The Friday Report - 50g Planted

Nick72

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Started on 19th January 2019 as a low tech, no C02 tank:

EC31398B-91CF-46FB-A53F-C22777DF31EF.jpeg


In May 2019 I transitioned to CO2 injection.
B595536B-F73A-47B2-A7E3-471E1FE9038B.jpeg


...and spent the next ten months fighting every kind of algae.


Mid April 2020 and a combination of algaecide and contaminated tap water destroyed all plant growth.
75E0C3B8-0159-4CE6-8C02-DA405E628E10.jpeg


So I started again.
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Three weeks later and some plants are thriving (some not so much)
5D1549C4-CE1C-439B-B206-869632C9EB24.jpeg


The diatoms are back, it's lightly planted now and probably too nutrient rich.

The green dust algae is back on the glass (easily removed with a razor) and as little green dots on some of the leaves and the air stone.

I've ordered my favourite 9 plants, a range of foreground, mid ground, and background:

Foreground
Staurogyne Repens
Pogostemon Helferi


Mid Ground
Alternanthera Reineckii
Ludwigia Palustris (AKA Ludwigia Mini Super Red)
Ludwigia repens x Arcuata
Syngonanthus Belem


Background
Limnophila Aromatica / L. hippuridoides
Limnophila Aquatica
Limnophila Sesiliflora

They should arrive sometime next week.

So, here we go again.
 
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Nick72

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OK. All done.

The plan somehow changed halfway through:

N72 Dutch Tank v1.1.png

CD228B02-247B-431B-9DF6-F54CC274E8B9.jpeg


81C389CD-C60F-4318-A64C-299811BD435E.jpeg


BB4AAF5F-2639-4018-AC0B-724B4800E72D.jpeg


398F9CE5-A34E-4AD2-89F9-7094DA7F205C.jpeg


Let's see how the new plants adjust.

Hopefully I'll get some good growth over the next couple of weeks.
 

Nick72

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One week on and most plants have acclimated well.

The Ludwigia Peruensis was almost at the water surface, but having lost its emersed leaves the long lower stems were bare. I decided to prune it back, discarding the lower stem along with quite a healthy root system. Hopefully the cuttings will again take root.

Dutch Style - N72 - 220520.jpg
 

Nick72

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Another week on and seeing good growth.

217F94AD-AE7B-40BC-A161-3059175156BF.jpeg


Unfortunately also seeing a little filament algae and a great deal of diatoms.

I'll take no action for now as I'm hoping this is just a part of the settling in process.

Diatoms should hopefully clear up on there own.
 

Nick72

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Another week:

The diatoms had concerned me a little, so I took the prevailing advice on this forum and added a spray bar. I'm glad I did as it was immediately obvious this improved overall circulation throughout the aquarium.

The diatoms are visibly receding from the substrate, but have actually got worse on the carpeting plants.

I had also tried to increase lighting by around 15% overall by increasing the Blue from 5% to 15%, and modest increases across each of the three whites.

The consequence of this has been the Alternanthera Reineckii completely succumbing to brown & green algae. This plant is dead. I will remove it shortly.

The Ludwigia Peruensis is also suffering from a mix of brown algae and green filament algae, but I hope this is very much salvageable.

I also see that the Tonina Belem has started browning a little on the very outer edges of the highest leave tips. I think this is indicative of too much light (which surprises me).

Considering all the above I will reduce the lighting back down its original settings (Blue 5%, Red 83%, Cold White 63%, Pure White 74%, Warm White 68%)

Dutch Style - N72 - 050620.jpg


Apart from that I have moved the Hygrophila Leucocephala to the background as it was clearly outgrowing the middle, moved the Limnophila Sessiliflora to the middle just to provide it more space and light as it had been shaded previously, and split some Hygrophila Corymbosa from the main grouping in the middle and added it to the back right. It was just getting too big and taking up too much room in the middle.

Slow progress this week, but hopefully these changes will see better / cleaner growth in the weeks ahead.

(Edit: I should have mentioned that the Green Dust Algae has completely gone, so seems increasing phosphorus by 20% worked well)
 
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Nick72

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Week 8 - Diatoms - Destruction - Disease - Disasters - and more Diatoms


Daitoms - 5 weeks of diatoms, which are only getting worse. All the substrate in the open area's are covered as are the carpeting plants, and few plants have gone unaffected.

I know I need to just wait the diatoms out, but it's so ugly.

I had thought the Tonina Belem was melting, but no, it's just diatoms covering the outer parts of the leaves.

The lights remain on the lower setting (Blue 5%, Red 83%, Cold White 63%, Pure White 74%, Warm White 68%) while we wait for the diatoms to go. Green, mainly spot and filament, algae remains limited and in control, but I don't dare turn up the lights until I can get rid of it.

The light is strong enough for modest growth on most plants, but I suspect not ideal or the Ludwigia Peruensis and Alternanthera Reineckii.


Destruction - I do large water changes - normally in the 60%-75% range. Never had an issue. Then last Tuesday during the weekly water change I noticed that the Ludwigia Peruensis (each of the three stems, which were between 12-16 inches high) were laying down particularly flat at low water - to the point they had snapped just below the water line.

I've never had anything similar happen before, I didn't even know this was a thing. darn stems simply weren't strong enough to support themselves emersed.

I guess I will have to keep them under 10 inches in future - or support them with splints.

Week 8 - 12th June 2020.jpg



Disease - I'm still getting healthy growth on most plants, but I had moved a smaller Hygrophilia Corymbosa to the right hand side of the tank a couple of weeks ago - it's not a keeper - it's just building biomass until everything else fills out. I'm now seeing grey patches on many of the leaves - some big streaks of grey / almost translucent leaf, some smaller circles or patches, but only on this one plant.

Considering the "centerpiece" Hygrophilia Corymbosa just won't stop growing and looks extremely healthy except for some algae, I wonder if this is some sort of plant disease?

Plant Issue - Hygrophilia Corymbosa.jpg


Plant Issue - Hygrophilia Corymbosa 2.jpg



Strange - most everything else looks healthy:

Healthy Plants for comparison.jpg



Disaster - My Siamese Algae Eater has been delayed, shouldn't be long now. My suppliers are struggling to source a Panda Garra due to Covid effecting logistics, and I've have no love for snails, so through bad judgement and desperation I introduced Thirty High Sakura grade Golden Back Shrimp on Tuesday.

The Red Eye Tetra went crazy for them. Not really eating, just harrassing and pulling them apart. I suspect my Angelfish may have cleaned up the remains. There were none left by Thursday morning :(


So with no readily available clean up crew, I can only pray to the Algae Gods to remove my diatoms and help this tank progress.
 

Ray

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31 Oct 2007
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Switzerland
Hi Nick and Selamat Datang

That looks like leaf melt to me, not a disease.

20818d5dca0cfc5aeb4eaaf7c4a89065.jpg



If so it’s induced by sudden changes of conditions or insufficient CO2 available for the lighting. For example I recently caused this on S. Repens in my low tech Betta tank by turning light up from 25% to 50%.

If you like you could fill us in on lighting, flow and CO2 regime so we can see if everything adds up here?
 

Nick72

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Location
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Hi Nick and Selamat Datang

That looks like leaf melt to me, not a disease.

20818d5dca0cfc5aeb4eaaf7c4a89065.jpg



If so it’s induced by sudden changes of conditions or insufficient CO2 available for the lighting. For example I recently caused this on S. Repens in my low tech Betta tank by turning light up from 25% to 50%.

If you like you could fill us in on lighting, flow and CO2 regime so we can see if everything adds up here?

Hi Ray,

I think your probably right. I rather unceremoniously pulled this plant from the middle of the tank around two weeks ago, and stuck it in a poor location on the far right had side of the tank.

It probably didn't enjoy the upheaval.

It's a 900x450x450 (182 litre)
Fluval 407 canister + spray bar
Fluval Plant 3.0 lights

CO2 Art Pro Elite Regulator (Dual Stage) with 3kg cylinder

Tank is PH7.7
CO2 three hours before lights on.
PH 6.4 before lights ramp up (1hr) and stable throughout photo period (6hrs).

C02 off at end of photo period, then lights ramp down (1hr).

I'm very happy with the flow I'm getting from the spray bar, so suspect it was the rough move that got it upset.
 

Witcher

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15 Jan 2020
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London
I had thought the Tonina Belem was melting, but no, it's just diatoms covering the outer parts of the leaves.
Hey @Nick72 - what substrate do you have? This plant (it's actually Syngonanthus macrocaulon) requires acidic substrate for growth (Tonina species actually need similar conditions) - from what I've seen and read here and there mixture of peat with sand can be ideal. I've never managed to grow either of them without problems in "standard" soil even if water is acidic. Now I have Tonina sp. in my tank with garden-like soil and it's only surviving - no growth at all, only sitting there with tendency to slow yellowing.
 

Nick72

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Location
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Hey @Nick72 - what substrate do you have? This plant (it's actually Syngonanthus macrocaulon) requires acidic substrate for growth (Tonina species actually need similar conditions) - from what I've seen and read here and there mixture of peat with sand can be ideal. I've never managed to grow either of them without problems in "standard" soil even if water is acidic. Now I have Tonina sp. in my tank with garden-like soil and it's only surviving - no growth at all, only sitting there with tendency to slow yellowing.

Hi @Witcher -

Thank you for the specific I.D.

The substrate is 100% Indonesian lava rock. Think Eco-Complete but at a fraction of the price.

I think you can see from the journal that while slow, the growth had been very healthy prior to the diatoms outbreak.

It has developed a great deal of density with new shoots.

But it is starting to look a little sorry for itself now. I believe this is mainly because I've turned the lights down too far, which I need to do due to algae, and because it's leaves are being peppered with diatoms.
 

dw1305

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Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
Strange - most everything else looks healthy:

healthy-plants-for-comparison-jpg.jpg
When you look at the stems of the Limnophila, from above, how pale do the growing tips look? Are they really pale? To the extent of not really being green at all? or is that just the lights bleaching out the photo?

cheers Darrel
 

Nick72

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Location
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Hi all,
When you look at the stems of the Limnophila, from above, how pale do the growing tips look? Are they really pale? To the extent of not really being green at all? or is that just the lights bleaching out the photo?

cheers Darrel
The tips do start out lighter in colour than the old growth, but the photo is very deceptive, as you guest the lights are bleaching the photo.
 

Nick72

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Location
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This is really getting frustrating.

I'm sure the diatoms will go with time.

I do have a very small amount of green algae.

I believe I've got this tank as well balanced as I can, but I'm still lacking some overall plant mass.

I really think a couple of SAE or a Panda Garra could keep on top of algae growth, but Covid has meant new stock of these fish are not coming through.

Right now I feel like turning the lights down has started to really harm some of my plants (Syngonanthus macrocaulon, Alternanthera Rieneckii, Hygrophila Leucicephala and both Luwidgia).

Think I'll push the lights back up a bit and see if I can keep on top of the green algae by manually removing effected leaves and stems.

(Flip/Flop)
 

dw1305

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nr Bath
Hi all,
Right now I feel like turning the lights down has started to really harm some of my plants (Syngonanthus macrocaulon, Alternanthera Rieneckii, Hygrophila Leucicephala and both Luwidgia). Think I'll push the lights back up a bit
That is why I like a floating plant as a net curtain, they <"are adapted to intense light"> and have access to aerial CO2.
but the photo is very deceptive, as you guest the lights are bleaching the photo.
I though that might be the answer. I was wondering about iron deficiency, mainly because that is nice and straight-forward to diagnose.

cheers Darrel
 

Nick72

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Location
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.... I was wondering about iron deficiency, mainly because that is nice and straight-forward to diagnose.

cheers Darrel
Hi Darrell,
I'm over doing the iron a bit as my CSM+B came with 7% DTPA and I'm adding full E.I. Dosing of 13% EDTA (according to Rotala Butterfly).

I calculate I'm up to about 0.9ppm Fe.

Something in the back of my head tells me this might be making the diatoms worse, but I haven't acted on it.
 

Nick72

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Location
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Week 9 - I'll keep this one short.

Still can't source the clean up crew I'm looking for: Siamese Algae Eater and Panda Garra


I pulled every stem out of the tank, with the exception of the Limnophila Hippuroides - which is doing great, to hand wash them and remove as much algae as possible on Saturday.

Most of them were really upset, others died.

I've almost lost my Pogostemon Helferi and my Ludwigia Super Red.

19th June - Week 9.jpg

Still have diatoms (but looking a little better) and still have a little green algae (looking about the same).

I did push the lights up to:

Pink 100%
Blue 5%
Cold White 73%
Natural White 80%
Warm White 76%

Think this has helped - I'd like to push the lights further, but not until I have at least one SAE or Panda Garra in the tank.

It's a sorry looking tank right now - but I'm convinced it will improve over the next month if I can only get that SAE.
 

Nick72

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Location
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Week 10 - The Panda Garra (Garra Flavatra) arrived on Tuesday :)

Garra Flavatra.jpg


Loving this little chap - loads of personality and has got straight to work.


The tank is still looking a mess - but at least the diatoms have not got any worse, and considering I pushed the light intensity up 10 days ago, no extra algae.

In fact patches of green filament algae have been disappearing from my S.Repens as the Panda Garra has started exploring.

I still have a small amount of green algae elsewhere, but not much, the diatoms remain the main issue.
26th June - Week 10.jpg


Some of the plants are still suffering from being removed and cleaned of algae last week, but I've seen good growth elsewhere.

The Ludwigia Super Red hasn't made a recovery, so I took advantage of the extra space and planted around 14 stems of Ludwigia Arcuata (from tissue culture) right in the middle of the tank.

They've only been in there since Tuesday night, but don't look like they are taking at this point. Hopefully at least one or two stems will turn good, and I can propagate them from there.

I'm going to try to leave the plants along for a few weeks and give everything a chance to recover, save for the occasional pruning on the Limnophila species which are all doing well.

Apart from that the only tinkering I've done this week is to reduce my Nitrate dosing. Up until now I've been adding 21ppm per week and ending each week at around 45-55ppm. So I missed the first dose of the week after water change on Wednesday. Only dosed 5ppm this morning (Friday), and expect to dose 5ppm on Sunday morning - as long as I'm still reading over 15ppm Nitrate when I test on Saturday night.

I don't want to keep adding it if my plants aren't using it, it can only be promoting algae.


With that said, I'm really happy that I'm seeing less green algae and with the Panda Garra, so I'm going ahead and pushing the lights again.

Starting tomorrow it's:

Pink 100%
Blue 5%
Cold White 83%
Natural White 90%
Warm White 86%
 

Nick72

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21 Apr 2020
Messages
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Location
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Week 11 - Let There Be Light!

I'm really pleased at how the tank has responded to increased light.

3rd July - Week 11.jpg


It's accelerated the growth - which is starting to look healthier, and decreased the diatoms very noticeably :)

Reducing the Nitrates on the other hand was a mistake, within 2 days I started to smell Cyanobacteria (BGA) and by the fourth it was visible on my substrate.

I've raised the Nitrates back to the original EI levels and the BGA is expanding very slowly. I'll tackle it tomorrow with a siphon / grave vac, but I'm hoping it wont last now I've increased the Nitrates.

The tissue culture of Ludwigia Arcuata has stalled on the substrate, so I'll remove it tomorrow and consider that tissue cultures just may not grow in inert substrate. I will order a couple of pots of Ludwigia sp. Super Red to fill that space.

The Siamese Algae Eaters (SAE) finally arrive on Tuesday (always on water change day :rolleyes:), and are the smallest examples I've ever seen.

SAE 3rd July 2020.jpg


Much smaller than a Rummynose Tetra, I was concerned that my Angelfish would eat them, however they settled in fine and seem to have added 50% in weight after just 3 full days in the tank.

It's wonderful seeing them clean the diatoms off individual leaves of the Tonina Belem (far left), between darting around the tank.

I know I said I'd leave the plants alone for a couple of weeks, but It is time for a trim. I'll try to cut a propagate the S. Repens, and tidy up each of the taller stem plants on Saturday.

I've been reading and watching as much as I can about trimming Stems. All advice seems to suggest you simply cut the tops (length not important) and replant - and while I find the tops do well, it invariably stunts the bottom half, and on the Limnophila's the leaves on the bottom halves (those with the root system) tend to go brown. So IDK?

Tempted to push the lights some more - but I really will wait a little to see if I can get rid of this BGA first.
 
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