1. Stainless steel sheet for reflector
2. 36W PL Osram make lamp (2) with ballast, clamps and holder
3. 18W 2' T8 Osram make (1) with ballast, clamps and holder

These two make 90 Watt. My tank volume is 30G approx. So I made 3Watt / Gallon

4. One AC fan of 4" diameter
5. Wires for wiring
6. Switches for the lamp and fans. I kept a regulator for the fan (I had spare) even!
7. Measuring tape

This is the photo of fixing the Stainless steel sheet to the roof of the hood. It is like mirror!

The fan is being fixed at an angle so that air blows over the surface to cool my jungle.

Wow they are working . Fan is cool!

Now the time is for substrates ald laying the base of the tank. I used laterite base with a topping of sand gravel. thank you Amitava ( KA) for giving me the gravel. here are the photos of my activities.

This is bright laterite

A small layer of laterite is being laid as foundation. Thank you Mithun for the funda :)

Laying the gravel over the laterite carefully.


Surgical stuff for aquarium use

>> Friday, July 17, 2009

Friends, these are the surgical instruments, which can be used for the aquarium use. Price is really affordable! We can change design if we need to. The length of these are seven and a half inch. I will bring these tomorrow to Galiff and discuss further.


Anubias barteri or, Broadleaved anubias

>> Sunday, July 12, 2009

Scientific name:
Anubias barteri var. barteri
Common name: Broadleaved anubias
Origin: West Africa
This common Anubias species is an adaptable and robust plant that can be used in a number of ways in the aquarium. The main root, or rhizome, must be placed above the substrate, preferably attached to rock or bogwood, otherwise it may break down and die. As long as water is available to the root, the plant will grow above water or in bog conditions. The leaves of the broadleaved anubias are thick and sturdy and will survive the attentions of large, boisterous, or herbivorous fish. The plant will live in a wide range of lighting conditions, but in brighter light the leaves are more compact and new leaves grow more quickly.
Maximum height: 12 in (30 cm)
Growth rate: Slow
Area: Background, Midground, Specimen, or unusual
Light: All light conditions.
Temperature: 72-82°F (22-28°C)
Propagation: From side shoots or by dividing the rhizome
Difficulty: Light – not critical. Co2 – Not critical. Beginner’s Plant
The leaves of this Anubias sp. are tough and will withstand many conditions.


Anubius Species for the Planted Aquarium

Anubias plants are a highly robust, undemanding, and adaptable group that can be used in a number of ways in the aquarium. The plants come from various river and stream areas in Africa and are usually found on the edges of waterways and in marsh conditions. They have an adapted rhizome and roots that will attach to solid objects, such as wood or rocks, so substrate conditions are unimportant. With the minor exception of Anubias gracilis, lighting is unimportant; indeed, bright lighting may even slow plant growth. In open-topped aquariums, anubias can be grown out of water, providing the root is either submerged or in very wet conditions. This makes it ideal for use in bog aquariums or paludariums. Some anubias will produce flowers and fruit on long stalks.


Acorus gramineus - Japanese Rush

Environment Required
• Substrate: Plain washed gravel
• Lighting: Not critical
• pH value: 6.8-7.5
• Hardness: Not critical
• Temperature: 15-22 degree C (59-70°F)

Height: Up to 30cm (12in).
Distribution: Eastern Asia.
Characteristics: A slow-growing plant with handsome dark green spiky leaves in fan-shaped clumps. The roots are very tough and wiry.
Aquarium use: This moisture-loving plant is suitable for growing submerged in the aquarium. It thrives at the lower end of the recommended temperature range but does reasonably well in tropical aquariums.
Propagation: Divide the plants by splitting the rhizome.
Varieties: Although the type species is available, the following varieties are more extensively cultivated: Acorus gramineusvar. variegatus, which grows to the same height as the type species but with leaves strikingly striped in yellow. Acorus gramineus var. pussilus. a dwarf form that grows up to 10cm (4in) high and is suitable for foreground planting. Acorus gramineus var. intermedius, a robust form reaching 45cm (18in) high.
An excellent middleground plant for both cool and tropical aquariums.


Basics of designing an aquarium for aquascaping

When you are furnishing and planting an aquarium - a pursuit appropriately known as 'aquascaping' - your first considerations must centre around the position of the tank in the room and its size and accessibility.

Viewpoint and site

Most aquariums are viewed from the front and sides only, with the back against a wall. As a variation on this theme, the tank can be let into a wall or partition, with only the front panel exposed. Alternatively, used as a room divider, an aquarium may have the two long sides and one end on show. And to take things to their logical conclusion, an aquarium may well occupy a central position and be viewed from all round. Remember that all these possibilities demand a different approach when it comes to aquascaping and you should tailor the general advice given here to fit your chosen site and position.
When selecting an aquarium, do bear in mind that it will prove difficult to plant up tanks over 60cm (24in) deep by hand.

Essential planning
Before doing anything else, draw up a plan of how you see the finished aquarium in your mind's eye. It is rather like planning a garden, only on a smaller scale. You do not need to be an artist to prepare a simple sketch -ideally in plan and front views. Look up the size and shape of the plants you consider suitable (You will get to know from the following posts) and draw in the areas they will occupy in relation to the 'hard' furnishings in the aquarium.

To help you make a sensible choice, aquarium plants can be classified according to their form, size and growing characteristics into the following categories:

Floating plants: These, as their name suggests, float on or just below the water surface. Many contain spongy air-filled cells that provide the necessary buoyancy. Some have long roots that hang down in the water that serve as spawning sites for fishes and as refuges for the resulting fry. All floating plants afford shade to the other plants and fishes in the aquarium. Some of the floating plants are: Limnobium laevigatum, Pistia stratiotes. Riccia fluitansand Saivinia auriculata.

Bunch plants: So-called because they are best planted in 'bunches' of rootless top cuttings, these plants root in the substrate and grow towards the surface without any definite limit to their spread. They consist of long stems with the leaves arranged in opposition, alternately or in whorls, and they are ideal for planting as a background in the aquarium. Typical bunch plants featured include: Ammannia senegatensis, Bacopa carolmiana. Cabombacaroliniana, Cardamine lyrata, Egeria densa, Gymnocoronis spilanthoides, Heteranthera zosterifolia, Hottoniainflata, Hygrophila polysperma, Limnophila aquatica. Ludwigia mulledii. Myriophyllum hippuroides, Nomaphila stricta, Rotala macrandra, Synnema triflorum and Trichoronis rivularis.

Specimen plants: Normally large and imposing, these species are usually planted in the middleground of the aquarium to create a striking design feature. Most plants used as specimens produce leaves in a rosette formation. They include; Aponogeton crispus, A.madagascariensis. A.ulvaceus, Barclaya longitolia, Echinodorus corditolius, Echinodorus ma/orand Echinodorus paniculatus.

Deep marginal plants: These plants grow from bulbs, corms or tubers, and produce long stems bearing terminal leaves. Some leaves float on the surface; others are completely submerged. Use these plants in the middleground. background or in the back corners of the aquarium. The water lilies Nymphaea maculata and Nymphaeastellata. plus some of the Aponogetons, can be considered as deep marginal plants.

Middleground plants: Generally in the form of rosettes, these plants are similar to but smaller than specimen plants. Many Cryptocorynes fit into this category.

Foreground plants: These small plants for the front of the tank may be miniature rosette-forming species, such as Cryptocoryne nevilliian6 dwarf varieties of Cryptocoryne wendtii or plants with creeping rootstocks such as Lilaeopsis novae-zelandiaeand Marsilea crenata. Other foreground plants include: Anubias nana, Armoracia aquatica, Blyxajaponica, Eieocharis acicularis, Hydrocotyle vulgaris and Samolus parviflorus.

Furnishing the tank

Once you are satisfied with the design of your aquascape and have chosen the plants to be included, the next stage is to assemble all the furnishing materials you will need, such as gravel, rocks, bogwood plus any artificial equivalents. It is also advisable to have some suitable adhesive available, such as silicone aquarium sealant, in order to anchor items firmly in place or build up structures from smaller pieces.

First, clean the glass thoroughly both inside and out, taking particular care to remove finger marks, dust and stray fragments of silicone sealant remaining after manufacture. Next, blank out the non-viewing sides with custom-made backing panels or by applying several coats of a suitable emulsion paint to the outside of the tank.

Before adding the gravel, always wash it in running water. Place a quantity of gravel in a bowl and run in water from a hose until the batch is clean. Repeat the process with further batches until all the gravel has been washed. It is surprising how much gravel you need to provide a respectable looking layer. For the minimum ideal depth of 7.5cm (3in) at the back sloping to 5cm (2in) at the front, you will need 6.4 kilos (14lb) of gravel per 900 cm3 (1 ft) of floor area.

Before putting the gravel in the tank, you may wish to incorporate a suitable growing medium or, substrate. Also consider the installation of any filtration and/or heating systems . Once these arrangements are complete, add the washed gravel carefully to the tank, sloping it as desired.

Planted and left like this, the action of gravity and rooting fishes would soon reduce such a carefully constructed slope into a uniform plain. To prevent this happening, construct a series of terraces to hold the gravel in position. Fix suitable pieces of rockwork, bogwood or simulated furnishings end to end to create the terrace boundaries. You may need to glue small stones or pebbles into any gaps between odd-shaped pieces.

Once the terracing is complete, install custom-made synthetic pieces to hide filters and heaters, and then add other furnishings to complete the 'artistic' elements of your design. Fill the tank three-quarters full (to prevent spillage when planting) and check that all the electrical apparatus is working. This will include checking that the heater raises the water temperature to the correct level to prevent any thermal shock to tropical plants. The tank is now ready for planting. For safety's sake, always disconnect the electricity supply while you are planting the aquarium.

Planting the aquarium

Check new plants carefully for signs of damage, dying back and unwanted visitors, such as beetles and snails. Rinse the plants in clean water, trim back old brown roots to healthy white tissue using a sharp knife and remove any decaying or yellowing leaves.

Start planting the aquarium at the front, gently pushing rootstocks into the gravel with your fingers and firming the gravel around them, Wrap several rootless cuttings together to form natural looking clumps and insert them into the gravel, having first stripped the lower leaves from the stems. Place pebbles around the base to anchor the cuttings and prevent fishes disturbing them. Plant tubers at an angle of 45°, ensuring that the growing tip is just exposed above the gravel.


My First day with Kolkata Aquarium Club @ Galiff Street.

>> Saturday, July 11, 2009

Enjoyed the first day with you (Members of Kolkata Aquarium Club) at Galiff street today on July 12th 2009. You guys know so much about this Aqua stuff. I am impressed really. I will take you help in all steps of my new set up of planted aquarium.

Here are the photos of the Galiff street today. I don't know the names of any of them.You please give the details if required.







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