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120 Gal Dutchy Freestyle - Now with 50% more Dutch!

Discussion in 'Journals' started by burr740, Jan 10, 2017.

  1. burr740

    burr740 Micros Spiller
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    So this is a journal for my new 120, which replaces my long running 75 gallon. For anyone who followed the previous tank, this one will be basically the same style with just a bigger footprint.

    First planting, about 2 months ago.

    [​IMG]


    Tank

    48" x 24" x 24" Marineland 120 gal

    CO2

    GLA Grow 1 regulator, 10 lb tank.

    DIY PVC reactor. Main pipe is 3" x 24"

    [​IMG]


    CO2 cuts on 90 min before the lights, goes off 1 hour before. PH drops 1.1 by lights on, proceeds on down 1.3-1.4 at peak. Heavy flow and good surface agitation helps livestock stay comfortable at higher levels.


    Filtration

    Two canisters: 1 Aquatop CF 500, and 1 Hydor Pro 600

    Measured flow combined is about 600 gph.

    1 Koralia Nano 425 for added circulation

    Both canisters have SunSun intakes with the skimmer

    Left corner is the the Aquatop. Using a 1" outflow pipe to reduce velocity


    [​IMG]


    Right corner is the Hydor. The CO2 runs inline with this one.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    ^also you can see the LED night lights, mounted on each end of the main fixture.


    Substrate:

    Black Diamond blasting sand

    Lighting

    6 bulb T5HO hydroponic unit

    https://www.amazon.com/Agrobrite-Des.../dp/B002TJQ61W

    [​IMG]


    Bulbs are front to back:

    TrueLumen Flora
    Agrobrite 6400K
    Zoo-med Flora
    Plantmax 3000K
    ATI Purple
    TrueLumen Flora

    Fixture is 9" above the tank, PAR at the sub is around 120. Having lots of red bulbs help keep it down, not to mention awesome color rendition. PAR would be a lot higher at this distance with more 6500Ks, for example

    Ferts/Philosophy

    Macros 3x week
    7 ppm KNO3
    1 ppm K2PO4
    3 ppm K2SO4 (for 6-7 total K)


    Micros 3x week
    .015 Fe from csmb
    .02 ppm Fe dtpa

    ** Micros are more now because Im rolling my own instead of using csmb. Will update the amounts once I arrive at the sweet spot.

    .2 ppm urea daily

    This is the general range where most things do well for me, all subject to change of course, as anyone who knows me knows. [​IMG]

    50% water change every 6-7 days

    The basic philosophy is high macros, low micros, nosebleed CO2, uber clean conditions and maintaining a stable biomass

    * Note on Micros: The above dosage is just what Im doing currently, and is subject to change a little one way or the other. The general sweet spot for me seems to be around .015 -.02 ppm csm-b (calculated for Fe) and another .015-.04 ppm of an additional Fe source(s) - 3x a week.

    Folks with inert substrates such as mine <apparently> seem to be able to get by with a lot less micros than others with high CEC. For anyone with a high CEC substrate like ADA Aquasoil, Eco-complete, potting soil based, safe-T-sorb, etc - these levels most likely will not be enough.

    Livestock

    20 Harlequin Rasboras, will soon get this up to maybe 30 or so
    Trio of young GBRs
    Dozen or so Amano shrimp
    6-7 otos

    Here's the latest rendition. Plant groups are no way shaped for height or footprints. Mainly just tentative placeholders of where things are going to be. Have lots of ideas to try, and open to any suggestions! [​IMG]



    31413346273_fbe5db1ed2_h.jpg


    Detailed plant pics to follow....
     
    #1 burr740, Jan 10, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2017
  2. burr740

    burr740 Micros Spiller
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    Left side

    [​IMG]


    Right side

    [​IMG]


    Rotala Sunset. Currently in a rebuilding phase. This is 3 main stems, tallest one is about 16". Probably next WC will cut them apart and make a nice group


    Staurogyne 'purple' on the right, Pogosteman erectus in back [TABLE=class: ncode_imageresizer_warning]


    [​IMG]


    Rotala indica (erroneous Ammania bonsai) Will expand this group pretty soon, have a lot more growing out in the 50

    [​IMG]


    AR mini 'variegated', Downoi, Lagenandra meeeboldi 'red round', Erio vietnam, Proserpinaca palustris (mermaid weed) [TABLE=class: ncode_imageresizer_warning]


    [​IMG]

    Left to right: Isoetes lacustris, Rotala macaranda 'variegated', Oldenlandia salzmannii, Acmella repens

    [​IMG]


    Trying to figure out a way to snake the Ludwigia red more front to back, and keep it low. Right now is just a sideways cluster.

    Willow moss sp gigantea on the smaller log, Pogosteman kimberly in back middle, Floscopa scandens to the left [TABLE=class: ncode_imageresizer_warning]


    [​IMG]


    Changed the original Buces on the log. The other ones were smaller leaved greens and they werent doing so well. May need more traces, idk. Reason I liked them is because they bloomed profusely in the 75. Digging the red stems on these though, and the leaves I think are a better contrast. Gonna give them a month or two and see how it goes

    [​IMG]


    31413355753_1e2ba6917f_h.jpg


    Other thoughts: Reduce the Staurogyne repens and shape it up differently. Currently just a big dumb oval with no personality. Same goes for the Monte carlo in front of the log.


    Bring the Stauro purple on down to the left in a bigger group






     
    #2 burr740, Jan 10, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2017
  3. edelry.junior

    edelry.junior Plant Enthusiast
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    Very beautiful so far Burr. Looking forward to future posts.


    Ps: Never thought about using pins. That's a very nice idea :)
     
    2 people like this.
  4. gabcas0319

    gabcas0319 Junior Poster

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    wow it's amazing the beauty of this tank! congratulations burr!
     
  5. Pikez

    Pikez Rotala Killer!
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    Oh wow! Juicy, clean, colorful.


    Reminds me of something Steve Jobs said at the release of iPhone 2 or 3. "We made the buttons on the screen look so good you'll want to lick them."


    That's how I feel about this tank.


    This is basically the model behind my Kill Tank. Except this has the looks. And may be this has better lighting with the T5s.


    Will have some thoughts on tweaking contrast over the next few days...
     
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  6. Kyalgae

    Kyalgae Lifetime Members
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    Those leaves look clean enough to eat off of, I just need a bit of salad dressing...........I'm so jealous. What's your tap water like? Very nice work.
     
  7. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    Fantastic Burr, following here as well!
     
  8. rajkm

    rajkm Article Editor
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    Great looking tank and plant selection.
     
  9. Christophe

    Christophe Subscriber
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    Looking forward to seeing this develop, well-done!
     
  10. burr740

    burr740 Micros Spiller
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    Thanks guys


    Fab, I use all tap water. KH is ~5.5, GH is 50 ppm Ca and 4 ppm Mg, then I add another 10 ppm Mg via Epsom salt at water change

    That'd be great!


    Would love to hear thoughts from anyone


    I do a little sculpting with every water change. Ive got some ideas, some things need to grow out/multiply first
     
    #10 burr740, Jan 11, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 11, 2017
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  11. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Mow the L. red to the bone, with scissors. Cut just like a hedge. If you are in the rebuild phase, replant the tops as well.


    Sell or toss otherwise. The AR vari is nice and I'd expand that one.


    If you trim often, then domes might be a more interesting shape for you.


    If you want a more Dutch feel, add some mesh to the back and sides, fissidens or mini Xmas moss etc. Wire mesh and suction cups.


    Mostly looks like you just need to fatten up the groups overall.


    I'm going to add a royal blue bulb coming up here in the mix I have.


    See if I can get those colors along with the reds.


    I doubt you'd need 10 ppm of Mg weekly, maybe 5. 10 should not hurt though. 25 ppm did not cause issues, I never went beyond that range though.


    You could also add a bit more KH2PO4 if you wanted.


    Cleaning fish/shrimp, add more.


    Feed fish well.
     
    Brandon Kidd and Mário Martins like this.
  12. Pikez

    Pikez Rotala Killer!
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    As plants fill in and mature into their spaces, it will be easier (or more obvious) to tell what to do next.


    These are just off-the-cuff observations that may not turn out so well. So take it with a grain of salt. We are in the same boat on these issues.


    I counted 21 species in a 4-foot tank. That's a LOT. Really not about Dutch rules, but visual appeal. You lose the visual impact when you have too many small groups of plants. This is where the 20-foot squint test will come in handy.


    Is a group of plants visually substantial and (heck, visible!) when you're 20 feet back and squinting.


    My guess: in the fore/mid ground, I think the moss and Stauro Purple will not pass this test. I think the Buces and Erio Vietnam (?) will also flunk. I think there are too many foreground species in the front right corner. I'd get rid of the Pogo helferi and give that real estate to AR Variegated. You are one of the few people who can grow AR Varieg nicely and it has serious visual punch.


    As much as you and I love Oldenlandia (we may be the only dudes with the plant), it has to go. At least somewhere away from Acmella, which with it shares too many traits. It is even too similar to Rotala Mac Var in leaf shape. The fuzzy orange of the Mermaid weed should separate the Acmella from AR.


    Move the Lagenandra where Stauro Purple (so your purple color is checked off) and moss are.


    You may need a denser bush of Acmella in the back corner because it is a somewhat cooler shade of green and not as bright, as say, Limno rugosa or Nelsonia. So if you keep the Acmella in the right corner, it needs to be a bigger, dense bush.


    Another thought is to move the Floscopa to the Stauro Purple/moss space. Keep the Floscopa trimmed and short as a mid-ground species. It lends itself to that, since it is not super fast growing. Give Floscopa's space to Pogo Kimberley.


    I'd keep the Ludwigia Red short. Real short. This will reduce the red-next-to-red issue with it and Pogo Kimberley. As of now, Ludwigia Red is grabbing too much attention.


    You need (as do we all) more vertical plants (rosettes or grass). So expanding the Isoetes bush forward to where the Buces are will highlight the vertical impact of the plant.


    I know you like your background row of plants trimmed nice and short, so that means you HAVE to trim your mid ground plants even shorter. Not doing so will give the impression that you have two mid ground rows instead of a mid and a back row.


    Extending the Lobelia to where the Buce and Monte Carlo are, into a street towards the back, aiming at Rotala Mac, and having the Lobelia disappear behind something would be nice.


    Ensure more space between the Rotala Sunset and Ludwigia Red. Something green will help. Floscopa fits the bill nicely.


    I think you could benefit from a soft, green, fuzzy plant on the right. Mini Myrio Guyana or Limno dwarf are candidates. Mayaca is great but too weedy. Nanjenshan type. May be Limno indica.


    There are so many ways to take this thing. You can lose your mind figuring out all the permutations.
     
  13. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    Wow Pikez, fantastic evening advice. I also agree that L. Red is the first one to cut down, and that the smaller groups can be removed to have more space for other plants. And damn man, tell me your secret for the AR variegated because I am unable to grow even the regular AR! Keep it up!
     
  14. edelry.junior

    edelry.junior Plant Enthusiast
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    One question, sorry if it is kind of off topic: How do you keep up with all the names? It is crazy, kudos to you guys. I can't even find half of that stuff here in Germany, or Netherlands, for that matter...
     
  15. burr740

    burr740 Micros Spiller
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    Great stuff Pikez, thanks a lot for taking the time to share all that, exactly what I was looking for.


    - I actually tried the Lagenandra on the left near where the purple stauro is. It became too strong focal point, and along with the buce log, was like I had two side by side. Didnt look right.


    - The purple stauro is a stunner....when it's purple. Looks great beside a red. Also it's a really tough plant. The downside is profuse areal roots and wild side shoots. But once it roots well, you can just get in there with your hands and yank those roots out, pinch prune, etc.


    - Thinking about moving the Floscpa forward, make it contrast in height to the P erectus and Kimberly, and putting some wallichii behind it. Not sure how that's gonna look but Im wanting to add wallichii somewhere since it's finally doing well. Cant do it on a side wall because current is really strong on both ends. Flow hit the wall and shoots straight down, so anything along the sides has to be able to take some current.


    - The red ludwigia is definitely too tall atm. What Im trying to figure out is a way to have a snaking line going more front to back. Like starting at the purple and disappearing behind the Isoetes in front of the Kimberly.


    - In the front left, starting to think something has to go. The Willow moss log, S purple and bonsai, all that is just too much. Gonna reduce the S repens though, and bring the purple on down, see what's left after doing that.

    It was like Greek to me in the beginning too. But after a while it becomes familiar, like anything else I suppose
     
  16. Nuno M.

    Nuno M. Member

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    I like the overall ambiance of the layout burr,


    Really nice colors, If it wore me I would let it grow more and then decide on the plants locations, the only thing that for now pops to the eye is the large foot print from the S. Repens on the left, I would let it occupy the area near the glass and maybe find some nice Cryptocoryne to put in the middle of it and ??''porto velho''??, maybe some becketti variation ;)


    Will be following :)
     
  17. burr740

    burr740 Micros Spiller
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    Thanks


    What kind of Royal Blue bulb?


    I ran an actinic for a while in the 75s four bulb unit, and a 3000K. Those two combined create deep rich colors. The rest 6500Ks and flora types.


    Doing the same thing here except there's an ATI purple instead of the actinic, similar effect
     
  18. burr740

    burr740 Micros Spiller
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    Great suggestions. thanks. Letting things grow out and deciding what looks good.... is definitely the plan. Typically that's the only plan I ever have. :)
     
    #18 burr740, Jan 13, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 23, 2017
  19. burr740

    burr740 Micros Spiller
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    Couple of trims, made a few changes


    32472189845_356a5df9d6_h.jpg


    - Replaced the Monte Carlo with Hygrophila araguaia


    - Opacua verde sword in place of the Moss log. The giant willow moss had gotten about 4" thick and needed a trim. Scalped it to the bone and put it in the 10 gal with the shrimp and lower light to recover for a bit.


    The Opacus grew flat and sideways in the 75. Think it's the bright light. Gonna see how this one looks after fattening up for a few weeks. But I really like the moss log, it'll probably come back.


    [​IMG]


    Havent figured out a good way to stack the Floscopa. Need to be looking down on it to show it's full effect. From the side it loses a lot of impact. May put the Acmella there instead


    Trimmed the Lud red about half way down last week. It'll be ready for another good whacking at nect week's WC. the plan is to keep it a lot lower than it is now.


    [​IMG]


    There's about a 3" space between the L red and the Bonsai. The overhang of the red has forming a tunnel, also creating the shadow.


    [​IMG]


    Rotala macaranda variegated is doing pretty well. About 1 out of every 6-7 tops stunts and withers. That's better than a couple months ago when it was 50/50.


    Havent really changed much fert-wise I just keep cutting out the bad and replanting the good. Trying to focus on better maintenance and pruning, keeping the overall bio-moss in check, trying to keep space between groups. The important stuff that's so easy to overlook. Pikez threads lately are a symposium on bio-mass. Im trying to take notice..


    [​IMG]
     
    #19 burr740, Jan 22, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 23, 2017
    2 people like this.
  20. burr740

    burr740 Micros Spiller
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