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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
5 x Elodea Densa
1 x Aponogetum Crispus
10 x Amazon Sword
5 x Twisted Vallisneria
5 x Hygrophylia Polysperma
10 x Mayaca Fluritalis
5 x Ludwigian Natans
5 x Hydrilla Verticiliata
5 x Echinodorus Latifolious
5 x Rotalla Macrandra
5 x Cabomba Caroliana
5 x Ludwigia Mullerii
5 x Cryptocoryne Wendtii
5 x Straight Vallisneria
10 x Sagittaria Natans
5 x Rotalla Indica
5 x Bacopa Monnerii
5 Eleocharis Parvulus (Dwarf Hairgrass)

Most plants mentioned are in this tank, the rest are in a 40 gallon that isn't ready for showing yet.



Lighting is <1WPG on a cycle as follows:

7am - 12noon ON
12-1pm OFF
1pm-6pm ON
6pm-6.30 OFF
6.30-10.30 ON

This keeps algae at bay pretty efficiently whilst allowing the plants plenty of light.

Obviously a sand substrate, nothing in it by now in regards to nute's - needs enrichment but I haven't got the time to go out and get it. Red Sea Daily Dose is all it gets at the moment actually, I'm out of the other half of the mix but it doesn't seem to matter...

The Rotkeil, chillin'
Click to see them properly!


Killin' (pellet hunting)


Frame fillin' (show-off).


Three pretty distinct moods eh! --> :D :drooling: :x

Waiting to hear on potential WC Bolivians :) Ahem, I'm ahem, also getting some tank raised to go with my male

Shhh.

:thumb:
 

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That last shot is great. That's a good looking fish. :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks everyone!

jcushing - he's a gentle giant, rarely will he chase any fish, it doesn't matter where they are or what they are. I think since I've had him he's only eaten a couple, he loves his NLS pellets and even if I haven't fed him for a few days he still waits patiently..... His preference is shrimp, he loves shrimpin' like I love weekends...

G'day (evenin'?) Peter, yeah he's got some little buddies to terrorize for a while :lol:. Actually he's really well behaved and all but ignores them - I'm telling you the big Keyhole is convinced he's a young severum, too many classic moments where the Rotter goes to the surface looking for food and just behind him you have this little (big) keyhole imitating the exact position :lol:, he's a funny one:



One of the really young'uns (a pair who stick together and share the same pit at night, very entertaining).


In fact everyone just leaves each other alone, the P. Taeniatus need to come out and go into another tank as they are about the only aggravating force and they really do dominate everyone, Rotkeil included. With them gone about 1/2 the groundspace is back! Waiting for them to raise their fry to a point where I can hoik them out...

This tank is only a couple of weeks into this scape so I'm waiting for the foreground plants to spread, another couple of weeks and I should be on the way.

:thumb:
 

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Blair, I tried to stop myself from looking...You stress me out with your pics!

I see now why I can't do a planted tank. You need a schedule and a plan.

I'm not great at either.

But I do want a severum just like that one!

Looks great, but I knew it would, without even looking!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hehe, thanks for your kind words Kim.

I'm sure you could master a planted tank in no time, shoot, I'm barely here at the moment, it's probably just something in my water eh! I know you like to dismiss your abilities but Kim, I bet if you really wanted a planted tank, you'd have an amazing one. :thumb:

Just to tie the two in, I will continue this discussion in this thread here (forum was having issues on posting time out's - apologies for the resulting multiple postings.)
http://www.cichlid-forum.com/phpBB/view ... 54#1181354
 

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No, Blair, I kill anything green. :(

We have houseplants, but I'm not allowed to touch them.

I've tried the planted tanks. In fact, we had a fish geek party last summer and someone asked me how I kept my plants in such good shape (in my SA tank). I laughed and said that I just ran out and bought them the night before to replace the dead ones before they all came. She thought I was kidding. I wasn't.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
:lol:

Kim, I love your style.

I reckon it's the water, that's what it is, must be that Ontario water that does it :p. What exactly is the problem with your planted tanks? I found that less = much more, as I said earlier - this tank has no root ferts for the plants and so far I have only dosed nutes on two different days (24hour replenishment nutes) so it's essentially without nutrients, our water here is the best in the UK and has very little of anything in it, so I figure the answer is in the low level of light.

As soon as I get around 2wpg things start going nuts and plants either really take off or just die completely/get covered in algae and I find it a real pita to upkeep that sort of growth rate. It's a dedication that takes a lot of time I just don't have, when I have more time I'd look at it. But my preference is the nice and easy lo-tech, gets on it with it, no complaints, cheap and cheerful route.

The SA tank is the one you wanted planted, do you remember what plants you tried? How much light is over it and what spectrum (I semi-recall going over this way back when but can't remember the specifics)? Finally - what's your water like out the tap? Can you measure the TDS/EC? I reckon you'd have more luck with plants under less light, potentially..... Unless it really is in that Ontario water!

:)
 

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I don't remember all the plants...I'm also terrible with names. The bulbs I was using were for planted tanks, but I don't remember the wattage, either. :lol:

I'm not sure what I ate for lunch yesterday, for what it's worth...Or did I forget to eat lunch???

I know I had some valisneria, and they did horribly. There was one plant that I had semi-success with, "cry-something or another"??? Kind of mossy, grew really fast?

I have no idea what TDS/EC are, so odds are, I won't get proper measurements! :wink:

I had sand substrate and added some of the flourite in the plant areas, and used "Flourish" by Seachem weekly, but only at half the recommended dosage...That's what someone suggested to me, but I can't remember who they were either...

See how frustrating I can be?

I like silk. It's nice. :thumb:
 

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that sev is georgous tank looks great too!
 

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Love the new 'scape Blair!

Man, your Rotkeil is looking spectacular. :thumb:

Kim: I have the same problem with greens... Despite all my efforts, I can't keep plants alive. For some of us it's just not meant to be I suppose. :lol:

At least we get to enjoy the success of others; even if only in pictures. :)

Keep up the great work Blair!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Oh Kim, you're not at all frustrating, funny, but definitely not frustrating. I suppose it's just as well you like silk eh! :lol:

Thanks tannable for the nice comments!

cuddlefish
Hey bro good to hear from you, thanks for dropping in!

The new scape is growing like mad I have to keep pruning it back every couple of days to stop it from going totally nuts - got the aponogeton flowering and got 3 nice lily pads hitting the surface - a new one every 3-4 days so it's getting there. Frankly I was really shocked with this low level of light but there you have it.

Some more pics - this time of the young Keyholes:






They're the best of buddies, it's very funny and the larger Keyhole just seems completely oblivious to their presence, either that or he's got himself so convinced that he's actually a Rotkeil that he doesn't see the issue.... :lol:

Updated tank shot after the WC and prune tomorrow.
 

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Wow I am impressed....less than one watt per gallon and enough growth to require pruning...congrats! The set-up looks great. My planted attempts are never so successful, but I won't stop trying.

Those keyholes are freaking sweet looking. I really need to quit messing around and get a pair.

A question, how did you get the picture of your keyholes to look like that.....where the fish are really defined and the background is pitch black....I've been trying for that look and can't get it down. Is it all about camera quality or technique?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hi LJ, thanks for your kind words.

Keyholes are funny little guys with bags of personality and plenty of erratic behaviour to keep you amused, I've found them to be fairly laid back and easy SA community fish, but it does depend on the individual character a lot as well. You should get some....

Re the pics - you have a flash positioned above the subject and also use the onboard flash to fill from the front. Because we expose for the flash, the light outside of the flash is not bright enough to "expose" the film - hence the black background. Occasionally you will find that some reflective bits show through (ie a silver fish in the background) and these are simply removed with cloning or are "burnt" out during the post production stage.

For those interested, I use a canon EOS 20D with the standard 18-55mm lens, onboard for fill, £5-10 rollei external flash for overhead.

With flash I usually shoot at:
ISO 100
s/s 160/s
f-22

EDIT- The pics above were actually quite blue in colour cast, the update I performed has gone through and the ones above should have the correct colour balance.

:thumb:
 

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love that sev of yours, just wish mine would get along with plants a little better!! Do you find the low lighting makes yours less skittish?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks Andrew,

You know it may be the low light level that helps keep him so calm, but honestly I don't know, he's just a completely chilled out dude. If he wore clothes they'd probably be made from hemp...

:lol:
 
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