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tank yme

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by yme, Apr 9, 2007.

  1. yme

    yme Lifetime Charter Member
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    just for sharing....

    As you may know, I have now a small temporary tank of 100x30x30 cm. Two weeks ago my stargrass turned white at the tip and died :-(
    I got some new stems and upped my ferts. For now, It seems that the the new stargrass is happy and kicking!

    this is how it looked three weeks ago:

    [​IMG]

    and this is how it looks now:

    [​IMG]

    In general I am quite happy. Most of the plants are growing, and are not looking too bad. On the other hand, plants like the tonina and wallichii are in the tank only for a week. So maybe it doesn't say much.

    Still, things can be better. for instance, the balsamica is still looking a bit ratty. There are some transparant leaves in the peplis diandra and most of the proserpinaca has melted.

    I also bought some boraras, but they died within 15 minutues due to CO2 poisoning.... The pH was 5.8, but set it now to 6.22. I also got the drop checker, made some KH 4 osmosis water and put in the tank. I couldn't make a nice picture when it was in the tank but this was the colour 5 seconds after I removed it from the tank:

    [​IMG]

    Is this the right colour??? Also, My testkist tested a KH of 3.5. A reasonable error?

    Furthermore, I do have again problems with BGA. I did of course the regular blackouts, KNO3 adding etc, but it didn't remove the BGA. Just a bit of old fashion thinking: do you think it s a bad idea to lower the PO4 to 0.5 but keep the same dosing scedule? (PO4 is now 1-1.2)

    This is my regime( more or less): any options for improvement?

    saturday/sunday: 50% waterchange and adding 8 ppm NO3, 0.2 ppm PO4. after two hours 7 ml TMG and 1.5 ml flourish iron and 3 ml excel.
    monday morning: 3 ppm NO3, 0.2 ppm PO4, 3 ml excel. afternoon: 3 ml TMG and 1.5 ml flourish iron.
    tuesday: 3 ml excel.
    wednesday morning: 3 ppm NO3, 0.2 ppm PO4, 3 ml excel. afternoon: 3 ml TMG and 1.5 ml flourish iron
    wednesday/thursday: 50% waterchange and adding 8 ppm NO3, 0.2 ppm PO4. after two hours 7 ml TMG and 1.5 ml flourish iron and 3 ml excel.
    thursday: 3 ml excel (see above)
    friday morning: 3 ppm NO3, 0.2 ppm PO4, 3 ml excel. afternoon: 3 ml TMG and 1.5 ml flourish iron.

    lights:
    3x TL8 with reflectors
    nr 1: 10 hours but on glass which has quite some calcium deposits. A lot of light is not passing through.
    nr 2: 10 hours
    nr 3: 1 hour

    I noticed that only after adding the thrid TL for only one hour, the blyxa turned from green to more reddish. I guess, the light amount is about right.....


    I started adding flourish iron after the first batch of stargrass died. Don't know whether I need it. Excel ading is more for algae issues instead of carbon source. I add less PO4 than the EI says, but levels are between 1 and 1.25 (excluding measurement error).

    thanks for any suggestions!

    yme
     
  2. yme

    yme Lifetime Charter Member
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    And just some pics:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  3. yme

    yme Lifetime Charter Member
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    nobody????

    not even someone with an idea about the CO2 level in the tank?

    greets,

    yme
     
  4. shane

    shane Lifetime Charter Member
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    My pH drop checker turns about the same color as you show in the picture.
     
  5. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I think something is weird when H balsamica does not grow well but R wallichi and T fluvitalis does.

    The only obvious thing might be cycling between good and bad CO2 each day etc or if things(CO2 declines and you tweak it a bit later.

    Otherwise, perhaps copper in the tap water etc might be the issue.
    Good large water changes, good CO2, etc ought to help a lot.

    H balsmaica grows like a weed once it gets going.
    Hard or soft water, inert substrates like EC, flourite, sand, SMS, ADA AS etc.
    The only reason if you dose the EI nutrients you are left with is CO2.

    From there it goes to tap water metals like copper.
    But generally it is something we overlook when trying to figure it out.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  6. yme

    yme Lifetime Charter Member
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    thanks shane!

    The tonina and wallichii are in only for 2 weeks now. I *think* that the wallichii is doigg just fine. Yesterday I had to trim two stems that reached the surface!! (I never had to trim this plant before, they just looked ratty and then died). I don't expect much from the tonina. No ADA AS and a KH of 4-5. Probably very hard to get this working.
    And about the balsamica. It was in a very ba condition when I put it in the tank. Maybe it is just recovering. time will tell.

    Another thing that I wondered about: Would it be possible to have just a little cup (or something similar) filled with ADA AS where I can grow the tonina in? In this way the tonina gets its ferts while I don't have to but AS for the complete tank. (which is in my opinion not necessary, since plants are doing in general all right)
    greets,

    yme
     
  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Sure, you can do the pot or cup of ADA AS. I'd suggest just doing the entire tank though if you like these species.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  8. yme

    yme Lifetime Charter Member
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    I am still a bit hasitating concerning a complete ADA AS tank. Rememeber that I am dutch, therefore I like to replant or regroup my plants more than good is for them. This will disturb the AS very much. Thus the organics will come into the water. And the fact that ammonia is bound to clay doesn't comfort me.

    greets,

    yme
     
  9. yme

    yme Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hi there!

    I would like to share some of my encountered issues;
    The balsamica is doin great after all, but the tonina and wallichii not. Just like it used to be. :D So, my thoughts were: increase the CO2 levels. The CO2 drop checker was now yellowish, not light green any more. I have not noticed a difference in health considering the tonina and wallichii, bu the peplis diandra and hemianthus micranthemum are beginning to get stunted at the new growth. This is probably not a direct effect of increased CO2 levels? Or can there be after all a CO2 level that is too high for the plants?

    greets,

    yme
     
  10. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    No, the CO2 is not too high for the plants...........however it may be too high for the fish!

    That is our upper limit for adding CO2: fish health and well being.
    This is the most critical of all parameters to focus on.

    For all the banter and debate on the web over EI, over ADA and various "methods", I think I am one of the very few people that give CO2 proper and due attention.
    I might be very critical about it, but with good reason, it's the plants/fish health that are very much linked to it as well as algae related issues.

    I would suggest you try this CO2 mist method directed at the specific species of interest here, the Tonia and the Rotala.
    Have the current push the CO2 mist directly into the groups that are hardest tom grow.

    I have been successful growing this species of Tonia and any other plants in inert substrates.

    As you are more concerned about Dutch planting styles, I agree ADA might not be for you. But one concern many have is using a more easy to grow suitable species effectively rather than harder "species of the month or year".

    Check out NBAT's web site going back several years, each of the top 5-10 winners have very good strong themes and make wonderful models.

    Pay attention to the foreground care and look.
    It takes about 8-12 weeks to get a tank into that condition.
    2x a week water changes, thoughtful consideration about pruning and knowing how fast each plant species will grow, so timing is important.

    That way you have a nice very thick group of plants for each and every group!
    Clean tanks win contest also. Water changes really help and staying on top of everything does as well.

    Regards,

    Tom Barr
     
  11. yme

    yme Lifetime Charter Member
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    thanks Tom,

    a bit wiser again :) Although I do not see any stress from the fish and shrimps I think I will lower the CO2 concentration a bit for the health of my living critters. (drop checker a bit light green, instead of yellow)

    I indeed really see a difference since I refresh the water 2x a week. In general I am very happy with result. But of course, if everthing goes well, you want now that hard to grow plant flourish. In this stage I don't have much algae, all plants (exept the tonina and the rotala) are growing great! But am I really really happy? hmmm, I think not, that damn tonina and rotala!

    But I think I will entering round 2 in the battle. My KH is about 4. I will lower it to 2 and see what the result is. For the beginning, I will not add any Ca or Mg. Which means that I have a Mg level of 1.8 mg/l and Ca of 13 mg/l. Maybe this is too little for some of the other plants, but that's their problem :D

    and of course i will move the plants to the left in order too get more mist at the leaves.

    Maybe I will buy a bag of ADA AS and put it a cup for the tonina/rotala only. but that's for the future....

    greets,

    yme
     
  12. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    You sound like you are progressively wiser and at your own pace.
    While 2x a week might seen a lot for many folks, the benefits are worth while if you want to change the dynamics and get a tank into good shape.

    It takes extra effort to re set any tank after a disturbance or a reduction in ecosystem function.

    This is very true for Restoration management of ecosystems.

    Ecosystem resiliency requires "a hump" to get over to move from one state to another. The larger the hump, the harder it is to move from one state to the other.

    What I try and do when helping folks is to address that by reducing the hump and giving you many littler hammers to beat the algae/plant issues and provide a stable routines/system so the perturbing the new healthy state is very hard.

    This gives a lot more resiliency to your method as a result.
    All methods have various management methods that can improve this resiliency.
    Some call resiliency "tank balance" or "stability".

    regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  13. yme

    yme Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hi Tom et al.,

    Let’s summarize what I’ve done so far in order to get a nice planted tank with rotala wallichii and tonina. Ferts are given according to EI, with some changes: 2x more NO3 than EI suggests and more micro’s than EI suggests (1.5xEI). Water changes are performed 2x a week.

    -I lowered the KH to 2.5-3 by using now 70% osmosis water. I added CaCl2 back in order to keep the GH unchanged (= 7). This resulted in healthy growth of the tonina. New sprouts are formed and the plant is looking very nice. The rotala improved a bit as well, but still looks ratty.

    As I mentioned before, at a pH of 5.67 the fish are gasping at the surface. I have a pH of 5.90 and a yellow/light green dropchecker. According to Tom a fair amount of CO2.

    But the rotala still looks ratty… The next thing I’ll try is to lower my lights, I have 9 hours 2.5 watts/gallon and 1 hour 3.75 watts/gallon. I think I’ll remove the one-hour light peak. Apart from the rotala issue, I would like to have a slower growth in general. After one week not trimming, the tank looks like a jungle, without any nice recognisable scaping. Maybe I have just a bit too much light in my tank. Cutting it down will maybe result in a healthier rotala?? (at least, that is my hypothesis.)

    Last week I noticed some algae in my tank. I don’t think it is spyrogira. But have no clue what it could be…However,I made a picture:

    [​IMG]

    I pruned it away. Are otocinclus sp. any help in addition to the manual removal and the cherry shrimps?

    In general: I am very happy that I am now able to grow the tonina (at least for 3 weeks)!! I’ll try to work on the rotala, but I have a feeling that this weed is not that easy.

    Tank before weekly pruning:

    [​IMG]

    Tank after weekly pruning:

    [​IMG]

    Thanks!


    yme
     
  14. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I think the slower growth will help.
    Some plants will need trimming often still.

    I think if you place the wallichii near the current, it will do better.
    Also, you might try topping instead of uprooting for trim methods. Do not uproot and trim every week most of a tank. That can be an issue.

    Is the Rotala in the ADA AS as well?

    Watch the tank some, see how each plant grows and try and prune it so it gets enough light and the others do not crowd it out.

    Look at some of the NBAT tanks also, all those plant species tend to be much easier to tend. I have had issues with some species here and there, but I no longer have any with any species using ADA AS, + EI+ CO2 mist.
    The CO2 mist pointed right on problem plants with a slight current is ideal.

    Sand, Flourite, onyx also had similar results, but I could neglect things more with the ADA AS.



    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  15. yme

    yme Lifetime Charter Member
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    hi tom,

    I have no ADA AS :( , just plain gravel with some red clay.
    Do you see the holes on the left side of the tank? That's where the CO2 mist is coming from. The rotala is right in front of it. I have to say that is a quite strong current..

    thanks,

    yme
     
  16. yme

    yme Lifetime Charter Member
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    hi!
    I again had to top my wallichii, because it was stretching and ratty, reaching the surface. When trying to plant them again I uprooted some of the old stems. I was very surprized: almost no roots! Likely a reason for this plant to behave this way? I know, I have plain gravel, but I added frozen cubes of red clay at their roots. And still: no roots! there must be a correlation!

    greets,

    yme
     
  17. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    R wallichii is very "rooty", you should see lots of roots, if not, something is very wrong in the tank. Plants are not growing.

    Some roots vs lots is one thing, but no roots suggest something wrong.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  18. yme

    yme Lifetime Charter Member
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    hi Tom,

    I was afraid so....
    In general, I think the root development is indeed far from optimal. As fas as I have seen only the blyxa has a very huge rootsystem. The other plants have moderate roots. Of course, the uprooting and etc results indamaging a dn removal of roots, but when I now look at it, I think it is indeed not oke.

    The gravel is just 3 months old. As well as the red clay. Maybe something intrinsic to this substrate? I don't know. All I know is that I dose approximately EI and that the tonina is becoming a weed :D . So, most likely, all the plants are mainly feeding from the watercolumn instead of from the gravel.

    Anyway, I think I can blame the gravel, but I won't change anything (or do you have a special secret Tom Barr tip?). If everything is correct the new tank with ADA AS will be running this summer.

    greets,

    yme
     
  19. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Well, then hang in there until you get the ADA As in there.

    I think nutrient wise, you are not going to do better than a basic light EI and ADA AS.

    Both locations for nutrients are addressed well, so the rest is just CO2/lighting and perhaps the tap water/your pruning/filter cleaning etc.

    I deep vacuum substrates every year or so, sometimes every 6 months if they are dirty etc.

    ADA included.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  20. yme

    yme Lifetime Charter Member
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    hi all,

    I ordered today some tonina belem and eriocaulon setaceum. not because I don't have enough plants but just to see whether I can grow these plants using my current conditions and possibly make an comparison with the growth in my new future tank with ADA AS. Just curious whether ADA AS indeed makes a difference :)

    Furthermore, I my current tank the green thread algae is a bit expanding too much in my opinion. I think it is a microspora species (see picture a few posts earlier). I remove as much as possible, but it is a pain. Will otocinclus be any good in dealing this algae?

    greets,

    yme
     
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