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10 year 60cm tank... did some maintenance

erwin123

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wow looks very good! very little algae too. senegalensis issue seems to be resolved? what did you change mate, I need to know!
The Senegalensis is getting better but long way to go. I did a full pH profile for my tank and tweaked the CO2 for a 1.0 drop on lights on and no change in pH (i.e. stable pH) during the first 4 hours of photoperiod. Eventually the pH drops by 0.1 more towards the end as I think the CO2 intake rate slows down after a few hours so CO2 level rises.

I find that having a Lily Pipe surface skimmer which is active 24/7 might be helping to stabilise the CO2 levels by allowing more CO2 to escape and thus prevent CO2 from reaching excessive levels. Of course, this means you have to pump more CO2 but I learnt in UKAPS that the ideal approach to CO2 is to treat it as if it was free.

I read that Rotala Wallichii responds quickly if conditions is not ideal so I guess its a good plant to watch to see if anything is going wrong. On one hand, I hope it turns pink, on the other hand, I don't want to go overboard with anything and kill it 🆖
 

plantnoobdude

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I read that Rotala Wallichii responds quickly if conditions is not ideal so I guess its a good plant to watch to see if anything is going wrong. On one hand, I hope it turns pink, on the other hand, I don't want to go overboard with anything and kill it 🆖
i think pantanal would be a better indicator. seeing as it grows so quick. a friend of mine said his pantanal show iron deficiency within a day! if it's unhappy.
I find that having a Lily Pipe surface skimmer which is active 24/7 might be helping to stabilise the CO2 levels by allowing more CO2 to escape and thus prevent CO2 from reaching excessive levels. Of course, this means you have to pump more CO2 but I learnt in UKAPS that the ideal approach to CO2 is to treat it as if it was free.
i think skimmer helps as well, my senegalensis now holds old leaves, but the algae seems to be attracted to the old leaves.....
 

John q

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. a friend of mine said his pantanal show iron deficiency within a day! if it's unhappy.
Interesting, a friend of mine sells magical beans at the local market...

On a serious note if this plant reacts so quickly to a non mobile nutrient it should be put forward as a replacement to the duckweed index as famed by @dw1305
 

plantnoobdude

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Interesting, a friend of mine sells magical beans at the local market...

On a serious note if this plant reacts so quickly to a non mobile nutrient it should be put forward as a replacement to the duckweed index as famed by @dw1305
except it is no where as near easy to find as duckweed. and a million other things will make it unhappy. so, not as nice as duckweed IMO
 

erwin123

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...

Luckily you have Rotala wallichii in your tank. It’s the first plant to fall when things are off, but also the first to react when things are to it’s liking. A good indicator of progress.

If your new growth is looking lush again, with dosing at lights on, you’ll hopefully have the whole system back on point again soon after. The lower growth will need discarding and the fresh top replanting so it can root and take full advantage of the ADA Amazonia again without expending resources on old growth.
....

I got the info that Wallichii is a good indicator of progress from Geoffrey Rea's post.
 

Geoffrey Rea

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Suggested R. Wallichii was a good indicator plant for that specific setup @erwin123 amongst all the limited species in that tank. It’s a reasonably soft water setup, 3KH 4GH. Dennis Wong favours R. macrandra as an indicator plant in soft water as it is very sensitive to Co2 fluctuations.

Darrel’s / @dw1305 duckweed index works regardless of water to identify nutrient deficiency and is not limited by Co2. Very smart indeed.

Think when myself and others bandy around the term indicator plant, we’re simply referring to the most fussy species in the tank. It’s the first to tap out if flow, light, Co2 and dosing regime isn’t up to spec. Equally it’s very likely that if this one species is thriving, the health of almost everything else will correlate to the indicator plants current state (epiphytes excluded from this list depending on the method of nutrient delivery).

The whole tank is an indicator quite frankly; plants, fish, hardscape, glass, tubes and filter. On top of that, how quick some species begin to pearl and where they are in their diurnal cycle. You may notice some plants consistently shut up shop early and close up a couple of hours before the photoperiod ends for example.

It is difficult to provide guidance to a newcomer to the hobby with fast paced Co2 injected tanks, evidence is everywhere but you need to know what you are observing and how it relates to your interventions across time. So the inclination is to suggest observation of one attribute to begin with. The hope is their awareness will extend outwards and they’ll begin generating questions about observations of their system in general.

A bit like the first time we drive a car… clutch, gear changes, brakes, accelerator pedal, steering, lane positioning, adhering to speed limits/rules and assessing the road ahead. You may have aced that gear change from third to fourth gear, but it’s no good if you just put someone over the bonnet of the car whilst staring at the gear stick. We need to learn how to monitor everything until it drops into unconscious competence.
 

erwin123

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....
The whole tank is an indicator quite frankly; plants, fish, hardscape, glass, tubes and filter. On top of that, how quick some species begin to pearl and where they are in their diurnal cycle. You may notice some plants consistently shut up shop early and close up a couple of hours before the photoperiod ends for example.
....
AI0Q8925 proc 18 sep 21.jpg

Thanks Geoffrey Rea as well as all the other UKAPS experts. I've learnt a lot here... such as most retail test kits are not useful... so the idea of an 'indicator plant' to help those who don't have enough experience to navigate by 'feel' is an appealing idea.

And a last minute update, I got a bunch of Ludwigia Sphaerocarpa from a hobbyist who has done the hard work of getting them red. I hope I 'm able to maintain the colour and not kill it :)
 

erwin123

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I cleaned my in-line Qanvee diffuser today (after 5 months... oops I got to set a reminder to clean every 3 months) there was a fair bit of gunk inside, so I took a pH profile again to make sure a clean diffuser isn't sending too much CO2. A nice surprise was that I was getting a stable 1.1 pH drop (vs 1.0pH previously) though that could just be measurement error etc. Livestock is fine and my photo period is pretty short (6.25hr +0.25hr ramp up, + 5min ramp down)

Event (Note: Lily Pipe skimmer is active 24/7)pH
Degassed after 5 hours7.3
pH in tank just before CO2 on 14156.8
1600 lights on6.2
1700 +1 hour6.2
1830 +2.5 hours6.2
1930 +3.5 hours6.2
2100 +5.0 hours6.2
2150 (CO2 off)6.2
2230 +6.5 hours (Wallichii closed up around 2215, Pantanals starting to close)6.3
2235 lights off
 
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erwin123

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I was inspired by the diligence of Mr Grumpy in taking a daily time lapse of his low tech and thought maybe I should do some sort of regular comparison of my low tech. However, its not a straight comparison since I cannot resist adding plants.
There was no cycling time to speak of for this tank. I used Gex Shrimp soil which doesn't leach ammonia, added old filter substrate, water and plants, and added the first shrimp in 24 hours, and let the plants do the rest. Shrimp are doing very well and the baby shrimp are always hanging out on the sides presumably eating the bio-film/GDA.

What I like about Low-tech / low light is that slow growing plants like my C. Wendtii Tropica have remained algae free. In my high tech tank, I have to deal with algae issues with Crypts and Buces I guess because I was blasting them with too much light. At the same time, low light (aka 'desk lamp') hasn't affected the Rotala Blood Reds that much.. they grow really fast. The Bacopa Salzmannii's also surprised me by how well they adapted to low light. They are in the right corner of the tank, which is the dimmest portion of the tank, however, they remain green and algae free. However, their low light growth form is more elongated I guess they are trying to grow as tall as possible to get more light.

The latest addition to the low tech was an 'extra' Eriocaulon Vietnam and three cut off 'bottom stems' from my R. Wallichiis which I would have otherwise tossed. One of them actually has new growth popping up, so fingers cross. I do not have high hopes that I can grow an Erio in low tech, but I hope the plant proves me wrong! The one plant which I have been totally unable to grow in low tech are the Pantanals, or perhaps they can't seem to convert from high tech to low tech...
 
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Libba

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View attachment 174435
Thanks Geoffrey Rea as well as all the other UKAPS experts. I've learnt a lot here... such as most retail test kits are not useful... so the idea of an 'indicator plant' to help those who don't have enough experience to navigate by 'feel' is an appealing idea.

And a last minute update, I got a bunch of Ludwigia Sphaerocarpa from a hobbyist who has done the hard work of getting them red. I hope I 'm able to maintain the colour and not kill it :)
Really interested to see how you go with the Sphaerocarpa. I've been having problems with mine. So far I've learned two things: don't let it become shaded by other plants and don't let it become crowded by other plants at the root zone.
 

erwin123

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DSC00591 24 sep 21 processed.jpg

My low tech update first. It appears that Rotala Blood Red is very comfortable in Low Tech. It remains relatively red (this is desk lamp - if I had a WRGB2 with red LEDs it would likely be even redder) and the internodal distance remains short. one stem has even breached the surface and emersed leaves have appeared (sadly the emersed leaves are green). In contrast, the Ludwigia Super Red has 'stringy' growth with an expanded inter-nodal distance.

  • I'm also getting promising new growth from the chopped off bottoms of the Rotala Wallichis which I replanted
  • I am facing overcrowding problems with the Syngonanthus Macroroulon in my main tank. So I dumped one stem into the tank a few days ago, hope it holds up. as I would like to plant more. Shrimp seem to like hiding in this plant.
  • The Eriocaulon Vietnam is 10 days old in the tank and is still alive , so I'm hopeful for that too :cool:
  • Finally, the lonely Pantanal seemed to have converted into low tech form with tiny thin leaves, looking nothing like the one in high tech.
 
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erwin123

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My 60cm tank update. The L. Sphaerocarpa has straightened up after 6 days (when I got it the stems were bent). It throws a lot of shade but so far the lower leaves are still ok. If it adapts to the tank then I'll start figuring out how to help it colour up.

From a distance, its not so easy to tell the difference between the R. Wallichii and the smaller L. Pantanal stems, both are sort of yellowish-orange? Got to figure out how to help the Wallichii get the colours I see on internet photos.

After the disaster with the tissue culture R. Bonsai (constantly uprooted), I got some FoC cuttings from the hobbyist I bought the Sphaerocarpa from and so I'm waiting for them to adapt to the tank as well.

I did a little bit of maintenance on the Synthogananthus but the photo is a reminder to do a bit more. Each stem has about 3 fully grown sideshoots and when I pull them up and see quite a lot more sideshoots starting up, so I need to start trimming the sideshoots, replanting them, and reducing overcrowding. My plan is to move as many as possible to my Low tech shrimp tank if the test subject survives.
 

erwin123

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wow! looks very nice. definitely very jealous. considering a black out for my tank.

Yes I found the 72-hr blackout is a good way to "reset" the tank and get rid of some persistent algae. Don't forget big WC before blackout, big WC after blackout.

But I read Geoffrey Rea's post that his Erios didn't survive the blackout: Dutch Donut Maybe move them to holding tank before doing blackout?
 

plantnoobdude

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Yes I found the 72-hr blackout is a good way to "reset" the tank and get rid of some persistent algae. Don't forget big WC before blackout, big WC after blackout.

But I read Geoffrey Rea's post that his Erios didn't survive the blackout: Dutch Donut Maybe move them to holding tank before doing blackout?
ah... then my adjusting quinquangulare will definitely die haha. guess not.
 

erwin123

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Due to overcrowding, I got around to pulling out one of the Synthoganthus stems which had a total of 6 sideshoots + a number 7 baby shoot just appearing.
Replanted two of them in my low-tech tank (the one I planted earlier has survived its first week in low tech so hopefully the new additions will also survive) and given the number of Cherries that jumped on them, there was probably a lot of algae 😅. I've only moved 5 of my cherries over to the 60cm tank... got to start moving more over to eat all that algae.

On the right of the photo there is one of my cut-off bottom stem of Rotala Wallichii sprouting new growth with a slightly yellow colour. I'm quite pleased that it has adapted to low tech as well.
 
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PARAGUAY

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Just had a read through of the journal. Informative journey well done. Interesting to see some of the plants used🙂
 

erwin123

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Weekly update. With a heavy heart I removed the last C. Retrospiralis - it was shading and preventing my R. 'Blood Red's' from growing nice and vertical, which led to shading problems for other plants in the tank. With some extra space to spare, I acquired a pair of Ammannia Pedicellata 'Golden' from another hobbyist. It's been in my tank for only 24 hours so I still don't know whether it will adapt and survive in my tank. Based on what I read I've planted 2 root tabs for each stem. I am hoping that they will at least straighten up quickly (like the Sphaerocrarpa, my stems were quite bent for some reason)

L Sphaerocarpa on the other hand, has been in the tank for 1 week (plants take at least 2 weeks to adapt?) but has been growing about 1 cm a day so I've trimmed them a bit.


Had a CO2 'accident'. must have bumped into the regulator (unlike some designs, it is really 'loose' in that minimal force is needed to turn it) when cleaning my canister today, resulting in too much CO2. Only discovered a few hours later. Otos, Cories and shrimp recovered, but the Denison Barbs seem to jump whenever they are not happy about anything, so they jumped out of the tank.. (edit: i had 2 Barbs only, i.e. lost 2 fish)
 
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Fiske

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Most of the needle valves that come with regulators is absolute crap. I just bought 2 Camozzi valves I'll be installing soon, apart from allegedly being easier to adjust in small increments (we'll see...), it looks like they have a nut for fixing the setting. THAT is gold in my eyes.
 

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