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The Friday Report - 50g Planted

Nick72

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This SAEs look very pale (no orange) or is it the lighting?

The photo is very accurate. They are predominantly silver.

IMO this is actually typical for SAE, although I have seen photos of SAE with more yellow / brown colouring.

The Flying Fox, which is a similar looking fish, and the Cambodian Logsucker (sometimes called the false SAE) also typically show more yellow / brown colouration.
 

hypnogogia

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Ah. I’ve read lots of confusing information about flying fox vs SAE, so I’m unable to tell them apart. Yours are very nice looking fish anyway.
 
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Nice journal, im currently in the diatom phase too and its a pain and shortly going to get oto catifsh, SAE do roughly the same job dont they? Goodluck on successful plant growth, some things are baffling lol
 

Nick72

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Thanks @the big leyeetski

Diatoms are a real pain but usual clear up in the end.

Mine are pretty much gone. I've not seen any new diatoms development in a few days and just have some tarnished leaves left over. Should be clear of them within a few more days🤞

I love Oto's, unfortunately I can't get them to survive more than 4-5 months max.

SAE do a very similar job as clear up crew, plus have the advantage of being one of the only fish that will eat Black Beard Algae (BBA).

But SAE also grow out to 6 inches, so you do have to think about the tank space they will take up.
 
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good to hear, so there is light at the end of the tunnel:D

glad yours are clearing up because anyone who wants plants, wants them to do well and sometimes it just doesnt work and its like a labour of love, whereas some people strike lucky, perseverance has paid if it seems :D

i looked back at my ram photos and realised in 6 days the diatoms have gotten fairly bad on only the s repens and baby tears which sucks because the baby tears had just survived a rough 2 weeks after being planted, so now they struggle for light. otos cant come sooner lol

SAE is a nice looking fish, the length they grow isnt bad but considering ive got a clown loach i think its best steer clear from them as i dont want 2 big boys before i can get a bigger tank. The fact they eat BBA is great though, my vallis get either that or GSA or both and only that plant :S its mananagble but not optimal, yours must be in his element, tons of plants, some cleanup action and a steady job/feed haha

my clown loach sorted my snail problem out in 12 hours i was astonished, literally went from a tank of 40+ snails and counting to 2 snails trying to escape the snail massacre that occurred lol, i think he did it at night because i didnt see one get sucked up
 

Nick72

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Week 12 - A Week Not Without Incident

So my Panda Garra made a second bid for freedom, another 4+ft plunge onto the cold tiles.

Fortunately my 3 year old was on hand to raise the alarm and my wife plopped him back in good time. He's doing well and acting like nothing happened.
Come on PG learn the lesson.

Usual water change on Tuesday followed quickly by a slight PH crash (from 7.4 to 6.9) - Crushed coral on standby (tap KH0, tank sits around KH1-1.5) - and capillary action got the better of me.

I had hung the bags of coral over the side of the tank, held with a cloths peg. Overnight my tank water wicked up over the lip and dripped slowly down the glass. Outcome - a water damaged cabinet :banghead:

Cabinet Damage.jpg


I wont be doing that again in a hurry. Coral bags now sitting on the substrate.


Further investigation on the PH drop revealed my tank KH had dropped to 0. Perhaps the coral bags are becoming exhausted through over use? Even then the two tsp's of Gypsom I put in the tank after Tuesday's water change should have ensured at least 1dKH.

I might go back to dosing Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3), but it's slow to dissolve and tends to powder coat the plant leaves. I'm considering adding 1 tsp directly into my surface skimmer, in the hope that most of it is sucked directly into my canister filter.

The thinking is that the particles will be caught by my main sponges, then my fine filter sponge / floss, prior to getting to the impeller. There it can take some time to dissolve without powdering the plants.

I'll do this on Saturday after a gravel vac, if I don't hear screams of Nooo!! from this board.


All the above pushed me on to make a closer inspection of my water. 545 TDS, just where I expected. 21GH, wow!! Tap normally 1GH, this week it's 3GH, I have been adding Gypsom for Ca and Epsom Salts for Mg, aiming for 8GH. - I should have been monitoring this more closely - 21GHo_O

I will cut back drastically on my Ca and Mg dosing and keep a better eye on this going forward.


On the positive side the diatoms I've been struggling with are clearly on the way out. Still some small patches, but it's diminishing every day.

The minor Cyanobacteria (BGA) outbreak is well in hand. I'm getting virtually none on the plants, a couple of very small patches (2-3 pebbles worth) on the substrate, but have been getting some larger clusters building up under the substrate against the glass.

I started tackling the BGA with Phyton Git Sol - which I've discovered to be an excellent spot killer. A couple of drops on a patch of BGA and the next day it's gone.
Even on the larger clusters under the substrate, a healthy squeeze of the pipette (1ml) held under the substrate and it starts to turn Red and Grey and is obviously dying.

I've not been consistent with the treatment, leaving two or three days at a time, and the under substrate patches have require two doses to kill completely - and therefore I'm still unsure if Phyton Git Sol will eradicate BGA from my tank completely or if new outbreaks will always appear after one area has been successfully spot treated.

I've got some UltraLife Blue/Green Stain Remover on standby, but for now I will continue with the Phyton Git Sol as an experiment.

Phyton Git Sol.jpg

(There's another example in the above photo of the cabinet damage)


So with all this going on - what of the plants?

Well I'm delighted - getting great growth and everything feels as though it's coming together:

10th July 2020 - Week 12.jpg


The Ludwigia sp. Super Red was planted on Thursday and is still in it's emersed form.

I might be a stones throw from Borneo but Bucephalandra is still priced like gold! I couldn't believe the diminutive size of these stems - at 8 quid a stem!!

Brucephalandra Brownie Red.jpg


So a colourful week, but I'm happy with the progress :)
 

Nick72

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Week 13 - A Gentle Adjustment

17th July 2020 - Week 13.jpg


Adding Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3) directly into the Surface Skimmer worked nicely. After a 20 second delay the spray bar jets still clouded the water, but to a slightly lesser degree, and apparently without the larger participles, as the next morning there was no powdering effect on the leaves.

Time will tell if this new method of introduction will shorten the life of my canister filter, but so far so good.

The main benefit of reintroducing CaC03 is that I've gone from 0KH to a stable 3KH - which is much more manageable.


After last weeks 21dGH I've backed off a bit on the Ca and Mg, and now have 12dGH and 350 TDS. I'll stop adjusting when I reach 8-10 dGH.


The Phyton Git Sol has heavily suppressed or killed the Cyanobacteria (BGA), I'm not sure if there is any still alive in the tank, but I'll keep an eye on it for another week or so.

I do have a very small amount of Green Dust Algae on some sections of glass. I was cleaning the glass twice a week, but haven't needed to since introducing the Panda Garra on 23rd June. I'll do it tomorrow, and hopefully only once every three or four weeks going forward.

Apart from that the tank is algae free, so I pushed the lights from a 6hrs photo period to a 7hrs photo period, still with a 1hr ramp up/down on either side.
I don't plan to push either intensity or duration beyond this for at least a month.

The Ludwigia sp. Super Red has settled in well and is colouring up nicely. It's this and the Syngonanthus Macrocaulon that are the most light hungry. So I'll only increase the lights if they look like they need it.
 

Nick72

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Looking great, really come on A LOT in a short space of time - a credit to your perseverance. Loving the Pogostemon Stellata (?) centre right, beautiful.

So you’re keeping BGA down with Phyton Git Sol and running nitrates at an EI level?


Thanks Ray :)

It's Limnophila Hippuroides but looks very similar to Pogostemon Stellata.

It's relatively easy to grow, very robust. I really like it, but it is a big stem. Almost too big for this 190 litre.

I don't want to say anything conclusive regarding the BGA just yet. It was a small outbreak a few weeks back, but I'm sure it would have overrun my tank by now if left to itself.

General maintenance with a weekly gravel vac kept it pretty stable, but then it started to really develop between the substrate and the glass. So I've been treating with Phyton Git Sol (PGS)

The PGS has clearly been killing any area I spot treat, but I'm unsure how effective it is in killing unseen spores that don't get spot treated.

There is still a hint of the BGA smell to my tank water, only a hint, but enough for me to think it might not be completely gone yet.

But yes, PGS has certainly kept BGA at bay.

I also think my Nitrate level has helped. I dose 22ppm per week and my tank is normally at around 35-40ppm by the end of the week.

I'll keep updating the BGA progress in this thread.
 

Nick72

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Week 14 - Let's Discuss Algae (including BGA which I will clearly state is not an algae but a photosynthetic bacteria)

I'd like to report that the combination of EI dosing and light and irregular application of Phyton Git Sol (PGS) has completely killed the Cyanobacteria (BGA) in my aquarium. :happy:

I deliberately abstained from either cleaning the effected area of substrate, or using additional PGS for over a week, and absolutely no new BGA.

You can see that some of it remains green, while much has turned red, but it is absolutely dead.

Cyanobacteria - Dead.jpg


I estimate that I used 1/5th of a 100ml bottle (20ml) irregularly over a two week period. For me, that's an effective treatment for BGA.

PGS gets the Nick72 seal of approval.


The diatoms have also completely gone, although they were 95% gone before I started PGS treatment and I don't believe PGS played a part here. What's interesting is a very heavy black coating on some of my older S. Repens leaves.

It will not come off through rubbing, and I suspect the S. Repens will eventually drop these leaves. I think this is the old diatoms that have died on the leaf and formed into an irremovable stain.

Diatoms on Leaves - Dead.jpg



I'm guessing the S. Repens will simply grow through this issue and eventually it will be gone.

Any other thoughts on this?


Apart from that I have a little, very sparse GDA on some of the glass, and that's about it.

So all good on the algae front.


In other news, I finished my Jebao 3.4 auto doser install, along with cheap DIY bottles:

Doser Cabinet View.jpg


Doser Top View.jpg


The combination of the WiFi and App make it very easy to install the Jebao 3.4, the software is intuitive and both calibration and schedule programming took minutes.

Another seal of approval for the Jebao 3.4


Over the last 2 weeks I've been reducing the DIY salts I've been using, primarily to reduce dGH from 21.

I've found a nice balance, with 7.5PH, 3KH, 8GH, 300TDS. The plant growth has slowed a little from when it was 7.2PH, 1KH, 21GH, 550TDS, but I'm hoping they just need a little transition time and will soon get back to growing at the full rate again.

24th July - Week 14.jpg


I've been trimming the stems heavily, perhaps too heavily in some area's (but they will grow back), and only leaving the Ludwigia Super Red to settle in.

You can now see a clear definition between the emersed growth at substrate, and the new growth two or three inches higher up the stem. I'll give it a little bit more growth then cut and replant the tops.

I'm in two minds as to what to do with the bottoms. I've read people says "cut them off at the substrate and wait for them to grow back" - and this is tempting as I like the idea of keeping the root system, but is it really possible?

When they say "at the substrate" surely they don't really mean it? Do you not need at least a couple of leaves after trimming to stand any chance of growing back?

I'd appreciate any insight on this.

Otherwise I will just pull the bottoms and bin them.
 

Nick72

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Week 15 - Steady Progress

I've been unhappy with the Limnophila Aquatica which is completely lost behind the Syngonanthus Macrocaulon, so I switched them around with the Aquatica now in the front.

I still don't feel it adds much and may look to replace it completely in the future.

93BB6C65-EEFF-4762-91ED-05C755EA5505.jpeg


I also pulled up all the S.Repens and cut off all the black leaves (as from photos last week)

After cutting it back I had just enough to complete the left side carpet. I will now try to plant Hemianthus Micranthemoides as the right side carpet.

Lastly I cut back the Ludwigia sp. Super Red, so it's just immersed growth now.

I cut back the rooted original stems to just 2cm above the substrate and left them in place. Let's see if they grow and fill out this area, or simply die back.
 
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