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Fablau 75 gallon tank

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

  1. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    Yes, I think you are right Vin, I should definitively try to clean, sift the substrate and keep it thinner. I could actually recycle my current substrate by sifting it to remove the old gravel, wash it well to remove all organics and too-fine particles, and start over. I think a good time to do it will be during the Spring Break.


    I am sure that's the only cause of BBA in my tank, other than that I never get a speck of any other algae.


    Thanks for giving me this idea!
     
  2. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    Tank Update:


    Here I am with an update about my tank. Today I got my trimming (I do this every 2 weeks), and took usual 4 hours work... harvest was pretty good, the big winners are Ambulia (they are growing like crazy!), Rotala Rotundifolia (growing nicely!) and AR Variegated (insane!!)... all other plants are growing ok, but slowly... and of course, there are some issues... usual and new...


    The Good


    As I wrote, Ambulia is the big winner here. It grew gigantic in the last 2 weeks, sprouting like crazy everywhere. I haven't seen growth like this in years... I had to halve it today.


    Here is a picture of it before trimming:


    Ambulia.jpg


    It has literally suffocated the poor Cabomba Furcata on the left. Today I gave a big trim and left much more space (elbow's space as Vin/Pikez like saying) on the left side for the Cabomba to get back into shape (still struggling a little).


    Rotala is growing well, and the addition of extra DTPA fe (about 0.01 ppm more per dose, 3x a week) helped in the last week to have a little bit less "white" looking (thanks Burr for helping with that!).


    And of course, AR is growing! Pretty well I'd say! Here is a picture of it before trimming:


    ARbefore.jpg


    AR variegated also is growing madly, it sprouted everywhere, so today I had to split it and remove other plants around... here is a picture of it before trimming, just the tip of it (it is gigantic!):


    ARvarbefore.jpg


    I am amazed by the fact I am able to grow that plant which is supposed to be harder than the regular AR. It looks like this low-trace fertilization regime is working pretty well for all these plants. Lobelia Cardinalis also is growing well and sprouting everywhere, much better than before. Java Moss of course keeps growing finally (so happy about that!). You have no idea for how many years I though was Co2 causing growing issues with Java Moss, instead was just too high traces!


    Here is a nice pic of Lobelia Cardinalis after trimming (Vin, I am wanna try making a street similar to yours! It'll take some time, but at least I have "material" now to work on!):


    LobeliaAfter.jpg


    Ok, now the ugly and... strange...


    The Ugly and the Strange


    Ok, the ugly is of course BBA. That damn thing doesn't go away.. actually it increased in the past 2 weeks, probably because I vacuumed too much the substrate before the last 2 water changes, and too many organics were stirred up... one doubt though on that: Purigen in my filter didn't get too dark as I could expect. So... is that really caused by high organics or something else? That damn algae is still appearing on most of the old Anubia leaves as well on some old leaves of Hygros and another plant Vin gave me a while ago, but I can't recall its name (please, help me to remind its name if you can)... here are some pictures of the ugly beast:


    BBA on Anubias:


    BBAAnubias.jpg


    AnubiasBBA2.jpg


    BBA on Hygros and another nice plant I can't recall its name (can you help to remind me?):


    BBAHygros.jpg


    Another ugly issue still going on is the melting of Vallisnerias, still recovering from the H2O2 nuke of 2 weeks ago (1ml per gallon was probably too much for them):


    Vals.jpg


    Now with the "strange" issues that started to appear a few days ago... one of the two stems I have of Pantanal began growing smaller tip:


    Pantanal.jpg


    Pantanal2.jpg


    Any ideas? Why's that? Pantanal appears to be a tough plant in my tank, and I am wondering why. It looked better 2 weeks ago, now it looks terrible... maybe traces are too low? Remember, as we discussed with Vin (Pikez), I am still 2x Burr dose with traces (0.028 ppm Fe from CSM), but it looked better 2 weeks ago when I just finished my 2-week dosing test of 0.037 ppm Fe from CSM. I am not an expert of Pantanal, but that stunted tip looks like trace deficiency to me. Your thoughts?


    Another strange issues is Hygrophilas growing "horizontally".. what the heck??!! Why's that! Never happened before! And they put out roots everywhere!


    Hygro1.jpg


    Hygro2.jpg


    Hygro3.jpg


    Other issues are some plants growing extremely slow such as Ludwigia Puerensis and Star Grass that used to grow much faster than now... and of course, the beautiful Cabomba Furcata still a little stuck, but a little better. Still trying to understand if that caused by the low-trace regime, or what else... I tried to put a couple of stems in a small pot with ADA AQ the last week, but so far I haven't noticed any difference... maybe it is just that gigantic Ambulia sucking nutrients around? I should try to swap them and see if that'll make any difference... maybe later on if anything else helps.


    Cuphea Anagalloidea also is still stuck, despite I tried to put some stems in ADA AQ, that didn't make any difference after 1 week (maybe I need to wait more??)


    Cuph.jpg


    But today after my trimming, I removed more plants around that plant, so now it is getting much more light. Maybe that'll help, time will tell...


    Finally, I got a little of GSA on my glass, not that much, but a little... fact is, PO4 is actually higher than usual, so that can't be the cause of it. Instead, I was surprised when I measured P yesterday and I found it is around the 5-6 ppm range, much higher than usual (when I used to dose higher traces and same PO4, the range was around 1-2 ppm) which makes me think plants are using it less... maybe because of the lower trace dosage? Burr, did you notice your plants using less P with low-trace dosing? Vin, what about your Kill Tank? Just curious to know if you guys noticed any kind of P "accumulation" on those low-trace tanks. Unless that's accumulation because of less plant mass, I have reduced that a big deal... can that simply be it??


    Conclusion for the last 2-weeks situation


    Well, I'd say that I am pretty satisfied, most of the plants I had problems with got much better and are finally growing. Mostly the moss and AR, thanks to low-trace dosing. Another positive sign of that are my Red Cherry Shrimp. They have bred like crazy in the last 2 weeks and I see hundreds of them around. I guess that's a good sign... another good sign is seeing a lot of roots sprouting from stems and plants. That's something sometimes I forget to notice in plants, and definitively a sign of good health.


    So... what do I plan doing for the next 2 weeks? I think I'll stop reducing traces for now and see what's going to happen in the next 2 weeks. I'll keep this regime (0.028 ppm Fe from CSM plus 0.01 ppm Fe from DTPA and 0.05 ppm Fe from glut) and eventually I'll add more Fe if I see leaves turning too pale.


    Of course, I'll keep you posted...


    Here are some overall pictures of the tank, before and after trimming:


    Before trimming:


    TankBefore.jpg


    After trimming:


    AfterTrimming.jpg
     
  3. edelry.junior

    edelry.junior Plant Enthusiast
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    Looks great after the trim Fablau!
     
  4. Jason King

    Jason King barrreport.com
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    Looking good Fab :) , also enjoying the detailed posts.
     
  5. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    Thank you guys! I am trying to learn something here and I want you to know as well. Any ideas about the Hygros growing horizontally? That's really strange...
     
  6. rajkm

    rajkm Article Editor
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    I have hygro side shoots go horizontal. The main stem stays vertical.
     
  7. nicpapa

    nicpapa Guru Class Expert

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    look nice...


    Im very weird about pantanal , same happening to me ...


    Hygrophila growing horizontally , because of the co2.


    Did u change anything ?
     
  8. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    No, I didn't change anything Co2 side. Unless plant mass was somewhat different and the flow may have changed around them a little, but current is pretty strong. I am puzzled about that...


    About Pantanal, have you ever had the same kind of stunted tip issue?
     
  9. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    Never happened to me...
     
  10. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    Thank Update:


    Here I am guys with a quick update of my tank after a week from the previous one above.


    Situation hasn't changed much, but what really annoys me is BBA still around and never going away... some plants are growing pretty well, others are still stuck and a few others got worse (Pantanal).


    What I am questioning now is if my current dosing regime has something wrong which is causing the issues I am going to show you below. Maybe traces are too low? Or something else... here's something interesting: yesterday I measured nitrates BEFORE water change (I almost never do that, but just for the sake of curiosity...) and I found nitrates being a little low, around 5 ppm. Of course the testing kit could be wacko, but I tested it twice and the result was consistent... and I have used the same test in the past several times (but I must admit, I didn't use a reference solution)... so, maybe that means nothing. I have been dosing 7.50 ppm of KNO3 every other day, so I should have plenty. I'll try to dose 1/4 tsp more this week and see if makes any difference with some plants. As you can see from the pics below some plants could have shown possible NO3 deficiency... unless it is some sort of traces deficiency, you can tell me!


    Ok, I am done with speculation, here below are the "facts"...


    Some AR started to have some deformed new growth, and I am wondering if that's due to low-trace dosing, or what else?


    2.jpg


    7.jpg


    Weird enough, the only affected AR was the variety I had in a long time, whereas the one I got from Pikez a couple of months ago (which it looks a different kind of AR), is still doing ok (not great, but ok):


    AROK.jpg


    What are your thoughts on that? Should I try to raise trace dosing? As I said, I am currently dosing almost 3x Burr's dose which is around 0.028 ppm Fe from CSM plus 0.01 ppm Fe from DTPA and 0.05 ppm Fe from glut.


    Even more struggling plants are Cuphea Anagalloidea, which has still stunted growth at the tips despite I have given more light to it by removing any other plants stems over it, and put them inside a small pot with some ADA AQ. That's has been already 1 week, so maybe I have to still wait a little bit to see that kicking in:


    1.jpg


    And here is the damn Pantanal. You remember I told you 3-4 weeks ago it was doing much better with lower trace dosing? Well, 10 days ago it got stuck at the tips, and now it is still struggling:


    3.jpg


    4.jpg


    Another possible sign of trace deficiency??!


    Other issues:


    Microswords are still a little too "white" in the new growth, and it got some more BBA than usual (damn it!)


    1.jpg


    2.jpg


    Still a possible sign of Fe deficiency or what??


    Staurogyne Repens is showing instead some yellowing on OLDER LEAVES. Can that be linked to my measured low NO3?? Or is that still linked to a possible traces deficiency? Eager to know your thoughts on this one as well (of course, BBA is on those plants pretty strongly):


    1.jpg


    2.jpg


    3.jpg


    But certainly, I can't complain about all other plants, here are some pictures of AR variegated, Ludwigia Puerensis, Anubias and Hygrophila Sunset:


    1.jpg


    2.jpg


    3.jpg


    1.jpg


    Looking forward for your thoughts guys!
     
    2 people like this.
  11. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    Thank Update:


    Well guys, I am 90% sure I am in the trace deficiency realm now. There are some strong signs that I have bottomed out some micro elements such as Manganese or similar because some plants have begun to show yellowing at the edges of leaves, BBA got stronger, and overall plant growth decreased. Some plants such as Hygrophila Sunset kept growing horizontally, and other plants like Rotala Rotundifolia begun having very short internodes and overall yellowish color. Pantanal is still stuck, and one of the stems really shows terrible micros deficiency at the tip. Cuphea Anagalloidea is still stuck, even the stems I put in a small pot with ADA AQ are still stuck. No idea whats going on with that plant. Cabomba Furcata is still stuck as well, despite 2 stems I put in a small pot with ADA AQ got a little better which reinforce the idea that the water column dosing is deficient of something (guess what... 99% probability traces).


    So, I am confident I can overrule the following:


    - Co2: I have been pumping the usual amount of Co2 which is 80ml/minute for my 75gl tank with wet/dry, which gives me a pH drop of 1.3-1.4.


    - NO3: I have dosed a total of 33ppm KNO3 the past week, and these signs kept showing up. Also, interestingly, today I have measured again NO3 and the test kit gave me again a concentration of 5 ppm, which makes me think the test is bad and I need to get a new one. There is no way nitrates can be that low with my last week dosing.


    - Fe: I have kept Fe at around 0.1 ppm per week, so I think that's not cause of these issues. Also, per my own knowledge, Fe can give chlorosis but not stunting or deformed growth (correct me if I am wrong).


    Here are some pictures for you showing what I have mentioned:


    The poor Pantanal is in "mummification" mode:


    Pantanal.jpg


    Hygros Sunset are growing horizontally, and overall growth looks limited with smaller leaves than usual:


    Hygros1.jpg


    Hygros2.jpg


    Repens are showing strong signs of either Mn or other micro elements deficiency:


    Repens1.jpg


    Repens2.jpg


    Anubias are showing in-between-veins-yellowing on the new leaves, never happened before:


    Anubias.jpg


    Rotala Rotundifolia has a very short internodal growth and similar yellowing as well:


    Rotalas.jpg


    This other plant I got from Pikez a while ago is showing similar signs (what's the name of that plant? Please, help me to remember because I forgot):


    Other.jpg


    So, my plan is to increase traces by doubling them. As I wrote earlier, I have been dosing 2x Burr's dosing for the past month, which was 0.027 ppm Fe from CSM every other day. From today, I'll double that by giving 0.054 ppm Fe from CSM every other day. We'll see if that'll make any difference.


    My personal opinion (speculation of course!) is that Eco Complete has more CEC capacity than plain gravel, and certainly much less CEC of ADA AQ. That would explain why who uses ADA AQ can lard on traces, whereas who's using pure, clean gravel (like Burr or Pikez's Kill tank) can get away with very, very low traces... it looks like I need more that Burr's dose. I am not 100% sure, but I am pretty confident. We'll see in the coming weeks!


    Also: I plan to finally tear down my tank at the beginning of April, and make a new one, sort of "dutch-nature hybrid" style... so.. stay tuned because I'll probably need your feedback about how to aquascape my new tank and what plants to keep (some will go, and I think Pantanal will be one of those!)


    I am always eager to know your thoughts, and I hope this journal will help to better understand how plants react according to different environment (different light, substrate, etc).


    Thanks for reading!!
     
    #71 fablau, Mar 11, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 11, 2017
    2 people like this.
  12. DutchMuch

    DutchMuch Junior Poster

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    Stunning tank, and well written journal. Im sorry I cant answer any of your question off the top of my head, I would if I knew. But again, lovely tank :D


    Cheers


    Nate
     
  13. LRJ

    LRJ Subscriber

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    Tank is looking great, fablau! I don't have a comment or question regarding the ferts, although I'm following what you're doing here with interest. But I was wondering, in post #70, third pic up from the bottom, next to the AR variegated, is that the Ludwigia peruensis? Looks amazing whatever it is.
     
  14. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    Thank you Nate! Appreciated! :)
     
  15. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    Thank you LRJ. And yes, you got it right, that's Ludwigia Puerensis, I love that plant, its red sometimes becomes almost purple. Pretty unique color.


    Thanks for following. :)
     
  16. nicpapa

    nicpapa Guru Class Expert

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    Hi Fab pantanal looks like mine before, mine start to grow again. :)


    The dutch i have , i setup only for this plant. :)


    Try the tonina fluviatilis , this i more strange plant.
     
  17. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    Good to know that Nic. I want to see if by increasing traces it gets back into growth as it is doing for you. But I see yours is getting better with just 0.02ppm Fe from traces, it looks like for that wasn't sufficient (yet to confirm that though). Is your trace mix similar to CSM? Or is it different?


    Thanks for suggesting Tonina, I'll look into that one :)
     
  18. nicpapa

    nicpapa Guru Class Expert

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    My trace is like tnc trace... :)


    I think its calling uk trace.


    It very diferent form look from csm....


    When i mix it to water with vinegar, it takes green color.


    I never try csm ....


    I will buy but what i saw fert cost 16$ and shipment 16$ ... :)


    Do you know anyone in Europe that sell csm ?
     
  19. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    Thanks NIc for the info, is the traces you use this one:


    http://rotalabutterfly.com/nutrient-calculator.php


    Please, let me know, we could add it to our calculator.


    As for CSM in Europe, I have no idea. When I used to live in Italy I used to use Dupla products, very expensive stuff... maybe Tom knows if CSM is available oversea?
     
  20. nicpapa

    nicpapa Guru Class Expert

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    If i am correct the trace i use, it called plantedtank uk trace, as u can see its same with tnc.
     
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