• Welcome to ScapeCrunch!

    We are a friendly, online community of people interested in planted aquariums. We support and help each other learn and grow. It is our sincere hope that you will join us and find our tight-knit community valuable and fun!

    ScapeCrunch is different than Facebook Groups. Here's how:

    • It is a place where you can make long-term friends in the planted aquarium hobby and have long, multi-day talks on specific subjects.
    • Unlike social media, online communities like ScapeCrunch are much better at curating collective knowledge and in fostering deeper relationships.
    • They lend themselves better at long-form discussions.
    • You can maintain a thread on your personal aquarium with pictures and details. Other members can comment, help and ask questions. You can do the same with their Member Tank threads.

    Where Facebook is more like a large city-wide party, ScapeCrunch is more like your neighborhood bar "where everybody knows your name. And they're always glad you came." It's always fun to go to large parties but it's at the local bar that you feel people really know you. The great part is that you can and should go to both!

    Please consider joining to become a full fledged member of our growing community of planted aquarium obsessed enthusiasts. Let's grow together!

    Join Us!

Build Thread A Tale of Two Osaka’s


Active Member
  • Jan 31, 2023
    Nanaimo, BC, Canada
    Hello, my name is Ci (pronounced ‘see’) and I am glad to have found this forum. A lot of well respected names here and perhaps a bit less drama. This post is my introduction, as well as a tank journal for both of my current planted aquariums.

    My background is of various low tech community tanks back in the 70’s and 80’s in my teens and early adulthood, followed by a long hiatus, and then a couple of low tech tanks (including a 125g planted goldfish tank) about 15 years ago with another hiatus when I retired, and started travelling more. I focused on ponds that could be left on their own more often.
    A source of pride is my 2500g outdoor koi “tank” and it’s thriving occupants.


    In 2020 we made the decision to stop going south for the winters and therefore I could start keeping indoor aquariums again. I wanted to delve into high tech this time and invested in a beautiful Fluval Osaka 260 (68g) tank, Current Satellite Pro+ LEDS plus the stock t5ho fixture on the tank, a co2 system and 2 Oase Biomaster Thermo 350 filters, ADA Aquasoil and EI dosing dry fert regime.


    The tank went through a few iterations from hardscape heavy (above) to Dutch-ish to a super low tech planted-in-pots sparse look (below)…



    I felt like I was not very successful at the higher light/co2 scapes, I didn’t enjoy the maintenance as much as I thought I would, nor the fiddling it took to dial in parameters to solve various algae outbreaks.

    Right now this low tech tank is in good balance, I am loving the growth rates of the plants, enjoying the fish, snails and shrimp, and there is virtually no algae. My goal is to let the plants run wild for a thicker, jungle look.

    Fluval Osaka 260 (68g)
    2x Oase Biomaster Thermo 350 canisters
    2x Current Satellite Pro+ Led fixtures, both at
    75% red, 75% green, 7% blue, 50% white
    Temp. 76F
    pH = 7.6, kH = 4dkh, gH = 4dgh
    Inert sand and gravel substrate

    Echinodrus Ozelot (Sword)
    Nymphea zenkeri (Red Tiger Lotus)
    Cryptocoryne wendtii “brown’
    Cryptocoryne crispatula
    Cryptocoryne sp. unknown
    Anubias, various small leaved varieties
    Bucephalandra kedagang
    Nymphoides aquatica (Banana plants)
    Monosolenium tenerum (Pellia)

    2 x Farlowella cats
    3x L-134 Plecos
    4x Honey Gourami
    4x male Guppies
    12x Black Neons
    9x Medaka Ricefish
    9x Ember Tetras
    Neo shrimp, mixed mutts
    Malaysian Trumpet snails
    Ramshorn snails
    Apple snails

    Last edited:
    My second tank came 3 months ago when I found another Fluval Osaka in my local marketplace, but this time the larger model (320l or 84.5g). Just the thing to have right on the opposite wall!

    Because of how much I was enjoying the first tank, I decided to go low tech with this tank as well. I always wanted a moss wall, so I started with that:


    After dealing with a number of fish deaths from being trapped behind the wall, the theme changed more to (another) jungle-y look with mossy caves and wood.

    This tank is set up almost exactly the same as the smaller Osaka; 2 Current Satellite Pro+ ‘s, 2 Oase Biomaster 850’s, sand and fine gravel substrate, no co2 and a slim dry dosing regime (rotala butterfly’s low tech/low light EI, once a week recommendations).

    Temp. 76F
    pH = 7.6, kH = 4dkh, gH = 4dgh
    Inert sand and gravel substrate

    Aponogeton ulvaceus
    Aponogeton madagascariensis
    Echinodorus “Leopard”
    Cryptocoryne wendtii
    Vallisneria, sp.
    Bolbitis heudelotii
    Microsorum pteropus sp.
    Vesicularia ferriei (weeping moss)
    Crinum calamistratum

    4x Angel Fish
    3x Gold Gourami
    2 x Bristlenose Pleco
    2x female Betta
    6x Black Mollies
    12 x Venezuelan Black Corydora
    18x Gold Danios
    2x Apple snails


    I went a bit too fast with stocking this tank … and had a few problems. Now both black beard and thread algae’s are rearing their ugly heads. I will start a new thread with more details on this issue, because I think I’m going to need some help this time!
    Welcome to the forum @*Ci* and that was a very nice introduction. It's nice to hear someone's background and see where they have been in the hobby.

    Looks like you have had some really nice tanks over the years, and that Koi pond looks very cool.
    I went a bit too fast with stocking this tank … and had a few problems. Now both black beard and thread algae’s are rearing their ugly heads. I will start a new thread with more details on this issue, because I think I’m going to need some help this time!

    I posted a thread asking for some help with my algae issus in the Osaka 320:

    One-Two Punch Candidate?

    I decided to start with a good cleanout of the tank, taking the mopani wood out and scrubbing it, spraying it (along with the attached anubias) with 3%hydrogen peroxide, and discarding all of the algae ridden moss, replacing it with fresh plants.

    I reduced the lights a little and used the Photone app to get an approximate PAR reading of 44 at substrate level, 70 at mid level and 160 at the surface. I guess that one of the problems with deep (24”) tanks is having such a huge difference in PAR readings just to get a decent amount to the bottom.
    I started doing 50% water changes instead of 30% and am getting my nutrient dosing under control.
    The tank looks better so far, so I may not need to resort to anything more drastic.

    I am considering putting co2 back onto both of the Osakas, at a low rate appropriate for my low lights, and undemanding plants, so I have ordered an additional manifold block and inline diffuser for my CO2Arts regulator, and two Dwyer RMA 151-ssv flow meters.

    Some of the anubias look a little worse for wear:

    C61EE681-EEC8-4B22-BE1E-932334EA9447.jpeg A573EA00-4EBF-4281-A01D-40DA0972D175.jpeg
    Last edited:
    Update. Both tanks are doing fantastic! Nice slow but steady growth and pretty much zero algae. I feel like I have ferts, lights and co2 dialed in to perfection and my weekly maintenance is very easy.
    50% water change, rinse prefilters, dose and done. Plucking a spent leaf here and there, barely anything to siphon from the substrate nor any need to wipe the glass.

    I’ve added co2 to both tanks. I bought 2 Dwyer RMA-161 SSV flow meters and am achieving just under a 1 pt drop in pH.

    Due, in part, to all the previous problems, there were a number of fish deaths, (including all the black angels) but as things stabilized the fish are thriving including new additions of 4 Panda Garras in the 320 and 10 glass catfish in the 260.

    The moss was growing way too well in the bigger tank, but constantly lifting off (I guess weeping moss does not cling by itself) and getting kind of dead and decaying underneath. I didn’t want plants that need frequent trimming so, even though it had a great “jungle” vibe, I finally decided to remove it all today. I’m not sure if I really like all the exposed wood, so I’m considering what I could plant on or around it - maybe a complete re-arrangement is in order : )

    Osaka 260:
    Waiting for the Val rubra to fill in the back left hand side.


    Osaka 320:

    Last edited:

    Similar threads