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Cape Clear

Joined
12 Nov 2008
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410
Location
Kendal, Cumbria
Ten years ago I set up a planted aquarium ("Punishment of Luxury" - it's on here somewhere) with moderate success. After a few months I took it down, and the aquarium has been standing empty, reproachfully, in the corner of our dining room ever since.

With plenty of time on my hands (we all know why), I finally decided to get it going again.

It was planted up on December 6th and so far it's going (and growing) really well.

Here's the hardscape. Seiryu stone from the original layout, new bogwood from UKAPS sponsors Horizon Aquatics.

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Planted up, first filling. (I know, I know, red colander. On the way back from Horizon Aquatics I dropped in to Ribbon Foods in Darlington to stock up on curry ingredients and there they were, a big stack of them. £2.50 - bargain!)

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Immediately after the first fill.

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And here it is on Dec 18th, twelve days later.

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paul.in.kendal

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  • C. 200l Optiwhite, 100x45x55 tall
  • Eheim 2180 thermofilter
  • Arcadia Series 4 luminaire, 1x150w MH, 2x24w fluorescent
  • Aquamedic AM1000 co2 reactor
  • CO2Art PRO-SE dual stage regulator
  • ADA Amazonia version 2 substrate
  • EI dosing, homemade all-in-one mix from dry salts (using the IFC Aquarium Fertiliser Calculator)
[I'm editing this regularly - above is the current, not original setup].
 
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paul.in.kendal

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Second time around I've been much, much bolder than my first attempt a decade ago. Looking at my notes I see that back then I only switched on the MH after two weeks, for just 15 minutes to begin with. This time I've had all the lights on from the start, fluorescents for 6 hours and MH for 4.
The 1-2 Grow plants from Tropica are superb, rushing into full growth straight away. The introduction of Monte Carlo seems to make carpeting much, much easier, too.
And I've got to say that George Farmer's set of introductory podcasts are absolutely superb - a great way to get back up to speed: comprehensive and concise, they've been a godsend. Thanks George!
 

paul.in.kendal

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20201229_191337.jpg


Three weeks in. The Monte Carlo carpet has been trimmed, and the astonishingly quick-growing limnophila sessiliflora has been cut back repeatedly. After a solid start some plants are falling apart and getting removed - some of the staurogyne reopens and now bucephelandra is melting away a bit. I'm getting algae - brown hair algae, I think - on some of the plants, mainly those on the bogwood, though it's now appearing elsewhere. I'm physically removing it, and considering treating it with liquid carbon (once I can get some). Back to doing 50% water changes every 1-2 days. I've taken out some of the frogbit too, which was multiplying rapidly.
 

paul.in.kendal

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The algae continues, and more plants are being lost. I remember this from last time around, ten years ago.

The sense of rising panic as algae takes hold and plants suffer. The temptation to furiously adjust everything in an attempt to 'fix' a problem that (as I understand it) is just down to it being a brand new set-up with a shortage of several trillion microbes to process the products of decaying matter from my fast growing plants.

I'm trying to stay calm, leave everything alone and continue with the physical algae removal and daily water changes, removing plants that are past it and waiting for it all to settle down.

I did use the excellent
new IFC Aquarium Fertilizer Calculator

on this site to check my all-in-one EI liquid feed from dry salts is correct. It is. Just maybe a bit low on KNo3 and calcium with my super quality tapwater. This is full EI so I'll not adjust it until I make up the next batch in a couple of weeks. I'll probably add a cuttlefish bone to the filter next time I open it, although the seiryu stone should be adding some calcium already.

I'm a terrestrial gardener too, and I liken this stage to how a flower bed reacts if you nuke it with glyphosate and slug pellets, dig it over repeatedly, then plant it up immediately. The microbes and animal life in the soil suffer massively because of the disruption, and the soil structure is completely out of whack. Inevitably pests invade, the neighbours' cats use it as a toilet, and some of the new plants can't handle it and give up the ghost.

However, once the bed is established, it's easy to plant here and there and the new plants settle in just fine.

For now I'm just focusing on all the plants that are doing OK, rather than getting upset about those I'm losing. Most of the stems are there just to build up plant mass anyway, so the intention was always to replace them with choicer specimens once the tank settles down.

Stay calm, Paul, stay calm!
 
Joined
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Very nice mate, I've been itching to get over to Horizon myself since seeing the review on Youtube. Don't know about that red colander though. I would check you aren't infringing any patents. I think George has pat pending on it. ADA will probably be selling glass ones for £100 next. :D
 
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BTW my only comment on it is I would love to have seen something red on the right hand side. Other than that sweet as though.
 

paul.in.kendal

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BTW my only comment on it is I would love to have seen something red on the right hand side. Other than that sweet as though.
The stems on the right (mainly Hygrophila Corymbosa "Siamensis 53b") are mainly just placeholders, building up plant mass until the setup stabilises and I can add choicer specimens there.
 
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Give me a shout when they've done their job mate, I could do with some S53B that's already adapted to underwater life. The ones I've tried from Tropica for P@H don't seem to want to adapt for me.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
They look like they might be filamentous diatoms <"Fragilaria/Synedra">. The other option is the Green Algae (Rhizoclonium), it is also fine threads and brownish, but has a bit more of a green undertone. They are <"both fragile threads">, but you can do them by feel, "Synedra" spp. have a fine gritty feel and Rhizoclonium are just smooth.

If you have a microscope they look quite different at the cellular level.

cheers Darrel
 

paul.in.kendal

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but you can do them by feel, "Synedra" spp. have a fine gritty feel and Rhizoclonium are just smooth
Thanks for this, Darrel. Not gritty at all, so I guess it's Rhizoclonium. I'll check my filter to ensure flow is good (although it certainly seems to be fine) and continue with physical removal and big daily water changes. Lights are on for six hours, so I'll stick with that. I might get some liquid carbon for spot-dosing - although pretty much every plant in the tank will need treatment, so it'll be more like blanket-dosing than spot-dosing!
 

paul.in.kendal

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OK. I've been doing some serious observation, reading, thinking.
For the first three weeks everything was fine, plants growing rapidly. Only then did the algae start.
I've just checked the filter, and that was fine. No issues with flow - I use a spraybar with a 1700lph (rated) filter, so tons of flow.
Fert dosing? Full EI from day one, no changes made so it can't be that.
Lighting? Lighting is high (c. 200 watts for 5-6 hours) but I've not changed it, and plants were growing happily, algae free, for three weeks like that.
That leaves - co2. Looking back through my daily diary (I keep a note of everything - water changes, the lot) I see the obvious - I changed from my old Aqua Medic 1000 reactor to an inline diffuser, and broke my new glass drop checker.
For the few days without a drop checker I had to guess at co2 levels. Once the replacement was here I adjusted co2 accordingly. But the drop checker has not been showing quite as green as before. I reckon that may well be the issue.
So today I've increased the bubble count and I'll be keeping a close eye on the drop checker.
To back up the idea that it's co2 deficiency, my frogbit (which as a floating plant with access to atmospheric co2 is not co2 limited) is doing fine. But, unquestionably, the pogostemon helferi is stunted. This is a plant I grew in my old tank (successfully) so I know what it should look like - and it's just not right.
I'm hesitant to convince myself I've found the catalyst for the algal bloom, but I really feel this is the likely culprit.
So, continue with physical removal, 50% water changes every 1-2 days, and close observation!
 

CooKieS

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Hi, just read the whole thread, I started my tank end of November and get the exact same algae than you after just 15 days; it’s rhizoclonium, it’s nasty and makes healthy plants melt. (I never had this one since I started the hobby 5 years ago, so I thought it was just normal diatoms and unfortunately didn’t react as quickly as I should).

i tried some things to get rid of it and found out that , tweaking co2 (I was doing 24/24 1bps before now 2 -3 bps only when lights are on), no ferts (stopped npk), and lower lights (sunset sunrise for 2-3 hours period with only 2 hours at full power), helped a lot!

i lost a bunch of plants, including several bucephalandra, anubias and stems, so don’t hesitate to throw away the ones that are too covered by algae and replace them with new ones. That will avoid unnecessary pollution.

you can do a 3 days blackout too, big wc before and after that.

it seems that dosing liquid carbon, even at triple dose, doesn’t Work with this one.

I’m actually dosing anti algae stuff (similar to easy life algexit, which is basically an anti po4 product) since 4 days and man the rhizoclonium is really starting to disappear.

good luck with it! It’s nasty but can be beaten, let’s keep us updated as our setup seems quite similar:)

cheers
Thierry
 
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