Red & Green - End of days?

Discussion in 'Journals' started by Fiske, 8 Apr 2017.

  1. Fiske

    Fiske Member

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    So my former tank ended like this

    I finally got my bits and bobs together and set about correcting it.

    First, remove plants and shrimp:

    [​IMG]

    The horror...

    Now clean it up, and wash your gravel:

    [​IMG]

    Hardscape in 5 mins (literally):

    [​IMG]

    Plants:

    [​IMG]

    Detail:

    [​IMG]


    The specifics:

    ADA 45P
    Aquasky 403
    Eheim experience 250T

    Substrate: Tropica Plant Growth Substrate, and a bit of ADA Amazonia, topped with Råda.
    CO2: yup, prezzurized + UP inline diff.
    A stick and some stones
    Tapwater

    Plants so far:
    Potamogeton gayi
    Hygrophila pinnatifida
    H. tripartita
    Hemianthus callichtroides 'cuba'

    You can't spot the P. gayi, it's in the right corner by the inlet.

    I'm fairly chuffed.
     
    Last edited: 9 Dec 2017
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  2. Fiske

    Fiske Member

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    Minor update:

    Tripartita taking off.
    HC and pinnatifida slowly settling in.
    P. gayi doing nothing:mad: (maybe it stayed in the cup for too long?)

    Got a berried RCS.

    [​IMG]

    Checking them CO2 levels:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 9 Dec 2017
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  3. Fiske

    Fiske Member

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    Bit of a bigger update, with pitchers and vidya.

    Just a few fun stories from the setup: I had done the hardscape and hooked up the tech, filled with water, and let everything run until the next day. Then it was time to plant. I drained out ½ the water and started with planting some of the old HC. After planting the first 2 tufts, and about to add a third I noticed a shrimp darting about. He had hid in one of the tufts of HC; those had been in a bucket of water overnight, and the whole mat from the old tank was pulled apart in a tray. Needless to say I watched how he was doing, and finished my planting. A couple of hours he was busy picking at the driftwood, so I decided he should be joined by a few of his people from the holding tank. Next day all was still fine and I moved all shrimp to the new tank.

    After planting I was sitting there enjoying the view, but there was a snake in paradise! Every so often I'd hear this crackling sound like electricity, and I started wondering if a drop of water had gotten were it shouldn't. Bit scared of ruining equipment, or other potential dangers I went through everything, but couldn't pinpoint anything, no leaks, no drops, not even where it was coming from... Until...
    I noticed the bucket standing next to me on the floor, with wet gravel on the sides slowly drying... Doh!

    This is how it looks today:

    [​IMG]

    HC planting is a mix of old carpet and new 1-2-grow plants. The new ones are doing much better than the reused plants for some reason. The difference is clearly visible here:

    [​IMG]

    I'm hoping that the handful of Asellus I transferred can establish a huge population like in the old tank. Sadly most of them were so small they were impossible to catch, I'd have needed another day, younger eyes and godlike patience.
    Other critters I transferred because I spotted the while trying to catch Asellus was cyclops. I think I threw one or two female cyclops in there, not expecting anything. I've got loads now :wideyed:
    This guy showed up, probably a hitchhiker on the potted plants. I can't identify it, possibly a helena?

    [​IMG]

    Between the shrimp:

    [​IMG]

    I've got a bit of algae, green dusty kind, and a some short hairlike ones, as it is now they dont stand a chance against the shrimp, so I'm not too worried.

    Tripatita needs a trim soon, HC and pinnatifida getting serious, and I think P. gayi is starting to grow slowly... I was ready to give up on it, and buy some new ones, but I will give it another week.
    Probably shouldn't keep 1-2-grow plants in the cups for 4+ weeks, folks...

    Here's some vidya:

     
    Last edited: 9 Dec 2017
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  4. Fiske

    Fiske Member

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    Bit warts and all at the moment:

    [​IMG]

    Quite a bit of GDA and diatoms at the moment, hair algae got munched by shrimp. They also love picking at the GDA, though I'm suspecting they graze on the biofilm more than eat the algae.

    Good growth all around, P. gayi finally took off.

    Got some new inhabitants too:

    [​IMG]

    I swear to Neptune, these are the most panicky, jumpy, surface-to-air fish I've ever had. And I once kept Copellas. Do a waterchange; these guys fly through the air. Trim a plant; time to get airborne. Feed them; cruise leisurely at a comfortable airspeed above the salvinia. I even saw one lying still on top of the floaters, just trying to go unnoticed. I bought 10, and amazingly I still have 10. Although I've picked these fearless pilots up from the floor countless times. During acclimatisation, several jumped out of the bag into the tank, and one on the floor. I probably should have waited til the plants got denser, but well, here we are...
    They are utterly charming though, and are a ball to watch once they 'relax' and act naturally. They exterminated my cyclops colony within 24 hours, and I think they gorged themselves on shrimplets a day or two ago. Not touching the grown shrimps at all though.

    Trying out a spraybar, and still hoping to get a trio of D. dario to complement everything.
     
    Last edited: 9 Dec 2017
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  5. Fiske

    Fiske Member

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    So. No updates on this for a long while. Over the summer this tank received some neglect, occasional ferts, irregular waterchanges and co2 ran out. The lampeyes decided to abandon ship more or less simultaneously (I think it took 4-5 days for all of them to jump out unsupervised; since I wasn't around to pick them up when it happened, they ended up dried). By late summer the tank was a complete jungle, P. gayi and H. tripartita had taken over everything. Had a bit of algae, but it wasn't alarming. CO2 had been replenished, and I decided to remove a large amount of plantmass.
    The bottom of several areas was a 3-4 centimeter layer of HC interspersed with gayi and tripartita runners.
    Needless to say there was a good 0,5-1 cm layer of detritus there too in some places.

    When plants got removed, hey ho, algae took over.
    Literally.
    Within a week everything (everything) was covered with a thick undulating mass of threadalgae. Manual removal, waterchanges, blast more CO2, hoping plants would outcompete....

    Finally, this weekend, I threw in the towel. I couldn't stand looking at it, and it was impossible to do a good cleaning due to all the runners forming a thick carpet. Only one thing to do, admit defeat and redo:

    [​IMG]

    Most plants got composted due to algae, save a few pinnatifida, and a bit of tripartita. New plants include Microsorum pteropus, H. callichtroides "Cuba", Taxiphyllum "Spiky", C. wendtii and Bucephelandra sp "Red". Also a bit of frogbit, just because.
    Saved most of the teeny shrimp, and all the big ones. My Hara jerdoni (fish that don't jump!) also made the transition, although they seem a bit p... mad that their nice shrubbery got removed.
    My longstanding colony of Asellus is no more, alas. I'll catch some more at some point.

    Not tooting my own horn too much, but frankly, the crappy phone pic doesn't do it much justice. I'm quite satisfied. It looks way better IRL.

    CO2 was more or less on point, I'm only doing minor adjustments (going by dc, a pH-pen is in the pipeline soon). Light adjusted down to 5,5 hours from 6, just to let plants settle in. I'm cautiously hopeful...
     
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  6. Fiske

    Fiske Member

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    Shot some video yesterday, one with my shelldwellers, and this; almost feature length with my Hara jerdoni :



    They are such understated fish but I really like them. They are completely unfazed by anything (except when someone pulls their entire tank apart). I dumped a few grindals in the tank to get them to be this active. Also, I've had them for 4-5 months and none of them jumped ship. I have 4, started with 5, but one of them died after a few weeks, still not sure if it got injured in the transport bag from the LFS. Square bag, with taped up corners, and the little guy had wedged himself in there thinking it was a safe place :(
    I'd recommend this species to anyone looking for a fish for a small tank. I'll probably get 3-4 more, they like company. Seems they're quite shrimpsafe too...
     
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  7. nel.pogorzelska

    nel.pogorzelska Member

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    I have 5 Hara Jerdoni and I would definitely get more. They love baby shrimps and are quite good in finding them though. I have them in 30x30x30 cm cube tank with CPDs and some cull shrimps.
     
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  8. Fiske

    Fiske Member

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    My tank is not much bigger, and the shrimp had managed to breed in quite big numbers despite the Hara before the redo. I'm sure they nab a shrimplet if they get the chance, but at least for me a good part of them survive the first few weeks; and then they're too big for the cats!
     
  9. Fiske

    Fiske Member

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    Borrowed the in-law DSLR and snapped a few pics:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I suck at photography... :oops:
     
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  10. Fiske

    Fiske Member

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    I have a carpet! Or at least half a carpet... The rightmost part was in shade under the frogbit, and didn't take off as fast.

    [​IMG]

    A bit closer:

    [​IMG]

    And with shrimp:

    [​IMG]

    Moss getting on too:

    [​IMG]

    Full tank:

    [​IMG]

    Had some melt on the crypts, but it wasn't much. A few new leaves, but I suspect most energy goes toward rooting right now. As seen in the pics, the flowers on the Buce also melted. But I see new shoots on most ofthem so I'm happy. I did remove a lot of the frogbit and it has payed off: Java fern has got a bit of BBA, I remove some manually, and spotdose with Easycarbo on waterchange. Still dialing in on the timing of CO2 (on earlier, off earlier; seems to be the right way, but can't know without a precise measurement, so that pen is getting closer)
    WCs are approx. 50% approx. twice a week. Approximately because my schedule sucks, so let's just say 2 large-ish changes every 3-4 days. Might up that a bit.. Also some diatoms on glass. Not too worried about those.

    Thinking about dialing back to 5,5 hours on light from 6, since I cant dim this damn thing... :mad:

    Oh, and my photos are still crap...
     
  11. Fiske

    Fiske Member

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    Mostly talking to myself here, it seems; anyway a few random things for the sake of writing them down somewhere:

    Diatoms on the up, still fighting BBA.

    Took lightperiod to 5,5 hours from 6.
    Did measurements on water via silly JBL strips: NO3 @ somewhere between 10-25 ppm. NO2 0ppm.
    More measurements with JBL droptests:
    KH 20 (!)
    GH 23-ish
    pH 8-ish
    No wonder my multies can't stop spawning. I will start adding rainwater to this tank though. Thinking about getting a small cheapish RO unit.

    Took out the Eheim skimmer, as despite my saying otherwise repeatedly, I'm still not happy with my CO2. I'm off work today, so I'm home to monitor critters. I still want the skimmer in, but preferably on a timer. Nevertheless; my dropchecker is light green at lights on, I can see the HC beginning to pearl almost immediately, and watching the microbubbles in the current shows that they get around quite well, despite my audacity of having a hardscape in this tank. 45Ps are probably great for Iwagumis but any hardscape above a single rock is apparently asking for trouble.
    Sorry.

    All threads I see here with tanks that have frogbit, the floaters have fairly short roots. The roots on mine are LOOONG. Considering if this is ferts related.

    Speaking of ferts, I dose Tropica; trying to aim for an EI-like regime with this prompted me to look at this post: https://www.ukaps.org/forum/threads/tropica-ferts-help-with-dosing.49277/#post-483957

    I've tried to approximate this to my tank, and ended up with something like 2,88 ml of Specialized pr. day, occasionally, say once per week 1,88 ml of Premium. My dosing is probably on the high side of those numbers; ie. closer to 3 ml and 2 ml, respectively. I also dose 0,5 ml of EasyCarbo pr day, which is on the fairly low side.
    Waterchanges are as often and as large as I can manage from now on, so that's an increase. Aiming for 60% every other day, preferably before CO2/light period; although I'm sure my employer can screw that up for me.

    Algae be gone! :mad:
     
  12. tam

    tam Member

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    I got rid of my frogbit cos the root got too long and annoying. There is a thread somewhere with people discussing root length, can't remember the conclusion but ferts sound logical to me. I'm growing Hygroryza aristata at the moment, which still gets reasonably long, but much more slowly and I just pinch off the crazy ones. Salvinia/red root floaters stay much much shorter.

    The buce are looking good, I've not had any flower yet. Good luck with the BBA.
     
  13. Fiske

    Fiske Member

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    Frogbits seem to stand the raging current better, though. When I used salvinia it kept getting swept under. I might go back to that though.

    The flowers were on the buces when I bought them, alas. All they did for me was melting :/
     
  14. Fiske

    Fiske Member

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    I'm about ready to throw in the towel here.... :(
    Although BBA has more or less stagnated (this means it pops up a new spot everytime I eradicate it somewhere else), staghorn is on the UP, fast. Diatoms are nerite food, at least. Got a pH-pen, did measurements a couple of days in a row. With a GH/KH of 14/12 I was able to drop pH almost 0.6 point, when CO2 comes on a staggering 3½ hours before light. After cleaning my filter tubes I noticed my *expletive* UP inline atomizer was leaky. Have pulled it out and am going to superglue the *expletive* piece of *expletive* together (because it is such a crappy piece of *expletive* anyway, it is fast on it's way OUT). Anyway I threw in a Dennerle ceramic diffuser, which on the package promises "ultrafine bubbles". What this means in laymans terms, is that it lets out a handful of streams of bubbles that would let your common €1 airstone bow it's head in shame. "Ultrafine" my ... :mad::banghead:
    I really am appalled by the quality of some of the products sold.
    I am *this* close to pulling it all down. :grumpy:
     
  15. Danny

    Danny Member

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    I see you are using the ADA Aquasky, I am too and have recently taped over about half of the led's as the I density just seemed too much.

    Try the same and running on lower light for a couple of weeks and see how that goes?
     
  16. Fiske

    Fiske Member

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    If you had suggested some arcane ritual involving goats and full moons, I'd have tried that too o_O

    Actually I saw your post earlier, and made a mental note. And now I actually went and did it... Next time I will turn the unit off, ow my eyes :wacky:. Now off to superglue a POS inline diffuser...
     
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  17. Danny

    Danny Member

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  18. Fiske

    Fiske Member

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    Yeah, I've been aware of the intensity of the unit for a good while, I'm just loath to buy another one for this tank ( not to add the absurdity in having to buy a knockoff to get the ability to dim it (yeah, I'm aware that there are... other methods to dim an Aquasky, and also aware that these methods might shorten the lifespan on a unit I have bought used). I'll give it a couple of weeks, and have PTFE'd the UP atomizer, and will try to put it back in tomorrow, hopefully. The Dennerle Crack Pfeife is bound for the trash heap of history, though.
     
  19. Fiske

    Fiske Member

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    PTFE on the UP unit didn't help; if anything it made matters worse. Then I tried cyanoacrylate, and nearly glued the damn thing to my hand :lol: Didn't help one bit, as far as I can see. To intensify my frustrations my CO2 bottle is now empty, more or less :banghead: I can only guess how much has been used to modify the atmos in my cabinet :what:
    So the path is laid out. Get new CO2 bottle, some extra hose and a JBL inline diffuser, stat. I wouldn't mind trying out the Quantec, or whatever their name is; but I can't wait 3 weeks for it to arrive. So JBL it is.
    Taped op 2/3rds of the LEDs on the Aquasky a couple of days ago, so I guess I'm low tech for the next 24 hours...

    Had some mad time with scissors yesterday, and removed some of the leaves on the javas and crypts that were heavily attacked by staghorn. I'll soon need to feed the nerite though, shortly diatoms are but a faint memory. Good boy/girl! :lol: Mind a helping of stag?:twisted:
     
  20. alto

    alto Member

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    Thanks for the amusing tank tales :D

    Sorry for your algae woes
    I'd like to say I understand, but in truth I'm rather inadequate at growing the stuff
    - except when I went away for 6 weeks & somehow the lights were stuck ON & the CO2 solenoid stuck CLOSED ..... that was some marvellous stuff :wideyed: :eek: :wideyed:

    I suspect hard water just grows better algae ..... though I'm not even really certain on that either as I've seen some excellent algaescapes in other people's tanks - I suppose I'll just settle on mystified

    Some would insist it's not enough flow, not enough CO2
    but I run my tanks with a paltry 5x tank volume flow rate - and that based upon the filters theoretical maximum flow rates (I've never bothered to measure)
    and some amount of CO2 (I try to turn it on before lights on, but then I need light to count the bubble rate, so errrrrr not really)
    and some arbitrary unroutine photoperiod
    and some erratic fertilization (though I've tried to add daily ferts since my recent rescape)
    - in short I should be an algae master ... & yet that accomplishment eludes me :oops:

    Tank 90 x 45 x 53cm (tall)

    Substrate - Tropica aquarium soil (it's readily available & sands I might like to use, are not)
    Water - tap, very soft, acidic (pH 6 - 6.4 usually)
    CO2 - Tropica nano kit (my fish really aren't keen on 30ppm CO2 anyway ;)) & the diffusers are fantastic (definitely not as pretty as ADA but once hidden behind greenery, who's looking anyway)
    Lighting - Kessil A160 x 2, full on (water column height is a major dampener) x 5-7h (occasionally 10h :oops:)
    Fertilzer - I dose 4-6 pumps Tropica Premium, 2-3 pumps Tropica Specialized daily (except on the odd day where I neglect to turn on lights ... or anything ... should I even admit to such heretical action :nailbiting: )
    Water change - 60%ish, MWF at present as I do grow some rather nice surface scum - algae??? it's goopy & sticky slimey & barely opaque - I could set up the Eheim skimmer (still in its box) ... or I could just do a water change with surface suction :lol:

    I do always start the tank with a good amount of fast growing stem plants - 3 pots Cardamine lyrata this time
    Other tank (60 x 45 x 53) turns out to have Rotala rotundifolia (1-2-Grow cup promised R 'Bonsai' :confused:) & 1 pot M umbrosum (one of my all time favorites)

    I run CO2 24/7 (though nonphotoperiod rate is very slow - just enough to see a few bubbles coming off diffuser .... or sometimes more if I'm not patient with adjusting that flow rate .... or none for a couple days if I'm away & cyclinder empties :angelic: ) as tanks receive a good amount to ambient light (depending on weather) & tap has KH 0-1


    Before I started on my mystified oration, I was merely intending to comment on your experience of the leaping lampeyes (lovely fish) - as you may've guessed (by now), I've yet to observe them flying through space (& time) but this I suspect is a consequence of tank dimensions (there are water parameter related behaviours but these fish are so widespread, I doubt it's a defining factor here)

    Thanks again for your dedicated journaling :)

    (my photo attempts are exponentially worse :D)
     
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