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Going Dutch with Aquasoil

Discussion in 'Aquascaping' started by Pikez, Apr 23, 2015.

  1. Pikez

    Pikez Rotala Killer!
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    Side view

    IMG_5773.jpg

    Replaced Bacopa Colorata with Rotala macrandra Caterpillar. Bacopa had stopped growing and new leaves were too small. (see the two posts above).

    IMG_5774.jpg
     
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  2. Pikez

    Pikez Rotala Killer!
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    Cabomba furcata (?) or pulcherrima (?) and Hydrothrix gardneri. Both are fast-growing and require weekly trims. If unhappy, lower leaves of Hydrothrix tends to get brittle and break off in your hands. Hydrothrix does really well in hard water and EI conditions. Cabomba is easier, but more work to keep looking good. Hydrothrix is like Pantanal in that it likes a lot of everything, doing better for me in the Kill Tank than here.

    [​IMG]

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  3. Pikez

    Pikez Rotala Killer!
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    For some resource-related reason, Bacopa Colorata, Limno Gigantea, and Limno Mini Vietnam began putting out much smaller leaves. I counteracted some of that by increasing CO2 and macros a bit. But that did not fully solve the problem. So I reduced light by a third or so. Not sure how the Bacopa would've reacted to lower light, but Limno Mini Vietnam came back to life. Lots of much bigger new leaves within a few days of lowered light. Limno Gigantea remains half its size. Still good-looking and growing super fast as always, but not 5" diameter like before. The positive response from lower light indicates it was CO2 related or some other resource that was limiting. I don't have an explanation for why increasing CO2 a bit and adding more macros did not cure the problem before light was reduced.

    The only problem with lower light is that, well, it is lower light. I can't drive 55.

    IMG_5900.jpg

    IMG_5901.jpg

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. Pikez

    Pikez Rotala Killer!
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    Rotala macrandra Caterpillar replaced Bacopa Colorata. Given my tempestuous relationship with Rotala, this may not be around for long. So far, there has been little or no stunting. But there's always next week. Part of my goal with this plant was to reduce the number of reds in the tank. Red plants are an easy crutch to bring contrast into the scape. That's easy and easy to overdo. It's almost cheating. My only issue so far has been the speed of growth - much, much faster than Bacopa Colorata. This plant responds really well to EI level dosing in the Kill Tank with very little tip stunting. Now, if I could get Rotala mac Variegated to do that, I'd be getting somewhere...in the meantime, this is a nice light green, yellow plant with hints of reddish brown. Somewhat uncommon colors. The Cabomba behind it also has hints and traces of reddish brown - not happy about that. So, I have a 2-3" gap between the groups to help keep them apart.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. geektom

    geektom Junior Poster

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    What a gorgeous journal!
     
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  6. Pikez

    Pikez Rotala Killer!
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    After growing it just fine for a year, I doubled my traces and AR Mini went to hell. That was about a month ago. I've since gone back to my usual routine. But I yanked out all my AR 'Mini' and realized that this plant is not exactly MINI. Hygro Kompakt gor 24" tall in my tank. Regular AR gets tall, but its leaves are green on top and magenta on bottom. AR Mini on the other hand, is wine red on both sides of the leaf, so that's a LOT of red. May be too much. It is easy to overdo AR Mini, especially if it is a foot tall.

    [​IMG]


    The AR has partially recovered in the last couple of weeks, but still not back to where it was. Couple of tips are still twisted. I will uproot all of the AR and clean up the plant and pinch off bad tops and bad GSA-crusted bottoms. Really, the myth that this plant does not handle uprooting and moving has to go. If the tank is healthy and the plant's needs are taken care of, you can move it once a week. (Hey - may be I need to set up an AR Kill Tank to prove my point?)

    Erio lineare got a cleaning yesterday. As with most of my other plants, its leaf size has decreased a bit. But it was splitting like crazy. Gave away lots of it this time. It's a surprising amount of work to yank each one up, remove old leaves, split into 2 or 3 or 4 daughter plants, sometimes using razor blade and other times just peeling it apart with fingers and then replant. Fortunately, I only have to do this once every 4-6 weeks or so.

    IMG_6075.jpg
     
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  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    That's certainly not AR mini. Erios seem to do best uprooting and replanting every 4-8 weeks.

    Otherwise, likely addressed if you mowed down some of the fast growing weeds in the back, other species should recover. Likely the root issue for the Bacopa
     
  8. Pikez

    Pikez Rotala Killer!
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    Got the AR Mini from Tropica or Dennerle tissue culture as AR Mini. So, source is reliable. Funny what it does in my tank.

    Yes, the leaf size issue is mostly or all resource competition. After I reduced the size of weeds in the back, Pantanal diameter increased very quickly. Other plants are slower than Pantanal to react.

    What I mean by reduced the weeds: reduced 8 stems of Limno Gigantea at 20+" tall to two stems of 2". Got rid of Hydrothrix. Reduced Cabomba to about 3". Threw out several pounds of Hygro 53B, which is a slow grower. Reduced Hygro odora in half. Mowed Limno Mini Vietnam. Removed 6 Nuphar lutea leaves that were as big as elephant ears. Pogo Kimberley stem count down by half and height is about 5".

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. geektom

    geektom Junior Poster

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    Wow, that last plant you posted is gorgeous- I love the way it fades from green to pink at the top- excuse my ignorance, but what is that?

    I really like how all the replanted erios look- they will fill out as the grow, correct? Becoming more "round"?
     
  10. burr740

    burr740 ~~ Lover of Micros ~~
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    So weird about the AR.

    What's even weirder is that Hygro 'compact' does the same thing in your tank. And I know that one's the right variety because you sent me some of it. In less than a month all those big leaves died off and it was back to a nice little softball bush, just like my other ones. No difference at all.
     
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  11. Pikez

    Pikez Rotala Killer!
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    That's Ludwigia inclinata var Pantanal. You'll often hear it called just Pantanal or Ludwigia Pantanal. The plant has a bit of a reputation, but I think it is mostly undeserved. It'll grow in any kind of water, as long as you have good CO2, and light. Much faster with EI ferts. Without CO2 and strong light, it will stay small and weak looking. High nutrients, macros and micros, make it really colorful.

    Yes, the Erios will fill in. And in a few weeks, you won't see much of the substrate. It's be a field of spikes in a month. In 6-8 weeks, it'll look like this again because if they get crowded, they melt. You pull them out, split the mother-daughter plants and replant like this. You'll have plenty to give away or sell.
     
  12. Pikez

    Pikez Rotala Killer!
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    Yeah, it's something about my tank that causes MINIs to unminiaturize. When I get back from my trip, I'll send you some tall stems AR to re-miniaturize.

    As much as I hate my Dutch tank for being a Rotala and Ammannia graveyard, it has its perks.

    Oh, FWIW, the Kill Tanks miniaturize them too.
     
  13. DutchMuch

    DutchMuch Junior Poster

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    Ooh those pics look nice!!
     
  14. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I had two types of so called mini.

    One type stayed smaller, and the other did not.
    I've never had the normal or larger type, but it reverted or was from another source.
    I sold a lot of my AR mini to some one, then another batch. They had the same issue.
     
  15. Dman

    Dman Subscriber

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    I have the same issue with my AR mini and I also got mine from tropica.

    Dan
     
  16. DutchMuch

    DutchMuch Junior Poster

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    update? missing those pictures pikez :(
     
  17. Pikez

    Pikez Rotala Killer!
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    LOL! Good to know!

    But, sadly, I have no updates on the tank. I have not been home in almost 3 weeks. Been traveling through Thailand, India, and Singapore. It was an unplanned trip. There was also a family health emergency. So, lots of unexpected developments, both pleasant and otherwise.

    On the plus side, I got to do something that I enjoy even more than Dutch scaping - collecting wild, unidentified aquatic plants and fish. The last time I collected in Thailand, I was a junior at Purdue. India is, well, India - no fun until I get into the forests, creeks, and mountains. Singapore is freaking amazing for this hobby, with its near perfect tap water, and mind-bogglingly good stores that focus just on planted tanks. I'll post pics soon.

    For now, I am starting to wind down the travels. Time to scrub down and head to the airport. Should be home sometime next week. If all goes according to plan.

    I expect all tanks to look like crap. Tanks got no water changes, no dry ferts, or trimming while I was away. Lights are turned down and ferts = half-strength Thrive+ every third day.

    No worries. They can be turned around with some elbow grease.
     
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  18. DutchMuch

    DutchMuch Junior Poster

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    Well I hope all is well, wish I could go to those places :) who knows maybe I can one day.
    I can relate with your situation on the tank though as I went away for 3 (4?) weeks recently and came back, all my syns died :( but everything else was salvageable... I hope you return home and see something better than I did in my tank! :D
     
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  19. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Pikez, try doing the midday blast. Run low light, but rock the snot out of the light for say 2-4 hours.
    Might be even worth getting a fixture set up with more used controls/separate channels.

    Then you can drive 65 mph. Maybe 75 in the HOV lane........just not 90, you will get a ticket.
    I changed some things out in the garage and the long time frames with a burst seem to slow things down, but no impact of the growth.
    Running an 11 and next a 12 hour cycle with 4 in the middle.

    Something to ponder

    I'm looking at the LUPYLED fixtures, thinking about it.
    I might see if they will make a custom emitter array, they should be able to.
    SS fixture housing, 1" pancake, welded housing.
    Nice. I can run various control systems on it.
    Looks sharp. I'm not going to get a more aesthetic unit anytime soon with good coverage.
     
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  20. Pikez

    Pikez Rotala Killer!
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    @Tom Barr I'd love to do that mid day burst but that BML Solunar controller requires a PhD to set up. I poked around the settings and damn near threw it up against the wall. The instruction manual doesn't help much either: http://doczz.net/doc/5400941/solunar-controller-user-s-guide-version-1.0

    It's taken me a couple of years to figure out how to stream movies from my Amazon app on my phone to my TV. I didn't understand any of that Loopy welded pancake stuff you were talking about.

    It's not surprising that I like old school Dutch style scaping and that I run off to remote jungles every chance I get. I like jungles. It scares people but I can figure it out and know where I fit in. Even if it is not at the top of the food chain.

    But gizmos and loopy panckes are just not my thing.
     
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