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Ray's 90cm - Growing Pains Over?

Ray

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Re: Ray's 90cm Asian Theme Journal

:oops: Thank you everyone for the kind comments.

Today I've gone to 6 hours light and now, after 5 hours, I've got pearling from some of the crypts and mosses and lots of micro bubbles all over the tank - grow guys grow! Drop checker is heading into the yellow. This is hard to get right, I think some of my guppies are going to have to visit before I put something valuable in :?

Also the first snail arrived :twisted: - where the blazes did he come from?! I was so careful!

saintly said:
lovely ray.
do you think the path could "sweep "more. looks a tad clinical?
Thank you Mark - I knew I could rely on you for some constructive criticism :D
Originally I wanted the path to perform a switchback and vanish back behind its own screen so that you could never see down the whole thing and got an infinite feeling. In all the excitement that didn't happen. Also I just blew sand everywhere at the last water change. However, anything is possible - if I could figure out what I want so I can make it happen... Maybe do some sketches when I have time.

Also I think the back left hand half needs more backdrop. Not sure what - hard to say - the plants are going to bulk up so much. I am going to move some more P.Helfrei, Java fern and a couple more crypts from the 25L guppy tank + moss stones of course.
 

Mark Evans

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Re: Ray's 90cm Asian Theme Journal

Ray said:
Also the first snail arrived :twisted: - where the blazes did he come from?! I was so careful!

i was the same with the henge. i was sure i eradicated them from my setup but no. anyway they do seem to help cleaning up algae and stuff.

Ray said:
Thank you Mark - I knew I could rely on you for some constructive criticism :D

:lol: no probs ray.
what amano apears to do sometimes is to use riccia stones on the borders. i think because its easy to control. i think in all honesty once everything has grown in ray the rigid t junction effect wont be so noticeable

Ray said:
Originally I wanted the path to perform a switchback and vanish back behind its own screen so that you could never see down the whole thing and got an infinite feeling
.

what i plan on doing im my big tank. but going behind a hill! i have 70cm to fill in height and im going to use all of it (well thats the plan)

Ray said:
Also I think the back left hand half needs more backdrop. Not sure what

well the c heferi or is it nana>? will cover the right hand side but IMO you dont want to all of a sudden start with another plant on the left. tricky one.(for me anyway) personally i can see small leaved stems in this set up. tight and bushy! well pruned stems ;)

all in all though ray it looks a cracking start and the wood positioning is spot on which is 90% of the scape.

keep it up mate.
 

jay

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Re: Ray's 90cm Asian Theme Journal

Glad to see an update on this Ray, really liking the start of what looks to be a good one.

I understand wht Mark is saying about the path but I reckon that should look fine once some of the plants have softened the edges of it.

Still loving that wood, although I did start to think it might be a bit... aggressive looking. Almost mean hehe.
But I think the plant choice is going to go well with it. The word 'prehistoric' is in my head :D

Think the flame moss is going to look great on it on it once its spread.

Can't wait to see this grow. :D
 

Ray

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Re: Ray's 90cm Asian Theme Journal

jay said:
Still loving that wood, although I did start to think it might be a bit... aggressive looking. Almost mean hehe.
But I think the plant choice is going to go well with it. The word 'prehistoric' is in my head :D
Thanks Jay. Perhaps I should call this scape Primevil! or Primevil Forest :wideyed: Not sure I'll win any competitions with a title like that mind!

saintly said:
Ray said:
Also I think the back left hand half needs more backdrop. Not sure what
well the c heferi or is it nana>? will cover the right hand side but IMO you dont want to all of a sudden start with another plant on the left. tricky one.(for me anyway) personally i can see small leaved stems in this set up. tight and bushy! well pruned stems ;)
From back right to left we have: Cyperus Helfrei, Cryptocoryne Balansae, Crypotocoryne Retrospiralis. Actually back left was pegged for Blyxia, but as you know that melted in the post. I do have about 100 Blyxa seeds dried on a sheet of kitchen paper that I could try to grow, or maybe something else. Possibilities:

- Blyxia (from seed?!)
- A nice asian stem - Limnophilia aromatica?
- A nice hygrophilia with leaves that look similar to the crypt leaves to continue the left hand bank upwards.
- Add more C. Helfrei and balansae over to the LHS for a symetrical look.
- Or, my current favorite, a stand of a longer Elocharis at the back plus a lawn of Eleocharis parvula along the front shore creating a sort of grassy contrast either side of the crypts.

No photo's because nothing is happening. Well, anyone who knows crypts knows they transition slowly from emersed growth - even if you cut off all the leaves on planting the next couple of new ones will be emersed leaves that soon melt. So I'm cutting off leaves as soon as they look like they are about to melt. Leaves that grew in the last 3 weeks.... Frustrating given the numbers of crypts I have. The true immersed leaves are just coming now so hopefully things will start to move.
 

Mark Evans

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Re: Ray's 90cm Asian Theme Journal

Ray said:
A nice asian stem - Limnophilia aromatica?

would be nice, and some p stellata? like whats in my big tank. similar i guess.i wish i could give more input ray, but im pretty green myself (fears getting laughed at) :oops: so my input is by what i think looks good together not necessarily what plants SHOULD go together.

Ray said:
a stand of a longer Elocharis
also would be nice especially when starts to spread. i personally dont like grass foregrounds.
 

Ray

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Re: Algae! Photo Update

Here is a timeline so far:

On day -7 I set up the tank.
On day -6 my filter leaked and I ran on a mature 400lph sponge filter until...

...the Eheim 2028 went in on day 0.
- In the bottom tray of the filter I placed 1.5l of ceramic noodles including a handful from my mature HOB filter and on top of that the blue Eheim bio sponge.
- In the middle tray 2l of Eheim Effisubstrat Pro.
- In the top tray 500g of Zeolite and 100g of Purigen.
- On top of that the white Eheim water polishing filter.

I then started following this regime:
- 90% water change twice per week.
- 5ml of Easy Carbo (standard dose)/day
- 8ml of TPN+/day
- CO2 on and off 1 hour before 7 hours of light, 2*T5 VHO 39w = 78w

On day 14 just before a water change ammonia was 1.5mg/l, Nitrites 20+mg/l
On day 17 just before a water change ammonia was 0.25mg/l, Nitrites 0.5mg/l
On day 20 just before a water change ammonia was >0 and <0.25mg/l, Nitrites 0.
Today, on day 23, ammonia and nitrites are 0 so my filter is cycled and Zeolite was no visible help.

4 or 5 hours into the light cycle my drop checker looks like this:
DSC_0004.jpg

My flow is good - 2l jug filled from filter output in 9 seconds = 800l/hour. It blasts across the surface from back RH corner to mid LHS, tumbles down the side wall and rolls back down the tank along the substrate causing leaves to sway gently.

Crypt Balansae pearling and reaching for the surface:
DSC_0049.jpg

Algae on my wood and fissidens - pearling, would you believe! :twisted:
DSC_0003.jpg

DSC_0046.jpg

Algae on my crypts:
DSC_0047.jpg

Algae on my eleocharis:
DSC_0045.jpg

Worst of all, on the crypt parvula:
DSC_0048.jpg

And that bothersome surface scum just won't go:
DSC_0052.jpg

Here is my plan for tomorrow evening:

Crack open the filter, clean media and replace Purigen, Zeolite and polishing pad with fresh.
90% water change. Drop to 6 hours light, with CO2 on 2 hours before. Start double dosing EasyCarbo and risk the Fissidens. Start EI as soon as my dry salts arrive in the post from the UK.

Is there something wrong with my programme or is this ADA Aquasoil teething trouble? Do I need to blackout? Should I add algae eaters to clean up the mess or keep them out so I can take more drastic measures if required? Or should I just take a sledgehammer to the whole thing?

Yours, in despair,
 

jay

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Re: Ray's 90cm Asian Theme Journal - Photo Update Algae Horror!

Sledgehammer and record it :lol:
Don't do it!!! hehe

Don't quite understand where the algae is coming from mate. You've got no ammonia leeching now and it seems like you've got a good amount of nutrients.

Just thinking maybe get rid of all the mechanical media from your filter now, perhaps its stripping the water of the ferts??

Weird really, you got no ammonia and algae, I got 4mg/L and a tiny bit of hair on the bolbitis... strange hobby we have eh :?

Just persevere mate. The water will balance its self out in time.
 

Ray

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Re: Ray's 90cm Asian Theme Journal - Blackout

Day 24
After I switched the purigen over and added the second 500g of Zeolite to my filter the slightly cloudy water got much much worse. I was 4x dosing Easycarbo and the water would clear during lights on then get much much worse when I dosed TPN+ the following morning. With lights on it looked like milky bacterial bloom. With them off it looked distinctly green.

Day 27
I snipped every algae covered leaf off the crypts and cleaned the algae infested sand with the gravel vac. Tank looked pristine but underlying cause was still there so 2 days later, it was like this:
DSC_0046-1.jpg


Day 29
I added some Hornwort, Elodea and another stem to try to get more biomass. Tank looks like this, you may notice I've adjusted the wood to a better angle :lol:
DSC_0045-1.jpg


In hindsight I realize I've done a lot of things wrong this first month leading to ammonia, low flow, low biomass, low macros dosing. Then I ignored all the signs blaming it mindlessly on the Aquasoil Ammonia leaching and crypt melt when really it was my own silly fault.

Catalogue of errors:
- First filter was faulty so I went a week without a filter.
- Got a couple of kinks in my filter tubing and didn't realise right away meaning the tank had a few "low flow days".
- I was doing 90% water changes but only dosing 20ml of TPN+ after. In my tank that puts NO3 at 6ppm, way short of the 20ppm target. I should have been adding 70ml. Moral - use dry salts.
- So many crypts and so little other stuff meant a lower biomass and lead to a massive crypt melt that just made everything harder.

To be honest, if I could do this again, from scratch, I would do nothing the same way again. Its hard to think of anything I actually did right!

Day 31
After some useful advice from ceg4048 on I performed a 100% water change:
DSC_0047-1.jpg

...dosed 70ml TPN, get out the bin bag liners (top quality ones, not cheapo translucent ones), added a 400lph mature internal filter for extra flow and now the tank looks like this:
DSC_0049-1.jpg

I dosed another 20ml TPN+ in darkness 2 days later. Plan is to perform another 100% water change, dose and crank CO2 up like crazy. I might also and cover one of the two tubes and we shall see how we go with just 39w. Covers come off tomorrow, if I don't report back, that would probably be indicative of bad news :D
 

Mark Evans

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Re: Ray's 90cm Asian Theme Journal - Blackout Time!

ray, thats a bumer my friend :( . sorry to hear it. at least after the blackout you can get back on track. fingers crossed for you mate.
 

Fred Dulley

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Re: Ray's 90cm Asian Theme Journal - Blackout Time!

Good luck, Ray.
What is the clip that is holding the hose in place? I could do with one of those... thanks
 

Ray

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Re: Ray's 90cm Asian Theme Journal - Blackout Time!

aaronnorth said:
didnt think you were supposed to dose when doing a blackout, as the plats wont use them as there is no light?

also with the TPN+ dosing, you are adding enough, 70ml is way to much :wideyed:

5ml per 50l adds 6ppm of NO3 so 20ml would of been fine.
Hi Aaron. For the TPN, I have a 200L tank and I am targeting 20ppm NO3 as per EI standards. If I do a 90% water change I am at 0ppm give or take. So I need 70ml to hit the target. 20ml is how much I've been adding daily all these weeks and doing 2x 90% water changes a week. The algae is testament to the fact it is not enough. As for the blackout, I will quote what ceg4048 told me in a PM (trust this is OK to share your wisdom Clive :) )

ceg4048 said:
Anyway, forget about cloudy water. When you have fixed you problems the milkiness will go away. Believe me that is the least of your worries. CO2 plus nutrients will feed the plants and generate oxygen stabilizing the bacterial populations. The milkiness occurs in part because of the bacterial population crash. The bodies die and contribute to the cloudiness as well as to NH4. This is another thing people go crazy over and I can't figure out why. The cloudiness is just a visual indicator of why the tank has problems. Fix your plants and you'll fix your cloudiness.

Oedogonium and Rhizoclonium are easy to fix. Just dose like crazy and they will never come back. You're lucky it's not BBA because that is really tough to get rid of.

Do a 100% WC to begin with then refill, dose and cover the tank. Do a 3 or even a 4 day blackout but dose at night in pitch black at 2 day intervals. At the end, 100% water change 1/2 lights if possible and continue dosing and make sure CO2 is good. You should notice a difference.
I have BGA in the sand and that is indicative of low nitrates. I can't say I fully understand the science but I trust Clive and I know I need strong plants when the lights come back on and I think dosing in the dark should help. No light and high nitrates should sort the BGA out at least.
 

Ray

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Re: Ray's 90cm Asian Theme Journal - Blackout Time!

Fred Dulley said:
What is the clip that is holding the hose in place? I could do with one of those... thanks
I actually picked it up for about 50 pence in a Malaysian hardware store - when I saw it I thought exactly what you did. Sorry I can't help more than that...
 

Ray

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Re: Ray's 90cm Asian Theme Journal - Look - No Aglae!

Day 36
Covers came off after 5 days, not 4. I do not recommend this, 3 days would be better. However I was out of TPN+ and my dry salts were still in the post (a long story, you are so lucky in the UK where AE can next day everything to you). After the blackout I planned to do a 100% water change and wanted to dose heavily after that w/c.

There was no algae anywhere, not a trace. However the water was brown and musty smelling with dead algae. A lot of crypts had melted away but others had tried to keep growing(!). Other plants were either dead or looking very sad. I had to do the 100% water change and trim all the dead stuff out.

Day 41
Look, 4 days after the blackout and not a speck of algae anywhere in the whole tank. You may notice, not so many plants either... the melted crypts are putting up new shoots, thank goodness , I hope I've not lost too many:

DSC_0048-1.jpg


I am now being very cautious with my settings:

- 50% more flow (400lph mature internal added)
- 100% more CO2 @4bps, starting 3 hours before lights (drop checker
muddy brown at lights on, yellow on lights out)
- Proper full EI dosing using dry salts
- As always 78w (only 2 tubes), just 5 hours for now

To all intents and purposes this is starting from scratch, should I run like this for a fortnight so that the plants can recover? If so, how do I bring levels down later - I don't want my crypts to adjust to high CO2 and then melt all over again when I drop the levels to actually add some shrimp and fish.
 
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