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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Time for an update. . .

I have been wanting to redo the RHS of the tank for a while and I finally bought the piece of DW I had been eyeing for a while at my LFS: (should have included a reference in the pic for scale)



Also, I just got back from a business trip to San Francisco and managed to make it to Aqua Forest Aquarium--what a :cool: store!!! I have never seen ADA tanks in person before and was very impressed. Thinking my next tank may be a 60P--no room at present though. . . Wish I lived closer to a store like this--I would be there weekly--probably better on the wallet though.

So I HAD to buy some plants--their selection was very impressive. I ended up getting some glosso (been wanting to try it for a while now) and three cyrpt species: wendtii mi oya, willissii, walkeri. So decided to rescape the RHS side w/ the wood and the new plants.

Here's a before pic with the new plants (glosso floating on top and cyrpts still in pots):



The changes:

I moved the alternanthera to the right along w/ the stargrass (which has finally started growing again--I think my nitrates were too low and have upped them recently) Am hoping to have this grow up around the right side of the wood.

Also removed most of the moss from the center as well as most of the baby crypts. I totally removed the lotus from the far right as well as the bacopa monnieri (sp?) and thinned the blyxa. I added the driftwood and tied on some java fern needleleaf, java moss, fissidens moss, and some anubias nana petite.

Added the mi oya to the back center (not visible yet), the walkeri to the right front, and the willissii to the center left. Added some glosso to the center and the center right. . . and here's the result:



Not sure of the result yet--it looks really good in person but seems a little lopsided in the pictures. Will have to wait and see how it grows in. This is my first try w/ java fern on DW so not sure how it will fill in. May also need to move the DW more to the center. . . Have to wait and see how it develops--that is really the fun part for me--that and moving things around a lot. . .

Also--still working on the photography skills. The more I try to learn about photography the worse my pictures look :-x. I guess I know just enough to be dangerous. . .

Thanks for looking! Any suggestions/comments welcome.

-Roy
 

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The java fern will look great on the driftwood righ t where it's at. That's a good spot for it.

I know what you mean about the photography. Sometimes I take update pics and just delete the whole set because they look crummy.

Keep up the good work!
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Thanks Dave.

There is a lot of rotala's growing behind the DW (nanjenshen, colorata, rotundifolia) so will be interested to see how things look when this grows in.

The glosso has started growing but it is growing straight up--not creeping. Hopefully this will change--was hoping to have a nice carpet of this in the center and center right. I have the 2 x 54W T5 w/ SLR fixture in front so was hoping this would be enough light to get it to stay low.

Have to wait and see--anyone have experience growing glosso under similar conditions?
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Quick update. . .



Glosso growing well (but tall) in the center. I trimmed a few stems and replanted the tops to see how this works--and if the trimmed portions will start sending out side shoots.

The new crypts are growing well and converting over to submersed form. Am hoping the wendtii's I planted in the back center will become visible soon.

The rotala's behind the DW are growing nicely--probably a few more weeks before I need to trim them.

The stargrass has finally started growing again! I thought I was going to have to pull it as it hadn't done much in a couple of months and was getting very tattered. I upped my nitrate dosing and I believe this has made the difference.

The LHS is getting a little unruly. Will need to trim and maybe thin out the anubias a little. May try to lower the anubias barteri which is really blocking the L. aromatica. I have a feeling that if I start messing w/ the anubias (all attached to a large hollow piece of fake DW which my 2 clown loaches are using as a home) it will make a huge mess. . . we'll see.

I really don't like the placement of the alternanthera on the far right but don't see a good spot for it yet and am not willing to pull it completely. It is such a beautiful red/pink color. Any suggestions?

Thanks for looking! Comments/suggestions welcome.

-Roy
 

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I agree, the alternatha is a plus. Is there room to put it between the driftwood and the (rotala?) plants right behind it? Sort of right middle, where the branch is sticking out leftward.

It would also fit perfectly at the back, just one hair left of where the angelfish is reaching toward the surface.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Thanks everyone for your comments.

Fishstory--I have almost moved the alternanthera to those spots many times but have resisted. I don't think it will work on the right side under the DW. I think it may work on the left--however will need to move the ludwigia though. I have some big crypts back in that area that haven't grown in yet. I think I'll let everything grow for a bit and see how it looks.

Tex Gal--I agree about the wood size. Definitely could be bigger. However, I am planning to have the rotala's grow up behind the wood in a bush so wanted to have some space above the wood to get that effect. Not sure if it will work or not. . . If I end up liking the wood/moss/java fern look I may look for another larger piece to add to the other side.

Also, the current plan is to keep the wood at least partially visible by keeping the moss and the star grass well-trimmed. Again--will have to wait and see if I can pull this off or if it gets lost in the jungle.

Will probably trim some this weekend--hopefully will have the restraint not to move things around too much. . .

Thanks for looking!

-Roy
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 · (Edited)
Hi Everyone--time for an update. . .

Not too much to report (although this post has become quite lengthy).

Things have been growing well and I have managed to have some restraint and allow things to develop w/out making too many changes. I did move some of the alternanthera to the right center just under the DW as I think it is too beautiful a red/purple color to be relegated to the outskirts of the tank. Not sure how it is going to look there but will let it go for a while and see.

Here's a FTS s of yesterday before my 50% WC:


Just trimmed the bacopa on the LHS and the HM as well. Almost time to trim the rotala's behind the DW--maybe next week. Also, need to do something w/ the red lotus and the anubias barteri on the LHS as they are really blocking the stems behind.
------------------------

On another note--I have been reading an interesting thread on APC lately by Christian_rubilar entitled "Method of controlled imbalances and gda..." (http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/algae/62516-method-controlled-imbalances-gda.html) that proposes a new/different fertilization regime and I have decided to try it on this tank.

This tank has been pretty easy maintenance w/ no major algae outbreaks. However I do get continual BBA on the leaves and equipment/hardscape which I need to kill w/ Excel periodically. I don't think my tank is properly balanced. Here's some pics of the BBA in my tank:

On a heater:


On some java fern:


This method proposes to determine the proper dosing levels in your tank by determining the level at which GSA is induced (I think this is correct--please see the orginal post referred to above for more details).

So what I have done so far:
-changed my water 50% yesterday
-cleaned my glass of all GSA (see below for pics)
-spot-treated BBA w/ Excel (usual weekly maintenance)
-added 1/4tsp KNO3 (dry) to tank yesterday and today (the recommended initial daily dose is 1gram per 50gallons which comes out to ~1/5 tsp for my tank)

I think this is interersting and will continue to update my results here.

Also, my current dosing regime has been the following added every other day:
-3/8 tsp KNO3
-1/4 tsp K2SO4
-1/8 tsp CSM+B
(recently I also started dosing 10mL Flourish Iron 2 times per week)
These values are below the EI recommended levels but my test kits (albeit not calibrated) indicate that my levels for N and P are in the proper ranges (10-20 and 1-2, respectively). [Maybe after doing this experiment I will find that I should have just been dosing the EI levels all along??!--well this will be a fun experiment regardless. . .]

My CO2 is pretty high I believe--drop checker light green to light yellow w/ 4dKH DI water--pressurized CO2 diffused through Aquamedic 1000 reactor.

Here are some pics of the algae I removed from my front glass during the WC:

GSA


GSA/GDA? (I find the streaking patern interesting--not sure of the cause--possibly patterns left from previous cleaning?)


And an angelfish looking to get fed while I am trying to take algae pics!


Thanks for looking! Comments/suggestions/etc. welcome.

-Roy
 

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Your tank is looking nice and I love the angel. I hope the new fert regime works for you. I'll be watching your experiences as I have an imbalance in one of my tanks and I'm not sure what to do for it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Thanks cs_gardener. Was hoping this experiment would be of value to others as well.

OK--quick update on the fertilization experiment.

Progress to date:
-50% WC on Saturday
-1/4 tsp KNO3 dosed Sat, Sun, Mon, Tues for a total of 1 tsp so far
-no other fertilization (just feeding fish regularly)

Observations:
-the BBA I spot treated w/ XL on Sat is red and dying.
-there is more BBA on one of my filter spraybars, anubias leaves, java fern leaves--this is more than I am used to seeing--I turned off the filters this AM after feeding and spot treated these areas w/ XL as well
-plant growth looks fine
-Observed small patch of GSA on glass last night (1-2 inch patch) on lower front glass. Not sure if this spot was just missed during my cleaning of the glass on Saturday or if it is new algae growth due to the new fertilization regime. I was expecting my tank to require more than 3/4 tsp per week so I assumed it was just a missed spot (or a spot not cleaned as thoroughly as needed) and cleaned it off and continued the experiment. If it IS new growth I expect to encounter a lot more tonight when I get home.

Will update again soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Day 6 and still no GSA. . . I have added a total of 1.5 tsp of KNO3 and no other ferts.

Having some issues w/ some plants and took some pics this morning:

Lotus--discolored/melting leaf and holes in leaves



Stargrass--blackening tips


Still having BBA on java fern leaves and anubias and spraybar.

I also calibrated my test kits--made standard solutions of N (10 ppm and 20 ppm) and P (1 ppm and 2 ppm) and tested my water this morning.

Here's a pic (Left to Right = tank water, low standard, high standard)


Looks like I have >20 ppm N and >2 ppm P in the tank now.

Not sure what to make of this. I plan to continue this regimen for one more day (to complete the first week) and see what happens. If I don't reach the end point (GSA) by Saturday I think I will go back to something close to my standard dosing to get things back into shape.

We'll see. . .
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Just re-checked my calculations for my standards and found an error.

The correct standard solutions are:
N (6 and 12 ppm)
P (0.7 and 1.4 ppm)

So should only be around 20 ppm for N.
 

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Day 6 and still no GSA. . . I have added a total of 1.5 tsp of KNO3 and no other ferts.
...
Looks like I have >20 ppm N and >2 ppm P in the tank now.

Not sure what to make of this. I plan to continue this regimen for one more day (to complete the first week) and see what happens. If I don't reach the end point (GSA) by Saturday I think I will go back to something close to my standard dosing to get things back into shape.

We'll see. . .
If you have 2 ppm of Po4 there is something wrong. How many ppms of Po4 did you have before the last water change? The idea with the Kno3 generic protocol is to down the Po4 level to zero. Then you will reach GSA. And then you can start loking for the real uptake of Po4, regards
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
If you have 2 ppm of Po4 there is something wrong. How many ppms of Po4 did you have before the last water change? The idea with the Kno3 generic protocol is to down the Po4 level to zero. Then you will reach GSA. And then you can start loking for the real uptake of Po4, regards
Thanks Christian--I double-checked my standards and found an error. It looks like I have ~0.5ppm PO4.

Today is Day 7 and I have added 7*1/4 tsp = 1 3/4tsp total. Had a few spots of GSA this morning! As well as some slight GDA so I guess this is the level I should use for my tank going forward.

I dosed some micros this morning as well (switched to Flourish). I plan to do my 50% WC tomorrow and then start working on the PO4.

What do you recommend as a starting point for the PO4?
 

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Thanks Christian--I double-checked my standards and found an error. It looks like I have ~0.5ppm PO4.
:party:

Today is Day 7 and I have added 7*1/4 tsp = 1 3/4tsp total. Had a few spots of GSA this morning! As well as some slight GDA so I guess this is the level I should use for my tank going forward.
Yes!

I dosed some micros this morning as well (switched to Flourish).
Ok, be carefull, you are used to add too much fe. Try to add only 0.1 ppm of Fe per week in alternate days with Po4 (after you finish with the Po4 protocol). I don't suggest to add micros in between the 2 protocols because iron can to interference with Po4. We'll see.

I plan to do my 50% WC tomorrow and then start working on the PO4.

What do you recommend as a starting point for the PO4?
1 gram per 500 gallon is the starting daily dozing. may you enumerate the plants you have?

Regards
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Christian--should I do the PO4 immediately or can I do it after a week of more regular dosing? I did a WC today and was planning to use my new KNO3 level w/ some micros (no PO4) for a week and then try the PO4 protocol. I will need to make a PO4 solution to add the small amount of daily dosing. Also, I think a fair amount of PO4 gets added to my tank via fish food as I have not been dosing that for some time now and still getting readings ~0.5ppm.

Here's my current plant list:

Plant list: (latin names courtesy of APC's Plantfinder--for the most part)
Althernanthera reineckii
Anubias barteri var. nana
Anubias barteri var. nana 'Petite'
Bacopa caroliniana
Blyxa japonica
Cryptocoryne crispatula var. balansae
Cryptocoryne undulata
Cryptocoryne wendtii 'Mi Oya'
Cryptocoryne wendtii 'Red'
Cryptocoryne x willisii 'lucens'
Cryptocoryne walkerii var. lutea
Fissidens fontanus
Glossostigma elatinoides
Hemianthus micranthemoides
Heteranthera zosterifolia
Limnophila aromatica
Ludwigia arcuata
Ludwigia repens
Microsorum pteropus
Pogostemon erectum
Rotala macranda (new from Tex Gal--just added)
Rotala macranda 'Narrow Leaf' (new from Tex Gal--just added)
Rotala rotundifolia
Rotala sp. 'Colorata'
Rotala sp. 'Green'
Rotala sp. 'Nanjenshan'
Taxiphyllum sp. (Java Moss)

Just removed the red lotus and the large anubias barteri during a rescape of the left side.
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
Here's an update.

Today


The recent changes have been the removal of the red lotus and the large anubias and the addition of two rotala macranda species on the LHS (thanks Tex Gal!). Also just did a major trim of the stargrass and the HM. Am really liking how the java fern is thickening up on the DW on the right. I also added a few Cryptocoryne crispatula var balansae to the back left but they are still too small too see yet. One other recent addition from a find at an LFS is the Crinum calamistratum.

I have also concluded my fertilization experiment for now (minor tweaks only now. . .).

My current dosing regimen is:
50% WC weekly
dose the following every other day:
KNO3 - 1/2 tsp
K2SO4 - 1/8 tsp
Flourish complete - 20 mL (was 10 mL last week)
KH2PO4 - 1/8 tsp twice per week

Still having the BBA issues but everything is growing great. I have also been adjusting my CO2 levels. I have recently switched from running only with the lights to 24/7. I have slowly increased the level from 1bps to ~2bps which gets the drop checker to light green/yellow w/ no observable fish stress. Hopefully this will fix the BBA issue. . .

I also added another Eheim 2217 filter and removed the Magnum 350. My LFS had a clearance on some filters and I couldn't resist (I got the 2217 for ~$100). IMO it is a much better filter than the Magnum and I am getting much more flow in the tank now.

Also--one of my T5 bulbs had burned out so I took the opportunity to replace all the bulbs. I replaced the T5's w/ the Giessemann midday's that everyone raves about here and have been very impressed. There has been a huge increase in the amount of pearling I get (the CF bulbs were quite old as well).

That's all for now--thanks for looking! Comments/suggestions welcome.

-Roy
 
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