My new scape named Variance.Sneaky pre-ADA peak.

Discussion in 'Journals' started by Graeme Edwards, 20 Feb 2008.

  1. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

    Messages:
    4,428
    Location:
    Leamington Spa, UK.
    Re: My new scape named Variance.

    I like the name, and the scape is excellent :) The Zambezi sand is a great product, I'd love to give some a try.

    Edit: Is >>this the same sand? << The fact that it says "Marine" makes me unsure...
     
  2. Graeme Edwards

    Graeme Edwards Founder Staff Member

    Messages:
    1,161
    Location:
    Wirral/Chester Cheshire.
    Re: My new scape named Variance.

    Yeah it looks like it. Its probably just a marketing thing. It would look fine in a marine tank too. Marine is a reference to water, so don't worry to much about it. Its inert, its fine.

    Cheers.
     
  3. john starkey

    john starkey Member

    Messages:
    1,593
    Location:
    worcester
    Re: My new scape named Variance.

    Hi Graham, quality mate absolute quality, i cant wait to see it on the 5th i quite like the idea of the mound scape i may go down that route when i set up my next tank, ( i have got the wife on my side now :p ) i may even buy my stuff at tgm on that weekend, see you soon john
     
  4. Arana

    Arana Member

    Messages:
    1,126
    Location:
    London
    Re: My new scape named Variance.

    I'm sure we will all be gathered around this one on the 5th... great work mate :D
     
  5. TDI-line

    TDI-line Member

    Messages:
    1,535
    Location:
    Yaxley, Peterborough
    Re: My new scape named Variance.

    Lovely scape Graham. :D
     
  6. nickyc

    nickyc Member

    Messages:
    208
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Re: My new scape named Variance.

    Great name too! ;)
     
  7. Moss Man

    Moss Man Member

    Messages:
    89
    Location:
    Kent, UK
    Re: My new scape named Variance.

    Very nice tank.
     
  8. George Farmer

    George Farmer Founder Staff Member

    Messages:
    7,091
    Location:
    Cambridgeshire
    Re: My new scape named Variance.

    Superb mate. Great mound composition.
     
  9. Re: My new nameless scape!

    Hello Graeme

    Lovely tank and getting better.

    Looking forward to seeing the 35L you are doing in-store for us.

    For the record, the Morena or for that matter any similar product acts as a subtractive colour filtering agent.

    When added the water column, which turns a golden yellow acts as a yellow filter removing much of the blue and uv from the colour spectrum and thus depriveing algae of its preferred light spectrum.

    It has been observed in certain shallow Amazon streams that run clear, algae is extremely prevalent, conversely, similar streams which are stained with tannins seem to be algae free.

    The proof of the pudding however is in the eating and all I can say is that it works for me and seems to have done so for you.

    Of course gravy browning would probably do the same job but then I dont think we would really want that in our tanks lol

    Anyway, once again great tank and looking forward to seeing you soon,

    Take care and happy planting,

    Jim ann Mark,
    TGM.
     
  10. beeky

    beeky Member

    Messages:
    879
    Location:
    Chippenham, Wiltshire
    Re: My new scape named Variance.

    Does it affect the water chemistry at all i.e. acidify it? Just wondered as it's derived from peat.
     
  11. Re: My new scape named Variance.

    It may soften a little but not noticeably.
    Water chemistry stays cool and as graeme says the fish seem to revel in it.
    Here at TGM we will not even use medications in our displays so we are pretty anti chemical.

    Another point of interest is that I am told that extra heavy dosing with products of this nature-along with a PH of about 6 is a good way to treat sick fish.
    There is no documented proof of this but comes from the mouth of the best fish wholesaler that I know and I respect his opinions.

    I suppose that if this does work it is because the fishes natural conditions are being closely matched thereby reducing stress levels after bouncing around in a plastic bag for 24 hours.

    Oh by the way the fish in question were South American.

    Take care and happy planting,

    Jim and Mark,

    TGM
     
  12. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,953
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Re: My new nameless scape!

    Hi,
    Many of the theories regarding algae light preference have been based on the studies done in oceanography. The sea is blue because water absorbs the higher wavelengths. Marine algae take advantage of this by producing pigments to absorb blue light and thus can be found at deeper levels relative to corals for example.

    In fresh water the situation is a bit different. Higher plants share exactly the same photosynthetic mechanisms as algae, specifically, the distribution and content profile of special pigment cells. I have no doubt that the tea stained and black water tributaries of the Amazon river basin would tend to have a lower incidence of algae, however, I'm sure that further investigation will reveal that these tributaries also will tend to have a much lower population of plants as well.

    Both plants and algae have a distribution of various pigment types, not just chlorophyll, that enable them to take advantage of the spectral quality of the light in their environment. In natural systems the spectral quality of the light varies minute by minute, but there is a general trend of red/orange/yellow light early in the morning and blue light near midday. As a result, both algae and plants contain an arsenal of non-chlorophyll pigment types specifically suited to the absorption of certain wavelengths other than blue. These pigment cells are referred to as "Accessory Pigments" and among many others, include the following general types of pigments:

    Carotenoids, which are normally fat soluble. these are responsible for reds, yellows and orange colors of many fruits and vegetables
    Xanthophylls, which are water soluble, a carotene derivative, typically yellow/orange.
    Flavonoids, which are yellow and red/blue and are often found in flowers.

    Additionally, algae and plants, depending on their specie, use specific pigments to protect (by fluorescent reflectance) against damage due to an overabundance of light energy in the visible and non-visible spectrum or to gain a specific advantage in certain spectral environments. A few example are as follows:

    Phycocyanins absorbs orange and red light, particularly near 620 nm, and emits fluorescence at about 650 nm.
    Allophycocyanin absorbs and emits red light (650 and 660 nm), and is readily found in Cyanobacteria (AKA BGA).
    Phycoerythrin is a red protein which absorbs energy in the 480-565 nm range.

    An additional point often ignored is that as a result of the spectral changes which occur on a daily basis as mentioned above, it turns out that plants and algae simply use the daily spectral profile to regulate their metabolism. Experiments were performed by irradiating algae using red light. It was discovered that these red wavelengths stimulate carbon fixation in the algae, in effect making them more efficient at using CO2 and better able to produce glucose and sucrose. :wideyed: When blue light was added, there was an immediate shift in metabolism wherein glucose and sucrose production ceased and instead, the fixed carbon was used in the synthesis of organic acids, amino acids, and proteins.

    The vast inventory of non-chlorophyll pigments produced by plants and algae allow a much greater range over the spectrum than using Chlorophyll alone. Plants can and do change the concentrations and type of these pigments to suit their environment. Algae essentially do exactly the same thing either at the single or colonial cell level. Thus, changing the spectral output in the tank does not result in any advantage over algae. In fact these experiments, as well as others demonstrate the incredible adaptability of plants and algae in regards to spectral efficiency. They prove unequivocally the there is no such thing as a "plant specific" light bulb or an "algae-unfavorable" light spectrum. Plants and algae alike simply adapt to and assimilate whatever spectral environment is available.

    Therefore the amount of peat extract or Morena that would be required to have any significant effect on the algae in this or any tank would be so high as to affect the photosynthetic and metabolic processes of the plants themselves. Algae cannot be outwitted in any way, shape or form. The best stratagem in plant husbandry therefore is to focus on the the needs of the plant first and in that way healthy plants will deter algal blooms. It is for this reason that the use of Excel/Easycarbo will return more dividends than any peat extract or black water tonic could ever dare to dream of. If this product is being added for the fauna, and if it has proven it's worth in this regard then, yes fine, but the hypothesis that it is an algal deterrent due to spectral suppression cannot be shown. Proof of pudding is also not valid as there are many variables in biochemistry that can result in optical illusions, coincidences and false correlations. As empirical evidence, the spectral profile of my tank includes high levels of blue as I have several blue bulbs, and yet, I have no algae. Therefore the spectral mechanism of this product cannot be correlated to algal decline unless sufficient quantities are added to lower the spectral energy level in the tank to a level below the Light Compensation Point (LCP) of the algae.


    Cheers,
     
  13. Graeme Edwards

    Graeme Edwards Founder Staff Member

    Messages:
    1,161
    Location:
    Wirral/Chester Cheshire.
    Re: My new scape named Variance.

    You know Clive, you never ceases to amaize me. Knoladge and fountaion seem to sum you up! :D

    Its an interesting notion of thought that Jim has put forward, and from his personal experiance and of others using such products, there seems to be some benifit to at least the fish, even if its not totaly apprent that it could help the plants. One thing it does make me think about though, is reading through Amano's monologs on some of the tanks he has set up. Its quite common that he would add mature water from another tank to help the plants establish a little quicker. Is it not possible that by adding products like Marena, that this is having a similar effect. Thus the plants kick into action that little bit quicker,and the ballance of plant V algae is swung?!?
    I understand transfure of bacteria from the water changes, but there will be forms of organic acids, enzymes etc, that may also be within products like marena, which is were the benifit lies.
    Its a very open ended debate, but with what you have present Clive, it does seem that marena is not going to beat the battle for us, but it also isnt going to do any harm either.

    Graeme.
     
  14. Arana

    Arana Member

    Messages:
    1,126
    Location:
    London
    Re: My new scape named Variance.

    Thanks Clive i have been thinking about light lately and this has helped me a lot :D
    I believe most tannins are natural anticeptics and probably help the fish in that way.
     
  15. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,953
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Re: My new scape named Variance.

    Hiya Graeme,
    :lol: :lol: I'm not so amazing mate, the plants are amazing! Totally and utterly amazing! :D I want to know every detail of their processes, even down to the molecular and subatomic level. It's a hopeless dream unfortunately, because I only have one lifetime and I do have a day job :arghh: :arghh:

    As you say it certainly can't hurt to add this stuff and there are so many gaps in our knowledge that it will take some time before we can say exactly what does what and why. I agree that the Morena and other tannic extracts may prove useful in terms of fish health, after all fish are found in these tannic waters. If in fact it turns out that there is some relationship between these organic acids and the reduction of algae that would be great, but what I'm attempting to demonstrate is that it will be for some other, more fundamental reasons. Most view their tanks only in terms of fish and plants and completely ignore the most important aspect of the tank, the bacteriology. There may be some mileage there and I can't find any data out there which suggest one way or the other whether this is true.

    You know what a skeptic I am so you won't be surprised that the old "because-Amano-uses-it" routine doesn't excite me at all. If I used everything Amano purports to use I'd have to get a second mortgage on my house, and really, that brings up the most important point. I know you are trying to whip the tank into shape no holds barred. I understand that and every edge possible is fair game, but many aquarists don't have the means or the knowledge to select from the dizzying array of vendor product and it is difficult for them to determine what products/procedures will yield the best growth with the least chance of algae. While Morena or similar products may provide some advantage, the benefits of which are as yet undetermined by objective tests right now, we know from empirical evidence absolutely that Excel/Easycarbo has demonstrated that it has not only algecidal properties, but that it helps satisfy the carbon uptake requirements of plants. If forced to choose between the two due to financial constraints I cannot see any reason to choose Morena over a liquid carbon product.

    In any case I'll refrain from hijacking your thread mate :rolleyes: The tank is looking awesome and I'm sure it's going to go from strength to strength 8).

    Cheers,
     
  16. Graeme Edwards

    Graeme Edwards Founder Staff Member

    Messages:
    1,161
    Location:
    Wirral/Chester Cheshire.
    Re: My new scape named Variance.

    Update:

    Unlike my nano which has suffered from neglect but not had the resilience to cope, my 90cm has been doing very well with the lack of water changes, random plant feeding and forgetting to switch the heater on and have no Co2 for nearly a week. Its look pretty good.
    During the period of no Co2, I used easy life carbon.
    Water changes have been 50% as regular as my personal life allows.
    Dosing has been 5 ml when I remember, but usually every other day or near 2-3 times a week, very random.
    I wasn't going to enter this Into the ADA layout contest, but thought, what the hell, ill see where i fair. If i get higher than 713th in 2006 then I will be very happy.Im not sure its that out standing considering the global competition, but hope it beats my best if nothing ells.
    I cant show a full tank shot, but I can show some teaser pictures. Im going to do a full photo shoot possibly Thurs/Fri and submit the best.

    Heres a sneaky peak! Hope you all like.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Cheers.
     
  17. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,953
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Wow Graeme, love the variety and interplay of texture and form. The reddish rock in the hairgrass field is spectacular. Good stuff mate! :D

    Cheers,
     
  18. Arana

    Arana Member

    Messages:
    1,126
    Location:
    London
    superb :D can't wait to see the whole tank, great photos as well :)
     
  19. Dan Crawford

    Dan Crawford Founder Staff Member

    Messages:
    3,266
    Location:
    Daventry, Northants
    awesome mate, can't wait to see it in the flesh now that its matured real nicely. Loving the photos too, so soft. Wicked mate.
     
  20. john starkey

    john starkey Member

    Messages:
    1,593
    Location:
    worcester
    Hi Graham,awsome mate it looks so clean cut and the plants look really healthy, its come on well since i saw it a few a weeks ago good luck in the ada contest,regards john.
     

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