Welcome to UpperOrchard.net

Home of the soft water planted tanks.

Please check out all of my photos.

Planted Tank List

90 Gallon AGA
Filter - Eheim 2080
Lighting - Custom Nova Extreme SLR 4x54w T5HO
CO2 - AquaMedic 1000, The Best CO2 Regulator

75 Gallon Perfecto
Filter - Eheim 2028
Lighting - SunPod 2x150w HQI, Coralife Aqualight 2x28w T5
CO2 - Aquamedic 1000, Rex style regulator

65 Gallon AGA
Filters - Eheim 2028
Lighting - Custom Orbit SLR 2x39w T5HO
CO2 - None

30 Gallon AGA
Filter - Marineland C220
Lighting - Custom Orbit SLR 2x39w T5HO
CO2- 50mm glass diffuser, Hydor NRG Advanced regulator

20 Gallon AGA
Filter - AquaClear 20
Lighting - Custom Orbit SLR 2x18w T5
CO2 - 30mm glass diffuser, The Best CO2 Regulator

ADA Cube Garden
Filter - Eheim 2211
Lighting - Home Depot desklamp 27w quad PC
CO2 - None

Cichlid List - Current

Apistogramma agassizii
Pterophyllum scalare

Plant List - To Date

Alternanthera reineckii
Anubias barteri var. 'barteri'
Anubias barteri var. 'nana petite'
Anubias coffeefolia
Aponogeton crispus
Aponogeton ulvaceus
Bacopa sp. 'Araguaia'
Bacopa sp. 'colorata'
Blyxa japonica
Cabomba palaeformis
Cryptocoryne cordata 'rosanervig'
Cryptocoryne lucens
Cryptocoryne parva
Cryptocoryne undulata
Didiplis diandra
Echinodorus bleheri
Echinodorus Vesuvius
Echinodorus tenellus
Echinodorus tenellus 'red'
Eleocharis parvula
Hemianthus callitrichoides
Heteranthera zosterifolia
Juncus repens
Kleiner Bar Sword
Limnophila aromatica
Limnophila aquatica
Limnophila sp. 'mini'
Lindernia sp. 'India'
Ludwigia arcuata
Ludwigia brevipes
Ludwigia inclinata var. verticilata
Ludwigia sp. 'Araguaia'
Ludwigia sp. 'Pantanal'
Ludwigia sp. 'Guinea'
Microsorum pteropus 'thin leaf'
Microsorum pteropus 'Windeløv'
Phyllanthus fluitans
Pogostemon helferi aka Downoi
Pogostemon stellatus 'broad leaf'
Pogostemon stellatus 'narrow leaf'
Pogostemon yatabeanus
Ranalisma rostrata
Rotala hippuris
Rotala indica
Rotala macrandra
Rotala macrandra 'narrow leaf'
Rotala rotundifolia
Rotala sp. 'Araguaia'
Rotala sp. 'Ceylon'
Rotala sp. 'Colorata'
Rotala sp. 'Goias'
Rotala sp. 'mini'
Rotala sp. 'Nanjenshan'
Rotala verticillaris
Tonina sp. 'Belem'
Tonina sp. 'Manaus'
Tonina fluviatilis
Utricularia graminifolia
Vallisneria gigantea
Vallisneria nana

Articles...Works in Progress

Breeding Danio margaritatus AKA Celestichthys margaritatus AKA Celestial Pearl Danio AKA Galaxy Rasbora

Brine Shrimp Hatchery

Current USA Reinvents American Aquarium

Hierarchy of Plant Needs

KH, GH & pH Oh my!

Shrimp and Fish in the Planted Aquarium

The Beginner's Guide to Discus

The Planted Aquarium

Product Reviews

Current USA Nova Extreme 2x39w T5HO Review

Current USA Orbit 2x96w Power Compact Review

Current USA SunPod 2x150w HQI Review

Eheim Pro 3 2080 Review

Hydor ETH 300 Review

Hydor NRG CO2 System Review

Sponsored Links

Custom Search

Whats Happening..

7/23/2010 The site is growing with more article and pictures. I've launched a new site with all of my living things. Check out my new site where you can interact with me. I look forward to the discussions.

2/19/2010 I came home today to find the Apistogramma, which are not pertensis or gephyra, had bred. The female is tending to a small brood now. I arranged a nice male and female about a week ago and now some progress. This is the second generation of fish. The pair was sold to me as wild Apistogramma gephyra. They are agassizii and look like Rio Madeira. Obviously I think they are beautiful. I took some pics I have to see how lousy they are yet and post any good stuff soon.

The angelfish also spawned. I have two pairs out of five fish. Angelfish are so much easier to breed than discus.

A real knockout day. Looking around pressing my luck I found some baby galaxies. The same adult group is still producing. Believe it or not its been two and a half years.

My crs colony has really come along. I am breeding SS grade shrimp which are beautiful shrimp with solid white coloring. Some of my best pieces have gone completely white. I posted some new pictures.

2/6/2010 Its 2010 and I cannot believe its been this long. Work is really hectic and the time available to the hobby has taken a hit. I have two beautiful pairs of angelfish and apistogramma along with the galaxies and crs. I plan on updating the pictures section with some of those soon. I am happy to see people like my galaxy page. Thank you for linking me.

7/17/08 The Apistogramma bitaeniata are reaching maturity. I have several pairs to keep things going. Here is a picture of the maturing male Apistogramma bitaeniata.

My galaxy rasboras are breeding like crazy. I grew out a dozen fish for myself. I notice a different coloration among one of them. It has more black coloring on the bottom fins and spots are connected like a striated patern. Trying to locate this fish for pictures with no avail leads me to believe its a color change when courting rather then a color morph. I will update this asap.

5/10/08 I just finished my T5HO modification on my Current USA Orbit light fixture. Check the articles or lighting section for more information.

4/19/08 Last month was one of the site's biggest months! I would like to thank all of the people visting my site. Thank you to folks in Belgium, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Australia, Indonesia, Austria, Singapore, US Military (opps thats not a country but thanks!), Canada, Italy, Germany, Russian Federation, France, Argentina, Czech Republic, Spain, Poland, Uruguay, US Educational (hopefully I'm teaching someone!), Denmark, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Portugal, United States, India, Sweden, Brazil and Romania.

You keep searching I will try to keep writing.

4/4/08 Yesterday I installed a new 20lb co2 tank and regulator in the 90g tank stand. I got my chance to use the co2 splitter with needle valves I purchased a while back. One outlet is for the 90g and the other for the 20L. The regulator has a solenoid but I left it running 24/7 on the discus tank. Thinking I may have tuned it too high I expected the worst today after leaving it running but the discus were spawning when I checked on them. I am guessing everything is fine, the needle valve appears to be reliable. I am happy to see this worked out...now Im off to purchase a fitting to bypass that solenoid.

3/30/08 Sulawesi freshwater shrimp are hot!!! I forsee the collection of these shrimp leading to devestation of habitat. They sure are pretty [and expensive] with some importers giving them a 100 price tag for a single Harlequin. These shrimp supposed have a relationship with a freshwater sponge but the shrimp is said to live and breed in captivity without the sponge. I am hoping the shrimp is farmed for export and this new and exciting species' habitat will not be devastated by its demand in the aquarium.

Taeniacara candidi has spawned! After growing out supposed "pairs" plus more grief with vendor I now have at least one male and female. I saw a large fry. Working to identify the mating pair. Pictures will come.

Galaxies are coming along well.

Discus are swawning regularly with little signs of improvement. I am debating on relocating them for breeding.

2/27/08 Galaxies spawning! I gave away the 9 galaxies from the first spawn last night. The first time I collected 12 fry and 9 made it. Last night I collected 18 fry, today I collected another 8 and there are still some to be caught....continued...

2/25/08 Changed to 20g substrate to AquaSoil Amazonia and gave it a minor facelift. Kept the plants and T. candidi in a 5g bucket. Removed most of the water and started bailing out substrate with a plastic cup. About an hour later the tank was ready for the new soil. I used 9 liters in the 20g long. The substrate could be a little deeper but I had no problem planting. I ran the diatom filter overnight and then changed 50% of the water. I poured half of the 5g bucket into the tank then refiled the 5g with tanks water. I let the fish sit for an hour while I finished planting the tank. I poured most of the the 5g bucket in the tank. Gently netting the fish for transport into the finished tank. I am changing 25% of the water each day. The fish are doing great and ate the next day after the night in the bucket. Soon as the water clears I will take pics.

12/1/07 The discus spawned! I predicted this pair months ago...I am very happy and I am sure they are too. They did not eat the eggs so I am off to a very good start. Check out the pics here.

I spotted another CRS female carrying eggs. Thats going well too. I cannot wait to see baby CRS all over the tank!

10/20/07 My new crystal red shrimp are doing great! They colored up just fine and acclimated well. Here are some new pics.

10/15/07 I just found Celestichthys margaritatus AKA Celestial Pearl Danio AKA Galaxy Rasbora fry for the first time. I am also getting S+ grade CRS tomorrow. I got enough to start a new colony and hope to do well with them, pictures soon enough.

Papa bitaeniata and the other wild male passed away. They were in two different tanks, their time has come.

9/29/07 Angelfish are eating well and settled in just fine. I have some pics I will add soon.

I had to update the guestbook and the theme wasnt compatible so thats gone for now.

9/1/07 Got some angelfish. The 65g seemed to be begging for them. I was going to pickup more Dicrossus but these beauties caught my eye.

Discus are great. All of the other fish are doing just fine. Plants are fantastic! I am hoping to get a spawn from the Taeniacara candidi.

6/10/07 I have relocated all of the A. bitaeniata fry from the tank some time ago. They are all doing great and eating. I think they are from several spawns because of size differences. Some of the larger fry are now showing colors, I am very impressed. About a week ago I noticed the female vanished. She was back to her business and now tending to the largest brood I have seen yet.

The discus are doing great. The smallest one has turned around and growthwise has begun to catch up. They are eating well and the tank is doing good. I will try to get more photos soon.

I got the opportunity to keep some Celestichthys margaritatus AKA Celestial Pearl Danio AKA Galaxy Rasbora. These are wonderful fish but supposedly in danger of because of overfishing. I held off buying them myself but now have the chance to breed them. I will post updates on this later. For now they are all accliimated, doing great and eating well.

I managed to purchase some Dicrossus sp. Santarem. This is wonderful fish for the planted aquarium with great coloration. It is the filamentosa type. Definate males and females so this looks promising.

My AquaMedic Reefdoser is setup on the 75g. Automatic dosing is great! Plants are doing much better and burden of dosing is lifted off my shoulders.

5/4/07 Taeniacara candidi two pair...enough said.

4/19/07 She spawed again and is raising way more this time. The larger fry are now fish shaped and hanging with dad.

3/22/07 She is raising her brood like a champ. Watching her care for them is cool. The male is not allowed anywhere them. He seems forgetful but follows orders.

3/20/07 My Apistogramma bitaeniata spawned!
I am very happy about that. I removed fish from the tank seperating what I thought was a know pair. Three unknown sexes are in the 65g feeding on Endler fry. I looked into the tank concerned about the two fish. I could not find the female, she was in the back of the tank tending to the fry. At first I saw her eat something then I noticed she was surrounded by tiny fry! I have video of her with the fry. You have to turn up your brightness to see anything and the file is huge! I have to find a way to edit and compress it.

3/1/07 My new Hydor NRG CO2 arrived today! I am very excited to try this product. A full review is coming soon.

2/10/07 I updated the website. I added the message forum please take the time to send me a message. Let me know where you are from, what fish or plants your keeping and most important if you have any advice for me. I also added new pictures of the discus.

2/5/07 New product coming my way the Hydor NRG Advanced CO2 system. I imagine this will be the perfect product for my new ADA cube. This pressurized system is relatively inexpensive and very attractive.

2/4/07 I am editing in notepad today running on Windows Vista!

2/3/07 Just picked up some checkerboard cichlids and more shrimp! I now have 4 different shrimp. The Amano, BumbleBee, Crystal Red and Red Cherry. All of them are excellent freshwater shrimp. Keeping the shrimp alone is important. My 10g and 3g are now shrimp tanks. The only shrimp I keep with fish are Amano and Red Cherry. The Amanos are too large and combative for the Apistos to eat and the Red Cherries are very prolific and a great replenishing food supply.

1/26/07 Phase one of the remote controlled semi-auto water changer project has begun. I have the tubing to relocate the water storage and the rf remote and controllers for the pumps. I will update the equipment page soon. I have a few more things to buy and lots of work ahead of me. I am sure it will be worth it.

The discus are doing great. Growing well and eating for me. As far as the plants go...the tank is a mess because my fear of disaster lingers. The airline is running 24/7. This has had an impact on the plants in the tank. After the fish grow I will begin to explore the capabilities of the T5 HO fixture lighting the tank. For now I dont want to mess with a good thing. The discus are getting used to the vac tube and normal maintenance. After a year of that planting should be commonplace.

1/18/07 Discus are doing good and eating plenty. There is a battle between two fish what I am thinking are females. They are the largest fish, the second largest is my favorite. All is forgotten when my finger tips hit the water with beefheart so they are eating well.

The 29g tank is getting a facelift. It has a new light fixture. A 30" SunPod 150w HQI. This will be very sweet. I am waiting for my co2 equipment now and it should arrive soon. I will be using a Japanese-style glass diffusor on this tank. It is already filled with eco complete and nice collection of rocks for an interesting hardscape. I will not go into any more details and let pictures do the talking soon enough.

1/4/07 Happy New Year! Ive had the new Discus for two full months now. When I got them they were the size of quarters. Now they are much larger with the largest one pushing three inches. Check out the photos page to see them.

The 75g tank is growing but I am having a calcium or magnesium deficiency. The plants are growing soo fast. With the Apistos in the tank I am learning little by little how to keep a properly balanced soft water planted tank. With this light I am using there is very little if any margin for error.

12/29/06 Updated the site somewhat. Added a few more photos. Updated the plant list. Check out my 75g tank photo page, the tank is growing plants and it looks nice.

The Discus are growing like weeds and are very eager to eat. I did loose the runt about three days ago. I could not do anything to prevent it and doing something would have most likely startled the other fish causing a negative outcome. This time I will not be discouraged by the loss of the runt and will not begin making mistakes. The other fish are growing just fine and the loss came out of nowhere. I made sure all of the fish were able to eat and the runt was even eating out of my hand in one of the early photos.

12/16/06 I havent updated the site in some time. Unless your browsing my images folder your havent seen much lately. Well on 11/1/06 new Discus arrived! Yes I got back on the horse and I am at it again. So far soo good. I will be updating all of the pages. Everything is so old....I really have to update. I have a new water storage, filters and lighting. I also forgot to update the plant list, it has doubled in size.

As a testament of faith in my evaluation of the loss of fish I kept nearly the same water in the tank. I vacumned out the tank and changed very little water. The new fish are just fine. Aeration is very important.

Also got some new Crystal Red Shrimp!!! These guys are really cool. I decided to get CRS after my success with Red Cherry Shrimp.



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All information given is in good faith and to the best of my knowledge.