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70L planted - first tank

Quick update - my pleco has been acting up a bit at mealtimes for the past several months, stressing the corys. So today I re-homed him at the local fish shop. Quite sad to see him go as he was just a tiddler when I got him, but now at nearly 4 inches he was getting a bit too big for my tank, and his other tank-mates.
I lured him into a net with some broad bean - and despite an abundance of caution he was no match for my cunning plan.
I have bought some otocynclus in his stead - dwarf ones so these should be a good fit with the cory's, and help keep on top of the diatoms which are starting to reemerge in the new 12-hour lighting regime.
That's it for now.
 
Few pics, for documentary purposes.
The Siamensis 53B new growth is really nice (although I now have quite a few bare stems lower down!). Frogbit continuing to do well. Limnophila also looking good on top (but bare below!). Will probably trim and re-plant when the weather gets a bit warmer. Overall, the 12-hr lighting, extra iron, 'lite' ferts and keeping the feeding sensible are all paying dividends.
 

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'...you mean my anubias isn't supposed to be variegated?'

I quite liked the 'stripey' upper leaves on my anubias until the newest one sprung out over the past week and I see it's wonderfully, uniformly, green. The 'variegation' on the three leaves below now just shouts out to me 'past iron deficiency'.... Someone's going to tell me that based on the new leaf the plant's still lacking something, I just know it! ;)
 

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Hi all,
The 'variegation' on the three leaves below now just shouts out to me 'past iron deficiency'..
<"Yes">.
I quite liked the 'stripey' upper leaves on my anubias
You are just <"ahead of the curve"> and a <"trend setter">, it is the <"future of aquascaping">.
Someone's going to tell me that based on the new leaf the plant's still lacking something,
That looks <"pretty healthy to me">.

cheers Darrel
 
Links maestro! Much appreciated. Seems others have got there before me, and in better style (if 'style' it be), on the iron deficiency aquascaping!

Interesting comment in one of those links about frogbit not responding well to high humidity.
The limnobium is not thriving, but I blame the increased humidity under the lid

Something I'm going to look into as my frogbit is heading downhill for one reason or another after perking up from September to mid-November under the longer lighting regime. It's weird - as the siamensis and anubias are loving life, the frogbit turns south. I think my setup probably is more humid under the 'lid' at the moment - my tank is in a cool location (ambient these past five or six weeks of around 13C average) with a water temp of about 22C. I have a tight fitting lid of the acrylic hollow square section variety and do get a lot of condensation on the underside. There's a small 1.5cm circular hole for dropping food through, but that's it as far as aeration goes. There's about a 2-3cm gap between surface of the water and the lid.
 
My new otocinclus seem utterly reluctant to spend any time on the substrate and totally disinterested in the algae wafers I have. They are all over the cucumber stuck to the side of a tank, like a rash. I keep it in there for a few hours. Would be nice to be able to incorporate a bit of algae wafer into their diet - probably need to try a few different brands.

I have raised my light up another four inches, to try and reduce the amount of diatoms I'm seeing. This actually feels like 'fine-tuning' my setup. Let's see how it goes.
 
Hi,
Otos usually spend their time on the glass, broad leaves, woods or smooth rocks, so it should be fine.
About the wafers, just keep trying, maybe they need to get used to them or maybe they are finding fresh algae in the tank that are enough for them. Anyway remove the wafers if they are not eaten (use the siphon if they get too soft in the water).
I don't know if they are sold in UK, but in Italy there are Plec Pellets by Vitalis (ex New Era). They are dark green, really soft with a strong smell of algae. They look more "fresh" than dry wafers and were really loved by my ancistrus, apple snails and co.
 
Hi,
Thanks very much for that - really helpful.
The Otos are great at cleaning diatoms off my Siamensis and anubias leaves, although they seem to prefer the leaves from mid-tank to near the surface, rather than the lowest leaves.
It does seem possible to get Plec Pellets in the UK. They are sinking pellets, so do I need some way of sticking them to the glass, or maybe the Otos will venture to the substrate if they are attracted by the smell?
Thanks again!
 
Do your wafers float? If they stay on the surface it's hard that the Otos go to them.
I would leave them to the substrate, maybe try to throw them near the otos. They simply go where they feel safe or they find food, the places I said in the previous post are the ones where they may find a fresh algae film. I would avoid to give them vegetables for a couple of days to make them hungry. Actually you could try this if the wafers you have now.
If you still have the Ancistrus he will enjoy them too. At least if the otos don't eat them you can still use them.
Maybe dose two pieces to avoid that the Ancistrus eats it all before the Otos reach it. The pellets are quit big, but as I said they are really soft and you will be able to break them into pieces as big as you need. Just remember to always close the jar otherwise they will lose their fresh look. If this happens they are still good anyway.

EDIT: just read that you don't have anymore the Plec, but the corys could eat it too, just distract them with their food if they do.
 
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The wafers I have now do sink. I got the wafers originally for the Plec and he loved them - straight onto them as soon as they hit the substrate. Of course he also wanted the cory's pellets to himself too...! I was really pleased with how he grew in my care, but in the end was just too big for the tank.
I'll try what you suggest and not feed veg for a few days and then try and get the Otos onto the wafers - maybe in a darker area of the tank. If no success, I'll have a look into the Plec Pellets.
Thanks again.
 
Try moving it down the glass an inch or so per feeding until they get close to the substrate, or even try sticking an algae wafer into the cucumber so they 'accidentally' rasp at it?
 
Great info, thank you for pointing me in that direction!
This caught my eye:
I always keep some vegetable for the Otos in the tank
How much of a detrimental effect on water quality would there be by doing this, assuming a moderately planted tank? I've finally got my feeding 'hygiene' into a good place and it might feel like a bit of a step back to be leaving food in the tank again.
 
I wonder if Ottos get aquired tastes,mine take or leave algae tablets but love spinach leaves. I don't put on substrate but on front glass . Usually leave it for 24 hours never had a water quality issue. I think when Ottos appear not to like something could be they have plenty of bio film to feed on
 
Very interesting read on Biochemical Oxygen Demand. Perhaps I used the term 'water quality' incorrectly above. In a BOD context it seems to mean the amount of dissolved oxygen in the water. More dissolved oxygen, better quality. More organic matter high in protein and carbohydrate, more biological decomposition that hoovers up oxygen, poorer quality (less oxygenated) water. Cucumber: very little protein or carbs.

My question was really relating to whether leaving the veg in would increase the levels of nitrogen in the water. More nitrogen, worse 'quality' (for the livestock). A bit of reading seems to indicate that proteins are broken down or decomposed biologically to nitrogen. So I'd guess that if a veggie low in protein is decomposed biologically in the tank, that is going to consume a bit of oxygen, and release a bit of nitrogen.
 
Hi all,
Cucumber: very little protein or carbs.
Yes, that is the one. <"Sugars, fats and proteins"> are the <"low hanging fruit"> of microbial decomposition, because they are <"energy rich and easily degraded">.
A bit of reading seems to indicate that proteins are broken down or decomposed biologically to nitrogen. So I'd guess that if a veggie low in protein is decomposed biologically in the tank, that is going to consume a bit of oxygen, and release a bit of nitrogen.
Exactly that, a dead fish (either accidental or as a food) would consume a lot of oxygen, because it is protein rich and that protein would be microbially degraded to ammonia (NH3), and eventually oxidised to nitrate (NO3-). If the fish was eaten by the other tank inhabitants, some of that protein would build as the muscles of the fish that ate it, but most would be excreted as ammonia via the fish's gills.

When you know that some people are "successfully" keeping large carnivorous fish at <"insane stocking rates">, you know that <"robust biofiltration"> is always going to be able to deal with the small addition of BOD from Cucumber, Red Pepper etc.
Very interesting read on Biochemical Oxygen Demand
Yes, dissolved <"oxygen is the key"> metric.
........ Raw sewage has a Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) <"of about 400 mg/L"> and water (at 20oC) can hold about 10mg/L dissolved oxygen, but you still treat sewage aerobically if you get enough oxygen into it....

cheers Darrel
 
I am spotting roots coming from some of the water column nodes on my Siamensis 53B. Thought it was just a quirk with one of them at first (spotted several weeks ago), but on further inspection there are a good five or six plants showing out-of-substrate roots developing. Interesting. Maybe not enough (any) nutrients in the substrate layer (a good inch or so of fine gravel).

I have started dosing with the Solufeed 2:1:4 and TEC the past week, replacing my TNC Complete and Lite. The TNC Complete had actually got kinda cloudy 🙄 so it was past time for something new.

@dw1305 I was in Manchester briefly a few weeks ago - got a great view of the Eccles wastewater treatment plant from the M60. Quite something.
 
Hi all,
I am spotting roots coming from some of the water column nodes on my Siamensis 53B.
Mine always have roots from the stem nodes. I think that most amphibious plants do this as part of their natural growth process. If you leave the stems eventually the lower rooted part of the stem will senesce, as the new roots establish themselves in the bottom. I've had the same plants for about 15 years, the only time they die is if they flower. Most of mine have more foliage emersed than submersed.
got a great view of the Eccles wastewater treatment plant from the M60. Quite something.
They are interesting places to visit and I suppose that, like modern intensive poultry farms etc., every one who visits them comes out a slightly different person.

cheers Darrel
 
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