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Tom's Bucket O' Mud
August 7, 2011
8:54 pm
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BigTom
Edinburgh
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I thought as I'd signed up in order to see all the excellent photos and information on here that I should probably make a contribution!

Here are some shots of the inhabitants of my largely self sustaining setup, which is 3' x 3' square and 1' high. Planted with a wide variety of submerged, emergent and riparian plants and populated by 4 Otocinclus affinis, 6 Parosphromenus 'sintangensis' (thanks Colin!), 7 Bororas maculatus, several hundred cherry shrimp and a bunch of other microfauna.

Unfiltered, but heated and lit. I do sometimes provide some supplemental feeding, but am often away from home for 6 weeks or so, in which case it looks after itself. It's been running since last Christmas, so far so good!

Parosphromenus 'sintangensis' (male) :
[Image Can Not Be Found]

Parosphromenus 'sintangensis' (female):
[Image Can Not Be Found]

Bororas maculatus (male):
[Image Can Not Be Found]

Otocinclus affinis:
[Image Can Not Be Found]

Neocaridina heteropoda var. "red" (female):
[Image Can Not Be Found]

And where they all live:

[Image Can Not Be Found]

August 7, 2011
10:43 pm
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ender2811
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Very interesting setup /thumbs_up.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":thumbsup:" border="0" alt="thumbs_up.gif" />
How often do u change the water in there? Are the cherries also a food source or just clean up?

August 8, 2011
7:00 am
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Matt
Málaga, Spain
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Very cool indeed. What other visible forms of microfauna have you seen?

Cake or death?
August 8, 2011
7:47 am
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BigTom
Edinburgh
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Thanks. Yep, baby cherries are one of the important food sources. There are also several types of snail, planaria, gammarus, hyella, a species of benthic daphnia, ostracods, cyclops, nematodes, some sort of little black crustacea that live underneath the floating plants, and even a couple of leeches that I removed. Some i added deliberately, many just came in on plants.

EDIT - ender, I change maybe 20% every couple of months, other than that I just top off the evaporation.

August 8, 2011
7:48 am
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Colin
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Hi Tom, good to see the progress here too /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

Did you put the Mexican Gammarus in there too?

August 8, 2011
7:55 am
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BigTom
Edinburgh
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Ah yes, they're in there too! To be honest, haven't really spotted them since they went in, same with the native gammarus and the hyella. Hopefully they're under the leaf litter somewhere and didn't all get instantly munched on.

August 8, 2011
2:57 pm
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oaken
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So cool! More pics of the tank please /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

August 8, 2011
3:00 pm
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BigTom
Edinburgh
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Need to get some new ones of the tank, will update sometime this week.

August 13, 2011
4:41 pm
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coelacanth
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Lovely and very unusual display, more pictures would be most appreciated.

October 4, 2011
6:28 pm
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BigTom
Edinburgh
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I got myself a new toy last weekend (Panasonic GH2), and decided to point it at the tank whilst figuring out what all the buttons did. As a crash course in videography it actually made a very useful subject.

The footage is pretty rough because it's so dimly lit that i had to shoot at about 10fps and interpolate the extra frames, but I know some people have been asking for a video of the tank and inhabitants, so here you go!

Welcome to the premiere of my debut film, "Parosphromenus: A love story (in 2 parts)" /laugh.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid="Laugh" border="0" alt="laugh.gif" />

Is it possible to embed vimeo links?

PS. I apologise if this isn't 'serious' enough, there are fish involved though /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

October 5, 2011
12:25 am
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BallAquatics
Tremont City Ohio, USA pop.640
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That's brilliant Tom, loved every minute of it!

Dennis

October 5, 2011
2:33 am
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Plaamoo
Bellingham, Washington U.S.A.
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Excellent! Would love to hear more details about how you set up and maintain this little garden of Eden!

October 5, 2011
8:43 am
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BigTom
Edinburgh
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Cheers guys.

Plaamoo, it's all pretty straightforward. Just takes a while for everything to mature. Substrate is a lean compost cut 50/50 with sand and capped with pure sand. Hardsape is just rocks and locally collected heather twigs. Emergent plants are either planted in the substrate or in shower caddies filled with hydroton and attached to the side. Some of these are just normal houseplants from the garden center, which take a few weeks to adjust to aquaculture (they have to grow new root systems). Lighting is a 70 Watt metal halide suspended 2 feet above the water (cheapshop spot light from ebay), which gives reasonable penetration without being too bright for the gouramis.

Once everything was planted I waited about a month for the plants to adapt and for the initial ammonia spike to pass then added the shrimp, otos and a few other inverts - lots had arrived already on the aquatic plants. Once the shrimp population was looking good (about 3 months in) I added the rasboras, then the gouramis after another month or so when I was sure the food chain was stable.

Tank is now 10 months old and doesn't require any more maintenance than topping up the water and replacing the beech, oak and ketapang leaves as they are broken down. I do do a small water change every couple of months and supplement the feeding a bit when I happen to be home, but I don't feel it's essential.

October 5, 2011
9:12 am
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Matt
Málaga, Spain
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It's a really interesting set-up - great video too! /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

Cake or death?
October 5, 2011
3:55 pm
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Plaamoo
Bellingham, Washington U.S.A.
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Thanks Tom! Sounds really simple.

October 5, 2011
4:13 pm
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BigTom
Edinburgh
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Aye, that's the whole point! Just needs patience and a bit of pragmatism really.

October 5, 2011
7:43 pm
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oaken
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Loving the tank and amazing video!

October 13, 2011
11:51 am
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BigTom
Edinburgh
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As winter draws ever nearer (in Scotland anyway!), I thought I should take a few shot sof the rather nice light that diffuses into the tank in the mornings...

[Image Can Not Be Found]

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[Image Can Not Be Found]

October 13, 2011
12:50 pm
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Colin
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very nice /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" /> I get the same effect through my bucket of lineatus mud - very natural looking

October 13, 2011
1:42 pm
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BigTom
Edinburgh
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Yeah, it's my favourite time to look at the tank, before the big light comes on in the morning. That's when the paros tend to be most active too.

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