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What I did over my summer vacation

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by Gerryd, Oct 19, 2010.

  1. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi all,

    The above is a joke as I have NOT been active at all on the forum the last several months it seems.

    First want to apologize to anyone I left hanging from a PM or thread to which I did not reply. Personal, professional, health all came together at once..

    So, I lost approx 300 fish due to c02 gassing a few weeks back. The c02 had been OFF for several hours, but then I did a large WC, and like an idiot REMOVED the surface ripple by repositioning a powerhead. Next morning all was fine, but when I came home for lunch it was a disaster..fish gasping and dying everywhere. Add much aeration and surface movement and things got better fast, but the damage was already done.

    I MAY have 30-40 cards left and 15-25 of the rasboras. The hundreds of platies all survived apparently....

    So, all remaining fish are in the 45 while I get the 180 back up.

    A week after the c02 issue, I moved on 10/7 and just got the 180 filled with water and substrate on 10/17...So needless to say, I need to start over as with a new tank. Water is clean but cloudy as the infusoria spreads and a new bacteria bed forms...I totally forgot how much effort it takes to clean the tank, install the plumbing, rinse and clean the gravel, etc. Mount the lights. Scrub the tank, etc. Lots of work and just didn't have the energy with all else going on. Thank god for the movers, but plenty to do on my own after they left.

    I dumped all the manzy in there so it sinks again, as 10 days out of water, and is like Tom just found it again:)

    I also last night placed all trimmed anubias and java that made it. A few poor blyxa and some stauro stems are all that is left of my nice lawn..

    So, will wait for the wood to sink and the tank to cycle. I will add the cards back in MAYBE but am thinking something different.

    I will scape it over the next couple of weeks while the plants regrow and the tank cycles. Gives me some time to think of what fish I want to keep now...

    I did get a new black stand (looks nice) and used white vinegar for a thorough cleaning of the tank and all equipment. New cartridge for the NC and the bio-balls got a good rinse as well as the NC themselves got cleaned.

    The new stand allows a few more inches of space, so the plumbing fits better. I only had to splice in added length on two intake lines and replaced two 'bad' unions, and added a nice drain.

    I placed some nice rubber mats (used for those on their feet all day) on the floor of the stand and that works well. A little soundproofing, protects the stand bottom, will show water and is waterproof if a small leak, etc.

    I can see that with the tank empty. the single pump provides PLENTY of flow. It is my scape that blocks it with the wood...

    I had to keep my PAR meter with me as I needed it to measure/install the new T8 fixtures. They are about 8" above the tank and the 8 bulbs provide 55 PAR at surface and 20-25 at substrate.

    More to come including pics, but not much to see with it not scaped or anything.
     
    #1 Gerryd, Oct 19, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 19, 2010
  2. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    Hi Gerry,

    Nice to know you're still around. If I was closer I'd like to buy your cardinals...

    regards,
    dutchy
     
  3. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I am thinking of doing something very different for my 120 and my 60 Congo tank.

    I'll keep the 2 full CO2 systems on the 180 and the other 60 cube.

    The 60 cube might end up a Tropheus tank as was intended a long time ago.

    Redo is good, helps you learn from the past each time and try new scapes.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  4. rthomas

    rthomas Guru Class Expert

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    Gerry,

    Bob Dylan: 'When something's not right, it's wrong'. Hahaha

    Nice to have you back. And I am pretty sure you will bounce back in no time. My 180 cracked (do not know where, probably the base) months ago and the whole house sinks (and stinks) hehehe. It's still sitting there but am going to restart soon.
     
  5. dbazuin

    dbazuin Guru Class Expert

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    Hi Gerry,

    Nice to see you back here.
    I am sure you make something stunning this time.
    Just waiting for the pictures.
     
  6. pat w

    pat w Member

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    Gerry,

    Tough to hear about the losses. As for precautions against gassing, I've been contemplating surface skimmers. $10 or $20 seems like cheap insurance compared to loses like you describe.

    Waiting to see the new scape.

    Pat
     
  7. Gilles

    Gilles Lifetime Members
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    Welcome back Gerry, hope you and your tank recover soon.
     
  8. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi all,

    I did this scape just now using the plants that made it and the manzy I had, including the last specimen piece Tom sent which is on the left side..I combined a lot of other branches for the right side and middle..all low light. Java reg, windelov, narrow. Bolbitus, anubias nana, petite, and a very nice anubias in the middle that I can't remember the species of..

    Tom is sending me a plant care package with some new stauro and a bit of downoi.. Those two will be used to fill in some of the open areas...

    Tom and I are also negotiating/picking some new wood for me so this is all temporary just to get the plants growing and getting the tank mature and ready for fish..see what I have to work with basically.

    I think it will be wood heavy with many interlocking branches. Over time these will get filled in by bolbitus and var java ferns and anubias and fill the back wall and sides so I will have natural plant background.. It will take some time but will require little maintenace other than the carpets...

    Up and running now for one week. So far so good. No fish in it which is VERY wierd for me as I have always had so many in there....looks like I may have 30-35 cards left, so may add them in a few weeks.still have NO idea what to put in here now...good problem to have I know lol

    View attachment 1864

    Thanks.
     
    #8 Gerryd, Oct 24, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2010
  9. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    Hi Gerry,

    Always busy....;)

    You'd might want to think about Karen Randall's "repeating lines" when scaping the wood.

    regards,
    dutchy.
     
  10. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    Welcome back to the forum Gerry, will keep an eye on your thread and photos.
     
  11. fjf888

    fjf888 Guru Class Expert

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    Gerry

    Good to see you back on. I always appreciated your help and advice. I like the layout of the wood you have going on now actually, I think there is a good appearance of depth. You will still have a decent amount of work with the carpet, but maintaining stems can be a pain, especially the topping off and replanting. I still haven't found a way to maintain good growth other than replanting the tips.

    Dutchy, what are "repeating lines"? I couldn't find anything with a quick google search.

    Thanks
     
  12. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    "repeating lines" is where for example more branches of wood point in the same direction with more of less equal interspacing. Of course this can also be done with "streets" of plants.
    Here's an example with wood.

    regards,
    dutchy
     
  13. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hi Gerry,
    Welcome back. Say hello to Sister Mary Elephant.
    [video=youtube;_L8DcjFOD1k]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_L8DcjFOD1k[/video]
     
  14. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi all,

    Many thanks to all that have expressed well wishes and 'welcome backs'. It is much appreciated.

    Dutchy,

    Thanks for the explanation, that is what I figured. I can see what you mean on the right side, but don't forget that my ULTIMATE purpose is to let the plants take over the wood and hide the back wall. So, arranging the branches like this will facilitate planting on the wood itself so it spreads.

    After 3-4 months, you won't even see a lot of that wood. Certainly will not stick out like the pic you provided..

    I spent some time perusing the ADA newsletter, journals, etc re: golden ratio and such. While I understand it logically, I just can't be bothered really measuring pieces so I have the proper ratio and placement. I arrange it until I LIKE IT :)

    If I don't arrange my rock in the proper AESTHETIC manner or use the optimal number, I don't think the FISH care as long as it provides shelter, food source (algae), etc.

    I know I am never going to have an award winning tank this way, but that is not my goal. I just want it to look 'cool', have healthy plants and fish, and generate positive comments/conversation from anyone that sees it.

    Trust me, this is a HUGE step up from my multi covered gravel setup with the bubbling diver and treasure chest :)

    Later.
     
    #14 Gerryd, Oct 26, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 26, 2010
  15. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    I have always liked that line of Bob's...Lol

    Thanks....

    That sucks on your 180!!!!!!!!! What happened, details? What did you do, was it full of fish?
     
  16. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Pat,

    I have dual corner overflows already...

    Issue I forgot to mention was that I OVERFILLED the tank to where the water was over the wier wall. So this lowered 02 ever more..
     
  17. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Thanks! If you were closer I would give them to you....
     
  18. pat w

    pat w Member

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    From the discussion on "CO2 measurement in wet/dry vs cansiter filtered aquariums.......at night" in the Ferts and CO2 forum, the loss of the surface skimming may have been more of contributer than you may have thought. I know I'm going to get a couple of the Tom Aq. versions soon to feed my canisters. I'm also working on a new gas management reactor design that will actively inject air/O2 at night.

    Pat
     
  19. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Pat,

    I do not underestimate the overflow factor in all of this. My comment seemed offhand I know. I have been following that thread with interest and will respond in time, as I have both canisters and overflows...

    That is why a combination of factors and removal of safety measures ensured a disaster...
     
  20. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Plant care package arrived today from Tom!

    I now have:

    Stauro 049 and Blyxa to replace what I lost...rather start over with fresh cuttings than to regenerate my poor specimens.

    Downoi yay first time

    TONS of really nice Bolbitus, more than enough to cover 4-5 months of growth. If I used it all, my tank would look 3 months older than it really is, and you would see NO wood :)

    I planted the blyxa and downoi for now just to get them upright and planted.

    I will review/cull the bolbitus for the very best and incorporate that. The stauro will be planted tonight as well.

    All temp of course until the next wood shipment arrives, but am very happy to see the tank up and running and soon looking more like it should.

    Just need to put some fish in there. I think I may toss in some MALE platies, just to help along... I have tons of them after all..

    I don't want them in there forever like if I drop any females in there...lol

    Will help to cycle the tank and act as 'mine canaries'.

    Plus, I want some fish in the darn tank....
     
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