New Decade, New Decadence...

LondonDragon

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Tank scalped:

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Totally amazing, in a way similar to Ady's tank which I love and this I love also! I was actually thinking going sand on mine and at the last minute due to not having that many rocks decided to go carpet at the front, maybe I should reconsider!! :)

Amazing work as always, your tanks always spotless and organized :)
 

Geoffrey Rea

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Cheers @LondonDragon and yes @Ady34 ’s 1500 is simply excellent.

Can’t claim to have been influenced by anyone else’s scapes putting this one together though, was roaring drunk listening to Tool, Pink Floyd and Five Finger Death Punch one night and decided to just start placing hardscape randomly... The end result is what you see 😂 😂 😂 Such a refined process...

Hopefully bringing this 1200 together for the end of the month. Added anubias nana, nana bonzai, schismatoglottis prietoi and vesicularia montagnei christmas moss on small stones today. Should finalise the foreground in about four more weeks growth:

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The stems are there health wise, they just need the height once again with a few odd cuts to keep the triangular format:

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The christmas moss will hopefully smooth out the straight edges on some of the stones which was a bother visually:

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For anyone interested the RO water plan got binned and this tank is run on very hard Cambridgeshire tap water:

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Have been asked a few times how this tank gets fertilised so here you are:

Nitrate and magnesium come out of the tap estimated at N 23.9ppm and Mg 8.31ppm average so are omitted from the fertilisation regime, consequently these macro nutrients will always be in decline between each weekly water change of 80%. A six day alternation between macros (P+K) and micros is used just like EI. However, micros are run at half of EI levels so very lean micro nutrient wise.

Accounting for the tap water report and input this gives target values of:

K 17-18ppm (consistent)
NO3 20-23ppm (declining)
PO4 5-6ppm (consistent)
Mg 7ppm (declining)

As before micros are half of EI values and EDTA iron is used as the main chelated iron.

Should the tank show any particular issues due to fluctuations in the tap parameters these can be targeted individually:

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It’s proved an effective mid-lean fert method that gives slower cleaner growth using hard tap, without resorting to RO. Pretty sure it can be refined further to benefit Rotala and Ludwigia species but it’s good enough for a home scape.

So there you go, hope that answers people’s questions.
 

LondonDragon

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I was going to ask you about your fert regime so that answered that ;) many thanks
Just wondering on your lighting settings for this tank?? I am seeing some algae, and I am thinking it's the light to CO2 balance that is wrong at the moment.
 

Geoffrey Rea

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Just wondering on your lighting settings for this tank?? I am seeing some algae, and I am thinking it's the light to CO2 balance that is wrong at the moment.
Buckle in @LondonDragon , this has turned into a longer answer than intended. Should imagine it’s not terribly enlightening to yourself, but thought it worth expanding on a few ideas for anyone interested. A direct answer to your question is at the end of the post...

Solar RGB’s are always 100% so not much choice on that front. Even then, despite the persuasion towards ramping up light levels as a standard on UKAPS, have experience of starting up tanks with 200 PAR at substrate from the get go. It works with very rich substrate like ADA Amazonia type one and perfectly dialled in co2 that tracks with demand. High plant mass is a given though. However, only ever run 6-7 hour lighting periods. It’s not novel, this hobby is littered with tanks that pull off the same procedure.

If it’s high light, then nutrient demand needs to be met as response time for problems to crop up is quicker making the margin for error less. That is unless you’re limiting the system through specific nutrients. In this 1200 it’s nitrate and iron that are targeted for limiting growth, found that the species in this tank are able to reasonably adapt to their varying concentrations and more importantly, take advantage of their abundance when they arrive back in the water column. Controlling the growth rate without screwing the pooch so to speak. Epiphytes suffer the worst as they have no access to soil located nutrition for backup, but what you gonna do? On the flip side the epiphytes serve as indicator plants throughout the tank, location specific, nutrient specific, feedback - bonus! If there’s a deficiency caused by poorer distribution in the water column due to higher plant mass (before a trim is due for example) just temporarily increase nutrient concentrations in the water column for the benefit of the epiphytes. You can lower it after the trim when distribution is returned to optimum. With the aforementioned fert regime a few posts back, the decline in magnesium availability throughout the week is noticeable as pearling decreases across the week without some targeted input of MgSO4. But limiting a nutrient like Co2, we see that outcome all the time.

Despite all the above I’m sure you’re aware of my previous ramblings, the measure of success in this house is high o2 availability 24/7 for the system. Everything else falls under that principle; plant health, aerobic bacteria colony size, ability to filter, livestock well being and system redundancy in the potential of a mishap. I design everything/deliberately intervene in the service of o2. In the beginning it’s slanted towards intervention through system design; lifting lily pipes at night, spray bars aimed towards the surface at night, running airstones outside the Co2/photoperiod to provide o2 through surface agitation or a wet/dry sump design. Then handing off to biological means of o2 production through photosynthesis (removing night time aeration and tuning your Co2 again to account for the lower amount of gassing off). Laugh, hate, love or cry at anything mentioned above. It’s just an opinion and based on personal experience. Appreciate there’s many paths to Rome.

Just read your journal Paulo, you mentioned some green filamentous algae on the mosses and the grass.

First question is have you used a turkey baster to clear out any detritus whilst draining the tank? Moss/carpets attract and hold crap (literally) really well.

Second question is are those locations the origin of the green filamentous algae? Meaning, the rest of the tank is fine.

Before messing with other variables maintenance is the easiest option to execute without inadvertently affecting your whole tank. If you’ve added an hour to the photoperiod then it’s plausible you need to tune your Co2 in again regardless. Good Co2 management is probably the least well practiced skill and as Clive has always asserted, it’s the source of many woes for many folks.

Would try hoovering your carpet a bit first and see what comes up. Like you there’s Barbs in this tank and they are hungry/produce higher amounts of waste. If you did go for a sand foreground you would save yourself hassle as just siphoning out the sand monthly and replacing removes a ton of fish waste in one fell swoop.

The other side is all tanks are susceptible to some sort of algae, usually due to scape design, but sometimes it’s just persistent because it succeeds in an area that’s hard to control. In this 1200 there’s two types of green hair algae... one seems to do well with high nitrate, the other with low nitrate. Whichever way you go one of them proliferates.... so decided to screw them both by letting nitrate decline across the week. Neither species is getting what it wants all the time, slowing it’s progress and making removal less frequent. Maybe over time that battle will be won over both hair algae types, but in the meantime both are made uncomfortable.


Nice scaping process...listening to Tool and Pink Floyd. :cool:
Oh yes.
 

Deano3

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Said before but this and adys are 2 of my favorite aquascapes ever so stunning and thrown together drunk you are so skilled.

So is this not a long term scape and fancying a change ?

Dean



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LondonDragon

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Buckle in @LondonDragon , this has turned into a longer answer than intended.
A great answer and thanks for taking the time to reply, I kept lights 100% for the first 2-3 weeks and had a 6 hours photo period, since I use the light controller I am ramping it up to 100 over 2 hours, 100% for 4 hours and then ramp down for another 2 hours to 10% and then from 10% to 0% over two hours for night light. Might change that back to my original plan and see.
Just read your journal Paulo, you mentioned some green filamentous algae on the mosses and the grass.
First question is have you used a turkey baster to clear out any detritus whilst draining the tank? Moss/carpets attract and hold crap (literally) really well.
I do use a turkey baster, but I am going to syphon the grass at my next water change properly into a bucket instead and see if that helps.
Second question is are those locations the origin of the green filamentous algae? Meaning, the rest of the tank is fine.
Seems to be location specific and also in areas of high flow, rather than lack of distribution.
Good Co2 management is probably the least well practiced skill and as Clive has always asserted, it’s the source of many woes for many folks.
Yeah this is always my nightmare, getting the injection right and the method too, and know when to adjust it also, have not used CO2 in almost a decade so have to adjust myself to it also.
the measure of success in this house is high o2 availability 24/7 for the system.
I tend to agree and I do lift my lilly pipes during the night, it is a bit of pain trying to remember though ;) (a few times forgot to either lift them or put them back in the morning).

Overall the algae issues are a lot better now than they were 3 weeks ago, not that much visible, and the snail population has almost disappeared too, I am still struggling with the stems, and doesn't help the Barbs like to frolic in the middle of them and pull them up often. :rolleyes::rolleyes::oops:

Many thanks :)
 

Geoffrey Rea

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I kept lights 100% for the first 2-3 weeks and had a 6 hours photo period, since I use the light controller I am ramping it up to 100 over 2 hours, 100% for 4 hours and then ramp down for another 2 hours to 10% and then from 10% to 0% over two hours for night light. Might change that back to my original plan and see.
Interesting Paulo, begs the question that if it was working was it worth changing it? On balance have found far less problems without ramp up/down periods. If it’s a fifteen minute ramp up and down then could support it as it seems to have had no negative affect on plants. Certain fish that startle easily have really appreciated it too and obviously we have to consider them as well.

Can’t really isolate lighting without mentioning Co2 though, they’re in relationship...

Both tanks in the house now just have lights that come on/off, their lighting period is six hours and have found Co2 periods of one hour longer (e.g Co2 on 10am to 5pm and lighting period 2pm to 8pm) to work out well in general. That’s 7 hours of Co2 to 6 hours of light offset.

The order of organisation that Co2 input is decided here is:

- amount of time of input (it needs to ramp up ppm to desired level before lights on, with enough above the optimum at lights on to deal with an initial dip when plants begin uptake)

- a reasonable off time is needed (Co2 off with 3 more hours of light without Co2 is no problem here as the needs of the plants for carbon are met with the consistency of the first 3 hours of input). This may vary from tank to tank though and requires a bit of play - look at water clarity. Clear water, well oxygenated everything

- the photoperiod being capped at six hours with a commitment to that photoperiod (changing photoperiod length relates to all other points of adjustment with Co2) as changing photoperiod relates to everything else

- working with a consistent working pressure on a dual stage regulator which leaves...

- the final factor here in this version of Co2 setup being the needle valve

You’re then after a refinement process using a single knob to fine tune your Co2 in very small increments (1/8 of a turn at a time) to find the sweet spot that week.

With all of the above being held consistent you’re simply tracking your plants needs with 1/8 of a turn between trimming when required - simple! The point is even if you don’t fine tune with the needle valve you’re probably only 10% out from spot on with this method.

Strongly believe a whole host of problems seen on the forum are because people change say, lighting period, Co2 period length and (insert what you want) as well. It’s undisciplined is the point.

Get that the scapes I run won’t win any awards and certainly not any authority here, it’s just relaying experiences. But the water is gin bloody clear and the tanks look like jacuzzis with all the pearling when they’re in the photo period. I believe that’s owed to holding as many things as consistent as possible and not letting the temptation of changing too many things at once take control.

Being as methodical as possible pays off big time sums it all up I guess.
 

Geoffrey Rea

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are you planning a rescape mate or is this long term scape.
Not sure Dean. Suppose at this point just getting it to the point where it looks like a decent triangular setup without the need for much intervention is the current goal.

After that just let it run. If ever a major change up was desired all the Cryptocoryne species that went in at the beginning are still there at substrate level hidden away. Could quickly change the look of the tank and add floating plants for a different feel entirely.
 

Deano3

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Certainly doesnt need changed and and would keep it the same as looks great. However i will be looking forward to your next venture these tanks are certainly something to strive for.

Dean

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Geoffrey Rea

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Nice scaping process...listening to Tool and Pink Floyd. :cool:
Just to go full circle @CooKieS ... When tearing down a scape - Led Zeppelin, When The Levee Breaks. On repeat...

Also performed whilst drunk. It’s a matter of ceremony. Something about John Bonham beating those drums like they did him wrong always fits with a tear down of a setup.
 
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