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A fresh start

Ash J

Member
Joined
22 Nov 2021
Messages
64
Location
Nottinghamshire
Evening all,

I got into the aquascaping hobby 6 months ago to the day and well honestly it's been quite the steap learning curve. Ultimately, my inexperience caused me to make alot of rushed decisions, and lack of patience lead me to a scape I just wasn't enjoying. I've learned a hell of alot though over these months and I felt now was a good time to start a fresh and actually take the time to plan everything out!
This is my journey 😊

Tank completely cleared... Took so much longer than I anticipated!
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Hindsight is a beautiful thing... As I'd now much prefer a rimless tank but the misses has put her foot down for now.

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JBL proscaper Volcanic mineral used to create depth. I thought this time round I'd attempt a concave style.

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Managed to pick up EI nutrient kit from Aquarium plant food just before they unfortunately closed. Got a free pair of aquascaping tweezers.... Schweeeeeet! Perfect timing as I'd just trod of my other set and split them in two 😅.

A trip down to Aquarium Gardens for some inspiration. Came back with the below hardscape. Thanks Dave & the team for the great advice!
IMG_20220408_190859.jpg


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Tropica aquarium soil now in.

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Some finishing touches. I'm pretty content with the hardscape at this point so have started gluing everything in place with JBL proharu...no going back now!

Plants are on order and expected in the next few days.....hyppppped! Full plant list to follow soon.

Until next time.... 🤘
 

Ash J

Member
Thread starter
Joined
22 Nov 2021
Messages
64
Location
Nottinghamshire
Tank is now planted. Can't say it was an event free day! I'm happy with the outcome however.
IMG_20220414_172621.jpg

Struggled to keep some of monte carlo down in the substrate once it was full of water. It's my first time using an inline diffuser so almost gassed out the tank 😅. The Co2Art inline diffuser also seems to have a slight leak from the centre joint. I've tightened it as much as I can so thinking it may be faulty. Has anyone had any success using plumbers tape on these things? Thought I'd give it a go before looking to return it.

Until next time.. 🤘
 

Ash J

Member
Thread starter
Joined
22 Nov 2021
Messages
64
Location
Nottinghamshire
A little update.

It's now been one week since setting the tank up. Everything so far appears to being going well. I'm seeing good growth everywhere especially from the Ludwegia Sp red.
IMG_20220421_154319.jpg
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Co2 currently on 3bps and have just completed the first week of EI dosing! Algae so far is non existant so will continue running the WRGB2s
at 50% for the time being.
 

Ash J

Member
Thread starter
Joined
22 Nov 2021
Messages
64
Location
Nottinghamshire
Week 2 update
Diatoms have most certainly set in! Seeing great growth from the Ludwigia, Blyxa and Hemianthus. I'm also starting to see the formation of GSA on some of the hardscape. I'm struggling to find a good balance of lighting settings on the Chihiros.
IMG_20220428_095704.jpg
I seem to be struggling with the montecarlo atm... In some places growth is good but in others it has completely melted. I've also seem melt on some of the crypts, part of the hygrophila arguaia.

IMG_20220428_095746.jpg

The Myriophyllum Guyana which was also doing really well has suddenly started to melt.. I came across a previous thread wherea user had the same issue and it was possibly down to fertilizer burn. I'm not really sure how to combat this though I'm pretty sure I'm going to lose the entire batch.
IMG_20220428_095755.jpg
 

Ash J

Member
Thread starter
Joined
22 Nov 2021
Messages
64
Location
Nottinghamshire
3 week update.

I'm starting to get a little disheartened at this stage and feel I'm just throwing money away. I have come home today to find my bucephalandra wavy green which seemed to be doing well has completely melted.
Pic taken yesterday... Looks worse today.
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I've also lost most of the MC through melt. The tank just looks a mess.. I'm clearing diatoms almost daily to find them even worse on my return from work. There is now also filamentous diatoms, BBA, GSA and BGA present in the tank. I've reduced my lights down to 50/40/50 and the photoperiod to 6 hours, I'm not even sure this is going to be enough but worry plant growth will become even more stunted.

I've been trying to maximise flow around the Tank. I've tried using full length spray bar back to front though the flow seemed very weak and created dead spots. Spray bar going left to right, flow was better however circulation still wasn't great. I'm currently using a regular outflow head flowing diagonal across the tank with a skimmer blowing along the back. This seems better but maybe its still not enough so I may resort to putting in a wavemaker.

IMG_20220504_113803.jpg

Cheers.
 

MichaelJ

Member
Joined
9 Feb 2021
Messages
1,992
Location
Minnesota, USA
Thats sad and frustrating, but don't give up! It has to come down to CO2/flow/timing, nutrients/fertilizers and perhaps your water source. Have you checked / asked around about your CO2 setup? Your DC looks blue... should be green. Just wondering. I would post this one in the CO2 or plant help section to get the gurus in on it. Some algae break-outs are quite common in new tanks, so that is just what we all have to deal with at the early stage, but the plant decay is really a bad sign and totally avoidable.

List as much info about your tank as possible:


EDIT: Never mind, Just saw your post.


Cheers,
Michael
 
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Ash J

Member
Thread starter
Joined
22 Nov 2021
Messages
64
Location
Nottinghamshire
Update**

I'm really unhappy with the current direction that the tank is going in. I'm still really struggling to find any balance. The new batch of MC which I added 2 weeks ago, both floating and planted batches melted right through to roots again...

Plant growth is poor (crypts have barely grown since adding to tank) and some plants look in poor health. I also started to get GSA on some of the crypts/glass, and BGA is starting to get out of hand.. I did start adding about 3ml of Easycarbo a day but this seemed to make the BGA worse so has discontinued this.
I'm continuing to EI dose 30ml daily, I've taken out about 50% of my biomedia to increase flow through the filter and I've also added a 1000lph wavemaker (combined flow of 2150 lph with filter+wavemaker). 300 lph skimmer comes on for 30mins 1 hr after co2 ends to clear surface.
Lights have remained at 50% intensity with 6hr photo period throughout.
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Co2 on 3hrs before lights ensure dropchecker is green on lights on. Currently injecting 4bps.

I've uploaded a link to a video which shows the co2 distribution if anyone is able to take a look. Co2 mist is pretty much in every area of the tank. Or is this still not enough?



If anyone can offer any other solutions/insights of what could be going wrong here that would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks

Ash
 
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Midwife

Member
Joined
8 May 2021
Messages
52
Location
Down south
I genuinely hope you turn it around. I know how disheartening it can be and why people give up early into the hobby because of this.
I can offer zero advice as i don't inject co2 and always go low tech. I personally never dose for the first 8 weeks while plants adjust.

Stick with it
 

Ash J

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Thread starter
Joined
22 Nov 2021
Messages
64
Location
Nottinghamshire
Not to give up I've decided to try something new! After spending hours upon hours of researching I came across a very old post which Co2 Guru Clive had commented on which gave me the idea.
I've now gone back to the full length spraybar at the rear of the tank, the flow is quite weak hence why I never used prior however I've added a 1000lph wavemaker either side of the spray bar flowing directly towards the front to assist the flow.
IMG_20220522_123226.jpg
I can now see the co2 mist hitting the front of the tank (entire length) and rolling all the way down to the substrate then rolling through to the back. Really hoping this solves matters! Also moved some of the plants around about.
IMG_20220522_153114.jpg
I've also upped the dosage of EI to 40ml per day as some leaves started to show signs of deficiency.

Feeling a bit more optimistic about things but will give it a couple more weeks before I attempt to add any MC/HC 😂

Until next time.
 

Tankless

Member
Joined
6 Jan 2020
Messages
226
Location
London
I usually start at 40% lighting intensity for 6 hours ending with 30 minute ramping down to zero. I just find that for the first two months it gives me enough time to get the c02 amount correct and deal with any issues especially as I can only dedicate an hour a week to the tank.
 
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Ash J

Member
Thread starter
Joined
22 Nov 2021
Messages
64
Location
Nottinghamshire
Evening all,

The "fresh" start has now come to an end.
IMG_20220614_150729.jpg
This is the final shot of the tank before it was broken down yesterday/today. I must say it was definitely a challenge for me to get things right however in the final few weeks it seemed like I'd finally cracked the issue with flow/co2 distribution as alot of healthy growth occurred.
It's definitely taught me alot which I'll be able to apply going forward.

Cheers
Ash
 

PARAGUAY

Member
Joined
13 Nov 2013
Messages
2,905
Location
Lancashire
Sorry it's not gone well. But the positives to take as you say . Without going into all reasonss I would really put plenty of fast easy growers in.and floating plants Keeping aquasoil substrate and be very careful of lighting ,don't need high or long periods at all. Six hours max to start with and some may disagree but l wouldn't go heavily on liquid fertiliser at all for the first couple of weeks or so.50% water changes every day for first 2 weeks then two a week ideally every other day.
 

Ash J

Member
Thread starter
Joined
22 Nov 2021
Messages
64
Location
Nottinghamshire
Sorry it's not gone well. But the positives to take as you say . Without going into all reasonss I would really put plenty of fast easy growers in.and floating plants Keeping aquasoil substrate and be very careful of lighting ,don't need high or long periods at all. Six hours max to start with and some may disagree but l wouldn't go heavily on liquid fertiliser at all for the first couple of weeks or so.50% water changes every day for first 2 weeks then two a week ideally every other day.
Hi Paraguay,

Some of the points you mentioned are definitely things I have learned in this journey. I was becoming more content with the progress of the tank, however I was just getting really tired of the aesthetics of the Fluval Roma. The tank was only broken down as I got a new rimless tank this week that I spent yesterday scaping 😁.

Will be posting a new journal soon!
 
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