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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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    Posted this in the micro thread but Im adding it here too, pretty good stuff

    One of the new 20 gal is producing some of the biggest and best looking Ludwigia sp reds Ive ever grown or seen.

    The two or three biggest ones are damn near 3" wide

    39617648544_361d87b40a_h.jpg

    25457428537_0cc40886ee_h.jpg


    The question was then asked what might be the difference between these new tanks and the others, why it's growing so big here

    Same tap water, same type of lights, roughly the same PH drop from co2, same substrate,

    Dosing has been slightly less. The 20s arent getting the double macro dose after water changes (the other tanks arent going to be either going forward but that's another story)

    Flow is probably a little stronger, I switched from the powerhead sponges going through Ista reactors to Aquaclear 70 HOBs mounted on the ends. There are baffles on the outflow to cut down velocity, but there's no doubt more water volume is passing over these plants than in the other tanks

    PAR is about 75 at the sub against the back wall, in the center its about 90. The 50 gal is in the 85-90 range. So not a whole lot of difference there. (For those who read the initial PAR readings in the 20s, it jumped up probably 10-15 points a few days later after the new bulbs "burned in."

    There's a fresh batch of Osmocote+ in the substrate. I dont think this is much of a factor because the tops have been replanted twice. There hasnt been much tiime to make roots. These were started from small cut tops just a few inches tall. They've hit the surface twice already. (first week was a little rough) I replanted them for the second time last week and they didnt miss a beat. So if the O+ is having an effect on these particular plants, it's from whatever is leeching into the wc.

    Personally I have no idea what the difference maker is. More flow and probably a higher concentration of everything in a small volume of water would be my guess.

    But sometimes things just click fro no apparent reason. Surface film disappears, the water becomes crystal clear and the plant are all singing halleluja.

    For the first couple of weeks there was a wicked diatom bloom, some GDA, and some sort of dark spot algae took over the older leaves of several plants. Everything was brand new starting out, new sand, filter sponges, everything. So there was zero bio-filter for a while.

    I added 3 otos to each one and threw in a few guppy and platy fry. Did 2x weekly water changes for the first 3 weeks. All that algae started going away in week 2. Its been one of the easiest start ups ever really
     
  2. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    This is ver interesting Burr, about the GDA triggered by high macros.... our "theory" that high macros are not causing issues is wrong then? Or something else is going on here? I'd love to know Tom's thoughts on your experience.
     
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  3. Greggz

    Greggz Lifetime Members
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    +1. I find this very, very interesting. I am also experimenting with front loading high levels of macros. Have not seen the same effect yet.....but who knows maybe it's coming?
     
  4. burr740

    burr740 Micros Spiller
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    I dont think its a case where X nutrient caused it, in the same way ODing ammonia or urea might cause it.

    It showed up because the plants became unhappy (even if they're not showing it yet) Maybe the extra K was interfering with Ca, which is a moderate 35 ppm or so. Or maybe the extra P was messing with Zn or Fe or whatever else it can mess with. Or maybe truly unlimiting NO3 caused something else to be short. Who knows?

    All I really know is what happened, the why remains a mystery.
     
  5. Phishless

    Phishless Lifetime Member
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    Mystery?
    Sorry I had to try my new "Disclaimer"
     
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  6. Phishless

    Phishless Lifetime Member
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    WTH do we need a disclaimer these days?
    This is a hobby we all guess at since we don't own enough scientific equipment to prove it any other way.
    Should I be more bold with my acronyms?:D
     
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  7. Christophe

    Christophe Subscriber
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    I've been experiencing a significant GDA issue also, since about October. Because it's not really obviously affected the plants, just crudding up the glass, I've gone really slowly with trying things to reduce it.

    In about August, I began a trial of reduced water change volume, 33% per week instead of 50+%. At the same time, I tried reducing macro dosing also. By late October I had a strong weekly encrustation of GDA on the glass. It used to take 4 weeks to reach the same intensity. I tried about 6 weeks of treatment with Excel through November and early December. No impact at all. I hit the logical endpoint for the reduced macros experiment in December, 1/4 standard EI, most plants had some sign of problem. I increased the macros again. Plants got better. No change in the GDA. During my two week holiday break, I did four 60% water changes over that time period. That made a big dent in the GDA issue. Plants liked it too, grew out of the stunting I'd induced with the macro experiment.

    Since then, I'd reverted to the 33%/week water change plan. The GDA built back up to a significant weekly problem, so a couple weeks ago, I went back to the larger water changes, but still once a week. Along with careful removal of the algae when I scrape it (move VERY slowly, upward only, keep the algae on the blade and remove it from the tank each sweep, tap it off into a bucket) the GDA problem is receding quickly. I'm dosing standard EI macros along with this now. I don't think it's necessarily the macros, I do think there are other components of waste buildup that occurred with the lower change volume that support GDA well.
     
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  8. Greggz

    Greggz Lifetime Members
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    Phishless, I am working my way up to guessing.

    In the meantime, below just to be safe.


    (Your results may vary, try at your own risk, poster not responsible for injury due to following his advice, past performance is not a guarantee of future results, the information provided is believed to be true at the time of posting, the user assumes all risk associated with using this method, not responsible for direct, indirect, incidental or consequential damages resulting from any advice offered in this post)
     
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  9. Kyalgae

    Kyalgae Lifetime Members
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    Are you saying you have no surface film, and you aren’t using any skimmers? Is there any strong enough surface agitation to be removing the film? I always thought surface film was just a natural thing. That’s very interesting that you have none in your tank, and having some of the best plant growth. I wonder what kind of bacteria live in the film? Why is it gone? Is there some kind of relationship here, that might relate back to plant health? The relationship between fungi and pine tree seedlings comes to mind.

    Edit: A quick googling shows some people are actually looking at these fungi/plant relationships in submerged plants.

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1574-6941.2011.01291.x/full

    “Zijlstra et al. (2005) reported a positive effect of C. rhizophila on the growth and nitrogen uptake of some plant species. To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first to detect C. rhizophila in roots of aquatic plants and demonstrate that their terrestrial and aquatic strains are closely related (Fig. 8).”

    Why all the disclaimers? Did someone try to sue you? Safe from what?
     
    #769 Kyalgae, Feb 20, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2018
  10. Greggz

    Greggz Lifetime Members
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    LOL......just some guys having a few laughs is all.

    And by the way, I don't have any surface film either, but do have heavy surface agitation.
     
    #770 Greggz, Feb 20, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2018
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  11. burr740

    burr740 Micros Spiller
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    There's a pretty good roll on the end with the HOB, but from past experience it takes a lot more than this to blow off a surface film if its there

    40349269092_700f7eb93d_b.jpg

    Surface film is usually worse on newer set ups, and whenever plants arent doing well for some reason. Once a tank is a few months old it tends to come and go more based on the latter. Just another sign of the overall well-being of things.

    Of course some tanks just seem to be plagued with it worse than others and obviously the more surface agitation the better.

    I like having zero, both for looks and for optimum gas exchange, which is why all the big tanks have SunSun intake pipes with the built in skimmer

    it was just surprising to me these two 20s became slick as glass after less than two months
     
  12. burr740

    burr740 Micros Spiller
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    Trim time!! :)

    Today's episode featuring Ludwigia sp red and Bacopa colorata

    Before

    39856143994_c338c53da3_b.jpg


    Pinch all the nice tops off, arrange in piles of short, med, and tall, scraps to the side for replanting elsewhere

    40524094042_78e8f13af4_b.jpg


    Repeat for colorata

    38756379630_001ffd7041_b.jpg


    Toss all this ratty bottom stuff, good opportunity to remove unwanted biomass

    40524099102_8a82d9ce04_h.jpg


    Suck out the leftover crud with a siphon hose, just lightly skimming the surface. Careful to avoid curious fish!

    39856141314_3001ab57ec_h.jpg


    Replant tops one by one, the Ludwigia sometimes two at a time.

    Vois la

    40524014192_60b42431df_h.jpg


    Bacopa should now be good for a month or so. Colorata grows a lot slower than it's cousin, B caroliniana

    The Ludwigia red will need doing again in 2-3 weeks. It can be just mowed once or twice leaving the stumps to come back. Each stump will put out several new ones and the group becomes nice and thick. After a couple mowing/repsrout cycles it's time to start over again with just tops.
     
  13. burr740

    burr740 Micros Spiller
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    Starting to hash out <yet another> plan for the scape.

    40524006622_f2c94c6b8a_h.jpg

    Some of these groups are just placeholders for the time being. Have a few species in mind to swap out. There are currently some contrast fails and a lot will depend on how certain things grow.

    39665041905_32454a0605_h.jpg

    Check out that sweet Crypt Vin gave me, brand new to the hobby - Cryptocoryne spiralis 'red tiger'. New leaves have a green stripe in the middle, older leaves are pinkish brown with dark striations.

    Is this thing ballin or what?? Thanks Vin!!

    40523992672_a787aac6a1_h.jpg

    I invited a few old friends with a habit of breaking my heart back to the party. Just cant help myself. :0

    This front right section will here fore be known as "Nemesis Corner"

    Rotala sunsets. Those 4 little tops are growing pretty nice. Tops arernt perfect, a little gnarly, good size and diameter though

    Syn giants have been in here maybe a week. Two or three smaller ones have been clamped up like that since they got here. Not sure what they're thinking. Others still looking pretty good. We'll see...

    AR mini variegated is all new babies started over from the previous big ones. They were still too undulated to look worth a damn, definitely not good enough to be front and center. I auctioned them off 'as is' on FB. Gonna try one more round and see if they grow any better. If not something else is going right here.

    39856080154_1dd34b4f0c_h.jpg

    40524022772_2a72d6f2a5_h.jpg


    Fert update:

    26680882458_d2bf2506ec_o.png
     
  14. Kyalgae

    Kyalgae Lifetime Members
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    Placeholders or not, I like this layout a lot. Your tank does look a lot bigger without the plant with the very large leaves, I notice that now. The slight sloping, shows off the moss wall a little more, it’s nice. Thanks for the fertilization update.
     
  15. Bishop

    Bishop Member

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    Agree with Kyalgae, that looks good.

    Do you find your moss gets really dirty? Ive thought about moss walls but the idea of cleaning up moss for hours doesn't excite me.
     
  16. burr740

    burr740 Micros Spiller
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    Thanks!

    The moss wall have been surprisingly low maintenance. I was expecting a lot worse tbh. Occasionally I'll fan some of it with my hands, whatever parts are convenient. A little debris will come out but it's nothing major. Keep in mind I have sand substrate. Im sure it'd be much worse with something dusty like aquasoil.

    It needs trimming about every couple of months. Ive let it go three but it starts getting really thick on the sides and cuts into the tank's footprint too much. The sides grow a lot faster than the back, I guess because there's more light reflected on it.

    Trimming is relatively easy since the panels just pop out. The last time all four took about 90 minutes being in no particular hurry. I do one at a time, take it out and lay it over some newspaper or whatever. Chop it down to nothing and rinse the leftover fragments out with the sink sprayer or outside hose pipe. Pop it back in and your done.

    All that's left now is finding someone who wants a super awesome deal on a ton of xmas moss. :)
     
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  17. Christophe

    Christophe Subscriber
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    Posts like this are gold -- 'species-specific how-to-trim-it' with step by step photos deserves a spot in the knowledge base for each plant.
     
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  18. burr740

    burr740 Micros Spiller
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    Thanks. Im still very much trying to learn how to create depth and scale while not using too many species according Dutch guidelines. This 4' tank should have no more than 12-14 total species. For me this is a big challenge to say the least.

    Here's some tentative thoughts and plans using my highly sophisticated MS Paint skills (which I dont often reveal to just anyone) Input is welcome

    40530017862_7f18b96011_b.jpg

    1. Have a single species going all the way front to back. A true Dutch artist would use plain old Wisteria here. It'd be a great look, but Im not sure many true Dutch scapers are rolling with this much light either. Still Im tempted to try it.

    2. Something tall leafy and green that doesnt get the size of a beach ball. Currently growing out some baby Nympoides taiwan, gonna try that next. If anyone has a line on Ottelia ulvifolia please let me know. That always looks good in pictures Ive seen.

    3. Wallichii isnt the best background color to show off the new crypt. It's looking too good lately not to keep so the plan is move it behind the number 5 green

    4. Thinking of replacing Penthorum with Lobelia small form. I really like that plant and its hard to beat for contrast and making a street. Will need to change the Clinopodium it if I do that. Penthourm is cool and all but damn it grows fast, and Im really just in the mood for something different

    5. Combine Acmella and Ambulia into a single species. It would be an easy decision if Ambulia didnt grow so fast. Im literally chopping down a few stems twice a week, which is why the group looks so butchered now. Im just like why bother, lol. Acmella I think is extremely cool but it would take at least 100 stems to get the look needed here, maybe 200, especially for a group running sideways.

    6. Not sure kimberly is the best look color-wise. A narrow line of Pantanals might work, but it would need to be distinctly slimmer than the Lud red group in order to not have a big look at me plant dead center. Acmella could be a candidate here. Need to find a way to keep that plant.

    7. Mini aromatica isnt staying. it needs a bigger area for a nice bushy display, candidates for right here are Rotala indica, Clinopodium, Oldenlandia or Mini Myrio, something short and stemmy. Whatever winds up in area 1 will decide what goes in front of it.

    8. Unless the AR becomes show worthy this will probably be all one green something. A big splathe of Syn giants would be nice, gotta see how it grows first. Lots of other options if it doesnt.
     
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  19. burr740

    burr740 Micros Spiller
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    Yeah @Pikez used to show this kind of stuff in his 180 journal and I always loved reading about it. Got the idea from him really. I was in there the other night with the phone handy and figured what the hell.
     
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  20. Bishop

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    Lol, didn't even realize it was Xmas moss as it doesn't seem to get too much attention here. Taking it out for maintenance sounds like it eliminates most of the issues.
    Might have to give it a go if I can ever sort my ferts out :D

    Cheers
     
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