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  L# LITTLE_FISH 125G Log
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SubscribeLITTLE_FISH 125G Log
tetratech
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But as I said, the wife got a whole family to come over and watch the tank while I refilled it, with 2 small kids. I forgot to check if the temp was ok after the water ran for a while as I had to make sure nobody did something stupid

Believe me, I could definitely relate. I always get nervous the kids are going to fool around in the kitchen and crack my tank. I actually stick a thermoter in the sink so when I'm adjusting temp with the python it shows me what the water temp is and then I fill.




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Cup_of_Lifenoodles
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I prefer these junglesque arrangements to other, heavily pruned, straight edged aquascapes. VERY nice.
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LITTLE_FISH
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Thanks Cup

I appreciate it.

“junglesque” – I will have to remember that. Yeah, that was the style I was going for all the way .

I have to admit that it doesn’t look as bad as I may have made it sound before I posted the picture. I added a small powerhead (Rio 90) to the left back as the way the Apons and the Crypt Retro were flowing was just awful after the trimming of the big Ludwigia bush. Now they seem to flow nicer (in my opinion).

I wonder if I soon should try to split the Crypt and how I would go about this. Probably dig it out and take any potential baby plant off and plant it separately, right?

Ingo


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LITTLE_FISH
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Weekly Update – Week 12

Well, this was a week of experimenting with my fertilizers. Although I have dosed K, N, and P only once and micros not at all my readable values on the test kits barely showed a change. Ideas of how this can be are manifold, but none is conclusive. Maybe it has to do with the increased fish load and amount of food I provide (tetratech’s last idea) and I should try to monitor if it all gets eaten soon enough. I am certain that I feed too much (only once a day though) as I want to make sure that the tiny ones at the bottom get their share too.

I also managed to have a heater blow out after a 70% water change. This sucker was supposed to shut off when the water level falls (I think) but I guess it didn’t; and a major distraction led to me filling the tank with only 70F warm water. All it took was 10 more minutes and bang – the glass cracked in half.

Currently my worries are concerning future fertilizer dosages, if the trimming this weekend will limit the algae in the tank, if my fish will show any damage from the temperature difference (like Ich), and if I should try another round of Excel treatment to further limit the algae (the last half-hearted one did not succeed). So plenty to keep at least my brain busy .

The pictures will be of week 0, 3, 6, 9, and yesterday – week 12.

I will also tag on a few detail shots and a section regarding the life of the Espei .

Ingo

Week 0 – how it all started

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LITTLE_FISH
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Week 3 – the “weed” phase

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LITTLE_FISH
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Week 6 – scaping attempts begin

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LITTLE_FISH
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Week 9 – scape is taking more shape

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LITTLE_FISH
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Week 12 – yesterday – major removal of moss and trimming (cutting tops and removing bottoms) of ludwigia. Also trimmed the rotala. The Apons have grown pretty much to the surface now , the sword uruguayensis doesn’t do much and is still not visible in pictures (is in front of reactor)

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LITTLE_FISH
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Now some detail shots:

First up some nice long algae threads lower in the tank on the sags. This kind is settled by now in various places, low and high.

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LITTLE_FISH
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A nice shot of the crypt – pearl grass – apon group, with some of the trimmed ludwigia on the right

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LITTLE_FISH
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Another glosso shot, taken because of the vertical growth that appears in places with limited light. Almost like a regular stem plant.

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LITTLE_FISH
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Uh, now some days in the life of the Espei:

This is one that is maybe 2 weeks old. Pretty much the whole fish is see-through and the tiny yellow and black spot are developing.

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LITTLE_FISH
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And here is one that is approximately 4 weeks old. The markings become clearer, in particular the black spot.

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LITTLE_FISH
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Now this one is a juvenile of about 7 weeks. The body shape is pretty much that of an adult now, the coloration stretches the complete section as in adults, but is a rather bright yellow.

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LITTLE_FISH
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Here we have a juvenile that is old enough to join the adults in the school, at least for some time during the day. I guess the age is about 10 weeks. The coloration has now turned more to the characteristic orange-yellow that is seen in adult females.

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LITTLE_FISH
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Last but not least here is a male adult in “breeding” colors. He is truly red and when seen in the tank he sometimes has even a tint of purple to it.

[font color="#C00000"]Make sure that you see the pictures on the previous page showing younger Espei [/font]

Ingo

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tetratech
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May I say it's very pretty thread algae. You know there are some setups I've seen that are put together just showing algae. Sometimes it's attractive. I would definitely do the calibration. I think for the most part test kits usually work, but there's no benchmark for the color. You need to set that and test off of that. It will be interesting to see if your fert adjustments do anything, but the whole idea of EI is that you don't have to worry about fine-tuning you could dose in excess and than it's removed via WC. You are doing 50% weekly. How many fish are really in the tank? My vote is still for high fish load, high light ---- Algae!! 3 wpg on a 125 is alot of light. You could try reduced the peak period to like 2 hours and see what affect it has.

BTW - On the Rotala M. are you ditching the bottoms and replanting tops only?



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Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:44Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
LITTLE_FISH
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tetratech,

Thanks for the compliment on the beauty of my algae

It took me quite a while until I had the tank parameters correct so it grows horizontally like your Wisteria

I have reduced the light last week to 3 hours, but didn’t find this worth mentioning. So out of only 11 hours lighting period 8 are on slightly over 1.5wpg.

Even EI desires a max of NO3 of 20ppm and the default values for adding it are tuned to no fish and food additions. So it makes only sense that you have to adjust the values when “other” factors are coming into play.

The Rotala – once in a while I replant tops while other times I just cut off tops and let the bottoms in the substrate.

Ingo


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LITTLE_FISH
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Uh, I forgot to add a close-up of the trimmed Rock Valley.

Here it is at rush hour

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LITTLE_FISH
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Ok,

So I did what I actually wanted to do yesterday, measuring my tank parameters. I limited it to N and P.

Remember, I did a 70% water change and before that had about 20ppm N and close to 5ppm of P. My tab is (by last measure from quite a while ago) around 2 ppm of P. I haven’t added any ferts (except 1/2 a tsp of Seachem Equilibrium) to the tank after the water change and fed the fish once since then.

N is around 10ppm and P maybe 3ppm (hard to tell, but closer in color to 2 than 5). Both values make somewhat sense, in particular the P. The N seems a little high, but measuring steps of 5 – 10 -20 leave room for color mistakes. Pretty much what I expected then.

So I will dose the following macros today:

EDIT: Value correction
KNO3 – 1/2tsp
Potassium Sulfate– 1/4tsp
P – nada

For the micros I will wait until tomorrow and hope my TMG will arrive as I have not much faith in Plantex anymore (for no particular reason, but I cannot even find a table or such anymore where I could check how much I am supposed to add – I thought I got the initial value of ½ a tsp from APCs fertilator, but it is not there anymore).

Ingo

Last edited by LITTLE_FISH at 18-Dec-2005 17:44


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tetratech
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Why not go back to source for Plantex dosing reccommendation.

http://www.gregwatson.com/HowToDosePlantex.htm

I honestly don't think that's the issue, but I don't know for sure and I guess it's good to eliminate it if that's the case. I've been dosing now 10ml Flourish every other day along with 5ml Flourish trace and I have not seen any increase in algae even with my limited mass.

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LITTLE_FISH
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tetratech,

thanks for the link to the Greg Watson page. I think I am not smart enough to figure out what he is advertising. Here are a few things I don’t understand:

- First off this is a calculation for Plantex CSM+B, I have the one with 10% of Iron (this one is 7)
- The he says to mix 1 tablespoon of it AND 1 tablespoon of Magnesium Sulfate with 0.5 liters of water. I never added any Magnesium besides what is in my Seachem Equilibrium, am I supposed to?
- Then he says you could also mix 1 teaspoon with 1/6 liters (=167ml) of water. In this calculation he doesn’t include Magnesium, why?
- Then he links to the Krib for dosing instructions. We know it is an “old” site, but this statement falls right in line with what I thought – “Dosing just a little bit too much PMDD can lead to a nutrient excess that will give unwanted algae a foothold”. That was before EI, so I will keep this info as a sidenote . Then the Krib moves on and suggests 1/12ml per 10G, which would mean 120G = 1ml per day to get started. For fully functioning tanks they suggest to double the dose, so 2ml per day. If I fertilize 6 days a week that would be 12ml per week
- Then he says you can dose about 1.25 times the Flourish amount. Flourish suggests to use 5ml for 60G (once or) twice a week, so that would be 10ml for 120G and 20ml per week. Now this value times 1.25 gives me 25ml.
- So there is a 50% difference between Krib and Seachem dosing suggestions. Let’s assume the higher value is good, means I would dose 25ml of solution per week.


Now here comes the interesting part (in case you found the other parts boring). 25ml out of a 167ml solution (containing 1tsp of Plantex CSM+B) are approximately 15% of the solution, or in other words 0.15tsp of Plantex CSM+B. I have been dosing 1.5tsp per week for the first 11 weeks of the tanks existence, 10 times the amount per week ]:|]:|]:|

This would explain why I have great problems dissolving my bi-daily micro ferts in even ½ a gallon of water.

Do I misinterpret the Greg Watson statement?
Do I have errors in my calculation?
What am I not getting?
Should I also feed extra Magnesium Sulfate?

ANY HELP IS GREATLY APPRECIATED IN SOLVING MY MATH CONFUSION.

Ingo


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NowherMan6
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Holy moly, and here I thought the whole purpose of EI was to not have to worry so much about this stuff...


EDIT: great pics by the way, very nice timeline of fry growth

Last edited by NowherMan6 at 19-Dec-2005 09:20


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LITTLE_FISH
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NowherMan6,

I guess the whole EI thingy is geared more towards the macros. It seems one is pretty much on their own when caculating micros .

Ingo

Anyone have an answer for me?


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LITTLE_FISH
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Still nobody able to help me with the questions 3 posts back?

Come on tetratech, at least you can verify that I interpreted the Greg Watson statement right

Ingo


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tetratech
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Sorry LF, I'm under the gun on a project and I've only been able to post a few quick messages here and there.

I'll probably read your post thru tomorrow and see how I interpret it.

I still say someone should come up with a formula for mass x growth x waste (Is there an Einstein in the house) I guess Bensaf will have to do.

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bensaf
 
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Gee, don't look at me. I don't know anything about Plantex. I seriously doebt can tell you how much is consumed against plant mass or what is wasted. It's an unknown, we can only guess on observation. Experience would suggest the upper limits are relatively high.

I'd say the confusion on dosages between the hopping back and forth info on The Krib is linked to it's use in PMDD. Remember Plantex was just one component of the PMDD solution, macros were also added. I'd suspect the dosing on those sites is based on a PMDD solution rather then a Plantex only solution.

I guess the whole EI thingy is geared more towards the macros. It seems one is pretty much on their own when caculating micros

Not not really. There are very clear dosage rates for Micros in EI. But it's in terms of using Flourish or TMG or equivilent rather then Plantex.
The only answer I'd have is to dose 20-30ml of either TMG or Flourish 3 times a week. This will take care of everything and the micros will be balanced out in relation to FE. I prefer TMG , it's got a good FE chelator, seems to produce a better sheen to plants. Flourish seems to produce slightly fuller growth, but not as shiny sparkly as the TMG. Just my own observations from using them, could all be a figment of my imagination though.


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tetratech
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The only answer I'd have is to dose 20-30ml of either TMG or Flourish 3 times a week. This will take care of everything and the micros will be balanced out in
That's pretty much in line with what I'm doing in my 72g.
10ml flourish 3/week, plus I'm adding in 5ml flourish trace as well.

I still say someone should come up with a formula for mass x growth x waste (Is there an Einstein in the house) I guess Bensaf will have to do
Actually I should have been clearer, I meant in general as an algae control measure not dosing plantex

Last edited by tetratech at 19-Dec-2005 21:55

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LITTLE_FISH
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Thanks Bensaf and tetratech,

Yeah, when I said one is on its own on micros I forgot to mention that I meant "when using other sources, like Plantex".

I, for my part, will no longer have to struggle with it as my 5 liter TMG bottle will arrive today .

So 30ml 3 x per week is 90ml per week. That means the bottle will last 55 weeks

Still, I could swear that I saw Plantex on the Fertilator a while back (when I got this tank) and I wonder if they took it off because the measurements were wrong. Just trying to blame someone else for my micro dosing amounts .

Ingo


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LITTLE_FISH
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Well,

The TMG came last night, but I couldn’t use it yet. I have been at the company Xmas party and came home way too late (and too drunk) to do any dosing .

Also, the 5 liter bottle from Big Al’s doesn’t have any dosing instructions on it. Neither does it list the ingredients. I will check out the Tropica site for details.

This means that my tank hasn’t seen any micros in a week and a half, and only very limited amounts of macros (no P at all). I will measure P and N tonight before dosing anything.

Ingo


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LITTLE_FISH
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Gang,

Well, I measured N and P again, last time was on Sunday, if I remember that right.

P is still above 2ppm, but not by much anymore.
N, on the other hand, bottomed out and is not detectable anymore. That means the plants sucked up 10ppm in 3 days, not too shabby .

I dosed 1/2tsp of KNO3 and 1/8tsp Potassium Sulfate right away.

Somehow I still have not found out how much TMG to dose, first no time and then a PC virus]:| that had to be fixed. I will add 20ml in a little while. Is there the same concern that dosing macros and micros at the same time can cause a bad chemical reaction?

Ingo


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bensaf
 
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If I remember correctly the dosing for TMG is 5ml per 50lts of water a week. It also states you can go +/- 50% depending on how established the tank.

I dosed 10-15ml 3 times a week. For your tank 20-30mls X 3 will be fine.

Doing Iron and P at the same time can cause a little cloudiness. Dosing a few hours apart should be fine.


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LITTLE_FISH
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Bensaf,

Thanks for the TMG info.

I guess I will stay then with bi-daily fertilizations whereby macros are on micro off days. We will find out what impact, if any, this change from Plantex to TMG will have.

I also created a new thread about my Apons which grow one really long (special) leaf each. Thread is [link=Here]http://www.fishprofiles.com/files/forums/Planted%20Aquaria/67334.html?09921381#" style="COLOR: #ff6633[/link]

Ingo


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LITTLE_FISH
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- Did my weekly water change.
- Replanted some plants
- Trimmed the Pearl Grass

Looks like ]:| ]:| ]:|

Will post pictures maybe tomorrow or on Monday,

Ingo


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Sin in Style
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ONE 125g tank
+Littlefish
+Tetra
+Bensaf
--------------
One LONG thread

you all are crazy. that tank looks amazing. personally ill stick to the old rule of thumb... K.I.S.S (Keep it simple stupid)
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LITTLE_FISH
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Sin in Style – thanks for the comments

you all are crazy. that tank looks amazing. personally ill stick to the old rule of thumb... K.I.S.S (Keep it simple stupid)


Well, thanks, I guess

But what is the fun in keeping it simple? I like a good challenge, even if I lose once in a while .

And yes, the 3 of us, plus NowherMan6 and a few other, really have the magic to create painfully long threads .

Will post new tank pictures during the day as I did not yet have the time (with all the Xmas stuff going on) to take any.

Ingo


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Weekly Update – Week 13

The tank is now up and running for about 3 months, and what a time it was. It feels like forever and on the other hand like no time at all. Things happen so fast and creep along at the same time.

This week was marked by a change in micro fertilizer, switching from Plantex to TMG, we will see if this has a positive impact on the thread algae that is still growing nicely in the tank. I also started another “Excel Treatment” as I have enough of this stuff. I know that this I way will eliminate the identification of reduced algae (if any), but my goal is to get rid of it as soon as I can .

The last water change was accompanied by some pruning, the potential flower stems of the Apons have been cut as they did not seem to carry any flowers. The ends were thinning just below the flower area on on plant while I must have missed the point when the second pierced the surface as it was creeping along the top while staying in water contact all the way. Also, the Pearl Grass has been ripped out and the bottom parts have been disposed off and tops were replanted. Quite a few Sags and Chain Swords have been removed in the process. This gave me the option to divide the mystery Althernanthera, I guess it is a “reineckii 'Lilacina'” into a few pieces and replanting them as a group.

Here are some full tank shots from the last 5 weekends and a few details as well.

First the tank at week 9:

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Then week 10, the vals have been replaced by cyperus helferi and the apons planted in week 9 are beginning to show:

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Week 11, everything keeps on growing :

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Week 12, ludwigia and rotala macandra have been trimmed, the rest is growing even more:

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Week 13, this weekend, changes have been performed as described in the weekly tank update post above:

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The new Althernanthera group, maybe someone can now identify which type it is:

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The Apon all the way to the top. The left one is yet again developing a floating leaf, the second in a row. Bensaf is probably right on this plant not being a crispus after all:

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I am positively surprised by the narrow leaf sag subulata. It has reached the surface and waves nicely in the current:

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Previous post deleted, I guess 97kb is not less than 100

Here is a close-up of the ludwigia with crypt retrospiralis on the left (very long leaves by now) and the narrow leaf sags on the right:

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Last but not least a shot of the glosso. Very soon I will have to trim the plant as it is now layer over layer of glosso:

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It looks like plain old Reineckii to me.

But not a very happy Reineckii by the looks of it. It's a painfully slow grower for a stem plant.

Try to leave it and let grow as tall as possible. I find as it gets taller it gets much more sturdy looking. The leaves get bigger and wider and the underside a bright purple. It should branch out a bit too.After that trim it by uprooting and discarding the bottom , it will continue to grow big and strong. Not sure if this is because it gets closer to light or it just needs some time and room to grow.

It can be a very bold strong plant but takes time. It's quite e to stunting if the nitrates drop too low. Leave it there and let it grow as tall as possible (it could take 2 months to hit the surface) , you should see it get wider. Once it's tall enough you can move it anywhere you like.

Personally I find it's so strong looking with the upward pointing leaves it's better suited at the back with just the top half sticking out from dense greenery. When it's tall the lights reflecting off the bright purple undersides can be quite stunning.


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Bensaf,

Thanks for the plant ID. Plain old Reineckii, hm, no fancy middle name like bensafii or ingoii, too bad .

Yeah, tell me about it being a slow grower. It is in the tank since the beginning and hasn’t done much at all. It only started to grow (and branch out) when the Pearl Grass shadowed it and it needed to stretch to get the light it requires. Most likely that is why it looks so sad, too much shade in the last 2 weeks. But I was able to take 3 of its side branches and plant them separately, plus the main stem with the bottom cut off.

I agree that it should be better in the back of the tank once it has grown to sufficient size, but I guess with the current growth speed this will be at my 60th birthday .

Ingo

Anyone has any comments/suggestions for the tank in general?


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Well, you could definitely grow plants. Now that the pissing contest is over, I hope someone stuffed your stocking with driftwood or rocks.

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What :%)

There was a contest? Where was I? Did I miss that all? Or are you talking about your stones? I don’t want them in my Xmas stocking .

Na, didn’t get any driftwood or rocks for Xmas, not even the 55G African Lake Setup I asked for .

Ingo

PS: And what do you mean with I could grow plants, I thought that is what I am doing :%) ?


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55G African Lake Setup I asked for
Are you moving toward salt water?

Pissing contest, just an expression because your plants are growing.

The driftwood would really break up the different plant types.


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No, I am not moving towards SW tanks, at least not in the foreseeable future. My wife just happened to as k me what I want for Xmas, and, having no specific idea, I said a 55G African Lake Cichlid tank, knowing very well that I will not get it .

Thanks for the US English 201 help, never heard that term .

Yeah, I have started to look for wood, but I need enormous sized to make an impact. I have stones that wouldn’t even fit in a Nano tank simply disappear in my setup.

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Yeah, I have started to look for wood, but I need enormous sized to make an impact.


I totally agree you desperately need to some driftwood. This alone will transform your tank from a tank with plants to an actual aquascape. It's crrying out for it.

I don't know where you get this idea you need an enormous piece. You don't. I've mention before a lot of aquascaping is sleight of hand. Lots of small pieces can be made to look like a big impresive piece. My own tank which is only half the size of yours has six different pieces of wood piled on top of one another. It's impossible to tell where one ends and another starts. 70% is not visible anyway.

What you want are branches poking out to add dynamics and depth. Sections that can be planted with moss/fern/anubias to give height and layers. The wood itself doesn't need to be a feature or focal point, it just needs to be a base, a division of areas and a may of adding highlights and accents through the branches. It's doesn't need to be a monumantal attractive piece of wood in itself.

Some go mad with the wood and it becomes a distraction. Look at the good tanks , the wood is usually just branches poking out, the bulk ofthe wood is either planted over or hidden by rocks etc.

A few pieces of branchy driftwood will work fine. Doesn't need to be spectacular or big. Lots of small pieces can be piled up together to get the same effect.Pieces can put on top of a rock "stage" to give height. Wood is real easy to pile up safely, it's not like rock.

As your looking for comments i'll give you my 50 bucks worth (I can never stop a 2 cents ).

I like the tank, it's a real nice foundation. The grassy flowing green look is really good. But that's all it is at the the moment - a foundation. There's no drama, no focus, there's nowhere for the eye to rest, nothing that drags me in and makes me want to look further, needs a bit more depth.

The brush strokes of wood would be a huge help.The other thing I'd do is have a thick grouping of a big strong colorful stem plant. Macrandra is a real nice plant but it's too delicate in a large tank to be a focal. You are using it just fine as is and I wouldn't move it. The Ludwigia is too ho hum to get noticed. I'd go gor a big thicket of a real strong plant to go where the Ludwigia is now. Something like Stella Broadleaf, Limnophilia Aromatica or Ammania Gracillis. This are big wide bold colorful plants. Replacing the same number of stems of Ludwigia with the same number of stems of one of these plants would make a bigger bolder more colorful statement without increasing maintenance.

These two additions would improve your tank hugely without any extra work (wood is zero maintenance).

Ok that was more like $60 worth


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Bensaf,

A check over $60 is on its way

Yeah, I didn’t mean one gigantic piece when I said huge. My thoughts were more geared towards length and branched. If I want to have 30% showing of the wood then the branch length would have to be at least 20inches. And it should preferably be of the same kind of wood. Maybe I send tetratech out to scout the LFS in Long Island to see if they have such sticks.

Ammania Gracillis and the likes: I guess all of that could fall into place once I have found the wood as it would give the tank a whole new look in the first place. I currently love my tall grassy plants and I could imagine having more areas in the back and middle planted with them. I actually don’t like my dwarf sags and pygmy chains that much anymore. They spread like mad and for some unknown reason some of them seem to wither away – their leaves are desintigrating – although they get enough light for sure.

At least I don’t have to worry about getting bored with the tank.

Thanks again for the input, I will try my best,

Ingo



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Maybe I send tetratech out to scout the LFS in Long Island to see if they have such sticks.

The real branchy pieces are hard to find, I don't have those either. Mine have length but don't really branch off.

My DW in the middle was actually part of a bigger piece that I took a sawsall to. You could do that but the area that is cut will not look natural, but as Bensaf pointed out most of it is or eventually will be hidden.

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Somehow I still have that fantasy where I snorkel in a lake in the area here and come up with just the right driftwood. But there are a few reasons why this might not work:

a) Way too cold to snorkel
b) I don’t know how to identify the tree from which such wood would come and as such might introduce wood that will rot away quickly
c) It is hard to convince the family that Papa has to go on a driftwood hunting trip

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d)Depends on what part of Jersey your snorkling in.

LF I was in Plainsboro NJ (Right near Princeton) on Monday. Took Exit 8a NJ Turnpike.

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Yeah, I was not intending to snorkel anywhere in NJ, don’t want to get a rash

I was thinking more about Upstate New York.

Exit 8 on the Turnpike is probably as far away from me as you are.

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Gang,

On the menu for this week is another attempt to get my fertilizing routine to be more stable and to not supersede the target values.

As such I feed

Potassium Nitrate every other day only 1/2 of a teaspoon
Potassium Sulfate every other day only 1/8 of a teaspoon
TMG on the same days as the macros 20ml

On Friday evening I will measure Phosphates (tab = 2ppm and has been a little higher before the last water change) and Nitrates (which I purposefully let bottom out over a week ago as an experiment) and see if I need to add some more in the future.

I also currently do another Excel dosing session (since the last water change) with the initial dosage of 50ml and every day since then 20ml. I was hoping it would help me to get rid of the thread algae that remained in the tank after the major pruning attempt 2 weeks ago. So far it doesn’t look like it would help, although I haven’t seen any additional growth either (maybe I am not looking close enough). But a few bushels of brush algae that I have (nothing major) are turning red and are dying.

Ingo


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On Friday evening I will measure Phosphates (tab = 2ppm and has been a little higher before the last water change) and Nitrates (which I purposefully let bottom out over a week ago as an experiment) and see if I need to add some more in the future.
Jersey Water

That's interesting with the excel, so it REALLY worked the first time and after that it wasn't as effective with the same dosing. Did it work on all algae, even BGA which isn't really algae. So your dosing 5 times normal and then 2 times.

I might try it in my 12g which has some BGA or in the 72g which has BBA on the rocks.





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tetratech,

I am not sure what kind of algae is affected by the Excel.

BBA for sure, as I see it die ].

BGA – I haven’t tried it on BGA as the only time I had that in my big tank I treated it with Maracyn, and that was weeks before the first Excel attempt. Maracyn works very well.

The second round of Excel treatment wasn’t a full blown attack (maybe 2 to 3 weeks back) but more of a half-hearted attempt to achieve something. Well, that didn’t work what-so-ever.

The first round was performed when I in particular had a significant amount of BBA and that worked very well (dosing 50ml then 50%water change, 50ml, 20ml, 20ml, 20ml, 20ml, 20ml).

This time around I have very few BBA and it is already dying, but the thread doesn’t seem to care (but no growth either, which could also stem from normalized Phosphate values and/or switching to TMG, aka less Iron addition). So far, I dosed 50ml, 20ml, 20ml, 20ml, 20ml, and I plan to dose 2 more days at 20ml each.

Ingo

EDIT: I replaced the Brush term with BBA as I think that is what I have/had, if there is any difference.

Last edited by LITTLE_FISH at 29-Dec-2005 08:04


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Maracyn
The regular mardel product, regular dosing?

Brush term with BBA
There's many different types of brush algae, but yes brush and bba is one in the same as far as these dicussions.



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The regular Mardel product, yes.

I forgot what the regular dosage was, but I think I even stayed on the light side of it.

I added 4 tablets, spread throughout the tank, each day for 5 days. Bensaf didn’t like that, he never made a comment about it after I used it, but when I mentioned I will give this a try he voted against it.

I also used it on my 20G (which was the first tank I used it on) and it worked also very well. I actually assume I introduced BGA to the big tank by adding plants (the Rotala) from the 20G that were already infested.

In addition, on both tanks, I changed the water flow as there were some very low current areas. In the 20 I repositioned the HOB to the middle of the tank, in the 125 I added temporarily a powerhead to blow some current across the front of the tank (things have changed since then again, as you know).

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Interesting,

I didn't have bga in my 12 until I changed the light from 1.1wpg to 2.3wpg. My 12 actually has very good water movement from the HOB and it you could see the java moss swaying in the current. The tank has very little mass (just java moss and some wisteria). The filter is a small whisper HOB from the AGA 5gallon I had. I had a sheet of coarse filter media and I just threw it in.

I believe this comes down to waste and light again. My guess is the tank has too much light and not enough biofilter to control the BGA. BGA is a bacteria after all. I've now added some eheim efisubstrate to the filter and put some eco complete from the 72g into the back of the tank. This is my educated guess. If this doesn't work I will either do the marcyan or emycin.

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Tetratech,

I think BGA can manifest itself in many ways. So far I have heard about:

a) Foreign introduction (plants, gravel from other tank etc)
b) Low Nitrates with other nutrients being available (can fix its own Nitrate)
c) Lack of current

I would rule out light as a direct source. Sure, it will speed up the process of growth, but it seems to appear in low light tanks as well as high light tanks.

What an interesting little bugger this is .

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Ok,

Because I am bored, here is another part from the Espei Education Department

I hope I don’t bore you all too much

Location division within the tank

The oldest juveniles (maybe 9 weeks and up) and the adults occupy the top levels of the water. They preferably hang out on the left side of the tank.

Younger juveniles (between 4 and 9 weeks) are scattered throughout the tank, on low levels close to the substrate.

Even younger ones (2 to 4 weeks) team up on the lower right hand side of the tank, in the back.

And the tiny fry (less than 2 weeks) is hiding most of the time within the plants close to the substrate.

Here is a shot of the left side with the old guys

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Here, I made an effort to count them, I think I circled 44 in this picture

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And here, already circled, are the 2 to 4 week old ones on the left of the Macandra group

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Interesting about the fish locations by size. I definitely see why you go by the name of Little_Fish.

So in the tank you have a few otos, 2 gourmais, and a few hundred espei?

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Yeah, being a fish-newbie was only one reason why I selected the name LITTLE_FISH. The others were that I like little fish (not that hard to guess) and I made it upper case to put some emphasis behind it . Like a little fish with really big teeth .

Acutally, the tank currently has 6 Otos (as of last Saturday when I was lucky enough to see them all) and 5 million Espei (acutally, I guess there are still less than 100, maybe 80).

The Pearls are still in the QT as I don't want to introduce them while I am still messing with the tank like a madman .

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So there's no enemy for the espei other than the adults themselves and the filter intake?

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That's right

They got their own version of Garden Eden, and the filter intake is the the snake that lures them into biting into the apple (eh - didn't come up with something better) .

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What is this?
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LF,

That works for me.

As for being bored how about sending me some Glosso? = ) Take your time. I might actually place an order for some a long with some other plants. I need to do some checking around first.



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LITTLE_FISH
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Wingsdlc,

Let me know if you ordered some Glosso.

Otherwise, I will have to find a good way to ship it to you. Any suggestions, like UPS, USPS, overnight, or what?

I would probably have to cut it in the evening and have it float over night, then pack it in the morning and have the wife bring it to the sender (Post Office or UPS drop off) in the morning.

Ingo

PS: I have never shipped any plants anywhere


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Going to PM you.

55G Planted tank thread
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Ok,

I measured my tank parameters again yesterday evening, at least N and P.

N is back up to almost 20ppm, even if it was completely depleted a week earlier and I only added 3 x 1/2tsp of KNO3 during the week.
P stands as about 2ppm, which is a little less than last weekend, and I didn’t add any.
The only other elements I added to the tank where 3 x 20ml of TMG, 3 x 1/8tsp of Potassium Sulfate, and a daily shot of Excel (as described a few posts earlier).

I guess for the next week I will keep this schedule, I would assume that P will fall a little below 2ppm and N might get a little over 20ppm.

Problems that I currently have still include the thread algae that, although not rampant, is doing just fine in the tank (high lights are down to 3 hours per day since weeks). Also, some of my Dwarf Sags and/or Pygmy Chain Swords have melting leaves, I will have to read up on that as it has happened on and off during the entire time the tank is set up.

A weekly water change will follow later today,

Ingo


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I can't imagine with all those plants that your n is so high. Did you ever do the PPS calibration? When I did that I was surprised. My levels were lower than I thought by simply looking at those ridiculous color charts.

What would add to N all that espei poop and those melting leaves? Oh I forgot, Jersey water



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No tetratech,

to my shame I have to say that I did not do the PPS calibration yet. And it might very well be that it has something to do with the Jersey water .

Ingo


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Weekly Tank Update – Week 14

Well, this one could also be labeled annual tank update, although it would be only the first one of its kind (in the hope that another will follow in one year; I wonder what that would look like). The tank is now up and running for 14 weeks, many many posts account for all the things that have been going on in that time. The ones that stick mostly in my memory are:

- Planting of the initial setup seemed to be a lot of plants, but in retrospect was only a rather small mass.
- I would guess that half of the plant species from the initial setup are no longer in the tank. All but one did not seem to fit the design of the tank any longer, and the one (Egeria Densa) fell victim to a rigorous Excel treatment.
- Various types of algae have befallen the tank during this time, from the rather harmless Brown Slime to the not so pleasant Blue Green Algae. None was so bad that the tank had to be stripped down but there were annoying anyways. The currently active one is Thread algae that do not seem to be very impressed by an Excel cure.
- Most importantly was (is) the breeding of my Espei that, within all this mess mentioned above, managed to grow their population by at least 500% to anywhere from 70 to 100 fish.

As for changes during the last week, not much has changed. This water change saw some pruning of the Ludwigia and the cutting of some runners of the Chain Swords as they always try to invade the Glosso. I sure don’t have a low maintenance tank, but that was not the intention anyway.

Well, I initially thought about posting all the weekly tank pictures, but I think that 15 are a little too much and get boring. So I will show every other week to shorten the pain.

Here is the tank at setup, soooooo many plants

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2 weeks later the tank was at full bloom, lots of fast growers were making sure that the tank establishes itself as fast as possible.

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In week 4 the first steps at some scaping were taken, most of the really bushy fast growers had been removed by then as they were outgrowing any other plant in the tank.

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Week 6 saw more scaping, still in the beginning though. The Dwarf Sags and Pygmy Chain Swords are still small and sparse.

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In and around week 8 major replanting occurred where entire groups of plants have been moved from one location to another, or even left the tank all together to make space for new plant types.

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Week 10 marked the end of this replanting frenzy and only smaller changes like pruning etc start to take preference.

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Week 12 sees the plants growing, in particular the new Apons are starting to show their size.

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This weekend, week 14. As you can see, small plants have grown to medium size, medium one to really tall, except for the ones that just have been pruned. Somehow, the Uruguaensis in front of the Power Reactor is still not reaching any visible size, one has to look for it (in the tank, not the picture). The same counts for 3 Crypt Lucens that pretty much haven’t done anything since planted. Making the assumption that they are medium high plants I placed them half way to the back (in front of the Apons) and now no one can see them.

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Some tank details: I like the way the tank looks when half the water is removed during the water change. It is so green and the long leaves of various plants create a nice floating carpet on the surface. Sometimes I wonder if I should keep it like that permanently.

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Here is a close-up of some Glosso towards the left side of the tank. Wherever Glosso is beginning to create a carpet but doesn’t yet have a very dense appearance this kind of algae grows in between. I cannot remove it either as it is attached to the rocks that hold the Glosso roots in place.

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The Rotala group just keeps on growing; I should have trimmed these two long stems this weekend but didn’t feel like it. Next weekend for sure.

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[font color="#C00000"]See previous page for weekly tank update pictures and more detail shots[/font]

And yes, we have another blossom on the Anubias. I just love the simplicity of their appearance.

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Another good thing during the water changes is that I can most of the time find all my Otos, here are 3 of them torpedoing below the Espei.

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I like the waving appearance of the Crypt Retrospiralis, although the leaves are really long by now. How long do they get anyway? I think this plant needs to go to a tank side, or – if I ever find some good driftwood – behind that.

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Last but not least a shot of the Rock Valley. It looks very green these days, all around. The Cyperus Helferi has not grown in height at all since planted, but it seems to get a little fuller. Is this it’s final height already? That would not be good.

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Very nice LF. Nice way to start the New Year.

-I really like that pick as well showing the tank 1/2 full.
-I forgot are you cutting the tops on the Rotala or once trimmed replanting the tops.
-As Bensaf and I have both commented, your tank is really is dire need of DW and/or visible rock to make it look naturally handsome.
-Small note I removed the Anubias from my tank it simply doesn't work well with my setup.
-I'm wondering if your deep glosso foreground with that matrix of leaves and algae is harboring no3 and po4 by trapping waste and food and then leaching it into the water column. Maybe Bensaf has a thought.

Happy New Year and Happy Driftwood Hunting!


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tetratech,

Thanks for the comments; they are appreciated just as much as they were last year

I do both with the Rotala, I started off with 3 stems, if I remember that right. I cut off tops and replant them, and most of the time I leave the bottoms in as well. Only if they look really yucky so I dispose them.

Yeah, I know – the driftwood/rock height impression. I actually was at the LFS today and almost bought some wood, but in the end decided that it just doesn’t have enough height. Mediocre sized pieces tend to simply disappear in my plant jungle, as can be seen already with the many rocks in the tank.

I think one Anubias is very hard to fit into any scheme, a group would be much easier to add.

Usually the area above the Glosso is the only part that I vacuum a little. But I am doing a bad job with it as I place a filter over the hose (wife’s old panty hose leg ) to avoid sucking up fry. As such I don’t get a lot of suction. Maybe you are on to something as the area between the Glosso plants sure looks messy.

Happy New Year to you as well,

Ingo


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BTW, Like my new Avatar?

That is one of my female Gold Twin Bar (Comet) Platies in the 20G.

I thought why not have a new Avatar in the New Year.

Ingo



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I like the way the tank looks when half the water is removed during the water change.

I do the same thing. It helps too that the fish tend to school tightly at the front of the glass during this period too. I always take a cigarette break during this part of the water change so I can look for a few minutes. Makes you want to try a real long but very shallow tank.

The Uruquay and Cyperus will take some time to get height. I've had a Uruquaysenis a bit longer then you and I find the new leaves get gradually longer and longer. But even after having mine for a few months the current leaves max out at about 12". They're getting wider too. I reckon it'll probably take >6 months to get to full height.
The Cyperus is probably the same.

Don't know about the algae and the glosso. I noticed on my own that I have specks of green spot algae on the glass up to the height of the Glosso but not anywhere else.Nothing on the plants or substrate. Don't why that is, maybe because of the Glosso I don't clean that part of the glass and it gradually builds up. It's just hard to get to that part of the glass without disturbing the glosso. Old credit card job.

Definately I'd check the test kit. I had a Tetra NO3 kit that used to constantly read 20ppm of NO3 even though there was nothing there. It even used to read tap water at the about the same. Caused me problems. It was this more then anything put me off kits for life.





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Bensaf,

Thanks for the info on the Sword and Cyperus. Also, I agree that trying to clean the glass all the way down where the Glosso grows is almost impossible as I would most certainly cause it to be uprooted. I will soon though go ahead and trim the Glosso off the glass section and use that chance for a nice cleaning.

I hear your (and tetratech’s) warning about the test kit accuracy loud and clear. But I also would like to remind you that my “fertilizer tests” during the last 2 weeks showed me that the kit basically works. I could see values going from high (greater than 20ppm) all the way down to nothing when I stopped adding KNO3. I don’t know if the level reading is accurate, but tendencies are clearly identifiable. If I just wouldn’t be so lazy I would go ahead and do tetratech’s PPS test. I vaguely remember reading up on this and I seem to have found some issues with it as well. Guess I will have to read it again .

Also, Dan brought up a good point in his log that people rarely show the surroundings of their tanks so I posted a picture in his log of mine (he asked for it). Here it is again (you didn’t ask, but anyway).

Ingo

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I don’t know if the level reading is accurate, but tendencies are clearly identifiable
For the most part I agree, but I my no3 kit it's almost impossible to tell the difference between 10ppm to 20ppm and 40ppm to 80ppm without a benchmark.

The full room shot is nice. I like that window right behind your tank, you could drain the tank right into the yard. Is that a couch in front of the tank? I would be hanking out there 24/7.

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I know, I know tetratech, I am just a lazy bum

And yes, this is a couch , big enough to sleep on (which happened one night after an exhausting tank overhaul).

Here is another shot. The couch is visible in the front left. Then there is the coffee table to rest the feet on, and a chair to the right. The visible counter area is where I prepare the food and fertilizer, on the left of it, just off the picture, is a small TV hooked up to digital cable so I can watch 200 channels and listen to music while working on the tanks. Two of the counter cabinets are filled with tank related items like spare rocks, spare lights, Excel, Prime, and the like.

Ingo

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And here is our old cat resting on the above mentioned chair (and towels).

He would also be the reason why an open tank in our household is not a good idea .

Ingo

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Not much new to report,

Except maybe that I am switching to daily fert addition.

I add 1/4tsp KNO3, 1/16tsp Potassium Sulfate, and 10ml of TMG every day since Saturday after the water change.

I am wondering if it makes a difference if ferts are added in the morning or the evening.

Ingo


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I am wondering if it makes a difference if ferts are added in the morning or the evening
Are you experimenting just for the hell of it or are you trying to correct a problem (hair algae).

I still think you have less room for error because of your light. Not that it's ridiculously high, but it is very high given the tank size. Doesn't Amano only use like 1.5 to 2 wpg on his big tanks. As I said before you have double the light I have for the same depth. I do think you plants grow faster than mine, probably because of the higher light, but with that comes less wiggle room for things like fish waste, etc.

Interesting though that you get thread algae, nowher and I get GW and Bensaf get's nothing. If you could figure that out :%)

BTW - Nice kitty, looks like he/she is guarding the tank or waiting for the fish to get bigger.

Last edited by tetratech at 03-Jan-2006 08:49

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Interesting though that you get thread algae, nowher and I get GW and Bensaf get's nothing. If you could figure that out



Interesting indeed. Sometimes I get the feeling that it all comes down to the fact that when he started his tank he stuffed it full of plants right off the bat, while we all waited for ours to grow in. We all dose pretty much the same way in a method that's shown to keep algae down, but I think maybe it was those first few critical days/ weeks where the tanks were settling in that made the difference. That's why I'm anxious to start a small tank (5-7gals... once Christmas gifts are paid off ) because it's easier to stuff a small tank than a large tank. If it turns out relatively algae free then maybe that'll provide a bit more insight into keeping tanks relatively algae free no matter what the size.


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Oh, and I also forgot to add... I hate to beat a dead horse but...




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Last edited by NowherMan6 at 03-Jan-2006 08:58
[/font]


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Nowher,
Yes I agree with the plant mass at the start, not only does it add in fert suck up more importantly nh3 as well. Basically Bensaf started off with a much bigger biofilter than anyone else.

As far as the Driftwood I think LF gets the "Drift". For the time being if it was me I would just put the coffee table into the tank.

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LF,

I have some 2x4's laying around you can have..........

55G Planted tank thread
19G Container Pond
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You guys are too much

Yes, I get the drift, and I am even willing to pay a commission to anybody who finds me the right pieces of qualified driftwood.

The “new” ideas about the fertilizing routine are more of theoretical nature, although I wouldn’t mind if the remaining thread algae would disappear in the process. My thoughts are:

- Fertilizing daily creates a more balanced environment for nutrient availability. I just have not done that before because the Plantex was so hard to dissolve (as I probably added way too much anyways).
- What happens with nutrients at nighttime? Most likely nothing, I doubt that any organism (or filter media) would use them up while the lights are out. But if so then dosing in the morning would be an advantage.

The cat is an old man, he is about 14 years old and way too lazy to jump on the big tank. But a Nano, well that is another story .

Amano has on tanks of my size about 3wpg running for about 10 to 12 hours, only really big tanks have maybe 2 to 2.5 (at least that was what I calculated). Also, he never mentions any short bright light time which makes me believe his full lights are on for the full duration.

I guess this coming weekend I will create a major open space in the middle of the tank and sink the coffee table .

Ingo


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Just for the fun of it,

Here is a picture of the 2 Anubias Barteri that I have on the left side of my tank.

Count them, there are EIGHT flowers, some coming, some in full bloom, and some going

Ingo

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And as a reminder,

Soon it is going to be time for this guy (and his girl) to come home to the big tank

Ingo

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nowher and I get GW and Bensaf get's nothing.


Hmmm....I wouldn't quite say that. I get some, everyone does, just very very little so it's almost invisible.

Oh, dear I can hear the illusions shattering from here

The Ottos must be eating something, I don't feed 'em. I've got a Hillstream Loach for over a year that I've never even see swim much less eat. I get the occassional green spot on the glass if I let PO4 drop. I had a bad dose of Brown Algae when I changed over the tank recently. Silica Sand , to be expected.I just let it burn itself out.

With regard to the lighting. Amano is quite clear that he only runs the full lights for a few hours a day. The rest of the time all his tanks are basically low light.The exception being his very small tanks which he runs about 6 wpg.

Getting in on the horse flogging - try florida driftwood. I still think you should get a pile of so-so pieces and just build them up.

Also plants consume nutrients 24/7.They still work at night. Actually they do MOST of their growing at night - check your tank first thing in the morning and you'll see the spurts. It doesn't matter when you add the ferts as long as they are there, whenever is convenient.

Last edited by bensaf at 03-Jan-2006 21:19


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LITTLE_FISH
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Thanks Bensaf for the input,

Yeah yeah, it is always nice to have 3 guys on your back telling you to get some driftwood

Believe me, I am on that website at least once a week.

And Bensaf and algae – I think he only says that to make us feel better

Bensaf – where does Amano state that he runs his tanks with full light only part of the time? I haven’t seen this reference yet. All he says in his books is the wattage and duration, no mention of staging (although I might be wrong as I read them maybe 2 months ago and I am an old man and might have forgotten what I read ).

Thanks again,

Ingo


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tetratech
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I get some, everyone does, just very very little so it's almost invisible
ah ha! I knew it That's why I never saw more pictures of your Bensaf does Amano Paradise Utopia Eden Aquatic Forest Setup :%)

Actually they do MOST of their growing at night - check your tank first thing in the morning and you'll see the spurts.
That is so true and I was going to post this question, when I wake up I swear my Stargrass looks like it grew 3 or 4 inches.

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NowherMan6
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Actually they do MOST of their growing at night - check your tank first thing in the morning and you'll see the spurts.



Yeah, so true. I swear my green water looks so much more lush and juicy in the morning, it's incredible.


But seriously, considering how easy it is for algae to use nutrients of course there's going to be SOME, but I think we were referring to the problems, the outbreaks, the explosions - THAT'S what Bensaf never gets, the bad stuff! I still personally think it's because he started out right.


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My problem is that I rarely see my tank in the mornings. When I leave the house it is dark in the basement and I don't want to turn on any lights so the fish get their well needed rest (with all that breeding going on).

I will have to check the night-growth out on the coming weekend .

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bensaf
 
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That's why I never saw more pictures of your Bensaf does Amano Paradise Utopia Eden Aquatic Forest Setup


Ohhhh...sounds like a challenge


Guess I'll have to post a pic tomorrow

I've resisted meddling with this one, letting everything grow in. Still not there yet, maybe 85%. Then again my 85% is probably way better then somes 100% ........


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LITTLE_FISH
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Bensaf,

I am always happy when you post a picture, not only when you are challenged to do so .

We need to see way more of your tanks so we can learn from the visual experience as well as your writing.

Ingo


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tetratech
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Ohhhh...sounds like a challenge
Whatever it takes

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Guess I'll have to post a pic tomorrow


Well, today is tomorrow, isn't it?

no pic here

Ingo




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bensaf
 
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Ok you asked for it and here it be....

The right side needs more time. The Uruquaysenis and Narrow Leaf Fern need to fill out more to balance thins.

The left side is a bit off as the Macrandra was over trimmed and needs a bit more height to fill the hole it left

bensaf attached this image:



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bensaf
 
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Another

bensaf attached this image:



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bensaf
 
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This is actually my first time to try Glosso. It's working ok. One thing I like - if it hits an obstacle in it's path, it just climbs over it and continues on it's merry way. I've decided to let run rampant and see where it goes.

Here's some climbing over an Erect Moss obstacle.

bensaf attached this image:



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

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Well Bensaf,

No disappointment, as usual .

That is what I would call a heavily planted tank, left to right and top to bottom, I love it.

About letting the Glosso run rampant: It will take over your lower plants and kill them off. I find my Glosso to be very intrusive, it climbs all over my rocks and into the moss, if I let it. Also, it managed to grow really dense at the center of a Crypt Wendtii that is now neglecting to put any new leaves out (and grows very slow).
I had my Glosso and Hair Grass fight for space at Rock Valley and guess who won (but maybe I had a bad hair – grass- day )?

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tetratech
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Finally we get something from the great Bensaf.

Very lush and beautiful. Nice textures, etc.
I see what you mean about the fullness of the left to the right. I might also have to send you shopping with LF for more substantial dw or you simply need to prune more or I just can't see it in the pic.

Did you remove the Mayacca? One thing I'm not sure about is whether I like the contrast of the sand more than I do the green ground cover.

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The “Driftwood War” is getting into full swing

I wouldn’t mind going shopping with Bensaf at all, maybe we could meet somewhere in the middle, like Ireland .

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NowherMan6
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I dunno Bensaf, that glosso looks a little leggy to me, maybe you need some pointers on how to really get your plants growing well...


LF, I'm telling you, ebay! ebay! ebay! Morwe driftwood than you'll know what to do with.


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LITTLE_FISH
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NowherMan6,

Ah yeah?

I challenge you to find one piece that I would not turn down for one reason or another .

Try me

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NowherMan6
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Alright then...


http://cgi.ebay.com/UNIQUE-HUGE-DRIFTWOOD-ROCKS-IMBED-Aquarium_W0QQitemZ7735756182QQcategoryZ66790QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

A huge piece, very branchy - I'd cut it up into one large one and several smaller ones. Give it a bleach bath, a scrubbbing, then let it soak in water with Prime... it should be fine.





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tetratech
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That is a really nice piece and your right about breaking it up.


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LITTLE_FISH
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Well NowherMan6,

That took you a long time to find anything, didn't it ?

I have to say that it looks very good, thank you so much (feeling like a looser now because all I always find are silly blocks of wood).

The asking price is also not all that high, I might just place a bid on it. In the worst case it is a learning experience and a small dollar loss.

Thanks again, let me know if you find other jewels like that,

Ingo


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NowherMan6
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You're very welcome

There was actually a big piece I saw last week that was just as nice, if not nicer, a nice tall stump/ branchy type thing but it's gone now.

I always cruise ebay for driftwood and the like because I have Mental MTS, which is different that regular MTS. Mental MTS is when you make detailed plans and aquascape layouts in your head for various tanks but never do them, MTS is when you actually do it.

I'm still dreaming of a big 100+ gallon driftwood filled tank featuring a boatload of rams, or a few firemouths or angels and a big ol' school of tetras... a real biotope type thing... but I digress. So yeah, keep an eye out on ebay, lots of good stuff.


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The advantage of Mental MTS is that it is much cheaper

I just saw that somebody put a bid in for this sucker, I hope it is none of you folks ]:|

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tetratech
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Would I do that?

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LITTLE_FISH
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I don’t know, would you?

There is another old saying that goes like:

One cannot trust the upside down – head in tank – goggles on – aquascaper



Ingo


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Dang I thought it was the other way around......... oh NO!!!

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bensaf
 
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I dunno Bensaf, that glosso looks a little leggy to me, maybe you need some pointers on how to really get your plants growing well...


Cheeky young pup ....


I didn't do anything special. You guys were nagging me so I just grabbed the camera. Unfortunately the Wisteria and Ammania were starting to close up for the night.The photos dark.

Current problems I see-
The Augustifolia and Macrandra need to fill out more to fill that far left side. Another couple of weeks should do that.
The Fern and Uruquay needs a couple more months.
The Wisteria needs to come down and forward a few inches, layered more. Actually I'd like to replace this with Stargrass but still can't find it here for some reason.
The Ammania needs to be sculpted. It's a bit shapeless looking.

I agree with tetra completely. The Glosso was more of a curiosity as I've never tried it before. I think I prefer the open sand look. It had more depth, the Glosso make it look a bit flat.But it can be removed easily enough if I decide to do so.

BTW the Mayacca is still there, between the Wisteria and Ammania but is a lot greener then the last time I posted a pic

The driftwood has been swamped and has lost it's impact. I'm meeting up with Paulus (Upikabu) tomorrow, so I'm sure we'll be hitting a few places with "driftwood mountains", I'll be looking out for a couple of thin branchy bits. I can fit them in nicely without disturbing anything.

I'll be posting some close ups in a seperate thread. I've got some nice hard to find/not so common plants in there, including one so rare in the US most don't even believe it exists. I'm going to post photos and growing parameters/my own experience on each of them.

I can also un-hijack Ingo's thread !


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Remember that age and treachery will always triumph over youth and ability.
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LITTLE_FISH
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Bensaf,

Don’t worry about high jacking my thread, we asked for it .

The driftwood has been swamped and has lost it's impact


That is exactly one of my points on finding just the right driftwood. It is rather easy to find one when the scape is designed to not fill out the tank (tetratech), but loads of plants that cover the tank make it hard to have anything (may it be rock or wood, or even a castle) stick out. I see that even in Amano’s tanks that are heavily planted (as in full, not just substrate and some height areas) the wood disappears over time.

Ingo


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NowherMan6,

What are you getting me into with this driftwood selection?

It is by now already over $50 plus $16 shipping, and over 3 days left on the auction.

See, this is a price range where the wood is should be of good quality, and not only of good size and shape. And quality is one thing you cannot test from looking at a picture. It might have bugs, and fungus, and what not, it might even begin to rot already.

Ingo


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NowherMan6
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I'm sorry I ever mentioned it

Hey, I was only trying to help. Considering a piece that size 50 bucks isn't that much, but you're dead on about the quality - from the look of it it looks fine, but I guess you never know. I was always under the assumption that a good bleach scrub would get rid of any critters, but again, you never know.

What can I say, some of us just like to live on the wild side with ebay


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LITTLE_FISH
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I am a major chicken when it comes to these things

And don’t worry about the additional stress you cause me, if you find more wood then keep on informing me. I will see how high it is a few hours before the auction closes.

With these bidding things on E-Bay: sometimes the price is valid but other times a bidding war starts where one is willing to bid more than someone else simply because that person assumes that the previous bidder must know that the product is good (which is not the case), and so forth.

Ingo


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NowherMan6
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Will do boss

I always stay out of bidding wars. usually I jump on "Buy it now" items if I like them, because then you stay away from all that other nonsense. Keep your eyes open, deals are out there to be had.


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Wingsdlc
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My old boss and his friend used to start their own biddig wars on their items. Just a little bit on the dishonest side. He was the kind of guy to do just about anything for a buck.

55G Planted tank thread
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Yeah Wingsdlc,

I was worried about that too, there might be a group of people out there who artificially drive prices up and cause the "if others want it it must be good" assumption.

Ingo


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I am definitely not brave enough to buy anything off ebay. My friend has been having problems with not getting purchases after paying for them. Scary!

Ingo don't let these guys pressure you into getting driftwood just for the sake of having it. When you find the right piece you'll know it and then you'll have it. Just keep your eyes peeled and you'll find it eventually. Personally I think they're jealous of the all green look, you have so much growth it makes their eyes cross with envy and they must nitpick. Myself I'm also jealous but I think I handle it ok.

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Thanks for the support luvmykrib

I am rather sure that the gang actually wants to help me and I appreciate their efforts very much. If we wouldn’t nitpick on each other we would not be able to bring our tanks to the next level. And don’t you worry, I am doing the same to them . And thank you for the compliment; it is always nice to have some feedback.

On a different note:

Just to show you how easy it is to lose stuff in your tank

Besides the hardscape that is visible in the first picture, there have been another 3 massive rocks added to the tank until that second picture was taken.

And all seem to be non-existent

Even the rocks of “Rock Valley” seem to be smaller now. Are they shrinking ?

Ingo

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And don’t you worry, I am doing the same to them
Now I'm in for it.

LF,
That's a great pic of the tank with just the harscape and now. It really is very serene and the grass-like plants were really a good move.

As you probably know I am not a big fan of making the corners of a tank tall. Obviously most people do it to hide equipment, but in doing so it makes the tank look contrived. Sometimes the corners look good full if it works with your setup or if your doing a slope down effect from one corner. If you add some driftwood touches here touches there and group your rotala m. thicker and add more to the left I think you tank will really be . You could always finetune the foreground with more rock, etc.

In terms of equipment you could really hide alot of it behind the apons or eventually eliminate the reactor and heater (visually anyway)


Last edited by tetratech at 06-Jan-2006 12:49

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I love keeping up with this tank! What size and overall shape of driftwood are you looking for. We employees get first crack at these things, you know! I usually buy awesome pieces, even if I have no intention of using it in the immediate future.
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tetratech - Thanks, I am working on it

Tainted Glory - Haven't seen you in a while . I am looking for branchy wood that I could arrange in a group. The ones I get to see in your store (after you guys pick up all the good pieces ) are not suitable. Here is why:

The section of wood that is in the Gravel and Rock isle (Malaysian, I think) has sometimes pieces with the right shape, but too small to make an impact in my tank.

The other pieces that you have in the parts section (usually inside the empty "for sale" tanks) are not suitable as they are too chunky.

Thanks,

Ingo


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A piece like THIS ONE would be great:

Ingo

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Weekly Tank Update – Week 15

I don’t like weekly maintenance and water changes and finally I figured out why: they make you look really close at your tank and any flaw seems major, even if it is not visible from just a yard away. Similar to these cosmetic mirrors that blow up the size of your face and every pore seems giant .

This week’s close-up observation was that my sags and chain swords are still showing some “melting” (see picture after the weekly full tank shots. It also seems that the Apon leaves are getting thinner and more yellowish. Hell, even the Glosso seems to be getting yellow. I believe it must have something to do with my recent mingling with fertilizers. I guess I ran the system to lean, now the question is which one is missing or maybe even what combination is missing. To counteract the melting I added a 3/4 tsp of KNO3 right away, also upped the TMG to a 20ml dosage. The plan for follow-up fertilization will change as follows:

KNO3: from 1/4tsp to 1/2tsp daily
Potassium Sulfate: stays at 1/8 daily
P: from nothing to 1/8 on day 3 and 5
TMG: from 10ml to 15ml daily

Otherwise, the tank is just growing fuller, two stems of the Macandra were trimmed as they reached the surface. Fish seem to be doing great and now that the fry are getting to be adults soon it worries me that I might have too many (not sure though). I might add the Pearls any times soon, although the male is very very territorial in the 20G and at least once in a while chases even the Platies away from the “center stage”. The female seems to be very fond of him as she rather often comes right back to him and offers him her throat and sides which he nips on gently, just to chase her away again afterwards. I figure he is just a teenager and doesn’t know how to treat a lady yet .

Weekly tank photos will be limited to 4, in 5 week increments. Then I have a few close-ups to show.

Ingo

Tank at setup:

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Week 5, pretty full but just the beginning of “having fun”

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Week 10, one of my favorite stages of the tank development, all looks very nice and balanced. Also look at that tiny plant in the front right corner, which is a small piece of Star Grass that I added from the 20G.

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Week 15, this weekend. Look at that front right section again, the Star Grass has grown quite nicely . Rock Valley on the other hand has completely lost the status of “focus point”. The group on the left with the Crypt Retro and Apons has taken all the attention.

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Here is a close-up of the Star Grass, I like it and I wouldn’t mind using it in other spots of the tank as a mid ground group.

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Can you see the bad shape that some of my sags/chain swords are in? Hopefully I can correct that.

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And how can we forget the main attraction in this tank, about 100 of these :

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Has anyone here ever seen plant photos from Robert Mapplethorpe? Anubias flowers really remind me of his art (not that I want to imply my photos are as good as his).

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Now here comes a segment of “Oto Mania”. The good thing about water changes is that I once in a while can count my Otos and check if all 6 are still alive. Now, for the first time, the guys were so nice to pose for a picture together:

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Then they ran off again but at least 5 stayed together for an additional shot:

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Then they changes direction and gave me one more good look before they decided that the party was over :

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Very nice pics LF, I particilarly like the anubias and the oto pics, yes during water changes I have counted all 9 of mine. I guess your having success with stargrass as well. I think the addition of my no3 will make the stargrass leaves even fuller and larger. Here's a pic of your's and mine.



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Yeah, the good old New Jersey Star Grass

I think one of the reasons yours looks fuller might be that:

a) Mine grows in the “low light” area of the tank, far away from the bulbs
b) Mine would look fuller if I had more light on them while taking the picture
c) A combination of a) and b)

But just like you I am scared to mess with the plant. No doubt it does way better when ferts are added and more light is available. The difference of the one in my 20G to this one is amazing, here it looks about 500% better (if such a subjective observation is measurable in the first place). I have a Red Rubin Sword to the right of the Macandra and I don’t think it does too much in my tank. I just might take it out and plant the Star Grass in the right back corner, with shorter elements slightly growing diagonally in front of the Macandra. If I ever dare to mess with the Star Grass, that is .

Another topic: I just fished the 2 Pearls out of the 20G QT (easier than I thought with all the plants in there) and have them in a bag floating in the 125G. I have my fingers crossed that they don’t drive my Espei insane. I guess this will also mean the end of major breeding, but I sure cannot complain about not having enough Espei as it is .

Wish me luck,

Ingo


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Congrats on the big day for the Pearls. I was wondering when you were going to turn them loose. I bet you'll still see fry every now and then, they cant get all of them...


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Thanks NowherMan6,

I have the Pearls in now but I am a little worried as they, naturally, stay in hiding close to the substrate. I am not sure how well (or long) Gouramies can "breath" water alone before they need to go to the surface .

We will see in a few hours.

Ingo


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Well,

So far so good

It seems like the Pearls are through the worst.
I never felt so emotional when adding a fish to a tank, probably because I had sufficient time to feel attached to these two buggers .

I documented the addition in photos and the whole process up to the last picture took over 4 hours (a mini labor ).

To start off, here they are bagged up and adjusting to the new tank’s water parameters.

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One hour later I added them, they immediately swam to the Macandra and shortly after this picture was taken they disappeared behind it. I got very worried that they might forget to breath.

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Another 2 hours later they came out for the first time, checking out the open space from the security of the Anubias leaves, just to disappear again.

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And another hour later they got a little more daring and started to go on a sightseeing tour. I guess they like Rock Valley .

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Another, and last one for now, shot of the two. It is not hard to identify who is the boss. She is following him wherever he goes. We will see how long it takes until he is ready to take over the tank as a whole. That should guarantee some tight schooling from the Espei .

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Boy your really pushing the post count. At this rate you'll be to 1,000 by 3pm

Very nice pics, I particularly like the one with rock valley© in the back.

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Thanks tetratech,

Yeah, I realize that we are getting close to the 1000th entry. I wonder if the entire site will blow up once this happens .

The Pearls actually still spend quite some time in the “bushes”, but I feel more confident that they will make it.

The big question now is what fish to add next? I am thinking about 2 to 3 True Siamese Algae Eaters. Anyone with any tips on them?

Ingo


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Lookin' good LF! I especially liked the few posts with the ottos. I might have to go get me a few of those, now that I actually have some algae for them to eat.

I'm glad your new guests enjoyed the tour of your tank. My pearl can las quite a while before going up to breathe air. So I wouldn't worry about that.

I remember talking to you about the amount of iron in our micros. I found a new type to use from our store. Only .033% iron in it(as opposed to the .6% or so in Kent's). It's julian Sprung's flora plan. This way I can dose that all the time, and use the Kent's when I need to add some iron.



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I am thinking about 2 to 3 True Siamese Algae Eaters. Anyone with any tips on them


Really cool fish, seem great for large tanks. Ive heard them described as 6 inch torpedos when full grown, should be in little shoals too, 4-6. Read up on how to spot the real ones, you dont want any rowdy flying foxes spoiling that peaceful tranquil espei/gourami/oto party


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Love the oto mania shots! The rest of the tank seems to be doing well as well. Glad the pearls seem to be taking to their new home nicely.

True siamese algae eaters are great fish. Warning, they love java moss. They will prune it alot and neglect the algae. If this isn't a problem then they would make a great addition to the tank. Be sure that you don't get the flying foxes as they do get rowdy and aggressive and really don't eat a lot of algae when they become adult.
There is a way to tell them apart, the number of sets of barbels and also the long stripe is slightly different, or at least mine were. Foxes have flat bellies and SAE's tend to get rounder like the otos.

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Yeah, I realize that we are getting close to the 1000th entry
What does 1,000 poster get?

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Matty – Thanks for the comments on the Oto shots, this was really the first time ever that I had them all in one spot and was able to take a group picture. They also seem to get really fat, all this food (aka algae) is doing them good. I am using TMG now as my sole source of Iron. So far I have not seen a deficiency that I would think is based on a lack of Iron, my red Macandra is as red as ever, so are the leaves of the invisible (at least in photos) Red Rubin Sword.

NowherMan6 – Thanks for the info, I read up on SAEs already about 3 months ago as I always liked them. My LFS has then rarely (so far I have not come across them there) as they make sure they sell them as the real deal. The have false ones, and I made sure to study them as well.

luvmykrib – thanks for the comments on the Oto shots and the info regarding the SAE. I didn’t know the part with the rounder belly, that might come in handy. Although they are usually underfed in stores (if anything like Otos applies) and as such their bellies will be thin.

tetratech – A Hug

Ingo


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As always great photos of an awesome tank and wonderful fish. Just out of curiousity, how much time to you spend weekly on maintaint this tank at this point?

Jim



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OldTimer,

Thank you so much for the input and the compliments.

These days, as I am not doing any major changes anymore (like replanting the whole tank as I did a few times so far), I would say I spend during the course of a week:

- daily 0.5 hours observing and wondering what can be changed = 3.5 hours per week
- Water change 1 hour to drain 60G and 20 min to refill, plus 10 min addition of stuff for the water (baking soda, equilibrium, and ferts) = 1.5 hours
- Before water change, maybe 1 hour pruning, if required, and glass cleaning = 1 hour
- Cleaning up the mess I made before and during water change = 1 hour
- Daily fert addition (additional 5 times a week) of 5 to 10 min = lets say 0.5 hours

So, without feeding and just maintenance, that gets me to 7.5 hours per week. That is actually not all that much when considering that there were days when I messed for 12 hours straight with the tank.

Thanks again,

Ingo


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The Pearls won't bother the Espei at all. Mine doesn't even look crooked at the Hengali's. I doubt they'll even do much for the fry. They are not the fastest fish in the world. But they're always picking through plants looking for hydra etc so any eggs may not last long.

They'll settle in quickly enough. If they are stressed at all they immediately go to the darkest corner they can find. Once they settle in they are quite socialable.

I'd avoid SAE's unless you feel you have a "need" for them. They are ok when young but it doesn't take long for them to become more trouble then they're worth IMO. They will feast on your moss. When they figure out that some strange hand puts food in the tank, they get lazy and become fat, pooping, damaging nuisances.


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Bensaf,

Thanks for the input

The entries here are the first time that I heard that the SAE are not all good. I guess I should think more about them. As you probably know they were my solution for the remaining Thread Algae. I don’t have a lot of it, but certainly too much to be controlled by hand. How about some shrimp then?

All,

The earlier mentioned driftwood auction ends in about 10 hours and the piece currently stands at $81, plus $16 for shipping. That is quite a hefty price for a piece where one is only able to judge its quality from a picture. Any suggestions within the next few hours would be appreciated.

Ingo


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Most people don't associate SAEs as being preadatory, but they are, in fact, quite omnivorous, and feed on invertabrate life as well as decaying vegetation in the wild. Thus, the espei fry may not be safe from the SAE; just a speculation.
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I'd avoid SAE's unless you feel you have a "need" for them. They are ok when young but it doesn't take long for them to become more trouble then they're worth IMO. They will feast on your moss. When they figure out that some strange hand puts food in the tank, they get lazy and become fat, pooping, damaging nuisances.
I think what Bensaf is saying here is bascially is that an SAE is not an Oto that will compliment that plants both in look(size) and function. The SAEs don't balance that way and are less gentile with plants, etc they are also fairly large waste producers.

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Thats an awful lot for an unknown, LF, you're right. And if it's more than you're willing to deal with, your best bet is to let it go.

For what it's worth, at Absolutely Fish there's a big hunk of driftwood sitting in one of the big tanks in the back, takes up the entire length of a 55 gallon. Not as branchy as the one on ebay, but it is pretty nice.


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Thanks Cup_of_Lifenoodles and tetratech for the additional info and opinions on the SAE. I think I heard enough to hold off with any purchase on that fish until I really have no other options to control algae (and I think I have many before that happens ).

NowherMan6 – Thanks for the update on Ab. Fish. Are you sure you saw that this was one piece? I have been there last week and all I saw were a few rather chunky pieces. Sometimes they arrange them in a way that you either have to look really close or even have to pick up the piece to see that it is multiple. If it was one piece then I would be interested if you saw the price tag. Even smaller pieces in the show tanks go for $50 plus (up to $100 for a piece that was way too chunky and rather small).

The current price for the one on e-bay would be ok if one would know for sure that it is quality driftwood, but the seller doesn’t even list what type of wood it is. I guess I will make a last minute decision .

Thanks to all 3 of you again,

Ingo


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Well Ingo we were thinking of you at the weekend.

I met up with Paulus on Sat. We hit the market. We are both 6 ft tall, actually Paulus was taller then me which makes him a giant by Indonesian standards, neither of us could have reached the top of the driftwood pile if we tried.We mentioned you might be a bit green with envy if you could have seen it. Picked up a couple of nice pieces.


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]:|]:|]:|

Yeah yeah, are you having fun over there ?

I hope you picked up a bunch of red ants as well .

Well, at least you were thinking of me

Ingo


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[font color="#C00000"]ONE THOUSAND[/font]



Thanks to all that have participated and helped me so far to get this tank as to where it is now.

I really appreciate all the input.

I hope you will do the same for the next 1000,

Ingo



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LF, you could always email the seller and ask him/ her, or ask him/ where the piece was found etc. if you have lingering doubts...



EDIT: Just saw the 1000th post... congrats LF! Though I can't imagine being able to go back through this log to bring up any old info, I'm glad it's all there. It's been great fun participating, even though i came in pretty late. Anyway, nice job in making sure YOURS was the 1000th post, and not some comment about ebay

Last edited by NowherMan6 at 09-Jan-2006 08:48


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Man, I am sooo busy at work that I cannot even celebrate the 1000th post. Thanks NowherMan6, I am glad I had I hit the button for the 1000th before you did .

BTW, the price of the wood at 2.6 hours before closing is now $91, that’s a total of $107. I don’t know


Ingo


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LF,

No guts no glory!


Just messing around. I would way rather go pick a peice out in person than risk a cheap peice or not so cheap peice that all I saw was a picture. I am actually going to be on a DW hunt my self here when I get some cash.......some time soon I hope.......

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Thanks Wingsdlc

I have to talk about the Pearls again and would like your input. They have been with me now I guess for over a month (at least). As of last night, so almost 2 days after adding them to this tank, the still react like they have never seen a human before when I approach the tank. They pretty much jump out of the water and then take a dive so fast that they hit the gravel and then they hide. They haven’t done that in the 20G. The female came out for feeding but the male stayed hidden (I saw him a while later, but he dive bombed again when I added the ferts).

Am I too worried? Could the transport from one tank in the room to the other have stressed them out more than the one from the LFS to my house?

Ingo


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Am I too worried



Um, yes.

You're such a good caretaker with these fish, I understand each and every one of them is like a little member of the LF clan, but give the pearls some time They've got a huge new environment to explore, in a week or so all will be well. Maybe moving them to them was like hitting their reset button. It'll all come down to when they recognize you as the bringer of food again


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LITTLE_FISH
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Thanks NowherMan6,

I like the notion of the LF Clan, although I certainly am not able anymore to identify each and every fish I have .

Yeah, for most of the time in the 20G feeding was all I did to the tank, except for the weekly water change. Here they are exposed to daily fert addition disturbances as well. Maybe the 20G Long also wasn’t high enough for their crash dives .

Ingo


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All things considered they don't seem like they're doing too bad. Certainly not the shyest fish I've ever owned - at least they let you take pictures of them, when I first got my brevis pair I couldnt get a clean pic for 2 weeks.

It's been a little while since we saw a full tank shot - any rescaping plans on the horizon?


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The latest full tank shot is on page 39, you might have skipped that page because it was filled up too quickly

The pics there are from this weekend, so that is as new as it can be.

Any rescaping? - yes, I guess so

Ingo


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SheKoi
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this thread has moved on a bit, taken ages catch up with it, i've been away for 10 days, fun reading beats my revision which i should be doing

very nice tank photos, glad the gourami move went ok.

i've had to delay my setup for few weeks, we decided to decorate the living room before filling up the tank, easier then moving it all once setup.

really hope i can get mine to look half as good as yours.

shekoi

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shekoi,

Thanks for the comments

Yeah, I guess redoing the room is better done before a tank is set up, wise decision.

And don't worry, you tank will look better than "1/2 as good as mine" as I think mine isn't all that great.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Ingo


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Gang,

I just remembered some of the other fish I initially intended to add to the tank. Besides various groups of tetras there was a type of Rainbow that I would be interested in:

Melanotaenia praecox – Dwarf Neon Rainbow

I have seen them at the LFS and somehow can’t believe that the max length suggested in our profile of less than 2 inches is correct. The ones in the store already seemed bigger.

I like them because of the blue appearance and the red frame created by the fins.

Another one I like is Pseudomugil furcatus - Forktail Blue-Eye Rainbow.

Any input on these two, as well as any other suggestion for similar shaped and colored Rainbows is greatly appreciated. Size should not exceed 4 inches though (as I am LITTLE_FISH ).

Thanks in advance,

Ingo


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The dwarf blue rainbows would probably get up to 3 inches or so. I really like them too. As soon as some nice ones come into work I plan on snaching a few up for my planted tank.

Some other rainbows....

Threadfin
Celebes

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That picture really doesn't do the threadfins justice. They are a much prettier fish than that. I like all 4 of those rainbows. That would be a tough chooice to make. I personally like the furcatas myself they are pretty neat little buggers.



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I know what you mean about the Threadfins. We had a couple of tanks of them at work in some crappy lighting. When I scooped them out for some people they looking really nice.

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bensaf
 
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I'd definately go for the Praecox. I've had a few for while. They are a nice fish. I'd say 2 inches is the max. They look bigger when they get older as they take on the typical rainbow compressed look.

They are a peaceful shoaling fish, tough and very very playful. Slow growing. They take a while to mature but are worth the wait. They color up well when older. As I say a big group is very playful always dancing and displaying to one another. They even organise race meets

I think these would be ideal for your tank. Nice color, the size means you can keep a biggish group. Most other likes Boesmanii get a fair bit bigger.

Threadfins would probably get lost in your tank. Furcatas are a bit fussy. These ones are not really my cup of tea, looks wise, too frilly all those fancy fins.

The Praecox have a simple subtle beauty and is like having a group of puppies in the tank without being hyper like Danios or nippy like Barbs.

Here's a pic of one of mine, about a year and a half old, the colors are quite striking.




bensaf attached this image:


Last edited by bensaf at 10-Jan-2006 22:47
[/font]


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go with the dwarfs!! i've got four females at the moment. the picture above is of a male - red fins females have yellow.

mine shoal with the H.rasbora it makes a great looking shoal - i've had mine for over a year now and they are 2-2.5inches max.

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All,

Thanks so much for the input, and Bensaf – what a great picture!

My LFS had Threadfins and they are in good shape. I have considered them at some point but then decided against them as their fragile appearance somehow conflicts with the rest of my fish , the gentle fish role is already taken by the Pearls.

Celebes are similar to Threadfins (with regards to fragile appearance) and require in general a higher ph range than the other options.

If Bensaf is right about the Furcatas being fuzzy, then Dwarfs it is.

Now, how many though? I was thinking 6, 2 males and 4 females. I know about the fin color distinction, but I don’t know if this is visible in juveniles already.

Thanks again,

Ingo

Last edited by LITTLE_FISH at 11-Jan-2006 04:10


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i started with 2male and 4 females - my males didn't survive the move from my parents house earlier last year for unknown reason. when i brought mine they were less then 1in and the fins were the different colours so i was able to choose the ratio i wanted - they bred with in a couple of months but the eggs were eaten by the rasbora and angel and the rainbows themselfs had feast before i could do anything.

in a tank your size i would go for 3 males and 5/6 females that would make a lovely shoal.

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shekoi,

Thanks for the info on the ability to sex juveniles.

When suggesting numbers though keep in mind that I have about 100 Espei . So just the rainbows would add another 9. When will I be overstocked (a few other pairing fish should still follow this round of stocking)?

Also, I will have to house them in the 20G QT first and I don't want to add too many there at once. Should I stack them in 2 stages, first 1m and 2f or something like that?

Ingo


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i've wanted the neon dwarf rainbows for ages never seem to fine them near me - i might look online to get some.

LF very nice tank well done
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LF

100 what a shoal that must be!

is the Q tank cycled or do you set it up each time you get new fish?

go with 4 females first then get others after week or so, this should also help females settle better as wont be stressed by males wanting to get busy!

i think in 125g you would be ok with 9 dwarfs, because of all the plants you have etc, but it's up to you if don't want to risk overstocking go with 2M and 4F - probably soon have fry anyway.

shekoi

Newfishboy - try TriMar they sometimes stock dwarfs and they have good rep for delivering heathly fish.

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newfishboy – Thanks for the compliment on the tank

shekoi – If you ever get bored, and I mean really bored, then skim through the previous 40 pages of this log . Here you will find information on how this group of 100 Espei (by approximation) came to be, accompanied by various pictures of them as individuals and in groups.
The QT (that would be [link=This Tank]http://www.fishprofiles.com/files/forums/Aquascaping/63901_3.html" style="COLOR: #ff6633[/link] here) is permanently cycled and planted as well. It houses 5 Platies (actually 6 by now as one fry of the latest batch survived) as permanent residents. Your suggestion of getting the 4 females first sounds good. But, how will 2 males only behave in the QT, with no other fish of the same species to bother?

And more fry? – gee, what am I gonna do with them ?

Thanks,

Ingo


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SheKoi
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I dream of a shoal like yours - nice photos got them trained to hold still, i've never been able to get good photo of my rasbora.

the males should be ok on their own - they are young and if only for week or so then that should be fine.

now you've give me an idea - i need a Q tank setup full time, with plants and fish - really an excuse to have another tank she would kill me] i usually setup the Q tank week or so before fish i'm buying with water and filter from my 40g always worked for me - might setup 10g again and use it as Q tank - LF you got me thinking now i'll never get any work done.

shekoi.

ps i'm bored most days - hard life being student.

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ps i'm bored most days - hard life being student.


shekoi,

I used to understand what you are talking about but I really messed things up this semmester. 7 classes, 17 credit hours, 25-30 hours of work a week doesn't leave too much time for fish. Which I have to say bites!

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shekoi,

Glad I could help you getting that brain going

I have to say that I am not a fan of a 1 week QT treatment. If I use the QT then I want to do it right, at least 3 weeks, better even more (4+). While one week will most likely be enough to detect Ich and similar illnesses, slow moving parasitic invasions can take a bit longer (can be used as an excellent argument when explaining your significant other why you “need” another tank).

Yeah, I make about 50 shots to get one good one of the Espei, very elusive little critters that always tend to take a quick dart forward right when you push that button. The easiest way to capture them is during the water change, when only 50% of water is left and there is nowhere to go for them .

Thanks for the indirect compliments on the QT,

Ingo

Wings – hang in there


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Not much to say these days as I am too busy at work.

Maybe this weekend I will get a chance to go to the LFS and look at some Rainbows, any last minute suggestion on particular illnesses (like the Pearl's potential for internal parasites) you would like to share?

Or how about any external signs of weakness that are specific to Rainbows?

Thanks in advance,

Ingo


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Bensaf this pic from ADG has nothing on yours. That is a dazzling pic of your rainbow.







tetratech attached this image:


My Scapes
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wow tetratech,

That is a great shot, although Bensaf's is clearer. What a nice schooling formation. I am sold on them

Thanks for this last piece of evidence I needed to convince myself that this is the right fish

Except is someone tells me they are e to (insert any bad stuff here) .

Ingo

EDIT: Let me see if I get that right: They are all boys, right?

Last edited by LITTLE_FISH at 13-Jan-2006 07:13


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tetratech
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I fiqured you would like the pic since your considering the fish.

My Scapes
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LF,

Right on brother! All males!

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bensaf
 
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Never had problems with Rainbows. I've had mine almost from the get go, oldest fish I have. They are quite hardy and haven't been overbred like a lot of other tropicals.

If they have young uns in the store they'll be a lot more slender, they get the typical rainbow humps much later, and quite grey. Don't let this put you off they color up as they mature, especially the fins.


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Hi

I have been quietly following this tank log from the start and I just wanted to say, not only is your tank looking amazing, but you are clearly a gifted photographer! There are some spectacular shots in here, and I especially like the ones of the ottos on page 39!

Keep up the good work!
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Thanks all for the additional comments:

- Bensaf on the Rainbow status. Yes, I have seen them many times in the LFS and your description of them being gray and slender is what I observed as well. For some reason this never turned me off as I have seen pictures (albeit none as pretty as the 2 presented in this log) showing them in “better light”.

- Wings for letting me know that I can sex them, although it would be nice to see how a female looks in comparison.

- foj1428 for the compliments on the tank and my pictures. The tank, well I have to give some credit to all the people here that helped to get it there. The pictures, the credit here goes more then partially to the camera itself and for the close-ups to NowherMan6 who suggested just the right lens for that purpose. I appreciate that you read through this sometimes messy (as in funny, at least for some of us) thread, thanks.

Thanks again,

Ingo


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LF,
Please don't let the photo compliments change you. I still consider you an aquarist first and a photo buff second. Pictures and planted tanks what a perfect combination.

My Scapes
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Please don't let the photo compliments change you


Don’t worry about that, I am too old to change

I always like to take nice pictures and a nice looking plant/fish in the tank is just the right object for it . So logically, no nice tank and no nice fish = no nice picture. Ergo, I have to be a scaper / fish keeper foremost.

Ingo


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bensaf
 
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I always like to take nice pictures and a nice looking plant/fish in the tank is just the right object for it .


A blonde supermodel draped across the hood in a bikini wouldn't hurt either


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.
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Whenever I try to convince a super model to pose for me they run away screaming for help. They just don’t want to dive in my tank, I don’t know why.

Ingo


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Back on topic here.........

The female dwarf blue rainbow look very much like the male except their fins are more of a light orange where the males are red.

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LITTLE_FISH
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Thanks Wingsdlc,

Basically I knew that, but the probably best [link=Rainbow Fish Website]http://members.optushome.com.au/chelmon/Praecox.htm" style="COLOR: #ff6633[/link] lists the following:

“Heiko Bleher reported in Aqua Geõgraphia that "... males have red-edged fins while the fins of females are pure yellow". However, my original females had red fins and succeeding generations are still producing red-finned females, although at times they can appear faintly orange coloured. There are however, aquarium stocks that have yellow-finned females.”

That should make the sexing a little harder.

Ingo

PS: The link above is directly to the Dwarf Rainbow Page, [link=Here]http://members.optushome.com.au/chelmon/index.htm" style="COLOR: #ff6633[/link] is the site itself.


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Before you jump to the pictures,

[font color="#C00000"]I need your advice[/font]

I had a busy day, but not tank related. I managed to steal myself away for an hour and went to the LFS to look for Melanotaenia praecox, the Dwarf Neon Rainbow.

Once there I perused the isles and found them. All adults (12), all male, about half showing signs of finrot on their tailfins, and $20 a piece. Wow, I checked them out for a while and decided I will have to try my luck somewhere else some other time (at least 2 weeks from now).

Well, on my way out I perused the tanks some more, and what do I find, juveniles. In all there were 6 in the tank, $12 a piece. I like juveniles better as I love to see my fish grow up. Here is where your advice would be appreciated: They had 3 females and 3 males (in a tank with emperor tetras and mollies), I decided to buy all the girls and one boy, so 4 in total. One of the males, although the same length than the others (maybe 1.3 inches) already started to show the trades of the adult, beginning to have a raised back (figured he must be older and neglected him). Another male was rather bossy so I turned him down as well. Should I go back tomorrow and add one of them? Or will my group of 3f and 1m be ok? What is I add juveniles once these are a little older, am I asking for trouble?

Anyway, shortly after adding them to the 20G QT they are doing great, the males is already after the females and one of them seems to currently hold the boss position (she is a little larger), even towards the boy. And call me crazy, but I seem to observe that they are interacting with the adult platies, there is clearly the head to tail fin spreading thing going on, but more in a mating way than in a threatening way. And they hang together as well (not all the time though.

So, here they are in the bag:

LITTLE_FISH attached this image:



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LITTLE_FISH
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One of the females in the tank:

LITTLE_FISH attached this image:



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The male :

LITTLE_FISH attached this image:



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And lastly a male and female, a little out of focus:

LITTLE_FISH attached this image:



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Wingsdlc
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Pretty nice looking fish. I must be in a good area for Dwarf rainbows because my store sells them for far less than that or your store has wild or F1 fish. As for your numbers.... I think you will be just fine. As far as I know I don't think rainbows are as bad as Livebeerer with the M/F ratio so it might not hurt to add another male.

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Wingsdlc,

Thanks for the input. Help me out, what is F1? First generation bred in captivity?

My concern with the numbers is less the issue that exists with livebearers (meaning one male to few females to divert the chasing of a single female for breeding purposes) than the aggression with males fighting for dominance in a 20G tank.

Ingo


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In my 55G I have two male Boesemani Rainbows with 3 Giant Danios. I have never seen any thing at all of a problem with them beating on each other. If any thing they flare their fins and throw their breeding colors. They also swim with the danios and flare their fins with them too just to show how pretty they are. Silly Rainbows..... I wouldn't worry about agression issues between the males and when you get them in the big tank there are tons of hiding spots if anything does come up.

F1 is first generation breed in captivity

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LF,
Very nice. Are those the same species as the one in the pick I sent you? Good luck with them.

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Thanks Wingsdlc,

I will think about it during the morning, then maybe I go to the LFS and get them.

Yes tetratech, that’s them . They look different a) because they are juveniles and b) the picture you posted are all males.
Thanks for the good luck wishes.

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Get more. There's no aggression between the males. A lot of displaying and racing, they do this pretty much side by side so it's not one fish chasing another. There's a lot of dancing and playfulness between the males but never any damage seems to be quite a social activity. They'll figure out an alpha male soon enough and he'll develop bigger humps sooner.

It's not something to worry about rather it's a sign of healthy happy fish, they seem to enjoy each others company , both male and female.


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Bensaf,

Thanks, as usual

What you say makes perfect sense, as I wrote before - one of the males, although the same size, has the hump already. He must have been the alpha. I hope they are still there then (last 2, but lots of shoppers in the store buying one or two fish of tetras, cories, etc).

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bensaf,

Well said! That was the point I was trying to get at but probably was a little far off.

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congrats on the rainbows - they look very nice, making me want to go out and add to my shoal - haven't even started tank up yet.

decorating will be done by next weekend so will begin my setup and continue my log a week today.

are you adding anymore to your rainbow collection, i'd suggest 2 more females and 1 male.

good luck with them
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Fish look pretty good, all considered! With some time and a good diet, they'll color up in no time.

BTW, I've got a friend that builds custom tanks and deals in driftwood looking for appropriate size and shape pieces for you! He's supposed to get me pics of each individual piece in the next few days. I'll keep you updated.
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Mike and shekoi, thanks for the input . More info will follow below:


Weekly Tank Update – Week 16

I had very little time this week to care for my tank, I did nothing but feeding the fish and the daily fertilizer routine.

The pearls are doing better now, not that they did badly before, but finally they show themselves more often in the open. That started to happen about two days ago.

A thing that begins to seriously worry is the Glosso. When looked at closely it is pretty bad. The low level seems to have died off and I don’t know how much longer I can maintain this plant. Maybe it is time to think about another ground covering plant for the front of the tank. All other plants seem to do ok, except for the Apons that turn a little yellowish now and the Dwarf Sags / Chain Swords that still show signs of melting. Oh, and so does the Uruguaensis Sword that might not get enough light in the back there (but I don’t have a better spot for it).

Otherwise, 4 Rainbows have been purchased yesterday and 2 more today , but more to this after the tank pictures. I will keep it short and only show last week and this week in comparison, plus a few detail shots.

Here is the tank last weekend:

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And here it is today. Not many changes, just some additional growth:

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A close-up of the Glosso in front of Rock Valley to illustrate my troubles with it:

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The male Pearl saying Hi to the Oto:

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And here is the Pearl couple together; it seems the male starts to develop the orange throat:

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Three shots of the Espei at low tide :

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Shot 2:

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And the last one, is it getting crowded yet?

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Now on to the Rainbows. I went to the store today and both males were still available. Well, now they are in the QT. Here is a picture of them still bagged:

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About 2 minutes after adding the bag the male that is already in the tank came to show off:

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He didn’t leave the side of the bag during the whole acclimatization process:

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Here is a close-up of a male after the release:

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All three males together, showing off and trying to figure out who will run the show. All the while the Platy is looking on and wonders if he has a chance to become the boss. BTW, I swear I see one almost adult male platy trying to mate with the Rainbows, and that with both genders.

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Here are 2 males and 2 females discussing what to do next:

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More male show of pride . The one in the foreground is actually the one with the biggest hump, but the new slender one is by far the most aggressive. I bet he will have a hump in no time (or kill all others):

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And again all 3 males in deep discussion:

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Last but not least, a female following a male. I guess she likes him :

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On the glosso,
It looks like you just waited to long to thin it out.

Espei,
Looks like they're deciding what to do about their new tankmates.

Rainbows,
Espei population control.




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Awesome pics LF..I really like those red plants in your forest green tank and I can tell from the last week pics that they have grown..Really nice pics
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Well, if you look through my log you will find out about how I always thin out my foreground every couple months. I take out the biggest chain swords, replant the small ones, then take the large ones to the lfs for $$. You could probably thin out the glosso, and take quite a bit back for 20 bucks, maybe more(well at my store you would end up getting about that much). You will probably see better, faster growth after you thin out the group. I noticed some of the leaves on the bottom had maybe a little algae on them? That's what tends to happen to my chain swords if I let them bunch up too much.


Waaaaaaaaaaaaay back on page 30. No one ever wants to listen to me. Now it's too late to take a bunch of it back to your lfs. Time to throw it out(at least most of it).

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Once it reaches critical mass, the Glosso really needs to be pulled up and replanted. There's really no other way to trim it. The plants at the bottom of the pile will begin to die off due to a lack of light.

This may not be too bad in a 30 gal, but in a 125 it's alot of work. It'll take a few hours with a scissors and tweezers. This will have to be done every couple of months.

The problems will be the same with any foreground plant. HC will require the same but because it's slower growing it will be much less frequent, makes it a better option for a big tank.

Maybe it's time to consider a clear sand foreground
The open sand foregrounds look nice IMO , But you do need a border of wood and rock to really make it look good and stop the sand from mixing in to your plant substrate.



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and maybe I don't want the stuff any more......and I will have to go looking for a new plant.....

55G Planted tank thread
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Well,

Thanks everybody for the input.

The fact that my Glosso is messed up and the options to correct it comes at a bad time as I have another really busy work week ahead (might even include the whole weekend).

Matty – the grand master of predictions - I guess I should have tried to interpret your statement waaaaaaay back a little more to the situation I have at my hand now. Then I applied it mostly to the Chain Swords (and mine do not need thinning and don’t have algae in them) and the algae you saw was only in areas that have just been reached by the Glosso. Next time I will be more careful when reading your entries, I promise .

I remember that I frequently threw the question in the mix on how to trim the Glosso in the first place (although my memory is not so sharp that I would remember page numbers like Matty does ) and I somehow either neglected all warning messages or there were none. Or maybe I was just too lazy .

Wingsdlc – That’s the reason I didn’t contact you about the Glosso anymore as I would like to find out what to do with it before getting you in the same situation.

I guess I will have to try to find the time to remove little pieces at a time .

Bensaf – how would you go about retrofitting a tank with a sand foreground?


On the Rainbow frontier: I did notice that one of the males (with the hump) has some of his dorsal fin missing. I blamed the new boss – and man, he is bossy and chases all others (males and females) around like mad until they all huddle in one corner – for it, but then I looked back at the pictures of the fish in the bag and the problem already existed there.

Bitten off by other fish in the LFS or ill, that is the question? I see no sign of infection or such and it seems to be gone all the way down to the back of the fish.

Ingo

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What about something like this moss?

Monosolenium tenerum (“Pellia&#8221

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From the Tropica website:

"Monosolenium tenerum is an attractive liverwort, which looks most like a giant Riccia that simply stays at the bottom, where it forms cushions. It is a brittle plant, and pieces break off easily, so it is best to place it in the aquarium attached to stones with fishing line or in small clumps among other plants such as Eleocharis. Once M. tenerum has established itself, it is very undemanding. This plant is mistakenly known as Pellia."

In my experience it differes from Riccia in that it is a sinker (and will not float to the top once detached or trimmed) and larger, and much darker green. It can be very nice but is the same pain in the neck when it comes to overgrowing and pruning.

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Is there an easy forground plant??

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Bensaf – how would you go about retrofitting a tank with a sand foreground?


You'd need to push back or remove the substrate at the front. This would be the easy bit. The tricky bit is having something to keep the 2 substrates seperated. Some use thick strips of plastic or wood/rocks.

Unfortunately just putting sand on top of the existing gravel won't work as the sand will sink into the gravel over a short period of time.

To make the look work though I feel you need a clear line of wood and rock where the sand starts. A river bank appearance. The trick is to make it look like the entire tank is sand not just the foreground. Just looks silly and gimmicky otherwise IMO. This is the real tricky part and it's not easy to pull off, requires a lot of planning at the set up stage. You don't have the hardscape for this at the moment.

Wings,
All ground cover plants require some work. You need to be prepared and ready for this. It's the price we pay. Some are more work then others, but the work is always there.

Pellia is a nice plant but it's not really good for ground cover. I think it works best on wood at various heights and for creating strong diagonal lines.

Riccia is not too bad if handled right. If well secured on rocks maintenance is not too bad - lift the rocks out and give them a haircut once in a while then put them back.
It can be mixed in with moss. It doesn't need to be trimmed as it grows bits will float away but enough will always remain tangled up in the moss to keep going.
Amano used to mix Riccia with Glosso. It gets caught up in the Glosso runners, like with the Moss method when it gets to big it'll float away but enough will remain tangled to keep going. A 1 inch piece of Riccia will turn into a big think ball in a few weeks, it's a very fast easy grower.
Some I thought I got rid of grew back from God knows what. I just shoved pieces in with the moss and let it do it's thing. I may try mixing some in with the glosso for fun.

Open forgrounds are nice, especially if you have fish like Cories. It can look just as good too if done properly. The trick is use wood rocks and stones to create borders from the plants to the foreground. This hides the plant bottoms which nobody really wants to see. Otherwise it's just plants stop and substrate begins, it's not a foreground , just an empty space



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.
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Hi Ingo & the planted gang,

Just wanted to quickly drop by and say "Happy New Year" to all. I just got back from vacation late last week and still recovering from it. Went to visit fish markets in 4 countries (including a nice meetup with good ol' Bensaf ) and acquired one suitcase full of aquarium stuff in the process. Will post some pics when I get around to it.

BTW, your tank is looking nice and "jungly". Congrats on the praecox rainbowfishes. I've been keeping them for 4 years now and have a soft spot for them. If you ever want to speed up their growth, feed them live worms over a few days. They will practically grow in front of your eyes. Also, watch for signs of dropsy on the females. I lost 2 females from it a few months apart (after having them for a year). Fortunately it doesn't seem to affect the males or other fishes.

Cheers!

-P
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Paulus,

Glad you got back safely.

How did your tanks look on return ?!




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Hi Bernard,

Surprisingly well on the whole.
Didn't lose any fish in the 42g and 23g tanks, but missing 4 cory hastatus, 2 Endlers & a dwarf pencilfish in the 15g (probably from the heat - tank temp was up to 32C when I got back). Got quite a nice plant growth and no algae in the 15g & 42g, and a nice coating of green spot and brown algae (and extra fat otos) on the glass of the 23g. Also the SAE in the 23g has turned into a big, fat, ugly monster. ]:|

Took me a while to clean and rearrange the two smaller tanks (including upgrading the lights) last weekend, but didn't have time to install the CO2 yet.

BTW, did you tell Ingo about the driftwood pile we saw in Sumenep?

Cheers!

-P
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Thanks all,

Bensaf – yeah, I guess doing a sand foreground, which actually was something I considered in the beginning, seems to be a lot of work and an even bigger mess when performed in a tank that is already set up. On the other hand, it seems that you are not too wild about an open gravel front and I share that opinion, at least for a tank that has my type of setup (and gravel style).

I guess for the time being I will start to thin out the Glosso and maybe save some pieces (the new growth on left and right) and let them grow in again.

Paulus – can’t wait to see all the goodies that you bought in action . And I am glad to hear that your tanks survived with only minor issues. Thanks also for the warning on the female rainbows, I wonder why they would get dropsy. Could it be that they don’t take live worms too well? And yes, Bensaf told me about the 200 meter high driftwood pile ]:|



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Hi Ingo,

In my case the dropsy had nothing to do with the live worm feeding as the symptoms only occurred 6 months afterwards. It just came suddenly and without warning. I had to resort to euthanasia both times. Here's hoping your fish will never have it!

Cheers,
-Paulus

-P
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SheKoi
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i once had tank with sand at the front and gravel with plants at the rear it did look really good - when i moved house i set the tank up to be fully planted and i do perfer it. have to make sure gravel is well held back in mine the sand and gravel started mixing covering up the sand.

how are the rainbows doing? i never had dropsey with mine but one of my males became very thin was still eating just wasting away, before dying about 4 months ago:#(

LF - what do you dose your tank with and how often?
is there anything i can add to my tank for co2 instead of an expendsive co2 machine? thinking about trying diy just wondering if there are any tablets, chemicals etc.

cheers shekoi

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upikabu and shekoi,

let’s keep our fingers crossed that the Rainbows will have a long and happy life, with all the Espei fry that they can eat in the near future .

So far, and that is news from last night, all 6 are still alive and kicking. I guess it is too early to be sure of anything.

shekoi – thanks on the sand update .

There is a liquid CO2 provider that we use for some of our tanks, it is called Flourish Excel. It basically is liquid carbonates that you add to the tank. Supposedly they last for only a day or two before becoming useless to the plants though, so frequent usage is recommended. The problem with it is that:

a) some plants don’t like it, like Egeria Densa and Najas melt away.
b) high light and plant rich tanks need quite a large dosage and in the long run this product will cost you more than a CO2 injection system.

The other option is to build a DIY CO2 system that basically consists of a soda bottle, water, yeast, and sugar. I am no expert in this, but from what I have heard:

a) it is not very consistent in its CO2 output over time
b) it is not suitable for tanks over (I guess here) 50G
c) it can malfunction, as it did in NowherMan6’s case (if I remember that right)

Hope this helps,

Ingo

Last edited by LITTLE_FISH at 17-Jan-2006 11:34


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it can malfunction, as it did in NowherMan6’s case (if I remember that right)
I don't know about nowher, but remember my atomic bomb in my 46?

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SheKoi
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thanks alot - i'll have to look around best store brought option then.

i'll first see how plants do without - any suggestions of how to help plants in tank with no co2 - i mean like surface movement or not? less / more water changes etc.

shekoi

Last edited by shekoi at 17-Jan-2006 12:16

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On the other hand, it seems that you are not too wild about an open gravel front and I share that opinion
Well excusssssssssssssse me!

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tetratech

you forgot to quote the second part of it:

at least for a tank that has my type of setup (and gravel style)

Here you have it, that was targeted specifically to you

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LF,
Just having alittle fun. I think it's all good!!!

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tetratech,

That is what I am trying to have as well , fun.

But for the third week in a row I am sitting here at work for 11 hours each day, fun is sparse to come by

Glad I have you guys to keep me entertained, thanks for that.

Ingo


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Sounds like the busy season for you. Well at least you know your needed.

I do alot of work from home with the wife giving me dirty looks when I'm on FP. At least if your at work the wife can't do that.

Tonites fun activity: Riccia and hairnets. (I hope my fish don't get caught in this stuff.)

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Cool,

And maybe you can post some piccies of it in your thread

I don't need a hairnet though

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On the other hand, it seems that you are not too wild about an open gravel front and I share that opinion, at least for a tank that has my type of setup (and gravel style).


I like open foregrounds a lot ....as long as they're done right.

But, yeah without any wood it will be difficult to pull off in your tank . It'll just like like places you forgot to plant rather then part of the 'scape.

tetra,
Good luck with the hairnets look forward to seeing how you use them. Make sure the wife's not around, they look at you funny when they see you play with these things. A kind of " imagine, I used to think he was , now look at him !" look.




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Weekly Update – Week 17

Well, very little time has been spent with the tank during the last week, given that I worked 11 hours each day and 13 on Saturday. This also means that the water change, which usually is on a Saturday, was today (Sunday).

Besides replacing water, this weekend’s maintenance stood under the motto “Remove the Glosso”. Because I intend to do this in weekly steps, to avoid too much dirt in the water column at once, I started with the area in front of, and in between, Rock Valley.

It sure was a mess and loads of gunk needed to be vacuumed out from the cleared section. This was the first time I used my regular vacuum without a filter (pantyhose) over it as it would have clogged up in no time. I didn’t use the python though, instead I vacuumed the gunk into a bucked (2 x 5G), just in case I suck out one of my fish .

Next week an additional section will be cleared of the Glosso. I actually leave very small plants in there, in case I decide that growing a new carpet is worth the effort. Let me know if you think the tank looks better with or without the Glosso.

Here are some weekly shots to show you recent changes. Also, look at the Rotala Macandra on the left and right, and the Star Grass at the right, to see some nice progress.

The Tank 2 weeks ago:

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When your co-worker brings you this t-shirt from his vacation trip
I think I have you beat on the t-shirt geekness thing.

Remember this pic, my son made me a t-shirt for the holidays. Now I have to wear it somewhere



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Oh man... by no means should you be going off of just me....haha

55G Planted tank thread
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[IMG]http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y118/Wingsdlc/Ric
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OK Wings,

Then I will add the first picture to "My Flower Pictures" thread in the Photo Booth forum

Will have to wait until tonight though.

Thanks,

Ingo


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I think the first picture is sharper than the second one. I find the blurry plants up close distracting and I really don't thing its as in focus as the first. Just me though.

55G Planted tank thread
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[IMG]http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y118/Wingsdlc/Ric
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LITTLE_FISH
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Wings,

You think so? I would have thought that the fact one can really see the air bubble would make the latter the prettier picture.

But I guess the fact that other parts of the tank are visible in the first picture make it more appealing (in this instance, at least).

Thanks,

Ingo


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Wingsdlc
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I like the first picture of the flower much better.

55G Planted tank thread
19G Container Pond
[IMG]http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y118/Wingsdlc/Ric
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And to proof it, here is yet another shot of the flowering Narrow Leaf Sagittaria, this time with a beautiful air bubble in it.



Ingo

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Question: How do you know you are an Aquarium Nerd?

Answer: When your co-worker brings you this t-shirt from his vacation trip

Ingo

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I've just acquired it recently, 3/4 inch height at the moment.

It may be called Marsilea Quadr-I-folia, instead of -A-.
A link for you

[link=http://www.floridadriftwood.com/aquariumplants_marsilea_quadrifolia.html]http://www.floridadriftwood.com/aquariumplants_marsilea_quadrifolia.html" style="COLOR: #FFFFFF[/link]

SOMEONE kept hinting at a name change, so here I be

The Amazon Nut...
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Wingsdlc
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I am not sure on the hight but I was looking into that plant too at one time. I am sure much of what it will turn into depends on your lighting.

55G Planted tank thread
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[IMG]http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y118/Wingsdlc/Ric
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LITTLE_FISH
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tetratech -

Well, my beachfront is more like the Long Island North Shore, but without all the garbage .
And what would have happened to your scape if I wouldn’t have used the Star Grass pawn to tickle you a little .

DaFishMan – Oih – DaMossMan – Nice name change

I will have to look up this plant, Marsilea Quadrafolia. And thanks for the compliments on the pictures .

Ingo

EDIT: Yeah, just remembered this plant - Four Leaf Clover. Doesn't that grow rather tall, like 2 inches or so?

Last edited by LITTLE_FISH at 23-Jan-2006 07:40


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Your tank pics are awesome

I'm trying Marsilea Quadrafolia (poor man's glosso). Fitting ! LOL..

Re: Your E. Ura. sword. My E bleheris died in a darker area of the tank, meanwhile my Ozelot Red in a better lit area is doing great so I hear you on plant positioning.

Regards,
DaMossMan

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I too removed my Glosso at the weekend.
Yeah, but I'm the only one with a BLACK Sand Hawaiian, beach front.

I was curious as to what it may become (now I know) and later on served as a pawn in the Starr Grass Wars II
That poor plant, used as a pawn in your dirtly little war. Putting a plant out of place to compete. Isn't that against the AGA code of ethics.




Last edited by tetratech at 23-Jan-2006 04:41

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Thanks everybody for the comments .

Yeah, the Star Grass was a small plantling that I added to the tank when I redid my 20G QT. I was curious as to what it may become (now I know) and later on served as a pawn in the Starr Grass Wars II . It is all the way to the top now and soon I will have to do something about it, just don’t know what yet.

Open gravel or not, I don’t know yet. I think I (we) will get a better idea once all the Glosso is removed, so in maybe 1 to 2 weeks.

The Uruguaensis did already put out quite a few new leaves and even gained a little height, but it became way too shaded in the jungle. There is still a Red Melon Sword in the left back (was a freebee) and it is hanging in. I don’t know if I want that one in the first place, but the cheap guy I am I couldn’t simply neglect the free plant . So overall I have 3 kinds of Swords (besides the grassy ones) in the tank that I am not sure of, as there is also the Red Rubin on the right. The problem I have with all of them is that they will take up quite some real estate on the gravel bed, meaning no other plant can be located very close to it.

Ingo


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We seem to be doing the same things.

I too removed my Glosso at the weekend.

I had only put it in out of curiosity as I'd never tried. Now I know I can grow it. Mission accomplished.

Like yours it had overgrown itself multiple times and needed to be cleaned up. I had removed with the itention of trimming and replanting but once out I realised that the the Erect moss had filled in real nice, some hairgrass that had come in with the Glosso had managed to get nicely established and the sand looked nice, so all in all it looked much better without it.

Just goes to show, Glosso is one of those plants that gets lots of ooh's and ah's and a lot of people aspire too, but in the end can be a bigger PITA then it's worth.

Like you I did keep some way off to one side. Just want to keep some going in case I decide to use in another tank. I really like it, but it's just not suitable for the current layout on this tank.

About the Uruquayensis, it will grow up nicely but slowly. I have one that I bought about the same size as yours , it took 4 or 5 months to start putting out leaves of a decent size (about 12". Once it starts the new leaves will continue to increase in size. You did right to move it. I mentioned to you before it's always going to be more of a mid ground plant rather then a background one.

Last edited by bensaf at 22-Jan-2006 21:21


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I agree with Wings about some bare rocks or driftwood. I know finding large attractive pieces is hard but for the edge of the bare area you wouldn't need really large pieces, just a few medium sized pieces carefully placed to look like the naturally drifted there. A few strategicly placed darker crypts would also draw attention to them and break up all the green. Hope it makes sense, I wish I could get what's in my head out in type, but it just doesn't work. I just think the green is great but there's not enough contrast.
The stargrass is too tall for where it is. It may look better closer to the left side f the tank where there are taller plants. Not sure there though.

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First things first! The picture of the flower/air bubble is pretty darn sweet! I like it a lot.

The plant in the right front corner (Stargrass?). Is that a temp. home because it seems really out of place taking way from the flow of the tank. Its just way to tall.

Your plants are growing really really really well but there really really really needs to be something to break up the plants. Right now it seems like a jungle of plants and no true spot to focus on.

If you are going to leave the front open gravel I would say either do something with rock work like tetratech beach front or DW (sorry for bringing up the DW thing again). If you could find some darker plants like a wendtii crypt would help break things up a bit too.

Sorry to hear about all the hours you have been working. I hope it all pays off and you don't kill yourself in the process.


Post # 700 for me!!

Last edited by Wingsdlc at 22-Jan-2006 21:37

55G Planted tank thread
19G Container Pond
[IMG]http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y118/Wingsdlc/Ric
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Ingo

As always a nice looking tank. My only hopes is that my meager efforts will look half as nice on the new tank we've been discussing.

Jim



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I like the open area, haven't seen your gravel in a very long time!
The glosso really did grow into a (shag) carpet but it probably made cleaning a b**ch, eh?
That sword doesn't look too bad where it is but it will most likely outgrow that spot in no time.
What are your plans for the newly uncovered gravel?

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Last but not least, a close-up of a new Narrow Leaf Ludwigia – Eh – Sagittaria blossom. It has an air bubble trapped in its center.

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Here is one of the few pieces I left in the tank. It looked pretty healthy and maybe it will be the start of a new carpet.

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Here is a close-up of the border between the cleaned area and the remaining thick Glosso carpet. One can clearly see the layers upon layers of Glosso that suffocate each other.

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Once again the Sword Uruguaensis, here you can see that it is in real bad shape. I know it cannot stay at this spot forever, but I couldn’t throw it out either.

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Here is a close-up of Rock Valley with the clean area in front and in-between. You may notice the Uruguaensis Sword in front of the valley. I had to save it from the back of the tank where it didn’t get any light and didn’t show any growth in about 6 weeks (at least). Behind it one can see some green just at the valley entrance. This is some Hair Grass that managed to survive the Glosso onslaught; I guess this plant is tougher than I thought.

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Today, after the water change:

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Last Weekend:

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The one thing that doesn’t make a difference for me is the substrate’s ability to serve as a fertilizer
I would tend to agree with that. Carib-Sea the provider of Eco Complete has this statement on their website.

"Eco contains all the mineral nutrients needed for luxuriant aquatic plant growth without nuisance algae! Iron rich Eco-Complete™ eliminates the need for laterite.
Natural black substrate encourages the most vibrant coloration in fishes and reduces fish stress."


I find that statement to be quite a stretch.

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Mike,

You know, I am actually not qualified to recommend any substrate as I have only used one kind in my 3 tanks, Laterite in the bottom layer of gravel. It for sure would be worthwhile if you create a new thread and ask a broader audience about their expertise.

This question is actually pretty applicable to this tank though. I am occasionally wondering if I should have used another substrate or if I should try to change mine bit by bit. The one thing I don’t like is that is it is too light, but at the same time not bright enough to make an impression. The gravel was initially (in the bag and when placed in the tank) a deep river stone color, but now it is mostly just a drab brown. But will all my plants my gravel only plays a minor role, most of it is not visible anyway. The other thing that I don’t like too much about it is that it is not fine enough. It is just pea size gravel, but I think I would like it better if it would be smaller.

The one thing that doesn’t make a difference for me is the substrate’s ability to serve as a fertilizer. I am pretty happy with my plant growth and don’t see an advantage that I would gain by switching to Flourite or Eco-Complete.

Hope this helps,

Ingo


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THanks Ingo. I'm definetly going to be asking you a lot of redundant questions, so bare with me! I hate to clutter your thread-this is the last silly post-promise. What substrate do you recommend? I was thinking of using flourite or the like and creating a gravel area front and center. I'm going for something along the lines of an Amano tank in TFH a while back. Maybe you recall? It was the article about driftwood in the nature aquarium I believe?
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:44Profile AIM PM Edit Delete Report 
LITTLE_FISH
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Mike,

If the tab water is not poisenous, and matches the general requirements of the tank as well, then I personally don't see a reason why I would want to use RO water. Imagine all the goodies you get in the water for free that you would have to add to RO water.

Ingo


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Tainted Glory
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I was referring to water. The reason is, I'm new to planted tanks and am going to go full blown in the next few days and want to iron out the details before that happens.
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:44Profile AIM PM Edit Delete Report 
tetratech
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And I'm assuming your not being sarcastic
Well for the midi-chlorians statement, maybe

Darn right And I've got a cute butt too
I must admit, I'm trying to get a visual, but my IQ isn't as high as yours.

Tainted Glory,
Are you referring to Stargrass Wars and the water we use.

Dragonfish,
Your scaring me!




My Scapes
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LITTLE_FISH
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Well, although tetratech might have a hidden forceps at his ankle, what he does know is that I am wearing a pinch-safe vest made out of small TMG bottles.

Man, I leave you guys alone for one evening and you turned this into a duel.

Tainted Glory – I am using tab water, treated with Prime, why?

DragonFish – I don’t get it.

Ingo


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DragonFish
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"Darn right And I've got a cute butt too !"

Now he's George Michaels. It's gettin' gay now.
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:44Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
bensaf
 
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I'm glad you putting your 142 IQ to good use

Just reducing myself to level of those around, when in Rome ......

It's truly amazing how perceptive you are through this medium.

Maybe.It doesn't make much to figure you for a bit of a movie buff. Quotes from Jurassic Park, midi-chlorians which I assume to be a reference to Star Wars. Only the folks that have a real love of movies remember this stuff.
I studied psychology for a while. The human mind and it's workings fascinates me. And I'm assuming your not being sarcastic. Hard to tell, you hold your cards closer to your chest then most.

Your midi-chlorians must be off the scale

Darn right And I've got a cute butt too !


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 11:44Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Tainted Glory
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Are you using treated tap water or RO/DI water?
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tetratech
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Bensaf,
I'm glad you putting your 142 IQ to good use

I ain't cutting mine until it flowers like Ingo's Ludwigia Maybe if I raise mine out of the water with the BBQ stick for support it will.

It's truly amazing how perceptive you are through this medium. Your midi-chlorians must be off the scale

My Scapes
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LITTLE_FISH
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You just wait and see





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bensaf
 
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Sounds like we got a Mexican standoff.

Neither will pull out the trimming scissors 'til the other makes the first move

Gunfight at the F.P. Coral. I can just see the two facing off in the middle of a dusty street, hands poised over their holsters containing their pruning scissors.A smoking Marlboro hanging from Ingo's lips, with that black hat you'd never know he was bald

Want to watch that tetra guy though, I hear he keeps a hidden forceps strapped to his ankle

By the time this is finished their Stargrass will have grown out of the tank and taken up residence on the couch

Now who's gonna blink first............?????????


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.
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LITTLE_FISH
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Well,

You have to forgive an old man for not remembering who had the explosion in his tank, at least I remembered that it happened

Yeah, we will see how the scape will turn out when I remove / reduce the Glosso (I have so little time these days).

Now on to something completely different:

I added my ferts last night and was about to leave the tank for the night when I took a last good look at my tank. And what did I see – a new baby

Well, it is not a fish, it is a new blossom (btw, the apons have also 2 more flowers). This time my Narrow Leaf Ludwigia developed on one stem 2 flower stems, one still being a tiny bud the other already open. I took a picture of it as I don’t know if it will still be there when I get home tonight.

Here it is:

LITTLE_FISH attached this image:



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NowherMan6
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Beautiful flower LF, you're water must really be nice for so many plants to blossom like that.


Back in the saddle!
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:44Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Wingsdlc
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LF,

Very cool. At work we had a crypt flower. I was gone for a few days and the light died on the tank and the thing flowered. It was kind of crazy but really neat. It also seems that I am the only guy in the store that will take care of the plants. Oh well.... its my cup of tea.

55G Planted tank thread
19G Container Pond
[IMG]http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y118/Wingsdlc/Ric
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LITTLE_FISH
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Thanks guys for the comments on the flower, I am already wondering how it will look tonight. Maybe it is all done by then or maybe it isn’t, I will keep you posted.

Wings – If you are the guy that takes care of the plants then you found a niche for yourself in that store. The guy I respect most in my LFS is the plant guy, he is pretty good, not arrogant about it, and always willing to learn more (and so am I).

Ingo


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Wingsdlc
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I would be the plant guy for sure. Something I am trying to get going is our plants because they really aren't much right now. The boss has given me some free range to do what I want so it is kind of fun. Although on a down note about this. I killed off all the Val in our Discus tank. It was either (1) they didn't like the Excel or (2) they didn't like me moving the better light away from them to get to get the swords regrowing. Anyways they really didn't look go today.

55G Planted tank thread
19G Container Pond
[IMG]http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y118/Wingsdlc/Ric
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