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Fablau 75 gallon tank

Discussion in 'Journals' started by fablau, Jan 28, 2017.

  1. edelry.junior

    edelry.junior Plant Enthusiast
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    Hey Fab, tank looks good after the trimming!

    Small note: I still get the impression that some plants are being shadowed, all lights were turned on during the pictures? Is the light fixture more on the back?

    Also, what AR is that? Mini?
     
    fablau likes this.
  2. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    Thanks Junior!

    No, lights were still off on the front when took the pictures. I usually don’t take pictures with all lights on because they look too bright, but the next time I will to show how plants are fully blasted;)
     
  3. edelry.junior

    edelry.junior Plant Enthusiast
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    Try using a really low ISO to start with. f11 or so should also help.

    I guess you want to keep the AR type as a secret... :)
     
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  4. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    Thank you Junior, I'll try that! I am not an expert photographer, but I have tried several different settings, and at the end I like more that kind of light, but the next time I'll try what you are suggesting.

    About the AR, that's the regular Alternanthera Reineckii ;)
     
  5. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    UPDATE

    Happy New Year to everyone!

    Finally I am here to report about my tank. It has been a very long and intense couple of months. I have been crazy busy at work during this time (due to the Christmas season), so I was unable to post any updates. But I could experiment a lot with my tank, and the situation has improved a great deal...

    I have been trying basically 4 things:

    1. Finding the best balanced trace mix for my tank
    2. Lowered overall macros
    3. Increased light in the front of the tank in order to have a better light distribution (which also increased PAR)
    4. Reduced plant mass and increased "elbow space" between plants.

    And the results have been great for almost all plants.

    On the traces side, after a lot of tinkering, I settled with the following reduced dosing which I have been applying daily for the past 2 months:

    Fe DTPA 10%: 0.12 ppm
    Mn: 0.03 ppm
    Zn: 0.03 ppm
    Cu: 0.0012 ppm
    Mo: 0.0009 ppm
    Ni: 0.0003 ppm

    As always, no Boron because of high concentration in my tap (0.15 ppm). This regime hasn't changed for the past 2 months, it has been working well and I have settled there because I tried other things such as lowering macros and increasing light. As you know, "one change at a time!"

    Macros: I have settled in the past 6 weeks with a reduced dosage of the following, dosed once a week on WC day (just after WC of course):

    NO3: 18.36 ppm
    K: 20 ppm
    P: 3.44 ppm

    I know that may sound low to many, but it has been working great for me, and some plants just "woke" up after months of much higher dosing such as my loved Ambulia and AR (!!). Maybe too much NO3? Or K? Or the reduced traces above? No idea, but this lower regime definitively worked better for me.

    Also, in the past 3 weeks, I have increased light by adding a T8 tube on the front. Yes, I am still using a mix of 5 T8 tubes and a LED light which in total gives me around 90 PAR at the substrate, now on the front where AR is located. I have also gradually increased the light peak time of a couple of hours, and that seemed to have helped AR very well.

    The last beneficial change I made 3-4 weeks ago was to reduce plant mass of around 30-40%, leaving more "elbow" space between group of plants. And everything improved pretty quickly. I think the more space helps with water/nutrition/Co2 distribution as well as the reduced plant mass helps with less competition. I am starting to think that there are some kind of trace elements in the tap water that get depleted faster if plant mass is too high, before the next WC. Lower mass, less risk to deplete those traces before the next water change. Maybe it's just a wrong idea, because I know many people using just pure RO can grow plants great with just regular trace dosing, but that's the only logical explanation for my tank I could come up with. If you have a better idea, please, let me know!

    So... without further ado, here are the pictures showing the improvements:


    Ambulia finally woke up from a sort of "hibernation" lasted several months:
    [​IMG]

    AR is finally growing, and the red is there!
    [​IMG]

    Stauro just took off growing like a weed which I need to harvest like wheat every 2 weeks or so:
    [​IMG]

    The increased light seems to help L. Red a great deal:
    [​IMG]

    Even though L. Repens would probably need even more:
    [​IMG]

    Limno is another weed that need to be trimmed regularly like a bush:
    [​IMG]

    Cabomba Furcata is redder than ever:
    [​IMG]

    And Anubias is growing much faster, it looks like higher light is just giving it even more boost (and I don't see any negative effects of higher light if not a little bit of GSA appearing on older leaves, but well worth it anyway):
    [​IMG]

    I must say that the only new negative aspect besides little bit more GSA on older Anubia leaves, is Valisneria Americana which go hit a little bit. Less growth and a little brittle leaves. I think the following factors played negatively for that plant (which you can see in the back of the full tank pictures below):

    1. When I perform WC I also add regularly about 4gl of RO water, which is not much, but done it regularly after months, has lowered the hardness of the water from KH7-GH13 to KH3 and GH7, which probably that plant don't like that much (in my experience Vals thrive best in harder water).

    2. Combine the above with increased growth of all other plants, and you have a suffering Valisneria. Maybe I am wrong, but that's the only logical explanation I could come up with for that plant (which is really currently the only one not doing great on this tank).


    Now, for the weeks ahead, I plan to keep this regime even though I am aware that the lower micro dosing could be detrimental in the long run, but I'll watch for any signs of deficiencies or issues coming up because of that.

    What I like the most of these past 2 months of changes, is the fact that increased light just brought good things. Better growth, redder plants. I have been so afraid to increase light in the past years, and I finally see that if you have a balanced and sustainable "diet" for your plants, you can really try to push the accelerator with more light, and wonders start to happen... I didn't know I had a Ferrari under my feet until I pushed that pedal! But as always, with high light comes higher responsibility... and more "daily" attention is needed since everything just goes faster, and the tank can head down faster than before so... let's be just aware of that ;)


    Finally some "full tank" pictures to have an overall picture of the current situation:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Left side of the tank:

    [​IMG]


    Right side of the tank:

    [​IMG]


    And for the shrimp amateur, look at this Red Cherry clearly mutated into something really interesting:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    What the heck of a shrimp is that? Half read half transparent...

    Well, awaiting for your thoughts and comments, it's been a fantastic journey!
     
    #585 fablau, Jan 1, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2019
  6. Greggz

    Greggz Lifetime Members
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    Nice update Fab.

    Tank is looking fantastic!

    Do you think plant happiness is mostly the result of higher light? More elbow room? Less dosing? Lower KH? Or maybe a combination of everything?

    Seems difficult to draw too many conclusion yet.

    Will be interesting to see where things go from here. As plant mass increases will the need for more ferts increase? Are the plants enjoying lower macros levels or a better macro ratio? Is lower micro dosing reducing demand for some macros?

    My goodness, the list can go on and on.

    My first instinct tells me more light and less mass has a lot to do with it. When I increased my light level, it seems my tank went went to another level (well for me anyway! It's all relative). Plant health, growth, and color all greatly improved. And a good pruning with plant mass removal always seem to bring out great new growth and makes plants happy.

    Whatever it is, it looks like it is working very well, that is for sure. Very much looking forward too seeing where things go from here.
     
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  7. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    Thank you Greg!

    Good questions... I think it's a combination AND causation of things... I can tell you this:

    AR started improving BEFORE I increased light, and was when I lowered traces. I lowered traces first, then after a couple of weeks, lowered macros as well, and Ambulia started to grow a little better (you remember for how many months that plant was stuck!). Then I reduced mass, about 4-5 weeks ago, and that gave an additional boost to growth (at least that appeared to me). So... my guess is AR loved less traces, and Ambulia loved less macros or lower of everything? And the reduced mass helped even more.

    About light, I increased it just 2-3 weeks ago, and that just boosted growth even more, but I think what really fixed the issues were lower dosing and reduction of mass.

    What I'd suggest to folks having problems with plants, is this checklist before to tackle light:

    1. Check dosing balance.
    2. Reduce mass if too much (being careful NOT to have too few plants though!)
    3. Eventually increase WC frequency and/or amount (I also increased a little bit more WC from 50% to 60-70%)
    4. Then tackle light.
     
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  8. Phishless

    Phishless Lifetime Member
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    @fablau tank is looking extremely well ! ;)
     
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  9. nicpapa

    nicpapa Guru Class Expert

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    Hi Fab Happy New Year.
    For shrimp if you add new shrimps in the tank, its came from red rily shrimp.
     
  10. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    Thank you so much! Enjoying it! :)
     
  11. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    Thank you Nic, Happy New Year to you too ;)

    Oh dear, you are right? That looks exactly like a Red Rily but I never bough any of those! Just some cherries years ago! How did it came in my tank? Mutation? Very interesting...
     
  12. nicpapa

    nicpapa Guru Class Expert

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    How many years ago?
    Mutation wiht what?
    The most posible the previous owner mix it wiht red rily.
     
  13. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    3 years ago? That's the only shrimp I have in that tank that's different by the other ones... weird, really weird! Unless... the Cherries I got at that time weren't "pure" and some was a mix with that species, and now one got that "gene" and showed that different variety... that's the only logical explanation I can think of!
     
  14. nicpapa

    nicpapa Guru Class Expert

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    If it is one shrimp there is no problem , but after this one if you dont remove it to another tank in the future maybe you will see more.
    Shrimps dont have a stable gene, always going back to the lower grade , it throw ugly shrimp and need a cull to keep the where you want.
     
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  15. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    Got it Nic, thank you so much! I'll set it aside then... thanks!
     
  16. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    UPDATE:

    The tank is doing great guys, no particular bad issues in the past few weeks. I have kept the same exact dosing regime I explained earlier above.

    Yesterday I had my usual trim and Ambulia is finally back into shape, look at this shot taken right during cleaning, gives you the idea of the "mass" I had to trim down:

    [​IMG]

    Ambulias are flowering all the time:

    [​IMG]

    AR seems to grow, slowly, but without issues (I still can't believe it and I am always afraid to see it getting stuck again):

    [​IMG]

    Ludwigia Repens has no problems to grow as usual:

    [​IMG]

    And the increased light seems to help Ludwigia super-red to grow bigger and redder:

    [​IMG]


    And I have something interesting to share with you. I have a small chunk of Montecarlo that began growing outside water a couple of years ago, right on the top-right of the overflow. Over the past months, I have learned to use as an "indicator of overall tank health." This little chunk has roots going into the water, and I I have noticed that reacts pretty fast and shows me compelling growing differences according to my current dosing regime. I have observed this in the past year or so, during my "ups and downs." When plants in the tank have big issues, this little chunk has problems to grow as well, developing very small and necrotic leaves. If instead, the dosing mix is better balanced, and the overall tank's health was good, it gets into good growth with bigger and healthier leaves in a matter of days. That's why I kept it there, that's my "overall tank's indicator." For some reason, being emerged, it gives me clearer feedback than its submerged counterpart.

    Here is a pic of this little gem who helped me on this awesome journey in the past couple of years:

    [​IMG]


    Looking forward to your thoughts!
     
  17. Vijay

    Vijay New Member

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    I just caught with the updates from the last few months. The FTS in the Jan 1st update are fantastic! Amazing work!

    I love Anubis, but had a horrible time with them many months ago. My tank seems to be getting stabilized in the last few weeks and might try Anubias again in the future.

    A few questions if you don’t mind:

    What type of A.Reinickii is that - Scarlet or Lilacina or Roseafolia?

    What bulbs do you run from front to back and at what height from the substrate?

    Lastly, what are your weekly Ca and Mg dosing levels?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  18. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    Thank you Vijay!



    I am not sure... I think I have two different species, possibly Roseafolia and Lilacina?

    From front to back:

    2 daylight T8s
    1 BLD led used at around 40% power as average
    3 daylight T8s

    Height from the substrate is about 17". PAR at the substrate is around 80-90.

    I use tap water mixed with RO. My tap should have around 76 ppm Ca and 27 ppm Mg. But since I mix with some RO (not much though) I add something like 10 ppm Mg after WC.

    My GH should be about 8 dH and KH should be about 4 dH. But it is a long time I don't measure those values, so I am not 100% sure!
     
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  19. Vijay

    Vijay New Member

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    Thank you @fablau


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  20. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    You are very welcome!
     
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