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bensaf
 
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Bonke,

That's a great job on the aquascaping Looks terrific or iat least it will once the cloudiness and algae clear up.Really like the layout.

How are you doing with the Reineckki ? I'm having a terrible time with it, not looking good at all, with 2.2wpg and it in the brightest part of the tank it's still suffering.

Also the plant to the right of the water sprite,with the light green oval leaves, what is that? Looks kind of like a Ludwigia or Lobelia. Been looking for something that kind of size and leaf shape.


Some days you're the pigeon and some days you're the statue.

Remember that age and treachery will always triumph over youth and ability.
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:43Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Dr. Bonke
 
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Hey Bensaf,

The Reineckki used to be one of the best growing plant of the tank, it still grows pretty well, but it also is one of the worst algae infested plants of the lot, right after the Lilaeopsis and Hydrocotyle. Tomorrow I'm having the 30% water change again and then I'm also going to get the Reineckki a bit organized, and get rid of the algae infested leaves.

The light green, oval leaf shaped plants are indeed Lobelia cardinalis. Over the years I've grown quite fond of those plants, and always have had them in every tank I had set up. They don't grow horribly fast, which makes them great for all areas of the tank, in the fron you can just plant the tips while larger plants are perfectly suitable for the middle of the tank, Once I even had a single plant as centerpiece in the back of a tank, looking like a big tree with a stem of nearly 2 cm. I've made a schematic of the tank layout, with the names of all the plants, that should make it a bit easier to identify them:


[/font]
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:43Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Janna
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The white cloudiness of the water indicates a bacterial bloom, presumably from a minicycle. This was probably caused by having a new filter. Did you run the old one alongside it?


They shade the glow of it with their mossy-misty costumes,
They wear masks of silk, porcelain, brass, and silver,
So as not to mislead with their own, ordinary faces.
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Dr. Bonke
 
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Hi Janna, I don't think it's that because it was already there before I changed filters. The water has been slightly cloudy for 2 or 3 weeks now and this increased quite a bit after I added some nitrate to fight the staghorn algae. I'm quite sure it's the algae of the algae-bloom type.
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:43Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Dr. Bonke
 
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aactivation post, next weekend I should have some time again to write a real update
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:43Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Dr. Bonke
 
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Heh... that next weekend update became next year instead. There's a couple of things going on at the momnet which made decide to give this diary another update. In the photo booth I had a couple of photos about my breeding pair angels which were spawning on new year's eve. The couple did very well and managed to keep their eggs and brood safe until it started swimming freely. The next morning when the lights switched on the father became a bit confused about what was going on and ate part of the fry, mommy didn't like that very much and bit him several times before he realized that he was eating his own kids. The other fish also managed to catch several of them before the couple was fully organized, but during the rest of the day it was a magnificent sight to see that remaining cluster of fry move through half of the tank with the parents guarding over them. This morning however I got up a little bit later, and when I took a look at the tank, no fry remained. Whether the parents got confused again or not I don't know, but all in all the pair did a marvelous job together.

Now in the beginning of December, or was it even late november, the same pair also spawned and then I took away the leaf of eggs after the first night as, somehow the pair had gotten confused during the night and the female didn't want the male near the nest anymore. After the eggs hatched I had about 250 fry in a 5 gallon plastic tank. I had little hope for that nest, although I did have liquid food, I had no aeration or filter in that tank. The liquid food cause the water to go bad incredibly fast and even daily water changes could not keep up with the oxygen depletion and accumulation of waste in the little tank. Thus the fry started dying off rapidly and after 1½ week there was about 100 of them left. By then the airpump which I had ordered from germany had arrived and I was able to aerate the water, I also switched to tiny fry flakes as food. Unfortunately I then went on vacation for two weeks and had to leave the fish feeding to a friend who has no idea about this stuff.

Coming back from vacation the tank was nearly empty, only 9 little fish remained, but they looked healthy and are growing like cabbage, by now the biggest is about 2 cm, looking like a miniature (cute) little angelfish and is starting to show some color!

As I have all the expensive periods behind me for a while (dissertation, x-mas, vacation and such) I could now concentrate on aquarium stuff for a bit, and today I bought a second "real" aquarium. It is from the same series as the one I already have, so it is a Juwel aquarium, only this time it is a Rio 125:



The size is: 81 x 50 x 36 cm, which makes it about 32 x 20 x 14 inches and 33 gallons I believe (rough conversions)

It is quite a nice size, my wife is happy with the design (I'm slowly turning her into an aquarium lover as well ) and once all the current fry are large enough for bringing them to the LFS, it'll be perfect for having the angels separate and breed in there. But first I will have to decorate the tank. I'm going to make a similar background as I made previously, only this time thinner and a bit more planned I think, and then the aquascape will come next week... I'm still not sure how I will do it this time, but for certain it will have a bit of curly vallisneria in there (my wife isn't too much into that, but she has only seen it in the store, not in a nice aquascape ). I will write again in a couple of days to update the progress on the tank[/font]
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:43Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Bob Wesolowski
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Wopnderful post, Bonke! This was my first chance to read it and the narrative was outstanding.

__________
"To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research."
researched from Steven Wright
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:43Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Dr. Bonke
 
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It's been a while since I posted about anything on these forums, and this particular thread hasn't had an update in months. Recently I've been a bit preoccupied with other things and Due to that the big tank has been suffering a bit. I've never been able to completely get rid of the algae problem in my tank, though most of the time only the slow growing plants were showing that. However, when I added three Yoyos to the tank to take a bite out of the trumpet snail population things went south. Although the yoyos were doing a great job at eating snails, algae growth increased.

Then, about six weeks ago, I decided to go for bottled CO2 instead of the DIY system I'd been using until then. From the moment I ordered the regulator and other necessary equipments I more or less started to ignore the tank. Except for some small water changes and cleaning of the front window I didn't do very much and pretty soon plant growth stagnated and the algae was having a party. I did a water test last week which showed me that nitrate levels were somewhere near 20, that kinda shook me awake, especially since in better days it was hard to measure nitrate concentration.

So, to make a long story short, I probably was a bit overstocked. The angel fish had grown in the past year from small inch-sized fish into 5-inch sized saucers, the yoyos had gotten bigger and fatter and all the other fish also had stayed alive. I decided to get rid of two (of five) angels and also get rid of the six rosy tetras. I've always felt that the rosy tetras had been a miss-buy. Even though the were baltsing a lot, they only did that when no one was within 5 meters of the tank, or if you'd be very very still, otherwise they'd just disappear into the plants. Also, I've now received the CO2 regulator, and two days ago I bought myself a 13 liter CO2-cylinder. I've set up the whole system and it does something like 1½ bubbles per sec.

Now, two days later I can slowly start to see the difference, the plants have started growing again and seem to be pearling (though I'm not certain yet whether it's the plants or the algae). I hope to see some more improvement in the next few days. Meanwhile I've started a series of water changes to lower the nitrate level. Wish me luck
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:43Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
bensaf
 
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Martin,

Great to see you back, I've missed you anyway . Thought you'd gone for good.

Sorry to hear the tanks having problems, hope the Co2 helps out. Let us know.


Some days you're the pigeon and some days you're the statue.

Remember that age and treachery will always triumph over youth and ability.
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:43Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Dr. Bonke
 
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Bernard, I'm still around, though lately I've been mostly just lurking a bit and reading a few of the messages here and there... I haven't really had much time on my hands lately and as my own tank was looking horrible I didn't really feel that I deserved to give any comments on other people's tanks.

Anyway, it's now been nearly a week since I added the CO2 and removed a few of the fish, and the difference is starting to show quite nicely. The water has cleared up a lot, the plants have started growing again (sunset hygro has become nice and pink again and the myrriophyllum grows about 2 cm per day it seems). Algae growth hasn't stopped completely just yet, but it seems to have slowed a lot. I hope the improvement will continue over the next weeks.
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:43Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Dr. Bonke
 
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Finally! I've had the CO2 up and running for over a month now and at first things in my tank did not improve at all. On the contrary, algae growth actually increased.

At first things seemed to go into the right direction, plant growth started up again, and from the early afternoon onwards the tank seemed like a big airstone, so much pearling happening all over. I hoped that the increased plant growth would start to outcompete the algae growth, but the opposite seemed to happen, day by day the water became greener and less transparent up to the point where I could not see the back of the tank anymore.

At that point I had enough and took some more drastic action and dropped the photoperiod down to four hours a day. Last thursday before I went on a 4 day trip the water had already cleared up considerably and the algae growth on the plants had come to a stop. Yeserday evening, when I came home, I took a quick peek and the water was crystal clear, I could see through the length of the tank again and the tufts of staghorn algae that had started to grow had now died off, turning very stringy and white

Needless to say that I'm pleased with the progress and now I can finally start increasing the photoperiod again and figure out a proper fertilization schedule. I'll probably come with some photos next week or so
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:43Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
mattyboombatty
 
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Dr. Bonke,

This is a real nice diary that you have going! It's really interesting to watch the progress on someone else's tank...especially one that encounters some troubles and manages to still keep a great looking tank. (I think I remember reading it when you first posted, but I'm not sure that I posted much at the time)

About the algae - Have you ever used the pH&KH method to approximate your CO2? If so what did you come up with? I've found that if my pH is up over 15ppm, then algae has a real hard time establishing itself. The other things I've noticed in correlation with the staghorn algae was a combination of high PO4 and moderate nitrates. If I can keep those under control, then my plants usually take care of themselves.

Last edited by mattyboombatty at 22-Jun-2005 19:51



Critical Fertilator: The Micromanager of Macronutrients
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:43Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
Dr. Bonke
 
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15 May was my last post here in this thread, since then the tank has been through quite some stress. After I switched to bottled CO2 I slowly managed to get rid of most of the algae in the tank. There is still some growth, but at the moment it is fairly good under control. However, the road to this point has not been a smooth one. During the past 5 months I have had a period where I was not really all that interested in my tank anymore, mostly due to the algae problem and generally I had too many other things going on to put a lot of effort in the maintenance of both tanks. I just fed the fish, that's where it ended. This resulted in two periods where the plants nearly filled up the entire tank, leaving very little space for the fish to swim. Basically, what I had was a big glass box of green, nothing much else could be seen. Halfway during this period I once removed a lot of plants, but otherwise didn't do anything special.

Then about 3 weeks ago I took a good look at the tank and just felt very ashamed at what had become of it. I spent several hours weeding and cleaning, and as a result it looked somewhat presentable again. Since then I've been maintaining it fairly well, and it is starting to show. The plants grow very nice and the water is chrystal clear. Yet, I'm still not too hapy with it as it is. The sword has grown quite immense over the last few weeks, each new leaf is bigger then the previous. I've now come to the point where I think it will have to go. Furthermore, my angels are turning into cows. They eat from almost every plant, from the sword, the sunset hygro, the lobelia cardinalis and the Bacopa. The only times they don't do that is when they lay eggs, which happens about every 2-3 weeks or so. But outside those times they ravage my plants. So I think I will move the couple to my fry tank and then get rid of the others (black one and the 7 in the fry tank). I'm thinking about replacing them with some diamond gouramis.

In any case, here's a photo of what the tank looks like at the moment.

Dr. Bonke attached this image:
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:43Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Dr. Bonke
 
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hm... picture was 99k, I guess just too big... another try

Dr. Bonke attached this image:
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:43Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
mattyboombatty
 
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Wow Dr. Bonke, that looks great. It really looks nice - I can't see any algae and it sure doesn't look like the angels are feasting on your plants. I love the look of the overgrown sword, it compliments the way you have scaped the tank well with the "full" part on the left and an open space in the middle and a veil of vals on the right. Those crypts in the front left are looking nice too. Well done!



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Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:43Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
LITTLE_FISH
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Dr.

Your tank looks very nice. I can understand that after all this hard work to get it set you got very frustrated when the algae took over. But I am glad to hear that you got it under control now. I am trying to imagine how your cows moo in the tank .

I agree that the sword is huge, maybe it is time for it to go. Your tank looks very much like a classic Dutch style, but – if you don’t mind – I have one suggestion.

I would change the way you use plants to create streets (for example with the Mayaca Fluviatilis and the Alternanthera reineckii ( ? ) right next to it). I would set the streets to go in an angle to the back and not so straight, otherwise it appears as if they are just groups of plants placed next to each other. Also, try to avoid of having two or more streets right next to each other. I know that is easier said than done, but I have faith in your abilities. BTW, did you know that your original log was an inspiration for my own [link=Planted Tank Log]http://www.fishprofiles.com/files/forums/Planted%20Aquaria/64425.html?200510240910" style="COLOR: #ff6633[/link]?

Good luck and keep us posted, I am glad you revived the log.

Ingo


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Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:43Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
seventh_son_of_ed
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Great Log Great Pictures and Great Aquarium.

Face up make your stand and realize your living in the golden Years
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:43Profile MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
Dr. Bonke
 
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Thanks for the constructive comments people, I always very much appreciate those. Matty, Although I like the look of the sword and love it's color, especially the color of the new leaves, which start out as nearly pink, it really is getting too big for the tank. At the moment it is now shading half of the A. reineckii, and with a new leaf coming up every 4 days it is only getting bigger and bigger. It will have to go... as soon as I can get my courage together to rip the tank apart

In the photo the damage to the plants doesn't seem to be all that bad, but that is mostly because the plants grow fairly fast. The angels usullay rip the plants appart and then let them be for a few days, before grazing them bare again. It leaves the plants just enough time to recover a little so it doesn't look too bad from afar. Up close they look terrible, ezpecially the sunset hygro and the lobelia cardinalis look awful.

Ingo, I agree with your points about the "streets". It isn't my particular intention to have the plants grow in such straight groups. For the moment is it a temporary solution to keep an eye on what I have to work with. When I remove the sword, I think I will also remove most of the lava rock that is lying around. Initially I put those in to make some elevated terraces in the tank, but the cories decided that teraces are useless. in a matter of weeks the front of the tank was equalized in substrate hight, compared to the back. The lava rock is now just taking up space that I could use to grow plants. When that's gone I will have more space to palace the plant "streets" under an angle, as was the intention originally.

There are many things I have planned for the tank, it will be some months before I will have that all figured out

Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:43Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
tetratech
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Dr. Bonke,

Thanks for reviving this log. It's always fun to read someone's else experience. I applaude the detail and the result you achieved with the tank. I must admit I didn't see this log originally and glazed over it just recently.

Is the black substrate on top regular gravel? Sorry if you've already addressed that. The Hygro Sunset is a tough plant. Many seasonal aquarists have trouble with it and it also seems to be an algae magnet. I had success with it for a while.

I had Angels for a while in a planted setup and it really doesn't work. Big schools of small fish seem to fit in with the scape and are less destructive.

My Scapes
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:43Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Dr. Bonke
 
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Bah, messed up the Quiz again. Anyway, I think this weekend I'm going to rip the big Sword out of the tank, so most likely it is going to be a huge mess for a while. In the past two weeks it has kept on making new leaves every third day and each of them has reached the surface of the water. It's now shading approximately one third of the tank and it simply has to go. IT's a shame really, I like the look of swords quite a lot, and this one has a lovely color, especially in young leaves, which are a soft pink until they start stretching out. But in they just get too big. Maybe in another 10 years or so, when I'm having that 1000g tank I've always wanted, I will give them another try. Until then my experiments with Swords are over.

Maybe next week I'll have the courage to post a photo of the new look of the tank, without the sword and without most of the rock I put in there when I started out a year-and-a-half ago.
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:43Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
LITTLE_FISH
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Well Dr.,

I would much rather see pictures of the Sword removal process. I can only imagine what kind of a mess this must create.

As nice as it is to look at a tank when it is at its best, as informative a visual demonstration can be that shows how one got to that point .

So please, document it for us,

Ingo


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Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:43Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Dr. Bonke
 
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It took a little while longer than planned; the day after the previous post the angels laid another set of eggs, and I just could not make myself throw them away. So I just let nature run its course and had only after all the freeswimming angel fry was gone I started the removal process. That was last weekend, on saturday.

All in all it went really surprisingly easy. The Sword had roots of about 30 cm long, but it came out without too much trouble. I think it has something to do with the substrate that I'm using. it is very smooth and stays loose even after the tank has been running for a year. The roots don't really get a very good grip on it. In theory that should be bad for plants, but as they all grow very well I'm not really all that worried about it.

After the sword was out I did a bit of replanting. Currently it is a bit of a temporary solution until the plants fill out a bit more. I bought two new plants, one is Lymnophila aromatica the other I could not find a name for just yet (I haven really looked yet either ) but it's the bright green stuff on the place where the Sword used to be (see photos below). Here are a few photos of what the tank went through in the last few days. the first one is of last friday, then two of last saturday, right after the sword was taken out, and finally one of just an hour ago.

Dr. Bonke attached this image:
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:43Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Dr. Bonke
 
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right after the sword was taken out:


Dr. Bonke attached this image:
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Dr. Bonke
 
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half an hour later, after replanting

Dr. Bonke attached this image:
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Dr. Bonke
 
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and just an hour ago, 2 days after replanting:

Dr. Bonke attached this image:
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Dr. Bonke
 
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Ten days have past since I took the sword out, and yesterday I had to do some major weeding, I took out about half a plastic bag full of plants I also took out the Angel couple and re-homed them into the "fry-tank", since they started to rip into the new plants. Already just before I took out the sword I had brought most of the young angel fish I had to the LFS, except for one that my wife liked too much, and one which had managed to hide so well that I had overlooked him/her. Those two, together with the molly fry I had (about 9 or so) were rehomed to the big tank.

Now, a day later the plants that I replanted have settled a bit in their new location and the water is lovely and clear. Most of the fish are happy, except for two of the molly fry, which made the large black angel happy (he ate them ).

It's now about time that I start setting up the fertilization scheme for real, there isn't terribly much algae, but the spot algae grows a bit too fast for my liking and there's a hint of some staghorn here and there.

Here's the current look of the tank

Dr. Bonke attached this image:


Last edited by Dr. Bonke at 02-Dec-2005 08:16
[/font]

Last edited by Dr. Bonke at 02-Dec-2005 08:17
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:43Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
LITTLE_FISH
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Hi Dr.

I think it looks very nice. Glad you didn’t have any major trouble getting that Sword out .

I am the last one to suggest a solution for your Staghorn as I am battling it myself .

Say, you referred to a bright green plant that you added in place of the sword, but I only seem to see the Limnophila aromatica (which looks very nice, btw) in the place of the sword. Is it the small green plant almost in the front left corner?

Ingo


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Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:43Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
mattyboombatty
 
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I think the staghorn is usually contributed to low levels of CO2...I may be mistaken though.

Anyways, nice makeover Dr. Bonke. It's already started to fill in very well.

I had to get rid of my angels somewhat recently too, but it was because they were tearing at each other, not the plants. Did you keep any of the fry? I forgot if you said you had or not



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Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:43Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
Dr. Bonke
 
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Ingo, the plants which you think are Limnophila aromatica are something else I think, as the plants which I bought as Limnophila aromatica are in the lower right (within the purple area). They're a bit hard to see as I split them in half just yesterday and replanted the tips, but I'll see if I can get a close-up of them tomorrow. They have a slightly pinkish color to the leaves and feel a little bit more solid than the bright green stuff. It is quite possible though that the two are related.

The small bright green plant in the front left corner is Hygrophyla corymbosa "Siamensis". That got completely destroyed by the Angels a couple of months ago, but a little bit of it survived in the fry tank. As I moved the worst grazers now to the fry-tank, I thought I'd give these plants a last chance and put some of it back in the big tank. Once (if) that has grown somewhat, it'll be moved more to the back. For now the whole layout is still quite preliminary. Only the position of the wood is certain at the moment

Matty, I don't think that CO2 is a problem in my tank, as pressurized CO2 is injected into the water continuosly. Bernard told me some time ago that my phosphate levels are probably a bit on the low side. I have a test kit now, and a preliminary test put it somewhere at 0.5 ppm I think. The test is a color reaction (I hate those) and it was a bit hard to see in the daylight that remained, I'll try again tomorrow, and will also do a Nitrate test. As for the angel fry, the only two that I kept I have encircled with red here. Also the big black is encircled.

Dr. Bonke attached this image:
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:43Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
LITTLE_FISH
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Well thank you Dr.

You sure are right, I should have known that aromatica is not bright green.

But here is another guess: Tonina sp. of some kind.
Like in [link=These Pictures]http://www.greenchapter.com/eshop.php?cat=1&gp=13" style="COLOR: #ff6633[/link].

Ingo


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Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:43Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Dr. Bonke
 
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Another year, another update,

Since my previous post in this thread the tank has looked very beautiful and absolutely terrible It always surprises me again how fast it can shift between those two extremes. If I let some of the plants grow just a bit too long, so that they start blocking the light for the other plants, hell starts to break loose. within a few days the other plants start to compensate by bocoming etiolated and they lose their color. Give it one week of inattention and the tank is a mess.

After another of such a period I did some serious weeding this week, and then some nutrient measurements. Nitrate turned out fairly alright, at somewhere about 12.5 mg/l, phosphates were slightly on the low side, at about 0.5 mg/l and iron turned out to be way too low. So now I've started a tentative fertilization program. I've dosed some potassium phosphate and a mixture of nutrients that I bought from an online store, which supposedly has everything except nitrates and phosphates (Easy-Life ProFito). I'll try to follow the Tom Barr program, except that I am not quite sure how muchg of everything there is in the commercial fertilizer. I hope to see some effect within a couple of days.

Furthermore I have now taken the three angels I still had in my community tank to the LFS. No matter what I tried, they just kept on eating from my plants. I had enough of it. Even though I'll miss them, I just didn't want to look at half eaten plants anymore. Now I just have the breeding pair in the fry-tank. The LFS was doing a bit difficult about accepting the ones I brought there today, so I'm not sure whether I'll try to save any more of the young of the breeding pair, but I'll see about that in the future.
Post InfoPosted 28-Jan-2006 19:05Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
LITTLE_FISH
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Well Dr.,

Congratulations on having been elevated to moderator status

Now you have the power to kick us all out

Anyway, how about a new picture? And you know what - I wouldn't mind a shot of the tank's bad days either. This way we can learn more about the things that can go wrong.

Ingo


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Post InfoPosted 28-Jan-2006 21:19Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
bensaf
 
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EditedEdited by bensaf
Hi Martin,

Somehow I've completely lost track of this thread. Some glitch seems to prevent it from showing on my active threads list

Now the post dates are screwed up so I'm not sure how old some of tehse posts are

Any first up, congrats on the modship. Wise choice by the admin team

I've been thru the sword thing as you know, it's a shame but they are just too big for most tanks.

You need to get the fert routine sorted. With the gas going in now the ferts can really bite you.

The green spot and staghorn are a sure sign the tank is macro deficient.

Assuming you already have a decent liquid like TMG all you need is nitrate and phosphate. KNO3 and KH2PO4 or the Seachem equivilants.

1/2 tspn of KNO3 and 1/8 tspn of KH2PO4 3 times a week.
10-15ml of TMG or Flourish or whatever takes you fancy 3 times a week. Don't dose the macros and micros at the same time.

Keep the Co2 at 30ppm level. Don't assume because there's bubbles going in all the time there's enough Co2. Measure the KH and Ph and make sure it's where it should be.

50% water change weekly.

That's pretty much all there is to it.


Some days you're the pigeon and some days you're the statue.

Remember that age and treachery will always triumph over youth and ability.
Post InfoPosted 30-Jan-2006 04:51Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
bensaf
 
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Forgot to add, if maintenance is becoming an issue change the plant species somewhat. You've got primarily stem plants in there and some real fast growers. It's always going to be a lot of work to keep the shape.

Make life easy on yourself and work in a few other types.

There are few sword that won't get too big. The taller crypts are good alternatives. Anubias , grasslike plants are all low work.

I noticed at one stage you had water sprite in place of the sword. I can't see it now, I'd guess it became a bigger pain then the sword in no time ? Keep away from plants like that, they swamp a 'scape in a few days and are constant work.


Some days you're the pigeon and some days you're the statue.

Remember that age and treachery will always triumph over youth and ability.
Post InfoPosted 30-Jan-2006 04:58Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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Nice tank! What is the forground plant on the mid-right hand side? What size tank is this? I really haven't taken the time to read though everything (homework really cuts down on such things...) It looks like you have a lot of depth to your tank.

55G Planted tank thread
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[IMG]http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y118/Wingsdlc/Ric
Post InfoPosted 30-Jan-2006 05:40Profile AIM PM Edit Delete Report 
Dr. Bonke
 
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Ingo and Bernard, thanks for the thumbs-up, I'll do my best as a moderator, my word on it and consider not to lock too many of your threads

I'll get some new photos fairly soonish, maybe even this evening, or at least later this week. Ingo, unfortunately I have no "terrible" photos to show. The tank at its worst is not something that I'm proud off and taking photos of it has never really crossed my mind. Maybe next time, though I hope there won't be a next time

Bernard, thanks for the info on the fertilizing schedule. So far I've been doing it fairly close to what you said (only started with it last week though). I have KNO3 and KH2PO4 in powder form, I ordered them through my work... something I won't do again, it cost a fortune. So far I've dosed the phosphate and the micros twice, I haven't started dosing nitrate yet as that was in a pretty good range according to my test.

I do have some questions though. Why do you not dose the macros and micros at the same time? Is that to avoid spikes of nutrients? And secondly, what's up with 50% water changes? Somehow that seems a little bit over the top, especially with a fertilization schedule. Don't you end up washing half of your nutrients straight away?

You're right on the stem plants though, especially the bacopa, Limnophila aromatica, Tonnia sp., and Mayaka grow rather fast. However, the selection of plants I get to choose from at my LFS is terribly small. I'm also not going to mess around with Swords anymore. Every time I've had one they always grow out of proportion. Almost all plants I've put in the tank do well, take for example the Limnophila aromatica, according to the information I got with it, it was supposed to be slow growing and difficult. Yet in my tank it grows about 10 cm per week I'd say. Not particularly slow growing, and definately not difficult (even some terrible looking twigs of the stuff that I just put at a random location to increase my base of the stuff grew in two weeks halfway up the tank).

Wingsdlc, I think the plant(s) you mean is Hemianthus Micranthemoides. It's a very small stem plant that grows sideways and stays close to the substrate if it gets enough light. I treat it like hair whenever it gets too high, I take a pair of scissors and just cut it down to size. Usually I do that about three times before I take the old plants out and replant some cuttings.
Post InfoPosted 30-Jan-2006 11:44Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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EditedEdited by LITTLE_FISH
Dr.,

Thanks for trying not to lock our threads

But on this topic, maybe you can put a word in (using your newly acquired super powers) that the thread page count issue is resolved. Our long threads have the middle pages inaccessible (in my case around 40 pages) and believe it or not, there are people out there that like to read through the entire logs. EDIT: And while I was posting this Adam must have been working on it, as I now see all 50 pages hyperlinked in my thread. Not pretty, but it works - Thanks Adam.

And you should make and post pictures of your tank at the "not so good" stages of it. It will help others to see what went wrong and they might be able to avoid this from happening to them .

Anyway, about macros and micros not together: Although I have not experienced it myself, the word is that there is a possibility for a chemical reaction between one of the macros and one of the micros (phosphate and iron, if I am not mistaken) when added at the same time. Since about two weeks I add macros and my TMG at the same time, so far to no ill effect (but I dose phosphates very lightly and only twice a week while K, N, and TMG are dosed daily).

About the water change: Washing the nutrients away is actually the point of it, we call it resetting the tank. It is based on Tom Barr's Estimative Index, a fertilizer schedule that is based on over-fertilization rather than running a lean fert tank. The basic idea is that nutrients should always be available to the plants in sufficient amounts, this way one avoids that one nutrient runs on empty and plants cannot take up the others either anymore, which in turn helps the algae. In order to avoid a build-up of nutrients you make a 50% water change. Tom made many tests that proof that with this procedure the nutrients would never accumulate to a point where they might create a danger for the fish in the tank.

Wings - Hemianthus Micranthemoides is also known as Amano Pearl Grass (or Weed). It is prettier than the "normal" Baby Tears - Micranthemum umbrosum. I have one batch in front of my Crypt Retrospiralis, if you want to take a closer look.

Ingo


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Post InfoPosted 30-Jan-2006 12:23Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
bensaf
 
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My slightly younger by a couple of days student, Ingo pretty much covered it.

But he never takes my advice. The dosing of micros and macros at different times to avoid the phosphate reacting with the FE. It will cause a reaction which may oxidise the FE out of solution, rendering it useless. So while you may not see bad things happening doesn't mean that it's not You getting this LF ? A few hours between doses will help.

The water change is variable. As Ingo explained it's more of a safety valve to stop things building up as we dose more then the plants consume. You can do more or less. It's just a nice simple routine.

Don't trust the test kits, they lie, especially NO3. Dose the NO3 anyway, a little bit more won't hurt any even if the kit is right. At least when you dose you know it's there rather then trusting a color chart. The water change will keep it under control.

Don't be afraid of the nutrients, more is always better then not enough. These guys were a bit skeptical at first but I think they've come around. They'll probably confirm that nutrient shortages caused way more problems then an excess ever did.

Give the routine 2-3 weeks and guarantee you see a very noticable difference in plant health. It's not just about faster growth, it's healthier, lusher more colorful growth.


Some days you're the pigeon and some days you're the statue.

Remember that age and treachery will always triumph over youth and ability.
Post InfoPosted 30-Jan-2006 16:54Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
NowherMan6
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Hey Good Dr.,

Just wanted to chime in here: I've always admired your tank in months past, and I'm glad you brought this thread back into action. You started the whole Log trend afterall, it wouldn't be right for it not to be kept up

They'll probably confirm that nutrient shortages caused way more problems then an excess ever did.


Yup, as long as you're not dosing ammonia you really can't add too much of these nutrients just using common sense (now if you add a whole jar of stump remover then bad things might happen, but why would you do that anyway...) When i add KNO3 to my tank I just drop the powder in and my yo-yo loaches go afer it and eat it, and there's been no harm done

Your reward for being too cautious with nutrients - especially N and CO2 - will be ugly old leaves and slow growth.


Back in the saddle!
Post InfoPosted 30-Jan-2006 17:11Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Dr. Bonke
 
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Thanks for the replies, I just dosed Nitrate for the first time *crosses fingers* If I have an algae bloom in my tank tomorrow I will lock all your threads for the rest of the year

But seriously, I'll take a look at the problem with your thread Ingo and see what I can do about it, at least I'll mention it to Adam.

In any case, it looks like this weekend I'll have to do a bit of DIY and make a movable unit on which I can place the 40 L bucket that I use to refill the tank. The past few months I have been terribly bad with the water changing regime, one of the reasons being that I don't quite trust the cat-scratching pole to hold forty kilos of water. The pole is mostly made of that compressed woodchip material, and if it suddenly falls apart I have all that water in my living room. I don't think my wife would appreciate that terribly much. So, off to Bauhaus this weekend.

Then, by request from Ingo a "bad" picture. It's taken just an hour ago, and basically shows that I'm still having algae growth, mostly spot algae on the windows.

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Post InfoPosted 30-Jan-2006 19:25Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Dr. Bonke
 
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Then I did a bit of maintenance, cleaned the window, moved the half-eaten hygrophila and cut away some longish sprouts of Mayaka. Here is a close-up of the lower-right corner, with nicely pearling tiger lotus, a closeup of the Hemianthus Micranthemoides (below) and the Limnophila aromatica (left).

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Post InfoPosted 30-Jan-2006 19:29Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Dr. Bonke
 
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Finally a photo of half an hour ago, just after maintenance.

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Post InfoPosted 30-Jan-2006 19:30Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
NowherMan6
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Doc,

Maybe I missed it somewhere, but how much light do you have over this tank? I went through from the beginning but I didn't find the info


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Post InfoPosted 30-Jan-2006 19:36Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
LITTLE_FISH
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Dr.,

Green Spot Algae on the glass is not all that bad; some even say that it is a sign of a healthy aquarium. I think it is a sign of a nutrient imbalance.

And your tank, even when you think it is not at its best, still looks wonderful. There is the one area, right in front of that piece of driftwood, which looks very empty. What happened there?

About water changes: I assume you know that Python system we have here in the US. Don't you have something similar? You hook it up to a sink and fill the water into the tank straight from the tab while making sure that the temperature is pretty close to the tank temperature. This would only work though if you have an outlet that combines warm and cold water. I use a product called Prime to de-chlorinate the water while it is filling up my tank.

You say you added Nitrate, did you add anything else as well? Like K and P, and maybe micros? Don't blame us if it doesn't work out if all you add is N - not enough of a reason to lock our threads .

Ingo

PS: I mentioned in the other entry that it seems that Adam is already working on the page issue. At least we can see all pages again (plus some extra ones that are empty (). I am confident that he will get it under control eventually.


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Post InfoPosted 30-Jan-2006 19:39Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Dr. Bonke
 
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Post InfoPosted 31-Jan-2006 00:05Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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Dr.,

It seems like you have all the fertilizers that you need, although (and that is rather common) the micro nutrient bottle doesn't disclose all the goodies that are in there. If Bensaf himself gave you a dosing routine then I have no further suggestion (because any derivative would be wrong anyway).

Your water is great and actually similar to mine. 3 GH is perfect and 3KH is better than mine, I have to add baking soda to get that much. With a ph of 6.5 you should have about 30ppm of CO2, which is a good range.

Instead of a Python you could also simply use a gardening hose that you can attach to the sink. Just get a handle piece that allows you to close it, even better if it has one of these heads that adjust the water stream to shower instead of full blast (forgot the proper words in English, but I hope you know what I mean). Believe me, once tried you will never go back to logging water to your tank in buckets, in particular if we can convince you to make 50% water changes.

Ingo


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Post InfoPosted 31-Jan-2006 11:50Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
bensaf
 
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Martin,

Just went back and checked the size of your tank. Bit smaller then I thought. !/3 of a tspn of KNO3 will do rather then a half.

But don't worry there's only about 3ppm difference so you haven't overdosed anything.


Some days you're the pigeon and some days you're the statue.

Remember that age and treachery will always triumph over youth and ability.
Post InfoPosted 31-Jan-2006 13:18Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Dr. Bonke
 
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Alright, today I actually did a pH test (one of those color strips) and it is a bit lower than I thought, hanging somewhere around 6.2 - 6.3. KH & GH are indeed at about 3. Can I just mention that I really don't like color indicator strips? I think I'm going to borrow the electronic pH meter from work at some point to get a somewhat more precise measurement.

The good thing is at least that my water is still totally clear, even after dosing half a teaspoon of KNO3 . I even got the feeling it is a bit clearer than before, but maybe I'm just wanting to see that And Bernard, I'm not sure howw big you thought my tank was, but it's supposed to hold 240 liters (63g) when containing only water, keeping into account that I have a lot of substrate and a rather thick background, it's probably closer to 50-55g. This weekend I'll try the 50% water change. How soon after the change do you dose your ferts btw?
Post InfoPosted 31-Jan-2006 17:23Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
NowherMan6
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How soon after the change do you dose your ferts btw?


Personally, the day after the water change. But I don't think it matters too much. My reasoning is that during thw ater change, maybe there's already some N in the water that you just added, the amount of CO2 in the water has gone down since half of it has been removed and replaced with tap water (so nothing will be exactly limiting), plus there's always lots of bubbling etc. going on. The day after, things have settled down and it's easier to go back to normal routine. Just my opinion, but I can't see it mattering all too much


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Post InfoPosted 31-Jan-2006 17:33Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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How soon after the change do you dose your ferts btw?


Interesting question, I never thought of that.

For me it was clear that I add ferts right away after the tank is refilled.

Reason: removing 50% water removes probably 50% of the existing ferts as well. Waiting a day would mean that I risk running on empty on one of the nutrients, ergo - I add them as soon as I can.

That's what I do

Ingo


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Post InfoPosted 31-Jan-2006 18:27Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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I am with LF on this one. I add my right after I do my water change. I haven't had any problems yet and it doesn't seem that Lf does either.

55G Planted tank thread
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[IMG]http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y118/Wingsdlc/Ric
Post InfoPosted 31-Jan-2006 19:15Profile AIM PM Edit Delete Report 
bensaf
 
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And Bernard, I'm not sure how big you thought my tank was


For some reason I thought it was a 75 gal. I wasn't too far out.

Add the ferts whenever is suitable for you. Timing is not critical. It's more a case of building an easy to follow routine. I usually add the first dose directly after the water change. I add every day in the morning before I go to work, macros and micros on alternate days. Saturday is a day off. You can do in the evening if you prefer. As I say it's just a matter of developing a habit.

Some dilute, I just throw the powders straight in. Gotten used to it now I don't even really measure anymore.

Don't know why the chems are so expensive there ? I got a 25kg bag for $10 here which will last 265 years there or thereabouts. And yes I do plan to live that long


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Remember that age and treachery will always triumph over youth and ability.
Post InfoPosted 01-Feb-2006 05:08Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Dr. Bonke
 
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EditedEdited by Dr. Bonke
It's now been 6 days since I started with the "new" approach. Since then the tank has received all fertilizers twice (Just added the second dose of Nitrate). I think I am starting to see some changes, most of them good. Even after nearly a week the front window is still very clean of spot algae, with only some in the areas that I didn't clean very well last week. The water seems a bit clearer than it used to be, and the plants are looking good. I think part of that is also because I removed the Angel fish, which means that a light green Mayacca is now actually starting to grow again and the Hygrophila and Lobelia cardinalis now have some leaves that are not shredded down to the veins. The Bacopa, which I just gave a haircut two weeks ago, has a lot of new growth as well, I'll post a photo in a minute, but first an overview, this is how it was last monday.
Post InfoPosted 02-Feb-2006 18:21Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Dr. Bonke
 
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hmmm removing a photo and replacing it by another doesn't seem to work, another try. This was last monday

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Post InfoPosted 02-Feb-2006 18:30Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Dr. Bonke
 
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and this is 4 days later, not a great difference, but definately better, wouldn't you agree?

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Post InfoPosted 02-Feb-2006 18:33Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Dr. Bonke
 
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There is a small thing that worries me a little though, and it is illustrated by the photo below. Some of the older leaves of plants, here the Bacopa, but alos on some of the larger Anubias there is some green hair algae. Now I'm not quite sure how much of it there was before I added the ferts, but I think it has increased somewhat since then. I will have to monitor that a bit and hope it's not going to explode.

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Post InfoPosted 02-Feb-2006 18:40Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
NowherMan6
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Definetely

Just looking at the bacopa, rotala indica and stargrass, they all look more upright, little fuller, little punchier - just happier in general. Doesn't take much to make a difference!


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Post InfoPosted 02-Feb-2006 18:41Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
LITTLE_FISH
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Yup Dr.,

It looks nicer

But it also seems like your second picture has more light to it and as such does not create a fair comparison as the first one is slightly on the dark side .

About the algae: I don't think it would develop to this stage in only 4 days, my small hairy algae takes a long time to grow. But I guess we should wait for our "older" relative to evaluate the situation.

Ingo


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Post InfoPosted 02-Feb-2006 19:15Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Dr. Bonke
 
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Ingo, bot photos were taken at approximately the same time, at the same distance and exactly the same camera settings. I did not change anything about the pictures, except for cropping and resizing. I think the difference in light is purely the result of clearer water (the first one was taken quite soon after maintenance, which clouded up the water a bit).
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Posts: 7303
Kudos: 1997
Votes: 670
Registered: 20-May-2005
male usa
Dr.,

You might be right

But I wouldn't be who I am (hell, who am I) if I wouldn't have to come up with at least one more possibility why the second is lighter (besides clearer water):

It is the focus point(s) of the camera. I can create completely different light effects in pictures of my tank by shifting the focus point (I usually use only one point - my preference) just millimeters from one target (let's say a bright green plant) to another right next to it (shaded).

If the change in your image is purely from the water then you must have had some pretty bad water beforehand .

Ingo


Proud Member of the New Jersey Aquatic Gardeners Club
Post InfoPosted 02-Feb-2006 22:03Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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