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90P High Light (Plants are happy, Algae are happy too)

erwin123

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An update on what happened to my 10 year old tank as I stopped updating the journal - it sprung a leak at the top half of the tank, so I had to drain half of the water out and left the tank on "life support" while waiting for a new tank. Plants were alive after that but many stunted. Took 10 days for the tank to arrive.
As the previous tank was getting a bit crowded, I got a larger 90x45x45 tank this time. Poured in 27 litres of Amazonia 2, transferred most of the remaining water over (using the Canister filter as a 'pump), and replanted.
Using old plants, the water from the old tank, and canister filters with mature media seemed to be enough to cycle the tank as I didn't get any diatoms. I went straight to GDA on the glass after I started pumping up the lights (started at 50%, now at 70%) 😅
I'm not ready for a full tank shot because my background is the last item to be delivered - I'm using my old 60cm background for this shot.

I'll post a full tank shot once the background arrives and I set it up. An extra week will give the plants more time to hopefully convert fully. I think I managed to save most of my plants.... Erio Quin the only casualty - i've replaced it with Crypt Flamingo.

So for now, here's a 'teaser' showing the recovery of my Pantanal/ Metas. Wasn't sure if they would pull through, but they apparently have.

Quick specs
90x45x45 tank. 'overgrown style' (lower maintenance, and so many plants, you don't notice the algae... 😅)
Fluval 307 and 407 (outlets both on the same side now - flow seems better than trying a circular/racetrack pattern in my old tank), 1 x usb pump at substrate level pushing 100l/hr.
Teco TK-1000 chiller set at 25.2 °C (in a warm country, have to compromise between how cool I want the water and how often the chiller kicks in)
27 litres of Amazonia 2 (3 bags full)
WRGB2 Pro front (about 70% - target 100/80/90/85 🌞)
WRGB2 rear (about 70% - target 100/80/90🌻 )

Fertilisation (it's only been 2 weeks, will tweak once things stabilise, just following the dosing in my previous tank +50% due to increase in tank size)
Daily: 1ml of APT EI and 0.5ml Tropica Specialised Daily.
4ml Seachem Trace over the course of the week.

p.s. I haven't used any test kits so I can't answer any questions about water parameters, I'll just watch the plants....
 
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erwin123

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Week 3
Week 3, fish are ok, shrimp are ok. Took delivery of my lightscreen.
I decided to count how many different plants are in the tank, and it seems to be a nice round number! 😅

Water change - daily dosing of ferts continues, except I don't dose on day 6 and on day 7 water change day, I do a double daily dose, in the hopes of improving the 'stability' of nutrient levels in the water column.

Plant Inventory
(1)/(2) Rotala Wallichii and Rotala Blood Red trimmed aggressively as they grow like weeds and are helping to vacuum the nitrates.
(3) L. Senegalensis also needed a trim
(4) B.Salzmanni purple. I believe the cherry shrimp didn't have enough to eat and they like eating this plant (I always seem them sitting on the leaves of this plant)
(5) C. Flamingo after 1 week has 2 small new (and more importantly pink) leaves popping out
(6)/(7) Pantanal /Meta - many new and red sideshoots.
(8)/(9) R Macandra Mini (to the right of the Macandra Narrow leaf) still converting from emersed)
(10) P. Erectus still converting from emersed
(11) Myrio. 'red stem' / Roraima? - nice coppery red colour that contrasts with the other red plants - side shoot just popped out so I hope to have a 2nd stem soon (this plant and Tuberculatum rarely appear in my LFS so not easy to buy additional stems, and its cheaper to propogate anyway)
(12)/(13) Erio 'Japan' and Erio Vietnam - both seem happy with tank conditions.
(14) Hygrophila 'Lancea' - nice red colouration indicative of relatively low Nitrates
(15) Ammannia Pedicatella - one of my more sensitive plants - seems to have adapted well to new tank conditions - waiting for more sideshoots
(16) Buce Wavy Green - So far so good. It entered the tank with BBA, but the BBA seems to have disappeared.
(17) Ammannia Seneglansis - the new growth is slimmer, so hopefully it is changing to the slimmer/slender form in most internet photos rather than the thick monster plant it was in my previous tank
(18) Eleocharis Parvula - hopefully its ok
(19) Ludwigia Sphaerocarpa - it basically was dying in my old tank, so what remains is a tiny stem to the left of the H. Lancea. Lets see if ADA Amazonia 2 has magical properties that can revive it!
(20) Rotala Florida - didn't do well in my previous tank, but am trying again just for fun, since its a new tank!
 

erwin123

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06 jul sphaerocarpa.jpg

Weekly Update (actually 5 days have passed since the last photo...)

Pantanal/Metas are doing well - the sideshoots are much more visible after 5 days. Will trim and replant soon.
Flamingo - 1 small leaf in 5 days... I guess thats considered a 'reasonable' growth rate where the plant is concerned
Ludiwigia Sphaerocarpa - this is the surprise plant - I planted a tiny sideshoot which was all that was left of the main plant, and its continuing to grow

I have 2 x small bags of ADA Amazonia Supplement root tabs that came with the aquasoil (I used up one bag during the initial setup). Since 4 weeks have passed and the initial ammonia dump should be over, I guess its time to start selectively adding root tabs. So I thought I might as well start by using the branded ADA supplement first on selective plants, even though allegedly, NO3 ions are all the same at the molecular level....😅
 

erwin123

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Week 5 Update
I am worried about the Ammannia Goldens - not getting new sideshoots, and I had to remove 1 stunted stem. Maybe I have to accept that my tank conditions for Ammannia are marginal rather than ideal and that some are going to stunt but that's ok as long as I have new sideshoots to replace the occasional stem that stunts.
Pantanal/Meta growing like crazy - I should have a 'forest' by next week 🌲🌳🌴
Everything else seems stable. Algae are happy (I use a scraper on the glass before taking my weekly photo), plants are happy!

Ferts
My 3 bags of ADA Amazonia Ver 2 came with 3 packs of ADA Supplement (root tabs). When I set up the tank, I only put in one pack. Since we are at week 5, the initial dump of Ammonia should be over, so I opened up another pack and started adding ADA Supplement to the substrate next to the selected planted. My plan is to insert about 10 pieces weekly, to smoothen out the Ammonia release curve (of course, I'm assuming that ADA supplement leaches Ammonia, there is very little info on the internet...)

Lighting
WRGB2 Pro (front) currently up to 81/61/71/66 RGBW and the WRGB2 (back) 81/60/70.
I have not increased red saturation in photoshop - for some reason, the red saturation in photos has increased as I increase the WRGB2 Pro light settings - WRGB2 Pro has stronger red spectrum compared to WRGB2.
 

Hanuman

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My plan is to insert about 10 pieces weekly, to smoothen out the Ammonia release curve
Seems excessive to me. I am uncertain what the composition of those root tabs is but considering your tank is just a mere month old, that soil is pretty much loaded with more ferts than you need at least for a good 2 more months and that’s assuming you densily plant, which is not the case so far. You are also colum dosing EI if I read well and Amazonia has a good absorbtion capacity. If the idea is adding ammonia, you might as well colum dose it is smaller amounts although that in itself is yet another debate.
Tank looking nice. Keep it up.
 

erwin123

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Seems excessive to me. I am uncertain what the composition of those root tabs is but considering your tank is just a mere month old, that soil is pretty much loaded with more ferts than you need at least for a good 2 more months and that’s assuming you densily plant, which is not the case so far. You are also colum dosing EI if I read well and Amazonia has a good absorbtion capacity. If the idea is adding ammonia, you might as well colum dose it is smaller amounts although that in itself is yet another debate.
Tank looking nice. Keep it up.
I'm not dosing that much, 1ml of APT EI and 0.5ml of Tropica Specialised daily, which is below the manufacturer recommended amount for a 182 litre tank. Can't dose EI as it will cause the Ammannia Golden to stunt (I guess only Tom Barr can grow it under EI, I've not seen anyone else that can.... :) )

The ADA Amazonia instructions say I should put in the ADA root tabs together with the soil and I assume that many people follow the ADA instructions strictly and put in all the root tabs straightaway without any problem.

So by putting them in progressively, starting from 5 weeks later, it should be safer, compared to ADA's instructions to put them in immediately? Just my thinking... will see if I have more algae, but if its just GDA on the glass, I'll just scrape it off.... :)
 

Hanuman

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The ADA Amazonia instructions say I should put in the ADA root tabs together with the soil and I assume that many people follow the ADA instructions strictly and put in all the root tabs straightaway without any problem.

So by putting them in progressively, starting from 5 weeks later, it should be safer, compared to ADA's instructions to put them in immediately? Just my thinking... will see if I have more algae, but if its just GDA on the glass, I'll just scrape it off.... :)
It's possible that those root tabs are not very potent or that they are more micro/Fe oriented. I don't know, just assuming. Not sure why they would advice to add NPK root tabs on a fresh soil. I did add myself some unknown origin root tabs given to me by a fellow hobbyist when setting up my 60p, but that's because half the soil was older soil, the other half is new Black Earth. Although the tabs are at the bottom, the TDS keeps spiking adding a good 30-50ppm every 2-3 days which forces me to do 50%-70% WC each time. Not sure what the heck was in those tabs 😅. I'm dosing a clone of ATP Complete I made the other day considering the nuclear power plant I got in the soil💥. No more root tabs for the next 3 months.
 
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erwin123

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AI0Q9872 20 jul 22 processed web.jpg



Week 6 Update
As expected, my Pantanal/Meta forest is growing. I am still not happy with the A. Pedicatellas, I hope the Amazonia v2 has settled down and stopped releasing ammonia so I can focus on finetuning the water column dosing :)

I'm using my 10 year old DSLR... with the pumping up of the WRGB2 Pro power, it looks nice in person but the camera captures it as rather reddish (and changing white balance doesn't help much). Good excuse to upgrade my camera... (edit: i took a photo using a budget but more modern sony compact cam - still a bit reddish)

WRGB2 Pro is 85/65/75/70.
WRBG2 is 85/64/74
 
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erwin123

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Ive been meaning to ask, you have lately referred to these two together, do you find no difference between them, have they gotten mixed up in your tank or some other reason?
Just my curiosity 😊
Thanks. I started with 2 Pantanal and 2 Meta in my old tank. Then when I replanted, I totally lost track of which is which. From the photos its not that clear.

But from my earlier experience Pantanal is occasionally prone to stunting when you uproot a big stem with a lot of roots and replanting - whereas I hear that Meta is 'easier' to grow and has less problems. I am seeing one or two stems that look like they are not happy after replanting - so it could be that these are the Pantanals. So possibly if I discard the stunted stems, i'll eventually only be left with meta.

I also wonder whether there's an ideal or minimum stem length when cutting and replanting Pantanal/Meta. If I hack them too short, does it increase the risk of stunting? Maybe we should be asking more of this sort of plant maintenance questions to 'complement' the 'active' discussions on water column dosing :)
 

Tim Harrison

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r, it looks nice in person but the camera captures it as rather reddish (and changing white balance doesn't help much). Good excuse to upgrade my camera..
Looks spectacular. For me the reddish-ness would be a reason the keep the camera. In a social media era when nearly everyone turns the saturation up to something approaching max what difference does it make anyway 🙃
 

Hanuman

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I started with 2 Pantanal and 2 Meta in my old tank. Then when I replanted, I totally lost track of which is which. From the photos its not that clear.
The two easier ways are the colors and the crown size. Meta tends to have a deeper orange/red color and a larger crown. Leaves tend to be slightly wider. Pantanal has more of a pinkish tone. It can get reder but if both plants are in the same tank located at similar locations with obviously same parameters then Meta will always show redder tones. You will notice this with time. Pantanal left, Meta right.

IMG_7730.jpg
IMG_7729.jpg

But from my earlier experience Pantanal is occasionally prone to stunting when you uproot a big stem with a lot of roots and replanting - whereas I hear that Meta is 'easier' to grow and has less problems
Yes, very common for Pantanal to do that. Much less with Meta. In fact I have not experienced stunting with Meta when cutting and replanting so far. With Pantanal it was persistently doing that.
I also wonder whether there's an ideal or minimum stem length when cutting and replanting Pantanal/Meta.
I would say there is no ideal length but obviously if you keep cutting before the plant has time to develop some roots it will disturb its growth. I usually let them grow to where they are maybe 5cm from the surface. I then cut them to around 10cm in length and replant and throw the lower section. I don't see the plant struggle. I also remove the lower leaves before replanting. In any plant, when you remove roots you also want to remove leaf mass to reduce the stress on the plant since it doesn't have roots anymore to support the leaves demands.
If I hack them too short, does it increase the risk of stunting?
As long as you prune some of the lower leaves not really. I have replanted literally 1-2 cm length plants with no roots and they just grew (see pic below). Takes longer but they grew and I didn't notice any top stunting. The only moment I saw Meta stunt severely is when I drastically changed my dosing regime and cut all NPK by half. Even then only maybe 5% of the stems stunt. The rest slowed down and kept growing with no major top shrinkage.

IMG_8138.jpg
 
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Freshflora

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In this picture of yours you can also see a good way to tell the difference between Pantanal and Meta:
228B1796-2210-4BBB-A58F-DB25DAE48794.jpeg

The one on the right is Pantanal. Pantanal has a redder stem. A trusted hobbyist I know also has said that meta branches more than Pantanal.
 
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erwin123

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Week 7: The weekly 'not much to update' update
A slightly different photo - this photo was taken near the end of the photo period (CO2 already off) and with the Pantanals/Meta closed. Thanks for the advice from everyone how to differentiate the two. I am guessing that the red ones are Meta and the less red ones are Pantanal. And yes, the Metas are probably the ones that branch a lot more than the Pantanals.

Plant news
  • I hacked away most of the R. Macandra 'narrow leaf' to leave more space for the R. Macandra 'mini' (I don't know which mini exactly) as I think the mini should be more suitable for a compact bush (or one that doesn't get overgrown as fast...)
  • I hope the Ammannia Pedicatellas turn a corner soon..... dumped one stunted stem this week.
  • The Ludwigia Sphaerocarpa seems to be growing a couple of cm every week... lets see if it will change colour soon..
  • I'm itching to add a new plant to the tank, waiting for the right plants to appear in my LFS! I wouldn't mind more M. Roraima, I started with 2 stems and now I have 2, but they are growing so slowly.....
  • The R Florida are on their way out, it was just an experiment, but they are most certainly not a softwater plant...
Current dosing levels (at week 7 the aquasoil should have stopped leaking stuf into the water column so maybe I need to up the dose)
Total Weekly Dosing:
NO3 3.3ppm
PO4 0.9ppm
K 3.2 ppm
Fe 0.15ppm


After water change Seachem advance 2ml for Mn and other traces, 3g Epsom Salts for Mg.
 
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erwin123

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Week 8: The good, the bad, and the ugly

Journals are for 'real life' updates, so here it is, the good, the bad and the ugly 😎

Did a pH profile and realised my CO2 had been messed up for the last few weeks - recorded only a 0.9 pH drop! That might explain the worsening of the A. Pedicatellas. I inched up the pH drop to 1.1 and then to 1.2. Remember that this is not linear and my bubble count is like double. I'll let it run for a few more days, confirm the pH profile and maybe go for 1.3. For some reason I am using more than double the CO2 in the 90P compared to the 60H, even though 90P is just 50% more water volume. My CO2 is a 3kg canister, may need to get a 5kg one at this rate!

It may have something to do with increased surface agitation. In my 90P, both filter outlets are placed at the left side and together they create a lot of surface agitation. Previously I placed them in my 60H at opposite sides to do a 'racetrack pattern' - this may have resulted in some 'cancellation' of the surface waves and overall less surface agitation.

Fortunately, the Golden does grow new sideshoots from stunted stems so I hope to be able to replant them sideshoots once they are bigger. Also found some sideshoots at the substrate level - cut and replanted them next to the Flamingo for the time being. Took out the Buces to make more space for everything else that is growing well.
 
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