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Stretch 72 Peninsula Tank, v2.0

Discussion in 'Journals' started by Christophe, Apr 27, 2017.

  1. Christophe

    Christophe Subscriber
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    Possibly something to watch. I'll be uprooting & trimming, so eventually some comes out to the water column, if it's not leaching already.

    I already dosed it this way this week, using a bigger (5mm) applicator tip, no visible loss to the column that I could see. The smaller tip is maybe only 1.5 - 2mm, so it should pull out of the sand even more cleanly.
     
    Dale Hazey likes this.
  2. jsarrow

    jsarrow Junior Poster

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    Great looking tank, really dig the open layout and the bright all sand bottom.
     
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  3. Pikez

    Pikez Rotala Killer!
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    You could try EDDHA form of iron. It is deeply colored - reddish, pinkish, brown. If you WD-40d it deep into the substrate and you see small plumes of red rising from the substrate, you know you have leakage. Fun test. But probably not necessary. I have some Fe EDDHA if you want to try it.
     
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  4. aclaar877

    aclaar877 Junior Poster

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    So glad I just happened to read this thread today. I have a similar setup with black diamond sand and PAR levels close to yours. I have experienced similar issues with apparent K and NO3 deficiency symptoms in Hydro and Ludwigias, even though those *should* not be happening with my dosing levels and use of O+ in the substrate. I have been able to grow very nice, big stems of A Reineckii, but I can get it to stunt at will if I dose too many traces. The past two weeks I have dosed 0.01 ppm Fe from CSM+B daily without issues, and may slightly increase it. I can see some wavy leaves on the stems that get the highest light, but no stunting and shriveling of tips. My two problem plants right now are L Glandulosa and Ammania Senegalensis. Three weeks ago I planted two stems of Glandulosa in cups of garden soil with O+ balls. So far - nothing. They just sit there. Not stunted, not shedding leaves, but they just sit there dormant. Similar problem with Ammania Senegalensis - those stems have slight stunting, but some side shoots are forming and some stems look OK. But, they just don't grow at all, not like they used to when I got the plants months ago. I wonder if Na and Cl have something to do with it. A neighbor's lab test shows our water has Na of 21 ppm and Cl of 37, and our water report says sodium could go as high as 51 ppm, so I want to try mixing in some RO and see if that helps these problem plants and helps with the Hygro pinholes and leaf shedding. I'll be delighted if my L Glandulosa looks anything like yours!
     
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  5. Christophe

    Christophe Subscriber
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    My system, similar to @burr740 , seems to require Goldilocks micros -- not too much, not too little, but JUST right. More than 200ppb per week as I've been doing since May has been too much. I just completed a 2 week hiatus on any micros, resumed at 80ppb for a week, and now I'm going to continue the same, but injected into the root balls of each stand of plants -- we'll see how that works out.



    My plants seem to do better the higher percentage of RO/DI water I use. I had thought for a bit that it was purely the reduction of Na and Cl, but seeing @Pikez growing stuff in much higher levels, I’m not so sure. Still, I’m going with 95% DI water currently, and bringing it back up to GH 5, KH 2.5, and including all the macros for the week in the mix.


    The glandulosa seems to freeze for me for a week or so after a trim, or replanting, or looking at it funny. Two of my five stems have stunted, but as of now are starting back up again -- a positive reaction to the new micro method? I dunno just yet. The other three look great.


    I let my AR grow out big for 6-8 weeks and did a big trim/replant of it last weekend. 9 stems look better than they ever have, I kept a 10th one that had squinchy jacked-up leaves to see what will happen with it.
     
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  6. Christophe

    Christophe Subscriber
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    A few more weeks, progress in some areas, setbacks in others. Overall things are going pretty well.





    I’ve continued adding macros only with the water change, and injecting micros (Fe at 80 ppb per week) into the substrate at the roots of each stand of plants. It’s pretty much hands-off for the rest of the week. Another side effect is that TDS is super-stable, almost exactly the same at the end of the week as it was right after water change. This might be good for the animals. It’s not seeming to be a critical difference to the plants. Things that were showing twisty growth with higher water-column dosing and TDS change through the week still show it.

    I think substrate injection of the micros is pretty efficient — I will be reducing how much I use, and maybe not even injecting certain plants, AR for example. After a three week time-out for micro dosing, AR looked better and flatter than I’d seen it. Only one of the 10 plants showing significant leaf distortion. On resuming the micros, the leaves are gradually getting more wavy over the past 3-4 weeks.


    The same seems true of L. Glandulosa. After the time-out, 4 out of 5 stems were looking pretty good. Now they’re all showing distortion and several are throwing side-shoots.


    Rotala Indica grows slowly enough that I’m not certain whether it was the time-out bothering it, or the higher level micros before that, but it’s also not happy. Seems like currently there are some signs of recovery, good looking stems coming up, so I’ll continue dosing it.


    Busted out the macro lens for the first time in a while...
    Gimme a great big smile!


    Three Amigos

     
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  7. Christophe

    Christophe Subscriber
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    A bit of a trim and some rearranging today. I've moved penthorum sedoides from a back corner into the right center space I had been saving for something else.



    I'm just going to populate the glossostigma back and around through where the penthorum was. Glosso is doing well, and I think it's more interesting than the dwarf hairgrass. Hard to argue with how maintenance-free the hairgrass is though -- I can see a day coming when glosso will need some trimming. But that's a decision for another day.

     
  8. geektom

    geektom Junior Poster

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    I don’t know why I can’t see your pictures- everything sounds really interesting and I want to see!
     
  9. Tim Harrison

    Tim Harrison Lifetime Member
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    I really like the juxtaposition of the different plant heights, colours and textures, and that DW is great.
    The whole creates an air of Surrealism :)

    P.S. I also like the negative space as well, it frames the planting and gives it room to breath ;)
     
    #89 Tim Harrison, Sep 24, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2017
    Christophe and snarkingturtle like this.
  10. Christophe

    Christophe Subscriber
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    Since photobucket went all pay-to-play, I've just been using the gallery here. Not sure why that's not showing for you

    Thanks! My goal was to reserve some open sand for corydoras to root around in. I'm getting closer to shortening the big wood piece by 8-10 inches -- it's not holding its balance well, I have to prop it up with a rock. It throws shade where the glandulosa and lobelia are, and it's easy to knock out of place when cleaning & trimming. I do like to have a good place to grow moss, so most of it will stay.
     
  11. Jason King

    Jason King barrreport.com
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    Tom It's fine here :) can you try a different browser/device?
     
  12. geektom

    geektom Junior Poster

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    I am on tapatalk- that may be the problem


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  13. Jason King

    Jason King barrreport.com
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    Just wanted to check something in that case :) And you can't not see this beauty ;)

    Can you see the following images in Tapatalk?

    These are post attachments and not gallery uploads.

    IMG_0785.jpg

    IMG_0789.jpg

    I use Tapatalk for a few websites but it's not my first choice.. it has its limits, beyond a basic forum structure it's pointless. I.e the plant database, articles etc..
     
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  14. burr740

    burr740 Micros Spiller
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    Thats looking really nice, Christophe
     
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  15. geektom

    geektom Junior Poster

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    Yes! Gorgeous!
     
  16. geektom

    geektom Junior Poster

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    I like be how vertical your stems grow- sounds simple, but it is so much harder than it looks.
     
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  17. Christophe

    Christophe Subscriber
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    Hi y'all, it's update time!


    Been a few weeks, I've made a few minor changes. I cut the extra-archy bits of the wood -- it was shading below more than I wanted, and really the purpose is to have a place to grow moss. I like this a bit better.

    I've also gotten rid of the dwarf hair grass. It was doing well, but a bit too solid green for what I wanted. It's perfectly maintenance-free, but doesn't feel right for this tank. I'm giving a solid half-square foot of dense DHG to a colleague. I'm going with the glosso, which is really gaining momentum now. Might be more maintenance, but I like that corys can still get to the sand beneath, even where its fairly heavy. Recall that all of this started from three leaf pairs on July 4th weekend!


    New additions -- Some great looking Syngos from @Dennis Singh , seem to be hanging in there a couple weeks in. The taller branchy ones (Lago Grande?) seem to be doing the best and showing some growth. Two of the smaller plants have melted, the others are still in it.


    I've continued injecting micros into the roots of each stand of plants, but withholding it from specific plants -- AR and L. glandulosa. All four of the glandulosa are growing flatter than I've ever seen them, and they're a bit faster growing than before too. The one on the right has started to stunt a bit just over the last three days or so, but they've all been great for the past three weeks on only ambient micros leaching out from the sand beneath OTHER plants. And my micro dosing is pretty light to begin with, once a week after water change:
    Fe 77 ppb, even masses gluconate and DPTA
    Mn 38 ppb
    B 13 ppb
    Zn 11 ppb
    Cu 1.7 ppb
    Mo 0.9 ppb


    Only other thing of note is the death of 'Sticky' the twig catfish. Not sure why, no other losses at all lately. As it happened while I was out of town for the week for work, not sure how quick my family was to find him, so I also have had an outbreak of GDA on the glass since then, for the last three weeks. It's not affecting the plants that I can see. Just a lot more build-up on the glass over the course of each week. I've done a couple of bigger water changes and thinning things out to clear out old organics. No other changes to CO2, nutrients, or maintenance, so it seems a bit odd. Not a huge deal though.
     
  18. Vickie

    Vickie Lifetime Members
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    Hi! Your tank is beautiful! I also have the bml mc series, but don't have the results you do. I bought mine just before they took down their website and really can not find much info on it. Could you tell me how you have yours set up? I'm curious what intensity do you use, for how long, and how deep is your tank? How long is your ramp up time to your maximum intensity? Thanks!
     
  19. Christophe

    Christophe Subscriber
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    Thanks for the question!

    The tank is 52" long, 18" wide, 20" high. With the substrate depth and the legs the light has, it's about 19" from light to substrate. When I got mine, I had them make the housing 52" long to match the oddball tank size. The light fixture itself is still a standard 48".

    I control the light using a home-made Arduino controller that runs both the lights and the CO2. The software I wrote to run the cycle gives it adjustment of start & stop times, max light level, ramp down time, and 'moonlight' duration. Because the tank gets ambient room lighting well before the light program kicks on, I don't figure it's too important how fast it ramps up -- I just didn't want it to go *bink* FULL INTENSITY!!! so I gave it a fixed ramp-up time of 10 minutes. Currently, I run the light at 70% for about 7.5 hours, then ramp down over 45 minutes to 'moonlight' level, with only the blue-green channel on at lowest setting for 30 minutes, then off.

    BML claimed that the MC series gives PAR of 110 umol at 18" when run at 100%. I figure by running at 70%, I get roughly a PAR of 75 umol at the
    substrate.

    I like the light, the only thing I wish I could do is get a second one. I'd run them both at a lower level to keep the overall intensity the same, but get better spread, less shading.
     
  20. Christophe

    Christophe Subscriber
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    This week’s post is inspired by @Greggz ’s Saturday Morning Maintenance post from last week.

    It all starts with water. I’m using mostly DI water mixed with a little bit of tap water to maintain SOME presence of chloride, sodium, and the traces that are there. It takes several hours on Friday night to generate DI for the change.


    I run a heater and powerhead in the can overnight to warm it and keep it circulating. Over the last several months I’ve been changing 33% of my system volume weekly. I remineralize using a spreadsheet I put together, and a pile of dry chemicals from various sources. Along with the remineralization of the water, I include all of the macros for the week -- it's all in the water change, nothing else added through the rest of the week. The rest is fish food. Micros I had been adding once per week also, injecting into the root balls of each stand of plants, but after a few months of that, it doesn't seem to be a particular benefit. I'm going back to dosing micros three times a week, but very lightly overall.


    First I pull and trim whatever is getting too tall. I rotate through trimming several species of plant each week to keep it easy. Vacuum out the substrate where I’ve pulled things up, just to keep things clean. Most plants I pull and cut away the bottoms, replant the tops. This week's cutting is pretty light, just cutting glandulosa and ludwigia palustris red. Glandulosa has been doing very well the last several weeks.


    Next I scrape algae off the glass if needed, and move on to cleaning the sump, trading out the filter sock and floss pads. Vacuum out any gathered particulate from the sump. A couple times a year I remove the main return and reactor pumps, disassemble them & clean them out.


    I really like filter socks. They work so well for mechanical filtration, and a simple pressure wash with a hose gets them clean again.


    Also, filter socks help save any shrimp that go through the overflow — that’s 42 in the bucket this week!


    I use a homemade drain system made from 1” PVC for draining and refill. It has a ball valve and hose adapter at the bottom. I hook the backyard hose to it to drain the tank. The tank is acrylic — when I had it made, I had them drill the euro-bracing at the corners for 1” PVC, for this fixture and for my filter return plumbing. The inner section of pipe can be changed out for larger or smaller water changes. Just drain it until it stops.




    I have a pump and potable water hose just used for refilling from the plastic trash can. The pump is identical to my main return pump — If the main pump goes out, I have a replacement immediately available.



    That's about it -- between 1-3 hours on a Saturday morning, depending on how much I'm trimming and how much I stop to thoughtfully scratch my beard.

     
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