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3 year wait. 60p aquascape - Planted

David Shanahan

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Week 3

I continue with the ADA guidelines and this week I've removed 2 litres of activated carbon and replaced with 2 litres of bio rio. I've also added some phosguard to the filter media. About 25ml, that should do 100 litres of water for 6 months. We will see about that. There seems to be better flow through the filter now as more plants are swaying.

I've had a little green spot on the Hygrophelia so upped the fert dosing. Now I'm putting in 4ml of ADA step 1 and 4ml of special lights in on alternate days. 4 drops of green bacter (still smells like bacon) per day.

I also have a little hair algae top right and bottom left. I'm removing with a tooth brush and upped the Co2 a little. I've also started to dose 5ml of flourish excel in the mornings, so I'll see if that helps to tackle the minor outbreak.

Not sure whether the Twinstar is doing anything.

Last week I switched out the ADA pollen for a Co2Art one which is doing just as good a job, but the attachment for the Co2 is in a better place. I bought another one, so I can swap them out at each weekly water change so I don't get much algae on the ceramic.

I've ordered some wave scissors from eBay. I'm going to mow the lawn, but will wait for next weeks water change as they've not appeared yet.

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David Shanahan

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Week 4

Everything appears to be going well. Plants are growing great. Last week I posted about some hair algae issues which seems to be under control. I bought an aftermarket dimmer for the Aquasky (£50) and reduced the light and upped the Co2.

Ludwigia Repens had a couple of pin holes in the leaves, so I have upped the dosing on the ADA special lights to add additional N & P, but that's being changed to EI dosing next week as I get the feeling I'm missing some nutrition i.e. Iron. It could also be because I savagely pruned it to get it to bush out a bit. I'm running abou 6 BPS now and continue with the green bacter (bacon juice) daily and Phyton Git at water changes.

I've added 12 ember tetra's last Saturday evening and tonight pick up about 35 juvenile snowball & cherry shrimp, which will add some diversity to the breeding group. That will put me to about 50 to 55 total. I'm planning a 90cm tank right now, so hopefully I will have a ready to roll clean up crew by the time that's up and running.

I'm noticing with the twinstar that I'm getting less algae on the pollen diffuser and the glass is staying relatively clean. That's what it should be doing, so looks to be working fine.

Wave scissors still haven't arrived (they were being shipped from 5 miles away so they've gone missing) so not had a go at mowing the lawn yet. Mosses and stems will get another trim next week.

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dw1305

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Hi all,
so I have upped the dosing on the ADA special lights to add additional N & P, but that's being changed to EI dosing next week as I get the feeling I'm missing some nutrition i.e. Iron
I've also added some phosguard to the filter media
I'm not sure why? You are now adding phosphorus (P) with one hand and removing it with the other.

If you are interested in its silicate removing properties of the <"Phosguard">, it doesn't effect Diatom growth. Diatom frustules are made of silicon dioxide (SiO2), but they can only extract it from the water in the form of <"orthosilicic acid">.

cheers Darrel
 

David Shanahan

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:thumbup:Hi Darrel.

I have been using the Phosguard to remove silicates, but in my area the Phosphate in the water supply is high, so it's an element of control also. I've not dumped all my Phosguard in the filter, just enough to control it.

it doesn't effect Diatom growth

I don't think I've mentioned any diatom issues, at all, in any of this journal. So why are you? Let's not invent issues I dont have please! :shh:

You are now adding phosphorus (P)

What I did think is that the ADA was adding Potassium. It's hard to remember what's in these little bottles. As an 'expert' I'd have thought you would have picked that up, as Potassium deficiency normally shows as pin holes in leaves. :crazy:

I mentioned I'm moving to EI dosing which means I will have better control of what I'm putting in the tank and it's easier to understand. :thumbup:
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Phosphate in the water supply is high, so it's an element of control also. I've not dumped all my Phosguard in the filter, just enough to control it.
You can ignore the phosphorus level in the tap water, it will go up and down through the year dependent upon rain-fall. You can't easily find the level of PO4--- in your tap water, because there isn't a legal limit for tap water so your water company doesn't list it in their water report, and it is difficult to test for with test kits.

It is different from a lot of the other nutrients in that it forms many compounds that are insoluble in aerobic conditions, but which may become available in the substrate.
I don't think I've mentioned any diatom issues, at all, in any of this journal. So why are you? Let's not invent issues I dont have please!
All it was was that it doesn't make any sense to try and reduce phosphate levels via chemical methods, while simultaneously adding it as a fertiliser. Because "Phosguard" also removes silicates people sometimes use it for diatom issues, but it doesn't have any effect on these either. It isn't a product that really has any use in a planted freshwater aquarium, although you could use it for an unplanted tank or with corals etc.
What I did think is that the ADA was adding Potassium. It's hard to remember what's in these little bottles. As an 'expert' I'd have thought you would have picked that up, as Potassium deficiency normally shows as pin holes in leaves.
I wouldn't take the expert bit too seriously, as <"various politicians have successfully told us this year expert opinion is worthless">. I'm not an EI, tap water or <"branded fertiliser ">user.

Pin-holes and yellowing in older leaves are often signs of potassium deficiency. If you have potassium deficiency it is easy to rectify, because potassium is mobile within the plant and nearly all potassium compounds are soluble. A small amount of potassium nitrate (KNO3) should cause a rapid greening of older leaves.

cheers Darrel
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
I often see comments without any substance. Your response is much clearer.
I try, often I write something, count to ten, and then write something a bit more measured.

The trouble is that nobody is really an expert, it is all guesswork, just some guesses have a higher probability of being right than others.

cheers Darrel
 

David Shanahan

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Hi all, I try, often I write something, count to ten, and then write something a bit more measured.

It's down the the industry I work in. If you give someone a set of requirement or issues, then I'm used to getting something back that answers those issues or requirements. If someone answers with something that partially answers or doesn't answer my requirements I normally jump on it.

For example, you pointed out that I was using Phosguard which was a fair cop, but my issue was holes in leaves. I said I was adding more Phosphorus (P), which doesn't tackle my issue, but you knew I needed more Potassium.

Pin-holes and yellowing in older leaves are often signs of potassium deficiency.

So you could have said 'you need to add Potassium (KN03), not Phosphate (P)' and I would have gone.'ah crap, yeah'

Then you went on to talk about Diatoms, but I'd never mentioned diatoms before and you didn't add any context about why you were talking about diatoms, so I was like 'hey, why is this guy talking about diatoms, when that's not an issue'.

I'm not saying that you don't give good or bad advice, but I see these kinds of posts where someone talks about something with no context and it confuses the poster and anyone reading the thread. That's where I was going with it. Without malice really, just didn't really know where you were going with it.

Cheers for the advice though.

Dave
 
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dw1305

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Hi all,
It's down the the industry I work in. If you give someone a set of requirement or issues, then I'm used to getting something back that answers those issues or requirements.
That is one of the problems with issue finding in planted aquariums, there often isn't a single, straight forward, simple answer. Most parameters are "shades of grey".

I think that is why Diana Walstad called her book <"Ecology of the Planted Aquarium">, if we want to understand the planted tank we need to take an ecological approach. I realise that you don't have understand what you are doing, or why you are doing it, and that a lot of people aren't fascinated by the intricacies of water chemistry, or the possible interaction between different micro-organisms.

Many people just want something that works, and they don't care how it works as long as it does. That is why I've been promoting the <"Duckweed Index">, it has a simple set of rules (high plant mass including a floating plant, which you use as a visual indicator of when the plants need fertiliser, and high levels of dissolved oxygen in the filter) that allow you to have a resilient, stable "plug and play" aquarium.

Although in many ways it is the polar opposite of the <"Estimative Index"> (EI), they have similarities in that they do away with the need for water testing.

cheers Darrel
 

David Shanahan

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I do think I have a calcium deficiency. Some of my Staurogyne leaves are curling length ways and some are yellowing.

This is probably due to my soft water. Calcium Nitrate seems a little sparse at the moment, calcium chloride seems to be an alternative.

What should the PPM be for a decent Calcium supply?
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
What should the PPM be for a decent Calcium supply?
You don't need very much, 20ppm should be plenty. You can add a small amount of "oyster shell chick grit" to the filter or substrate as an alternative to adding a salt. It works well and is a very cheap option.

You can also buy food grade calcium chloride (CaCl2) cheaply, but you need to store it in an air tight container, because it is extremely hygroscopic. Because of this when you work out how much you need for your tank (to give 20ppm) you need to assume that it is the hexahydrate (CaCl.6H2O) form.

cheers Darrel
 

David Shanahan

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You can also buy food grade calcium chloride (CaCl2) cheaply, but you need to store it in an air tight container, because it is extremely hygroscopic. Because of this when you work out how much you need for your tank (to give 20ppm) you need to assume that it is the hexahydrate (CaCl.6H2O) form.

It's labelled Calcium Chloride Flake 77% Dihydrate. Normally used in reef tanks. If that makes sense.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Calcium Chloride Flake 77% Dihydrate
It will only be the dihydrate (CaCl.2H2O) if it has been stored in a desiccator, and then placed straight into a sealed container. It is really difficult to stop it taking up atmospheric moisture, to the extent that if you leave it in an unsealed container it will eventually dissolve itself into a liquid slurry (it is <"deliquescent">).

The extra 4H2O add 72g of water to the RMM.

The RMM of CaCl2 is 111g (RAM of Ca is 40), so 40/111 = 36% calcium, when you add the 6H2O (6 x 2 x 1) + (6 x 16) = 96g you end up with an RMM of 207g and only ~19% Ca.

cheers Darrel
 

David Shanahan

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It will only be the dihydrate (CaCl.2H2O) if it has been stored in a desiccator, and then placed straight into a sealed container.

I guess that's the big question. It will go straight into a sealed container when I get it.

This is where my maths is a bit dodgy. Adding 9 teaspoons to 500ml of water gives me about 8ppm per 20ml, dosed 3 x a week into a 55litre tank gives me 24ppm ish. If I got that right.

Let's assume I have some calcium in the water, but enough to give me a deficiency, then I could be over dosing, but I can play with it to get it down a little by adding less, say 15ml per dosage.
 

David Shanahan

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Week 5

This week I moved from ADA ferts to EI dosing. I'm using the dosage recommended by Aquarium Plant Food. My Ludwigia Repens appear to be getting a little more colour. What has surprised me is that the Hygrophilia has taken off this week. Not much else has changed apart from the removal of the Phosguard, so I can assume it's one or both that's helped them out.

I think I have a calcium deficiency, so bought some Calcium Chloride Dihydrate. I've added 9 teaspoons to 500ml of water and dosing 15ml per day. I think I have this deficiency as some of the Staurogyne Repens have lost leaves and some leaves were curling length ways.

All of my hair algae is gone. Pretty much vanished over night.

The twinstar is in a bath of citric acid getting a clean. I still haven't had much algae on the glass since this was added.

2nd major trim this morning. Hair grass got the chop as well as some Staurogyne Repens and stems. I'm hoping the Staurogyne will grow back. Please :angelic:

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David Shanahan

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Week 6

A couple of days later than my usual slot. I've had green spot algae issues to deal with for the past week or so, I've upped the Potassium Phosphate in the EI mix to try and tackle this. The flow where the green spot is is good, so assumed it was this.

It doesn't appear to be coming back on new growth but I will keep my eye on it. The Staurogyne I trimmed last weeken appears to be growing back, so happy about that.

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David Shanahan

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Hi Guys,

Not been able to do my normal weekly update, but things are going well. I've managed to get my green dust issue under control. I think it was a Phosphate imbalance as I've reduced this down a little and everything is growing and no green on the glass. Either that or it just cycled out.

Spikey Moss is doing my nut in a bit trying to keep it trim whilst trying to keep the trimmings out of the rest of the plants, especially the grass. I keep pulling clumps out that have obviously grown from trimmings. Any tips would be appreciated.

I'm in the throws of planning a scape for my home office. Aquascaper 900 with Kessils. I'll get a Journal going when I get set up.
 

steveno

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Hello Planty,

Have been reading your journal with interest.
Lovely scape hope it still up and running. Any update pictures?

Fellow mancuimum myself, south Manchester. Nice to see follow manc into shaping.:)

I recently return to this hobby after a few years aways, and like you picked up a full Ada set up, 60p, es600 and moonlight thou wasn't brought new from TGM, I was lucky enough to find all this kit from a reasonably local chaps selling all his kit as he didn't have for hobby, hadn't even used the tank or lights lucky me. ;)

I am planning a iwagumi scape with rocks only, I'm into the minimised look perhaps it got something do with me being an architect :p. I am current doing an Dsm, trying get a full carpet of Ug, failed numerous times in my previous established tanks due to shrimp taking a liking to any clumps I planted...:(
Fingers crossed that I finally manage to win this time, taking it slow and easy seem to be the order of the day with Ug particularly while it getting established.

I note that in your journal you mentioned that you picked up a dimmer for your moonlights, I was wonder if you could advise what and where you picked up? These moonlight kick out a tone of light.
 

steveno

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Hello Planty, just realised that you were on the same thread I was following regarding dimmers module for Ada lights:facepalm:, had planned to screen some of the led using a covet or tape, but look rubbish so back to considering dimmer, so wondering how have you gotten on with dimmer, assuming it still OK?
 
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