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FRANK
 
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EditedEdited 08-Dec-2012 06:58
Hi Doc!
Great to hear from you again, and truly a striking tank!
What are those fish? They are a really nice shade of lavender.

Like you, life gets in the way of play. I've retired for the third time and living full time in our home at 10,000ft elevation inside the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Susan is going through kidney failure (rejecting her second transplant, and we are in the process of building an addition to the house. With all that is going on and demanding my attention, I'm beginning to wonder what real retirement is like!

Frank

-->>> The Confidence of Amateurs, is the Envy of Professionals <<<--
Post InfoPosted 08-Dec-2012 06:57Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Dr. Bonke
 
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Wow Frank, sorry to hear Susan is having so much trouble. I've seen what kidney failure can be like with my grandfather who needed dialysis twice a week. It always took him two days to recover from that. I hope things will work out for you so you can actually enjoy the retirement.

As for the tank, the fish are Congo Tetras, with the Grolux lights their amazing color comes out beautifully.
Post InfoPosted 08-Dec-2012 07:56Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Dr. Bonke
 
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The tank is doing well, algae seems mostly a thing of the past and I only have to clean the glass a little once a week at the water change. The plants seem to stay totally clean of algae, only the wood and background gain a bit of color, which I actually don't mind so much.

As the tank has developed quite a bit over the past year, I figured it would be nice to add some progression pictures.

In February last year I restarted the tank after I lost 90% of my fish in a severe Ich attack following the introduction of some marbled hatchet fish.


Two weeks later the surviving fish were introduced:



Then came our trip three week trip to China, during which the CO2 ran out and my parents in law "took care" of the tank (i.e. fed the fish):


The algae problem was quite overwhelming, especially with little time on my hands due to learning how to be a good father, yet, slowly things got a little better:


and a little better still, May 26, 2012:


In June, the green hair algae was losing big time:



In July, the green hair algae was a thing of the past, but I was still fighting some staghorn, green dust algae, and black beard algae was beginning to be a problem:


During August, we were again away for vacations, and on return the black beard algae had covered almost everything except the very new parts of the plants. I began spot treatment with peroxide and got rid of my CO2 reactor, instead using a powerhead for CO2 injection. From that point on things slowly got better:


In November I did a slight rescape, removing some old wood, and adding a new piece:


On January 4th, most of the old, algae covered plant parts are now gone, and some modifications of plant positioning were done.


And as of today it is mostly a matter of plants growing into their proper positions and volume.


Things I did to get rid of the different algae issues I have had over the past year:
Green hair algae: reduce photoperiod to about 9 hours, increase CO2 and lowering amount of ferts (I use EI).
Green water: yes, I had some of that too. I installed a UV lamp
Staghorn: adjusted the amount of phosphate fertilizer.
Black beard algae: removed the apparently inefficient CO2 reactor and got a powerhead instead (see right side of the tank). Increased CO2 to about 4 bubbles per second. In addition I treated the tank on a weekly dose with Flourish Excel.

There you have it.
Post InfoPosted 12-Jan-2013 12:15Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
FRANK
 
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HI Doc!
"Learning to be a good father." CONGRATULATIONS!!

Replacing the reactor with a power head... is this a powerhead that as a reactor built into it, or, are you just plugging the CO2 line into the fitting that is mounted on the top of many powerheads where one attaches an air hose to it so it pulls atmospheric air into it and sprays out small bubbles, and in this case it sprays out tiny CO2 bubbles?

Frank

-->>> The Confidence of Amateurs, is the Envy of Professionals <<<--
Post InfoPosted 12-Jan-2013 19:36Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Dr. Bonke
 
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Frank, thanks so much. The trip to China I had early last year that led to my tank being bright green on my return, was to adopt our son Daniel. He'll be two next week and is aboslutely fantastic.

As for the powerhead, it's a cheap one from ebay that has a barred intake at the bottom. I removed one of the bars and simply feed the CO2 hose into it. The bubbles are very fine and the pump is relatively strong, so by the time the bubbles get close to the surface, they meet the downwards current from my external filter on the other end. While CO2 is active, my tank almost looks slightly misty fom all the tiny bubbles (both CO2 and the oxygen produced by the plants).

The tank looks best late in the evening as CO2is off from one hour before lights go out.
Post InfoPosted 12-Jan-2013 22:56Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Babelfish
 
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Dr. Bonke congrats on the adoption
It's a 10 year waiting list here!

Even with the algae that's a stunning tank (geez those congos look great!).

Thanks for the notes and photos.

^_^

Post InfoPosted 15-Jan-2013 01:17Profile Homepage AIM MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
Dr. Bonke
 
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Thanks Babel,

If I learned one thing over the past year it is how to deal with different kinds of algae

By updating this thread I hoped to do my small part in reviving the site a little, but if I'm totally honest I fear it is mostly falling on blind eyes. There really isn't much activity here anymore. As seems the case with most forums these days. I'm getting the feeling that forums are slowly becoming a thing of the past while the world moves on to different/faster social media.
Post InfoPosted 16-Jan-2013 10:59Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
superlion
 
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I still mostly lurk around here. I recently(ish) joined my local aquarium club, which has been awesome. They have a forum too, which is great to discuss fish stuff with people who have the same water, LFSes, and can trade with more easily. I expect to stick around here too though, for things like this

><>
Post InfoPosted 16-Jan-2013 21:40Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
DaMossMan
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Congrats on Fatherhood ! Also your tank is looking sweet. Still have the eye for plant placement too I see

The Amazon Nut...
Post InfoPosted 18-Feb-2013 13:48Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
Dr. Bonke
 
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EditedEdited 19-Feb-2013 11:19
Thanks guys

This will likely be the last update for this setup of my tank. In three weeks from now I'll be moving house and will have to tear down the whole thing. I hope I won't suffer too many losses in life stock, but I'm fairly sure I'll be losing about 80% of my plants as they will need to be need to be transferred to a smaller tank for a couple of weeks, which has different lights. As the weeks following the move will be quite busy, I doubt I'll have the time to set up this tank any time soon.

It's a shame, as it has now really settled in nicely. Plants grow very well, and with the exception of a bit of green spot algae on older leaves and some random BBA on the wood, I don't have any trouble with algae at all.

Have a look at the final iterations. Here is the tank on the 28th of January, right before a major trimming:


And as of last night, just before lights-off:


I thought that after I added Congo tetras nearly a year ago, I would not see any young fry make it to adulthood anymore, but currently I have four nearly adult Black mollies that survived, and there's at least five growing sword-tails among the plants, which I expect will survive.
Post InfoPosted 19-Feb-2013 11:16Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Babelfish
 
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Stunning and sad

No one you know of that could plant-sit for you that's got the right type of tank setup?


Good luck with the move, hope all goes smoothly.


^_^

Post InfoPosted 22-Feb-2013 02:11Profile Homepage AIM MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
FRANK
 
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EditedEdited 24-Feb-2013 22:24
Hi Doc,
I hope the move goes well and that you can soon return
to your tanks.
Moving, even for happy occassions, is still, never fun.

Uprooting, and packing and dislocation are not necessarily "fun" words.
Hope all goes well...
Frank

-->>> The Confidence of Amateurs, is the Envy of Professionals <<<--
Post InfoPosted 24-Feb-2013 22:23Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Dr. Bonke
 
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Babel, I'll be setting up my old 80 cm tank at the office for the moving period. Tomorrow I'll do the preparations for that. However, I haven't really tested the light for that one yet (the old fixture broke down some years ago), so it remains to be seen how well the plants will do in there. Also, the bioload will be quite heavy in that tank, considering that I already feel as if I'm somewhat overstocked in my 120 cm tank. But we'll see what happens.

For my main tank it will take a few weeks at least before I'll have the time to set it up, April is likely to be the earliest I'll have time for it. I'm planning to rip the old foam background out. It's now been in there for about 9 years and I've come to realize that I made it too thick and too out of place. The only real use I've had of it over a plastic cover on the outside is that it holds some anubias plants in place. Most of the time I can't actually see much of it at all. It's time to get that out and get all the space it occupies (5-7 cm) back.

Frank, I'm actually kind of looking forward to the move, ever since we decided to look for a new place, I have started noticing more and more little things that annoy me about our current apartment We'll actually have our own free standing house now, instead of a second floor 5-room apartment. Lots more space, no noisy neighbors and a big garden. We're very much looking forward to it.
Post InfoPosted 25-Feb-2013 12:38Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Babelfish
 
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Sounds like a good move to me, just a shame to have to tear down the tank but you will get to start over, with more room all around so I like it!
Plus now you'll have a garden to water with all your WC water.

Couldn't you use the 120 light fixture on the 80? It'll hang over a bit but at least you know it's functioning properly.

^_^

Post InfoPosted 27-Feb-2013 23:01Profile Homepage AIM MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
superlion
 
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Sounds like you'll have it pretty good in your new home, but a shame you'll have to tear down the tank when it looks so gorgeous!

><>
Post InfoPosted 06-Mar-2013 01:34Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
Kellyjhw
 
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I still lurk, occasionally. I mention fishprofiles whenever someone (at work) mentions a pond or aquaria at work. Frank, you are my U.S. point man on the site. So don't get mad if you get a few questions.

TTFN --->Ta-Ta-For-Now
Kelly ;o}
Post InfoPosted 18-Apr-2013 02:38Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
FRANK
 
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Hi Kelly,
I hope that everything is going well for you and your family. Miss the times in chat.

Winter is still holding on.. it was -2 this morning but with the cloudless sky, we are up to 17 now and the snow is melting. We have had, sometimes, two storm cells in a week passing by leaving 3-8 inches of snow with each. Down in the "flatlands" the spring flowers are starting to push through the soil. Here at 10,000 feet, the aspin trees are just starting to bud, so perhaps in a few weeks, spring will make itself known.
Meanwhile.. Welcome to Springtime in the Rockies!

Frank


-->>> The Confidence of Amateurs, is the Envy of Professionals <<<--
Post InfoPosted 18-Apr-2013 22:24Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Kellyjhw
 
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Same ole thing here in Michigan. We had 80 degree weather Thursday. Then a storm front rolled thru with horrible winds and the temp dropped over 30 degrees, in one day! It snowed the following day. I want Spring back!

In Michigan, if you wait 10 seconds the weather will change.

TTFN --->Ta-Ta-For-Now
Kelly ;o}
Post InfoPosted 20-Apr-2013 03:51Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
DaMossMan
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How did your move go ? I hope smoothly. Totally understand the challenges of an apartment, a house would be sweet.

The Amazon Nut...
Post InfoPosted 19-Jun-2013 13:39Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
Dr. Bonke
 
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The move itself went pretty good, but my main tank is still standing empty. After getting most of the house in order and having bought new white furniture, I painted some old furniture similarly glossy white. This turned out so good that I decided to paint the aquarium stand and frame white as well. So far though I haven't had the time for that, so it's standing empty here in the living room. I'll probably do the painting in the next few weeks as I'm now on holiday. After that it'll be coming up with the new layout and getting all the necessary plants and such. I may revive this journal at that point to show the intermediate steps.

have a nice summer all of you!
Post InfoPosted 02-Jul-2013 11:11Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
FRANK
 
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Hi Doc,
After viewing your "old" tank, we are all awaiting pictures of the new one as it evolves.

Frank

-->>> The Confidence of Amateurs, is the Envy of Professionals <<<--
Post InfoPosted 03-Jul-2013 05:11Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Dr. Bonke
 
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The tank is about to go into revival mode. I've finished with spray painting the stand and the "wooden parts" (plastic) of the tank. It's now all high gloss white and came out very nice. I've also replaced the styrofoam background with a simple black foil that is stuck on the outside behind the glass.

Two days ago I ordered the new substrate from Germany, despite the high shipping costs it's still a lot cheaper than buying it here locally in Finland. I guess the market here is smaller, but a 50% difference in price seems a bit excessive and although I wouldn't mind supporting my local LFS, I'm not stupid (nor rich) either. Today I got the message it's all shipped, so I expect arrival early next week.

One thing Finland does have a lot of, and free as well, is rock. The whole country is basically granite and whenever new buildings are being built the constructors blow up huge chucks with dynamite. The interesting bit here is that these explosions leave interestingly shaped smaller pieces which normally just get loaded up and get disposed somewhere. I've found a site where I guess the money ran out, and it's been lying bare for quite a long time. A quick walk through left me with 20 kg of rock and after sorting through those, I think I'll go back another time to have a second look.

In any case, I expect to be able to start scaping next week and I'm very much looking forward to it. I think I'll keep it this time mostly to relatively low maintenance plans (i.e. very few stem plants) but right now I'm still not entirely sure. I'll post the updates once they come in.
Post InfoPosted 15-Aug-2013 11:00Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
FRANK
 
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Hi Doc,
Granite is a plutonic igneous rock that is mostly two types of feldspar, and quartz with two types of mica thrown in. Here, we have some really nice pink granite and it is just laying around all over the place. When it is fractured by the explosions or by smashing it with a hammer it will generally cleave (fracture) at 90 degrees leaving some nice square or rectangular pieces.

Now I'm really getting interested in those pictures!

Frank


-->>> The Confidence of Amateurs, is the Envy of Professionals <<<--
Post InfoPosted 16-Aug-2013 23:55Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Dr. Bonke
 
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EditedEdited 27-Aug-2013 12:49
Well then,

The tank is back up and running, for the most part anyway. Last week the new substrate arrived and I did the layout during the weekend. I'm still not 100% sold on it as it is, but for a large part I think it's also because it is still so bare. From My office tank I managed to rescue a few, very sorry looking plants and I got a few new pots form the LFS. My guess is that it will take a few weeks/months before it's properly filled in, I just hope I can balance the ferts right so algae won't take control. Right now I'm still missing CO2 (have to refill the tank, which will be done tomorrow) and I have a couple of new lamps waiting for me at the post office. After that it's down to water changes and fert management.

Just to give an idea what happened, here is a photo of quite a few years ago, when the stand was still its original wood color:



This is a week ago, after painting and cleaning. BTW, the silicone on the rear glass has proven extremely difficult to be removed. I'm never going to glue in a background again.


here it is nearly filling time, the basic layout is now done (though I'm seriously considering to get a couple of really big rocks and adjust this layout.
Substrate: first a layer of JBL AquaBasis plus, then a layer of JBL Manado, and finally JBL Sansibar Black on top. The withe isn the middle is JBL Sansibar White.


Here is the first planted version, the morning after the plants went in. It'll be some time before it is anywhere near satisfying.
Post InfoPosted 27-Aug-2013 12:47Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
FRANK
 
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Hi Doc,
Wonderful, "A river runs through it." This should be an interesting set of pictures as it fills in and you may some changes along the way.
Frank

PS, I think you photo shopped the cat in the picture!



-->>> The Confidence of Amateurs, is the Envy of Professionals <<<--
Post InfoPosted 28-Aug-2013 18:04Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Dr. Bonke
 
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Post InfoPosted 30-Aug-2013 08:25Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Dr. Bonke
 
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EditedEdited 04-Jan-2017 19:12
It's been a while.

Life's been busy, we adopted a second child and with all the extra work that comes with that the tank has been given a lot less attention. My CO2 tank ran empty about a year and a half ago and as it then needed to be pressure checked I decided to move to a lower maintenance setup. The new (led) light fixture I bought some time ago has a half light mode, so that only runs half the leds it normally would do, and my grolux T5 I only have on for a couple of hours in the evening.

It did mean that a lot of the plants slowly died off as their light requirements simply weren't met, but the added benefit was that I no longer had to struggle against algae. There are now a couple of species of javafern, cryptocoryne and bolbitus in the tank and I find it looks surprisingly pleasing. It also saves me on energy cost, the bills for CO2 every 3 months or so and the maintenance is super easy.

Attached Image:
Post InfoPosted 04-Jan-2017 19:00Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Theresa_M
 
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Really nice to see an update, tank looks great!

~~~~~~~~~~~~
There is water at the bottom of the ocean
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2017 18:26Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
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