Fablau 75 gallon tank

fablau

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UPDATE

Ok, 4 weeks have passed already... time goes so fast!

And the situation has changed, not really for the best. Some plants got better, others got worse.

The plant who got clearly better seems to be Ambulia... yes, finally... but not completely into "normal" growth. But definitively better as you can see from this pic:

ambulia.jpg



Cabomba Furcata also kept growing very well fo the past month, I can say was the fastest growing plant. I had to trim it more than once a week (!!):

Cabomba.jpg



Limnophila Aromatica also grew well, no complains:

limno.jpg



But on the other side, some plants got "stuck" like Rotala Rotundifolia for example. It was growing so well a month ago! And look how it grew in the past 2 weeks. Just a little bit, too little:

Rotala.jpg



Star Grass also got stuck. Look at its pathetic growth in more than 3 weeks!!

ambulia.jpg



That plant should grow so fast to need a trim every 5-6 days or so!


And finally, the most pathetic one... guess which one??!! Of course, our hated-loved AR. That plant really got stuck and got worse and worse every day. It was much better in the picture I took in my last update above, 4 weeks ago:

ar.jpg



Besides many plants got stuck, I begun seeing around some little tufts of BBA (oh no!!!).... which, in my experience, always tells me something is missing or wrong with dosing (nothing to do with Co2 in my case, that is always stable and unchanged):

BBA-tuft.jpg


BBA-tuft2.jpg


So... what's going on???!! Here is my smoking gun: too low Mn. Do you remember I lowered Mn a big deal 5-6 weeks ago? And that sorted good results at first... but then, it was probably too low. The ratio Fe:Mn I have been trying for the past 6 weeks has been of 5:1, which is probably too low. And in fact, I have experienced a slow but steady degradation of those plants. I can see they are missing something. And Mn is the only element I have lowered in the past 1.5 months (unless Boron, which I haven't been dosing for the past 5 months, has finally bottomed out... but I don't think so since my tap should have it plenty).

So, my new micro dosing for the upcoming weeks will be the following:

Fe DTPA 10% 0.15 ppm
Mn 0.04 ppm
Zn 0.03 ppm
Cu 0.001 ppm
Ni 0.0005 ppm
Mo 0.0005 ppm


I increased Mn a little bit, not too much because I see Ambulia finally getting better and I don't want to hinder her growth again. Maybe I have increase Mn too little? Well... time will tell. If in 2 weeks I see no improvement, I plan to increase Mn even more (0.05 ppm). And if that also won't work, I'll try to add some Boron! What else otherwise?

One thing I have learned for sure in the past 2 months: the increase of PO4 has helped most plants a great deal. The ratio No3:pO4 of 5:1 seems to work best.


To finish, I am posting a full tank's shot, just to give an idea of the overall situation (before the last trimming):

full.jpg



Thanks for following!
 

fablau

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UPDATE:

I am finally here guys, with some new insights on my tank. The past 6 weeks has been dense of experimentation, and I am happy to report my results (not all good though!)

Well, frustrated by the weak growth of some plants such as Ambulia and AR, six weeks ago I decided to try to increase light a little bit, moving from about 60-70 PAR at the substrate to about 80-90, not that much difference, but enough, I thought, to give plants a boost.

Well, the result has been mostly disappointing, because despite some plants increased growth as expected (those that were dong already well), the ones that were stuck before didn't change anything, they are still stuck (!!!), which tells me that light is NOT the issue for those plants. Yes, higher light gave me redder Ludwigia Repens, which is nice, but is it really worth it? I am trying to find out...

The best growers are Cabomba Furcata, Miriophillum, Limno, Hygros, Repens and Lobelia as you can see from the two pics below:

full.jpg


cabomba.jpg



Cabomba must be trimmed once a week (which is a hassle!) otherwise it just blows the tank (!!!). But as you can see from the shot above, Ambulia is still weird and grows slowly. Increased light didn't make any difference. That's a real big mystery that nobody can still explain...

What instead has worsen, is the status of Anubias, maybe too much light... algae increased on those plants, as you can see from the pics below:

anubias0.jpg


anubias1.jpg


anubias2.jpg


BBA is still on some leaves (not much, but enough to bother me), and some GSA also appeared. Of course, those Anubias are now blasted by over 140 PAR of light, compared to around 110 PAR before, but then what?? I thought: well, let's try to increase traces a little bit to "compensate" the possible need of more nutrients, because the more light, the more need for nutrients... well, after 2 weeks of 25% increased traces, I still see no signs of improvement on that side. My plan for the next few weeks is to try to shorten the peak of the photoperiod, from around 4 hours of peak to 3 hours of peak, just as an experiment. The total photoperiod is about 8 hours, but the peak will last just 3 hours instead than current 4 hours. We'll see if that'll make any difference. If not, I'll keep decreasing light to see if that's actually driving the increased algae problem on Anubias. I could just revert back to lower light, but for the sake of "research" and to satisfy my curiosity, I'll do my part ;)

Funny thing, I increased light in the first place with the intent to boost growth of AR, but instead, it is still pathetic. It is getting now not less than 80-90 PAR of light (compared to 60-70 before), but it didn't make any darn difference:

AR.jpg


Thoughts are always very welcome guys. I'll keep you posted!
 

Greggz

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Still looks like a lot more going right than wrong.

Personally I could never keep Anubias algae free with my lighting (110 PAR Substrate). It was removed from tank a long time ago.

And I wouldn't judge much from AR either. Again, I keep it but has never been a great grower for me. I gave up on changing things to make it happy. Too many other things doing well to worry about it.

Now Ambulia, that really is a mystery.

Not surprised more P is helping. What levels are you at with Macros? More light can also drive more need.

As to B, I think it's the most volatile of the micros. Too little leaves room for improvement, but too much is toxic. Takes some trial and error to get it right.
 

fablau

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Still looks like a lot more going right than wrong.

Personally I could never keep Anubias algae free with my lighting (110 PAR Substrate). It was removed from tank a long time ago.

And I wouldn't judge much from AR either. Again, I keep it but has never been a great grower for me. I gave up on changing things to make it happy. Too many other things doing well to worry about it.

Now Ambulia, that really is a mystery.

Not surprised more P is helping. What levels are you at with Macros? More light can also drive more need.

As to B, I think it's the most volatile of the micros. Too little leaves room for improvement, but too much is toxic. Takes some trial and error to get it right.

Thank you Greg.

Anubias have been doing great for months under 110 PAR, then they started with some speck of BBA, a few weeks before I increased light. In my experience and with this tank, I have been able to restore Anubia leaves super-clean by tweaking with traces, either by increasing them or decreasing them. That's why I wanted to try to increase traces a little.

As I posted above, macros should be plenty:

NO3: 18.36 ppm on WC day, then 7.34 ppm 2x
K: 24.22 ppm on WC day, then 5.89 ppm 2x
P: 3.44 ppm on WC day, then 1.72 ppm 2x

As for Boron, my tap has around 0.15 ppm of it, so I have not been dosing it for the past year or so... I have tried to dose a little bit in the past month, but I didn't notice making any difference.

But as you said, we must test to understand what's wrong, and since we must test one variable at a time, it takes a long time to find out issues and conclusions.

And of course, the Ambulia mystery is the biggest one indeed...
 

Bishop

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Looking okay overall. As Greggz said, More going right than wrong.
I think once we identify something wrong such as Ar growth it's easier to be overly critical.

Anyways, the AR isn't stunted/distorted anymore which is good It think but leaves are small.
For me the AR was fixed by not adding any Ca or B as my tap has high B levels. In fact I can induce stunting now by just adding either of those two.
Doesn't look like that will help you here which I hoped it could.

Might be worth removing livestock if you have a small tank and blasting with co2 or trying extreme things like doubling trace amounts, light NPK etc
I am unsure of everything you have tried but from memory it seems there isn't much left to try without going to extreme measures.

The black lines across the stargrass leaf I am working on now as I have that too. I have changed the flow patterns of my tank and made co2 higher at lights on and it seems to have helped but also increased zinc so wont know for a while.
 
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fablau

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Looking okay overall. As Greggz said, More going right than wrong.
I think once we identify something wrong such as Ar growth it's easier to be overly critical.

Anyways, the AR isn't stunted/distorted anymore which is good It think but leaves are small.
For me the AR was fixed by not adding any Ca or B as my tap has high B levels. In fact I can induce stunting now by just adding either of those two.
Doesn't look like that will help you here which I hoped it could.

Might be worth removing livestock if you have a small tank and blasting with co2 or trying extreme things like doubling trace amounts, light NPK etc
I am unsure of everything you have tried but from memory it seems there isn't much left to try without going to extreme measures.

The black lines across the stargrass leaf I am working on now as I have that too. I have changed the flow patterns of my tank and made co2 higher at lights on and it seems to have helped but also increased zinc so wont know for a while.

Good points and thoughts Bishop. Yes, I am willing to try extremes, and I never stop trying and testing. I am not still in the process to see the reaction from the increased traces, I am going to give one more week to that (and then I will have tested for 3 weeks). Usually a test takes 2-3 weeks to complete, so that plants have time to react. And then I'll move on to the next test, which will probably be revert back to lower traces to see if that actually makes any difference... takes a lot of time!
 
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fablau

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@fablau I'm still bothered by the ambulia issue.

Yes, I know, that is the most puzzling issue in my tank. What I plan doing this weekend, before WC, is to replace the substrate there, or better, to add some more because it is a little shallow right in that spot where Ambulia is. I also plan to add some Osmocote underneath to see if that makes any difference. We have to test and watch!
 

fablau

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Quick update:

Ok folks, I don’t know what was the cause, either added substrate or some osmocote put underneath, but Ambulia got better, not perfect, but it is definitively growing more. Still a long way to go to get back to be a real weed though... but something puzzling happened today. One of the stems drooped today. No idea why, have a look at the pics below, can you see it on the far right?

IMG_1145.jpg


IMG_1146.jpg


IMG_1147.jpg


IMG_1148.jpg


Do you have any ideas why that stem, the longest one, all of a sudden gets stuck that way?? That’s what happened several months ago when all Ambulias began having issues... right now that was getting in better shape!

Looking forward for your thoughts.
 

edelry.junior

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Hi Fab!
Hope you are doing fine :)

Got curious about one thing. Every time I see the pictures of your tank, I notice how you have diferent light levels across the tank. Horizontally, I mean. Might be the pictures...

I am aware that I am biased towards really high light, but I wanted to ask: those PAR levels for the AR are actual measurements or estimates from the Rotala calculator?
Also, is it AR mini, or some other variation?

On my tanks I have seen a similar AR behaviour, connected to either CO2 or light. I usually have the opposite issue, where plants grow almost flat/horizontally, and start shadowing other plants.
 

edelry.junior

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Do you have any ideas why that stem, the longest one, all of a sudden gets stuck that way?? That’s what happened several months ago when all Ambulias began having issues... right now that was getting in better shape!

You might be reading too much into it. I am not saying you do not have an issue there, but sometimes these things happen, depending on species/tank.

For instance, Heteranthera Zoosterifolia is really weedy, but occasionaly one stem might die on my tank, for whatever reason, lack of light, physical damage, too densely planted...

So, I would check the overall picture. If more stems start doing the same, then you could act upon it. My 2 cents anyway :)
 
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fablau

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Hi Fab!
Hope you are doing fine :)

Got curious about one thing. Every time I see the pictures of your tank, I notice how you have diferent light levels across the tank. Horizontally, I mean. Might be the pictures...

I am aware that I am biased towards really high light, but I wanted to ask: those PAR levels for the AR are actual measurements or estimates from the Rotala calculator?
Also, is it AR mini, or some other variation?

On my tanks I have seen a similar AR behaviour, connected to either CO2 or light. I usually have the opposite issue, where plants grow almost flat/horizontally, and start shadowing other plants.

Hi Junior and thank you for chiming in.

PAR measurements are real, I have a PAR meter and use it to measure light intensity around my tank whenever I change light settings.

As for my pictures showing different light levels, that's probably due to the fact I usually take pictures in the evening when just the back set of lights are on, otherwise pictures aren't that contrasted. Is that maybe it?
 

fablau

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You might be reading too much into it. I am not saying you do not have an issue there, but sometimes these things happen, depending on species/tank.

For instance, Heteranthera Zoosterifolia is really weedy, but occasionaly one stem might die on my tank, for whatever reason, lack of light, physical damage, too densely planted...

So, I would check the overall picture. If more stems start doing the same, then you could act upon it. My 2 cents anyway :)

Yeah, I know, I posted yesterday about this issue because I was pissed by it, and I am well aware that may be due to anything and/or nothing in particular. Tank density has been a proble lately, and I'd need first to try to get rid of more plants.

I was mostly curious to know what's your experience when perfectly healthy plants, all of a sudden droop. I know some plants are more sensitive than others, but Ambulia shouldn't be among those more sensitive, shouldn't it?

Thanks for your 2 cents!
 

Greggz

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Fab your Ambulia is a real mystery.

They look better now, but even still should be more full and round on top when they are really going.

For the life of me I can't figure that one out.

But you have so much else going well, do you want to change much to change it?
 
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rajkm

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I usually blame CO2 for most droop issues.
I never had Ambulia so cant say, but Pantanal or other Ludwigias, liminophila droop for me when CO2 seems off.
But in your case it’s only one stem, so I would say it’s just conditional but its also seems the tallest so closer to light and hence more needs.
 
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fablau

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Fab your Ambulia is a real mystery.

They look better now, but even still should be more full and round on top when they are really going.

For the life of me I can't figure that one out.

But you have so much else going well, do you want to change much to change it?

I know Greg! Well, yes, most of all other plants are doing great, AR is still in “pain” mode, but maybe is getting better... I can’t complain much because in the overall, the situation is improved a lot lately. I will post a more extensive update as soon as possible. What I can say is that for the past 4 weeks seems that had a positive effect lowering a little bit No3 and increasing PO4.
 

fablau

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I usually blame CO2 for most droop issues.
I never had Ambulia so cant say, but Pantanal or other Ludwigias, liminophila droop for me when CO2 seems off.
But in your case it’s only one stem, so I would say it’s just conditional but its also seems the tallest so closer to light and hence more needs.

Thank you for letting me know about your experience about drooping. And yes, I agree and noticed right away that the tallest stem was the one that got stuck, for sure more light, more needs... and something was missing right there! But what??! Go figure! The only element I am not dosing right now is Boron, because my tap should have plenty, but I will try with the next micro batch to include some B anyway and see what difference that will make. Other than that, I should be providing everything plants need right now, and can’t think about anything else missing. As I wrote above, I also added a good number of osmocote pills under those plants, so... what the heck do they want more?
 

fablau

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UPDATE

Today I got my trimming, and I must say, I have trimmed a lot. Which is a good sign I suppose! And Ambulia wasn't that bad, despite that single stem that got stuck a few days ago. It probably got stuck because all other plants were completely overgrown, have a look at the pic below taken yesterday evening before the trimming (forgive the image quality, this time I used my iPhone instead that my reflex), a real jungle:

FullOvergrown.jpg



Ambulia actually managed to reach the surface after 2 weeks which didn't happen in a long time:

AmbuliaSurface.jpg



And here is the tank after the trimming:
FullTrimmed.jpg


As you can see, Both Cabomba Furcata and Ambulia on the right side of the tank look pretty good, I can't really complain:
LeftGroup.jpg


Stauro also is super-green and well grown:
Stauro.jpg



And, believe it or not, AR is giving me something I haven't seen in a long time as well, good new growth:
AR.jpg



So...what did I change for the past 4 weeks or so? Not much... micros are pretty much still the same, increased a little bit everything, dosed daily:

Fe DTPA 10%: 0.2 ppm
Mn: 0.05 ppm
Zn: 0.05 ppm
Cu : 0.002 ppm
Mo: 0.0015 ppm
Ni: 0.0005 ppm

Boron still avoided due to high presence in tap. Instead, I reduced a little bit NO3 compared to PO4:

NO3: 25 ppm a week
PO4: 7 ppm a week

No idea if that helped to improve some plants or instead was just the small increase of traces, or just a fortunate case? I plan to keep this schedule for a while and see if it keeps working.

On a side note, my albino bushy noses bred again.

Here is a pic of a baby on the glass:
BabyBushy.jpg


And here's his mom:
BushyMom.jpg


These fish breed almost every 2 months, after a big water change, and then I have dozens of youngsters swimming around that I have to give away after a while... where to put them otherwise!??!