Greggz 120G Planted Rainbow Tank

Greggz

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Thanks for the feedback on P dosing.

I can relate to this to some extent. I have H. Corymbosa Compact for 6 weeks now. Bought healthy looking plants from Burr, but they were losing a lot of leaves/melting slowly over the first 3-4 weeks. I used to dose only 0.5-0.8 ppm PO4 3x a week, but have increased it to 1.5 ppm 3x a week for the past 1.5 weeks. Results have been positive - Corymbosa seems to have stopped losing leaves and there is decent new growth. All other plants seem to be doing comparatively better too. No out of the ordinary algae growth too.


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That's interesting to hear. My Corymbosa is also from Burr. The good news is it can bounce back as quick as it melts.

I've been finding the higher I dose P, the flatter and longer the leaves get. Good luck with yours and I hope it continues to improve.
 

tiger15

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Are your N and P values taken post WC and before dosing macros. If so, that makes your pre WC N and P three times as high or around 75 and 6 ppm, which is way above commonly recommended levels. Have you done pre WC testing to verify those high levels. So the commonly believed high levels of P and N will trigger algal bloom is not substantiated.

Also, do you take your pH value before the photo period and set the pH controller to 6.0. So you are attempting to lower the pH by 1.3 points to 6 and can you achieve it? If so, your alkaline loving Rainbows have no ill effect in acid water.

What is your last column values stand for?
 

Greggz

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Are your N and P values taken post WC and before dosing macros. If so, that makes your pre WC N and P three times as high or around 75 and 6 ppm, which is way above commonly recommended levels. Have you done pre WC testing to verify those high levels. So the commonly believed high levels of P and N will trigger algal bloom is not substantiated.

Also, do you take your pH value before the photo period and set the pH controller to 6.0. So you are attempting to lower the pH by 1.3 points to 6 and can you achieve it? If so, your alkaline loving Rainbows have no ill effect in acid water.

What is your last column values stand for?
Tiger15 yes those values are post water change. And yes they are high. I have 32 total fish, who are well fed. A well fed well stocked tank produces lots of N & P. And yes I have taken readings pre water change, and I do calibrate my test kits from time to time.

Keep in mind most planted tanks you see here have a very light if any stocking. My tank is a little unusual in that respect. As to algae blooms, in my tank I don't see any correlation with N & P levels (exception is when dosing too little). Where I do see correlation is with lighting intensity/duration, CO2 levels, oxygen levels, flow, general maintenance, etc.

I've always thought there are so many detailed discussions regarding ferts, but not nearly as many on lighting (PAR/duration) and CO2. In my tank, I can effect changes much more quickly by altering CO2 and light than I can with altering ferts. I guess my point is that if I don't have the light and CO2 right, messing with ferts isn't going to solve too many things. Get those right and then I can fine tune.

Now as to CO2, as noted my pH in general is pretty steady from the RO tanks at right around 7.3. The set point value I list in the chart is the low side set point. The way a pH controller works is that first you set a range. My range is 0.2. So when low side is set to 5.90 my range is 5.90 to 6.10. When the pH drifts above 6.10, the CO2 is turned on. When it falls below 6.0, the the CO2 is turned off. Maybe more than you wanted to know but the effect is a drop on the low side of 1.3 pH, which is easily attainable. I drop the pH to that level in less than an hour.

As to Rainbows and pH, I have been keeping them for decades at different homes. Everything from liquid rock to completely soft water. I can only tell you my personal experience, and I have seen no difference in health, longevity, colors, activity, etc. based on pH levels. I think that correlation is a little over blown at times, but who knows, maybe others have had a different experience than me.

And I was wondering if someone was going to comment on the last column. It's tracking the lighting. I have three banks of two bulbs. So the column heading reads 2 4 6, and correlates to how many hours there are 2 bulbs, 4 bulbs, or 6 bulbs running. I used to keep this on a separate sheet, but just starting tracking it on this sheet a couple months ago. I didn't bother transferring all of the older data over, but could. So again, probably more than you wanted to know, but on Oct. 14th I was running 4 bulbs for 4 hours, and 6 bulbs for 4 hours. For the past three weeks, I have been testing the effects of less light. So right now it's one hour with 2 bulbs, 6 hours with 4 bulbs, and only a one hour blast with all 6 bulbs.

So far the effect has been positive. In many cases slower but healthier looking growth. I know from experience that too little light can cause as many issues as too much, so observing closely. I'm most curious about the effect it will have on the display of colors. For me, in general, less light = less color.....so trying to find the sweet spot now.
 
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Greggz

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Some Bows and plants...................

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Greggz

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Gratuitous Rainbow Pics.............Yeah I just love the various colors of Bows. A couple of small but colorful species........Melanotaenia parva, a nice blast of orange.

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And Melanotaenia Kamaka........a little splash of purple.
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Oh Yeah, and considering the main interest on this board, some plants too.

Rotala Macrandra Variegated, Hygrophila Polysperma Sunset, Acmella Repens

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tiger15

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You have the best of both world. Your rainbow and plants are both showy. Rainbows are wonderful match. They are large and colorful, like moving flowers in a sea of green.

I am fish first, plant second, not willing to abdicate the throne to plant first yet. I’m successful in fish keeping, but still struggling to get my plants half as vibrant as yours. Keeping cichlid with plants is a challenge, and I can only keep a few plant species that can withstand the abuse.
 
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Greggz

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You have the best of both world. Your rainbow and plants are both showy. Rainbows are wonderful match. They are large and colorful, like moving flowers in a sea of green.

I am fish first, plant second, not willing to abdicate the throne to plant first yet. I’m successful in fish keeping, but still struggling to get my plants half as vibrant as yours. Keeping cichlid with plants is a challenge, and I can only keep a few plant species that can withstand the abuse.
First thanks for the kind words. I like the "moving flowers in a sea of green" comment........gotta remember that one!

And I also kept Cichlids for a time decades ago, and you are right they can be pretty rough on plants. Their behavior is also quite different from Rainbows. More personality in many ways, but also a different type of movement in the tank. But in the end it's all personal preference and what YOU like.

As to your struggle with plants, we all do at times. And you never figure it out completely. There is always something new that pops up to make you scratch your head. Look at @Pikez, he's one of the most successful on this board, and he's still scratching his head over and over again......on purpose!

I'll never forget when I first got into this hobby, I read a post where someone said it takes about a year to get a tank balanced. I laughed. I was naive.

So good luck with your tank, and remember to have patience and keep at it.
 

Greggz

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So I had this plan to trim the tank, take a picture, then not touch it for two weeks, then take another picture. Just wanted to show the growth over a two week period.

Well, it's eleven days in, and I don't think I am going to make it. I've got quite a few plants all the way to the top of the water, and some are going to have to be tamed tonight.

I guess this might illustrate a point. Be careful what you wish for. Weedy stems are pretty, but they do take lots of regular maintenance. You've heard the saying "keep your sleeves wet"? Well it ain't just a saying.

So the first pic is from last Saturday the 18th, and the second one is from a few minutes ago.

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Phishless

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LOL and that Hygro Sunset might be the worst offender!

With enough light the sunset seems to slow down in height for me, and it really brings out the colors on top.

Don't remember if you got ambulia or not.
When trimming pull the plant and replant tops.
If not and allowed to mature it can send out runners by the foot.
 
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Greggz

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Some of you may know I am now dosing a custom blend of micro mix from @burr740 . I've been slowly upping the dose for a while now. After conversing with Burr last week, I decided to go even heavier at his recommendation.

So this week I started dosing micros at .15 from Fe daily. Twice as much as the week before. It's too early to tell for sure, but overall I think the tank is responding well.

And it's funny how things catch your eye sometimes. The first picture is some Pantanal that was starting to show some nice orange on Monday. After upping the dosing, I noticed it looks fuller, and the orange was starting to turn more red today.

It's just kind of crazy because I am dosing about 5 times as many micros as I was two months ago. Go figure?
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Greggz

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Will the higher Fe bring out more red in my Boe's???:D

Looks great, for me pantanel just disintegrates.
Another of the great mysteries of the planted tank.

I can grow Pantanal and R. Mac Var. pretty well, but have never done well with S. Repens, most AR's, and R. Wallichii?

I'm sure there is a logical reason. but darned if I know what it is??
 

Greggz

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Thanks @deepgreen. I'm sure I will bang my head against the wall with this plant again, and may give that a try.
 

Greggz

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I had set out to capture how much growth there is in two weeks time, but had do some trimming back on day eleven when some plants got to the surface. Then today I had to really go at it. I had just about every plant grouping out of the tank this morning.

So what I learned is that my weedy plants can't go for two weeks. And if you want to be in this hobby with fast growing stems, then regular maintenance and trimming is a must.

So here it was at the peak at day 11, then back full circle to heavily trimmed. Crazy hobby isn't it.

And I'm not sure which I like better......tamed or untamed??
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Greggz

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Looks great Greg, either way looks great. I see new micros dosing is working fantastically. I will follow :)
Thanks Fablau. Like I said, I'm dosing more micros now that I ever have. Only been a week, so too early to tell what happens next.

I will say this. I haven't noticed anything NOT liking it, so that is good. And some things, like Pantanal, are showing good signs. So here's one for reference, and I'll try to follow up in a week or two and see what it does.

And by the way, I've followed your quest to grow AR mini perfectly, and for me I've never been too successful with it. I do have 4 or 5 small plants now, and will see if it does anything different.

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Greggz

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So I was having a PM conversation with @burr740 yesterday, and he mentioned that my tank might look better without the white pieces of gravel on top of the BDBS.

Well I told him I agreed 100%. They are not there on purpose. When I made the jump to higher tech, I replaced my pea gravel with BDBS. After emptying out four 5 gallon buckets, I had about had it and decided to just dump the BDBS in on top of what was left, as you will never see it anyway.

Then I decided to put in a wood floor, and ended up moving the tank to the other side of the room. I had forgot all about the pebbles, but when I removed the substrate what was left got completely mixed in. It’s always bugged me, and I remove some from time to time, and it peeves me every time that I just didn’t do it right the first time.

So I had some free time today, and decided to make an effort to clean it up a bit. I was going to document the whole thing, but trust me it’s like seeing sausage being made, not pretty. Think kitchen colander and scoop by scoop panning for gold. I only did the front half of the tank, as that alone was quite a job. Removed all the front plants and the driftwood first. Ended up with over a gallon bucket of pebbles.

It ain’t perfect, and I know they are going to keep popping up, but hopefully it will be a bit more manageable. So here’s the before and a few from about 3 hours later. Have some ideas on rescaping a few things, but for today just wanted to get everything back in the tank.

And thanks Burr for spurring me on, been meaning to address this for quite some time. It was quite a mess but I do like the result. We'll see how it holds up.
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