Back from the brink - 150ish litre learning journal.

Steve Smith

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It's finally dawned on my that I'm being far to obsessed with a good looking scape, when I really haven't concentrated on my abilities to run a tank, and grow plants successfully. So, on my "big" tank, which has been spiraling into neglect, I have decided to rescue it and start planting, and growing, not giving a massive amount of thought to the scape itself.

I'd already tried to scape this tank before it got neglected, so there is a little structure to it. But I'm going to now concetrate on the plants, and their needs.

Some stats:

91.5x38x50cm (external)
Tetratec EX1200 - 1200lph
Eheim 2213 Classic - 440lph
3x24w T5 SilverSun lumiaire
Sand and fine gravel mix on top of Tetraplant Complete substrate
Pressurised CO2 via 5kg FE and glass diffuser.

OK. Here is the tank in it's current state:







Currently housing some pots of Ludwigia Arcruata for another tank, and some Echinodorus I'll be posting to Johnny70 tomorrow.

Anyhow, current planting (from right to left) is:

Up front:
Staurogyn sp.
Various crypts (parva, becketii I think)
Hydrocotyle Sp (few plants that keep freeing themselves)

To the rear and on the wood:
Microsorum "Needle"
Bolbitis
Hygophilla Diformis
Anubias "nana"
Microsorum "Narrow"
Microsorum "Needle" again
Crypt "Balansae"
Crypt "Retrospirallis"
Vallis "Nana"
African Lotus
Tiger Lotus (tiny at the moment)
Also some Weeping moss not doing so well on the upper branches (algae coated).

I re-installed pressurised CO2 yesterdaym and also a power head to get better distribution. I'm going to have to play with this some more. My EX1200 has a spraybar which mounts 3/4 of the length of the tank and it does give a good flow front to back, for the most part. But I don't think it's actually working. I'm limited by what I can put on the left side, as the tank has a lot of bracing built into the top, for where sliding panels used to be etc. Luckily the right side did have a glass panel, but it wasn't attached. I managed to break this when I got the tank :lol:

Currently I have 10 pentazona barbs, 7 harlequin rasbora (mix of coppers and another more red type I think) and 2 ottos. Also about 6 amano shrimp.

I'll post some better photos/close up as this progresses, and no doubt be asking for plant/fert suggestions. This is really just to get a journal up and get me thinking some more.
 
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I remember when you first set this tank up... The wood looked much better then (looks as though you've got less of it now), the whole tank infact. It looked like a river system which I liked. :D

I bet you'll have it back on track in a matter of days, can't wait because I always loved this tank :)
 

Steve Smith

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Ah, you mean when it was in the Rio 180 last year. That all went to crap unfortunately :( There was another bit of wood in that one which is currently outside soaking :)
 
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SteveUK said:
Ah, you mean when it was in the Rio 180 last year. That all went to crap unfortunately :( There was another bit of wood in that one which is currently outside soaking :)
Oooh, I didn't realise this was a completely different tank!

Even though it's not at its best at the moment, I still like the 'jungle feel' of it. :)
 

Steve Smith

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I bought a massive lump of bolbitis and a huge microsorum "narrow" from P@H the other eve, believe it or not.





CD for an idea of size.

Both were tropica "medium plant on wood". Individually £14.99, both for £24.99! I think there is enough bolbitis there for at least 4 tropica pots, which sell for about £7.50 each! The bolbitis promptly fell off it's wood (with some persuation :lol:) but I left the microsorum as it looked very nice as it was.
 

Steve Smith

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Here is a really quite aweful idea of what the flow I have.



Basically, I have a spraybar across most of the length of the tank, with the inlet in the right corner (EX1200). Also I have the inlet and outlet for the 2213 in the right corner.

I have my diffuser on the right side wall with a power head blowing the microbubbles to the front of the tank, were it is diffused mostly down and along the front of the tank. The problem is the CO2 seems to make it about half way along the front of the tank and gets brought down and back by the flow from the spraybar. It doesn't seem to make it any further than the right half of the tank.

I can't put the power head on the left, as I'd like, due to the way the tank is designed (lots of in-built glass braces). I wondering where would be the best for the diffuser. I'm thinking I might be able put it in the left corner and have the powerhead blowing right to left at the rear. Hopefully this would blow the CO2 bubbles to the front and around.

It's either this, or I ditch the spray bar and go with the outlets strategically placed.
 

aaronnorth

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I like it how it is :) Beautiful plants you have got aswell. I bought a microsorum pteropus windelov for £12 from TGM (postage bumped up the cost)

and you got all that for £12.50! Absolute bargain.
 

Steve Smith

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Thanks :) What you can't see is the BGA I cleared out a few days ago, and the BBA on parts of the redmoor :lol:

Yeah, I was walking out of the store with a grin on my face. I then proceeded to whack the carrier bag of a metal railing as I cycled home! Thankfully no damage.
 

Steve Smith

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Quick pic of my pentazonas shoaling, exploring the new current from power head I added yesterday:



They've been swimming back and forth for a few hours now :lol:
 

Steve Smith

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Ok, I'm looking for some advice on this tank.

Should I plant up the ludwigia behind the fern on the left, instead of waiting till I get my 80cm sorted out? (might take some time for the 80cm :lol:)

I guess I could plant it and try and grow it properly, get some shape out of it by pruning it and such. I could then use cuttings to stock the 80cm when I'm ready.

I'm also considering moving the valis nana to back left/middle and spacing it out a little. I think this might work but I'm not sure...

Finally, the Bolbitis isn't sitting well with me. I think I need to re-tie it and lower it in the right corner. It's too dominating.

Mind you, I just want stuff to grow well. Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself here...
 

scottturnbull

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SteveUK said:
I'm also considering moving the valis nana to back left/middle and spacing it out a little. I think this might work but I'm not sure...
I think that's a good idea. The height is coming from the back corners, on both sides. Moving some height (the vallis) closer to the center will break things up nicely.
 

GreenNeedle

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This is how I finally left mine:
flowdiagram2.jpg


Filter outlet pushing along the front from the front left (lily), filter inlet rear right.

Powerhead rear left pointing towards the rear glass. diffuser is into the bottom of the powerhead. Glass diffuser under powerhead's inlet should be the same result. When the bubbles hit the glass half are deflected in al directions and the other half run along the back where when they hit the far side again deflect in all directions. The 'quarter' that are left when the flow reaches the front glass are pushed along the front where they also meet the ones deflected from the powerhead so now all 'gaps' seem to be filled.

AC
 

Steve Smith

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Well, spurred on by Andy's efforts I was reading about in his journal, I've planted all the Ludwigia, trimmed the hygro a bit more to even it out and shuffled the java fern over a few inches to the right. I haven't done anything with the Bolbitis like I was thinking. I'll do that another day I think :) I also moved 4 or 5 vallis plants to the back left, slightly spaced out and I think it'll work. I may repeat that accross more of the rear.

I've also got my solenoid back onto a timer, set to come on 2 hours before lights on and off 1 hour before lights out. I managed to move the powerhead over to the left rear corner directed into the left side so that it deflects off and takes the CO2 bubbles from the diffuser, which is now in the front left corner, accross the front of the tank, where it's caught by the flow of the spray bar and travels to the right. It seems to direct the bubbles into the middle of the tank and they travel to onwards to the back.

I'll post pics tomorrow hopefully, I still have Hygro floating about waiting to go into the post, if Garuf ever checks his PMs ;)
 

GreenNeedle

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Steve. Move the drop checker around the tank each day for a while just to satisfy yourself that you are getting the CO2 right. That was why it took me a couple of weeks. Every time I thought I had it sorted there was an area that proved not.

The final setup that I have now seems to be solving that but I will say no more so I don't put the 'mockers' on myself. lol

AC
 

GreenNeedle

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Pre Monday I had the ins/outs/diffusion method/powerhead in 12 different positions over 15 days trying to get green/yellow all the way round the tank. lol

AC
 

Steve Smith

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A couple of pictures:

Ottos making a rare appearance whilst the lights are on:



Full tank shot after the re-planting and stuff:



I've moved the diffuser to the back and directed the powerhead to blow accross the back of the tank, sending CO2 along the back. It is then blown back forward and seems to diffuse quite well. I'm going to move the drop checker around the tank to make sure I'm getting CO2 to all areas.
 

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