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Krishan's 130 Litre Tank Community Journal


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#1 kram

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 08:20 PM

Hello Guys,

I thought id start a journal for you guys to see how far ive come in this hobby.

A little bit about my self, I am 21 years old and live with my parents. I live in Ilford, Essex and currently doing a BA honours on Business Management at Greenwich University, Ill be going in my final year now.

From a little boy, Ive always had fish, ill admit my first fish was a goldfish in a bowl with no filteration, I know how bad lol

I have had small tanks, and worked my way up to the current one I have now.

In 2006 we purchased a TropiQuarium 88 with a internal filter and heater for £235 brand new from Transquility Aquatics in Chadwell Heath. The only reason we loved this aquarium was that it had a automatic switch built in, whereby the lights come and go. However as the years have gone by, it has stopped working now hence why you can see that white switch on the front.

Anyways I will shush for now and post some pictures of the tank.

This is the tank in 2006.

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#2 kram

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 08:23 PM

The colourful gravel stayed until 2010, when we decided to change the background and the gravel to sand. After careful consideration it was decided to change to Argos Playsand, mainly as it was cheap.

We put 2 bags on playsand in here, so thats 30kg!

Here the tank is from 2010 - 2013

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#3 kram

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 08:46 PM

The internal filter was used from 2006 - 2013, thats a grand use of 7 years of it.

I thought its best to get rid of it now and get myself a new toy.

So after much thought I took the plunge and ordered myself a All Pond Solutions Filter 1400 L/H with the UV light.

Here is a picture of it just opened.

It has been set up with the tank and running all smoothly, its a great filter and its very silent.

Money well spent I think!

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#4 kram

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 08:59 PM

Today I made a start in redoing this tank, as I had enough of Argos playsand, for me it was too bright and the poop is very visable. If you guys are going for Argos playsand please note it is light, and it doesnt really show the true colours of the fish!

So the new sand that I have ordered that will be delivered tomorrow is the Unipac Black Sand, which can be found here http://www.ebay.co.u...=item2ebdcacbee

For me I decided to change the background from a shiny blue to actually now paint it black.

The reason why I decided to paint it was that the water goes inbetween the background and the glass and it doesnt look appealing!

Anyways here are some pictures from today!

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What a mess the sand can make!!

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#5 kram

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 09:09 PM

After nearly the whole day spending cleaning the tank, it came to look like this!

The background still needed to be taken down and the double sided tape I was dreading taking it off!

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Now the tank was empty it was time to take it apart, remove it from the stand and take the background off. It took forever but im sure the results after will be well worth it.

To take the double sided tape off the aquarium you can use warm water and a sponge to take it off, or just a scraper. The best thing that worked for me was rubbing lemon juice on the glass and scraping it off, works a treat!
Here is a link to the topic I started asking for help on the double sided tape. http://www.aqcenter....-from-aquarium/

After a few hours the tank was ready to paint this was the exciting bit. I went Homebase and purchased a Matt black paint. Its a all multi purpose paint, however it did not state whether it will stick to the glass or not? Only time will tell I suppose lol.

Here is the tank getting prepared with masking tape

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After a few minutes the first coat of it was on the glass, it looked well good and I am naff at painting!!

Another coat before I go sleep me thinks and another tomorrow morning shall do the trick me thinks?

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Tomorrows job is to clean the unipac sand that comes!

Hope you guys enjoy reading this journal, please comment away, good or bad :flowers:

#6 Akasha

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 09:10 PM

View Postkram, on 12 September 2013 - 08:59 PM, said:

What a mess the sand can make!!

That's why I told you suck it out with the syphon!! :lol:

#7 kram

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 09:14 PM

I know you told me, but I thought I would be brave and scoop it out, boy that was a wrong move, I was covered with it. Least its done now! no more play sand :drool:

View PostAkasha, on 12 September 2013 - 09:10 PM, said:

That's why I told you suck it out with the syphon!! :lol:


#8 Kuro

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 05:36 AM

Dork should of suctioned that all out. :P
XD Gah your a determined fish owner I'll give you that. Posted Image

This is what my 20 long looked like when i first set it up. I was able to clean out all the white sand when replacing it with a darker sand in probably... 10-20 minutes by syphoning.
But alas it wouldn't be fish owning if we didn't learn from everything we did ^__^

Can't wait to see more progress, your giving me inspiration to do the same to my tank. Great job on painting the background. How many coats of paint have you applied so far?

My Black Water Biotope

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#9 kram

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 03:59 PM

Hi Guys,

Well the sand arrived today via DPD at 12:30, and got stuck in straight away. Boy was it hard as it was raining on top, but after a good few hours its done!!

I haven’t put the fish in yet, thought let it clear up and in an hour or so put the fish in their new improved home for them to explore, its only 12 guppies lol.

Anyways here is a picture of the sand that just arrived.

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#10 kram

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 04:05 PM

After a good few hours cleaning the sand, it was time to put it into the aquarium.

Here is a picture when the sand was nearly in.

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Its time to start filling the tank now! I put a plate in there so the sand doesnt get disturbed much when filling.

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Nearly done :hyper:

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And here is the finished product!!
Still bit cloudy, but it should be good as gold in a few hours, hopefully the new external filter does its job!

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I will upload a better picture in a couple hours :geek:

Edited by kram, 13 September 2013 - 04:05 PM.


#11 kram

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 04:10 PM

Hi Kuro, thanks for the kind words, its a learning curve and lets face it we are never satisfyed with how the tank looks!

I did 2 coats last night and another this morning before the sand came, leaving enough time for it to dry. So in total I did 3 coats, but it does look much much better than the background you stick with tape or whatever! Painting is the way to go now!

10-20 mins taking out the sand! wow it took me a good 2 hours or so but like I said its all a learning curve :hyper:



View PostKuro, on 13 September 2013 - 05:36 AM, said:

Dork should of suctioned that all out. :P
XD Gah your a determined fish owner I'll give you that.

This is what my 20 long looked like when i first set it up. I was able to clean out all the white sand when replacing it with a darker sand in probably... 10-20 minutes by syphoning.
But alas it wouldn't be fish owning if we didn't learn from everything we did ^__^

Can't wait to see more progress, your giving me inspiration to do the same to my tank. Great job on painting the background. How many coats of paint have you applied so far?


#12 Akasha

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 04:18 PM

looking good :D

I can't really tell by the photo but have you pushed the sand to the back and made it slope toward the front? That's an aquascaping trick to give the aquascape more depth.

How are you planning to decorate? Real or natural plant? wood or rock or a bit of both? I love watching new scapes taking shape :D

#13 kram

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 04:30 PM

Hi Akasha,

I didnt even notice the slope, the aim was to keep all the sand even lol, however it does look good pushing it to the back and making a slope, may do something later on or just leave it.

The plans not entirely sure at the present moment of time, I was planning on changing the entire stock and moving away from community, however not sure what is possible in this tank.

There is a small bogwood that will go back into the tank, but Im planning on getting either a much bigger piece of bogwood or redmoor that is like a centre piece of the aquarium and then surrounding the back and front with live plants.

I see lots of members who have live plants and theirs survive, mine die after a couple months lol so given up on it. I did used to feed them JBL Ferroplor, but in the log run it was quite expensive.

I dont think I want to plunge into getting a co2 either yet, so not sure whats possible with the live plants area!


View PostAkasha, on 13 September 2013 - 04:18 PM, said:

looking good :D

I can't really tell by the photo but have you pushed the sand to the back and made it slope toward the front? That's an aquascaping trick to give the aquascape more depth.

How are you planning to decorate? Real or natural plant? wood or rock or a bit of both? I love watching new scapes taking shape :D


#14 Jenste

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 04:38 PM

This tank is coming out fantastic!    Congrats.

And don't feel bad - - I emptied out the sand from my 72 gallon bow front by hand....NIGHTMARE

72 gallon -  Community Tank - Leopard Bushfish, Bolivian Ram, Neon Tetra, Guppy, Honey Gourami, Bristlenose Plec

26 gallon - Work in Progress

20 gallon long - Paludarium for Fire Belly Toads


#15 Kuro

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 05:27 PM

Hmmm not to pimp myself out but I've been able to supply a small number of people (Snazy, Ian and jojouk) on this forum with manzanita at a very fair price. If your looking for Say manzanita? Let me know, I can set you up with a large box of random pieces for 40 bucks plus shipping. Just let me know what your looking for and when I go up i'll make sure to grab pieces matching your description, you'd be able to see all the pieces individually as well for better selection if you want.

I have access to acres of it and might be able to find pieces your wanting.

Btw as you've set up just sand your going to want o find a plants that aren't heavy root feeders unless you supplement them first with something they can drain nutrients from. I was a fool and set up a just sand tank and my plants did well in the beginning but all started to die and shrink, I soon switched to dirt with gravel cap and they are all doing amazing now.

If your not wanting to set up a planted tank their are many benefits that come from setting up a black water aquarium. While I am a supporter of plants I live both worlds by having a 10g planted dirted aquarium, and a 20 long black water tank. (Just sand, leaf litter and manzanita)

My Black Water Biotope

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#16 kram

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Posted 14 September 2013 - 07:27 PM

Hi guys, thanks for the kind words.

Kuro - Thanks for the offer, Ill have a look what I can find here and which route I want to go and shall let you know.

As regards to plants, I was just thinking of going with the normal ones, java fern, vallis and anubias, but nothing is definite as of yet lol

#17 Kuro

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Posted 14 September 2013 - 07:32 PM

View Postkram, on 14 September 2013 - 07:27 PM, said:

Hi guys, thanks for the kind words.

Kuro - Thanks for the offer, Ill have a look what I can find here and which route I want to go and shall let you know.

As regards to plants, I was just thinking of going with the normal ones, java fern, vallis and anubias, but nothing is definite as of yet lol


Good plan on those plants! ^__^

Edited by Kuro, 14 September 2013 - 07:47 PM.

My Black Water Biotope

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#18 kram

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Posted 14 September 2013 - 07:32 PM

After a couple of hours last night the tank looked clear enough, so I decided to pop the fishes back in and let them roam around.

By changing the sand or even the background to black, it does show the colours more of the fish, which I never saw before. The tails of the guppies now look amazing, all the different colours that they flutter when they are swimming.

Heres a picture for you all to see.

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#19 Akasha

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Posted 14 September 2013 - 08:09 PM

View Postkram, on 14 September 2013 - 07:27 PM, said:


As regards to plants, I was just thinking of going with the normal ones, java fern, vallis and anubias, but nothing is definite as of yet lol

The only plant on that list that could be a problem is Vallis. What does your PH run at? Vallis doesn't like low PH, I know this cos I've just given up on it!! It just rots in my soft water.
I've also read on other threads that it's difficult to grow depending on the water. From my understanding it's fine if your PH is in the higher 7's and the water is slightly hard. Of course someone else might disagree with that and be able to grow it fine in soft water.

The rest of the plants on your list will be fine in most water types. Java fern and anubias will need to be tied to rock or wood as they don't like having their roots in the substrate.
Other good plants would be echinodorus (sometimes known as amazon sword) cryptocoryne - and there are loads of different types of crypts, alternanthera is another hardy plant and you can get it in varying types too. I have a pink one that adds a bit of interest to the scape when dotted about amongst the greens.

Good luck with choosing plants. A good rule of thumb to remember is larger leafed plants will make the tank look smaller and smaller leafed plants will make it look larger.
Have a look at various plants, and check their requirements - most of them have a card in their pots that will tell you how much they'll spread, how tall they'll get and what their PH range is :D

#20 kram

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Posted 14 September 2013 - 08:46 PM

Hello Akasha,

I am not sure what I should do first, whether to go for plants or actually get the stock in. Around my area the PH is around 8 – 8.3 so yeah its higher than 7. The anubias and java fern will be tied up to rock or bogwood.

I was thinking on getting the stock first, and actually narrowing it down to which way to go, may start a new topic to see what ideas fellow members come up with as I want to move away from community fish, and go like to malawi's fish or something and then plan then the layout bogwood and rock, and go down the plants path last. :D

View PostAkasha, on 14 September 2013 - 08:09 PM, said:

The only plant on that list that could be a problem is Vallis. What does your PH run at? Vallis doesn't like low PH, I know this cos I've just given up on it!! It just rots in my soft water.
I've also read on other threads that it's difficult to grow depending on the water. From my understanding it's fine if your PH is in the higher 7's and the water is slightly hard. Of course someone else might disagree with that and be able to grow it fine in soft water.

The rest of the plants on your list will be fine in most water types. Java fern and anubias will need to be tied to rock or wood as they don't like having their roots in the substrate.
Other good plants would be echinodorus (sometimes known as amazon sword) cryptocoryne - and there are loads of different types of crypts, alternanthera is another hardy plant and you can get it in varying types too. I have a pink one that adds a bit of interest to the scape when dotted about amongst the greens.

Good luck with choosing plants. A good rule of thumb to remember is larger leafed plants will make the tank look smaller and smaller leafed plants will make it look larger.
Have a look at various plants, and check their requirements - most of them have a card in their pots that will tell you how much they'll spread, how tall they'll get and what their PH range is :D