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Author Topic: Dan's 350 Malawi Tank Log and general musings  (Read 704 times)

Offline Dan

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Dan's 350 Malawi Tank Log and general musings
« on: May 30, 2019, 04:41:53 pm »
Hi Guys,

So a bit of background first.

My names Dan, i live in the Channel Islands I’ve been into fish keeping for a few years now. I did take a 3 year break due to having kids and buying a house etc etc.
but prior to the break i was fairly committed with 4 tanks, a 240l Jaguar cichlid tank, 120l mixed community type of tank, a Crayfish in a roughly 100l tank i don’t recall exactly.
Looking back now i admit i probably didn’t know much about what i was doing and ended up spending a whole pile of money and was never really that happy with the results.

So this time I'm determined to do things differently. Now i don’t pretend to be any less naive than i was the first time round but i certainly would try to be a bit more focused, and hopefully end up with something that looks a bit nicer and hopefully doesn’t cost a fortune.

So i got in contact with a UK based custom tank company to price up my dream 48" fresh water tank with cabinet a 43" sump, predrilled everything i ever wanted! (Its important to know at this point i had already priced up a Juwel Rio 350 from my LFS) so the quote comes in.. £740! a bargain! that’s only £90 more than the Juwel tank i was looking at.. oh wait £170 shipping, i still need lights, a heater/s, return pump, media for the sump.. well in the end after about a month of back and forth i ended up going for the Juwel as i couldn’t bring myself to spend that much, especially as i intended to go full on planted, Co2, fancy rocks the lot. probably because at the time I spending far too much time looking on the Aquarium gardens store, and watching George Farmers youtube channel thinking I was going to be the next pro aquascaper. (by the way if you are into planted tanks you should definitely check out Georges channel) and I’ve brought from Dave @ Aquariums gardens a few times in the past and you definitely get a great service.

So.. that kind of leads me on to where i am today, during my month of contemplation i decided to steer away from plants because although i enjoy plants i didn’t want to compromise on the choice of fish that could go in a planted tank, specifically African cichlids.

 Its now been a few months and the tanks cycled with a few Mbuna in and some "temporary decorations" i wanted rocks i knew exactly what type of rocks and at the same time didn’t have a clue what type of rocks i wanted.. Where I live we only have 1 real LFS which doesn't really have much of a selection of anything especially not hard scape items, so the options were garden centres, stone masons? i couldn’t really find much of anything other than granite which i don’t even know if its aquarium safe.. plus every other house on the island is build from granite so its a bit meh..
so back online trying to find something i liked.. but to be honest i wasn't happy about this, i didn’t like the idea of spending potentially hundreds of pounds on enough rock to make an impact in this 25" high tank.. and i hadn’t even gone down the rabbit hole of overseas postage.. and then not even being able to choose the rocks myself.. i couldn’t do it.. so now what.. well i found a company could Aquadecor who make fancy 3D backgrounds, and if you haven’t been on their site go there now honestly what they do is amazing! i wasn’t really ready to commit too much money on the full background but i did notice they do fake logs and rocks and other things.

I ended up contacting them about what i thought was their "budget range" the D6 model "floating rocks" i saw the picture on the site and thought £150 with free shipping ill go for it, i thought at that price they would be some generic kinda mass produced template item.. what you see is what you get kind of thing.. how surprised was i when they stared asking what sizes and colour/s i wanted them, which of course i didn’t have a clue.. i basically showed them a picture of what i had in mind told them i want a couple of the rocks to be pretty big centre piece rocks and left it with them to do what would look natural.. 

Well its been a few weeks and I just last night had pictures of the finished items to see if I wanted to make changes prior to shipping.. and here they are for anyone interested, if you managed to make it to the end apologies for any spelling / grammatical issues I’m sure there’s lots of them




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    Offline Kwak Rider

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    Re: Dan's 350 Malawi Tank Log and general musings
    « Reply #1 on: May 30, 2019, 08:30:59 pm »
    Hi Dan, I guess living on the mainland does have it's advantages when you hear of the issues/ cost you experience being "overseas"!
    Those rocks look good, do you know what they are made from?


    Offline Dan

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    Re: Dan's 350 Malawi Tank Log and general musings
    « Reply #2 on: May 30, 2019, 10:48:23 pm »
    Hey Kev,
    Yeah it can be a bit frustrating sometimes choice is a bit limited, but we don’t have VAT here so I guess that offsets extra shipping in most cases.

    I’m not sure what they are made of, they need to be siliconed in place to stop them floating, so some type of polystyrene I guess. There is a weighted option but that’s a bit more expensive.


    Offline Ric

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    Re: Dan's 350 Malawi Tank Log and general musings
    « Reply #3 on: July 15, 2019, 06:15:07 pm »
    Regarding your original post - I've seen a few of George's videos and he makes everything look so easy and simple; understandable then that you got seduced by planted tanks.

    And those fake rocks do look great - I trust you have got them now and put in place? Any updated tank pics available?

    Looking forward to your progress report and your musings :D