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10 year 60cm tank... did some maintenance

erwin123

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Weekly update.
  • Removed all the R. H'ra. Getting a bit messy due to their bending + crawling along the substrate behaviour.
  • Removed a C. Wendtii which was in the middle off to the emersed pots
  • Removed all the Tropica in vitro C. Crispulata. It just didn't work out and they didn't grow. When I pulled them out, 2 out of the 3 plants had a decent root structure but it just didn't grow. The C. Retrospiralis (non-in vitro) planted around the same time now has 45cm leaves. Lets see if they grow better emersed.
  • Moved the Amano chewed up AR Minis to the rear so they were rather dense in the midground and you couldn't see through them to the rear. Triaged those in the worst condition. Off to the emersed pots.
  • Moved the R. 'Blood Red' to replaced the AR Minis in the middle.
Due to the removal so much plant mass (ie the H'ra and some AR Minis), it appears that the nitrogen uptake was reduced and this was shown in my NO3 test - visibly darker shade of yellow (I take photographs of the test solution under identical lighting conditions for comparison as well). So it suggested to me that I should reduce my APT complete dosing slightly and the next day, NO3 test was back to the same colour. While NO3 tests may not accurately give me the exact level of NO3, the change in colour at least lets me know whether my nitrate level is increasing.


In terms of plant additions:
  • Added a couple of stalks of P. Erectus. I have a lone stalk heavily shaded by the Super Reds and its surprisingly doing fine (i.e. not algae ridden) though it remains short. So my idea is to have a few 'short' stems of P.Erectus in the middle to lead into the background.
  • Added some new stalks of R. Florida. They start gaining colour pretty quickly which is nice.This is a hard to propagate plant. I have some side shoots, fingers crossed.
  • Added B. Salzmannii. The faintest traces of colour have appeared at the topmost leaves. Hope I can grow this. Fingers crossed.

I wish I could get more L. Pantanal as this is another hard to propagate plant. Some of the cut-off stems have tiny new shoots appearing but not sure whether they are growing larger.
 

erwin123

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Weekly Update:

Maintaining Nitrates in the 10mg range, I've settled on a dosing regime of 3ml APT Complete + 3ml APT Zero daily (my tank is about 100 litres). I will continue to tweak and experiment in the hopes of getting my Pantanal to colour up.
Moving the AR Minis to the back was a good choice given that the Amanos have developed a taste from them as the leaves with holes are much less noticeable. Hopefully the Amanos will eat only the lower leaves which are not so noticeable and leave the new growth untouched 😁

The L Pantanal are growing fast and it seems I am trimming them once every 10 days. Unfortunately I was careless and I damaged the crown of one of them😭. Haven't seen them in my LFS for some time as I think might be easier to just get more stems than to wait for them to propagate. There are some side shoots from my cut off bottom stems so maybe I'll get a suitable replacement soon. However, I haven't figured out the parameters for them to turn red. Same for the B. Salzmannii - some hints of colour but they don't seem to be colouring up. They are from my LFS and same source as the R Florida (I can tell by the plastic bags they come in that they were from the same source) so I assume they are the real deal and not some ordinary green Bacopas.

Removed the R. Green as it was getting a bit messy and stringy like the H'ra and moved the H. Difformis over to the middle - I left a few stems of the H'ra together with the Super Reds and they are actually doing pretty well and growing fast despite being shaded by the Super Reds. I'll let them overgrow, hopefully they'll breach the surface and once they have emersed leaves, I'll cut and plant in my emersed pots.

Additions
Ludwigia 'Guinea' - a little bit of colour showing
Syngonanthus 'Lago Grande' - planted them side by side the existing stems of P. Erectus and they look rather nice (internet says Lago Grande - softwater, Erectus - hardwater... lets see how they do...)
H. Pinnatifa - I actually like the fresh green leaves and there have been so many threads about them in UKAPS I thought I would give it a try. I want something that can grow straight and be a nice background-ish plant.
E. Polaris - having failed at Eleocharis Mini (Corydoras dug almost everything out and I even saw a barb with hairgrass in its mouth...), I'm testing out whether I can use this to make a 'lawn'.
 
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plantnoobdude

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still my favorite tank @erwin123 algae looks to be residing. Lago grande is a beautiful plant. hopefully the salzmanii colors up.
I look forward to these weekly updates.
 

erwin123

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still my favorite tank @erwin123 algae looks to be residing. Lago grande is a beautiful plant. hopefully the salzmanii colors up.
I look forward to these weekly updates.
thanks, I'm looking forward to seeing the Blood vomit grow in your tank. Its a really expensive plant in my LFS so I'm not ready to try it yet.... the other super expensive Erio is the Eriocaulon quinquangulare....

The E. Cinereum which seems to be the same as Polaris (I'm not an expert the name was on the bag the plant came in), hope you are able to propagate it by splitting when it grows big enough, I want to learn how to do it.
 

plantnoobdude

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me too : ) I want to get quinquangulare as well. but it seems to need a bit more light than i can provide at the moment.
E cinereum is very easy to split. i'll tell you how if you pm me.
 

erwin123

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DSC00444 26 jun 21.JPG


Also just sharing an easy plant to grow emersed, the Ludwigia Super Reds. I just dumped a 2 cut stems into a glass jar and they just took off! Even in direct sunlight like this several hours a day they did ok and I didn't flood the glass jar, just kept it well watered. I've just planted the bottom stem of Pantanal into another pot to see if I have any luck with emersed growing, since submersed propagation is so hard.
 

erwin123

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me too : ) I want to get quinquangulare as well. but it seems to need a bit more light than i can provide at the moment.
E cinereum is very easy to split. i'll tell you how if you pm me.

Thanks I've watched the videos which always make it look so easy but I'm reassured that you also indicate that its easy to do. I guess the concern is what is the minimum viable size of the plant after splitting. I guess I've made splitting mistakes with Bucephalandra before (i.e. some pieces I split didn't seem viable).
 

plantnoobdude

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Thanks I've watched the videos which always make it look so easy but I'm reassured that you also indicate that its easy to do. I guess the concern is what is the minimum viable size of the plant after splitting. I guess I've made splitting mistakes with Bucephalandra before (i.e. some pieces I split didn't seem viable).
yeah, you just want to wait untill the eriocaulon base starts getting wider, then the plant will begin to split. eventually the leaves that were once all pointing out wards, will start pointing at eachother. you can then split with a sharp blade. you can split before this, but success rates are lower.
 

erwin123

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Weekly update
The C.Wendtii on the left was shading everything too much. When my LFS brought in unnamed farmed Buces for at all time low prices including one Buce that was massive and which I could not name (the other farmed Buces were clearly Kedagang Red and probably regular Brownie Ghost (or Brownie purple), I decided it was time to replace the Wendtiis and transfer them to my emersed pots. Of course, uprooting 10 year old plants also results in disturbing 10 year old soil - and one of the plants had its roots wrapped around the remains of a JBL Kugeln ball from a few years ago and that caused a mess when the ball disintegrated. Did a water change just in case.

I also got a JBL test kit to check GH - it was 6, so not super soft, so hopefully its a GH acceptable to all the plants in my tank :)

My WRGB2 is set at 65%. I added a ramp up to 80%, hold for 80% for 1 hour, and ramp back down to 65% as an experiment to gradually increase the light levels after 2hr aquarist released an article recommending 80umols of PAR at substrate.

B. Salzmannii -throwing up a lot of aerial roots but not colouring up. Have to figure this plant out.

New plants
  • I had just got a couple of B. Wavy Greens from another source and added the B. Kedagang Red as well to the left hand side.
  • Large unknown Buce - Can anyone ID the large Buces? They look like Theia but I have Theia in my tank and its way smaller?
  • My The side shoots of some of the L Pantanal are coming along nicely, hope to be able to cut and replant soon (to replace the one whose crown I damaged).
  • Found a source of Limnophila Vietnam so I added a bunch just in front of the R Blood Red.
  • Planted S. Macrocaulon next to my existing S. "Lago Grande".
 

plantnoobdude

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those jbl kugeln balls are annoying lol, biggest regret ever. great looking tank, pantanal filling in beautifully.
 

erwin123

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Shot of the rear of my tank using room fluorescent lights - the colour rendering is not as good as WRGB2 🌅 I've let the L. Super Reds get overgrown and breach the surface by themselves. I then cut the emersed stalks to replant in pots. The Rotala H'ra does not breach the surface but simply bends as it grows too tall, so I had to manually take out the H'ra stalks and lean them on the side of the tank and after a few days, emersed leaves appear. Once it appears stable, I'll cut and replant in pots.

The filter outlet for my Ecco Pro 300 seems completely blocked by the plants.... I'm going to upgrade to Fluval 407 soon for more circulation!

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Finally, a pic of my Wendtiis. I'm glad I've been able to find them a new home outside the tank. They have such tiny leaves in emersed form.
 

erwin123

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Weekly update
I removed the stones on the extreme left to create more area for planting. As a result, I could see through to the tangled mess of L. Super Reds and R. H'ra in the left rear corner. I tried to do some maintenance. Will slowly work on this area. In the meantime, this tangled mess of stems was probably acting as a nitrate sink and may explain why my nitrates test 0-10mg/l every week despite me doing a double dose of APT Complete + a regular dose of APT Zero (shifting to APT EI + APT Zero once I finish the bottle to save money)

One L. Pantanal sideshoot was ready to be trimmed and replanted. Finger crossed that it will do ok. Another sideshoot should be ready for cutting and replanting next week.
The topmost leaves of B. Salzmannii have sort of started to change colour (or maybe they are just rotting away). I still haven't figure this out.
Planted some Polygonum Sao Paulo. Early days yet. Not sure whether it will adapt to my tank. I am not making much progress with E. Polaris.
 

erwin123

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DSC00461 Hra.jpg


My Rotala H'ra story: On 18 June I removed all my H'ra but left a few short stems amongst the Ludiwigia Super Reds. It seems that H'ra responds with rather aggressive sideshoot growth when shaded by other stem plants. I was trying to do some cleaning up of my stem plants and pulled out the H'ra and discovered this - 3 weeks growth of a single stem while shaded by the Ludwigia Super Reds.....I guess I found the reason why my nitrates always test at 0-10mg/l ... the stem plants are taking in the nutrients?

The problem with H'ra is that it bends like crazy in my tank. In my FTS above you can see one stem sneaking up on the H Pinnatifida. In comparison, the R. Blood Reds are generally growing straight... so far....

(that A4 paper can be used as a length reference , pls ignore that carpet plant caught in the roots of the H'ra..)
 

erwin123

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Upgraded my 307 to a 407. All the parts are the same so I just popped in the 407 without changing any hoses/connectors.

I have one extra media tray in the 407 but I didn't add any media. Before coming to UKAPS, I would have filled up the extra media tray, but now I know better! In fact I had previously removed some Matrix/bio media from the tray already rather than fill the tray full of 'bio media'... because I also have sponges inside! :D

After making sure the 407 is running well, I will replace my Ecco Pro 300 with the 307. That will give me a theoretical flow of 2400l/hr for my 100 litre tank. But actual flow is less as I have a chiller and that cuts the flow.
 

erwin123

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Weekly update
My replanted L. Pantanal sideshoots are growing. yay!
Noticeable growth on the P. 'Sao Paolos' as well. Maybe 2 more inches more then I will trim and replant (getting rid of the emersed leaves at the bottom of the stem at the same time)
At the rear of the tank, the H. Pinnatifida and S. Macrocaulon are also growing and more visible in the photo. I had to remove some AR stems to give them more space.
The L. 'Vietnam' on the right side has become a little bit denser. This must be one of my favourite green plants as its so 'neat' whereas the Rotala Green is a bit of a mess (probably poor trimming on my part).

GH measures at 6 drops according to my JBL GH test kit. Thinking of trying to bump it to 7 to see if the R Florida responds. Read that Buces may do better with higher GH as well.

Plan to replace my Ecco Pro 300 with the Fluval 307 and install the Neo Flow Premium outlet pipes over the weekend (moving from 12/16 to 16/22 hose). Hope the improved flow helps plant growth! 🌊🌊🌊💧💦
 

erwin123

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19 jul 21 super reds emersed.jpg

Small glass jam jar watered with fish tank water, L. Super Red grows like crazy emersed, just like it does in my tank.

19 july 21 hygro emersed.jpg

Hygrophilas are easy plants and are great nitrate sinks. However, since the L. Super Reds also grow like weeds and suck up the nitrates,the Hygros were replaced with something else but glad to see that they could survive the conversion to emersed.
 

erwin123

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DSC00480 Deskboy 23 jul.JPG


I decided to have a desk tank next to my WFH desk (my 60cm tank is in the living room) to grow/breed cherry shrimp with a view to transferring larger specimens to the 60cm tank.

Gex Deskboy fish tank 45cm
Gex Slim HOB filter Medium (a really silent HOB filter with a comfortable 20x water volume flow)
Gex Pure Soil Black (I use this in my 60cm tank as well, admittedly not much nutrients, but conversely, ammonia is usually never a problem.
Eleocharis Parvula
10w LED desk lamp.

Gex is one of those brands readily available in my country, even supermarkets stock their products, and my LFS does not sell this particular tank which was just the right size for desk. So I just ordered via amazon prime. Gex website here: Product data : Stratum | Aquarium Fish | GEX Corporation

I've added water from my main tank and have a bag of old 3DM bio media which I'm transferring to the HOB.
 

erwin123

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Weekly update. 10 years ago when I first started this tank (the substrate at the bottom of the tank is the original substrate -10 years old :eek:) I had an E. Hadi Red Pearl but died out of neglect. It grows new leaves really fast and you need to constantly remove the old leaves. Long story short, I decided to try it again. It is partially shaded by the mass of Super Reds but fortunately, it doesn't need strong light to turn red.

My Fluval 407 and 307 are now installed and giving me theoretical 24x flow though its not really noticeable. I have let the L Super Reds overgrow and form a tight compact mass including emersed leaves- thanks to this, they remain firmly in place right next to the Neo Flow Premium outlet (and as you can see from the photo, the Neo Flow is blocked and not visible). The Neo Flow Premium skimmer works well, and as a result, I have retired my standalone skimmer which is one less piece of equipment in the tank. I like the Neo Flow inlet a lot as well. As you can see from the pic, there are 'slats/slots' on both front and back which I prefer to inlets that have fewer slats/slots - a few dead leaves will reduce flow if the slats are all on one side...

H. Pinnatifida - the one at the back is growing well. It is directly in the path of the Lily pipe outlet flow and is swaying, but its still growing upright. While it seems to be growing well, the lowest leaves don't seem to be in good shape, to be honest.

P. Sao Paolo. Its been in my tank for 2.5 weeks and I am finally seeing signs that it is converting to submersed form with new pinkish leaves forming. The green submersed leaves look perfectly healthy though. Have to figure out how to get it more 'pink'.
 

erwin123

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Weekly update. Discovered the large Buces were B. Theia as I had suspected (shop brought in a new batch all labelled Theia). This means that once it sheds the emersed leaves, its going to be a lot smaller.
Did some moving of plants including moving the Theia forward and planting the P. 'Sao Paolo' behind them. The largest L. Pantanal went crazy and starting sprouting multiple sideshoots at the crown.


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I have a large clump of L. Super Reds. They are obscuring an outlet Lily Pipe which has pretty strong flow (see the Pinnatifida swaying) so the clumping makes them pretty immobile as the emersed growth shows. I'll figure out how to make it more 'aesthetic', but its currently serving a useful function (and probably vacuums up excess nutrients).

At the same time, I'm pleased that the bottom parts of the stem look pretty healthy despite being in darkness. This is something I learnt from UKAPS- send CO2 to the substrate, and plants will be healthy even if shaded! (p.s. water dripped down the side of tank due to capillary action.. got to sort that out).

Finally, this is more of less the first full week after switching from APT Complete to APT EI.
I'm now dosing daily 3.5ml of APT EI (roughly equivalent to 7ml of APT Complete at the same price!) and 2ml of APT Zero (I bought the Zero before I decided to start boosting GH... noted that Equilibrium also has Fe, Mg, K...) , and adding 10mg of Seachem Equilibrium weekly to boost GH from 6 to 8 after water change. Nitrates are still low, I suspect the mass of L. Super Reds absorbs the excess...
Hoping for my plants to colour up!
 

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