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Lowish or highish ? A summer meadow

mario

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Joined
12 May 2012
Messages
69
Location
Kendal, Cumbria
Hello everyone,

My name is Mario and this is the journal of my return to the hobby after many years. First things first a full tank shot:

full tank.jpg


Apologies for the clingfilm. It's a SuperFish scaper 90 tank with the light that comes with it. Substrate is gravel with a thin layer of topsoil over it, capped with a thick layer of coarse sand. Unknown rocks collected in the Lake District. Wood is standard lfs mopani.
I have already done a DSM with the moss (Taxiphyllum barbieri) using the yoghurt method for about 5 weeks. During the same time I also propagated a pot of Eleocharis acicularis mini in some compost and I have ended up with a lot of hairgrass to plant today! The other species mixed in are Marsilea hirsuta and Helanthium tenellum, all from 1-2 Tropica.

left.jpg


My favourite rock:

sasso.jpg


I am planning another DSM of 4-5 weeks and then probably DIY CO2 (I know, I know...).
Hopefully I will post regular updates, thank you for reading :)!
 
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mario

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12 May 2012
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Location
Kendal, Cumbria
Spot the difference (in 10 days of DSM):
IMG_20211229_112658.jpg
IMG-20211227-WA0000.jpeg

Obvious for the moss, but there are little signs of growth for the rest too, eleocharis in particular is sending a few runners. Helantium and marsilea a bit more slow but no die off so far. And no algae 😜!
Cheers,
Mario
 

mario

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12 May 2012
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Kendal, Cumbria
can work for "moss on the wood" as well,
I have been having even more dense growth on the wood, but then I do spray it a lot. The moss is very pale in colour, almost yellow, and the closer to the light, the paler it is. I am hoping that when submerged and with a reduced light intensity it will produce more chlorophyll and have a more natural tinge.
 

dw1305

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7 Apr 2008
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nr Bath
Hi all,
I am hoping that when submerged and with a reduced light intensity it will produce more chlorophyll and have a more natural tinge.
Should do. Our pond used to have a <"raised area of "pebbles"> where the moss would go yellow in the summer, but revert to green when under water in the winter. This is what the <"moss looked like "DSM">.
I have been having even more dense growth on the wood, but then I do spray it a lot.
Wet is the secret. I think that "too dry" is the problem a lot of people <"have with "dry start">. I use a similar approach to @foxfish.

cheers Darrel
 

mario

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Joined
12 May 2012
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69
Location
Kendal, Cumbria
Hello everyone, the messy carpet is coming along nicely, the day of flooding is getting nearer and I am leaning more and more towards high(ish) tech. I will use DIY yeast based CO2 with two bottles, aiming for overproduction, with a pressure relief valve that should keep the pressure constant and with a needle valve that should give me a constant rate of around one bubble/second.
I am therefore thinking that the HOB filter that came with the tank is not up to scratch and I am looking into buying a external filter but I am really struggling to decide. I quite fancy an Oase biomaster 350 for the integrated heater but I have read about the noise, the burping and the poor flow ... Otherwise I like the sound of the Fluval 307 or even go for the cheap option and get a All Pond Solutions one, maybe with the Sun Sun inline heater...
Any thought/advice is very welcome!
Thank you in advance,

Mario
 

mario

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12 May 2012
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Kendal, Cumbria
Hello everyone,
After 3 and a half weeks of DSM today I finally flooded the tank. The hairgrass and Marsilea had established very well and the E. Tenellum was starting to go a bit yellow so I thought I might as well crack on and add the water.
I added some unidentified stems at the backs, some narrow Java fern on the wood and some S. Repens amongst the carpet. The water is still quite cloudy but here is a full tank shot:

IMG_20220110_225323.jpg


Lights are down to 50%. In the end I kept the Superfish HOB filter for now. I am supplementing the flow with a wave maker from APS. It's working very well but it makes a lot of noise so I am running it intermittently 15 minutes every hour (and it might need to go and be replaced by a canister filter...)

IMG_20220110_213152.jpg

IMG_20220110_213102.jpg


The DIY CO2 is going strong with a Twinstar diffuser and turning the drop checker light green. Fingers crossed!
As always, comments and suggestions are welcome!
Cheers,
Mario
 

arcturus

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Joined
6 May 2021
Messages
444
Location
DE
The DIY CO2 is going strong with a Twinstar diffuser and turning the drop checker light green. Fingers crossed!
Can you explain your DIY CO2 setup? Getting light green in a 90l tank with DYI CO2 is quite a feat!

Lights are down to 50%. In the end I kept the Superfish HOB filter for now. I am supplementing the flow with a wave maker from APS. It's working very well but it makes a lot of noise so I am running it intermittently 15 minutes every hour (and it might need to go and be replaced by a canister filter...)
Maybe you can consider upgrading the wave maker to a better model with brushless motor and controllable flow for low noise operation. Even if you replace the HOB with a canister filter, the wave maker will always allow you to better control the flow.
 

mario

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12 May 2012
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Location
Kendal, Cumbria
Can you explain your DIY CO2 setup?
Hi Arcturus,
Basically the principle is to avoid the instability of yeast CO2 by having a surplus production all the time, a pressure relief valve that keeps the pressure constant by releasing CO2 when the pressure goes above a certain fixed level and a needle valve to adjust the flow of CO2 to the tank (this, as said, must be less than the production).
I have two bottles with 200 gr of sugar and one teaspoon of bicarbonate and I change each one every two weeks overlapping them; I found that this should allow at least one bubble per second, probably a bit more.
The pressure valve is below; it's all made of (out of date) medical equipment I got from work. It consists of two syringes: the top one has some air inside (1.5 ml) and is closed so it provides a pneumatic progressive resistance for the plunger of the lower syringe. This one is connected to the CO2 circuit and has a little hole at the 1 ml mark so it releases CO2 when the pressure goes above a certain level (the pressure due to compression of air in the top syringe). Does it make sense? The picture below shows the pressurised system at the working pressure. As a bonus I have a pressurised system that can easily drive a diffuser.

IMG_20220111_102811.jpg


So far it's worked reasonably well, there are of course little fluctuations (i.e. +/- 10-15 bubbles/min between the beginning and the end of the day). Not sure how precise a CO2 regulator is...?

Cheers,

Mario
 

mario

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12 May 2012
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Location
Kendal, Cumbria
Hello everyone,
It's one week since the water went in.
I have been battling with cloudy water but it's getting slowly better.
I got rid of the wood, I didn't like it.
When growing emersed, the moss had a very light colour, almost yellow, while submerged it appears seaweed green, not very attractive in my opinion. Today I trimmed it in the hope that the new grown will be of a nicer green. I also trimmed a bit of the hairgrass at the front.

DSC01226.JPG


I had made a mistake with the drop checker solution, in reality it only turns blue/green. As long as it's stable it's ok I guess, it's just highish tech after all!

DSC01219.JPG


I love the flow of the wave maker but it is too noisy, not sure I much longer it's going to be tolerated by the rest of the family...
I am not warming the tank at the moment and the house is around 18-19 degrees: would that affect the growth of the plants?

Thanks for reading,

Mario
 

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mario

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Joined
12 May 2012
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69
Location
Kendal, Cumbria
New inhabitants

IMG_20220122_175414.jpg


And new baby plants, Rotala Macrandra and H'ra, hopefully will add some colour to the tank

IMG_20220122_183043.jpg


Plants are pearling by the end of the photoperiod

IMG_20220122_181037.jpg


Cheers,
Mario
 
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mario

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Thread starter
Joined
12 May 2012
Messages
69
Location
Kendal, Cumbria
Messy tank, serious lack of planning... I am happy with it though.

DSC01263.JPG


I love the messy carpet. I introduced three Amano shrimps and the next day I couldn't see any so I assumed they had died...Today I was pleasantly surprised when I saw two of them apparently in good health. I guess there are so many places to hide in there that I will only spot them every now and again...

DSC01261.JPG


In some parts of the hairgrass carpet, at the level of the substrate, there is a slimy/filamentous algae. It's been there for a while, doesn't seem to be expanding and the affected plants look well. I suspect it originated during the DSM period because it's only in the lowest areas where there was a collection of water. I try to remove it a bit during water changes but it's a tricky job, it is so intertwined with the plants...
 

mario

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Thread starter
Joined
12 May 2012
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69
Location
Kendal, Cumbria
Hello everyone.
The tank was getting overgrown so I did a big trim. Pictures of before and after:

before.JPG

before1.JPG


I also have some green filamentous algae. I have been a bit neglectful with maintenance recently so I hope that with regular water changes etc it might improve (or at least not get worse). Any advice, as usual, is very welcome.

Cheers,
Mario
 
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