I am sorry that it has been so long. Life has been going full blast and I just have not had the time to update. But I am keeping up on the maintenance
The above pictures were taken on the same day but with different WB and flash settings. Suggestions on the scape and my photography are welcome. Aquarium photography is not easy and I could use any and all advise.
So what's been happening around here? Lighting, ferts, waterchanges, watching plants and learning.
Lighting was going on for 8 hours a day with one bulb on for the first and last hours and three bulbs for the 6 hours in the middle. CO2 solenoid started acting weird and I cleaned it out, and cleaned it again and again. Milwaukee rep had me do the drill the needle valve thing and still an unreliable solenoid. It would not shut off the CO2. I noticed that when I took it to a regular outlet to test it after cleaning, it was snappy but when I put it back on the timer and installed the diffuser, not so snappy. so I changed out the timer and voila! I got my solenoid working again.
It was on a two outlet timer that brought 1 bulb and the CO2 on at the same time. This let me control the other 2 bulbs with a second timer. Since I had to reconfigure the timers I can't "ramp up" the light anymore so I cut back to 7 hours full light. Today is the first day of that so we will see where it gets me.
I am dosing 3 ml Brighty K daily, and 3 ml excel. I use ADA step one sparingly, one or two squirts every 2-3 days. Basically, I dose it until I see algae, green on the rocks, small thread or brown on the glosso. As soon as I see the algae, I stop dosing the Step One, after a day or two the algae really does just go away, die , whatever. Then I start lightly dosing it again. There were two weeks when I tried not dosing the Step One. I figured why play this game? Maybe I could just not use this stuff and save myself some money and headache. The result was growth that was not quite as green and a little stunting here and there. So I am back to it with the Step One.
I change water at least twice a week. I took a lot from the "how to do everything ADA" post on THE OTHER SITE and basically follow those guidelines for water changes. Usually the WC's are 50% but every month or three weeks the green on the rocks gets to be too much for my taste and I take the water way down. I paint the rocks with excel (not exceeding the water change dose) and fill it back up.
As you can see, growth has not been terribly fast. I am OK with that. I am a very leery of algae and do not drive this tank with long photoperiods. The growth that has happened has been good quality and mostly algae free and that is what I am going for.
I had hairgrass planted between the glosso and the blyxa. It grew in fully and I didn't like the dark green in the middle of the light greens of the glosso and the blyxa. I gave the hairgrass a haircut so it is still there but I am looking for a suggestion of what to do. Should I just let the glosso take over and go right up to the blyxa? Should I stick with the hairgrass? Is there another direction I should take?
Thanks for looking!