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  L# LITTLE_FISH 125G Log
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SubscribeLITTLE_FISH 125G Log
LITTLE_FISH
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Ok, 2 days have gone passed since I added the Hygrophila augustifolia to my tank (in temp spot) and I notice the first changes. On stem has lost the lowest leaves (1 section = 2 leaves) completely while the other has withering (disintegrating) leaves beginning at the tips (also only the lowest section).

Can this be already a sign of lack of Nitrates in my tank? I would more likely assume that this is damage still done from being in the LFS tank and the transport in general. What do you think?

Another thing that happened to me in the past, and that I feel has never been completely resolved, was the complete elimination of Duckweed in my tank. I still don't understand how that could have happened. I get the low nutrient part (as I may have reduced my P too much, but never to 0), but doesn't this plant thrive in almost all conditions while most other plants would have long died? Do you have any idea?

Ingo


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Post InfoPosted 13-Apr-2006 14:25Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
bensaf
 
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I doubt, even if your tank was low that you see anything so quickly. More then likely were suffering in the shop anyway. It should perk up just watch for new growth.

Duckweed I've never had and know very little about it, but yeah I heard it was practically indestructible.

This happened while you were away, correct ? Here's astrange theory, whoever was looking after the tank thought they were dropped leaves and scooped them out thinking they were doing you a favor.

I don't think nutrients would get so low as to kill the duckweed but not show problems on the other plants.


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Post InfoPosted 13-Apr-2006 15:46Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
LITTLE_FISH
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Nah Bensaf,

It did not happen while I was away. I used to frequently thin out the amount of Duckweed that I have in the tank, you know - the shading and such. After I thinned it out one time, and I removed quite a bit and left only a small group (hard to catch these buggers in such a large tank with the current and such), it never started to re-populate. It simplygot less and less and within about two to three weeks dwindled to nothing.

Sure did I have problems at the same time, this started shortly after my algae problems broke out (thread), which started in turn after I added the new driftwood and messed with the tank like a madman in the process.

I am beginning to wonder if certain levels of the water column contain different "mixtures" of stuff. Like could it be that my messing around (or even the driftwood) had poisoned the surface to a point that the plants would die?

Oh, on the other hand: I never saw the leaves getting yellow or something, they just dissapeared. Can it be that Espei, Rainbows, and Pearls eat this stuff and I had reduced the amount to so little that it couldn't reproduce faster than the fishies ate it? You know what, that sounds almost reasonable.

Ingo


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Post InfoPosted 13-Apr-2006 16:01Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Wingsdlc
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Maybe your oto's thought it was tasty one day so the stoped eating your algae and starting eating the duck weed...... Just messing around....

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Post InfoPosted 13-Apr-2006 21:48Profile AIM PM Edit Delete Report 
LITTLE_FISH
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Being a little bored, I decided to add a few pictures just for the fun of it.

Number one is of male Espei. I know you have seen pictures like this before, but they have a habit of zooming into focus just at the right time:

Attached Image:

Male Espei



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Post InfoPosted 14-Apr-2006 23:45Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
LITTLE_FISH
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And if one picture of an Espei is not enough, how about a picture with, well you count them

Here is the majority of the Espei tribe in one shot:

Attached Image:

Espei School



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Post InfoPosted 14-Apr-2006 23:47Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
NowherMan6
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EditedEdited by NowherMan6
Good shot LF. Not only did you get him in focus, you got him without a grumpy expression on his face - which is a rarity that any rasbora owner will attest to.

EDIT: Just a guess here, I have bad computer eyes, but around 55 or so?


Back in the saddle!
Post InfoPosted 14-Apr-2006 23:47Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
LITTLE_FISH
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Now on to non-moving entities

This plant has proven very hardy, is only a little influenced by the algae, has grown in shade and light, doesn't invade the rest of the tank, it is just there.

Isoetes Lacustris

I can really recommend it

Attached Image:

Isoetes Lacustris



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Post InfoPosted 14-Apr-2006 23:50Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
LITTLE_FISH
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NowherMan6

Well, I haven't counted them yet, I was hoping that Wings will do this for me

But I have one more photo.

It shows the Star Grass group in a close-up. This plant grows so fast that I will have to replant ever other week. But it is very nice.

Attached Image:

Star Grass - Heteranthera zosterifolia



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Post InfoPosted 14-Apr-2006 23:53Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
jbe0404
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I just wanted to say that this is one of the most beautiful tanks tanks I have ever seen. That school of rasboras is very impressive. Keep up the spectacular work on this tank.
Post InfoPosted 15-Apr-2006 16:28Profile AIM PM Edit Delete Report 
LITTLE_FISH
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jbe0404,

Wow, I am flattered, thank you so much.

But if you find this tank beautitiful then maybe you should look at tetratech's 72G and bensaf's tank pictures (spread out, one is even in my log on page 76 - I hope you didn't think that was my tank ).

I will still have to go a long way before I am happy with my tank, but keep on checking in and let me know what you think.

Thanks again,

Ingo


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Post InfoPosted 15-Apr-2006 22:35Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Wingsdlc
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I will count them for a doller a fish. Deal? Ok Great! 49 of them... thats $49! Thanks!

Great pictures too! Love the one of the school! Very nice!





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Post InfoPosted 16-Apr-2006 04:48Profile AIM PM Edit Delete Report 
TW
 
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Great pictures Ingo. I love that big school of Espei. Makes me want to run out straight away & buy another 10 of their cousins (rasboras) for my tank. Lucky it's Easter Sunday & the shops are shut, or that's what I'd be doing right now.

Dumb question, I know. But, how do I tell the difference between a male & a female rasbora. I've figured it out on my platys & guppys, but not my rasboras or my rams. I hope I have some of both & they breed.

Cheers
TW
Post InfoPosted 16-Apr-2006 07:58Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
LITTLE_FISH
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Wings - Thanks, this means that you owe me only $201 now, as the fee for the entertainment in my monster log is $250

Robyn - Thanks for the compliments. To answer your gender questions (not dumb at all, BTW). Somewhere in tetratech's log are great pictures of a male and a female Bolivian Ram. I think the female get the pinkish belly when she is in breeding mode. Sexing adult (and late juvenile) Espei is rather easy as the males are rather red than orange. Otherwise, the general body shape of females is rounder than males, which are a little more streamlined.

On to the usual Sunday Topic:

Weekly Tank Update - Week 29

Not too much has happended this week, I purchased a few stems of Wisteria and 2 stems of Hygrophila augustifolia, mostly for the purpose to increase the plant mass with fast growers. The amount of algae had not declined.

Before I even started my water change this weekend I stood in front of my tank for at least 20 min because I couldn't figure out where to start. The goal was to incorporate these new plants without messing up the whole tank yet again. In addition, the really fast growing Star Grass needed a bottom trimming, in itself a major act because the whole group has to come out first.

Well, somehow I did it, and I don't think it was too bad. I removed the Red Rubin sword (sorry) as it was one of the algae magnets. Also, almost all Cyperus Helferis had to go, my 10 min bleach bath a few weeks back left them rather sick and they were re-invested in no time (or the leaves died and melted into the water column). That was a bummer as it took me a while to get this species.

On to some pictures. As I have a few details to show, full shots will only compare last week to this week. Here is the tank last weekend:

Attached Image:

Last Week



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Post InfoPosted 16-Apr-2006 12:42Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
LITTLE_FISH
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EditedEdited by LITTLE_FISH
And here is the tank now this weekend after the water change and all the other things.

The Star Grass group has been expanded to the right to take the space created by the removed Helferi. The Hygrophila augustifolia is in the spot previously occupied by the Red Rubin (and one stem to the right of it. The Wisteria stems have been spread out in the remaining gaps, I know that this is maybe not the prettiest solution, but I hope it will be efficient.

Attached Image:



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Post InfoPosted 16-Apr-2006 12:46Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
LITTLE_FISH
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Now we go on to some detail pictures. The first segment is committed to fish, the second to plants.

Here is a close-up of a male Rainbow. I know the quality is not the best, but they showed their nice colors more than usual. I guess this water change must have been special.

Attached Image:

Male Dwarf Rainbow



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Post InfoPosted 16-Apr-2006 12:52Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
LITTLE_FISH
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The next two pictures demonstrate how peaceful my tank is. It is not uncommon for the various species to hang out together. This is a good thing as there wouldn't be too much space for a species to be on their own as the Espei are everywhere .

Here is the Rainbow joining the Espei:

Attached Image:

Rainbow and Espei



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Post InfoPosted 16-Apr-2006 12:54Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
LITTLE_FISH
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The same counts for the Pearls as well. Although they prefer the Rainbows over the Espei as tank buddies.

Here is the male Pearl showing the rest of the group who is the boss in the tank. It will be interesting to see how these dynamics change when the Apistos are introduced.

Attached Image:

The Boss



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Post InfoPosted 16-Apr-2006 12:58Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
LITTLE_FISH
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On to the plants. Actually, the first picture is about algae. I was finally able to get a good shot of the BBA on the driftwood. This photo sums up all my problems. The center gives you a nice few of the thread algae and the rest of the branches are covered in small bushels of BBA. Interestingly, it seems that in particular the regions of the driftwood that are exposed during the water change are covered by it. It may be a coincidence though, but I had 2 or 3 small bushels of them on the tip of my rock in "Rock Valley" which also was exposed during water changes.

Not wanting togo through another week long Excel round with the tank, I dripped some Excel on the branches during low tide (water change). I doubt that it will help, but it was worth a try.

Attached Image:

My Friends - The Algae



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Post InfoPosted 16-Apr-2006 13:05Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
LITTLE_FISH
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Here is a picture of the left side of the tank. A few of the Ludwigia stems needed some trimming as well. I replanted the tops where their was an opening.

Now I have about 10 plant species in this section, probably too many but I am not willing to concern myself with too many style issues as the priorities have shifted from style to algae war.

Attached Image:

Left side



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Post InfoPosted 16-Apr-2006 13:09Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
LITTLE_FISH
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Here is a close-up of the new right side. Yeah, I know that it looks a little like a junge again, but we need the nutrient suckers. Also, the Alternanthera in the back corner will grow taller again and become more visible. I am very courious how the Hygrophila augustifolia will develop in this spot, maybe I will have to move it further into the back at some point.

Attached Image:

Right Side



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Post InfoPosted 16-Apr-2006 13:13Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
LITTLE_FISH
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In case I haven't mentioned it before, I find the Amano Pearl Grass to be very versatile. It is one of the two plants that do really well in my tank (the other being Star Grass). You can let it grow tall, trim it shorter, replant the tops, remove the whole "bush" and trim the bottoms off.

I use the pant mostly as a filler, small pockets here and there. But in the left and right side I use them as larger groups. I would assume that they serve as fry hideouts as well.

Attached Image:

Amano Pearl Grass



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Post InfoPosted 16-Apr-2006 13:17Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
LITTLE_FISH
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Here is the last shot for now, the new middle section.

As you can see, the Star Grass group has been expanded to the right, behind the Wendtii and various Anubias types.

The other change to the Star Grass group is that I didn't make it as deep as it used to be. The parts between the branches have been filled with some Wisteria.

Never mind the current height differences within the Star Grass group as I had to use the plants that where available to me. I would assume that in no later than 2 weeks it all is going to be grown in.

Thanks for looking,

Ingo

Attached Image:

The Star Grass - Middle Tank Group



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Post InfoPosted 16-Apr-2006 13:22Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
mattyboombatty
 
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Happy Easter....if you in fact celebrate it. If not, good day to ya.

Interestingly, it seems that in particular the regions of the driftwood that are exposed during the water change are covered by it. It may be a coincidence though,


Yep coicidence that the peices of driftwood closest to the light are also exposed to the air during a water change...

I found that in my tank any surfaces that were not covered with plants got bba(along with some slow growing plants). My heater, the end of the driftwood, the filter intake and output all got it. The filter intake got it the worst, and just so happened to be exposed during water changes. That means nothing except for the fact that it was closest to the light.

I bet you haven't turned the light cycle down a bit yet. I found this really worked for me in conjunction with making sure that nutrients are really there in the amounts you want them to be. In my case I used reliable test kits to give me a good idea, though people on the light side seem not to trust them. I have since turned the lights back up without sign of algae. I bet if I turned it all the way back up all at once I would have had trouble though. I think that's part of where my problems originated, from when I changed lights. It never is just one easy thing is it?

Oh, and when was the last time you changed the bulbs on your fixture? I ask this cause we all know on the darkside that compact flourescent bulbs last about 6-8 months of solid use before they shift spectrum(light usable by algae increases, light usable by plants decreases). The bulbs you keep on the majority of the day will need to be switched more frequently than the "noon time high light" bulbs. I dunno if I already brought this up though. I might have. Sorry if I did, but this threads too big to go back and check.



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Post InfoPosted 16-Apr-2006 17:30Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
LITTLE_FISH
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EditedEdited by LITTLE_FISH
Matty,

Thanks for your thoughts on the relationship between BBA and air-exposed areas in the tank.

And yes, you are right, I haven't changed my light cycle a bit. The only reason to shorten the cycle would be if my algae profits from the time available when the plants are already tired of uptake. This though should not change over time, meaning that if this is how it works once then this is how it should work again the next time around (aka when you expand the period after shortening it first), except if other conditions in the tank have changed as well. As you may know, right now I have the lights on for 11h and in the middle with double light for 3h.

Now, here is a topic where I am way not with you. PCs and 6-8 months until they shift the color range? I seriously doubt that. That was not what my research showed when I investigated lights for the planted tank way back last August. Regular flourescent - yeah, that I have heard, but PCs seem to stay rather stable until they burn out which is not earlier than one year. Can this be different on the dark side because you guys use such high K ranges (20,000 - right? ) or actinic light?

Anyway, thanks for the input Matty, it is as always very appreciated

And Happy Easter to you too

Attached Image:

Happy Easter to All FPlers



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Post InfoPosted 17-Apr-2006 00:38Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
tetratech
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LF,

Isn't it true that your other tank has no algae. Why not break it down. I mean the differences between that tank and your 125 and see if you could hit on something.



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Post InfoPosted 17-Apr-2006 02:37Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
bensaf
 
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the relationship between BBA and air-exposed areas in the tank.


It's because they are the parts closest to the light, simple as that.

Difference between this and other tank? Well Co2 is going to be the biggest difference. What does Co2 do to a tank ?
Drives up nutrient demand explosively. So one tank with low nutrient demand has no algae, one tank with high nutrient demand has algae.

What does that tell you ?

The fact that LF was adding far less Equilibrium then he should have been for a long time is worrying. With such a low GH there would be problems. Little to no Mg and Calcium. These 2 would directly involve growth. Would certainly explain the stunting on the Reineckii but I'm surprised there wasn't more evidence of stunting on others. Depends on the plant species. Some seem to care squat if the Ca and Mg is low and keep on going, others, like the Reineckii stunt and produce ugly little curled leaves that look like they were burned, swaords and grasy plants just tend to stop growing or slow down dramatically. Don't know if any of these syptoms are familiar to LF ?

Anyway with good nutrients going in it should just be a waiting game - trim off the existing algae as new replacement growth comes in.



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Post InfoPosted 17-Apr-2006 03:51Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
mattyboombatty
 
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EditedEdited by mattyboombatty
Yeah, you can get away with 12 months, but PC bulbs definitely do not hold their spectrum until they burn out(which used for 12ish hrs/day would/should be near 2 years). Sometimes bulbs will only hold their spectrum 3 months, sometimes 10. The average seems to be around 6-8, after which time they will lose/have lost about 40% of their efficacy. I've never been able to read information on spectrum and intensity given by bulb manufacturers (remember, the people who make them, not sell them), but instead must rely on heresay. So who knows what you hear is right. The sellers of the bulbs, coralife and even retailers, give bulb life(how long 50% of tested bulbs lasted, about 2 years), and initial spectrum output and intensity, not efficacy over that period, not even the actual readings after "burn in" which is about 100hrs of use.

From what research I've done on NO, VHO, PC, T-5 HO, and MH, it seems to me that T-5 HO bulbs are the only bulbs that continue to give a high percentage of light at a full year. None of these bulbs can claim however that they will give the same, or similar output for the majority of the bulb life.

Anyways, you can't assume that bulbs will last any amount of time, and should just be something to consider, because after 6-8 months of use it's increasingly likely that your bulbs are going downhill. I'm not saying that if your plants are doing great to go out and buy a new bulb every six months, but just to give thought. I'll keep mine running as long as possible. I'm a poor college kid . This isn't the most important thing to think about, and definitely not as important in a plant tank as a reef tank which need, generally speaking, more light than we give them. It was just something that crossed my mind.

Oh and you are right, actinic bulbs don't last as long as others, but since they are more for veiwing pleasure than photosynthesis, they are much less important to replace. 6500K and say 10000K(which is what I use) last the same amount of time. I'm not sure about the 20000K, these are even harder than the more common bulbs to find info on.

The only reason to shorten the cycle would be if my algae profits from the time available when the plants are already tired of uptake.


There are other reasons, for me anyways. Light is more connected to all other nutrients than any other, making it by far the most important. Having a high light tank such as yourself, means everything else has to be just right, whereas having a little less light will slow things down a bit and give you more room for error. You might find that your plants will even be as healthy/colorful, and things will be easier on you. I remember Tom Barr saying it, and I totally agree. In his experiments he'd crank the light up to see algae faster, and more ounced.

Eh, just something to think about, I'd like to know why you are so stubborn with the light and ready to change everything else. I'm not sure what everyone else thinks about this though. I'd like to know. Don't just go on what I say. It might have been total luck in my case that everything I did helped out instead of causing a huge crash.

Anyway with good nutrients going in it should just be a waiting game - trim off the existing algae as new replacement growth comes in.


I agree with this too.



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Post InfoPosted 17-Apr-2006 06:05Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
Wingsdlc
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Wings - Thanks, this means that you owe me only $201 now, as the fee for the entertainment in my monster log is $250

LF,
I stayed up all night reading your log just looking for the way that to give you payment. I couldn't find one so I guess you are out of luck.

Isn't it true that your other tank has no algae. Why not break it down. I mean the differences between that tank and your 125 and see if you could hit on something.

125 = high tech
20 + 29 = low tech? But maybe that is something to look into.

55G Planted tank thread
19G Container Pond
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Post InfoPosted 17-Apr-2006 14:36Profile AIM PM Edit Delete Report 
tetratech
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EditedEdited by tetratech
Reason I brought up the two tanks, so you might go back to basics and break it down, variable by varible. Something is not in balance, thus the algae. Too much light, not enough mass (discussed too much already), too much waste in the water column, it's not the macro ferts. I'm dosing macros on my 12gallon just like my big tank and I see no algae even with 2.2wpg and no co2 (using excel daily - the only way to use it in my opinion)

Look at bensaf's tank, you would probably have to triple your current plant mass to equal his, every layer and level is full with plants.

Your algae issues are still in the light/waste/mass relationship in your tank. Your dosing EI, your plants are growing, yes some species are stunting, but I don't think these stunted plants are a big part of the mass in your tank.

I can't imagine your "old" lights are causing algae, I understand where Matty is going with the spectrum thing, but I agree that cf bulbs are much more stable.

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Post InfoPosted 17-Apr-2006 17:46Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
goldfishgeek
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I ve not been here a while, sort been popping in having a look and then running away in shame! - As ever Little_Fish great tank!

I found this and thought of the gentlemen that frequent this thread and their long suffering other halves!!

http://www.ilfordaquarists.co.uk/articles8.htm

GFG



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Post InfoPosted 18-Apr-2006 23:56Profile Homepage Yahoo PM Edit Delete Report 
bensaf
 
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EditedEdited by bensaf
Your algae issues are still in the light/waste/mass relationship in your tank.


Tetra has been banging away at this for a while, and not really getting the attention it should.
I just read something by Tom Barr that addresses that very issue.
Basicially it's to to with the input of organics into a system. Apparently there needs to be a balance between the the organics going in (ie fish poo, mulm) and the bacterias ability to consume it.Loading is the key rather then the amount of organics itself. If the organics are loaded faster then the bacteria can consume it then you will have algae. It's not possible to have enough plant mass to make the difference. Example a 50 gal with say 8 discus getting fed properly is going to have algae, no matter how many plants or how sound the fert routine !!!! Same tank with 2 discus will have no problems.

So you can have a high level of orgnics with no problems if the bacteria can consume it quickly, if the bacteria can't - even a small amount of organics will cause problems. Loading.

Now Espei's aren't Discus by any means but then again are we still talking 100+ rather then 8 ?

I think tetra has been on to something here.

Certainly I used to be a devil for overstocking, got over that and prefer to be understocked now (looks better), and there do seem to be less issues with a lower fish stock.

goldfishgeek, I enjoyed that article


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Post InfoPosted 19-Apr-2006 04:00Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
LITTLE_FISH
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EditedEdited by LITTLE_FISH
Sorry Guys (and Gals) that I have not added an entry in a few days

I thought the best thing I can do right now is to let you add all your ideas of what may be causing my algae issues without interruption

While all your advice is noble and appreciated, combined it contradicts one rule that I believe I am beginning to understand (and follow): "Change one thing at a time, give it time to show its effect, if it doesn't help then move on to the next option".

I totally agree with the fact that light duration and fish load can have something to do with it, heck - they do have something to do with it. But right now I am increasing the plant mass and as painful as it is even for me, I am willing to give the plants time to grow and to monitor any changes, if they ever happen .

The "mental" issue I have with regards to light is that I somehow believe that reducing duration, or even cutting out the midday light, will conclude in a tank that I can have without CO2 and what not. So why would I want to go that route?

The "mental" issue I have with the fish load is - I like fish too . Although I can imagine reducing the Espei group (now maybe around 70) by another 20 to 30, you guys have no idea how hard it is to catch these buggers in that tank. While I had 100 it took me 1.5 hours to get 28, and an attempt to catch an almost adult one failed every single time - too fast and too smart. I have thoughts of somehow building a contraption with a real fishing net and what not.

In summary, I guess I have lots of "mental" issues

GFG - Good to see you back, you have to hang around some more. How is it going with you? I also loved the article, I am not sure though if I want to show it to my wife as it may frighten her of the things to come

Ingo


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Post InfoPosted 19-Apr-2006 11:00Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
tetratech
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EditedEdited by tetratech
Bensaf,
Thanks for the acknowledgement. I had not seen the Tom Barr piece, but I knew I was on to something.

It's not possible to have enough plant mass to make the difference.
Do you mean, possibility depending on the organic input?

To me and let's be honest. "Planted tanks and fish lovers don't mix" What I mean is someone like LF (great guy by the way) is fairly new to the hobby and loves his fish, also loves his plants, but that's a big part of the issue. I would say if LF has 100 espei in the tank, plus rainbows, plus pearls. Each rainbow is probably like 10 espei same for the pearls, so we ar talking 150 fish or so. That's a lot of s***! Oh I forgot the otos they s*** too!
You got so much s*** floating around. Now, look up it's 386 watts, break out the SPF 80. See what I mean the two don't mix. I always go back to nature. Think of how vast the oceans and lakes are. Do you see 150 fish every 5 feet. It's an unbalanced closed system. Yes I know you do a 50% wc every week, but believe it or not, it's not enough based on your system. If you add another filter, wet/dry or increase water change to twice/weekly it would probably make a difference.

Look at saltwater tanks that require protein skimming, sumps in a desperate attempt to balance out the organic load, etc.

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Post InfoPosted 19-Apr-2006 14:47Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
LITTLE_FISH
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EditedEdited by LITTLE_FISH
Look at saltwater tanks ...
Friends of the Planted Tanks - get your vaccinations, have your tubes tied, get a vasectomy - anything that can be done to stop this Dark Side stuff from invading the peaceful planted community

Well, it is only around 70 Espei, but I get the point tetratech

Are you basically implying that changing light duration, supercharging ferts, upping CO2, increasing plant mass, and what not will all not help as I simply have too many fish? What about Amano's 500 Cardinals in a 29G with minmal plant mass - all just show and for one day only?

It certainly would disillusion me that if after all this back and forth about what may not be right in my tank, and all these replants, the conclusion would be that I cannot have this fish load and a high tech planted tank

Ingo


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Post InfoPosted 19-Apr-2006 15:41Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
tetratech
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EditedEdited by tetratech
Friends of the Planted Tanks - get your vaccinations, have your tubes tied, get a vasectomy - anything that can be done to stop this Dark Side stuff from invading the peaceful planted community



Look these are gut feelings I have. I haven't conducted scientific experiments but I do feel strongly about the relationship between waste/biofilter/light. Those other things (stablity, plant mass, not uprooting, EI) all have to be there).

I believe if you are going to continue to use high light then the water has to be cleaner. So less fish or more water changes / maintenance. Doesn't it seem kinda romote now that it's too much no3 or p04 that is causing problems.

I've said this before 3.1 wpg on your tank is like 6/7 watts on a 29g. Why don't you try semi-weekly water changes or 70% wc once a week, plus keep adding plant mass.

BTW: More fish the more you probably feed. You don't need to feed your fish everyday. I routinely don't feed once sometimes twice a week.


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Post InfoPosted 19-Apr-2006 16:14Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
LITTLE_FISH
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You don't need to feed your fish everyday
Almost by chance, I started this earlier this week. I don't think it will make a difference yet, but we will see. Also, based on an advice you gave me earlier, I decided to reduce the amount of food per feeding and I am doing so since 2 weeks .

Oh, BTW - tonight I will be part of that Planted Tank round table discussion at my LFS. It will be interesting to see what these folks have to say in general. I may encounter a big resistance when I mention things like EI, 30++ppm of CO2, 20ppm N, and what not

Thanks tetratech,

Ingo


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Post InfoPosted 19-Apr-2006 17:33Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
mattyboombatty
 
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I may encounter a big resistance when I mention things like EI, 30++ppm of CO2, 20ppm N, and what not


Yea, especially when there's some algae in your tank. It's a lot easier if the tank is spotless. But hey, they'll come around...I did....sorta.

I'm not going to press the light issue anymore, but I think that you can do fine with that many fish. It's a big tank with adequate filtration. Of course removing a few fish and increasing filtration couldn't hurt.



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Post InfoPosted 19-Apr-2006 19:52Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
LITTLE_FISH
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Yeah Matty,

I guess you are right, one cannot make a strong stand when there are issues . But I will use Bensaf and tetratech as perfect examples how EI can be used with success .

So you find my filtration just adequate? I haven't thought about that as I see a rather strong current, on top from left to right and on the bottom the other way. I figured that this (and 6 liters of filter media) should be more than adequate.

Ingo


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Post InfoPosted 19-Apr-2006 19:57Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
tetratech
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EditedEdited by tetratech
I will quote a line from my one of my favorite movies:
"The time for half measures and talk is over"

EI - Yes it works, your plants are growing. Remember it's estimative and for the most part your plants are growing fine. Something is out of wack and it's not the fert dosing. Yes, I'm sure the uprooting is a problem with getting too much waste in the column, but do you want a tank that you have to be so afraid to touch. You must bring the tank into a more centered place. Where you have some degree of wiggle room. More plants, less fish, more biofilter (if possible), more water changes/gravel wash and possibilly less light. Pick and choose. You might not be able to sustain the tank you have without doing one or more of the above. Don't take my word for it, look at the tank. Sometimes you have to pick and choose. Remember "You can't be all things to all fish and plants"




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Post InfoPosted 19-Apr-2006 21:50Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
bensaf
 
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Well let's assume for a minute we're onto something with the organic loading vs. bacteria ability to break it down.
Logically we have 2 options - either reduce the organics going in OR increase the amount of bacteria to enable a heavier loading.

If we rule out reducing the fish load for the moment that just leaves the bacteria. How to handle ? Well what exactly is in that 9 litres of filter media - are we talking flosses/sponges or bio balls, efisubstrat etc ?
Maybe by increasing the quantity of biological filtration over mechanical filtration would help ?

One thing I've noticed on the big planted tanks here - they all have huge amounts of bio filtration !!! Most all the big tanks I've seen here have bulit in compartments, usually built into the rear left corner, the filter outlet is fed into this compartment which is full of nothing but bio balls and this is in addition to whatever is in the filter itself.

All these tanks were very clean and algae free - I just never made the connection to the huge amount of bio balls before.

I also remember talking to one local shop owner who had some amazing planted show tanks, lots of slow growers Ferns, Anubias , Bolbitis - perfect health and spotless. I was particularly impressed by his narrow leaf fern - the cleanest,freshest most brightest green I'd ever seen. I asked him what he did to keep it that good looking. His reply - "clean water" !!!!! Not nutrients or light (he had a good bit of light BTW) just "clean water".

Food for thought.



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Post InfoPosted 20-Apr-2006 03:40Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
tetratech
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Bensaf,
I couldn't agree more and I don't think we are just blowing smoke toward LF's direction.

If he had 3 cardinals swimming around I don't think we are having this conversation.

What does algae feed off of, waste and light, right. LF has plenty of both and with his light levels that water better be clean.

Get your sabre out, because I'm going to bring up the darkside. Did you ever see the bioballs in some of those tanks. There is a massive amount of surface area to colonize bacteria in those sumps, becuase the water has to be really clean. Dirty water and high light is the breeding ground for algae.

It's interesting I tested my water tonite for the hell of it and from what I could tell I have 10ppm no3, 5ppm po4. That makes sense to me because I've been easing up on my no3 and increasing po4 to get the red in. The reason I mention it is that I've had these numbers as high as 20 to 25no3 and 1ppm po4 and even with these changes I'm still not getting any algae. It really is an estimative index as long as your tank is balanced somewhat between fish load, plants, light. Another thing too that shouldn't be overlooked and I did mention it before is that with a heavy fish load it get's even worse because people are feeding more to make sure they all get some. LF said he just started to ease up on feeding so maybe that will help as well. I would love to be a "fly on the wall" at his planted tank meeting.

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Post InfoPosted 20-Apr-2006 03:59Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
LITTLE_FISH
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EditedEdited by LITTLE_FISH
Thanks guys for the input

Just to clear that up, I have 4 liters of ehfisubstrat in my filter and 1 liter of ehfimech.

Overall, I think our discussion regarding my algae issue is heading towards Doomsday . It isn't all that bad, guys. Yes, it is annoying and in particular with the occurence of the BBA not very sightly, but I have seen tanks in worse shape.

You are right, I may have too many fishies, at least when looking at recommendations that state that heavy fish loads are dangerous for planted tanks (of this kind) as they narrow the marign for error even more. But, I think that me messing big time with the tank twice in just a few weeks, plus running out of CO2 during vacation may have just been enough to get outside of this margin and the algae is the result. Maybe, just maybe, creating some stability in the tank will enable to get me back within this margin.

For what it is worth, the green thread algae patch that is pictured on the branch (surrounded by BBA) has almost completely dissapeard. I saw it decline over the last 4 days.

I think the one thing I would like to work on as soon as I can is to find a solution on how to avoid that so much CO2 is bypassing the spray bar. Even if that may have no impact on the algae, right now I feel like I am wasting CO2 and a more efficient means of keeping it in the water can help extend my bottle life.

Anyway: The round table discussion last night was fine, there were about 10-12 people on all levels, some of which just started in the planted tank hobby and others that are doing it for a long time.

You know how it is when one talks about plants and stuff, there is barely any time to cover a particular topic in depth. So we pretty much went over loads of detailed topics, like CO2, Nutrients, Plants, Tanks, Substrate, and what not. There wasn't much new that I learned there, as I said we really didn't have the time to go into details. There seemed to have been a rather strong resistance against Tom Barr, but all add CO2, have high nutrient values, and do large water changes - that for me is EI. Maybe some day I can chat with them some more and find out where they may differ from his method.

At least two of the experts are also members of the North New Jersey Aquarium Society, nice folks with humor and insight, and I am consideing going to one of their meetings. I have been thinking about this before, but knowing people that are members makes it easier than showing up and knowing nobody.

Well, this was a long post. I hope I didn't bore you to death,

Ingo


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Post InfoPosted 20-Apr-2006 14:36Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
FRANK
 
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Hi,
"Wasting CO2" can be a problem with using diffusers. As
we all know, with CO2, the longer the gas is in contact
with the water, the more is absorbed into the water.
By using the smallest possible bubble and keeping it
circulating in the water not reaching the surface is the
only way to do that. They are, after all, just bubbles.

So we use the smallest possible bubble, and in some cases
even create currents in the tank just to keep the bubbles
waterborne. Still they reach the surface.

Reactors, on the other hand don't allow that to happen.
The external ones, with a pump, are the best in that you
don't have to look at them when you look into the tank.
The inside ones with the motor and sponge are very
efficient as well. With a reactor, if your gas bubbles
get out of the reactor, you are injecting too much gas
and instead of circulating inside the reactor it is
escaping. You just need to back down on the rate of
injection.

I suspect, that with reactors, as with diffusers, a
given one can only do so much.
I suspect if one working properly is not increasing
the CO2 saturation enough and you are injecting to
where some of the gas is escaping out of the reactor,
you should add a second. But then I don't
have a tank measuring in the hundreds of gallons.

Just an observation?

Frank


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Post InfoPosted 20-Apr-2006 15:32Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
tetratech
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Overall, I think our discussion regarding my algae issue is heading towards Doomsday


Why do you say that? In any case sounds like your in the right place, mentally anyway. All these things: biofilter, organic control, can only help, increase plants, biofilter, feed less (with those baby espei) you could probably feed twice a week and be fine. I bet the food has alot to do with the organics problem. Not only is uneaten food in the tank but obviously the poop more too.
Remember I said when I stir things up in my tank I get very little gunk. I really don't feed alot. If you start doing all these things and your plant mass increases I bet your algae problems are history.

As far as the spraybar. Just angle the diffusor alittle bit toward the inside of the tank so the bubbles don't climb up the glass inbetween the diffusor. All I could tell you is I've never had more pearling than I have gotten since using the glass diffusor. Even in the event that some bubbles are wasted the method is much more effective for the plants. Co2 is pretty cheap. What $10 bucks every 6 months, so turn it up if you have to. My ph has been riding 6.0 lately with a kh of 2, so I have to be careful. So far fish look fine and plants look great.

Here's a pic of my diffusor / spraybar:







Attached Image:


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Post InfoPosted 20-Apr-2006 16:05Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
tetratech
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And here's a pearling shot from last nite:



Attached Image:


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Post InfoPosted 20-Apr-2006 16:07Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
tetratech
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EditedEdited by tetratech
And another:

I'ts funny you really get to know your tank after a while, every plant in my tank was pearling last nite, except the riccia, why? Because the aromatica has reached the top of the tank and the riccia is completely shaded. I've noticed the bushiness has stopped on it so if I do nothing, I'll probably get some bba from the slowed growth, but one I clip the aromatica it will come back good as new.

BTW: Check out the size od the wisteria leave behind the rotala

Attached Image:


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Post InfoPosted 20-Apr-2006 16:09Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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Frank and tetratech,

Thanks for the input

I am basically pretty happy with the job the diffuser is doing. I have at least the same CO2 levels then I had before (with the reactor at same bubble rate), probably even more as I raised the KH by about 1dH (to maybe 4.5, previously I raised it only to maybe 3 to 3.5) and have the same end-day ph of about 6.6. I just don't like the trip to get a new filled bottle and wouldn't mind stretching it out some more. As such - the idea is to make sure all bubbles stay in the tank for longer. And it is over $20 here in NJ for a replacement bottle .

I will try the angle method, although I am not too optimistic about it as most bubbles that escape are actually in front of the spray bar. I asume that my diffuser is not even a good quality as a good half of the bubbles are rather large and the diffusion section on the ceramic plate is still only in one small part of it. Oh - how do I clean that sucker again?

Why do you say that?
Because I got the impression that the conclusion to my algae situation would be that I have to lower the fish load, otherwise I would be doomed to fields of algae forever. Maybe I misinterpreted the recent statements from my FP friends in this log.

Ingo

PS: tetratech, nice shots After seeing only the first picture I was already getting ready to state that a haircut may be needed, but then you mentioned it yourself


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Post InfoPosted 20-Apr-2006 16:33Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
tetratech
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I will try the angle method, although I am not too optimistic about it as most bubbles that escape are actually in front of the spray bar. I asume that my diffuser is not even a good quality as a good half of the bubbles are rather large and the diffusion section on the ceramic plate is still only in one small part of it. Oh - how do I clean that sucker again?

My problem was some was going between the glass and diffusor thus the angle. LF we are splitting hairs here. Measure your co2 tonite before lights out and see where you are. Diffusor, reactor, inline they all work, I do believe the diffusor methods creates more pearling. For the longest time my plants didn't pearl but their growth was beautiful. Let's move on:

BTW - Clean the diffusor with 1/3 bleach / water. Rinse with prime after that and put back in.

Because I got the impression that the conclusion to my algae situation would be that I have to lower the fish load, otherwise I would be doomed to fields of algae forever. Maybe I misinterpreted the recent statements from my FP friends in this log

I think you could have your fish, but if you want that type of load you might have to go over-the-top on maintenance. More biofilter, more plants, less feeding, mabye semiweekly gravelwash and waterchanges. Some tanks require less maintenance, all plants and like no fish, you know those tanks where you don't even need a filter. So it all depends what you want and where you tank fits in.

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Post InfoPosted 20-Apr-2006 17:22Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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Oh - how do I clean that sucker again?

LF,
Bensaf is going to be mad at you!!

Basicly I do a 50/50 bleach/water bath for about 10 to 15 minuts. After that I rince the bugger like crazy for a while. Then I give it a second heavy bath in cheap water conditioner for another few minutes. Then a quick tap water rince and back in the tank.

I really think that tetra and ben are on to something with the fish load/bio filter thing. We really tend to over stock our tanks compared to the number of fish per area in the wild. To make this really work then you are going to have to up your bio filter. Things like sumps a quite cool because they add that much more water/bio area to your system.

What if one were to make a PVC add on to your canister like what Matt did for his CO2? Just fill the thing with bio balls or something. This would add more bio filter area and not cause issues like surface disterbance like a sump would.

I might just have to mess around with that when I move and have to mess with things anyways. I am already thinking of having the tank coming out from the wall at a 90 degree thus it would be viewable from three sides.

(sorry to get rambling....)

55G Planted tank thread
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Post InfoPosted 20-Apr-2006 17:30Profile AIM PM Edit Delete Report 
bensaf
 
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Lucky wings gave a reminder how to clean the diffuser. I swore I wasn't going to it again

Tetra has 5ppm of P and no algae. Another nail in the coffin of the "P causes algae" myth

Don't worry about the bubbles from the diffuser. Part of the reason why diffusers lost out to reactors in popularity in the past was the "wasted gas" myth, btw the have you noticed how this hobby has more myth then even the ancient Greeks had ??

Most of the bubbles that reach the top are no longer co2 anyway, it's dissolved and exchanged with oxygen.

Nobody could understand why Amano was using those "inefficient" diffusers for years and refused to use a reactor. Heck, he even places his halfway up the tank, so I guess he's not worried about the bubbles "escaping".

Important thing is how much Co2 in the water. If the levels are good then the diffuser is doing it's job.

Good to see the algae is receding. Maybe the stability is helping. Either way an excellent omen. Just keep things steady !

The biggest hurdle most have with EI is the whole "excess" thing. Most think they can fine tune and micro-manage the nutrients. Cool if they can and they have the time for a lot of testing and monitoring. Me, I'd rather spoon the stuff in and then kick back with a smoke and a cup 'o joe and enjoy the tank. But basically , whether you use EI, PPS, Amano products or any other method, they all boil down to the same thing - getting the nutrients in the tank in sufficient quantity for the plants. They just differ slightly in how they add them. All the good methods focus on plants and don't devote any attention to algae. As tetra as mentioned before Amano fully expects algae and apart from adding abiot of specialist livestock to eat it, pretty much ignores it and keeps focused on the plants.



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Post InfoPosted 21-Apr-2006 03:55Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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Lucky wings gave a reminder how to clean the diffuser. I swore I wasn't going to it again


As much as LF has been there for me I didn't want to see ben pull out his lightsaber and get him.

So just to make you guys laugh a little.... I dropped my phone in a creek while trout fishing tonight...the lady wasn't very happy.... this was number two!

EI question: I have been doing 1/2 tsp of pot. Nitrate in my 40G 3 times a week. I did a couple of test this week and I am coming up with 0 ppm each test. Doest this mean my plants are sucking the stuff right up? If so should I up it a little? I have noticed a little bit of green spot on my A. Nana. Everything else is rocking though.

Sorry I am off subject and log hacking.





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Post InfoPosted 21-Apr-2006 04:13Profile AIM PM Edit Delete Report 
bensaf
 
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I dropped my phone in a creek while trout fishing tonight...

I once dropped mine in the toilet bowl while having a pee Fished it out I let it dry out. Of course I needed a new cell. There's alot of big markets here that only deal in cell phones. Took the old one with me to trade in and get a few bucks off a new one. All going well until the store guy decides to remove the antenna compartment to check it. Puzzled look on his faces as he notices the rust ! He's not sure what it is so he deides to sniff it The look of sheer of disgust and horror on his face was priceless

EI question: I have been doing 1/2 tsp of pot. Nitrate in my 40G 3 times a week. I did a couple of test this week and I am coming up with 0 ppm each test. Doest this mean my plants are sucking the stuff right up?


No it means your test kit is rubbish !

That's a lot of KNO3 to be adding to a 40gal. No way the plants are sucking it all up. Dodgy kit.

Plants showing any signs of N deficiency ? Trust them more then the kit.


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Well thanks to Wings then, otherwise the secret of how to clean a diffuser would have been lost forever

But, I have to dig deeper into the cleaning ritual. Given that the diffuser is full of water (oh, BTW, there is some white substance forming on the inside bottom of mine) I would assume that you don't empty it first before you clean it. Given that, I further assume that it is unavoidable that some bleach will be mixed in with the water inside the diffuser. Now, after putting it in a Prime bath, can one be sure that this bleach is neutralized?

Yeah Bensaf, let's try the stability theorem first. I always have time later to reduce fish count, black-outs, poison, and what not . At least I can try to give nature a chance.

Wings, I agree with Bensaf, your N addition should be fine. Your tank is pretty much 1/3 of mine, and I add 3 times the N than you do. And I get healthy N readings.

Bensaf - I guess I shouldn't buy used objects from you

Ingo


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Yeah the plants are looking just fine. Growing like weeds. Maybe I should test another tank to see what happens....

Yeah I think you topped my cell phone story BTW ben. Phone report this morning is all is fine and dandy!

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EditedEdited by tetratech
No it means your test kit is rubbish !

I say class action against the makers of test kits for emotional duress.

I was putting in about that in my 72 for the longest time. Recently I have moved up to around 5/8 to 3/4 and my tank is almost twice the size of yours Wings and I still show good ranges of no3 (Then again it's based on a test kit)

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I keep saying that it is entirely simple to test if your kit is bunk or not. Just test it against a known concentration. make up a gallon of water and put in according to Chucks calculator, the amount that would be 10ppm or 20ppm(whatever you want in your tank). Mix well, and test. From then on that is what you want in your tank. Obviously if it doesn't register anything throw out your kit. Or call up the company and they will likely send out a new one or something. Most companies aren't out to rip you off.

I only tested until I figured the right amount of nutrients to put in the tank every other day to keep the levels I want. Now I only test once a month before the water change. Things have always looked good, and worked out well logically too. Test kits are a good tool if you use them right.



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Post InfoPosted 21-Apr-2006 19:36Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
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But, I have to dig deeper into the cleaning ritual. Given that the diffuser is full of water (oh, BTW, there is some white substance forming on the inside bottom of mine) I would assume that you don't empty it first before you clean it. Given that, I further assume that it is unavoidable that some bleach will be mixed in with the water inside the diffuser. Now, after putting it in a Prime bath, can one be sure that this bleach is neutralized?


Over thinking alert.Over thinking alert.Over thinking alert.

Yes don't empty it. It'll be fine. Being doing this for months now, no problems.

If you assume the bleach will get into the water in the diffuser then you also have to assume the Prime will also.


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Over thinking alert
You have no idea, here comes over thinking:

"If you assume the bleach will get into the water in the diffuser then you also have to assume the Prime will also." - But Prime and Bleach have different consistencies and maybe bleach is smoother and more of it would enter the diffuser than Prime can eliminate .



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So Prime the crap out of it!

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Post InfoPosted 22-Apr-2006 16:41Profile AIM PM Edit Delete Report 
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EditedEdited by LITTLE_FISH
Thanks Wings, more to this in a few posts, but now:

Weekly Tank Update - Week 30

This week was marked more by talk than by action . Endless discussions on what should be done to reduce my algae ended with me deciding to maintain the status quo and see where the tank will go from here. Rushed action taken in the past never gave the tank time to settle, I think this approach is worth a try. I also believe to see the first improvements, although it may be wishful thinking.

So, on to the photos: There will be only 2 full shots of the full tank as there are quite a few details of fish and plants, in particular fish, that I would like to share.

Here is the tank last weekend after the water change:

Attached Image:



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And here is the tank now this weekend, after the water change. As you can see, the Star Grass grows as strong as usual. It seems that a bi-weekly replant is becoming the norm for this group. based on tetratech's bad experience with simply trimming off the top of his Star Grass (a long time ago) I decided to always replant by cutting the bottoms out.

No major trimming has been performed this weekend, only a few dying leaves of the remaining Helferi plants have been pinched off. I guess next week I will also hae to trim the Alternanthera on the right:

Attached Image:

Week 30 - Today



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Post InfoPosted 22-Apr-2006 23:39Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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Here is a picture of the glass diffuser before I cleaned it. As you may be able to see, the top of the ceramic plate is pretty green. Cleaning was based on the given info by Wings and tetratech, combined with the approval of Bensaf, a breeze. All looks very clean now and no fish died (so far) of bleach poisoning .

I also followed tetratech's example and angled the diffuser slightly by removing the bottom sucktion cup. The week will show if it makes a difference, but it looks like a little more of the bubbles are washed into the current.

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Diffuser



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Post InfoPosted 22-Apr-2006 23:43Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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Here is an interesting picture that shows one thing, algae on decline. I cannot identify why the algae is reciding in this spot as it may have to do with the fact that I dripped Excel over it during last weeks water change.

Algae in the rest of the tank is at least not further increasing.

Photo: left was last week, right is now:

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Yeah Baby



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Now on to a few detail shots. Again tetratech served as an inspiration (I hope you see it this way as well tetratech, and don't brand me a copy cat ) and so I climbed on a chair and took some top shots of the tank.

Given the size of my tank it is impossible to cover it all, not even front to back fits in one picture. I guess I will have to remove a piece of the floor on the first floor so I can look straight down to the tank in the basement and make a full shot .

Anyway, here is the left side - front area - of the tank from the birds-eye view. From left to right, you see:

- A red Wendtii with Pearl Grass in front of it
- One small stem of Wisteria
- An open field with crypt Wendtii (small ones that never took off in the tank within the last 30 weeks), Lucens, and Lutea.
- On the right back is an Anubias leave and in the front the end of the big driftwood:


Attached Image:

Left Top View



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Here is the middle section of the tank.

All across the picture is the wood and one can also see the rock that holds it down.

Plants in the picture are:

Narrow Leaf Java Fern with Anubias Nana Petite in front of it, a Red Wendtii, some dwarf sags, and Pearl Grass.

Attached Image:

Middle from Top



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Here is the right corner of the tank from above.

On the left side you can see the remaining tiny group of Glosso that slowly starts to settle again. Behind it is a row of 3 Isoetes Lacustris. All ovehanging leaves are from Helferi, Crypt Retrospiralis, and the rather new Hygrophila augustifolia. The right corner in itself is filled with Pearl Grass (can you tell I really like that plant? ), with a small stem of Wisteria to the left of it.

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Right Corner from Top



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Post InfoPosted 23-Apr-2006 00:02Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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Well I'm glad alage didn't dominate your posts today. Just let the plants grow and I'll withhold and scaping comments for a few weeks. I'm confident your put this algae thing behind you soon.

Yeah I like the overhead shots it gives a different prospective on the tank and it's interesting to see what's going on. The wisteria looks very clean and healthy so that should spread quickly and help out.

Did your diffusor come with those suction cups? I only have mine attache by the tubing and it keeps breaking away.

BTW - How come you haven't put the apistos in yet?

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On to some fish pictures

You guys and gals have to let me know when you have enough of seeing the same fish over and over again as I just like to look at them.

Here is a shot of 2 male Rainbows, unfortunately I couldn't get both with their full bodies in the shot.

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Male Dwarf Rainbows



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Here is a nice one where the Pearls seem to follow the lead of the Rainbow.

Where they are going though is beyond me

Maybe you remember some older shots of the male Pearl, but I can tell that he is becoming a grown-up. His finnage is getting longer and his throat more and more orange-yellow. He also likes the company of the female more than he did in the past:

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Pearls and Rainbow



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Now there will be two shots of the Apisto Pair. I assume that I will add them during this week to the tank, I am in no rush though. They also have truely bonded and I am sure that they would breed under the right conditions. Unfortunately I don't think that the 125 will be able to provide these conditions - too many fish

Here is a shot that displays the difference in size between the male and female

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Apisto Pair I



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And here is the second shot of the pair. This time the female is either telling her man to stay away or she shows him how pretty she is. I cannot tell which one is the case as we males misinterpret female signs by definition

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Apisto Pair II



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Last but not least, a good old Oto picture. Today I saw 5 of them (I have 6) for the first time in at least 3 weeks at the same time. With these guys you never know how many are still alive.

Here is one munching away on algae on my big piece of driftwood, just beautiful:

Attached Image:

Hungry Oto



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EditedEdited by LITTLE_FISH
I'll withhold and scaping comments for a few weeks
Thanks tetratech

Sorry, only now when reviewing my entries did I see your entry. I hope you are right about the algae issue being behind me at some point.

The Wisteria in the top shots are small cut off pieces from the 20G, the ones that I bought at the store a little over a week ago are further in the back as they are taller already.

The suction cups did not come with the diffuser. They are standard air hose cups and barely fit around the diffuser pipe. I also had the diffuser break away from the cups. If you look closely at the picture then you may see that I locked the bottom cup with a rubber band to the pipe, that seems to work. This cup is now on top of the pipe so the bottom can lean against the glass and angle the unit for a better of bubbles in the spray bar current.

The Apistos will most likely be added this week, I am not in a rush with that as they are doing just great in the QT and I am not sure if I would like to add more fish any time soon. Although, 8 Cories may be nice

Ingo


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Post InfoPosted 23-Apr-2006 00:29Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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So Excel works great with a dirct hit to the algae. I found that out at work too!

That algae in the oto picture is nice looking stuff! You grow it very well I must say!

If you look at tetra's over head pictures compared to your what do you see? Way more plant mass in tetra's tank. I think that is probably his biggest differnce compared to your tank.

Want me to mail you so Sunset Hygro? I have a tank full it floating right now. Grows like weed!

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Post InfoPosted 23-Apr-2006 01:10Profile AIM PM Edit Delete Report 
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Hi Ingo

I love your pics. I especially love the Apisto Pair.
they should breed under the right conditions. Unfortunately I don't think that the 125 will be able to provide these conditions - too many fish
That might be right. I have on order 2 pelvicachromis taeniatus Moliwe, which I was told are a rarer cousin of the krib (at least in Oz). They are still on their way to Oz. They had to be preordered & bought as a pair. I was told not to add them to my community tank, as the goal should be breeding and that a community tank will be too busy for success. You know I'm inexperienced, so I don't know if LFS is right or not, but LFS said they should be in a tank with only a few dither fish to give them confidence. My QT will become their home. I will still have another small QT (you might remember my thread about that). My community tank is almost stocked (only ottos to go). Therefore, I shouldn't need a big QT any more. I'm looking forward to seeing if I can breed them.

Cheers
TW
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Robyn and Wings,

I know we had talked about other stuff before, and I hope you remember the details, as I forgot. But I think it was mostly about your Krib cousins, Robyn.

So I have a new question: Do you folks think it would be advisable to prepare some form of case, like flower pot or something, before I add the Apistos to the main tank? If so, I guess less current in that area would be better and as such it should be on the right side of the tank, right?

Ingo


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Post InfoPosted 26-Apr-2006 01:20Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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Something you might want to try is sticking a flower pot in there but hide it under a bunch of rocks and plants. That way they have there hide out and you have more of a mound.

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Post InfoPosted 26-Apr-2006 04:12Profile AIM PM Edit Delete Report 
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and then cover that with anubias, java moss, or fern so you don't lose any of your plant mass.



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Post InfoPosted 26-Apr-2006 04:48Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
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Ingo, I think some posts have disappeared - you gave me some good articles & links about those krib cousins.

Re: the flower pot. That's what I've read I should put in for my P.taeniatus Moliwe. Suggestions are to invert the flower pot, but firstly enlarge the water outlet hole to be just large enough for the female to enter.

Cheers
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Thanks guys, and gal, for the input
Suggestions are to invert the flower pot
Invert as in upside-down? I don't think I am going to do that. My tank and its inhabitants are way too much of a gunk producing machine and I believe the living conditions inside that pot would deteriorate rather quickly. Instead I intend to (if I use a pot) place it sideways, about half of it buried in the gravel. Also the pot should not be too deep. Enlarging the hole is a good idea though, I read some posts here (a long time ago) referring to fish that got stuck in these holes.

The next thought would have to be the exact position, meaning - where can I place this cave so that it can be covered with plants (as Matty said) without sticking out too much and at the same time allow me to look into the pot so I can see if there is anything moving in there? I still assume it would have to be on the right side, far away from the filter intake and in calmer waters. I will see what I can do.

Thanks again,

Ingo


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EditedEdited by tetratech
Instead I intend to (if I use a pot) place it sideways, about half of it buried in the gravel

A clay pot in planted aquaria

Guess I now know the difference between planted aquaria and aquascaping.

Cichlid Central

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Cichlid Central


Well, I was using the clay pot more as a visual guide to a structure that is yet to be defined, if that makes any sense .

Conceptually, I believe that I would need something that has walls and a top, basically a clay pot (and no, I didn't yet "borrow" a pot from my wife for the tank and neither did I buy one).

Is that more scape like, tetratech?

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Post InfoPosted 26-Apr-2006 14:23Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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Here is another idea for you. Get the pot and silicon your gravel to it. Then suround it by other rocks and cover them with plants as Matt said. This might help it fit in more.

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Post InfoPosted 26-Apr-2006 14:42Profile AIM PM Edit Delete Report 
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EditedEdited by tetratech
What do cichlids do in nature? Do they use clay pots that old ladies threw in the lake after their flowers die. Arrange something more nature or do what Wings said. If I see a clay pot on it's side in the aquascaping or planted aquaria forums I'm going to insist that the mods move all your stuff to Cichlid Central

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Well, I don't think LF wants rotting leaf litter on the bottom of his tank, so that throws out the "do it like nature" idea

I think the clay pot can be pulled off pretty easily and effectively. Ya can't just leave it sticking up in the middle of the scape, that would look ugly. But if you lay it on its side with the mouth pointing towards the front of the tank or whichever area you want to view it from, and then bury half of it under the gravel so that only a "half moon" is sticking out of the bottom that should work. Cover it with moss or let Wisteria grow in around it. It'll be invisible in no time.

Or just let them find their own spot, which may happen anyway


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Well, I don't think LF wants rotting leaf litter on the bottom of his tank

Sounds good to me

There are many rocks you could use to create a honeymoon suite! Wisteria and clay pots. Talk about your "Weed Garden"



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LITTLE_FISH
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tetratech
Or just let them find their own spot, which may happen anyway
Which brings me back to the original question, which was like "do you think it is advisable to add a cave" (I wrote case, but that is what I meant)

So I guess in the interest of not having my thread moved to Cichlid Central, and in the interest not to upset my AquaScaping friends, I may just let them find their own territory.

In any way, what would be the chances of survival for any fry in this fish-invested tank ? Being really slow growers they run too many risks, being eaten, sucked into the filter, sucked into the drain during water change, and what not.

Ingo


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Post InfoPosted 26-Apr-2006 15:50Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
NowherMan6
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If they're first time spawners it's likely that the parents will eat the fry before the other fish get a chance to.

After a couple swawns they may get the hang of parenting and a few might make it, but it's a crap shoot.

I am of the opinion that when fish start breeding in a community tank it's best to just let nature take its course and work from there. If they spawn and none make it, be happy that WC is good enough for them to spawn. If a few make it, you have some nice additions to your tank or some nice fish to sell. If you really want to breed them and raise the fry then a seperate tank would be best


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Post InfoPosted 26-Apr-2006 16:04Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
tetratech
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So I guess in the interest of not having my thread moved to Cichlid Central, and in the interest not to upset my AquaScaping friends, I may just let them find their own territory

Well I certainly appreciate that. I was about to direct you a site that sells underwater neon lights and those little divers that circle around the tank with an airline tube attached.

Hard to say if any wil survive. To be honest I think my rams might have given up after three attempts. Unless they are laying eggs in one of the seven layers of wisteria.
You could always cover the intake with a netting to help out. It also depends if your espei turn into little piranhas like my cardinals do when the see fry.


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I was about to direct you a site that sells underwater neon lights and those little divers that circle around the tank with an airline tube attached.



Oh goodie, yeah - I need that link. Are the neon lights blinking and moving around like a lighthouse beam? "Burn baby burn, disco inferno"



Ingo


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Post InfoPosted 26-Apr-2006 16:35Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
mattyboombatty
 
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Yeah the ones that burn the fish retinas so they spaz out and people think they are "dancing".

I honestly don't think hiding a clay pot or other such formation would be very hard in a 125 tank. The pot or similar structure wouldn't have to be very big, just enough for them to fit into. It would easily dissapear into whatever aquascape you wanted. Add some plant mass to the structure and it can even be mostly buried. I would think that it would be less bulky and eyecatching than a "natural" formation to make a cave.

That's all assuming that they could even find whatever you put in there for them. I'm not sure that apisto territories are as large as a 125.



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Post InfoPosted 26-Apr-2006 18:03Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
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A good alternative to a flowerpot is a more natural looking ceramic cave like the ones they have at www.cichlidbreeding.com. I just bought a bunch of them for an African tank, and they really do look quite natural underwater, and could just as easily be hidden by plants and hardscape. You could even dispurse several of them throughout the tank so that they would have more choice of territories.

Hoping that there must be a word for everything I mean...
Post InfoPosted 26-Apr-2006 19:32Profile AIM PM Edit Delete Report 
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Yeah the ones that burn the fish retinas so they spaz out and people think they are "dancing".


They really aren't dancing to the disco lights? Dang it! I guess its time to get that out of my tank. I have been hiding it from you guys behind my "thing".

Just remember LF this is your tank. You do what you want. I if you want to try to hide a pot then go for it. If you want it to have flowers coming out of it like a old lady through it in the river then have flowers coming out of it. Just make sure to use the old faded plastic ones.

But really... I don't think it would hurt anything to put in some "breeding" structure. They may or may not use it or even want to breed. Who knows really....

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Post InfoPosted 26-Apr-2006 19:48Profile AIM PM Edit Delete Report 
tetratech
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LF already said he will "let nature take it's course" and not taint the courtship with an 1-800-FLOWERS BOUQUET.

If you guys had your way he'd end up removing everything and have a bare bottom breeders tank with a bunch of knocked over flower pots.

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EditedEdited by LITTLE_FISH
illustrae - thank you so much, that is a nice link. Some of these structures look kind of weird, but the first one of the Breeding Cave section would be suitable, I think.

Wings - you are right, it is my tank. But I value your (your as in all FP members) input. If it wouldn't have been for you folks my tank would for sure not look like it does now. Come to think of it, maybe that would have been a good thing

Ingo

EDIT: Didn't see tetratech's input until I finished mine, so tetratech -


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Post InfoPosted 26-Apr-2006 20:13Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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EditedEdited by TankWatcher
Well, everyone got very excited about the flowerpot thing.

I guess I'm still going to do it, but it won't be in my planted community tank, but in a separate dedicated tank for my P.Taeniatus Moliwe. I've found myself some aquarium safe clear silicone & I'm going to attach gravel in & outside of it & then tie some java moss to it. Or I might look around for a natural looking ornament cave that I can also hide with bunch of java moss tied to it.

I hope it won't be too much of an eyesore, but the main goal of this separate tank will be for my P.Taeniatus Moliwe to breed.

That should mean my 43.G log, without the contamination of a disguised flowerpot, should be allowed to stay in the planted forum.

Cheers
TW
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i think you should get a large peice of wood and drill it out to create holes and caves of the right size , very easy to do and you can have small openings with large caves behind them. also another good place to look for realistic looking rock caves is in the reptile section at lfs , my lfs lets me look through all the supplier catalogues at my leisure and the available range is huge.



cheers dan

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dan,

Nice idea with the drill wood idea. I like it!

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Post InfoPosted 27-Apr-2006 03:12Profile AIM PM Edit Delete Report 
bensaf
 
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What do cichlids do in nature? Do they use clay pots that old ladies threw in the lake after their flowers die.




Do I need to say anything ? Sure you already know my opinion on having a claypot in there.

I do like the neon lights idea though And a disco ball


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Post InfoPosted 27-Apr-2006 03:42Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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Thanks all for the input

Robyn - quickly to your cave vision: I would not glue anything on the inside. What would that be good for? I would assume that the fish would rather lay their eggs on a flat surface.

Dan - I know you are the handyman and I have had the pleasure to see quite a few of your tank constructions (mattenfilter and tank background). I - on the other hand - do not only not have the tools but also don't really enjoy making things myself (as I know that someone in my house is breathing down my neck for any extra time that I spend on this hobby).

Bensaf - You made the 2000th post in this log. Sure not as spectacular than the number 1000 was, but still special.

I would like to use this chance to thank all people that have contributed in one way or another to not only drive this log but also help me to get the tank where it is now. Does that mean I will slow down? No way, I still have miles to go before the tank is done, if ever. Algae will have to be defeated, an aquascape has to be created, more fish need to be added ( - first I have to sell another 30 Espei though), and what not.

Thanks again to all of you,

Ingo


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Post InfoPosted 27-Apr-2006 11:30Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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ingo , when i was at high school i was very inept at practical things , but good at theory, didnt want to go to university so i decided to become a tradesman, best decision ever.
i would encourage everybody to look into it , as manual skills are just something you learn and really do give a feeling of achievement when you can do stuff around the house that looks good and satisfys (sp?) the need .

also in australia trades pay really well at the moment with the skilled labour shortage , i earn just on 6 figures a year for 40 hours a week and get to go home to have smoko and lunch each day . a pretty good wicket for 7 to 330 each day .


if you want work pm me ha ha ha


cheers dan



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Post InfoPosted 27-Apr-2006 12:37Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
dan76
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also dont forget the mattenfilter was a complete failure , 150 dollars aus for foam that doesnt last a month




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Post InfoPosted 27-Apr-2006 12:40Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
TW
 
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EditedEdited by TankWatcher
What would that be good for?
Ok, I won't do it then. I only thought to do it, in case I don't invert, but instead put it on it's side and in doing so, the inner would be visible. Thought it would be less noticeable if it matched the general substrate, instead of standing out with it's clay pot colour. Maybe I'll look around for some kind of cave ornament/s instead, & completely wrap them in java moss. I like the drilling holes in wood idea too, but don't think I have time to find or soak the wood, before I have to bring the fish home. Most of the articles on the fish I'm getting, including those links you gave me (thanks), talked about greater breeding success using the pots, but none mentioned the gluing bit. Have to decide soon, as my fish have arrived in Oz now & are currently in QT (either with Customs or the LFS - not sure which).

And there'll be no pots or ornaments in my planted tank (just my natural rocks & plants).

Edit - Oh, forgot to say congrats on the 2,000 posts

Cheers
TW
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Wingsdlc
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also dont forget the mattenfilter was a complete failure , 150 dollars aus for foam that doesnt last a month


Hate when that happens!

LF,
2000 post? is that counting the ones lost in action?

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Post InfoPosted 27-Apr-2006 15:27Profile AIM PM Edit Delete Report 
LITTLE_FISH
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Thanks all for the input.

Dan - nah, physical work is nothing for me . At least not anymore. You sure make loads of money, it seems like, althoug 6 figures could be 100,000 or 999,999 Auatralian Dollars .

Robyn - Don't worry about not having a cave in time for your fish to arrive. You can always get it later. Even if you would lose the first batch, there may be many to follow.

Wings - During the site update Adam removed all counts that were based on deleted entries. Also, the posts during down-time this week were also not counted as short threads that had about 6 entries showed 3 afterwards (I don't remember how many posts I lost in this log on that day).


New Topic: Does anyone already have the June TFH magazine? There is an article about Mr. EI himself, Tom Barr. It talks about his annual PlantFest trip and is very informative. There are also two shots that show the man himself, but I have to say he doesn't look like I expected. All shots are from far away and side or back, but he looks like a college kid (hope you see that as a compliment, Tom, if you should ever read my log). Bensaf, he has short hair like us, but he has more of it than we do together .

Just thought I share that,

Ingo


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Post InfoPosted 27-Apr-2006 17:38Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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EditedEdited by tetratech
Bensaf, he has short hair like us, but he has more of it than we do together

You guys know what each of you look like. Oh I get it, one of those online dating services, right

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Post InfoPosted 27-Apr-2006 18:41Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
NowherMan6
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EditedEdited by NowherMan6
You guys know what each of you look like.


Hey, we only know what you look like with goggles and snorkel. When do we get to see tetratech's identity?


EDIT: LF, in the article are they critical of the EI method, or is it fairly unbiased. I know there is some opposition to it out there, but what is their take?


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Post InfoPosted 27-Apr-2006 18:56Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
tetratech
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Well how have to warm up to it.

Here's a pic of my pup and my foot:
A little bit of Scotland on Long Island



Attached Image:


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Post InfoPosted 27-Apr-2006 19:09Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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What tetratech, you still have snow out there?

Nice foot

NowherMan6, the article doesn't mention EI at all, it is all about Tom's annual trip thing. And if it would have mentioned EI it could not have been unfavorable as someone in the trip is the author (I think) of it .

Ingo

Ah, and you all know that Bensaf's and my picture are public here at FP


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Post InfoPosted 27-Apr-2006 19:53Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
tetratech
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What tetratech, you still have snow out there?

I think it's a nuclear winter. You know from all the L.I. landfills.



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Post InfoPosted 27-Apr-2006 19:57Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
NowherMan6
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No way there's still snow in LI, except maybe on the very top of all those garbage mountains in the LI landfills.

Cute Collie though...


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Post InfoPosted 27-Apr-2006 20:24Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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Sure glad I just have to live next to the great lakes and not that crazy stuff out east!

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Post InfoPosted 27-Apr-2006 20:34Profile AIM PM Edit Delete Report 
tetratech
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EditedEdited by tetratech
No way there's still snow in LI, except maybe on the very top of all those garbage mountains in the LI landfills

The pic is from earlier in the spring.
Nowher's thanks for the comments on the pup. She's actually a shetland sheepdog (I know looks like a little collie) I think the breed was created by mixing a border collie and pomperian. This way they created a smaller dog that could herd on the ruggered hills of the Shetland Islands.



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Post InfoPosted 27-Apr-2006 20:39Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
TW
 
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EditedEdited by TankWatcher
tetratech, your pup is sooooo cute

Ah, and you all know that Bensaf's and my picture are public here at FP
Now I'm curious, what does this mean "public here at FP"

Cheers
TW
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NowherMan6
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Tetra, thougt it may have been one of those. Hard to tell when they're laying down, collie's have longer legs. I'm sure your girl has shorter legs.

TW, there is a thread in Recovery Room where many have posted their pictures - Bensaf and LF are amongst those brave enough


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Post InfoPosted 28-Apr-2006 02:00Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
tetratech
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Thanks for the pup comments you two.
Yeah Nowher, I knew your probably thought it could be a sheltie. Yes she has short legs about 15" at the hips.

Since LF is going to turn this into Cichlid Central I guess anything goes. How does "Sheepdog Station" sound to you.

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Post InfoPosted 28-Apr-2006 03:12Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
bensaf
 
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EditedEdited by bensaf
Nice dog, they call them Shelties in Europe.

That's your foot ? Seriously that is one girly foot It looks like the nails are manicured and polished ! My feet look like they've been beaten with a hammer everyday for the last 20 years !!!!.And they are hairy

It's not that me and LF are brave enough to post our pics, we are simply too good looking to keep the good stuff to ourselves. Got to share and let others enjoy, appreciate and generally bathe in our glory

Yeah, I know what Tom Barr looks like. He is quite young. For some reason people always imagine him as some old guy with a beard He's a pretty normal un-nerdy looking guy. He's into rock and plays the bass. Most of us plant geeks are surprisingly normal in the real world.

Reminds me of a thread on APC for plant geeks to post pictures of themselves. I have to say generally that plant geeks are a fine looking bunch of men. The wife saw it - took her a few days before she finally stopped drooling Hotties apparently. Maybe we should do a plant geek calender ! You know standing around in Calvin Klein undies holding our planting tweezers between our teeth, is that a piece of driftwood in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me kinda thing

OK, I think Robyn had to go lie down.

Don't think too many of them paint their toenails though


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Post InfoPosted 28-Apr-2006 03:54Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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EditedEdited by Wingsdlc
Last time I checked guy, fish were not sopposed to be fuzzy or fury!

Edit: Wow Ben!

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Post InfoPosted 28-Apr-2006 03:57Profile AIM PM Edit Delete Report 
TW
 
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EditedEdited by TankWatcher
Get that calendar going guys

Be still my quaking heart...... I may be able to stand up again shortly .......

Cheers
TW
Post InfoPosted 28-Apr-2006 05:36Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
LITTLE_FISH
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The FP Plant Nerd Calendar 2007 is coming out shortly. Each month features another good looking gentleman showing off his equipment (planted tank equipment ). Some highlights are June featuring Bensaf with his small tweezers, April with Wings and his "Thing", October with tetratch cracking his whip, January with NowherMan6 and his dwarf gouramie, and December with LITTLE_FISH and his retrospiralis.



Ingo


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Post InfoPosted 28-Apr-2006 14:07Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Wingsdlc
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LF,

I don't think I have ever laughed so hard!

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Post InfoPosted 28-Apr-2006 14:17Profile AIM PM Edit Delete Report 
TW
 
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Let me know when copies are available. My equally nerdy marathon running girlfriends will all want a copy, so naturally, multiple copies will be required.

Cheers
TW
Post InfoPosted 28-Apr-2006 16:54Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
NowherMan6
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Some highlights are June featuring Bensaf with his small tweezers, April with Wings and his "Thing", October with tetratch cracking his whip, January with NowherMan6 and his dwarf gouramie, and December with LITTLE_FISH and his retrospiralis


Not just dwarf gourami - pygmy croaking gourami. That's right, pygmy.

Also, shouldn't April feature Wings and his Giant Hygro instead?


Back in the saddle!
Post InfoPosted 28-Apr-2006 17:11Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
bensaf
 
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pygmy croaking gourami. That's right, pygmy.


It croaks ? That must be embarassing


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 29-Apr-2006 03:36Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
jase101
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hello little fish -

i skim thru yr posts every now and again, and may have missed some stuff on yr apistos, but here goes - re: breeding caves...

i breed a. cacatuoides regularly (in a community setup, so there's hardly ever surviving spawn) but i use film cannisters - as in the little black containers you buy film for your camera in. i drill a small hole in the base so water can flow thru (this only needs to be a couple of mm wide,it's not for fish access) and place them on their sides at a 30 degree angle or so, mouth down, surround and weigh them down with some small rocks, sprinkle some gravel over the rocks and bob's your uncle. they are inconspicuous because they're black, small enough for your female apisto's to enter and protect easily, and the male can still fertilise them either by entering if he's small, and as he gets bigger, fanning his milt into the cave. my tank is planted (not as densely as yours) and it used to really annoy me to take up so much ground space with clay pots, and they're ugly, and they are too big IMO for most apisto girls to protect in a community setup. my ale cack is about 3inches long (what a gorgeous beast he is) and his ladies are all half that size - and they all use the film cannisters in preference to the larger pots....

anyway, good luck with whatever you choose to do.
Post InfoPosted 29-Apr-2006 23:55Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
LITTLE_FISH
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Bensaf -

Jase - Thank you so much for the input, for two reasons. First of all your insight into breeding Apistos is very helpful. It appears that I would be able to add these film canisters at any point in time without having to mess with my aquascape at all, given their size. Secondly, I always like to hear from the people that usually just read (skim) through my log. It shows me that there is a greater audience than the people who normally post (although there is nothing wrong with them either ). Thanks


Well - Weekly Tank Update, Week 31

This week did not see any changes to the tank, no additions and no removals. I maintained my light and fertilizer schedule, also with one day of not feeding the fish. It appears to me as if the algae is slightly on the decline, I may be wrong though and this is only wishful thinking.

The weekly maintenance included quite a bit of trimming, which with the Star Grass is always worrysome as I have to remove them completely and replant the tops. This stirrs up quite a bit of gunk. A few other plants needed trimming as well, for example one major stem of the Alternanthera on the right tank side. Here it is before trimming:

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Alternanthera Growing Out Of Water



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This is a shot from last week, showing that the Star Grass reached the top already in a few spots. This was only one week after it was last trimmed. Without a doubt this plant, given its speed and volume in my tank, is the major nutrient sucker:

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Tank Last Week After Maintenance



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Now, this is a shot from yesterday BEFORE the water change and trimming. You can see how well the Star Grass has grown. It became so big that it shaded most plants in front of it, for example the Wisteria and the Crypt Wendtii. Also, the Hygro angustifolia has reached a significant height were large leaves started to float on the surface. Behind it you may make out that stem of Alternanthera:

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Tank This Weekend Before Trimming



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Here is a closer look at the middle section of the tank with the Star Grass group before trimming. I have to say that it looks very nice. But just look at the bottom right corner of the shot, there you see how shaded the lower parts of the stems are. These areas receive no light anymore and lower leaves die off, creating lots of gunk for the tank.

Also, do you like the Fish-Autobahn in front of the plants ?

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Star Grass Before Trimming



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Now here is a shot from this weekend after trimming. The Star Grass was removed and quite a bit of the bottom were cut off. This should give me about 2 to 3 weeks before the next trimming of it. Also, the tallest stem of the Hygro was cut off and replanted, I cannot afford to lose the fast growers at this time so I stuck the cutting in the middle of the Crypt group to the right of the Star Grass (almost invisible in this shot). It shouldn't be too hard for you folks to see where I placed the Alternanthera top

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Tank After Trimming - This Weekend



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Here is a close-up of the trimmed Alternanthera top. This picture could also be called "The Beauty and the Beast". The nice Alternanthera in contrast to the Thread algae on the driftwood and small amounts of BBA on the Crypt Retrospiralis leaves.

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Alternanthera Close-Up



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This picture shows how I add water back into the tank, which are over 60G, BTW. I used to simply hang the end of the vacuum into the water and let it fill up. This had the problem that with rising water level the vacuum end also changed position (from vertical to almost horizontal), changing the angle at which the water shoots out. This caused various taller plants to be washed around in the fill current and also stirred up some gunk under these plants.

Now I stick the end of the vacuum between the top of my thermometer and the glass of the tank. This way, the vacuum stays in the same position for the whole filling and no gunk is stirred up in the back. Also, and maybe even more importantly, I get the best reading of the temperature of the added water as it streams right by the thermometer.

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Refill Trick



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All I have left to show for now are two shots of the Espei school. In this one you can see that one of the fishies seemed to show an interest of what is going on in front of the tank. All others do what they always do, swim from left to right and back . Actually rather often than not they just hang in the current and wait until something eatable is coming their way, lazy gang.

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Espei On The Run



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This is a similar shot than the last one. The main exception is that there is a Dwarf Rainbow regulating the traffic on the Autobahn. Or maybe she wants to cross but cannot find the gap in the rush hour traffic. Can you find her?

BTW, by now I am rather convinced that the loss of my duck weed can be attributed to the appetite of my fishies. I must have reduced its size too much and the remainer was not enough to outpace the speed by which they were eaten. I now see in particular the Rainbows (but also the Espei) nibbling on plants, lose leaves of the Star Grass are their favorites (also - the platies in the 29G much down all tips of a tall stem in less than a day).

Have fun,

Ingo

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German Autobahn At Rush Hour



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EditedEdited by TankWatcher
Great photos Ingo. My camera can't take photos of moving fish - everything is a blur.

No doubt I'm wrong, but is your rainbow centre shot, facing the camera? If so, she looks a little cranky she can't find an opening to cross.

jase101, I like your film cannister idea. I have one now that my hubby drilled about 5 tiny little holes in (too little for fish to swim though, like you said). I'll get some more too & when I put them in my black gravel - you'll hardly see them (what with plants & what not). Great idea.

Cheers
TW
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No doubt I'm wrong, but is your rainbow centre shot, facing the camera?
Right on Robyn, right on

Yeah, the camera is a bit fancy
NowherMan6 not only picked out the driftwood for this tank, he also was the one that suggested the macro lens for this camera. That is where the nice close-ups come from.

Ingo


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Cool photos. I only have a kodak easy share - which was all I ever needed before fish. Still, I have too many other things on the shoping list before I can think about a camera.

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Your tanks is looking great!

Glad to see the algae is on the decline.

Rick
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LF,

As always, super great pictures. I really wish I could take the close ups you do of your fish. I really like them.

I also love the color of your Alternanthera. Is the lower part of the plant that same color red? If not I am going to say that light plays a major roll in red plants to color up. I might try the tetratech more iron thing but I am pretty much sold the light is the number one red color producer.

55G Planted tank thread
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[IMG]http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y118/Wingsdlc/Ric
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EditedEdited by TankWatcher
Hi Ingo

I know this doesn't really belong in your log, but because we did talk about them here & I'm a bit sad about this news, thought I'd share it with people who'd understand. My imported fish I've been waiting for arrived in Sydney & were meant to be in QT with the shop. I spoke with LFS on Saturday past & arranged to collect my pair next weekend. Just got an email to say the female was DOA. I was waiting so long for these fish Decided not to go ahead with the male alone, cause who knows when they'll get another female. I've asked them to let me know when they have a pair next coming in.

Cheers
TW
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Thanks everybody for the input

Rick - Yeah, it seems the algae is slooooooowly on the retreat, although I am still holding my breath.

Wings - It is more the upper parts, but more accurately the younger leaves, that are red. I doubt that it is the light that causes this as the plant in the close-up was grown in the corner of the tank (back right).

Robyn - Sorry to hear about the female. While I was reading your entry I was hoping that you didn't make a mercy purchase and got the male by himself. This post is actually very fitting for my log as I have asked myself this question many times over: "What would I do if the female Apisto dies". These fish in area are rare and usually only offered as pairs. So having a single male would either mean he has to stay by himself or I have 2 males and one female (if I would buy another pair) - not a good setup. I am glad that you decided to wait for a new pair to arrive. And you really haven't been waiting for such a long time, it just felt like that because you were so excited to get them. Sorry again,

Ingo


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EditedEdited by TankWatcher
You're right, it wasn't that long - just a few days over 4 weeks. You're also right that I was excited about them - so that did make it seem like ages. I thought I was going to be pressured into buying the male - as that was the suggestion in their email, but LFS accepted it when I said I wanted a pair only. Only fair really, as they told me in the first place I could only buy a pair.

I hope there is someone out there in Sydney who has a lonely female, just waiting for a mate

They told me to contact their importer, to find out when & what dwarf cichlids he'll next bring in. Waiting for him to get back to me now. So, it's back to the drawing board for that tank. It will definitely be a tank dedicated to a pair of rarer dwarf cichlids in the hopes of breeding. Also forgot to tell you - it's not the same tank - but a new tank, only slightly larger (about 3.7G larger - but a better shape - long, rather than high)

Cheers
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Also forgot to tell you - it's not the same tank - but a new tank, only slightly larger (about 3.7G larger - but a better shape - long, rather than high)
Awesome, MTS at its finest

When will we find out more about that new tank? I know that you probably will not set up another high tech tank, but you could always go with low light plants (and even medium) for a "normal" tank.

Honestly, recent events here might give me the chance to upgrade one of my tanks, so keep an eye open for a new thread here at the planted forum where I may ask questions about my options.

Thanks,

Ingo


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Honestly, recent events here might give me the chance to upgrade one of my tanks, so keep an eye open for a new thread here at the planted forum where I may ask questions about my options.

Go LF go!

Wings - It is more the upper parts, but more accurately the younger leaves, that are red. I doubt that it is the light that causes this as the plant in the close-up was grown in the corner of the tank (back right).

But it was still probably getting more light than the rest of the plant right?

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EditedEdited by TankWatcher
I got this new 23.7G (long) tank because of issues with my QT 20G (high). See my thread http://www.fishprofiles.com/files/threads/28748.1.htm?1# for the reasons & maybe you can give me some advice about sterilizing that tank. The last straw was a platy death, less that 24 hrs after introduction. Death was more than likely stress related due to his move, but I lost faith in the tank. It was to have been the home for the imported cichlids (that are no longer coming) & I didn't want to risk putting them in that tank. In some ways, it's good I have extra time to get this tank planted, since the cichlids aren't coming now. I knew I wouldn't be allowed to have another tank set-up (electricity & water usage issues about that) so I arranged with LFS to do a trade-in. However, when I came home with new tank & told hubby what I'd done, he bought the tank off me for the trade-in price, but said it won't be set up for time being (I'd love to be able to set it up - but it's going in the garage for now). So, now that it's emptied I'm cleaning it out & asking for advice in thread mentioned above.
I know that you probably will not set up another high tech tank, but you could always go with low light plants (and even medium) for a "normal" tank.
It will be low tech, flourish excel & low light plants. I'll start a new log, but do you think it belongs in cichlid central - it will be planted, but it will eventually be home for some sort of imported dwarf cichlid. For the 1st time, the LFS who were importing the fish for me, are also importing ADA aquasoil & there is some sort of ADA package / mixture which includes power sand & other stuff which Amano uses in his planted tanks. As the tank may go high tech one day (who knows) I may as well have the right substrate in there from the get go. Although I have some cycling fish (platys) in the tank now, it has no substrate yet, waiting for LFS to confirm availability of the Amano substrates. Hope to get it this weekend. I'll empty the tank temporarily to add substrate & plants. So, what do you think - cichlid central or planted aquaria. There'll be no clay pots but there will be some film cannisters. If it goes in planted aquaria, I'd mainly chat about the plants, but still mentioned the fish here & there. I definitely have MTS. I now have 3 tanks running, my hubby has my old one (but it will be stored for now) & if I were allowed, I run down to the shop & buy 2 or 3 small ones for fry grow out. I'm about to post in my log about some new fry.

Can't wait for your new thread. Did you do some fancy talking or something?

Cheers
TW
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So, what do you think - cichlid central or planted aquaria.
- I don't think it would be too hard for you to guess my answer
Can't wait for your new thread. Did you do some fancy talking or something?
Fancy Talking - I don't even know what that is .

No, that is for real

Ingo


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Hi,
Generally speaking, you ought to post in which ever forum
you feel the "question" belongs. Tank Logs seem to
change topics, not subjects, as the thread matures and
the participants comment and question various entries.

To decide where to post the first entry, decide what is
the primary thrust of the Log. Is it going to be Cichlids
(are you going to specialize in one, or breed one) or
is it going to be aimed primarily at plants?

Keep in mind that many visitors will go to the forum that
pertains to their interests. For instance, I don't have
any cichlids, and so rarely if ever, visit that forum.

Frank


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Post InfoPosted 01-May-2006 20:03Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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Thanks Frank, at the moment I don't even have the cichlids & I don't know when I will, so at least to start off, I'm getting it ready for plants.

Cheers
TW
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EditedEdited by tetratech
Hi all,

Had some business to attend to in Florida and decided to take the kids to Universal for a few days. After riding the Hulk coaster 4 times I now know what a fish feels like when it get's sucked up the gravel wash.

Tank is looking good. Glad to see the algae is somewhat subsiding even if it's only in your mind. Keep with a steady schedule, high co2, less food, more thick groups and I think you'll be fine.

I really like the way the stargrass looks like a big mound in the BEFORE water change pic, can't tell if you've spread it even further from the center in the AFTER pic.
I think that mound with stargrass, wood and foreground can really be an amazing center piece of your aquarium especially with all those espei running through it. I know you post alot of fish pics, but those last ones of the espei are REALLY beautiful.



My Scapes
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After riding the Hulk coaster 4 times I now know what a fish feels like when it get's sucked up the gravel wash.
And you had to pay for it as well

Keep with a steady schedule, high co2, less food, more thick groups
I am working on it

I really like the way the stargrass looks like a big mound in the BEFORE water change pic
Yeah, I liked it too. And you have no idea how tempted I was to place the Anubias in front of the Star Grass as they wouldn't mind being shaded at all (unlike the current plants in that spot). But I decided it is not the right time to mess with the tank again, instead I will wait until all is stable and then mess it up again .

but those last ones of the espei are REALLY beautiful
Oh thank you, I appreciate the compliment . Wanna have some Espei?

Ingo


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EditedEdited by tetratech
LF,
I appreciate the Espei offer, but would have no place to put them with 17 cardinals holding tuff. If my cardinals start dropping I'll definitely take you up on it.

Bensaf,
Lighting can do wonders even for feet. Believe me my feet get no special treatment and have never had polish on them even in my college days when I was passed out in front of the "Porcelin Princess", but thanks for the compliment.


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LF,
So was bored tonight so I went through and looked for your picture! All I have to say is you look like the blues guy that rides my bus!

Oh and there are some cuties on this site.

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[IMG]http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y118/Wingsdlc/Ric
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EditedEdited by TankWatcher
Hey Wings - so what's the name of the thread to look for?

Cheers
TW
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All I have to say is you look like the blues guy that rides my bus!

This fella must be really handsome then

Ingo


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The post your picture thread ~ The recovery room

This fella must be really handsome then

Umm yeah.....and a little wierd. I think he works for WMU but I am not 100% sure. Anyways he is always on the bus with some really really big headphones(like the ones they would use in a studio) and grooving to the blues.

I was really expecting to see someone much older when I found your picture. It is almost weird now knowing what you look like.

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[IMG]http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y118/Wingsdlc/Ric
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EditedEdited by LITTLE_FISH
I was really expecting to see someone much older when I found your picture. It is almost weird now knowing what you look like.
I guess I will take that as a compliment. You know that I know what you look like (although it is a while ago that I saw the picture). You in a pond/river having a banana - eh, bandana - on your head.

Ingo

EDIT: Ah - I didn't see that you bumped that thread with your own picture, but yeah, that is what I remembered.


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You know that I know what you look like (although it is a while ago that I saw the picture). You in a pond/river having a banana - eh, bandana - on your head.


Bandana? Its a ball cap on backwards half folded under itself. When I hooked into that fish I had a bunch of junk hanging around my neck and I had all I could do to get it off so I could fight the fish. Man I need to get back in there and hook another one.... maybe this weekend.

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[IMG]http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y118/Wingsdlc/Ric
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Are you looking to get rid of some espei again? I wouldn't mind taking some off your hands but I am moving in about a week and don't need to worry about anything extra.

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I would post my pic, but I currently still have more hair than algae so I don't want to &nbsp; anyone off and then they'll take it out on my tank I just want to be loved

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but I currently still have more hair than algae


Well, you wouldn't need much hair as you have almost no algae

Me, on the other hand

Ingo


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C'mon Ingo, fess up. That is you with the big headphones bopping away to Depeche Mode

Check out the last post I made in this thread maybe of some interest to you guys.
http://www.fishprofiles.com/files/threads/28532.1.htm?0.09817231#259770


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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You found me out, bensaf I confess, it was me

About your link, yeah - I read the "original" the other day, the one you refer to in your foot-note. I have to say it makes sense to me as well. Only problem is that you cannot see these tiny buggers waiting in yout tank for their chance to take over again .

BTW, this week so far seems to have more algae decline, although I start to discover more BBA, this time the tiny black beard on plant leaves, even on the Hygro angustifloia. I attribute this to the change in water parameters that on one hand seem to drive out more and more thread algae but on the other hand open the door for BBA. At least this type I can fight off with Excel, but I will wait a while to see how it goes.\

Ingo


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LF,

Have you been useing Excel on this tank? I need to buy some more here soon that way I can use it once I move. I am getting a good amount of green spot on my plants. Not so sure the excel will help though...

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Wings,

Yeah, I have been using Excel twice (for a week each) on this tank, to fight off BBA, quite a while ago. I doubt that it does anything for (or against) any other form of algae.

I heard about people that frequently use Excel to avoid BBA in the first place, but I am currently not willing to try that out. There must be a way to stay BBA free without having to fight it with such extreme measures.

On to the usual topic for this time of the week:

Weekly Tank Update - Week 32

Not much, if anything at all, has happened during this week. I used the standard dosage of ferts that I am using for a while now. Further, I made it a consistent habit not to feed the fish on Fridays. Algae in the lowest regions has not changed, but interestingly the upper regions seem to have almost completely cleared up (with the exception of a few bushels of BBA).

The maintenance besides the water change this weekend was easy, I just trimmed a few longer stems off the Star Grass. Maybe I don't even have to replant that group next weekend as I think I gave it a strong cut last week and it may last for 3 weeks now.

I don't have many pictures to show this time, but here is a shot of the tank from last week, for comparison:

Attached Image:

Tank One Week Ago



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Post InfoPosted 07-May-2006 12:51Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
LITTLE_FISH
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Here is the tank now from this weekend.

I have not trimmed the Ludwigia on the left at all, the fact that it hangs over the Anubias group is not a problem as these plants don't need that much light.

The Hygro angustifolia on the right is beginning to seriously shade all other plants in that area, I guess next weekend I will have to make some changes in that spot.

I am also considering of cutting part of my main driftwood block off. I figured I could easily remove a major section of the fat end of the branch. This way I creat more space for plants and also might gain something in the visual appearance of the tank. On the other hand, this means I first have to remove that monster and this scares me.

Here is the tank now:

Attached Image:

Tank Last Night



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Now here are two shots of the tank a little closer. I usually show the tank completely and real close-ups, so I thought some half-distance shots may be nice.

This is the area of the tank that once (a long time ago) was known as Rock Valley. Now it is home to various plants that begin to crowd each other. Also, take your time while admiring the graceful Pearls

Attached Image:

Right Off-Center



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LITTLE_FISH
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And this is already the last shot for now, the left side of the tank.

It always seems like I have a particular unorganized plant collection on that side of my tank, like it is the repository for any plant that I don't know where else to put it .

In this small section I have about 12 different plants, like 3 types of Anubias, 4 types of Crypts, Pearl Grass, Wisteria, Ludwigia, Helferi, and Alternanthera. Plus, this is where a lot of fish like to hang out (maybe because I feed in this section and when they see me they always come there, even if I fed them just 10 minutes earlier).

Attached Image:

Left Tank Side Plant Mix



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Post InfoPosted 07-May-2006 13:07Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
r0b3y
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hey looking really good!! love the log
wats the brown plant behind the pearl grass??
/:'
Post InfoPosted 07-May-2006 15:59Profile Homepage MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
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EditedEdited by LITTLE_FISH
r0b3y,

Thanks for the compliment

The brown plant behind the Pearl Grass is a Crypt Wendtii Red (mother plant). I have not been too successful in the past with my crypt wendtiis, I guess because I always bought tiny ones and never left them in one spot to grow out (I have the tendency too change to much too quickly ).

But you see that there is a more reddish plant behind the Wendtii as well (just to make sure you know that this are two different ones). That is the Alternanthera.

Thanks again,

Ingo


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Post InfoPosted 07-May-2006 16:26Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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EditedEdited by LITTLE_FISH
Ok guys,

I don't have too much time right now, but if you are interested then details can follow later.

I just came back from the North Jersey Aquarium Society's fish and plant auction. What a huge event (and the first auction that I have ever been at). It was very interesting and loads of fish and plant where sold. I hade also the chance to chat again with two of the guys from my Planted Tank Round Table meeting at the LFS.

Here is a shot of the auction in progress. The stage in the back has tables all around, packed to the rim with mostly fish, but the right hand side were plants. The plastic bags you see in this picture is what was left after 3 hours of auction (about 30% I would guess).

Attached Image:

NJAS Auction



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Post InfoPosted 07-May-2006 23:41Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
LITTLE_FISH
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Upon arrival back home I had to take out the Apistos from the QT to add them to the big tank (reason will follow). There were the easiest fish to net, they almost swam right into the net - or at least didn't run off. I wish the Espei were like that.

Attached Image:

Apistos being adjusted



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Post InfoPosted 07-May-2006 23:43Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
LITTLE_FISH
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And they had to go because these 3 cuties moved in. 3 additional Neon Dwarf Rainbows, all male. I had to have them, and got them in the end for $16. Pretty much the price I pay for one at my LFS.

More will follow later, got to go back and add water to the bags

Here they are getting ready:

Attached Image:

Rainbows in Bag



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Post InfoPosted 07-May-2006 23:45Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
LITTLE_FISH
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Ok, the Rainbows are in the tank now, I will continue the adjustment process for the Apsitos for at least another 15 min.

Here are the Rainbows (2 photos):

Attached Image:

Rainbows in QT I



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Post InfoPosted 08-May-2006 00:47Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
LITTLE_FISH
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EditedEdited by LITTLE_FISH
And here they are again, I think the photos came out great (if I may say so).

The Rainbows are slightly younger than the ones in the big tank, as such I hope their integration into the main group should not cause any major issues.

Make sure to look at the updates on the previous page

Attached Image:

Rainbows in QT II



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Post InfoPosted 08-May-2006 00:48Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
LITTLE_FISH
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And now the Apistos are in their new home as well. The male went right off on an excursion. Within 5 minutes he ate the first snail. I saw him pick it up and then munching around on it, then he dissapeared into the thickets and I got a little worried I may have to perform the Heimlich Maneuver on him . But he seems fine now.

Attached Image:

Apsito viejita II Male



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Here is another shot of him a little closer. What I find amazing about this fish is his ability to turn that black stripe under his eye (actually through his eye) on and off at will. I haven't figured out yet when he turns it on, I assume it is when he is showing off.

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Apsito viejita II Male Closer



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Post InfoPosted 08-May-2006 02:13Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
LITTLE_FISH
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The female Apisto has her black stripe turned on the whole time, I only saw her without it when I got them initially. Interestingly, within the rather short time in the plastic bag for acclimatication all her yellow color went to a dull gray, but within minutes in the tank it all was back to normal.

Attached Image:

Apsito viejita II Female



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Post InfoPosted 08-May-2006 02:15Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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EditedEdited by LITTLE_FISH
Here is the female again, this time showing you one of the plants that I bought at the auction. An Anubias Hastifolia. Looks very nice, for the time being I wedged it between wood and rock in front of the Star Grass.

Another plant I bought was an Anubias Barteri, but I am not going to show you a picture of it, I have too many of these already anyway

Attached Image:

Crypt Hestifolia



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Post InfoPosted 08-May-2006 02:18Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
LITTLE_FISH
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The last plant I would like to show is the final purchase I made at the auction, tetratech's Blyxa Japonica. I got 6 of them, most with 2 plants per stem, for $10. The only problem I have with them is that the stems are really short and there seem to be no roots below. Anchoring them in the substrate was quite a hassle, I hope they stay down.

Attached Image:

Blyxa Japonica



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Post InfoPosted 08-May-2006 02:21Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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Last but not least, a new full shot of the tank. You can see the new crypt and if you look carefully you may be able to count all 6 Blyxa Japonica spread out along the front glass.

Oh, and no, the fish are not all at the surface because the Apistos chased them into that area, it simply was feeding time

Attached Image:

Full Tank With New Plants



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Post InfoPosted 08-May-2006 02:24Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
tetratech
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EditedEdited by tetratech
Yes, the pics are beautiful

So let me get this straight, your going to "remove that monster" and you've just added 5 fish of substantial size to your tank.

Either you don't believe that your heavy load is contributing to your algae situation or you really are a "Protist Collaborator"

Sorry to sound like a party pooper, but I really think you need to add another filter to your tank if you want to be so fish heavy. I would even think about getting a wet/dry or a sump.

EDIT: Didn't see last pic, very nice full tank shot.









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Post InfoPosted 08-May-2006 02:26Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
LITTLE_FISH
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Gee, thanks tetratech for bringing me back to reality

I actually added only 2 fish, the Apistos. The 3 Rainbows are in QT for a few weeks. I am usually pretty good about maintaining the QT routine and have yet to fail it. And the female Apisto is barely any larger than one Espei . Yeah, the male is a little bigger, but hey - I seem to be getting my algae a little more under control and I also added more plants .

Thanks for the compliment on the pictures,

Ingo


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Post InfoPosted 08-May-2006 02:34Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
r0b3y
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EditedEdited by r0b3y
ingo just a thought.. maybe try a good quality fluidised bed filter?? it will help out with the heavy stock load also it will not drive off any valuable CO2..

r0b3y
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Ingo,

I don't have much to add on the new plants, but your tank is looking very nice. Your apistos are also very cool. Good Job! /:'

Rick
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Post InfoPosted 08-May-2006 04:14Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
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r0b3y

- Good idea, I will have to read more about these filters to identfy their distinct advantage over a canister, if there is one. The one problem I have with adding any additional filter is the increase in current in the tank. I would not like to see my fish having to swim for their lives 24/7. That is pretty much the main reason why I haven't done anything about that yet.

slickrb

- Thanks . Yeah, I like my Apistos as well, I am glad I got them. I hope they will have a nice life in this tank. BTW, it seems like they are zooming in on finding a new house in that tank. I made out two spots that they both visited multiple times last night. One happens to be the area under the driftwood chunk on the left. So much about cutting that part off . The other area is a small gap between a rock and a small piece of driftwood to the right of the main group, just big enough for both to fit in, but it doesn't have a roof so it may rain in ().

Thanks to both of you for the input, I appreciate it,

Ingo


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Post InfoPosted 08-May-2006 10:52Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
TW
 
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EditedEdited by TankWatcher
Your tank, as always, is beautiful. But those rainbows you have in QT are just gorgeous. Is it a trick of the light, or are they really that beautiful purple colour.

Cheers
TW
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Good observation on the color, Robyn

It is a combination of the "rainbow" effect of their sides (which usually are blueish at the right angle, otherwise silver) and the fact that I put my old 2x20W All-Glass T12s back over the tank. That was done because the existing bulbs are at the end of their live span (I see the tenellus not doing to well) and I haven't had the chance to get new bulbs yet.

So the color spectrum of these lights and the shimmering effect of the fish both contributed to this color effect (and maybe the camera settings as well), but I did not retouch the image.

Thanks for the compliment,

Ingo


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Post InfoPosted 08-May-2006 13:36Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
NowherMan6
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Great pics, LF Very very nice

I also just planted a few stems of blyxa in my 4G, in ADA substrate - we'll see if the substrate makes any differencein growth. I know what you mean with the roots though, they were hard to keep down.


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Post InfoPosted 08-May-2006 13:44Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
tetratech
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also just planted a few stems of blyxa in my 4G, in ADA substrate - we'll see if the substrate makes any differencein growth.

Makes sure that Blyxa get's lot's of light. It will not tolerate shade. I'm still deciding whether I want to add a foreground light to my tank.

BTW - Nowher when do we get to see this nano-paradise. I did scrap my plans or a scaped nano in lew of the reef I am planning...

My Scapes
Post InfoPosted 08-May-2006 14:31Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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ingo, a FBF would be supplimentary to you rexisting filtration , you could have it in the return to your tank if the pump in your existing filter is strong enough. they need to have water that has already been mechanicly (sp?) filtered first or they will clog up. i have mine setup on my sump.
are neon rainbows really $16 us each.
they are $3.50 aus or something like that over here, you must have thought i was showing off when i bought 20

OH TOLEEDY!
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Thanks guys for the input

NowherMan6 - I don't know about ADA and Blyxa, but the guy I know who uses ADA soil says his Hair Grass really took off (he only uses the soil, not the power sand). And thanks for the compliments on the pictures, courtesy of your suggested macro lense .

tetratech - I know a foreground light would be a pain in the neck, but it may be worthwhile. I am sure your Riccia would profit from it as well. I guess this is one of the very few disadvantages of a bowfront.

Dan - Yeah, Rainbows are rather expensive in the LFS where I usually buy fishies. For that, their live stock is in much better shape than any store in the whole area. Adult Neon Dwarf Rainbows cost $20 (US), young ones, like the ones I have, $13 (US), and that does not include tax yet.

Thanks again,

Ingo


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Post InfoPosted 08-May-2006 15:39Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
tetratech
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I know a foreground light would be a pain in the neck, but it may be worthwhile. I am sure your Riccia would profit from it as well. I guess this is one of the very few disadvantages of a bowfront.


My situation is further complicated by a tall center and the thick wood. When the center is short I see better growth from the riccia, but yes you are right definitely a disadvantage of the bow in terms o direct light contact.

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NowherMan6
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I guess this is one of the very few disadvantages of a bowfront.


And don't forget the inability to take pictures from certain angles with certain lenses because of diffraction - my next tank will NOT be a bowfront

tetra - has your blyxa taken off at all in your 12G with more diretc light? don't want to go too off topic in LFs log but I think the info is beneficial to both of us


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Post InfoPosted 08-May-2006 16:01Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
tetratech
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tetra - has your blyxa taken off at all in your 12G with more diretc light? don't want to go too off topic in LFs log but I think the info is beneficial to both of us

Nope, samething comatose. The 12g only has 2.2wpg so maybe it's just not enough on a small tank even though direct.
One good thing is it doesn't die, it just doesn't grow, but you won't get that rich spectrum of color when it's really in optimium conditions.

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Nice pics there Ingo, nice fish too. I should upgrade my camera, but that's definitely not in the budget, especially since I'm thinking of upgrading both plant and reef tank soon.

Glad to hear the algae seems to be diminishing.

I wouldn't worry about the extra current from another filter. Cannisters have pretty slow flow due to their ability to do more filtration at once. I don't think your fish would suffer from another, maybe smaller, cannister. That's your call though on what you think was/is/has been causing the algae. I wouldn't add a wet/dry though due to the amount of aeration that usually causes. You'd have a hard time keeping CO2 up IMO.



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Post InfoPosted 08-May-2006 16:48Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
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Talking about right conditions of the light:

At the NJAS auction I also met someone who has the same tank than I do and also the 4x96W light unit.

I forgot the details (silly me), but his schedule is sonewhat like running the lights for a total of 9 hours per day, during 6 of which all lights are on, and the earlier part he has one half only and the later part the other half only. That is the guy who auctioned off my Blyxa, so maybe in order to keep it happy I will have to shorten my overall light period (currently still 11h) and lengthen the intense ligh period (currently 3h).

Ingo


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Post InfoPosted 08-May-2006 16:48Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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Matty,

Sorry, I didn't see your entry until I posted mine. Thanks for the compliments on photos and fish

Yeah, I was never considering a wet/dry as I know about its CO2 removing abilities.

The current of my Eheim 2028 is pretty strong, this becomes more obvious when I feed the fish and the food drops down. I was thinking of creating a counter current from the other side of the tank (with a secons filter) but that would most likely mean (I guess) that I also need a second diffuser on that side as the current generated there would not let the bubbles from one side come over there.

Maybe I have to sell way more of my Espei to solve the problem.

Thanks Matty,

Ingo


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Post InfoPosted 08-May-2006 16:55Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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I wouldn't add a wet/dry though due to the amount of aeration that usually causes. You'd have a hard time keeping CO2 up IMO.

Matty you know more about sump mechanics than I do, but couldn't your put a diffusor under the return pump of the sump (wet/dry) to return any lost co2 to the tank. So in effect you would have an inline reactor as well as an in tank diffusor.

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Post InfoPosted 08-May-2006 18:11Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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EditedEdited by mattyboombatty
Looking at the system this way:

Return(CO2 in) ---> display(High CO2 Conc.) ----> overflow(CO2 Diffusion due to aeration) ----> sump(low CO2 Conc.)

That might appear to work. If the flow through the wet/dry was slow enough it might in fact work, meaning that after the reactor in the return line CO2 rich water stays in the display for a greater period of time than the wet/dry, creating differential. However, that would mean that water is in the display for a longer period of time, and not in the wet/dry, thus making the filtration pointless because no water is being filtered. Sometimes refugiums are set up this way so that water flow is only 1X or less turnover through the fuge so the DSB and macroalgae can pull out every bit of nutrient from the water. Dirty water in, clean water out. The fact that there is a large difference helps the cause. In this case it seems to work because the goal is extraction of waste to plant or algae or anaerobic bacteria mass. The opposite of trying to add carbon into the system and a completely different method of filtration. Water can only be on the bioballs for a certain amount of time, no matter the flow....gravity here. I suppose if you had a huge column of bioballs it might work(fully extracting ALL ammonia in one pass).

However it doesn't work that way in a small system, and unfortunately you can't look at the system in its components, the difference in composition of water anywhere in the system is very very small, given there are no dead spots(which is what the wet/dry or fuge would have to be called in the above hypothesis). You have to look at the system on the whole generally and therefore you will most definitely have to increase CO2 to balance out the diffusion due to the amount of surface area exposed to the air in a wet/dry. No matter how you do it, more CO2 in the display or more at the return of the sump, way more CO2 will need to be put into the system.

A large system is a different story. There probably will be differentials in water composition between the sump and display if you have a thousand or two gallons in the display and the sump is remote and large as well. Heck, there would probably be slight differences in water composition on the left and right and top to bottom of the display. Flow would probably have to be slower through a system like that and would mostly rely on the huge amount of water to stay clean.

I think I managed to even confuse myself there a bit.



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Matty you know more about sump mechanics than I do, but couldn't your put a diffusor under the return pump of the sump (wet/dry) to return any lost co2 to the tank. So in effect you would have an inline reactor as well as an in tank diffusor.

If you look around on the planted forum there is a guy with a 200 some gallon tank running a system like what you are talking about.

BTW I leave for the weekend and all this happens! I am so far behind. I guess I should probably take a little brake from this place any ways. Never get things done!

Great pictures! Your fish look quite happy in their new home.

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If you look around on the planted forum there is a guy with a 200 some gallon tank running a system like what you are talking about.


I'd wonder if he could possibly get 30ppm of CO2 in his tank. Maybe, but I'm sure that he's wasting a lot of CO2 to do so.

If it's not a high light setup then there's really no need to have so much CO2, and you can get away with whatever filtration you want.



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Thanks Matty for all these details

I am not surprised that you even cofused yourself on that one . Basically, I am not into the sump idea anyway. There are too many reasons (even besides the CO2 issue) that stop me from seriously considering such a filter, for example maintenance, cost, water evaporation, and space.

Being in the process of setting up yet another tank I would like to not overcomplicate this one anymore. Maybe for the time being I can just wing it and later throw about 20 of the Espei into the new 40G (and start the same problems there, ).

Thanks again,

Ingo


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Matty,

Makes alot of sense. I never said it was going to be efficient, but it sounds like it would supply the tank with enough co2.

LF,
If you don't want a sump I would go with this. I think it's the largest canister on the market.

http://www.hagen.com/usa/aquatic/product.cfm?CAT=1&SUBCAT=107&PROD_ID=01002180020101

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Thanks tetratech for the link, that sure is some monser filter, for up to 400G tanks. I couldn't find it at Big Al's and I wonder how much it costs (and quality).

Anyway, I think I first will try to see if I can reduce my stocking somewhat. Maybe that is all that is needed.

Hey tetratech - I bumped into somebody who says that the Eco in her tank caused the ph and hardness to climb (from ph 7 to 8), did this happen to you as well?

Thanks again,

Ingo


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Been reading

Brain hurts

pretty fish

not dead plants (see my tank)

all Good LF!

love GFG

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GFG

Thanks for the compliment, and sorry about the brain hurting

Haven't seen you in a while, and where would I be able to read about your current tank issues.

Ingo


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Hey tetratech - I bumped into somebody who says that the Eco in her tank caused the ph and hardness to climb (from ph 7 to 8), did this happen to you as well
?
I don't remember that happening, but then again I've been running co2 heavily so I probably wouldn't have noticed.

ph 7 to 8 sounds pretty drastic to me.


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Thanks tetratech,

In the meantime I read a few posts where people claim to have rather significant increases in their ph, but other posts completely dismiss this notion. I guess it is one of these things where opinions are wide spread.

I have a tank issue:

I notices what appears to be a much slower growth on the Star Grass. In addition, last night I noticed some leaves on new growth turning thin and melting. Now, I have read that this is caused by a sudden lack of Nitrate (On the APC site in the plant profile). I haven't measured my Nitrates, guess I will have to do that tonight. I would be really surprised to find my tank having low nitrates, although I haven't increased my dosage, but 1.5tsp every other day should be enough, I thought. Maybe the overall number of fast growers causes it to be sucked up much quicker.

Does anyone have any idea what else may cause this problem?

Thanks in advance,

Ingo


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Sounds like no3 deficiency. If the light and co2 are up to speed I would dose even more especially if mass is increasing. I learned the hard way when that happened to my stargrass. The wildcard in my situation was that I was cutting the tops all the time, but in your case your replanting them. For the longest time I was dosing 1/2tsp no3 and when I felt the mass was really full I starting dosing 5/8 to 3/4 tsp.

I believe Amano increases dosing as plant mass increases.




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I believe Amano increases dosing as plant mass increases.


Only really makes sense. I am wondering if that is why I am starting to get some green spot.

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Thanks you two,

I will make sure to measure tonight. It would really surprise me though.

What I think I may find is an unproportionally high amount of Phosphate as I have been doing it now for a few weeks in the recommended dosage (1/8tsp 3 x per week). Last time I did this I ended up with 10ppm.

So, maybe it is more of a proportion issue than a plain lack of Nitrate.

Will keep you posted,

Ingo


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Well,

Just measured the N and P:

- solid red in the N, meaning 40++ppm
- dark blue in the P, meaning way more than 5ppm

Now, as I said earlier I expected the P to be rather high, but the N is a big surprise.

Of course I have no idea what to make of this, as usual.

Ingo


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Of course I have no idea what to make of this, as usual.


LF,
You are not the only one. I tested my N today too and it was in the same ball park as you with 40ppm. I am not even sure I want to dose tomorrow being the tank is going to be taken down in on Monday.

I think we need Ben to let us know whats up. Chances are he will yell at us first for using test kits!

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I went and took a comparison shot of the tank to actually see if there is any growth. And I do have growth, but there are these two Star Grass tops melting. I also see some black tips on them which supposedly is from a lack of micros.

Here is a shot with Today at the bottom and 5 days ago:

Attached Image:

Comparison



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EditedEdited by tetratech
LF,

Did you dose macros today? If yes, your probably looking at the peak of buildup for NO3 as well as the test kit being off by as much as 20ppm. I've contacted several attorneys about class action lawsuits against test kit providers.

So your no3 could be averaging 20ppm and your po4 2 or 3.
The idea behind EI is that it doesn't stay high for long, because the whole system get's flushed anyway every week.

From the pic your stargrass looks O.K. Maybe a closeup would be more revealing.



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EditedEdited by bensaf
The high numbers in and of themselves are not an issue. They'll be reduced when you do water change anyway.

The real question is why are they that high ?

Sounds like something else is limiting the uptake of N and P. Don't forget if one thing is limiting then uptake of all others stop until the limiting nutrient becomes available again.

Do the usual, check Co2, up the micros in case one of them is short. Especially check GH. GH is one that's often overlooked when it comes to plants and is very vital. Really needs more attention then it gets sometimes. Calcium and Magnesium are vital. Especially Mg , which can cause some funny problems.

It can tricky sometimes. A plant can show a symptom of a lack of a nutrient, even though you know you have plenty of that nutrient there. I.e the Stargrass showing like N dificient, this usually indicates that something else is lacking and preventing the plant from utilising the available nutrient.

Usually something like a Mg deficiency will appear as something completely different and send you off on wild goose chases.

A close up of the affected Stargass would help a lot.


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Thanks for the input,

Sorry, a close-up will have to wait until tonight as all is dark now in the tank (4:30 AM).

I had a feeling about having another nutrient being a limiting factor (I guess I am beginning to understand) and even without your advice I added 50ml of TMG instead of 40ml (yesterday it was micro day, so macros have last been added the day before).

Over the last few weeks I also increased my weekly input of Equilibrium, from formerly 1/2tsp to almost 2tsp. I haven't measured the GH though ever since doing this.

Neither have I measured KH or CO2, I guess KH is around 4, but I will measure tonight.

Thanks for the input and thoughts,

Ingo


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Well guys,

On with the Star Grass Saga:

The photo below shows one of the two effected stems as good as possible. The red arrow points to the yellowing (dying) stem, the yellow arrow shows you how thin the leaves are.

I also measured some values:

It appears as if my KH is almost 5 (upped the baking soda dosage over a few weeks)
Also, my GH seems to be close the 5, that is at least when the test liquid turned from a pale yellow to a pale green.

Here is the shocker, my ph seems to be 7, giving me a CO2 of 15ppm. I have cleaned the diffuser for the last time almost 3 weeks ago (tomorrow), can that be it? The bubble count appears to be the same as always, now I went ahead and cranked it up a notch.

Attached Image:

Star Grass



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EditedEdited by tetratech
Here is the shocker, my ph seems to be 7, giving me a CO2 of 15ppm


That would explain uptake limitation, but I defer to my master

EDIT: LF There is a good discussion on APC concerning the trend toward higher C02. There are many advanced aquarist discussing the whole fishload thing as well. I must admit I never saw this tread until now, but I feel like it supports my argument about fishload and algae, especially when there is abundant light.

co2.html" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/general-aquarium-plants-discussions/16678-why-trend-towards-more-more-co2.html

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Thanks tetratech for the link

I didn't see it until now as I assumed there were no new entries in my thread for the last almost 2 days and as such didn't open it. I will read up on the link content after I do my weekly thing (as I have done something towards higher CO2).

Weekly Tank Update - Week 33

The last week had no major events, my focus was mainly on the order of items for the soon-to-be-coming 40G tank. Only on the side did I notice that 2 stems of the Star Grass were withering away and when I finally dug out the test kit I noticed a very low CO2 concentration, and going with it a high level of nutrients.

There are multiple options of why that would be, one of which is that the diffuser - which hadn't been cleaned in almost 3 weeks and also loses a lot of bubbles that bypass the spray bar and reach the surface straigh up - is not working as expected. I decided to tackle this as the cause and the following pictures will show my changes.

Another thing that needed change was the right tank side where the Hygro angustifolia started to shade all smaller plants in the foreground and the heavily water rooted Alternanthera in the background (which had been trimmed a few times before).

Here is the tank last weekend:

Attached Image:

Week 32



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Now here is a picture of the tank from yesterday before I made any changes. One observation I thought I made during the week was a reduction in growth, but when comparing the shot from last week to this one it seems that growth is actually pretty good. The Star Grass and the Hygro both have gained a few inches, and so did the Ludwigia on the left:

Attached Image:

Tank before Changes - This Weekend



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Here is the tank now after my changes. I completely removed the Alternanthera (2 stems) from the right way back, you couldn't see it there anymore anyway. I cut off a few shoots from that root mess and planted them all over the tank so they can grow out in better light. Next, I moved the Hygro in the back on the right, I had to redo it once as the left stem cramped the right stem too much.

I separated them with a Helferi that I placed between them. Furthermore, I removed the Pearl Grass from the front right and gave it a good trimming (bottoms cut away) and replanted them in that spot.

Given that this process for sure stirred up some gunk I decided not to further upset the tank and left all other plants alone, hoping the Star Grass can handle one more week before it needs trimming.

Attached Image:

Week 33 - Yesterday



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The next two pictures show you the tank in halfs. First, the "new" right half with the set-back Hygro. Its shade is over a grouping of Green Wendtii and I think it will not hinder that plant's growth. I noticed that the Espei like to hang out in the stems of the Gygro now, usually they did not mingle on the right tank side too much.

In the right front you can see some of the Alternanthera cuttings, I know I will have to replant them somewhere else once they grow taller. Also, you can see some of the Blyxa in the foreground. All week long I had to re-root at least 2 of them every day as these suckers really love to float up.

Attached Image:

Right Tank Side



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EditedEdited by LITTLE_FISH
See full tank shots and more on bottom of last page

This is the left sideof the tank, basically untouched in a while with the exception of the addition of Blyxa stems and cutting from the Alternanthera.

I really like the look of the overhanging Ludwigia, creating some shade for the Anubias below and developing some nice water roots that look like a curtain.

This picture also reveals my action towards CO2 improvement. Besides cleaning the diffuser (not visible on the left) I added a very small Rio power head (Rio 50) just below the spray bar and straight up from the diffuser. A lot of bubbles now are actually sucked up into the power head and pushed to the right side of the tank. From the ones that bypass the power head most are caught by the spray bar and pushed over as well. The percentage that reaches the surface right away had been greatly reduced.


Attached Image:

Left Tank Side



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Here is a close-up from the output of the Rio pump. You can see the large amount of bubbles being washed over the Ludwigia Hanging Garden.

I finished my water change yesterday at around 1PM. By 8PM I measured some tank values (remember that I cranked up the CO2 a little the night before):

- A ph of about 6.6, if not less (but not 6.4)
- A KH of around 5

Now, this gives me at least 38ppm of CO2. I guess I will have to keep a close eye on the tank today as it is the first day where I add CO2 in this fashion for the full time.

Attached Image:

CO2 over Ludwigia



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Now a change of topic

Yesterday afternoon we had to go to Petco and buy some kitty litter. Of course, as usual I was perusing the fish isle, usually not really a delightful event. Well what can I say, I came across one tank, looked at it for a few minutes, and ended up with this:

Attached Image:

New Fish



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In this tank were a bunch of German Rams (plus other fish), all on the smaller side. In the center, in the hole of the one rock that was in the tank, was a female. The male was behind the rock and chased away any other Ram that came near.

I typical chain store fashion, when I started to explain to the sales person which 2 fish I would like she already ripped open the top cover of the tank, causing the female to flee to the group of rams and losing almost all color instantly. Got me rather mad, I have to say. I think I was able to identify her again, but I cannot be sure. They seem to get along well though.

I am not really scared that this experiment may not work out (some may remember that I failed with German Rams once before) as I paid much less for both of them together than I paid of one in the LFS. Also, I think I know more about SA cichlids now (see my Apistos). Nevertheless, it is a major gamble

Here is a close-up of the male a few minutes after the 2 hour transition phase:

Attached Image:

Male German Ram



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He had never completely lost his colors, but didn't stay like this either while being transported. Compared to the last pair I had these are rather small.

Here is another shot of the male, forgive me for not cleaning the side glass pannel of the tank, I didn't expect visitors.

Attached Image:

Male German Ram II



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Here is a shot of the female. She lost all her color during the transport, became a dull gray with black spots on the sides that almost formed a completed line from head to tail. At that stage I wondered if this is even a Ram. I also thought that she may be a Bolivian.

Once she was released she started to regain some color:

Attached Image:

Female German Ram



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Last but not least, here is another shot of the female.

One can start to make out the dots in the finnage at this picture. I find it very interesting how these fish, including my Apistos, can turn coloration on and off. I doub't that they have the ability to trigger different colors on demand, but the involuntary changes are a good way to communicate what is up with them.

My male Apisto, for example, turns the black bar through his face on when he is not secure.

That is it for now,

Ingo

Attached Image:

Female German Ram II



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Good luck with the rams this time around. They both look like nice specimens.

Cheers
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Tanks is looking good I think your on a good path. I particular like the left size. You didn't mention algae so I'm hoping it is being minimized.

Hopefully this time around the Rams will do better.

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Post InfoPosted 14-May-2006 17:32Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Untitled No. 4
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I really hate to say that, but as far as I can see from the pictures both are females but I hope I'm wrong.

Cheers.
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EditedEdited by LITTLE_FISH
Thanks everybody for the input

Yeah, I totally forgot to mention the algae. In that department it seems like the BBA is a little advancing while the thread is stable to less.

Untitled No. 4 - Nice to hear from you again .
I have a thread going HERE where I actually question the male/female issue as well, but my spin is that both appear male as the smaller one chases the larger one away. What makes you believe they both are female. I seem to identify the 3rd elongated dorsal ray in the one I labeled male (above), but not in the other. Also, both are small and the "potential" female is even smaller, maybe 3/4 to 1 inch. Thanks for any info you can provide.

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Post InfoPosted 14-May-2006 23:43Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Untitled No. 4
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EditedEdited by Untitled No. 4
There are few ways to identify male rams from female rams and the ray extension is one of them, but it doesn't mean that it is the only way or that it's 100% accurate.

A picture of a female ram

That one fish is a good example as by the ray extensions point out to it being a male while it is actually a female. I'm quite sure as I've seen her spawning a few times.

The pink belly can also be helpful to sex them as males will never have a pink belly, but it doesn't mean that females have them 100% of the time, so if a fish has a pink belly it means it's a female. If it doesn't, it doesn't say that it's 100% a male. Same with the blue specks on the black spot. A male will never have them, a female will usually have them.

Moreover, when the there is a group of males only, the dominant male will supress the rest of the males and they in turn will acquire female traits. When only females are present, the dominant female will chase the other female and will acquire male traits.

In any case, I think that both are females just because it looks like a female. It's hard for me to explain exactly what about it looks like a female but it's something with the head and the body shape. But still, I might be wrong.

And for comparison, a picture of a male ram.
Post InfoPosted 15-May-2006 00:28Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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Untitled No. 4

Thanks for the quick reply. I spent the meantime with taking more shots of them and maybe this can shed more light on the situation. I am utterly confused by now and lost all faith in sexing them, your entry supports that with the male taking on female trades and vice versa.

Here is the situation, the smaller and less colorful chasing the larger and more colorful Ram.

Attached Image:

The chase is on



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Now here is the best shot I could get of the more colorful one (also bigger), formerly identified as male. The first 3 rays of the dorsal fin are shortest, shorter, and normal. The black dot on the side shows in its outer parameter blue speckles, maybe indicating a female. Also, maybe the rounded end of the dorsal could indicate a female.

Overall, I have no clue

Attached Image:

More Colorful one



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Post InfoPosted 15-May-2006 00:46Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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Here is the smaller and less colorful one. Dorsal fin tip similar to the other, although length difference in the rays is more ounced. This one also displays blue speckles in the outer perimiter of the black spot, and the rounded end of the dorsal fin.

Somehow I was under the impression that:

- If both fish are the same sex than the dominant would be the more colorful one
- If the are of different sex then the dominant fish would be the male

My latest logic implies (and I may be waaaayyyyy off) that the small one is a male and the larger a female.



Attached Image:

The Other One



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Post InfoPosted 15-May-2006 00:52Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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* The dominant fish would be more colourful unless genetics make it duller.
* Dominant fish can be female too, especially with cichlids. The female might challenge the male's strength to see if he's a good breeding material and if it's weaker than she is she will chase him out of her territory. One thing female rams can't stand at all are weak males.
* I'm still pretty much convinced that both of your fish are females though.
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Untitled No. 4,

Thanks again for the reply. I think I could handle 2 females better than 2 males, as this always allows me to add one male later on (no space right now). Let's hope that any fighting will not conclude in one being so stressed that it would die, the 20G should leave enough space for both, I hope.

I guess that is why Apsitos give you much less trouble, there is no way to confuse a male with a female .

Thanks again,

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Post InfoPosted 15-May-2006 10:53Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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They both should be fine in 20 gallons, especially as it's well planted and the submissive one will have enough places to hide. They also should calm down when they realise they living in autpian tank without males and will form an alternative community for female rams only.

Apistos can be confusing as well, by the way. I've had a few sent over to me from a breeder a long time ago and he sent me two males and four females. I've divided them into two tanks with one male and two females per tank and only after a while I found out that what I thought was a male was actually a female. Sometimes when they come from a good brood the females are so colourful and nice that when juvenile it is easy to confuse them for being males.

Also, I just remembered that it's being said that rams bred in the far-east are being given hormones to appear more colourful which might make males look like females, so you still might have a male in there somewhere.

I wonder if that makes your fish transvestite (assuming it is a male)?
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I don't know, guess I will have to wait until he undresses himself to find that out.

Untitled No. 4 - thank you so much for the input, you know that I have always highly valued your comments (and that since almost one year now)

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Post InfoPosted 15-May-2006 18:21Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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Untitled No. 4,

It's been a long time since you've joined our friendly little discussion group. You seem to have alot of experience with both fish and plants, but I realized I've never seen one of your setups. Can you treat us with a pic of one past or present?



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Post InfoPosted 15-May-2006 22:56Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Untitled No. 4
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EditedEdited by Untitled No. 4
Tetratech,

There are a few things that I have quite an experience with and one of those things are rams. I have kept rams for a while now and I know a serious breeder and everything I know comes from him. Regarding the male/female situation, I look at a fish and tell myself "oh, nice male/female" without even thinking about it. They just look different.

As for plants, my first planted tank was when about 16 years ago or something but I was a kid and it was just a tank with plants. I only took it seriously about two years ago. Unfortunately, experience doesn't necessarily equals success. Actually, in my experience experience equals failure. I have been very successful about a year and a half ago and then I started reading more and since then it's all gone down hill and the lowest point of my planted tank experience was about two weeks ago when I decided to give up and also went on holidays for 12 days. When I came back my tank was the best it has been for a while and i decided to take it slowly again. In other words, the more you know, the more you can mess up. At the moment my tank is recovering very nicely albeit slowly and I'm very optimistic.

As for pictures of my set up, my grandmother always told me that you don't show a half baked work and my new tank has never even been quarter baked! That's why you have never seen any pictures of it and never would until I thought it was 6/9 baked. But then you've asked specifically and I will oblige, but only later today as the last picture on my log (which is supposed to be for personal use only -- for me to be able to follow my "prgoress" ) was taken about three weeks ago, just before the "big flop" and I want to take another one today before I present it for the world.

I also would like to find a picture of my other tank when it was at its best and as it is now (which is not bad, in my opinion) to ease my embarrasment.

I also promise not to hijack Little Fish's thread and start my own, and with the time zone difference you should have something to read at just about those dead hours at work.

To be continued...
Post InfoPosted 16-May-2006 09:20Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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Untitled No. 4,

See, that is where we are different. I have no shame () showing my tank at any stage. I may bug my fellow planters too much when I go on and on about algae issues and what not, but on the other hand I also believe that I show "the world" that not all tanks look like Amanos.

We all know that even the grand masters of Planted Tanks had loads of failures before the mastered the art. And yes, somehow they don't present these failures in a visual form. But why not? What is the worst case? Others see/hear you ranting about your miserable tank and this makes them feel better about themselves as they a) know they are not alone or b) their tanks actually look better (but are not master pieces either).

In my opinion, I am not in a competition with my fellow planters. Sure do I envy tetratech and bensaf for their very nice looking tanks, but in a positive way. And I strongly believe that my tank would look worse now if I hadn't shown all the issues I had so far and these visual clues allowed others to advise better on what to do.

I don't mean this entry to state that all people should open up their "ugly tank vault" if they feel uncomfortable with it, but think about it. It is just a hobby

Ingo


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Post InfoPosted 16-May-2006 10:52Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
tetratech
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See, that is where we are different. I have no shame

Of course you have no shame, your from Jersey

Untitled,

I could certainly appreciate those comments, everyone has had issues at one point or another. It's the only way to learn. You were there when I first started my log and whoever goes thru it will see some of them. In fact I created a "Horrific Tank Thread" for people to show some of their problems and as LF has pointed out even Amano had problems.

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Post InfoPosted 16-May-2006 12:30Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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Of course you have no shame, your from Jersey


Well, albeit I am a resident of New Jersey, I am actually from Germany (and we got no shame either ).

Another topic: The rams don't seem to do too well, when I came home last night they were simply hanging out in different, more or less hidden, parts of the tank. Their breathing was rather heavy. I made a 50% water change right away, but even an hour later it was the same. The 24 hours following the purchase they were swimming through the tank and picked out some goodies from the moss. Now they don't even eat when I feed anymore. Doesn't look good

And another topic: Last night I measure the big tank ph as I had not done so after adding the power head and having the CO2 on for the full day. It seems like I have a ph of around 6.4 , which - combined with a KH of around 5 - should give me 60ppm of CO2, and that 2 hours before lights out. Am I pushing it?

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Post InfoPosted 16-May-2006 13:13Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
tetratech
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Rams,
What tank are these in and with what?

Big tank,
I think if your fish look fine leave it.



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Post InfoPosted 16-May-2006 13:29Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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tetratech,

The Rams are in the 20G Long QT, with 3 platies and 3 Dwarf Neon Rainbows that I aquired a week earlier. All other fish are as spunky as ever.

Fish in the big tank look and behave normally, thanks for the advice on leaving the current CO2 flow.

Ingo


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Post InfoPosted 16-May-2006 15:38Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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Hi LF,
Yes, I think that with those readings you are "pushing it."
I'd back off on the CO2 by a bubble or so and let the pH
climb a bit more and get the CO2 down to around 30.

Frank


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Post InfoPosted 16-May-2006 15:40Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
tetratech
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LF,

What's the no3 level about in the 20g. Unfortunately when you buy these rams from stores they aren't used to any planted tank conditions and I know they need to adjust to no3 levels. I personally would check that and keep doing water changes to keep the water pristine.

Back to the PH, Frank taking the cautious road (fish frist) so I understand where he's going. Truth be told we really don't know your exact co2 range. If your PH is really 6.6 and not 6.4 and your kh is really 4 and not 5, than your co2 is really 30ppm that's why you have to see the reaction of the fish. I constantly have a ph of like 6.0 with a kh of 2/3 and I have absolutely no problem with any fish, only when I acclimate new fish to quickly.

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Post InfoPosted 16-May-2006 15:52Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Untitled No. 4
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Little Fish,

Rams, what you're describing is a typical problem with Rams (and some other cichlids, Discus, for instance) and it's a matter of internal bacterial infections, or hexamita. Being on the sensitive side of things they are e to it and it might result from poor water conditions, continuous bullying, unstable water conditions and so on. In your case I guess it's mostly because of moving to a new home, and perhaps an acclimation period which was too short.

Usually the first sign of the disease is that the fish stop eating, sometimes they try to eat but spit it back (always pay attention to their eating habits!) and becoming shy. Then they usually have white and long excrement and usually they darken (which most people think is a good thing as it looks as if they colour up). Later it might develop into hole in the head disease and so on.

Bottom line: you must act now or they will most likely die.

Treatment: well, I've had good experience with Waterlife's Octozin and JBL's Furanol. I prefer Furanol as you can give the fish a dip for half an hour instead of dosing the whole tank. Anyway, I don't think this information will be of any help as I don't think either products is available in America. You'll have to ask American aquarists for recommended medications available to you. Try asking someone who has Discus fish or looking up Discus information as it's something most Discus keepers keep just in case.

I'll stress again that you have to act as soon as possible as the longer you wait the less chances they have to recover.

Hope this helps.
Post InfoPosted 16-May-2006 21:38Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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Untitled No. 4,

Thank you so much for the advice, you were right on (you sure know your Rams).

When I came home I went straight to the basement (location of soon all my tanks) and it was already too late.



Both are dead, seemed to have died not too long ago or the other fish didn't feel like eating them. I guess the forumla "Ingo + Rams = Happiness" does not apply.

Thanks for all the effort on the gender identification and behavior issues,

Ingo


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Post InfoPosted 16-May-2006 23:10Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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I'm sorry to hear about the rams dying. It happens in the hobby, and it definitely happens with rams, especially shop rams which are bred in on a production line without any thought of their well-being after they're sold.

I wouldn't give up just yet if I were you. When you decided to buy another couple just make sure the salesperson get you the fish you want. If he does that trick on you again, tell them to go away and call them again when you're ready and warn them you know what fish you want and that you will get them sacked (and not to mention castrated) if they don't get you those two fish.

Then when you come back home take your time acclimating them. About an hour. There are two methods to do that: The first one is the dripping method: you put the fish in a container and with an air tube with a flow restrictor (can be a tie in the tube) you drip water from the tank to the container, about a drop every couple of seconds. When the container is full, empty some water and continue. Remove from the stove after an hour and place in the tank.

The method I'm using is to float the fish in the bag in the tank and add about 20ml of tank water every five or so minutes. When the temperature in the bag and the TDS are the same as in the tank, I set it free. Mind you, I know my rams breeder and I know his fish are healthy and strong and that he picks his best fish for me, so I'm not too bothered.

Finally, remember: rams are not only stunning fish, they are entertaining two and no two fish have the same personality, so it's really worth trying to keep them again.

Again, sorry.
Post InfoPosted 16-May-2006 23:24Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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Thanks again Untitled No. 4,

Yeah, I acclimated them for 2 hours, beginning with about 30ml every 10min and after 1 hour shifted gradually to 50ml every 10min.

I guess the mistake was that it was a purchase in the spur of the moment. Not to mention the fact that I neglected the reason why I usually don't buy fish in a chain store. And I should have prepared the QT more to make the transition easier (if I had known that I was buying them). Lesson learned, yet again.

At least I don't have to worry about who is male and who is not.

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Post InfoPosted 16-May-2006 23:41Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
tetratech
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LF,
I don't think your ready my threads.

I had a whole thread here on German Rams and there propensity for getting internal infections. Mine usually got them between 2 and 6 months. I didn't thing they would succumb as fast as yours did.

In addition to acclimating slowly (which I'm sure you did) they need very pristine water with no perceived threats to their well being.

Did they show any syptoms of an infection? Perhaps a UV would help to rid the tank of any pathegons before attempting to add more.

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Post InfoPosted 16-May-2006 23:46Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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No tetratech,

Neither when alive nor dead did I see any damage by looking at them. And yes, I read your threads , it probably is more that I get a little too confident after being successful pretty often (recently).

BTW, did you see Untitled No. 4's Thread already?

Ingo


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Post InfoPosted 16-May-2006 23:57Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Untitled No. 4
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No disrespect for UV, but I think it's a bit unnecessary. I for one have had rams for ages without any problems and without UV. The internal infections that they have is something that they come with and will alway have and live with, but it will only become a problem in poor conditions but in my unprofessional opinion in most cases it is a problem of fish that are poorly bred, then poorly housed at shop and the shock of moving to new premises (regardless of how good they are) just finishes them.

For instance, I get my rams in the post after they've spent a night on the infamous routes of the Royal Mail and have never had the slightest problem with them. They come out of the box and start looking for food immediately. Usually, if it's a couple, they will start breeding within a week. Is it anything special that I'm doing? No, it's what the breeder is doing. So if you do want to give them another chance and you can be bothered, start researching now. I had to wait 3 months before I got my first fish from the breeder (although since then I'm always the first in queue. There's nothing you can't achieve in the fish world without a bribe of some nicely chosen plants...)
Post InfoPosted 17-May-2006 00:07Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
TW
 
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Ingo, so sorry about the german rams. That's so sad. I've never had the german ones, but have some bolivians instead. They aren't quite as pretty, but I've read they're easier to keep (more forgiving of conditions) & that the german rams are very sensitive to water conditions. I've been nervous to try them at this early stage in my career, but I'd like to give them a try one day. You should try again though, as they are really pretty looking fish.

Cheers
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Thanks,

Yes, I believe I will try again sometime, but not now. As I said, I wasn't planning on getting Rams at this point anyway and I will now hold off until I am ready (whenever that is) and a tank is ready.

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Post InfoPosted 17-May-2006 13:46Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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OK, new topic:

Nothing spectacular, but tetratech - you use Greg Watson's KNO3 as well, right? We once compared the time between our tanks that it took 5l of CO2 to run out and I learned from this that I used less CO2 then you (not good). Well, last night I finished the 2nd pound of KNO3, where are you in that department?

And - man, this Blyxa is for sure a floater. Yesterday was the first day in about 10 days where I did not have to re-root at least one Blyxa stem.

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Post InfoPosted 18-May-2006 10:09Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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- man, this Blyxa is for sure a floater. Yesterday was the first day in about 10 days where I did not have to re-root at least one Blyxa stem.



You've really gotta shove it down there good. The good thing about it is, it has a nice firm stem part so getting it in the gravel is pretty easy. Once it roots you should be fine, but I know what you mean about the floating


Back in the saddle!
Post InfoPosted 18-May-2006 15:56Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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EditedEdited by tetratech
Nothing spectacular, but tetratech - you use Greg Watson's KNO3 as well, right

Actually for KNO3 I use Greenlight Stump Remover which is pure potassium nitrate. From my original 16oz container I have aproximately 2 ounces left.

I purchased it at LOWES Home Improvement. The only thing I purchased from Greg Watson was the po4 and the so4. The so4 I never used, so I'm selling it cheap.

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Post InfoPosted 18-May-2006 16:32Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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Greenlight Stump Remover which is pure potassium nitrate

Does that mean that it is more N and K per tsp?

Also, help me out - is 16oz = 1 pound? In any case, it seems like you used much less than I do, given that I went already through 2 pounds .

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Post InfoPosted 18-May-2006 16:36Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
tetratech
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Does that mean that it is more N and K per tsp

To be honest I'm not sure.

Well your tank is abour 45% bigger than mine and you've used more than double what I've used.

But of course things are never that black & white, Take two 125g one with lower light and not as many plants, I don't think one would dose the same way.

As with my tank I was dosing 1/4, than 1/2 now 5/8 as mass increased.



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Post InfoPosted 18-May-2006 16:45Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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Well, this thread hasn't seen any new entries in 3 days, I think it is time to close it.



Just kidding . Instead, I will celebrate my 1 year FP membership with 18 pictures, so get ready for more plants and fish.

Weekly Tank Update - Week 34

This week's focus had been mostly on the delivery of the products for the 40G Breeder and as some of you know - this was/is not going too well. The plan was to set up that tank this weekend and the plants for it should have been coming out of the 125G.

For that reason I let the plants grow rather tall and I may have caused some problems while doing so. Loads of plants cause loads of shading, which in turn may cause loads of die-off on the lower leaves. For some reason or another, the BBA is really taking off. Certain leaves of slow growers, and even some fast growers, really have a beard at the leaf edges by now. As I absolutely cannot wait any longer with the trimming, I cut down the Wisteria, Hygro, and the Ludwigia, whereby the first two have replanted tops and disposed bottoms. The Hygro angustifolia grew so nicely that I had a few stems left for the 29G.

Pictures: Here is a close-up of the Ludwigia before trimming. It's horizontal growth was soo strong that it started to grow over the Star Grass far to its right side

Attached Image:

Ludwigia before Trimming



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Now, going back to week 31, which was only 3 weeks ago. This was the last time the Star Grass group had been trimmed.

You can see the few stems of the Ludwigia on the left, at that time, they pretty much reached their final height and the horizontal growth is just about to start (being pushed to the right by the current from the spray bar). Also, the Hygro on the right is about 2/3rds of the tank height.

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Tank 3 Weeks Ago



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One week later, in week 32, the Hygro has grown just a little taller, not by much. Also, the Star Grass hasn't improved a lot, but the Ludwigia was on its way to the right. I did not realize it at that time, but there seems to have been some growth slowing limitation in the tank. Most likely it was the CO2 which had not been efficiently distributed through the tank and loads of it left the water immediately after rising to the top.

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Tank 2 Weeks Ago



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One week ago, at week 33, the growth was measurable again, but maybe only because the last gap from plant top to tank top had finally closed for some of the Star Grass. Also the Hygro reached the top and had been replanted at that point. It wasn't trimmed though as I planned to do that this weekend to add the cut off stems to the 40G.

That weekend, I added the small Rio pump to diffuse and re-direct the CO2 bubbles to the right side of the tank.

Attached Image:

Tank 1 Week Ago



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Which brings us to this weekend. Here is the tank before trimming. Growth had been tremendous during that week. The Star Grass and the Hygro really took off. I assume this validates the assumption that my CO2 was not working too well in the weeks before. On the other hand, BBA also took off, which I find strange as it is supposed to do better in less CO2.

Check out the Ludwigia. The few stems had many branches on them that started to form a dense carpet over the Anubias group and into the Star Grass group, which in turn became so full that it even shaded parts of the front section of the tank. Not to mention the jungle the Hygro created.

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Tank This Weekend - Before Trimming



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Well, as mentioned earlier, it was time for a major trim of all fast growers. The Ludwigia had been cut back to start the horizontal growth anew. All the Star Grass had been removed, botttoms trimmed away, and replanted. The Hygro angustifolia also had been removed, this were actually only 2 stems (a third one, created from a trimming about 4 weeks back, had been left in place and is now the tallest of that group). Out of these 2 original stems I created maybe 8 new ones, 4 smaller ones of them ended up in the 29G.

Here is the tank now:

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Tank This Weekend - After Trimming



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Having a hard time getting the camera focus on the BBA, here are 2 shots to show you some exampled. First off, this is a section in the tank that is formed by Crypt Retrospirals and Narrow Leaf Sags. One can clearly see how nicely lined up the BBA is along the edges of the individual leaves. I believe to have observed that most leaves affected are a) slow growers and b) shaded. Any ideas about that?

Attached Image:

Sag and Crypt with BBA



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Here is another example, a close-up of my beloved Isoetes Lacustris. Off topic, this plant is very interesting. If you have some time then peruse the web and learn more about it. For one thing, it is a "very old" plant that does not have the structure of most things that we call plants now. Having seen how badly affected this plant is, and knowing that I rarely can get my hands on them, I decided to do another Excel treatment. I added about 60ml after the water change and will add for the rest of the week daiyly 30ml. Let's see if this will have any effect. So far, the Excel treatment had worked once very well and the second time around just a little.

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Isoetes Lacustris with BBA



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EditedEdited by LITTLE_FISH
Please make sure to check the loads of pictures (and a question or two) on the previous page

Ok, here is a fish picture now, in an attempt to distract myself from any algae related issue. My Neon Dwarf Rainbows are doing very well in the tank, actually - it seems like all fish do well .

Here is a male showing off his beautiful red finnage in comparison to his blue body (actually, blue reflection, but you knew that anyway). It is hard to get a shot of them showing color as they hang out mostly in the top left corner of the tank when I come closer, thinking it may be food time. In that section, the light is not shining on their sides and they are mostly shaded.

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Male Neon Dwarf Rainbow



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For the same reason, and the fact that he is a rather shy fellow, here is a rare shot of the male Pearl Gourami. Besides him fleeing the tank if I approach it without food, and hanging in the top left corner during feeding, he spends a lot of time on the surface. This is a bad angle for me to take a picture of him as my tank is usually filled very high and the black top rim gets in the way. BTW, this weekend I was a little slow removing the hose from the tank and I actually filled the tank to the bottom of the top rim, about 1/2 inch below the glass . Should I lower the water level?

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Male Pearl Gourami



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The "out-of-focus" streaks that you can see behind the Gourami in the last picture are not bubbles that have been created by the water change, they are the output of the Rio pump that pushes CO2 from left to right throughout the tank. Here is another shot of it. You can also see the trimmed group of Ludwigia and a lonely stem of my Alternanthera. This is one of quite a few stems that are distributed through the tank, all trimmings of one tiny stem I added to the tank when I started 34 weeks ago. And that stem lived for quite a long time in a shaded spot and didn't grow at all.

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CO2 Distribution Contraption



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The major trimming performed this weekend also gave me the chance to account for all of my 6 Otos. I am glad to see that none of them had died as the jungle that is provided by my tank usually allows me to see maybe 3 at most. Here is a shot of 3 of them. To me, it always looks like they are singing a song when they attach themselves to the glass. Very graceful

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3 Of My Otos



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Good Morning. We're up early for a Sunday.

One can clearly see how nicely lined up the BBA is along the edges of the individual leaves. I believe to have observed that most leaves affected are a) slow growers and b) shaded. Any ideas about that?


Same thing was happening in my tank. BBA on mostly hardscape and slow growing plants. It got worse on my Blyxa when it was more shaded, maybe because it was a bigger target because it was growing even slower. On the otherhand BBA was growing on the inside of the diffusor right where the co2 comes outs. Maybe it's opening is inconsistency. I mean it could be inconsistent light/co2/growth. This seems to open the door.


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I also had a chance to make this shot of 5 of the Otos, but not all are in focus, sorry about that. These guys became extremely active after the water change, zooming through the tank from left to right and back, regrouping on the glass, then swimming around each other, and occasionally even chasing a little Espei once in a while . Maybe this weeks changed got them in the mood, although the chance for Oto fry is slim to nothing.

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How About 5 Otos?



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And, while showing off the fishies in the tank, one cannot forget the Apistos that I added 2 weeks ago. These fish are the most trusting of all, followed by the Rainbows. When I approach the tank glass and tip with my finger at the glass right in front of them they don't even blink (well, they can't blink as they don't have eye lids, but you know what I mean). The Rainbows take flight first, but then return to my finger.

Here is a shot of the male Apisto.

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Male Apisto



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I don't know if it is noticable, but I played with the camera settings for some of the shots. One particular element was switching from "flourescent" to "Tungsten" which seems to make the pictures more green.

Anyway, here is the female Apisto. I like her very much and during feeding she occasionally lets me pet her side. I really have to make sure that she gets her share as the hyper-active Rainbows tend to snatch any food away. The stalking behavior of Apistos is sure a dis-advantage when it comes to competing with Rainbows and Pearls.

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Female Apisto



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The last section of pictures is plant related (bare with me - only 3 more shots). Here is a close-up of the Wisteria I planted in the front left of the tank. It was once a small clipping from my 20G tank but has developed into a beautiful little bush. If I could manage to keep it that size then it would make an excellent foreground plant. But on the other hand, that would make my tank look too much like tetratechs

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Wisteria



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Here is a shot of the Anubias that I purchased 2 weeks ago at the fish auction. To my surprise, it hasn't developed any algae yet. That Anubias was labeled as "hastifolia" but I have serious doubt (actually I am pretty sure) that this is not what it is. Anyone wanna tell me what you think?

When looking at this picture I also remember that I trimmed about 6 to 8 leaves of the Anubias Nana and Barteri group on the left. These had dark brown alage coverage over almost the entire surface, at least the parts of it that were exposed to light. They had a hard time as I once had them out of the water for way too long.

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Anubias ? in front of Star Grass



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On to the last photo for now, the area formerly know as Prince - eh, Rock Valley.

It probably now could be called "the beauty and the beast." While some of the plants in that section look very nice and are doing rather well, other spots are just ugly, like the thread algae covered small piece of drifwood, the substrate which begins to have a carpet of algae (probably food and gunk related), and some Anubias leaves growing a beard of BBA.

That's it for now, hope you liked the pictures,

Ingo

Attached Image:

Tank Section to be Named



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LF,
I don't know if you saw my post in the middle of your pic upload about BBA.

Pics are great, my favorite the femail apisto (don't know who's nice looking the male or the female) and of course the Wisteria.

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Great Pictures Ingo.

And Congratulations on one year! /:'

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EditedEdited by LITTLE_FISH
I don't know if you saw my post in the middle of your pic upload about BBA.
No, I actually did not see that entry. I was in a frency when writing this weeks update. Can you believe it, it took me 1 hour and 20 minutes just for the update, not to mention the time to select, trim, and resize all the photos.

Interestingly I do not have any BBA on anything else but plants and wood. Nothing on the heaters, glass, and filter parts. Inconsistency, that would for sure be true, in particular with the increased shading of the last week.

Thanks for the info, glad that I am not alone with this issue,

Ingo

EDIT: Rick - didn't see your entry until now. Thanks for the congrats and comment on the pictures. Yeah, 1 year at FP, somehow I did manage to add quite a few posts in that time. I wonder how much time I spent on FP during that year


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Just a quick update:

As of today, I reduced the light period to 10 hours, one hour less than before. This means the new cycle is from 11AM to 9PM. Darn, I forgot to change the high light period to be later, this is still 1PM to 4PM. I will have to set it more to the middle of the overall cycle.

This rule will have to be broken though on Saturdays as I will have to start earlier with the tank maintenance to keep my afternoon as free as possible (hard thing to do with the 40G coming soon).

I would assume there should not be a problem with turning on the lights earlier one day a week, right?

Ingo


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I would assume there should not be a problem with turning on the lights earlier one day a week, right?


I work right through the light cycle on my tank. Which means that plants don't really get any light during that time. I'd turn the lights on earlywhile you work, but leave them on until they would go off at 9pm. It wouldn't be a problem.



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Thanks Matty

That is what I assumed as well. The water change days are messed up tank days anyway. You shut down the CO2 for a while in the middle of the day (in my case for about 1.5 hours until 60G of water are drained and refilled), your ph changes because of the new water, so does the KH and GH, lights are different because you may chose to have only half of them on while trimming takes place, gunk is stirred up from the trimming, and what not.

Update on the Excel treatment:

I have added 60ml on Saturday, and over 30ml on the following two days, so far there is no difference in the BBA, not even a color change

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I would forget the excel treatment. It's only preventing your plants from pearling at this point.

Keep moving toward the direction of a little more co2 and keep it stable. Keep reducing feeding, fishload and if possible the surface area of your biofilter and your tank will be more centered and your algae problems will be
history.

I could honestly say even the BBA is gone in my tank. It was getting on the Blyxa but has stopped since the shading issue has been improved.



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It's only preventing your plants from pearling at this point
Well, I actually opened my log today to report the first stage of success on the Excel treatment, some of the BBA is starting to turn red and a few spots are already bright red. So I will keep on doing it for at least this week.

Nevertheless: tetratech - what do you mean by "if possible the surface area of your biofilter and your tank will be more centered" ? Like I should add more bio filter? Centered? Please explain.

My CO2 is for sure high, I have CO2 bubbles all over the tank, tiny ones. But you know what, except for water change day, and during injuries or on Anubias flowers, I never have pearling. Me wonders if my light is too low.

Ingo


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If the excel is working great, I just meant what's the point if it's not doing anything.

Nevertheless: tetratech - what do you mean by "if possible the surface area of your biofilter and your tank will be more centered" ? Like I should add more bio filter? Centered?
If your still getting algae, than something is too far off center for the plants to make up the difference. Forget that your lights are too small, don't even thing that. I would probably have to run 4.5 wpg on my tank to equal your intensity.

I think we pretty much eliminated that it's the EI program causing algae. As discussed before your doing the same thing many others are doing without algae problems. And the "center" with EI can be as much as 3 times off it's target.

I feel very stongly as you know it's in your waste/light combination. There's simply too much light and too much available waste for the algae spores to stay dormant. Yes a large filter (more biofilter) would help. If the plants aren't growing well than more co2 as well.

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May I rock the CO2 boat a bit? Now I'm no expert on plants or chemistry but I have some experience with planted tanks and this is where this is coming from.

Until a few weeks ago my 200L tank (not the one I posted pictures of) was miserable. Growth of some plants wasn't so great and I was getting some algae. I was more worried about the growth than the algae, to be honest. I was also reading everywhere that pushing the CO2 up would help so I passed the 30ppm mark and went higher, much higher, "it's okay until the fish show signs of stress" higher. Then I went away for 12 days and so shut off the CO2 and left only some of the lights on for 5 - 6 hours a day so the plants don't die, but not expecting any growth.

When I came back I had a pleasant surprise. The plants that I had problem with have recovered -- they didn't grow much due to the lack of CO2 and no light but the growth that they did have was healthy. On top of that, 95% of my algae has gone. I decided to take it slowly from there regarding the CO2 and have only started with 15 - 20ppm (<1 bubble per minute compared to about 4 - 5 bubbles per minute before). I thought that later I could bring it up a bit more if I feel the plants need it. The light intensity has gone up again to what it was before and then a bit higher.

It's been over two weeks now since and I haven't touched the CO2. Results? Plant growth is better and faster. Plants that were struggling are now flourishing. The algae I still have is less than the 5% that I had after coming back and it's only on wood, not on plants. Although I put less CO2 than before I have much more pearling (if that's an indication). And the best thing is that I'm happier with the tank than I have been for months. By the way, my fish seem happier too. Although they have never shown signs of stress like fast breathing or gasping at the surface, they have become more active and all the shrimps that I have are now all over the tank while they used to be very shy before.

I don't want to sound like an evangelist preaching for a new belief and I don't think I'm in a position to start theorising and analysing. All I'm saying is that this experience has made me think a lot about what has just happened to my tank.

By the way, the last time my plant growth was as good was several months ago before I bought the current diffuser I'm using. I bought it because I felt that the one I had added insufficient CO2 levels to the tank and wanted to push it a bit higher.

Again, just my humble experience.
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May I rock the CO2 boat a bit?

I don't know about rocking it, but you would be alone in it.

You tell an interesting tale, but I think more details are needed. You don't really say how heavily planted you were or what kind of plants, etc you had in the tank. If you were achieving 30ppm in a 100L tank with 4 or 5 bubbles per minute you couldn't have had much in there.

It's not really debatable the benefit co2 has on plants given sufficient light and nutrients. I can't even count the bubble rate I'm running, but it's at least 4 or 5 per SECOND. My plants pearl everynite. My water literally looks like carbonated soda and the fish are as healthly as can be.

As I mentioned earlier, IMHO it's all about balance and haven't the tank centered (within a range.)

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Wow,

Now here are two people on opposite ends of the opinion meter

First of all, thanks to both of you for sharing your experience. I am sure that Untitled No.4 meant seconds, BTW. Also, I don't think he would be the only one who has the opinion that higher levels of CO2 are not necessairy. We actually don't know (or at least I have not read about a pin-pointed analysis yet) why we achieve better results on such high levels. Maybe these levels have some secondary impact on things (just thinking out loud) that help in most situations but not in all. I can for sure say that CO2 in itself is not a guarantee for success. My levels are high, no doubt, but I have no pearling of the plants, ever .

Ingo


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EditedEdited by tetratech
Now here are two people on opposite ends of the opinion meter

I don't know if it's really two opposite opinions, because in Untitled's case it wasn't a permanent solution.

Untitled himself said that he turned off some lights and ran the others for 5 to 6 hrs. He saw none or little growth in his plants. That really doesn't sound like a permanent solution to what appears were algae problems prior to his "soft blackout".

If his plants were getting algae and the fish weren't happy then something was out of whack. I'm constantly pushing 6.0 ph and kh of 2 or 3 and my fish are all fine.

If untitled wants to report back to me that he ran a highlight tank with no co2 and his plants grew great and it was free of algae for a long-time than I'll eat my words

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male usa
I know I'm late but yes, that soft black-out has a lot to do with the disappearance of algae. And I can trace my algae PROBLEMS back to when my CO2 cannister ran out and I had to go a few days without. The point is, there's so much at play here that we can't just pin it on one thing or another and generalize about eachothers' tanks.

It appears that Untitled switch over to a non-CO2 tank, cutting back on lights and nutrients and letting the tank balance itself that way.

Now Untitled and tetra, if you can't resolve this with words, may I suggest Irish bare-knuckles fisticuffs out back?


Back in the saddle!
Post InfoPosted 26-May-2006 18:37Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
tetratech
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It appears that Untitled switch over to a non-CO2 tank, cutting back on lights and nutrients and letting the tank balance itself that way.


Very nicely said. See that wasn't hard. Want to hear something really weird, I just looked at my regulator and it appears I'm out of co2. I don't remember when I got my refill, but it definitely went much faster the second time which makes sense.

My Scapes
Post InfoPosted 26-May-2006 19:00Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Untitled No. 4
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Big Fish
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male uk
No, no, I'm afraid there has been some misunderstanding.

The "soft blackout" as you call it was due to me being away and having no way/no one to dose my tank while I was away. When I came back I switched the CO2 back on and returned the lights to normal. This is really when the tank took off.

Some more details:
The tank volume is 200L (50G). It's medium planted, about the same plant mass as yours, Tetra. Plants are a combination of fast to medium growing plants. Lights have are the same as before. Fertilising is the same as before (a little bit of macros and micros every day). All other parameters (KH=2, GH = 3) are as before. Can't say I test too often but NO3 is around 10ppm, PO4 is 0.5 - 1ppm. And I did mean 4 - 5 bubles per second (again, something which is hard to really count).

The tank has been running with the high CO2 for about 4 months and was rubbish. It has been with low CO2 for the past 2 weeks. I know 2 weeks is not a very long time but I think that when adding CO2 2 weeks are enough to get a feeling of whether things are okay or not.

The reason I shared this with you is not because I belive that non-CO2 or low-CO2 tanks are better. I don't believe anything, I'm not into theorising anything and I'm definitely not trying to preach anything.

I did share this because I thought it would give you something to think and discuss about which I think has some relation to what you're already discussing (CO2 levels, that is). That's all.

I come in peace!
Post InfoPosted 26-May-2006 21:47Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
LITTLE_FISH
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I did share this because I thought it would give you something to think and discuss about
And it sure did

I for one would like to hear about different approaches and success stories while doing so. The more options are given that lead to equal results the better it is, IMHO.

As tetratech said, there are loads of parameters that determine the outcome of a successfully planted tank, and with Untitled's medium planted tank, water conditions, ferts, and what not, he may have found the settings that suit him well.

I, on the other hand, am still searching for the right conditions. I can report that more and more of the BBA is turning reddish, but I also have to say that my thread algae is advancing again (slowly increasing since about 2 weeks now, becoming noticably more recently).

Ingo


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Post InfoPosted 26-May-2006 23:34Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
bensaf
 
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Why ?

Run with high light Co2 = things go bad, cut back light, stop Co2 return but back on Co2 and lights = things go well.

What does that tell you ?

Running with good light and Co2 the nutrients have to be there, constantly, even a temporary shortage will cause issues or stunting. Seems like something was missing or too low. Switch off for a while and everything slows down, less nutrients are required and waste builds up naturally. So when you come back and switch everything back on you are a little better off nutrient wise and everything goes better.

The sudden lack of light and Co2 tells the algae to stop reproducing. Adult algae has a very very limited life span compared to plants. A life span of a few weeks compared to a life span of many many years for plants.

That would be my take on it.

Nothing wrong with going against the Co2 grain, we've become a bit obsessed with it. A lot of people see it has a cure all when in fact it can cause a lot more issues then it solves if the nutrients aren't right.

The interactions between the nutrients are often forgotten. Nothing wrong with , say high P or K but these will both drive up N consumption. If the extra N is not supplied there will be more then likely issues, especially in tanks where there's a lot of fast growing stems. These will always be the first to be hit. There's a reason why Anubias/Ferns/Mosses are so easy to grow.

It's a lifestyle choice

Fast growth lots of work against the steady patient waiting game.

There's a lot of pondering about Amano's Co2 habits. Some say he runs a bit lower and only has the co2 on during his mid day burst of MH lighting. I guess nobody knows for sure. But his stem plants are never the fullest looking so maybe he does run low, but steady. His choice of stem plants are usually fairly simple.

I do believe the stability is just as important as the level.

Certainly my own experience is that the high level 20-30ppm does work better but it has to be stable and the nutrients absolutely must be right.

Having said that, I've said before that lower light and NO Co2 is the best bang for your buck in the long term. Yes the plant choice is limited and it's painfully slow but there are very rarely issues and it's a lot less work.

I had a low light no co2 set up for quite a while. Never had to dose ferts and I was very very happy with it. Looked good too, won the aquascaping contest here. When I changed to more light and co2, yes I could grow more plants, they were fuller and lusher but I also had a lot more headaches.

Lower light and lower Co2 seems to be less problematic too.

As I've said before it's the norm here in Asia to run with a lot less light and lower Co2. But the plant choices are different. Not so many stem plants used here, and usually it's fairly simple ones. Lots of Ferns, Mosses and Anubias,Crypts,Swords and Grasses. Hardscape is of equal importance to the plants so high growth rates are not necessarily desirable.The slower plant types put less demand on nutrients.

As I said it's a lifestyle choice.

It's also balance, and as is often forgotten plant choice is part of that balance as well as the nutrients, light and Co2.

As far as Ingo's issues - well I wouldn't worry about the Excel stopping pearling, that's just due to the de-oxygenating properites of the chems , doesn't mean the plants are doing less better.

If the plants aren't pearling now it's not a light issue. You had heavy pearling before with the same lights, so that can be ruled out.

It may be low Co2 or nutrients.

It may simply be you now have more fish consuming more oxygen therfore saturation of the water which will lead to pearling is more difficult.

If the gas and nutrients are good I wouldn't worry about the lack of pearling at all.



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 27-May-2006 04:25Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
LITTLE_FISH
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Yeah

Bensaf - nice balanced entry stating the advantages of low and high tech approaches, and even offering a middle path (which I believe is what Untitled has found)

I never had strong pearling, ever . I have no idea why that was the case, I guess some parameter is always off, no matter what I do. Or, pearling depends on other factors as well, like fish load, but I didn't even have it when there were only 15 fish in the tank (but then maybe other things were wrong).

What can I say - I am just not a pearler

Tankwise, the whole thing is starting to become upsetting. I don't even have a chance to truely scape this sucker, I am afraid that any removal of plants (fast growers) would instantly cause another algae bloom and as such I leave things mostly as is, besides the trimmings. This is for sure not how I would like the tank to look like in the end. Yeah - it may not be ugly, and yeah - algae may be limited, but just not what I want.

Soooo much to learn,

Ingo


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Post InfoPosted 27-May-2006 12:20Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
tetratech
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What can I say - I am just not a pearler

LF, I'm pretty sure I remember some of your beautiful pics that showed pearling. By the way before I got the ceramic diffusor my plants never pearled but their growth was excellent, so as Bensaf pointed out it's really not an indication of plant health.

Bensaf is right when he says it's a "lifestyle choice". I notice the difference between my 12g and 72g. The 12g does o,k, but nothing grows fast not even the wisteria and I'm dosing excel everyday with EI. There isn't alot of algae under the 27 watts of light so there is very little to do maintenance wise, which is a good thing because of the 72g.

Here's a couple of points:

1.
Maybe your lifestyle doesn't blend with a high-tech planted tank. I know you do weekly water changes, but maybe not seeing your tank enough doesn't allow you to "see" certain things before they become a bigger problem. I'm also starting to think constant trimming is a really good thing (if you have time to do it, which you might be, because of algae-infected leaves), because it drives uptake and makes the plants grow fuller creating even more mass.

2.
If you step back from your tank (go ahead do it)and really think about it, why should you have these algae problems. As discussed many times, your doing what the "Master" and I "his humble apprentice" are doing. Light my Dear Jersey Friend, LIGHT. Now I'm not implying that your light is bad, because it's not. But just like in the bigger ecosystem called Earth, light (the sun) is the driver of life and decides what happen in your little ecosystem.

We all know that when you have high light every changes, you need more co2, more ferts. In the same vein you provide more opportunity for life, which of course includes more algae spores joining the fun. Look what happens when a tank is near a window in sunlight. The most intense light of all. Your light even though your only doing a midday burst is very strong. As I said it would be like Bensaf and I running 4 to 5wpg. With that light on my tank I might be posting right now in a thread titled "Chaos Maximus II"

So after all this time, IMHO you need to take a step back and take a larger approach. You must reduce your lighting or do a combination of more water changes, less fish, less food and add more biofilter mass. I would also push the co2 as far as it can go and don't go light on the ferts. Remember it's a &*^% estimative index - Tetratech out.

My Scapes
Post InfoPosted 27-May-2006 13:46Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
LITTLE_FISH
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Deep thoughts tetratech,

Yes, you did mention all these points before, and I guess a reminder once a week is a good thing

The pearling pictures of my tank were mostly post-water-change shots from a time when I didn't know about the corelation between pearling and new water .

About the light: although I hear you, and although I am close to try not turning my second row of lights on at all (as may be indicated by last weeks change of cutting down on the overall lighting period from 11 to 10 hours), I am not so sure that your evaluation of my light is proper. Remember that I have to light 2 more feet of tank than you do, that's 50%. Albeit the amount of wattage over the tank is larger, it is streched rather thin when looking at inches of lenght (and depth). Your light is focussed on a much smaller area.

I am with you on the fishload, one reason why I can't wait to have the 40G set up and thin out the crowd a little. Food has already been greatly reduced. CO2 is way up. Cleaning my filter more often may also be a good thing, I have cleaned it maybe 3 times in the last 40 weeks (not good I guess).

Ingo out


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Post InfoPosted 27-May-2006 14:25Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
tetratech
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I have cleaned it maybe 3 times in the last 40 weeks (not good I guess).


In some tanks that might be fine, but not in yours.

I am not so sure that your evaluation of my light is proper


I certainly respect your opinion about the light, but please remember your light is twice as strong as mine and your tank is the same depth. I don't want to turn this into a technical breakdown of lighting, but that's a lot of light. Again the light isn't a problem in itself, but it needs a lot of support.




My Scapes
Post InfoPosted 27-May-2006 15:05Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
LITTLE_FISH
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Yeah, maybe the problems are filter cleaning related as well, I will have to work on that

About the light, after re-evaluating your light (1/2 of mine) compared to tank size, I guess you are right, I have more than you do. What is your current light schedule?

Another option would also be that I still have some shortage on something, most likely Iron. I only use TMG for micros and never add a product like Flourish Iron on top of it. Do you guys think that would be a god idea? I have an Iron measuring kit, but identifying such small quantities by means of a sliding colored comparison chart is anything but accurate.

Thanks tetratech ,

Ingo (PS: my 4000'th post)


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Post InfoPosted 27-May-2006 15:22Profile PM