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Discussion Starter · #81 ·
Happy to report that after a few partial water changes the NH3/NH4 level is back to 0ppm. Had a long talk with one of the floor helpers at a big aquarium store on Delancey Street and they had trouble identifying the packing medium the water lily rhizome came in. He swore up and down that it wasn't peat moss. And, I have to admit that it doesn't smell like any peat moss I've ever bought in the past. Could it be humus?

Also, he wasn't able to help in terms of finding the right lighting solution for my bowl. Since all of the aesthetic value takes place at the surface of the water, I'm kind of reluctant to cover it with a hood or the miniature catwalks that modern LED lights hang from. Surprisingly, they carried no single bulb LED lights. He also discouraged me from resorting to the color purple on the color spectrum as it would cause bba.

So, I restricted myself to an $8 purchase of what looks like duckweed (he didn't know the name of that either), barely enough to make a dent on a surface now dominated by salvinia. As result of my experience with the store clerk, I spent a lot of time online finding what I wanted and I'm presently awaiting delivery of a 4000 lumens screw-in bulb that I will just use as a room light directly above the bowl. It won't be on any kind of timer which limits my options for when I go away, but I'm hoping it still allows me to keep my status as a low-techie!馃榿
 

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Yes, much too far away! The lamp needs to be no more than 12" to 18" above bowl. Mistergreen's suggestion is great, and buy a simple plug-in timer for it. Start with about 8 hours a day, then work up slowly until you see good growth without too much algae. Water lilies flower in my tanks with the lights no more than 3" above the water surface.
 

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Discussion Starter · #91 ·
Nothing of value to add but I just really enjoy this setup, very inspiring! (y)
I owe so much to the NPT community for allowing me to pick its brains!

How much is that bowl I might buy one for myself
I'd tell you but, I've had this one for almost twenty years and I'm 99% sure you can find them online for a lot cheaper than I paid back in the day.
 

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A big porcelain bowl is not super cheap. There are $30-$50 large ceramic pots at the hardware store but they either have holes in the bottom for drainage or I'd be wary of heavy metal (lead) glaze on it. It's not good for fish & shrimps. You might be able to find a cheap plastic pot.
 

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I might just use a plastic bin. All I need to do is breed ghost shrimp or Store them until i can get predatory fish (if I get some) off of live
 

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Discussion Starter · #96 · (Edited)
So, I decided now that the lighting system is in place, it could be a good time to re-dirt the water lily pot. Thank goodness it's only a pot and not an entire tank of substrate that I'm dealing with!

This time around, I used the contents of an old plastic pot that had been sitting on my window sill for years. I didn't bother to mineralize it. Just tried to de-clump it as much as I could by crumbling it in my hand and pouring some conditioned water over it and letting it drip out through the hole in the bottom of the container.

I've learned from my first experience, with the suspected peat moss, not to get too nervous when the PH slips a couple of notches or the NH3/NH4 level isn't quite 0ppm. A few days of partial water changes will bring things back to baseline. The lily's clay pot is capped both on the bottom and top with ordinary, mid-century modern gravel. My working assumption is that as the lily takes off (as it already appears to be doing), that it and the decomp from the dirt will eventually catch up with each other.

Anyway, that's my story and I'm sticking to it (for now. LOL.)

UPDATE: Interesting. Day 2 of the lily repotting and the NH3/NH4 level is stable. PH is dead level 7.0. Whatever was in that old plastic pot seems a lot less "hot" than whatever was in the lily's original packing material. Or, it could be that the floaters are doing a better job of absorbing nutrients because of the increased lighting? :confused:
 

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Discussion Starter · #97 ·
It's Week Three of my lily's introduction to porcelain and there have been some encouraging signs since I introduced artificial lighting. An additional elephant ear shaped leaf unfolded at the tip of the rhizome within days and further down it is replete with tiny sprouts. In fact, I'm wondering whether it makes sense to just slice the rhizome in half and let the sprouts do their own thing in a different pot?

The other plants seem to like the extra light also. The anubias barteri also unfolded another leaf, the fastest I've ever seen it. And, it may be my imagination, but the salvinia is on the verge of slowly taking over about half the water surface.

The water parameters have been pretty stable all week. If anything, the PH may be increasing ever so slightly (7.24); Nitrates 0.5 ppm. Which tells me the old potting mix or soil I used to repot the lily was probably inert. Can't seem to get my KH or GH above 4 or 5 with my ancient shell rock.

However, none of this has stopped the diatoms or bacteria or whatever that dingy brown coating that occasionally takes up residence on one side of the bowl or the other from returning. Rather than decreasing the light or moving it further away, I'm thinking of trying a corn cob LED bulb that is more directional (180 degrees.) The one I have now is 360 degrees and I can't help but feeling that a lot of its PAR value is being wasted. Is that a valid concern?
73430
 

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Sounds like the new light solved many problems. Corn cob LEDs are not very directional either. Look for an LED spotlight or floodlight. These will direct more of the light downward into your bowl.
 

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Discussion Starter · #100 · (Edited)
Oh wow, we have a one month birthday for Lily! And another new leaf to celebrate. It's basic shape and size hasn't changed much in 4 weeks, but the leaves continue to grow in circumference and are now competing with the anubias barteri for pride of place. Finally nailed down the lighting with a 3000K, 1400 lumen LED floodlight. The directional focus on the bottom of the bowl is clearly superior to the 4000 lumen corn cob bulb.

In retrospect, I probably over did it with the root tabs. I feel that with the spike in diatoms around the walls of the bowl, that the water column must be flush with extra phosphorus (not so sure whether the extra light may also be a contributing factor.) One beneficial "mistake" I made was in using the old potting mix to repot the lily. The dirt was probably devoid of nutrients but hopefully high in CEC capability.

And lastly, I now know what it's like to have to throw away floaters! I had to remove a cupful of salvinia just to take this picture. I felt terrible but it was the only way to get a good shot! Anyway, they must be doing a good job because despite all the nutrients in the tank, the parameters are remarkably stable at 0ppm ammonia, 10ppm nitrates, 7.6 PH and a dKH reading of 5.
73476
 
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