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Here's Been The Tree Of Knowledge

Discussion in 'Journals' started by Allwissend, Mar 7, 2018.

  1. Allwissend

    Allwissend Article Editor
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    Here's been the tree of knowledge




    Here's been the tree of knowledge

    Where man chose death over compliance

    Where he robbed before create

    And life despairs and cries of woe





    Current Photo:
    220_first planted_0311 (1 of 7).jpg





    Aim: A very earthy aquascape with a severely deteriorated tree stump and roots, surrounded by randomly distributed mix of plants. Something that gives the impression of old past, partly overcome by the new which never can rise to the level of what was lost.



    Current Spec list:

    • Aquarium: 200L (100*40*50cm )
    • Filter: Eheim Professional 4+ 600 (2275) - 1250L/H , 9.2L
    • Light: T5HO lamps 4*39W
    • Substrate: JBL Aquabasis, brown-black peat, cactus soil, sand
    • Wood: mangrove wood
    • CO2: pressurized system with inline diffuser from JBL
     
    #1 Allwissend, Mar 7, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2018
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  2. Allwissend

    Allwissend Article Editor
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    My presence here has been somewhat spotty lately, because I had a very intense work load and I was preparing something in the background. I was recently given a 200L aquarium for free with stand. As I was already planning something similar I saw the opportunity to gather some equipment and try some things out. It has been more than 10 years since my last soil based tank, so why not have another run at it. Also wanted to have you along with me to hear your input and share your knowledge. So feel free to comment at any point on any subject.

    Allow me to start in this post with a little bit about the planning and equipment. Next post will be the steps done until now and finally the aquascape itself.

    The aquarium had a decent amount of scratches and came with a large amount of mineral deposits. After a good deal of work with a razor, muriatic acid and acetic acid I removed all but the most stubborn bits. The hood also required a bit of work and restoration so that was also done in small chunks of time after work. Tested the aquarium to confirm it is water tight. All checked out.

    Filter and lights were delivered and setup. The Eheim is a very good looking filter and very quiet, much more quiet than the Classic 2217. In an open room you can definitely hear it if all else is dead quiet but the frequency is well hidden by a cabinet. A laptop fan easily produces more noise. It comes with Substrat Pro, bioMech and Mech Pro, sponge and fleece in the box. Pretty heavy on the bio-part but since it is the start of the aquarium, let's see how it performs. It also has an integrated prefilter compartment which may make cleaning easier… we will see.

    The light is your non-brand T5 hood with one common reflector but angled from the middle out. At the moment I have a JBL Color, 2 GroLux and one 10000K. The light looks dim in the aquarium compared to my LED lights but no doubt this is because of the spectrum of the bulbs (targeted at PUR) and the distribution of the light. One 10cm source emitting the same intensity as a 85cm source will appear more intense to us humans. I am looking into getting some Giesemann bulbs to replace the 10000K and have as a backup. Any recommendations ? I have to say, the diffuse light the T5 provide may be better for growing plants as it does not creates as much shade as high performance LEDs. I think this places me in the high light category despite the depth of the tank ?

    For me, the substrate is the interesting part in this aquarium. In the past I have used JBL Aquabasis with great results in a long term aquascape with heavy root feeders. It is mainly clay enriched in iron and other metals with a dash of sand mixed in. It produces a fine particle cloud when resealed into the water. Because I was able to grow emersed aquatic plants directly in this cactus soil, I think it has less organics, particularly less NH3 as other potting soils, so a good starting source of nutrients. The black/brown peat will also make the soil acidic and provide some long term organic decomposition. Overall the mix provides high CEC, low pH, humic acids and tanins and a source of micro and macronutrients. Still , a wild card when compared to aquasoil.

    On top of it I have a very earthy looking medium play sand. The grains are not the finest sand, like JBL Sansibar, for example, but are fine enough to keep the dirt on the surface where it can be blown away and taken up by the filter. Such sand also keeps the peat and clay from mixing with the water column (too much). It is quite clean not requiring pre-rinsing and it even has the TüV, the approval of a certification authority for safety here in Germany.

    I had to reconfigure my CO2 distribution system until I can afford a new system. This meant I had to stop dosing CO2 in the 12b for the time and put some experiments on hold. I used an inline diffuser, the JBL Pro Flora Direct 16/22. It manages to get the pH down but a reactor will certainly have a much greater efficiency.

    That's it so far, more coming soon.
     
  3. Allwissend

    Allwissend Article Editor
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    Day 0 (21/02/2018)



    After cleaning most of the mineral deposits, I attached the window cling foil to the back of the aquarium. Adding about 2cm of JBL Aquabasis.
    220_first planted (1 of 6).jpg


    Some topping sand on the sides of the wall to limit light access directly to soil and allow me a better insight into what is happening at that level. It would be harder to see anaerobic areas against the black soil than the light colored sand.
    220_first planted (2 of 6).jpg

    A light sprinkle of cactus soil
    220_first planted (3 of 6).jpg


    Brown/black peat, straight from the bag, uncompacted which allows some air bubbles to be trapped at this point. It will be an important reserve of O2 at the start of the aquarium before plant roots develop and pump O2 inside the soil.
    220_first planted (4 of 6).jpg


    The rest of 25kg of sand
    220_first planted (5 of 6).jpg



    I added just a bit of water to allow tings to settle while I did my hardscape. Just 2-3 cm of water on top of the sand. Partly this was because of time restriction and because the filter was not yet delivered. In this case, filling the tank up with water with no mixing will result in rapid deoxygenation of the bottom layer. I decided a thinner layer of water, with a small pump is less likely to do this while still starting the submerged bacteria cultures ( cycling). It was so for 6 days.
    220_first planted (6 of 6).jpg


    Day 8
    Changed the water, filled to the top and started the filter. Gotta love Mangrove wood, no need for stones or presoaking to keep it down.

    Day 9
    Started adding plants, light 4h/day, fertilizers and CO2

    Day 12
    Added more plants, light 6h/day. This is the photo from that day:
    220_first planted.jpg
     
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  4. Allwissend

    Allwissend Article Editor
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    So today, did trimming in of my tanks and changed the water in the Knowledge tank. More on this later.


    Forgot to say, the plants included are not final, as it is they are more of an aquarium starter set and whatever extra I had available. I guess unlike most single aquarium startups, this is one of the great advantages to have a pre-existing aquarium with plenty of species to pick and choose. The other one is that you can afford to take it slow and not get super impatient in adding fauna and flora.


    The reason I did not plant with the final plants is because I expected to see high ammonia levels at the start and some melting. I was reluctant at adding any Bucephalandra and other plants. A week later after adding the "easy" plants only small spots of melting and 1 or 2 leaves seem affected. So basically a disparate and non-cohesive mix of plants until end of March at least.


    Here is the list of plant species until now. Some of them are only 1 stem to see what happens and how they grow.

    1. Althernathrea reineckii mini
    2. Anubias barteri nana
    3. Bacopa monnieri
    4. Bucephalandra sp.
    5. Cryptocoryne sp.
    6. Egeria densa
    7. Eleocharis sp. 'Mini'
    8. Gratiola viscicula
    9. Hemianthus glomeratus
    10. Hottonia palustris
    11. Hygrophila corymborsa
    12. Hygrophila pinnatifida
    13. Hygrophila polysperma
    14. Hygroryza aristata
    15. Lagenandra meeboldii Red
    16. Lemna minor
    17. Limnophila sessiliflora
    18. Ludwigia repens 'Mesakana'
    19. Lysimachia numularia
    20. Marsilea sp.
    21. Myriophylllum sp. "Roraima"
    22. Persicaria preaetermissa
    23. Persicaria 'Sao Paulo'
    24. Pogostemon helferi
    25. Ranunclus inundatus
    26. Riccia fluitans
    27. Rotala macrandra
    28. Rotala wallichii
    29. Sagittaria subulata
    30. Staurogyne repens



    A few days after setup there was some cloudiness, perhaps a bit of bacteria bloom. This seems to have cleared, though the water still had some heavy tanin load. This photo was taken today after a 90% water change. I cleaned some damaged leaves, glued some bucephalandra plants and mosses to the wood and added more of my other cuts. Excuse the mess at the top… Hygroryza plus some plants that decided they want to float after a water change.

    Day18
    220_first planted_0311 (1 of 7).jpg

    Some more quick photographs. Ludwigia inclinata Cuba has a lot of green but is pearling somewhat. Maybe the high NH4 makes it extra green.
    220_first planted_0311 (2 of 7).jpg




    Somewhat expected, Egeria densa melted at first but now has many growing buds. Carryover BBA seems to prosper in this context
    220_first planted_0311 (7 of 7).jpg

    Also expected Cryptocoryne has some degree of melting. No need to panic, out with the old in with the new.
    220_first planted_0311 (6 of 7).jpg


    The cleaning crew is ready to hatch.
    220_first planted_0311 (3 of 7).jpg

    Took a photo of L. repens 'Mesakana' for the plant of the week
    220_first planted_0311 (5 of 7).jpg

    Though not a L. repens sensu strictu it is somewhat related. I bet you guys have great photos of your L. repens.
     
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  5. Allwissend

    Allwissend Article Editor
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    Thank you for reading and liking the posts. Thought I would share the dosing to have things documented.

    dosing_220_032018.PNG

    This is dosed weekly into equal daily doses and after water change when that is the case.

    The growth in the aquarium is fast if green. Hygroryza aristata produced long root reaching 30cm now and still growing. Some spot melting here and there. NH4 test is still positive if less than 0.5mg/L. This is day 20.
     
    #5 Allwissend, Mar 12, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2018
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  6. burr740

    burr740 Micros Spiller
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    Those are dosing totals for the week, split into daily doses right?

    Also gotta say I really like the layout of the wood.

    What are the little blue clamps doing?
     
  7. Allwissend

    Allwissend Article Editor
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    Yes, thanks Burr for the correction. I got distracted by Netflix...:p I fixed it above. So number show weekly dose. Divide by 7 for daily dose.

    Forgot to add Fe-EDTA, Ni-EDTA, all other micronutrients non-chelated, B from borax.

    Glad you like the hardscape, took a while to source the right pieces for what I wanted. It also gives me more planting space :) vertically at least.

    The blue clamps are a symbol of human impact on the environment and how we subjugate nature to fit our momentary needs without care for future development, we cling with our needs to the roots of the tree... or they could just be to anchor some plants until they take root. (but hey the first sounds a lot more artsy). Whenever possible I prefer to avoid using glue because I don't like the white spots and it does not work as well as clamps. They are gardening clamps so the metal is a little more corrosion resistant.

    I also have these nice little pins from JBL (Plantis pins) -left wood near the top. They are also great to anchor plants in the substrate. Thing is, I keep losing them in the substrate.
     
  8. Allwissend

    Allwissend Article Editor
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    I'm back after a series of trips,holidays and lots of driving. I had to be away from home for 10 days straight at some point... This meant I had to sort out dosing....the solution dose it all upfront . Smart huh? Most of the tanks did okay with this method, with the exception of one where the power-head tilted a little and increased surface agitation to the point where most of the CO2 was rapidly out-gassed. Staghorn and BBA colonized many plants and some melting there. Other tanks are healthy with no algae problems... just need major trimming.

    Here is the tank when I left:
    tree-of-knowledge%E2%80%8B-1-of-3.jpg

    10 days later with no intervention:
    tree-of-knowledge%E2%80%8B-2-of-3.jpg

    Plant growth is not the fastest I have seen for sure, but overall plant growth is healthy. The limited plant growth is because of low light, or more specifically heavy growth of the floating plants. The plants have nice big leaves, side effect of NH4 source and Hygroryza aristata grows a nice root system.

    To get a better understanding, here is the view from above the tank after 10 days: tree-of-knowledge%E2%80%8B-3-of-3.jpg

    So, I did a trim and removed most of the floating plants to see how plants perform when enough light reaches them. The aquarium overall seems stable. Algae is minimal, some fuzz where sunlight reaches it. Many bucephalandra melted and in one small area the plants seem to keep melting. Going over this, it is time to reduce the plant load. Now if I could only decide on a planting scheme.

    I'll post some more after dealing with some plant profiles. See you soon.
     
    #8 Allwissend, Mar 29, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2018
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  9. Allwissend

    Allwissend Article Editor
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    Prosepinaca-1-of-3.jpg

    Hi plant keepers,

    short update to document things. The aquarium is now pretty stable and has successfully cycled. I started slowly introducing fish over the last week.
    Until now the fish are:
    • 5 Corydoras panda
    • 5 Xiphophorus maculatus
    • 3 Mikrogeophagus ramirezi
    Not sure if the M. ramirezi will stay in this tank or will be moved to one of the low KH tanks. I will try to get some photos this weekend. As the fishare new, fish-store fish I had to lower/ turn off the CO2 for 3 days. We will see what are the effects.

    The H. aristata keeps growing roots longer and longer. But the great thing that happened this week:

    Persicaria sp. 'Sao Paulo' finally flowered. It produced flowers in 2 aquariums at pretty much the same time, this aquarium and the one with chelated traces. Spring is coming ?

    I only took photos from the aquarium with chelated traces as it was easier. I will have to upload these photos to the plant database when I have time. Here is the overview:
    Prosepinaca-2-of-3.jpg

    And here is an actual 1:1 photo
    Prosepinaca-3-of-3.jpg

    Hope you like the update and thanks for your feedback.
     
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  10. lu.

    lu. New Member

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    Loving it need to more !!!!
     
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