My Photography

My Photography
Off topic post, recently a bit active in photo shooting more than aquascape. The reason why I do that is to understand the nature, like Mr Takashi Amano does. So is a helpful skill to develop our aquascaping and some nature behaviour. The place I am staying has such a limited stone scape, but worth for deep in study of the formation. If you like my photography, please drop a 'LIKE' on my link. Thank you very much.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Pity Downoi is Alive!

Poor little Downoi (Pogostemon helferi) is alive! I am saving it's life from the old tank, previously had grown up nearly to 20 plants, just a lack of good care cause everything has gone, just found the last small pity plant hiding in a dark corner. And now, it is alive, must take serious good care on it to grow more plants.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Just added Ember Tetra (Hyphessobrycon amandae)

Last 2 days visited to a local fish shop(LFS) and bought these small size fish, in fact never saw Ember Tetra before, totally no idea the fish characteristic, but that 2cm maximum length attracted me. I was thinking to have some small fish in the tank, but normally found the 4~5cm in size, it is a bit too big for me, these 2cm Ember Tetra really rare and hard to find in any LFS.

Saw some others has the redish color fish, but what I have is the orange color species, I am still thinking the color has a bit wash out, need to adjust the water condition to see any changes. Here are some info found from the internet.

Family : Characidae

Distribution : Rio Araguaia basin, Brazil.

Habitat : Inhabits quiet tributaries off the main river channels, backwaters and oxbow lakes. It often gathers under cover of overhanging or marginal vegetation.

Maximum Standard Length : 0.8" (2cm)

Minimum Tank Size : A standard 18" x 12" x 12" (45cm x 30cm x 30cm) - 42 litre tank is easily big enough for a shoal of these.

Tank Setup : A biotope setup would be very simple to arrange. Use a substrate of river sand and add a few driftwood branches (if you can't find driftwood of the desired shape, common beech is safe to use if thoroughly dried and stripped of bark) and twisted roots. A few handfuls of dried leaves (again beech can be used, or oak leaves are also suitable) would complete the natural feel. Aquatic plants are not a feature of this species' natural waters. Allow the wood and leaves to stain the water the colour of weak tea, removing old leaves and replacing them every few weeks so they don't rot and foul the water. A small net bag filled with aquarium-safe peat can be added to the filter to aid in the simulation of black water conditions. Use fairly dim lighting.

Alternatively, it also does well in a well maintained, heavily planted tank. As any of these seen for sale will almost certainly be wild caught a more general setup is not really suitable.

Temperature : 75-82°F (24-28°C)

pH Range : 5.5-7.0. It tends to appear a little pale and washed out when kept in alkaline conditions.

Hardness : 1-10°H

Diet : Omnivorous and will accept just about anything offered. It does have a small mouth, though, so correspondingly-sized foods are best. Feed a mixture of dried flakes and granules and small live and frozen foods. A varied diet, such as this, is essential for the best colour development.

Compatibility : It's a very peaceful species that won't compete well with very boisterous or much larger tankmates. The tiny adult size means it also makes a tasty snack for many commonly kept species, such as angelfish or some gouramis. Ideally, keep it with other quiet South Americans, such as small tetras, pencil fish, Apistogrammadwarf cichlids, dwarf Corydoras and Otocinclus. It could also be combined with smaller cyprinids and Anabantoids if geography isn't an issue.

Always buy a group of at least 6 of these, preferably 10 or more. It is a shoaling species by nature, and will fare much better when in the company of its own kind. Like most tetras it actually looks far more effective when maintained like this anyway.

Sexual Dimorphism : Females are stockier than males, particularly when in spawning condition.

Breeding : Can be bred in a similar way to other species in the genus. You'll need to set up a separate tank if you want to raise decent numbers of fry. Something around 18" x 10" x 10" in size is fine, and you could even get away with something a little smaller. This should be very dimly lit and contain clumps of fine-leaved plants such as java moss or spawning mops, to give the fish somewhere to deposit their eggs. Alternatively, you could cover the base of the tank with some kind of mesh. This should be of a large enough grade so that the eggs can fall through it, but small enough so that the adults cannot reach them. The water should be soft and acidic in the range pH 5.5-6.5, gH 1-5, with a temperature of around 80-84°F. Filtering the water through peat is useful, as is the use of RO water. A small air-powered sponge filter bubbling away very gently is all that is needed in terms of filtration.

It can be spawned in a group, with half a dozen specimens of each sex being a good number. Condition these with plenty of small live foods and spawning should not present too many problems.

Alternatively, it can be spawned in pairs. Under this technique, the fish are conditioned in male and female groups in separate tanks. When the females are noticeably full of eggs and the males are displaying their best colours, select the fattest female and best-coloured male and transfer them to the spawning tank in the evening. They should spawn the following morning.

In either situation, the adults will eat the eggs given the chance and should be removed as soon as eggs are noticed. These will hatch in 24-36 hours, with the fry becoming free swimming 3-4 days later. They should be fed on an infusoria-type food for the first few days, until they are large enough to accept microworm or brine shrimp nauplii.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

DIY a L-pole to suspend the light

It is a pretty fast & simple materials to DIY a light pole/bracket for your aquarium light to a suspend type, first of all need to buy some materials from hardware shop:

1.) L1800mm~2100mm shower curtain rod - RM15.90 (approx US$4.95)
2.) L900mm~1200mm shower curtain rod - RM12.90 (approx. US$4.00)
3.) Curtain wire from IKEA - RM19 (approx. US$5.90)
4.) U shape plastic clip & holder 2 sets - RM2.00 (approx. US$0.65)
5.) Metal wire robe clamp 2 nos. - RM1.80 (approx. US$0.55)
6.) PVC T join for plumbing - RM1.50 (approx. US$0.45)

In total spent of RM52.05(US$16.50) to DIY it. How to make it? From the photos below tell more than words.

join 2 metal rod with this PVC T join. (My cousin complained it does a bit ugly look, but no other parts can replace it at the moment.)

U shape plastic clip & holder to firm the bottom part of metal rod.

U shape plastic clip & holder to firm the middle part of metal rod.

Curtain wire set included this metal wall fitting from IKEA, screwed it on the aluminium light case.

Wire robe clamp to tighten the metal wire.

Here is the final product, it isn't ugly look with all these materials easily found in any hardware shop.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Upgraded CO2 diffuser

The old CO2 diffuser really looks huge inside the tank, just upgraded to an external type + DIY bubble counter(will upgrade that soon).
So far the rubber seal at the bottom cover of new CO2 diffuser no water leakage and the mixing process is great with some fine bubble produces.

Overall, quite like the new CO2 diffuser, my tank is clean look without the old huge CO2 diffuser. Since the ugly diffuser gone, now the digital thermometer is an issue to me, looks big in front. Another item need to take away soon.

Monday, April 12, 2010

ADA International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest (IAPLC) 2009 winners' photo

Recently busy about my job, that's why nothing to post for weeks, and also the new tank had some algae growth. Luckily I bought the Seachem Excel to control the algae from growing fast. Planned to do some rescape later when I am free.

For this year 2010 IAPLC, I am not able to join due to the time frame is too near, and my tank still need times to grow the plants & some fine tuning or trimming. But anyway, next year will participate in the contest.

Here are some collection photos of ADA International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest (IAPLC) 2009 winners' ranking from #1~27 that can be found in Saigon Aqua. They are great, they are deserve for the top 27.

1 Nguyen Tien Dung, VIETNAM
Title: Moment In Time

2 Chan Shih Hsien, TAIWAN
Title: Magic Forest

3 Yuji Yoshinaga, JAPAN
Title: Time of Eternity (Yaku Island)

Title: Awakening

5 Wang Chao, CHINA
Title: Looking for Mystery

5 Chow Wai Sun, HONG KONG
Title: Towering Peaks

7 News Chuan Lin, TAIWAN
Title: Forest-Breath

8 Nguyenthi Xuanthuy, VIETNAM
Title: Ups and Downs

9 Ngo Truong Thinh, VIETNAM
Title: Peaceful

10 AJ Judy Prajitno Putra, INDONESIA
Title: Fearless: Spirit of the Rainforest

11 Hsu Yung Lin, TAIWAN
Title: Rain Forest

12 Yee Kin Cheong, MALAYSIA
Title: Forest Path

13 Cliff Hui, HONG KONG
Title: Treasure

14 Wong Kam, HONG KONG
Title: The Phoenix and The Dragon

15 Tatsuo Harada, JAPAN
Title: Over the Blue

16 Zentaro Watanabe, JAPAN
Title: A Silent Morning

17 Eishi Yamamoto, JAPAN
Title: A Breezeway in the Valley

18 Zhang Jianfeng, MACAU
Title: Roar of Yellow River

19 Yeo Siak Wee, MALAYSIA
Title: Mystique River

20 Hidekazu Tsukiji, JAPAN
Title: Wind from the South

21 Hironori Handa, JAPAN
Title: Cloud

22 Pasquale Buonpane, ITALY
Title: Oriens et Occasus (East and West)

23 Szymon Fiedorowicz, POLAND
Title: Swampland

24 Nguyen Ngoc Tri Nhan, VIET NAM
Title: Whispers of Stones

25 Artur Frankowski, POLAND
Title: The Lost Canyon

26 Jullawong Papunta, THAILAND
Title: Rainny Season on My Home

27 Jamie Lin, TAIWAN
Title: Mysterious Bermuda

Thursday, April 8, 2010

20" Tank Journal ( Step III )

i) First of all draw out the water with a pipe to lower water level easy for scape.

ii) Started to transplant from the old tank, it took hours for me to select & trim all algae on the leaves.

iii) Spray on some water to wet the leaves.

iv) After put all the balance of is still looks too simple.

v) Temporary solution, DIY CO2, had something in mind to upgrade to an external CO2 tank with a solenoid.

vi) After all stuffs ready, bottle+sugar+lukewarm water+......where the heck of my yeast? Searched all areas in the fridge....couldn't find it, I was really fell from the sky. End up have to drive to the nearest store to buy a new pack of instant dry yeast. Wasted an hour, the water became cold, and need to redo for the lukewarm water....later +yeast+soda..........ready to produce CO2.

vii) The previous bottles had threw away, need to make a new one.
poke a hole in the cap & slot in the pipe connector, then seal the small gap with glue gun.

viii) Turn on the other side of the cap and seal with the glue gun for double protection.

ix) When the glue cold down, its really hold tight.

x) Now is the part between cap & plastic bottle.

xi) Try to flatten the glue in between the cap & plastic bottle with the hot gun.
Tips: How to check the leakage? It is simple, put your ear near to the bottle, blow in some air through the pipe, if can't hear the whizzing sound, means no leakage.

xii) Went out for awhile to get some rocks & a background plant, really hate the name tag on the plant. Another nightmare on separating the infected hairgrass & the healthy one.
checked water chemistry, all okies. Wait for another day to let water get crystal clear. And more plants to add in later.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

20" Tank Journal ( Step II )

Went to a few LFS to shop for the lights, finally I've got what I wanted, it is a the Aqua Zonic Super Bright double tube 24W T5 lamp with 12000K brightness, and it cost around RM160(50USD).

The new L60cm light fitting in the box.

Put up the light to test for the brightness. It is really a good workmanship, and I am highly recommended this light for a small tank.

This is nightmare, went back to my old house to collect all those full of algae driftwoods, the time I spent on washing it, was really killing my back. Tried to arrange it on the floor before put in the tank.

Still not the final arrangement, need some fine tuning. Meanwhile added some water to 1/3 of the tank.

Specification For 20" Tank

Tank size : L20" x D13" x H13"

Light system : Aqua Zonic Super Bright double tube 24W T5 lamp with 12000K brightness

Filter system : "DIA" 502 Canister filter with ADA Bio Rio, JBL Symec, JBL PhosEx plus and bamboo charcoal insides.

Substrate : JBL Floralpol, JBL AquaBasis plus
layer 2 - ADA Aqua Soil (Amazonia II)

C O 2 : DIY type, 2 x 1 litre bottle, 35~40 bubbles/min.

Airation : after lights off, approx. 11 hours.

Water : Changed 1/3 tank water Once a week, dosing Stress Zyme(benificial bacteria).

Fertilizer : ADA Brighty K, Seachem Flourish Trace & Excel

Old Tank Specification:

Tank size : L33" x D15" x H16" custom made clear glass tank (8mm thick)7425 cubic inch, 32.1 gallons, 121.6 litres (based on H15" water)

Light system : Normal light with electronic ballast
32W 8000K NEC circline light x 3nos.
22W 6200K Philips circline light x 2 nos.
9W Red Aqua PL double tube x 2nos.
a total of 158W = 1.3W/litre = 4.9W/gallon

Filter system : "DIA" 502 Canister filter with ADA Bio Rio, JBL Symec, JBL PhosEx plus and bamboo charcoal insides.

Substrate : JBL Floralpol, JBL AquaBasis plus
layer 2 - ADA Aqua Soil (Amazonia)
layer 3 - size of 5mm pebble stones (front)

C O 2 : DIY type, 2 x 1 litre bottle, 35~40 bubbles/min.

Airation : after lights off, approx. 11 hours.

Water : Changed 1/3 tank water twice a week, dosing Stress Zyme(benificial bacteria).

Fertilizer : JBL Ferropol, ADA Brighty K, JBL the 7+13 balls, PMDD - KNO3, KH2PO4, K2CO3, CaCl2 & MgSO4.