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Discussion Starter · #82 ·
Added the new hardscape to my newly set up 10g emersed tank. . .



He's keeping an eye on the crypts. . .;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #83 ·
Had an interesting effect lately in the tank that I thought I would record here.

I was getting some really good red/pink coloring on my E. tenellus and red on the rotala macranda narrow (the only 2 redish plants in the tank now). During a recent filter clean I added back one of my regenerated 100mL packets of purigen. Within 2 days all of the red in these plants disappeared! They were entirely green (still good growth though).

I checked all my water parameters (in the tank and the tap) and they were the same as usual. I also had not changed my dosing regimen. In fact after they turned green I upped my trace and iron dosing. This went on for a few weeks--here's a pic showing the affected plants.



After failing to get them to turn red again (and thinking I'd missed my chance to submit a TOTY photo!) I decided to remove the purigen as this was the only thing that changed before they lost the red. The result was that w/in 1-2 days the plants started showing red again!

I don't know if anyone has experienced anything similar w/ using purigen or not. I researched a bunch of threads here on the use of iron w/ purigen and it is not supposed to affect it or other fertilizers used. I had also used this purigen before w/out issue.

In the course of my research I found that I may have regenerated it incorrectly. I did not realize that it needed to be stored dry after it's initial use. What I did was to place the used resin in a pail w/ a fairly concentrated bleach solution. I let this sit for ~1 week and then removed. I noted that there were still a lot of brown particles in the bag so I repeated the process over the course of 1-2 more weeks. After this the resin was almost perfectly white. I then placed the bags in my tank cabinet for a while and only replaced one of the bags after they had both completely dried (~1-3 weeks later).

As this is not the correct procedure maybe the resin was changed (collapsing pores/beads???) to increase the affinity of the resin for iron??? Either way--an interesting observation I thought I'd share to see if anyone had a similar experience.

-Roy
 

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Discussion Starter · #84 ·
Ok -- time for an update.

Now that the TOTY contest is over (I entered this tank but didn't do very well :doubt:). I was a bit disappointed but am glad that is over. Trying to get the tank ready for that "perfect photo" was more stress than I like out of this hobby. Will likely not be doing that again as it really interfered w/ my enjoyment of the tank -- the closer I looked the more stuff I found wrong. . . Really makes me more appreciative of the hard work people must go through to get those really amazing shots you see in the larger competitions. My hats off to them! :yo:

Anyway. . . some recent changes include replacing the foreground w/ c. parva and adding some other new crypts (c. pontederifolia, c. spiralis, more c. balansae, c. beckettii) and removing / seriously thinning the stems. I think I am going to go for more of a crypt tank for a while.

I am also still trying to eliminate the BBA and plan to try to limit the nutrients in the water column for a bit to see how things go. Until recently I kept the NO3 between 10-20 ppm and the P between 2-5ppm on my API test kits (basically EI dosing every other day). I have other, smaller, tanks that are BBA-free and when I test them the values are much lower. I'm going to test the hypothesis that my soil is now old enough and full of enough junk to feed the plants from the roots. . . my stems may suffer but we'll see. For the last ~2 weeks I have been targeting keeping the NO3 lower (~5ppm) to see how things go. So far so good. . . seems to be less BBA without any major plant issues but probably too soon to tell.

Here are some pics from this morning after feeding (my loaches have been a lot more active lately and I managed to catch one of my clowns front and center):





Thanks for looking!

-Roy
 

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I'm impressed with information. Thanks a lot.
Please advice :)

I have high calcium concentration in tap and for ro unit haven't budget.
I fertilize PMDD + PO4, low light at 1w gal(will upgrade to 2w very soon).
Water change in 100 gal tank every 4-nightly 20%(thats approx. 40% weekly), big tank :)

I'm very interested about mg : ca ratio

Would You recommend add more mg to PMDD recipe gain mg ratio higher ?
Or this ratio work only with high light tanks ?
And what's maximum ppm not harmfull for plants and stock ?
Also would You recommend lower Potasium ?( till now i don't see any Potasium defiences, but i have some plants who realy starve - maybe due to high stock of fast growing plants and too high calcium level).

I use this recipe:

1 Tablespoon Potassium Nitrate
2 Tablespoons Potassium Sulphate
1 Tablespoon Magnesium Sulphate (Epsom salts)
500 ml distilled H2O

Daily dosage:
Macros 20ml on 400L every day + micro 10ml fake TPN(custom make from traces with same element % amounts as TPN).
Phophate sometimes dose, sometimes not(I'm too wait sometimes when GSA visit front glas :D, no cash for tests and i have a lot fast growing plants and impossibly to know all time how much is necessary, also fish feeding i have every day different and try to change in my aquarium design every week something)
 

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Well here are some pics from my rescape last weekend. Thanks to my good friend Nate (ngb2322) who "volunteered" to come over and help out!

Here's the tank after removing all the plants on the right side: (can't recall if this is before or after the gravel vac--but there was TONS of junk on the substrate that I did my best to remove)


Here's the plan I've been scribbling on for the last 1-2 months:


After planting--running filters to clean up debris and aerate water for fish:


After filling:


First time I really had a detailed plan of what I wanted to do. Trying to go for a V-shape w/ tall plants in both rear corners and crypts in the rear center. My biggest goal is to create a bunch of open space in the foreground--which I have never been able to maintain before w/out stuffing it w/ plants. . . I have a bunch of E. tennellus planted there now which will hopefully form a nice grassy look and not obscure the plants in the back too much.

I am not sure how I like the DW/rock combo on the LHS. I didn't have as much room as I planned for so this is where my plan suffered the most. The wood is awesome (thanks Vancat!!!) but the rocks are a little too white--I am hoping this will change w/ time. I am also contemplating adding some moss (maybe fissidens?) here but want to wait and see how things develop first. The passage of time in planted tanks has a way of surprising me.

So far I am enjoying the new layout and am able to see the fish much better. Also, I was able to transfer a few pieces of all the species that were removed to my new grow out tank so I wasn't as stingy regarding what got to stay.

Thanks for looking! Any comments welcome!

-Roy
Hi. Beautiful Tank ;)

I specially paid attention on Yours filter outlets, water circulation and have a question - in this way no problems with floating organics from food and fish wastes ?
I will try same filtration pipes relocation if better as Yours. I have too 2 filters and 100 gal tank and have problems with floating organics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #87 ·
Hi agy -- thank you!

I have both spray bars angled up toward the surface to keep a slight rippling effect w/out breaking the surface. I don't really have any problems w/ floating materials on the surface. I do however perform large 50-75% water changes weekly.

Just saw your previous post about fertilization as well. I have been dosing N, P, K via dry dosing of KNO3, KH2PO4, and K2SO4 respectively for a long time on this tank. I am still looking for the right balance though. . . Currently I am trying to limit the amount of nutrients in the water column w/out affecting the plant growth and am currently dosing ~1/8 tsp KNO3, 1/16 tsp KH2PO4, 1/4 tsp K2SO4 every other day w/ micros via Flourish every other day as well. I don't adjust for Ca/Mg as I just use my tap water as is (not sure of the ratio but my gH is ~6). I have had success using EI dosing but have never been able to rid the tank of BBA w/out using lots of Flourish Excel. I'd suggest getting a hold of some N, P test kits to understand what levels your tank is and how this affects growth, algae, etc.

Lastly, I would not recommend limiting K (although I am by no means an expert on tank fertilization). I have routinely dosed 1/4 tsp every other day and not had any negative consequences (I believe this is less than the amount recommended for EI dosing).

Thanks again for your comments and interest in my set up and good luck on your tank!

-Roy
 

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Hey Roy! I like the idea of going with the crypt tank - it's something I have wanted to do for a while. I have had some c. parva for a while now, and I love the stuff for a low-maintenance foreground.

Sorry to hear TOTY was so stressful - It is a ridiculous amount of work getting a 90 in shape for one of those. I've had some crazy algae issues as well lately. I'd say get those crypts in there and see how it goes - just go for the tank you want, and if you think it's worth entering, take a picture and send it in. A lot of the guys winning the big contests do little else, so they have the time and energy to put into it. The rest of us have jobs that take us away from our tanks sometimes, so we have to settle for what we can handle. I just keep rescaping every six months or so to keep myself in practice :)
 
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