lljdma06's .77wpg, no-CO2, 36g journal. The Crypt Keeper

Discussion in 'Journals' started by lljdma06, 4 Jul 2009.

  1. lljdma06

    lljdma06 Member

    Messages:
    171
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    Hi everybody,

    I'm taking the plunge and am starting my first journal here at UKAPS. First, I want to thank everyone for their positive contributions to the following thread.

    viewtopic.php?f=50&t=6768

    The lighting for this tank was a tricky decision to make and I appreciate the imput. Second, I want to thank everybody for their warm UKAPS welcome. I look forward to attempting to keep up with all these lovely planted tanks! I think I will never finish! :lol:

    The tank's been running for three years, but suffered some neglect when work got hectic. Once I cleaned it up, I thought a rescape was in order, but I did not want the lighting level I previously had. At 1.8WPG of CFs, I was asking for trouble if I wasn't absolutely ontop of maintenance. When I''m not working this isn't a problem, and I have maintained this light level without CO2 in the past, but with work increasing in the Fall, I can't offer the tank the same maintenance. So I opted to downgrade my lighting and see if the lower light levels will help with maintenance.

    Tank: 36g corner bow, 21" deep, 24" radius
    Lighting: An old 24" 2x14W T5 fixture with reflectors. Giving me .77WPG, which is just a guideline, I know, but still useful. I meant it when I said "welcome to the dark side".
    Substrate: Took advantage of 3 years of tank waste and capped my current substrate with a thick layer of very fine white sand from Carib sea. It is thick enough to allow for settling and mixing.
    CO2: None
    Fertilisation: Rootabs as most of my plants are heavy root feeders. I also have Seachem Flourish standing by incase I need it.
    Hardscape: Several pieces of Mopani interlocked together. Will be nice for mosses and bolbitis. Some of the wood is new, so I expect tannins and hopefully I won't get the yucky white stuff, but you never know.
    Plants: Cryptocoryne spiralis, C. lutea, C. wendtii "bronze", Anubia species, Echinodorus species (red melon, red rubin, ozelot). I'm taking a risk with the new swords. There is conflicting information about their care. The current swords in the tank are doing great, but they are not the same species. All of the plants are from LFS.
    Livestock: Barbus titteya, Hyphessobrycon species.
    Maintenance: For now waterchanges 2x a week. I got things very dirty, and I'm wary of an ammonia spike. Hopefully by Summer's end, this will calm down and I can eventually reduce it to every two weeks.

    This is an experiment to see just how low light I can go. I have some plant species that I know will do well, but I've also added some that are more "iffy" so I can see exactly what I can get away with. I'm actually surprised how bright the lighting is compared to the CF bulb I was using before. For less than half the lighting 65W vs 28W, it is only a little less visibly bright. Not that that really matters.

    Growth will be slow. I'm expecting this, and I also expect some of the usual crypt melting and the swords will be transitioning from emersed to submerged growth. These transitions will take time at these lighting levels. Since the plants are from a Floridian nursery, they won't have to adapt to grossly different water conditions, so hopefully the crypts will not melt too badly. What I want is healthy growth and living plants that I can maintain with a hectic schedule.

    This isn't the final plant list. Once these plants adapt and I see that all is clear, I'll be ordering some Bolbitis heudelotti and weeping moss to add to the scape.

    This isn't the final livestock list either. I'll be keeping about 7-10 cherry barbs and finding new homes for the rest of the fish. While lovely, they are your usual species and I'm not that into them anymore, especially tetras. I've a soft spot for the cherry barbs, which I raised myself and do not look like LFS fish. The new sand substrate begs for corydoras, but the tank size will also lend itself to a small loach species, which I have never tried. A larger oto school will also do well. This, of course, all hinges on whether I can find good homes for the fish. If I can't, the stocking will remain the same.

    I've yet to attach my anubias, so I will post pictures when I'm finished. The water will be cloudy for a day or two. My goal is for this to be another long-term scape. I'd like to see how the plants develop over the course of years. I'm excited. Any thoughts are always appreciated.

    llj :)
     
  2. Graeme Edwards

    Graeme Edwards Founder Staff Member

    Messages:
    1,161
    Location:
    Wirral/Chester Cheshire.
    Re: lljdma06's 36g journal...welcome to the darkside

    Nice one llj,

    If your low tech, low light dutch was anything to go by, then this should be equally as good.

    Dont worry about your Echinordus sp's, they will be fine as long as you feed them really well at the roots. Same goes for your Crypts but you know that any way.

    I really dont see why this wont. Red sp of plants is questionable with your 'iffy's', but never say never. Perhaps the addition on Ion might help these matters.

    I look forward to seeing how you get on.
    :D
     
  3. lljdma06

    lljdma06 Member

    Messages:
    171
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    Re: lljdma06's 36g journal...welcome to the darkside

    The only "red" plants are some of the echinodorus species, and I'll watch them carefully. I've grown A. reineckii with 1.4WPG, so let's see. The old substrate had a layer of laterite, so that might help with iron production. I do also have Flourish and the rootabs.

    Attached the anubias today and will wait until it's dark to take some photos. It looks good, better than it's looked in months. I was really impressed with the quality of the plants that I purchased and I'm happy I now have sand.

    llj
     
  4. lljdma06

    lljdma06 Member

    Messages:
    171
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    Re: lljdma06's 36g journal...welcome to the dark side

    I can't even spell dark side. Granted, I've been enjoying my 4th of July, which means beer. Here are some pictures of the tank.

    IMG_2664.jpg

    IMG_2661.jpg

    IMG_2655.jpg

    IMG_2646.jpg

    IMG_2658.jpg

    IMG_2637.jpg

    Let me know if I need to resize the pictures. I'll check the forum rules.

    Thanks for looking,

    llj

    IMG_2657.jpg

    IMG_2625.jpg
     
  5. GreenNeedle

    GreenNeedle Member

    Messages:
    2,706
    Location:
    Lincoln UK
    Re: lljdma06's 36g journal...welcome to the dark side

    Llj - I insist you add more light......No one is allowed to use less tha me :mad: :lol:

    I think your red plants should be OK but saying that When I have tried reds under 'low light' I still had pressurised CO2 in there. I shall watch to see what happens in yours :) Will be a something that I can learn.

    Tank looks bright enough to me with the light as it is or is that just the photos. what does it look like to you?

    AC
     
  6. lljdma06

    lljdma06 Member

    Messages:
    171
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    Re: lljdma06's 36g journal...welcome to the dark side

    No. I like it dark. :lol:

    Well, I had great success with the A. reineckii in 1.4WPG and no CO2, and I imagine the Amazons aren't more complicated to grow than a stemplant. The tough time will be the time it takes for the Amazons to convert from emersed to submerged growth. It took my other swordplants a long time. The red rubin swords I planted a couple of weeks ago have sprouted new leaves, so that is promising.

    llj
     
  7. lljdma06

    lljdma06 Member

    Messages:
    171
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    Re: lljdma06's 36g journal...welcome to the dark side

    I'm thinking about swapping out the swords and anubias for SE Asian plant species. While a completely accurate biotope is impossible to create, I can work with predominantly SE Asian species, which I think would showcase the Cherry barbs well and would suit the lower light levels of this tank.

    I will amend the livestock to include a small Botia species and maybe a rasbora school. Will most likely be rehoming the tetras and extra cherry barbs. I only want to keep a few trios of the fish I raised.

    Doing a water change today, may snap some photos today.

    Thanks for reading.
     
  8. lljdma06

    lljdma06 Member

    Messages:
    171
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    Re: lljdma06's 36g journal...welcome to the dark side

    Went to petsupermarket and found more C. spriralis and wendtii bronze. It's pretty cool actually, and I've saved loads of money on shipping. Which means when I do order plants online, I don't have to order the crypts, only the moss.

    I'll post some pictures of the plant quality. It's pretty impressive. At least I think so.

    Thanks for looking,

    llj
     
  9. GreenNeedle

    GreenNeedle Member

    Messages:
    2,706
    Location:
    Lincoln UK
    Re: lljdma06's 36g journal...welcome to the dark side

    Can you remind me how tall your tank is Llj ;)

    Thats a 30cm (12 inch) ruler next to them :lol:
    spiralisout.jpg

    AC
     
  10. Drouthie

    Drouthie Member

    Messages:
    70
    Location:
    Liverpool
    Re: lljdma06's 36g journal...welcome to the dark side

    I just love your tank! Everything about it. The cherry barbs look so good in it as well.
     
  11. lljdma06

    lljdma06 Member

    Messages:
    171
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    Re: lljdma06's 36g journal...welcome to the dark side

    About 21" deep SuperColey, so that's about right! Awesome, huh? By the way, I have pictures of the petsupermarket C. spiralis and wendtii bronze.

    IMG_2698.jpg

    IMG_2695.jpg

    IMG_2696.jpg

    Those are some serious plants for a big chain store! I'm impressed.

    Thanks a bunch, hopefully it'll work. I've had less light in Fish tanks and always kept a few crypts that grew quite well, so I imagine this will work. There is a little bit of melting right now as the crypts adjust and the wood is leeching some serious tannins. Lots of water changes for a while.
     
  12. lljdma06

    lljdma06 Member

    Messages:
    171
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    Re: lljdma06's 36g low-light journal. .77wpg if wpg matters any

    Tank isn't quite clear yet, but it is better and the sun has set. Here are a few photos.

    IMG_2709.jpg

    IMG_2748.jpg

    IMG_2726.jpg

    IMG_2728.jpg

    IMG_2723.jpg

    It doesn't look much different, but you can tell that there are no longer any swords. Barring the anubias, it's all crypts.

    Making me, the crypt keeper. :lol: You know I've got to change the journal title now. :rolleyes:
     
  13. GreenNeedle

    GreenNeedle Member

    Messages:
    2,706
    Location:
    Lincoln UK
    low light and now a tank full of anubias and crypts. I like being copied :lol: :twisted:
     
  14. lljdma06

    lljdma06 Member

    Messages:
    171
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    I'm not copying you, silly, silly boy. I actually had the lower-light first, if I remember correctly. I distinctly remember someone new to Planted tanks searching around for 2x 55W T5 PC lighting for I think their 29g or something like that, while I was doing my low-tech Dutch. ;) Oh, and there were about a million EI threads and questions. My 1.4 low-light 20g was already nearly 2 years old by the time your first journal was underway.

    I hope you know I am only playing with you. :lol: I will concede that you did the less than 1wpg first. Especially if we chose not to count my tanks that grew crypts and swords with only stock lighting in the mid-late 1990s. I don't really count those as planted tanks, they were just "naturally scaped" tanks for breeding and I wasn't consciously making a planted tank. It just worked and I raised many kribensis. I've been keeping tanks since I was 12 though.

    Let's see how this 36g goes.

    llj
     
  15. GreenNeedle

    GreenNeedle Member

    Messages:
    2,706
    Location:
    Lincoln UK
    I'm only kidding you. I remember those days of seing the lower light tanks and thinking. yuck. they all looked so dim in those days. I guess we are getting the light to look better these days :)

    'remember'. lol I noticed that you were in the come up trumps thread last night :lol:. Not stalking you or anything. I was actually going over how silly I was back then too and noticed your name at the bottom ;)

    I went up in light for 3 months. I only had the CF in there for 3 months before I started the downgrading :) Even so I admit I followed the herd there. Influenced by the americans (less 1) :D

    It's good to see more and more people using the slower growers rather than using fast fancy frilly stems.

    AC
     
  16. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth Member

    Messages:
    3,955
    Location:
    worksop, nottinghamshire
    looks great with that last addition of plants. Nice fish too, has a real amazon feel to it :D
     
  17. lljdma06

    lljdma06 Member

    Messages:
    171
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    I like the wild look too. SE Asia has similar conditions to the Amazon in some areas. It's the darn wood, leeching like you wouldn't believe. Should have boiled it first or at least soaked it. I was a dork and moved to fast. :rolleyes: Hopefully, it won't get the slimys. :lol:

    Trying to rehome the tetras, they look really out of place now. I really love the idea of B. striata and the tank was scaped with them in mind. Lots of natural caves and they are larger and very active than your average corydora. The cherry barbs are used to nippy tetras so I don't anticipate a problem with the loaches. I can then finish with some Espei rasboras or add floating plants and opt for Pearl gouramis or another rarer type of gourami and the tank is set. Or I can do both, depends on how many cherry barbs I decide to keep from the group. I'm not sure yet. I had thought about the three best trios or quartets. Definitely want less males. But when mine initially bred, it was a pair, not a trio. They had driven the others off the tank, literally. They jumped tank. I almost think a pair structure is best.

    llj
     
  18. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth Member

    Messages:
    3,955
    Location:
    worksop, nottinghamshire
    I was going to say it looks like a blackwater tank but then realised it must of been the wood!!
     
  19. lljdma06

    lljdma06 Member

    Messages:
    171
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    The water's cleared quite a bit, and I'll probably take some more pictures tonight. Want nice ones to post in a new, special place that I've been visiting. ;)

    Question, should I ask to move this journal over to El Natural and Low-tech, or keep it here?

    llj
     
  20. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,953
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Well..journals belong in the Journal section, which does not have any rules which discriminate against types of growth regimes. ;)

    If you wish to post pictures independently from the Journal section then The Gallery section is the place for those. :D

    If you wish to discuss the techniques, implementation or comment on the benefits of the methods you have selected then simply reference this thread and post in the Low Tech section. 8)

    Cheers,
     

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