Golden rock- 4 weeks growth, background plants added 5/8/08

John Starkey

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Re: My latest effort - Work in progress - Rescaped - 22.07.08

Hi Andy,vast improvement my friend,one plant i think would look very nice in the right hand corner is crypt crispulata var. balansae,because of its slowish growth i would suggest four to five decent pots to fill it out nicely,regards john
 

AndyTaylor

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Re: My latest effort - Work in progress - Rescaped - 22.07.08

Thanks for all the helpful comments, lads. I really appreciate the advice.
I've been on the TGM (what a helpful bunch they are) :D about a plant order, some Hygrophila corymbosa `Red` & Nesaea pedicellata to add some color contrast to the background.
Any ideas on the best place to mail order some Blyxa Japonica from?

Also more Pogostemon Helferi for the left foreground and Cryptocoryne crispatula var. balansae as recommended above.

The only problem I have now is reducing my stock of fish now before I transfer them to this tank. I don't think that my Royal Plec will be going in here for a start. I can see a weekly re-plant on the cards if I move him in!
 

milla

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Re: My latest effort - Work in progress - Rescaped - 22.07.08

AndyTaylor said:
Any ideas on the best place to mail order some Blyxa Japonica from?

!



I can send you some blyxa for a small donation to UKAPS, pm me if interested.
 

AndyTaylor

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Re: My latest effort - Work in progress - Rescaped - 22.07.08

you have pm, milla
 

AndyTaylor

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Re: Work in progress - 2 weeks growth, fish and shrimp added

Ok, so the tank has been up for nearly 4 weeks now so I decided it was safe to add the cleanup crew. 10 Amano Shrimp and 14 Ottos from the local lads in AquaPaws, Galway...... and a small shoal of Harlquins for colour.

Started dosing dry ferts 10 days ago, a teaspoon of each seems to be enough for the moment.
Growth has improved, particularily the lily which is putting on 8 inches a week. The limnophilia has recovered it's vibrant green and will be kept.
I'm seeing small amounts of BBA which I think may have been imported from my other tank (despite my best efforts) :oops: .
I'm overdosing EXcel and crossing fingers.
Some of the crypts are melting slightly too but they should be ok in time.
The E. Stellata in the foreground has recovered now and seems to be starting to put on new growth. Not so the Downii but time will tell, I suppose.


I have Blyxa on the way (Thanks Milla) to fill out the space between the E. Tennellus and the bogwood behind. I removed the Hortwort as it didn't really suit the layout.

DSCF6383.jpg


DSCF6384.jpg


Any suggestions for a suitable tall background plant to fill in behind the Java Ferns?
 

Dan Crawford

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Re: Work in progress - 2 weeks growth, fish and shrimp added

Lookin really nice mate! :D
AndyTaylor said:
Any suggestions for a suitable tall background plant to fill in behind the Java Ferns?
I'd go for Eustralis Stellata, my last tank had a similar theme and plant selection and it worked well (i think)

I'd check out your dry ferts dosing, it may be working well but you wanna get it right. You have enough biomass for full EI, get it on and watch it grow and grow and grow........

Also you could try some moss on some the pebbles, that may work well?

Just my thoughts on an already great looking scape.
 

ceg4048

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Re: Work in progress - 2 weeks growth, fish and shrimp added

AndyTaylor said:
...I'm seeing small amounts of BBA which I think may have been imported from my other tank (despite my best efforts) :oops: .
Sad to say, and please don't get upset, but this concept is yet another myth, and if followed, can lead to self delusion. Algae don't require importation because spores of all species are present in everybody's tank at all times. If you are seeing BBA it's because you have stimulated the blooming of these BBA spores by either or any combination of the following;

1)poor CO2 injection rate or
2)poor CO2 distribution or
3)poor CO2 stability.

These factors are relative to the amount of light energy being input to the tank. In other words, you have exceeded the threshold of lighting by which you had margin of error for these three factors.

So it's not that you have imported BBA from another tank, instead you have merely followed the same poor CO2 implementation on this tank as you did on the other tank. You should consider implementing a better CO2 technique (and/or lowering of the light) - unfortunately, for undetermined reasons, your dropchecker is lying to you. :arghh:

AndyTaylor said:
I'm overdosing EXcel and crossing fingers.
Well, crossing fingers is the least effective thing you can do. A better employment of fingers is to use them to turn the needle valve counter-clockwise until you can hear the gas singing as it passes through the diffuser. Excel will definitely help, but can become expensive.

AndyTaylor said:
Some of the crypts are melting slightly too but they should be ok in time.
The E. Stellata in the foreground has recovered now and seems to be starting to put on new growth. Not so the Downii but time will tell, I suppose.
The growth rates of P. helferi, as well as other carpet plants are prime indicators of the robustness of a tanks CO2 implementation. Poor growth, loss of tissue and the emergence of BBA are therefore very strong, and in fact, I would go so far as to say, undeniable indicators of poor CO2.

Hope this helps. 8)

Cheers,
 

AndyTaylor

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Re: Work in progress - 2 weeks growth, fish and shrimp added

Once again, ceg4048, another very helpful post. Fear not, I don't take offence when offered advice from far more experienced Aquarists.

I was having trouble getting my drop checker to change from yellow to green and in the absence of any Fauna to let me know otherwise, I assumed that the D/C was correct and reduced CO2.
Now that you've pointed it out, this would have co-incided with the appearance of the BBA. :oops:

I'm certain that my CO2 distribution is working as I can see the bubbles moving around the tank and I have no dead spots. I have plenty of flow with the Eheim 2026.

So, my dropchecker lies.
I'm using 4dkh water from AE and Brom. Blue from a low range pH test kit as a reagent, again from AE. Where did I make a mistake with the dropchecker?.
I obviously don't understand the process as I thought that the point of 4dkh water was so that I would have a constant reference point for CO2, independant of my tank water.

Now that I've encouraged the pre-existing spores to bloom so effectively, what should I do?

Increase the CO2.
Remove as much of the affected greenery as possible?
Decrease the photo-period? I'm running 2 x 39w T5's for 7 hours per day.
 

ceg4048

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Re: Work in progress - 2 weeks growth, fish and shrimp added

Hi Andy,
Your understanding of the dropchecker is correct. It's exactly as you stated. The problem is that we often assume that the reading of the checker represents the profile of the entire tank. The checker is only one single data point and only gives you information about the immediate area in which it is mounted. Another problem is that individual plants have different CO2 requirements since they have different uptake and utilization efficiencies. Two plants can be in the same area with the same CO2 concentration and yet one flourishes while the other struggles. This means we have to follow the "least common denominator" method where we supply a minimum level as defined by the weakest (or least efficient) plant. Often it's the carpet plants that determine this minimum level. That might mean therefore that you need the dropchecker to be nearer to the yellow than to the green. The consequence is that this level will be more than enough for some plants which will grow robustly, pearl vigorously and which will require frequent trimming, while it will be just enough for others.

Assuming you have the 10X tank volume per hour filter rating and good distribution, as you said increase the CO2 to drive the checker into the yellow assuming the fish can withstand the peak level. Turn on the gas an hour or more before the photoperiod. Ironically, you can then turn off the gas a few hours before the end of the photoperiod and this will give the fish a much needed break. Remove any affected leaves and even ones that look like they might be affected. Cutting the intensity is much more effective than cutting the duration. You can keep your original duration if you cut the intensity by 50%. Light energy drives CO2 demand which causes stress if the demand is not met. After the situation is resolved and when CO2 injection is up to par you can try returning to the original intensity. Be sure that your dosing levels are correct for EI. Increased CO2 uptake drives increased nutrient uptake demand. If you have the time multiple water changes per week will help to remove spores. Remember to dose after the WC. Keep the tank trimmed and do not allow the growth to "fill in" too much otherwise CO2 consumption demand increases (due to increased biomass) causing peak levels to fall putting you back in the same boat.

Use P. helferi as one of your guides. When it starts responding you know you are on the right track. :D
Try this for about 3 weeks and have patience. Be aware that it will take at least a week just for the plants to be able to be aware of and to start using the new CO2 level. CO2 consumption is tightly linked to the production of a phosphate enzyme called Rubisco which is a very large, complicated and expensive enzyme. Rubisco production has to increase and then be distributed throughout each leaf. Each Rubisco molecule captures a CO2 molecule and transports it to the photosynthesis reaction chamber. Because of this "lock-and-key" relationship, Rubisco saturation in the leaf must first match the ambient CO2 levels just for the plant to be able to use the CO2. This is why unstable levels of CO2 causes problems.

Cheers,
 

AndyTaylor

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Re: Work in progress - 2 weeks growth, fish and shrimp added

Thanks Clive, Once again, you've covered everything and more!

Most of the problem with this tank is the fact that I'm away from it during the week so dosing and trimming are done via phone instruction to the G/F. Not ideal but from next week I can be more hands-on with it.

I've just ordered a small Eheim pumphead from GreenMachine to be extra sure that I have enough flow. I think that I will treat the D/C as a useful (to a point) guide from now on and just try to get as much CO2 as the fish can take comfortably into the tank.
Unfortunately, I'm at my minimum lighting intensity with my Arcadia luminaire unless I re-wire the ballasts. I'll reduce the photoperiod for now and see how it works.

So many variables that I hadn't previously considered as being inter-dependant. I must pay more attention to the volume of bio-mass as the tank grows and adjust accordingly. (something I would never have done before)

Am I correct in thinking that my dosing levels don't need to be spot-on accurate as long as I supply more rather than less?
 

ceg4048

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Re: Work in progress - 2 weeks growth, fish and shrimp added

Yes, I think you have a handle on it now. As you surmised, EI does not enforce any kind of accuracy, it only provides the minimum levels required for unlimited access to each nutrient. In fact, it's when you try to be accurate that you get into real trouble.

I'm sure you'll be OK with the light intensity now that you've properly focused on the technique and that you understand the general nature of the interdependencies. Remember that you can always back off the injection rate and supplement with Excel if the fish become stressed, and that you only need the gas running for the first half of the photoperiod. It's at the beginning of the day that CO2 is critical. Afternoon food production trails off so you can use this to your advantage to shut off the gas and allow residual concentration levels to take care of the second half of the day. This really helps to give the fish a break. :D

Cheers,
 

AndyTaylor

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Re: Work in progress - 2 weeks growth, fish and shrimp added

ceg4048 said:
and that you only need the gas running for the first half of the photoperiod. It's at the beginning of the day that CO2 is critical. Afternoon food production trails off so you can use this to your advantage to shut off the gas and allow residual concentration levels to take care of the second half of the day.

Cheers,

Will this not have an effect on the PH though. I have the CO2 running 24/7 at the moment to avoid a PH swing overnight.
 

ceg4048

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Re: Work in progress - 2 weeks growth, fish and shrimp added

AndyTaylor said:
ceg4048 said:
and that you only need the gas running for the first half of the photoperiod. It's at the beginning of the day that CO2 is critical. Afternoon food production trails off so you can use this to your advantage to shut off the gas and allow residual concentration levels to take care of the second half of the day.

Cheers,

Will this not have an effect on the PH though. I have the CO2 running 24/7 at the moment to avoid a PH swing overnight.

Yes it will have a massive effect on pH. The pH swing will be on the order of 0.5-1 unit which is a 5X-10X swing in acidity. But this doesn't matter. pH swings occur in nature every second. Imagine what happens on water change day. Is there a huge pH swing? Absolutely. Neither plants nor animals care about pH swings. Fish looking for food swim in and out of one pH zone and into another. pH stability is only important if you are attempting to breed certain fish which use pH values as breeding triggers. From a health standpoint it's meaningless so forget about it.

If you start and stop the gas injection it allows you to drive to high peak values and then gives the fish a break so that they are not stressed overnight. Plants don't use CO2 at night, they use Oxygen so running the CO2 24/7 can cause both O2 shortfall as well as CO2 stress to the fish during the early morning before the plants start to produce oxygen. This is much more hazardous than any pH swing.

Cheers,
 

AndyTaylor

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Re: Work in progress - 2 weeks growth, fish and shrimp added

Another revelation. So much of what I 'know' seems to be wrong.
Thanks again. I'll keep you posted on progress.
 

LondonDragon

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Re: Work in progress - 2 weeks growth, fish and shrimp added

AndyTaylor said:
Another revelation. So much of what I 'know' seems to be wrong.
Thanks again. I'll keep you posted on progress.
Yep I learned a lot of that when I joined the forum, so many sites say PH swings are bad, CO2 should be run 24/7, over fertilization causes algae, all a lot of crap :p
What causes algae is an unbalance between CO2, light, ferts and circulation ;)
 

LondonDragon

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Re: Work in progress - 2 weeks growth, fish and shrimp added

ulster exile said:
*cough*ammonia*cough*

Filtration should deal with that, the recommended 5X-10X filtration in comparison to tank volume should cover that and you should never overstock with planted tanks, everyone knows that :p :lol: :lol:
 
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