Greggz 120G Planted Rainbow Tank

Greggz

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OK, the excitement of the leaking tank is over so back to plants.

Wanted to post a quick shout out and thank you to Burr tonight. Received a new batch of the Burr Micro custom mix V2.

Notwithstanding my recent issues, I've been dosing the new mix for about a month now, and am going to try to the new mix this week. If you want to learn more about this, do yourself a favor and visit Burr's 120G journal. So far, I must say, I think he is on to something.

And in addition to the micro mix, he sent me a nice surprise, a couple of beautiful AR Var. Burr, I don't know how you bring out the best color in everything, but you surely do. I just got home a few minutes ago and here they are in their new torture chamber. It's a lot of pressure, and I hope they fare well and I don't kill them!
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On a similar note, I got some L. Inclinata Pantanal, Pogostemon Kimberly, and Limnophila aromatica "Mini" from Burr a little while back. Kind of an experiment to see if I would have any luck with them. Here's a pic just after they arrived, Pantanal center left, P. Kimberly center right, and L. Aromatic Mini far right.
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And here they are tonight. Even with a few rough days here doing pretty well, and glad to report they made it and continue to get better. In particular, the Pantanal, which wasn't doing anything for months, has responded very well to the new micros. Here's the Pantanal and Kimberly (far left and center right).
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And here's the L. Aromatica. Grown into a nice thick bush now.
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Greggz

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Was doing my usual moving a few things around with the canopy open tonight, and realized I’ve never taken any pictures from the top of the tank. It really does provide a different prospective.

I told Burr recently that since dosing his micro mix, I’ve seen better color on my Pantanal and Ludwigia Cuba. You can't really see it from the FTS pictures, but it shows up a little better from above. It’s been gradual but noticeable, and I hope to see it continue, as there is still plenty of room for improvement.

I’ll take some more from time to time when something catches my eye. Here’s the Ludwigia Inclinata Pantanal.
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And here’s the Ludwigia Cuba.
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Greggz

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On my way out of town for a couple of weeks. A family trip, so my daughters friend will be dog/fish sitting. This will be longest time I have left the tank since going high tech. My tank is usually a bit wild and untamed, but I mowed it down pretty well.

Shortened the lighting cycle, about 1/2 EI ferts measured out, and 4 feedings packaged up for the fish (rest of food is hidden!) Not gonna lie, a little nervous, but I guess I can fix whatever might go wrong when I get back.

So here is the tank as tamed as it has ever been. I'll try to update with a similar shot after my return. Also a couple of plant shots, some Pogostemon Kimberly and Bacopa Colorata. If you drop in here Vin, you can use these as the "before" shots when compared to what you have in the kill tank! And be gentle, you know I am basically still a beginner!!:):)
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Greggz

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Got back last night, so here's how the tank did while I was away for two weeks.

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I did have to wipe the glass before the pic, as there was a bit of GSA. But other than that, no algae to speak of at all, which was one of my main concerns.

It’s actually pretty interesting the way some plants reacted to lower light/ferts, both good and bad. I have to ponder it a bit more, but I’m sure there are some lessons there.

For instance, you can see the Pantanal grew like mad for the surface. However, the tops stunted and are very small, and the stems are pretty thin and brittle. It looks like it spent all the energy it had trying to get closer to the light. You can’t see it in the picture, but it hit the surface and kept right on growing, with the tops just kind of floating and spreading out on top of the water.

Pogo Kimberly, which is usually a slow grower, also made a dash up to the light. The tops also suffered a bit, and look a bit thin with poor color in general. Same with Ludwigia Cuba. Tops look pretty bad, and once again grew tall quickly. The new growth on the Nelsonia Canescens came in with much smaller leaves, but all in all still looks good.

Interestingly, the Tonina Fluviatilis didn’t get any taller, but became even more bushy. That’s one I usually have to cut down every week, as it usually grows quickly to the surface. I was also surprised the Blyxa didn’t look too good. A few were unrooted and floating around, which never happens, and it just looked poor in color and thin in general.

I must say I was worried about the Rotala Mac Var. Turns out it looks pretty good. Color is pale, but no stunted or dying plants.

Some winners were AR Mini, Downoi, Hygro Compact, L. Special Red, and Bacopa Colorata. All looked as good or better than ever. And the Limno Aromatic Mini just continued to grow and propagate. Honestly, I just don’t see how it’s rare at all, as it is a prolific grower.

So right after that picture, I trimmed things down as needed, and performed a large water change. Turned the lighting schedule back up, and gave an extra dose of ferts. Will be interesting to watch how things react, and to see if some of the showier flowers get back some of their grandeur. They clearly rebelled a bit from the lack of light and ferts.

Overall, I am pretty pleased with the results. I had some visions of coming home to a disaster of some type, but everything really looks relatively good, and a little more TLC should have things right back on track.

It also reminded me of how much attention a high tech tank requires. You don't realize how much you care you provide daily or weekly until you are away from it for awhile.
 

Greggz

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Alright so I know this is a planted tank site, but most of my decades of aquariums has been focused on fauna. And some things just don't change.

So for those who might be interested, here are a few old Bows. In the ten year old range.
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And here's a couple of youngsters.......
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And in the spirit of the focus of this forum, a little update on the plants. Everything seems to be bouncing back pretty well from the 2 weeks away. Rotala Macranda Var. is starting to color up pretty quickly. This plant really didn't grow much when I was gone, and basically went pale. It seems to like the blast of higher light and ferts it's getting now.

The tops of the Pantanal and L Cuba both were looking stunted, but seem to be filling out and coloring up again. Weird one is the Blyxa. Usually a no brainer that grows like mad. Still looking weak, and some plants floating, like roots deteriorated quickly. Hope it gets going again soon.

Did a pretty massive trim yesterday, trying to reduce the biomass. Big bunch of Tonina Fluviatilis, Rotala R., Nelsonia Canescens, and Limno Aromatic Mini basically culled by 50%. All in all, pretty close to getting back to normal (whatever that is, still a bit of a jumbled mess, but that's how I like it).
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Greggz

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Been working on a little project I thought I would share.

I run three Rena Filstar filters on my tank. I've been running them for a loooong time, and just understand them and they work great for me. Only thing I don't like, the intake tubes come in light blue. I've been painting them for years with Krylon Fusion paint. Only issue is after awhile, it always starts to flake off, exposing the light blue. Also, I never painted the main intake tubes, as it always just seemed like too much of a pain, and I didn't have extras to work with.

Just recently I needed a few parts, and bought two accessories kits. With the extra parts, I thought I would give Plasti Dip a try. It's basically rubber in an aerosol can.

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I started by lightly sanded the spare parts. Since I was in no rush, I allowed at least an hour between the 6 coats, then let it cure for a week. I did it in stages. Install some pieces, take the ones out of the tank, remove the paint, sand, and coat.

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So this is what has always bugged me. See the little chipping, and just generally not looking good. You probably wouldn't notice it much from a few feet away, or a FTS, but I do.

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So here’s where we are today. With three filters, and one with split intakes/outtakes, I have a lot of equipment in the tank. With them all freshly painted black, I think it helps hide it a bit anyway.

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Also have an update from my two weeks away from the tank last month. My Pantanal, which had been doing very well, shot to the surface from the lowered lighting. Turns out the stems got so thin and weak, it never recovered. Had to pull it, but have some more on the way to replace it.

My Macranda Var. also took more of a hit than I thought. When I came home it was pale, but looked healthy. It’s been slow to bounce back. I trimmed it way down today, and am hoping it turns around in the next week or two. Other than that, everything else fared well.

And you know, I’m sure the planted tank side of this hobby would be easier without a full fish load…..but dang I sure do enjoy my Rainbows. These are a couple of little Parva’s, not even 2” yet.

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Phishless

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And you know, I’m sure the planted tank side of this hobby would be easier without a full fish load…..but dang I sure do enjoy my Rainbows. These are a couple of little Parva’s, not even 2” yet.

Them Rainbows are awesome looking, you could put plastic plants in with those fish and I wouldn't beat on you about it.
 

Greggz

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Them Rainbows are awesome looking, you could put plastic plants in with those fish and I wouldn't beat on you about it.
Hey, wait a minute....I thought you were anti fish???;)

And I did it that way for decades, and was perfectly happy....then I started reading journals like Burr & Pikez.......and here I am. So do I thank them or curse them???? .........well............I've done a little of both!:)
 

Phishless

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Hey, wait a minute....I thought you were anti fish???;)

And I did it that way for decades, and was perfectly happy....then I started reading journals like Burr & Pikez.......and here I am. So do I thank them or curse them???? .........well............I've done a little of both!:)

Anti-Phish (always use correct spelling) no way, I have just quit mixing plants and Phish.
I want so bad to put a school of panda corys in the 80 but have refrained from doing so.

I would curse them, it's not like they live right next door!:D
Apparently they were a bad influence and you should have stuck to old habits!
They won't be driving by smashing you mailbox and such.

All joking aside you will most likely admit you really like live plants?
These tanks are an experiment and a science project all wrapped up in one.

There are many threads on many forums that I follow.
I don't always comment and get involved, and sometimes I rattle the cage.
There is a lot of good info out here to take note of.
Even if it's a horrible clash of wills my only take away then is footsteps I don't wish to follow.
 
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Greggz

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All joking aside you will most likely admit you really like live plants?
I should have clarified. I was actually low tech crypts/anubias/swords for many years, and always liked live plants. Actually had some really nice set ups that way. So much so I swore I would never go CO2/high tech.

But then it happened. And as you know, once you get bitten, it's hard to get cured.
 
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Greggz

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Haven’t updated much lately, as I’ve been busy and no big changes for the tank. Just kind of cruising along for a while now.

Back to full EI macro dosing, as every time I lower them, tank rebels a little. I keep thinking with my heavy fish load, I shouldn’t have to, but it just works better for me. Have a theory that N from ferts is different form N from fish waste, but who knows? I just know my tank does better with them, so I dose and don’t worry about the readings too much.

As for micros, I have been dosing the Burr custom micro mix. Much like macros, every time I try to test the lower limits, the tank rebels. Up to 1.3 ppm from Fe, which seems to have settled into a good spot.

Experimented with higher light, running all 6 bulbs for 6 hours, 2 bulbs for two hours. Some algae began to creep up, so back to 4 hours with 4 bulbs, and 4 hours with all 6 bulbs.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m not sure how to label this tank? It’s not Dutch. Aquatic Garden maybe? Or just a good old fashioned fish tank with plants! Heck I don’t know, I just like sitting back and watching the Rainbows against the back drop of the plants.

Thought you might like to as well, so here’s a video from a few minutes ago.
 

burr740

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Nice vid, Greggz

Funny I always pictured those fish being darty, fast swimmers constantly running back and forth. Im surprised to see them so slow and peaceful.
 

Greggz

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Nice vid, Greggz

Funny I always pictured those fish being darty, fast swimmers constantly running back and forth. Im surprised to see them so slow and peaceful.
Yeah, I had to train them to act peaceful in the video. I used my "fish whisperer" talents on them, kind of like when you do the "plant whisperer" thing.:D

Maybe I'll take a follow up video this evening at feeding time. Quite a different scene then.
 
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burr740

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Well yeah... everything goes apeshit at feeding time! :)

I just expected them to be more wild back and forth under normal circumstances, which I really dont like. I prefer slow, peaceful swimmers. In other words I was pleasantly surprised they looked so relaxed.
 
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