Jimbooo's 450L / 100G high tech journal

James Flexton

Member
Joined
21 Aug 2007
Messages
358
Location
Stotfold, Herts/Beds
johnny70 said:
Lovely tank.

May I ask what the large wavy leaf plant on the far left side is?

Great looking plant.

JOHNNY

Aponogeton ulvaceous i think. beware though they really are HUGE. they have outgrown this tank already and i am thinking of taking them out. if you wanted them to stand tall so to speak you would need at least a metre of depth if not more!!!

as to an update...uummmm not too great at present. i have a massive BGA infestation completely covering everything. co2 has been seamless at 5bps. tonnes of co2 mist in the water and the drop checker is bright lime green so it's not down to low co2. i am using a solenoid though so it may be fluctuating levels causing the problem. full EI (powder)and TPN+ / flourish trace on alternate trace days. 2.16 WPG

i have stopped EI since xmas eve as things were just getting rapidly worse, new PS3 has prevented me from doing anything but feeding the fish so i need to sort it out sooner than later. my first thought was to remove the solenoid and run co2 24/7, any other ideas people? i will take a pic of the mess and upload soon. i am a firm believer in showing the good and the bad after all. lol

hope you all had a good Christmas and best wishes for the new year.
 

Ray

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Joined
31 Oct 2007
Messages
676
Location
Switzerland
jimbooo said:
Aponogeton ulvaceous i think. beware though they really are HUGE. they have outgrown this tank already and i am thinking of taking them out. if you wanted them to stand tall so to speak you would need at least a metre of depth if not more!!!

I wonder if you can "bonsi" them like some people do with thier lillies?

Please post pics of the BGA algae mess - this is our most popular journal after all and we like to enjoy all your trials and tribulations (and I will feel better about the brown hairy alage that appeared in my tank while I was Xmas skiing...).
 

Ed Seeley

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Joined
3 Jul 2007
Messages
3,261
Location
Nottingham
I got rid of my last BGA outbreak by upping water changes (and syphoning out as much algae as I could each time) and increasing the flow rate (by giving the filter a really good clean and turning the flow rate up to maximum).

I also added carbon (just to see if it helped really) but maybe Purigen might be useful in removing more organic compounds that could be adding to the problem?

It went after a few weeks of this. Good luck!
 

James Flexton

Member
Joined
21 Aug 2007
Messages
358
Location
Stotfold, Herts/Beds
thanks guys,

flow is good (juwel filter plus a second external) could clean it but only been running for a couple of months!

i have purigen in there. may replace it apart from that i dont know what to do. 50 gallons a week changes are enough to cope with, i cannot do more. aghhhh i'm just hoping it's growing pains lol - pics soon
 

stevet

Member
Joined
25 Oct 2007
Messages
80
Location
London
I really would recommend Flourish Excel for this....i found that i had a green hair algae problem (despite have lazy SAEs!!) and bought a large 5 litre bottle of this stuff and dosed every water change. I now have no algae problems at all bar the normal presence of black spots on dead leave etc etc.

Go on seachems website and they freely admit they dont know the mechanism for how this works.

Oh - love the tank btw - coming together very nicely in the last pictures! I especially like the side on angle picture - very nice. Shame about the algae.

I really should post some pictures of my 'journal'! I keep finding myself waiting to get to the 'finished article' so i can show the journey in entirety, only to then find myself rescaping again!
 

James Flexton

Member
Joined
21 Aug 2007
Messages
358
Location
Stotfold, Herts/Beds
Hi Everyone, Sorry i've been AWOL for 3 months, been rather busy, no excuse i know :oops: As to the tank i have had a bit of a roller coaster ride with it. all sorted now thank god. i'll let the pictures do the talking as usual.

This is Dec/Jan when the algae plague was at it's worst. i was changing water and manually removing it but it kept coming back. i kept telling my self to have faith and it would pass. thank god it did.

it got so bad that my living room started to smell of algae. not good at all....

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anyway enough of that depressing stuff. if any of you are at this stage and the tank is relatively new please DO NOT give up. keep on at it removing algae and changing water and it will pass. After a big final clean up we ended up almost algae free. in case you are wondering 90% of it came out using a carefully handled narrow syphon tube. even the hairgrass, i just wiped it over the tips of the grass and it sucked up the algae leaving the grass rooted.

So here we are around mid Feb almost algae free. i had heavily pruned everything to make sure the algae leftovers on the leaves were at a minimum.

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since then i have added some more E. Stellata which pretty much filled the tank. i have stripped the aponogen's (sp?) right down to bulbs to regrow and they are each now showing 3 or 4 leaves each. The hairgrass has come on well if a little patchy but it will get there in time. HC has completely disappeared apart from a large clump which has taken root on the very top edge of the background tile, above the water line. it looks great when you open the rear flap it's starting to spread right along it.

I made a trip to wildwoods today to pick up some L-Numbers i forgot to note what i bought though, Doh. one is a blue phantom plec about 5 inches. stunning fish cost a small fortune but i really do love them. i am a little worried as it jumped straight from the bag as i opened it into the tank so no acclimatisation whatsoever. he looks okay but i dont really know what to look for. he is breathing and swimming about sucking the glass, fingers crossed. I also bought 2 L-Numbers both black bodies with white spots. a little dumpy in shape like a gold nugget in fact pattern wise it's the same as a GN with white in place of the yellow. pics below, i'll get some better ones when they have settled in and the Blue phantom turns around when he's done with the glass!!!

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So that just leaves a bang up to date set of tank pictures. the only remaining algae is on the wood which i actually am fine with i think it looks much more natural than "clean" wood, what do you people think? oh and there is some engrained on the filter box it's really hard to reach it without taking off all my lighting so i left it be.

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"when two become one!"
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i cant remember if i have already mentioned this in previous posts but i have added 2 LED strips for moonlighting. they are siliconed to the front glass above the water line. it's impossible to get a decent pic with my crappy camera but you'll have to take my word that it looks fantastic at night, especially over the sand substrate for reflection.

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i have just pruned again so i will take some more pics when the E. Stellata has grown back and filled in all the gaps at the top.

Thanks for reading, hope you approve! Any and all comments welcome.
 

nickyc

Member
Joined
24 Sep 2007
Messages
208
Location
Nottingham
Wow! It looks great now - amazing to see how bad it got and the recovery. Glad its back to its former glory too the E stellata looks fantastic :D
 

Moss Man

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Joined
8 Jul 2007
Messages
89
Location
Kent, UK
That was some very bad algae! But now it looks great, I like the algae which coats the wood, it looks very natural.
 

Ed Seeley

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Joined
3 Jul 2007
Messages
3,261
Location
Nottingham
Looking good Jim and loving the Angels. Are they wild Scalares or tank breds?

Hopefully the pictures of the bad times will be an inspirations to anyone in that situation and help them keep going with it! BGA is awful stuff!
 

James Flexton

Member
Joined
21 Aug 2007
Messages
358
Location
Stotfold, Herts/Beds
Hi eds. all tank bred. i have rock hard water so felt more comfortable buying from a store 2 miles away who do not use any RO in there tanks. they are tank bred imports apparently. i have only lost one of the 10 and one of the remaining 9 is a dwarf lol. notice the "when 2 become 1 pic" it's hard to see in 2D but one really is the size of a 2p coin where as the rest are more the size of an apple if that makes any sense. (sorry inches dont really describe it well with angels!) it wont eat any dry food but gobbles up bloodworm like a demon. i wondered if that one was wild caught and got mixed in somehow. looks the same so who knows.

i like to portray the real life journal, warts and all. i could easily make it look like "this games easy" and just post the good bits but as you say that wont encourage the newbies. it's like my rio180 i had a nightmare at times but now it sits in the office zero ferts and very minimal maintenance and it really does look spectacular. i am starting to think tanks will eventually reach a balance and sort themselves out we can only guide it in the right direction. this 450 for example was going through an algae stage period. by chucking in loads of ferts etc all i was doing was feeding it (sorry tom barr etc i have rather fallen off the wagon of late). leave well alone and just change water and then add small amounts of liquid ferts far less than EI doses and it gradually turns the corner.

any one want 3 tonnes of dry powders?!? i am sticking to TPN+ and flourish from now on and will only use the powder if i see obvious deficiencies which so far i have not.
 

ceg4048

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11 Jul 2007
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Chicago, USA
jimbooo said:
... i am starting to think tanks will eventually reach a balance and sort themselves out we can only guide it in the right direction. this 450 for example was going through an algae stage period. by chucking in loads of ferts etc all i was doing was feeding it (sorry tom barr etc i have rather fallen off the wagon of late). leave well alone and just change water and then add small amounts of liquid ferts far less than EI doses and it gradually turns the corner.

any one want 3 tonnes of dry powders?!? i am sticking to TPN+ and flourish from now on and will only use the powder if i see obvious deficiencies which so far i have not.

Hi Jim,
Glad to see the tank getting back into shape. That had to be depressing, no doubt but I have to disagree with the conclusion you draw here as it may not be based on a thorough enough analysis of what went wrong. In fact, you have all the data right here in this journal to make an assessment. If one looks at the pictures from start date to just before Xmas the tank appears to be in decent shape (presumably you were dosing EI during that time.) It would be easy to guess that you got distracted at about this time but looking at the photos I can see one glaring thing. The plant biomass was very heavy. Unfortunately, in a big tank the rules breakdown a little bit as delivering nutrients and CO2 to is problematic due to flow issues. The heavy mass demands that you increase the dosages.

The reference dosage for example would have been 1.5 teaspoons KNO3 and 3/8 teaspoons KH2PO4 3X per week, however increased mass not only means increase nutrient demand but also that the flow throughout the tank can become choked. I believe your filter rating was not that high to begin with so nutrient delivery as well as CO2 delivery could easily have suffered sending the plants into spiraling deficiency syndrome. I always say that algal blooms in an EI tank are uglier than most due to the high nutrient level, however there is a paradox in that the nutrient level and CO2 levels should have been increased to account for the increased biomass. You could have easily doubled the dosage and I'm willing to bet that you would have averted the collision.

Being distracted at Xmas, it would have been easy to miss the first signs of the deficiency such as an increase in surface scum, or an increase in hair algae. The symptoms of each deficiency are clear and inviolate. BGA would have indicated you needed to upped the nitrates and/or increase the flow. BBA would have meant you needed to increase CO2/flow.

A review of the latest photos you submitted reveals that the plant biomass is now at pre Oct 2007 levels so of course the light TPN dosing, combined with fish waste will be OK for now. I think it would be mistake to assume that the troubles are all over in a high light tank. As soon as the biomass reaches some threshold level, your meager TPN dosing scheme will likely falter. It's impossible for me to believe that somehow, EI was perfect for two months and then all of a sudden at Xmas time EI was somehow invalidated. In my opinion, you abandoned EI just when you needed it the most. The first law of EI is that algae is cause by ammonia, not by nutrients. Until we profoundly believe this we'll falter every time.

Additionally, let me say that other than a bit of diatom algae for the first two weeks my tank has never gone through any such "algae stage period". The tank is about 40% larger than yours and sits in a south facing conservatory. I therefore have to battle full sunlight as well as overheating in the summer - two strong allies of algae. I can fully attest therefore that an algae stage period is far from inevitable. I've never had to turn any corner and I never leave the tank alone because that is just not well enough at all. I read the signs of ecological deterioration and take appropriate action to correct it immediately.

I do apologize if this sounds like a diatribe of if it sounds like a bashing. I'm only trying to get across that EI is a proven commodity and that if we fail at it it's because we failed to implement it correctly, not because there is something wrong with the methodology. If we fail to understand the science of our hobby, then, like hamsters we will continue to turn the endless wheel of algae production. :D

If you really want to unload your dry powders I'll take them off your hands - no question mate. :D

Cheers,
 

James Flexton

Member
Joined
21 Aug 2007
Messages
358
Location
Stotfold, Herts/Beds
lol i was kinda asking for that wasn't i. no harm done mate. what you say does make sense i guess i have never got it spot on. i mean i know EI works as i have used it for years but never have i had a tank start to finish algae free. out of interest does decaying wood give off ammonia. i'd guess it does. if that is the case then there's plenty decaying in there. the top layers seem to be soft with hard wood beneath. shrimps and otto's are eating it and the new plecs so hopefully they will settle down soon.

i'll keep an eye on things and just for old times sake if i see any deficiencies i will add a tablespoon of nitrate at a time and resume full EI. as to flow i have 2 filters an external and the juwel. neither is overly strong but combined they do flow through out the whole tank. i was thinking of adding a hydor pump do you think it would help at all. the plecs will appreciate the flow but not sure about the angels.

co2 is at about 6 bps through the same reg as yours rinox 2000. still not convinced it is working correctly though most bubbles are 80% larger than the smallest ones if that makes sense.

thanks for the input clive much appreciated.
 
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