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Stretch 72 Peninsula Tank, v2.0

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

  1. Vickie

    Vickie Lifetime Members
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    Thanks very much! I've often wished I had two as well, for more spread. I've wondered if I chose the wrong beam angle. I got 90 degree. It's what the website suggested. I've rearrange my driftwood so I'd have less shading, opened up the center and front more, and I'll try the light at 70%. I have an old tank, so it has a piece of glass for a center brace, so I know that is lowering the intensity there, so I put some buce there. We will see how it does! Thanks again :)
     
  2. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    A bit off topic, but I am now using a DIY LED light, made from SMD LED strips of tape. These have about a 120 degree spread. I measured the PAR I get and was surprised to find that I have the highest readings right next to the front and back glass. This is very likely because that widely spread light reflects off the glass and increases the total PAR near the glass. I have never seen this before. So, I now agree with you that larger beam angles may actually be a big advantage.
     
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  3. Christophe

    Christophe Subscriber
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    I had heard that there could be a PAR increase due to reflection off the glass, but hadn't seen anyone quantify it with actual measurement -- how much did it do? My main beef with spread of LEDs is with having to beware of shading from large hardscape pieces when putting the scape together.
     
  4. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    I get about 45-50 PAR at the center of the tank, but 55 PAR at the front glass! Normally I get a drop off in PAR at the front and back. My plants shade the substrate too much at the back for me to measure the PAR there now. I find it very welcome!
     
  5. Christophe

    Christophe Subscriber
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    Been a while since I’ve updated…

    This fall I traveled a lot for work, so some things slipped somewhat. I still made it home for water change day at the end of the week, but I was not around to make adjustments as if I’d been home all along. I’ve also allowed glossostigma elatinoides to spread throughout the tank, so biomass has been on the increase. I rigged things so that all nutrients got added on water change day. I injected micros into the substrate at the roots of all the plants once a week also. Where this got to be a problem was that I also was trying to find the minimal amounts needed to maintain the plants, while also being away for several days at a time. So I bottomed out on nitrates at one point, down to 5ppm for the first time in a very long time, with ugly effects tank-wide. Mostly it resulted in deteriorating older leaves, and things were a bit paler than perhaps they should be overall. The break has been an opportunity for a major trim / biomass reduction.


    I wound up losing the syngognanthus mix I got from @Dennis Singh — they didn’t deal well with the drama, and slowly deteriorated. I think they’d do better if I had Aquasoil or something to help maintain consistency. The erio (cinerium?) I got along with them immediately melted completely, but then it resprouted. It’s looking good at this point, a good fist-sized puff-ball. The Blyxa also did a total meltdown and resprout, but it's growing in really slowly. Nice, but slowly.


    New things I’ve tried recently that seem to be pretty positive — perhaps one change, perhaps the other, or perhaps both together are making a difference:
    • Urea added daily, or nearly so. Seems to be quite a kick, really colored things up over the last couple of weeks. Pretty much all the plants look better than they do relying only on nitrate alone.
    • Seeing many here going back to higher levels of iron & micros, I thought I’d dry-dose a ’shock dose’ of some Fe-DPTA to see what might happen. Just the iron, leaving the other micros around the relatively low level I have them. It’s been a significant positive step, things that had been ’stuck’ for a while suddenly took off. Acmella repens and Rotala indica always seemed to have something wrong with them for some reason. Now both are looking better. AR mini has not complained much so far.

     
  6. Dennis Singh

    Dennis Singh SynKing!

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    You really hit the sweet spot on sand and cinerium from India, in looks. Awesome picture man. Are you telling me it died off then came back and now its actually that big? Mine is still small as heck, but i do move it too much, do use Africana soil...Amazing growth man
     
  7. Christophe

    Christophe Subscriber
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    It just seems to like that spot, and whatever I'm doing. It just kinda did it on its own. I've left it in the same spot since I got it, until rearranging it this last weekend. Looking forward to being able to split it, just not seeing anything about it yet that suggests that would be successful. The blyxa had two obvious side shoots, cinerium is still a single thing.
     
  8. Greggz

    Greggz Lifetime Members
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    Nice update. Good to see some new pictures.

    Beautiful healthy looking plants and well presented.
     
  9. Christophe

    Christophe Subscriber
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    Thanks -- But ya know, I get to thinking...

    In looking at the tank through this week, and thinking over @Pikez excellent Dutch article, it seems I've drifted away from my original design concept. I've let glosso carpet freely throughout the tank, there is only a small patch of sand left open. Also, it's drifted toward Collectoritis. I'm not much a fan of either of these things.

    The idea was to have each species that I have take an area not much bigger than I can cover with my hand, and limit it to 10-12 species. Nothing in more than one place. This tank was never about being a truly Dutch tank, it really can't be, being sort of a narrow peninsula tank. But I want it to honor some of the principles of leaving space between groups, varying colors and leaf shapes, and minimizing exposed hardware & plumbing.

    Time to get back to basics! I'm going to let the glosso populate for a few more weeks, then pare it back to a single patch where it looks and grows best, and keep it to that. Also, reducing the moss growing on the wood to one kind per piece -- it's gotten kinda mixed, and I think it'll look better more uniform. And I'll look to boost the numbers of some plant species, and cut out a couple of others, get it back where I wanted it originally.
     
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  10. Christophe

    Christophe Subscriber
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    Hi all! The compost pile has really grown out back of the house…


    A few weeks after deciding to get back more to my original design, I’m liking the look better. Two weeks ago I removed all the glossostigma. Almost all of the open sand was carpeted with it. I pulled it in phases, then backed up and looked at it. Nope, still not right… Until it was all gone. I just don’t like carpeting species in this scape. While I’m at it, I’m reducing the number of species from 16 to about 13. I’ll be expanding the territory covered by several things, swapping positions of some, and substituting some new species for things I have.



    The erio cinerium is flowering. Looks good, but I think I need more of it in order to not be sort of a ‘collectoritis’ kind of thing. I’m weighing getting more (and where I’d put it?) vs. selling off the one good plant that I have.


    Beyond that, the experiment with reduced water change volume is over, it’s back to 50-60% per week. I had been doing 33% water changes weekly since probably August. The plants don’t seem to have a problem with it, but by late October, I picked up a continual GDA problem on the glass. It wasn’t causing any other obvious problem, not appearing on plant leaves or affecting growth. It was just ugly to look at by the end of the week. Neither Excel nor Purigen had any impact on it. I did find that four 50% water changes over my two week holiday break vastly reduced it. Resuming the weekly 33% in January, it has cropped back up. So enough of that!
     
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  11. Greggz

    Greggz Lifetime Members
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    I liked the look before, and I like it even better now.

    Plants all look happy and healthy.

    And while people debate water changes from time to time, I have no doubt it's easily the best thing you can do for your tank.

    Nice update and tank looks great!
     
  12. Kyalgae

    Kyalgae Lifetime Members
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    I forgot how nice moss looks on wood. That’s all Fissidens fontanus right? Your bright coloured sand definitely adds a different contrast to you tank, it really brightens it up, I’m sure your shrimp look great walking on it. The sand reflects the light more, and makes it pop, I can see why you wouldn’t want to cover it.
     
  13. Christophe

    Christophe Subscriber
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    Thanks! Yeah, fissidens fontanus on the right, the wood to the left (more hidden in stems) is some java moss variant, never really knew which.

    I had forgotten how much light the substrate reflects. It really is a significant aspectt of lighting this tank. It's a lot brighter with the sand.
     
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