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  2. We are after as many aquarium plant images that we can get, doing so will assist us in completing the aquarium plant database.

    https://barrreport.com/threads/aquatic-plant-images-wanted.14374/
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A Thank You to Tom, Gerryd, gurus.

Discussion in 'Are you new to aquatic plants? Start here' started by uimike, Jul 12, 2011.

  1. uimike

    uimike Lifetime Charter Member
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    Update here...

    My ADA 120-P tank was suffering, plants did not look that good, had recurring bouts of BGA, so I posted about a month and a half ago asking for help.

    Got generous advice from Tom, Gerryd.

    Tried my best to follow it - and, WOW.

    I'll try and post a few images later. In the meantime, I'm a pretty happy camper - after reading hundreds, maybe a thousand or more posts, and trying my best to follow what Tom, Gerry and masters have been saying for quite some time, I believe I have a better grasp of the whole tank x light x plants x fish x substrate x CO2 x ferts interactions.

    I planted the tank way more heavily, moved the lights up, added tons of gentle water movement (2 hydors), added a school of black neon tetra, have been toping the tank with distilled water and adding a fraction of EI per week (KNO3, Phosphate, Tropica Plant Nutrition; feeding the fish generously, and

    wow. 5-6 weeks have gone by, no algal blooms, no BGA, I haven't even had the need for vacuuming the substrate, and my Anubias(es), Crypts, Ferns, Apos, etc are very happy, and sprouting beautiful green leaves - one at a time, slowly as Tom mentions, but surely. The fish seem extremely happy. My 5 clown loaches are happier than ever. I am quite proud of my tank, its been nicer than ever.

    All this is because of your advice guys, Tom, Gerryd and the other gurus.

    I am learning!

    And my advice to others: do try to understand and follow the suggestions carefully.
    I even followed Tom's advice to create calibrated nitrate solutions. Result: wow, test kits of course do vary wildly - but within one batch you now know what a certain test kit result (color in LaMotte, values in others) really means.

    Don't throw away the kits - but do what Tom says.


    Many many thanks!

    mike
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    One soul saved.
     
  3. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Glad to hear things are improving! I understand your joy after struggling myself for a long time :)
     
  4. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    Good stuff.

    Will be good to see the photos when you have time.

    Maybe a quick summary of what you were doing before and what you are doing now so that other beginners can identify the changes that were made for the better.

    This wasn't just a CO2 issue?? :)

    Scott.
     
  5. uimike

    uimike Lifetime Charter Member
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    Scott, will post soon.

    Natural method (not quite Walsted), no CO2, and currently, no water changes, just topping off with distilled.

    Before:

    4 year old ADA 120-P tank, 65gal approx., with acrylic cover (plates with gaps between them); Amazon 1 soil quite deep (3 inches); with 2x54W T5 (will post more details later) 12h/day; Eheim 2026 on one end (efimech, sponge, carbon), AquaClear 70 on other (sponge, occasional purigen); exit spray bar from Eheim along tank length, 1 inch below surface, parallel to it; heater, temperature 25-26;

    tap water very hard, pH 8.2

    Decent sized fish population (corys, rasbora het., otos, 5 clow loaches, glow-light tetra, brilliant rasbora) + 3 Amano shrimp, some assorted snails; feed: Tetra crisp, Hikari sinking pellets, algae wafers, occasional veggies.

    Occasional (important to note, really irregular) fertilization with Seachem's N, P, K, Fe, Trace, Mix

    Fewer and fewer plants with time, at some point the crypts were quite anemic, the tiger lilies got quite anemic, with small leaves; the anubias (3-4 varieties) slowed down a lot - only the Amazon swords were growing, quite happily I'd say, and taking over, with enormous root systems. Gone were my Java fern, aponogetons and others.

    Topped off with very hard tap water; excess dirt would build up, mulm and food, would siphon often

    Tank in general looked like is was slowly going downhill, not that the fish were ill or anything, but I had bouts of BGA, and would have to do a 4-day blackout every 2-3 months.


    So what I think have happened:

    Because we have Tom, gerryd and the resources they themselves mention (Tropica, sci papers, Walsted, etc), I started understanding that the issues IN MY CASE were most likely:

    - I did not have excessive light, but I had too little fertilization for the amount of light I had > I increased fertilization, esp. Nitrate
    - After 4 years, a lot of the soil N was probably gone > I added fert spikes near rooted plants
    - I planted a lot more new plants. I should say, again, FOLLOW Tom's advice. One MAJOR addition for me was Hygrophylla difformis, a fast grower, Seriolusly, it helped a lot
    - stopped worrying too much about testing the water, but calibrated Nitrate solutions when I did test; switched to a modified EI, with dry ferts + Tropica, and doing it regularly
    - started topping with distilled water
    - Big thing: added a lot more (but gentle) water movement with 2 Hydors - to avoid dead spots, and to distribute ferts, entertain fish, etc.
    - Big thing: cleaned the filters more often (nothing fancy, just avoiding getting fetid media)

    I'd say, in summary, the plants were starving, the tank and filters were getting too much organic matter build-up, and the water was too loaded with hardness - not too bad in itself, but I suspect the excessive Ca, Mg were somehow messing up with something else. Cleaning filters more often, adding water circulation, fertilizing accordingly for the light level, planting more heavily including faster growers - did it.

    All stuff Tom's been saying for ever.

    My tank, with photos to come, has been very stable for a month and a half now, it looks quite decent, I believe, for a non-CO2, non-Excel, no water changes, fairly populated tank.

    It does NOT look like a CO2, higher-PAR tank, with pearling plants - I think those are awesome, but I like mine, tx, and beside, I am lazy.

    No BGA so far, not even a hint, and real algae / diatoms have been very much under control, I suspect the light + ferts + water movement + cleanliness helped.

    Current aquarium daily/weekly/monthly grind: minimal

    Current aquarium delight: giant

    mike
     
  6. uimike

    uimike Lifetime Charter Member
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    3 images...
    Before
    [​IMG]
    After
    [​IMG]
    Closer. The Rotala in the back unfortunately later started auto-fragging. I believe light, CO2 too low for them.
    [​IMG]
     
  7. lljdma06

    lljdma06 Prolific Poster

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    Haha, looks just like my tank! Very nice! Very good crypts. Glad you got help here. It's a good place with no-nonsense advice and not a lot of conflicting opinions being thrown at you. It's uncanny, we actually do have very similar systems, mine's posted here too, except mine is just younger and I had way more flow and plant mass from the get-go, so I didn't really get the algae problems. The ADA soil hasn't crapped out on me yet, but I got my ferts lined up for when it does.

    Again, very happy that you're alga-free and get to sit back an enjoy your tank. I love looking at mine.
     
  8. uimike

    uimike Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hi Liz - in fact, veeeery similar - except yours is nicer, and I love the moss(es) :)
    I am following the "Is this possible" discussion, see you there.

    mike
     
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