Channelling my inner Filipe - Getting there!

Sammy Islam

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12 Mar 2019
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Very Nice start, always an good idea to use lots of plants at the beginning!

How many lumens Is that twinstar light? Seems a bit weak for the size of your tank. Would avoid algae problem but Mc and stems needs lot of light to Look best, so I Would push it to 100% as your plant mass Is good ;)

Thanks i really love it! I plan on increasing the lighting tomorrow after my maintenance and water change. I held off last week as i did a major trim and didn't want to push my luck :lol:. I've realised the MC does need more light as the hardscape shadows it most where the patch is, so makes sense. I'll go grab some more MC and ramp up the light.

I have the twinstar 900SA, rated 5170lm and 65 watt, at maximum height that the adjustable brackets allow so about 13-14cm above the water. Running at 80% but will push that up tomorrow and lower the fixture in a week or two by an inch.
 

alto

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24 Dec 2014
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my light is in the middle but it's biased towards the back for the rotala, so i think the hardscape has been shadowing the MC
Move the light incrementally forward - there is more light at the back of the tank than the front (unless you have sunlight hitting the front of the tank) due to the applied tank films/backgrounds or a nearby wall
(yes someone actually measured these light effects - maybe published at Advanced Aquarist??? I read it a while back when searching for something unrelated ;))

It would be nice if Twinstar offered a half-width version of their LED units (for half the price too :D) so one could add this to the back on these wide tanks
 

Sammy Islam

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12 Mar 2019
Messages
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Location
Hertfordshire
Move the light incrementally forward - there is more light at the back of the tank than the front (unless you have sunlight hitting the front of the tank) due to the applied tank films/backgrounds or a nearby wall
(yes someone actually measured these light effects - maybe published at Advanced Aquarist??? I read it a while back when searching for something unrelated ;))

It would be nice if Twinstar offered a half-width version of their LED units (for half the price too :D) so one could add this to the back on these wide tanks

Yeah the backs definitely got more light as the backs full of hungry rotala and the front is mainly crypts but i have realised i've been shadowing the front too much. So you think i should edge it forward so it's sitting right in the middle? The tank gets no sunlight at all really.

At the moment it's sitting like this
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alto

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24 Dec 2014
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I’d move the light forward 2-4cm

With no ambient & lights turned off, try to see how light fall from the Twinstar changes as you move the unit forwards - from the photo, I suspect you have (more?) light hitting the wall behind the tank than light fall onto the front glass

Placing a dark paper on the front and back glass (extending several cm’s past the tank height) may make this easier to visualize
 

alto

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My tank gets a fair amount of sunlight (which can be significant even on cloudy days) so initially I hadn’t considered light might be a factor in your slow MC growth
(I was thinking more in terms of issues with the tissue culture product)
 

Sammy Islam

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So after my first trim and replant i've run into some deficiencies, mainly FE and maybe NO3, but seeing as i re-planted most of the tips i increased my plant density i may have run low/out of nutrients. Is it possible to run out/low on NO3 if i have a lot of nitrate from tap water?

I first suspected something was up 7 days after trimming, my rotala had minimal new growth and everything was looking paler in general, also was suspecting FE as new leaves where even paler. So i had enough EI solution left to bump up my macro and micro dose by 30% for a week before i have to make a new batch.

A couple days after increasing ferts i had an explosion of new growth on the trimmed rotala which i assume was a lack in nitrogen, i won't really know about iron for another week or so but i would say it has helped a tiny bit as the white/pale growth has a tiny bit of a pink hue now, but i could be imagining it :lol:

Will make up a stronger batch of EI soon as i think the rotala are sucking up the ferts. Will try:

Macro 3x a week
9ppm kno3
11ppm k
1.5ppm po4

10ppm mg (during water change)

Micro 3x a week
APF trace to target 0.2ppm FE
8% DTPA FE to target 0.3ppm FE (assuming the EDTA isn't working/available)
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Sammy Islam

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Went fish shopping this weekend, went over to "Hertfordshire fisheries" in St Albans for the first time as it was 5mins away from the "Maidenhead aquatics" i was planning on going to.

I was on the hunt for a male GBR for the female i already have and a group of honey gouramis depending on their size.

"Hertfordshire fisheries" was decent, didn't have a massive amount of fish like some other places but the tanks looked good and the majority of the fish looked healthy and happy.

Unfortunately they didn't have enough female golden honey gouramis to make a group, ideally wanted 2M 4F - they had 4M 3F.

So i decided to get two colour morps to make up the group, i ended up with 1M 2F of each - golden honey gourami and red robin honey gourami. The red ones are a little bigger than the golden and are a lot less shy. I'm really happy with my choice, they really complete the tank and give it a real community vibe.
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Neither aquatics store had decent GBR, they both had very juvenille fish, about a 1/3 of the size of my female and was even harder to sex them being so small and not coloured up much. I gave it a miss as none of them were the right size to be compatible with my female.

I broke down my old tank and went and donated some fish to my actual LFS, species i didn't want to put into my new scape (pentazona barbs, cardinals and corys). Luckily, when i ask about GBR they told me they had a group just come out of quarantine, they looked amazing, very coloured up for a LFS tank and they were chunky and very active. I studied the group for a while before picking the most colourful male who was less dominant/aggressive compared to the other males. I'm so happy i found a male it was pretty much fate! :lol:
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I'm finally fully stocked, feels on the heavy side for a scape as everyone is so active! :)
Only downside is now i have bigger fish my shrimp are hiding :banghead:

14 Asian rummynose tetra
14 Ember tetra
3 Golden honey gourami (1M 2F)
3 Red robin gourami (1M 2F)
2 German blue rams (1M 1F)
20+ cherry shrimp
4 amano shrimp (will add more later)
 
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alto

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The new GBR boy looks gorgeous (don’t know how you resisted getting more of these :p)

red robin honey gourami. The red ones are a little bigger than the golden and are a lot less shy
Compare with the tank bred red form
Trichogaster labiosa

(I found a 2018 thread on another uk forum where several agreed the “red honey gourami” they purchased were most likely T labiosa instead, some noted the fish was more aggressive, so just watch your other honey gourami aren’t too intimidated)
 

Sammy Islam

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The new GBR boy looks gorgeous (don’t know how you resisted getting more of these :p)


Compare with the tank bred red form
Trichogaster labiosa

(I found a 2018 thread on another uk forum where several agreed the “red honey gourami” they purchased were most likely T labiosa instead, some noted the fish was more aggressive, so just watch your other honey gourami aren’t too intimidated)

They do seem to have different body shapes which only just clicked in my head when i messaged you. The golden honeys are a lot rounder and smaller, where as the red robins are more slender/elongated and bigger. The red male does seem more aggressive than the golden male but i put that down to size.

They are settling in well, so far so good! The goldens like to hang about in the rotala and the more shaded areas near hardscape, where as the red robins like swim about everywhere and are mainly at the front of the tank in the beach area. They do seem to interact and follow eachother and they all chill together when the lights are out, love how they each have a different spot to sleep in.
One thing i didn't anticipate is the rams fending off the gouramis for control over the beach area :crazy:

So glad i found an awesome male, just landed in my hands at the perfect time! Going to feed them up and monitor the poop! Hard to feed them certain foods as the tetras are savages, how are they so greedy?! :lol:
 

Sammy Islam

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I haven't posted in a while so here's a little update.

After my first major trim and replant i had an iron deficiency, i think that's been corrected to a certain extent as my plants are more colourful and less pale, i wouldn't say I've fixed it as of yet but i am definitely getting there.

Unfortunately my male red robin gourami jumped out yesterday and i didn't notice in time, must have been only 10mins until i noticed. He's the only fish that would get startled easily anytime i appear out of no where. So i assume he was chilling near the surface skimmer eating stuff that's been caught and got spooked when i came in and jumped. :banghead::(

Other than that, everyone is doing well and i've got a decent population of baby/infant shrimp so hopefully they grow big. Haven't seen my rams or gouramis go for any grown shrimp or babies, in fact my female ram actually sat on top of a big red cherry shrimp once :lol:

Plant health in general is pretty good, still struggling with the Monte carlo which is a shame but i am determined. Rotala is growing well but a little pale, but new growth is looking better. Really happy with the pogostemon helferi, it's filling out really well and is a good indicator plant for iron deficiency, have read @Zeus. Journal a few times :thumbup:

Minimal algae on plants apart from diatoms, minimal green algae on rocks and wood and i haven't seen any staghorn/BBA yet - i put this down to the oase filter, inside stays very clean when cleaning the prefilter weekly.
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Sammy Islam

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Found these lot hiding in the prefilter! There's always so many, they must crawl in from the top of the surface skimmer as i've seen baby shrimp that have got stuck and died in the bottom intake slats.
Going to devise a guard out of some mesh, but the last time i tried, the surface skimmer wasn't happy with my addition. :banghead::lol:
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Deano3

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That is a lot of shrimp in pre filter thats amazing i thought 5-6 was a lot tank looking great sammy.

Dean

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Sammy Islam

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Best to just let them be they always seem happier in my pre filter lol but its normally like 10_20 not.50_60 lol

That's probably the most that's been in there! Last week there was like 30 proper babies in there, this week it's nice to see that they are growing well. :)

That’s crazy ; so many shrimp :) easier to feed them there than in tank !

Ooo that's a good idea, will try feeding them next week before they get put back into the tank! :thumbup:

That is a lot of shrimp in pre filter thats amazing i thought 5-6 was a lot tank looking great sammy.

Dean

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Thanks mate it's getting there, still trying to figure out some sort of deficiency most likely iron!

Was shocked to see that many in there to be honest! A couple of babies fell into the sink basin so had to figure a way of scooping them up - turkey baster and a spoon did the job :lol:
 

Sammy Islam

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Been a couple of weeks so here's an update. Things are going fairly well, still battling an iron deficiency but now i have some EDDHA FE to try so hopefully will see some results in a week or two.

I feel like it's helped already as i've seen new growth from my MC which had basically stalled, growing very slowly with tiny leaves. Now i've seen new growth with bigger leaves so i'm optimistic. Still struggling with the MC on the left hand bank - the gouramis and rams keep pulling it out!

I induced some hair algae & staghorn by fiddling with the height of my light and co2.
NOTE TO SELF - DON'T FIDDLE! :banghead:

luckily it's mainly on the leaves closest to the water surface and the tank is due a major trim and maintenance session, so most of it can be dealt with, any remaining algae i'll spot dose out.
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Sammy Islam

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Finally did my big maintenance session, it's crazy how different the scape looks after a big trim!

Hopefully the rotala will grow back better now that i have more iron available. I've been using EDDHA for about a week and a half and have seen some improvements so i'm hopeful it will look much more colourful this time round. The p.helferi is doing better so the EDDHA is working, just goto figure out the best dose currently at 0.2 ppm per week.

I can see a lot more shrimp now, they are everywhere! Since we've gone into quarantine, it seems like they have come out of quarantine! I use to only see a couple here and there, now i can see atleast 40 at any time. Maybe they are more confident now they have a proper colony or they are really hungry. :)
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