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Johnf's Coolwater Setup


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  • Regular Member

Hi all :rolleyes:

Although I am a sick on goldfish , housing ryukins and shubies, I love coolwater aquascaping. Here is a pic of one of my tanks. Please feel free to comment ;)

To be honest, my favourite setups are Iwagumi. Maybe I have been living too much with goldfish and so am more inclined to the beauty of the Japanese garden. On the other hand, a Dutch planted aquarium can be compared to the beautiful fields of tulips.

In this planted setup, I have tried to compromise between the two styles. At the moment I am experimenting with some semi-hardy plants, although my favourites remain mosses and liverworts.

This unheated tank has a net water volume of approximately 80 litres and now is 6 months mature.


Here are my setup specs:


Tank dimensions - 120cm x 35 x 35

Lighting - 1 x Philips Standard Daylight F36W/54

1 x Arcadia Orig. Tropical F036 - 48"

Filtration - PF 700 l/hr

Base Fertiliser - Aquamedic's Volcanit

Additional gravel - Fine sand topping for f/ground plants

CO2 - Yeast generated DIY w/ Aquamedic 100 diffuser


Present Temp - Max 18 deg C; Min 15 deg C.

pH - 7.0

GH - 5 dGH


Tanichthys albonubes

Xiphophorus variatus

Jordinella floridae

Xenotoca eiseni

Amano Shrimps

Ramshorn Snails


Vallisneria americana

Hydrophila polysperma Rosanervig

Cryptocoryne parviflorus

Cryptocoryne wendtii

Cryptocoryne undulata

Hydrocotyle verticillata

Hydrocotyle leucocephala

Bacopa monnieri

Anubias nana

Ludwigia repens x arcuata

Aponogeton undulata

Sagittaria subulata

Samolus valerandi

Echinodorus tenellus

Heteranthera zosterifolia

Marsilea hirsuta

Java moss

Taiwan moss

Willow moss

Christmas moss

Flame moss

Monoselenium tenerum

Riccia fluitans

Glossostigma elatinoides

Elatine gussonei


Lights for 10 hrs daily

Liquid fert. every week - 10cc

Fortnightly 20% water change

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  • Regular Member
:blink: Stunning!!!! You obviously know your stuff plant-wise. I expected you to say that the tank was heated above room temperature with that wide range of plants, interesting that they do so well with that ambient temperature. It's thriving! Such great colour. I bet your White clouds love it in there, I know mine would! :D
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  • Regular Member
:) That is a beautiful tank! I love it. You sure have a wonderful gift in setting up and maintaining a planted tank as it looks like a piece of art. Very nice.
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  • Regular Member

I absolutely love it!! I recently set up a South American softwater tank but in summer time here it's hard keeping it below 80?F! Even my coolwater tanks are warm. I absolutely love your plant setup and wonder if maybe my tanks are too warm for some of the plants, since they are clearly thriving there. :)

Thanks for posting and feel free to share more pics with us! :D

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In the first 3 months I had some thread algae which had to be removed manually with alot of patience. This problem diminished when I added a trio (1 male & 2 females) of American Flagfish (Jordinella floridae); they consumed the algae that was present in no time.

J. floridae is said to withstand temperatures between 18 ? 25 deg. C. It is rather important that tank mates should be fast; no slow moving fish or long finned varieties as the Flagfish may decide to add a few fins to its daily menu! I can say that they did an excellent job with algae and till now they don?t seem to bother the mosses or any other particular plant.

Here is a pic of java moss attached to bogwood. This was once a host and keeper of lots of unwanted threads.


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  • 3 weeks later...
  • Regular Member

Here is another pic of this setup -


The foreground plant is not Glosso (although there is some Glosso on the sides); it is a rare local plant - Elatine gussonei. Its natural habitat are shallow rockpools; forms a pretty dense carpet (green highlighter shade) in winter and dies out in summer when the pools dry out. A friend of mine has managed to keep this plant submersed for over a year. The greatest challenge is to provide low temperature. Here in Malta temperatures shoot up the scale in summer :cry1


This is submersed Riccia. Looks pretty when pearling although requires constant attention.


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Riccia is a pain in the butt. I had about 3 softball sized potions. It grew great but once it got big enough it came "unhooked" and then got stuck in my delicate stargrass. Finally tossed most of in and fed some to my goldies. I'm hoping a root plant like "cuba" will be easier.

How long have you had your riccia?

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