'Under the forest canopy' - 19/06/08 Disaster Strikes again

GreenNeedle

Member
Joined
19 Jul 2007
Messages
2,720
Location
Lincoln UK
Re: 'Under the forest canopy' - 03/04/08 Update with pics

This is the maxijet MP400 I bought from aquatics online for £15ish for my 125Ltr. I would suggest that it shouldn't be used on tanks any smaller than this as it is very powerful even with the diminished flow rate caused by the holes. It will probably work for anything up to 300Ltr

This is a pic of the pump
maxijet.jpg


A pic of the impellor which I have since widened the holes to 1.5mm with a normal cordless drill. This pic has some .8mm holes I made in it.
impellor.jpg


A pic of the CO2 line fed through the intake housing
inlet.jpg


And a pic of the pump hidden behind the red lotus
tigerhiding.jpg


You can just see it in the reflection on the left hand side

CO2 needs to be lowered when using this because with a disc you get backward pressure reducing the bubble rate. With this method there is no backward rate and I found that the bubble rate increased. Also as it seems to work much better the ppm is reached earlier.

As a guide I went from 60-75bpm down to 28-30bpm to still reach green in the DC

Andy
 

GreenNeedle

Member
Joined
19 Jul 2007
Messages
2,720
Location
Lincoln UK
Re: 'Under the forest canopy' - 03/04/08 Update with pics

12 days on from inserting the needle wheel and I have some pictures for you, although like a fool I did a little pruning first to remove some damaged leaves that are still in there from my redecorating the house time where I lapsed my routine quite a lot.

This first pic is of the tank as it stands tonight/morning
FullFront-1.jpg


This next pic shows the tank from an angle
Arty-4.jpg


And this one is from the armchair I sit in to watch TV (which you can just see a bit of top left of pic on the wall)
Persp.jpg


This pic is of the Zenkeri 'Red' leave to show the markings you get on a true Tiger Lotus.
ZenkRed.jpg


And this pic of the Zenkeri 'Green' shows the markings much better
ZenkGreen.jpg


The Nympheae Rubra and other variants which are often called Tiger Lotus are much plainer leaved and don't display the flecs as you see in these pics, rather a more 'patchy' change of colour usually froom red to yellow.

As you can see the scape is growing in quite well and is now in its 6th month. Who knows how much longer it will take to get to its final look but I am in no hurry hence why I reduced lighting and planted so many slow growers. This will after all be a working scap in that it will be kept as it is for an indefinate period (hopefully many years) rather than be a temporary scape to be dismantled.

Thanks for reading
Andy
 

GreenNeedle

Member
Joined
19 Jul 2007
Messages
2,720
Location
Lincoln UK
Re: 'Under the forest canopy' - 03/04/08 Update with pics

I have actually returned to the diffusor. Why you may ask?

It wasn't for any problem with the powerjet but aesthetically it is noticeable and not very pretty whereas the glass ceramic is quite nice to look at.

I found that I had to clean it anyway as the holes would catch muck just like any filter or pump does.

I found that it was moving the substrate in the front left corner of the tank and I wondered about my 'barrier' being broken and cloudy clay Tropica substrate coming into contact wit the water.

I like my Nympheae stems and leaves to gently move in the water rather than be 'forced' into an outstretched position.

The final aspect was that my fish were all hanging out at the opposite end of the tank and I wasn't getting to see them.

So I cleaned the diffusor which weekly isn't really a hassle anyway and then did a complete clean of my filter (which only has half the media in it anyway)

Hopefully the fish will settle back into viewable positions soon.

Andy
 

beeky

Member
Joined
21 Aug 2007
Messages
879
Location
Chippenham, Wiltshire
Re: 'Under the forest canopy' - 03/04/08 Update with pics

This looks much better to me than the first one, there's much more structure to it. I find B. caroliniana very difficult to make it look right, maybe it's because I've never planted it in enough numbers though.

How is the ram situation?
 

GreenNeedle

Member
Joined
19 Jul 2007
Messages
2,720
Location
Lincoln UK
Re: 'Under the forest canopy' - 03/04/08 Update with pics

The Rams are a sticky point and have been for quite a while.

There is the female who was very dominant and starved her first mate to death.

Then I added a second male who she bullied for a month or so but he was much braver than his predecessor.

He is now gorgeous with incredibly long tail rays BUT since he got through the initial bullying he quite fancies a bit of 'how your father'! It seems she doesn't and for the past month (he is now much more dominant) she has shown signs of stress.

Hopefully they can have a mariage of convenience. lol

Since the Powerjet was removed 2 days ago they have returned to chasing and being chased over the whole tank instead of just the right hand side. lol

Fingers crossed on a happy outcome. Don't go buying the confetti yet though.

Andy
 

GreenNeedle

Member
Joined
19 Jul 2007
Messages
2,720
Location
Lincoln UK
Re: 'Under the forest canopy' - 03/04/08 Update with pics

Quite a few 'little' changes this week. lol

CHANGE1
Firstly I shall be pruning the Zenkeri quite a lot because they are blocking the circulation from carrying the CO2 bubbles around the tank.

I am removing one of the Zenkeri Reds and will be sending this to Dev and removing a couple of Farmer George's ridiculously low light fast growers (namely Blyxia Japonica) so that I can see into the tank and what is behind it. lol 2 of these are going to ..... memory deserts me but I do have the pm still so don't worry.

This should let the circulation return again (only 5.6x filtering on this tank remember).

I will be attempting to keep the Zenkeri lower from now on rather than letting them be 'the canopy'. This should also let the various Balansae be seen more (both Farmer George's and some I already had from AM) There are 3 different types in there that I can see. A crispulata thin leaved version, a smooth thin verison and then a smooth 1cm wide version.

CHANGE2
The UV has been disconnected and is doing very well on ebay (after no takers on here and a let down on TFF). This meant I could reduce the length of hose and remove an obstacle from my return. This has improved the flow as expected and this was what I wanted to achieve.

CHANGE3
I saw the 'nano' diffusor in Sam's tank and though I'd give them a go seeing as they are £4 for 2. At only 1.5cm wide, they are very inconspicuous and I can't see why they are supposed to be for Nanos. I have one in there at the moment and it is working very well. The bubbles seem to be coming out smaller and are spread across the whole disc. Time will tell if it is an improvement.

I am considering getting a Y splitter and using both in different positions of the tank. Just a thought at the moment. Might need speed controllers too.

CHANGE4
I am the latest to change over to TPN+ as a sole fertiliser as I don't think anyone who has seen the tanks that use this method (Not just George's) can argue with it's success. It also seems the sensible thing to do seeing as I am using Tropica Substrate and they 'should' compliment each other. I was using James' PMDD+P method which was working very well indeed but I was looking to try this method anyway. I still have some dry ferts and TPN so I can always go back if I run out of money. lol

Will post some before and after pics this weekend.

Andy
 

aaronnorth

Member
Joined
19 Feb 2008
Messages
3,953
Location
worksop, nottinghamshire
Re: 'Under the forest canopy' - 03/04/08 Update with pics

I switched over to TPN+ as a sole fert about 3wk back and it is wrking well, not much growth in the 1st week but there is a difference starting to show.
 

GreenNeedle

Member
Joined
19 Jul 2007
Messages
2,720
Location
Lincoln UK
Re: 'Under the forest canopy' - 03/04/08 Update with pics

Pictures to follow as promised but a little update first.

After pondering for a while I finally decided to get another pair of Bolivian Rams seeing as the original female was getting far to stressed out at the males unwanted attention and they didn't look like forming a pair.

I also had to remove a huge amount of plants including literally enough Blyxia to fill a 5 Litre bucket!!! Thanks again Farmer George. If it hasn't all gone yet then this in in the for sale or swap section. As of now 3 lots are gone.

I also removed one of the Zenkeri red plants and then discovered a Rubra bulb with small shoots growing at the bottom. These have both gone to SteveUK (DevUK).

Various reasons why I removed most of this lot:
1 - The foreground was just too full and all the fish were swimming along the back. A lot of the time the tank looked like it had no fish in it (this has had a magical effect in that they are all in the open again now)

2 - The blyxia is eventually going to be my background!!!! plant when I get my Nano and therefore I don't need too much of it in this scape. Blyxia in a low light nano setup you say? Well this is a low light tank so I'm sure it will work.

3 - The Lotus plants need retraining so they don't shoot for the sky. I know that was the intention originally but they are disturbing the flow and also often stop the bubbles from the diffusor getting to the surface. When they gather under the leaves they eventually turn into one huge bubble that the flow has no chance of dispersing. So if you have a lotus, don't put it near your diffusor or make sure it doesn't reach up.

4- I had to fins room to put another smooth stone incase I get 2 pairs out of these 4 bolivians as they lay their eggs on them.

So I am now running with no UV, this is selling on ebay. I have a nano diffusor which is working brilliantly. The foreground is more open and the fish love it. The ferts are now 4ml TPN+ each day (and with the amount of fish I stock I don't worry about phosphates being low.)

Pictures:
This is a pic of how the tank looked pre-pruning
fulbefore.jpg


And this is it after pruning
fulafter.jpg


This is the new nano diffusor
newdiff.jpg


The cardinals investigating the corner they have been hiding in for the last couple of months
cardinalshy.jpg


The cardinals out and about again
cardinalexplore.jpg


This is the new female Ram
newfemale.jpg


The new male Ram
newmale.jpg


The 'old' adult female Ram
oldfandnewf.jpg


And finally the 'old' male Ram (abosolutely stunning fish me thinks)
oldmfandnewf.jpg


p.s. This is 2/3rds of the Blyxia I removed!!!!
blyxia.jpg


Thanks for reading

Andy
 

Steve Smith

Member
Joined
19 Jul 2007
Messages
4,421
Location
Leamington Spa, UK.
Re: 'Under the forest canopy' - 03/04/08 Update with pics

Wow, looking good Andy :) Those rams look great. How have they been since you added them? I've never kept Rams, are they difficult or is it mainly getting them to pair up?
 

GreenNeedle

Member
Joined
19 Jul 2007
Messages
2,720
Location
Lincoln UK
Re: 'Under the forest canopy' - 03/04/08 Update with pics

The info I got on them from cichlid forums was either to get 2 of each sex and wait for a pair then return the other 2, or get 2 of each sex and hope they form 2 pairs.

The bolivian specialist from Holland suggested the latter should work and that my tank should be OK with the planting style and hardscape so that's what I did.

I have found that as long as you get the ones from the LFS that look the most dominant then they are strong enough not to get bullied (starved) to death. Once they reach adulthood they tend to decide a pecking order and stick with that. So not really demanding, unlike Blue Rams they are pretty hardy!!

They are not really that aggressive like larger Cichlids and just nip each other playfully every now and again. The funniest thing is when a pitbull 'lands' on their bloodworm and they give the plec a nip. They look round at the Ram as if to say 'Is that all you've got?'

They are also the most sociable of fish in the tank IMO always coming to say hello when you are near.

Andy
 

Garuf

Member
Joined
30 Oct 2007
Messages
4,957
Location
Leeds.
Re: 'Under the forest canopy' - 03/04/08 Update with pics

Really good Andy, have you still got that blyxia I'd forgotten about that until now. Drop me a Pm.
 

GreenNeedle

Member
Joined
19 Jul 2007
Messages
2,720
Location
Lincoln UK
Re: 'Under the forest canopy' - 03/04/08 Update with pics

Not updated for a while as the tank has been taking a back seat for the last month or so, as have water changes (I've only done 1 this month.) I had to repair my road bike and consequently started getting into 'real' road riding again. not racing (yet) nor group riding (yet) but pushing 200 miles a week. he, he. If you see a very skinny beanpole like character in full lycra gear, helmet and silly sports glasses then thats me. lol. Haven't been on the forum in this time either.

This has of course led me to the inevitable algae outbreaks with the diffusor not being cleaned weekly.

I changed from TPN+ about 1 month ago too. Wasn't doing it for me most likely due to my lazyness with water changes. I think most people who are having success with it are much more strict with keeping to their water changes and also change more water. I tend to aim for 10% twice weekly but more often than not do 20% weekly (or 20% monthly as this month.) So not blaming the fert as results you see on this forum speak for themselves, just doesn't work with my unregimented water changing. lol

The last month I have reverted to JamesC's PMDD+P recipe. I know this works for me as I ran this for 3 months prior to the TPN+ change. Only problem is that I wanted to try the dry traces mixed into solution. Bloody AE (who always seem to be out of stock of everything) are yes.....out of stock of trace powders. Therefore I am having to use the TPN+ as well as JamesC's macro solution to provide me with the traces. Not using as much of the TPN+ as when it was solo. Once I get the dry traces is will be 6½ml macro and 3½ml micros.

The tank as I said had got a little algaefied which is receding again now, partly from the recipe working for me again and also that I am adding EasyCarbo daily (AE actually do have something on their shelves) just the recommended dosage, not higher as I don't see the point in blasting it. I prefer to utilise it as food and let it slowly die off for the Otos and Pitbulls to finish.

Scapewise I am currently thinking about changing again. A lot of the crypts are starting to send runners all over the place and I am getting taller ones coming through at the front. The Blyxia is all but gone. Got peeved off with it growing so fast and also was too close to the glass at the front whichisn't the best effect. I am having a similar problem with the 'slow growing' narrow leaf Fern in that it is now pressing up against the glass.

I am thinking of maybe ditching all of the hardscape from this setup and going for something that has less of a footprint. maybe branchy but don't want it to look too cliched because as you know I am not overly a fan of seeing every tank looking the same with redmoor style wood coming from AS etc. lol

It will be a Tropica/sand combo again as I think it works well. The Zenkeri red and green will be going because they grow far too fast for a lazy man. lol These will of course go on sale with their bulbs but not until I get the finances for a rescape sorted out. All the crypts will remain and I can plan them to spread from the rear large to small so that it looks much more like an amphitheatre.

This along with my re-addiction to the road bike where I upgraded lots of bits as well as repairing so spent a couple of hundred on carbon bits (carbon is the crux of both my hobbies. lol) means that I will now be forgetting about the Nano or at least shelving it for a long while.

New substrate and hardscape is going to cost in the region of £60. No plants needed really but I will be getting some Crypt Parva to put closer to the front.

I also broke both of the nano diffusors (they really are fragile and I shouldn't try handling them when I am drunk) and I have put the Rhinox 2000 back in. It seems to have benefited from its 2 month lay off as it is working superbly again.

On the fish front the 2 adult bolivian rams spawned again but thefemale again pushed the male out and went along. needless to say they didn't make it. I think the female ate them because no other fish dared to go near from her constant attacking and that were near. It was funny when I was feeding first bites via syring close to the babies she would attack the syringe and boy do these little fish have some force. You can quite literally feel the atack vibrate through the syringe. lol.

I will update with some pics later this week but won't really be updating too much on this scape now because I think its run its course really and also I shall be uping the mileage on the road.

Andy
 

GreenNeedle

Member
Joined
19 Jul 2007
Messages
2,720
Location
Lincoln UK
Re: 'Under the forest canopy' - Disaster Strikes (again)

It seems this tank is jinxed!
The last scape journal ended with a CO2 dump killing off the inhabitants.
I'm afraid this journal will be ending on a sour note too.

My wife rang me at work this morning and it seems that my 3 year old son woke up and came downstairs on his own (we've tried stairgates etc but he makes mincemeat of them and has done for over a year!.) I think he was trying to emulate his dad (me) by copying my adding ferts to the tank. This wouldn't have been a problem apart from the fact that the fish cabinet is locked. He improvised andused washing up liquid.

When my wife awoke she came downstairs to a tank of bubbles and many dead bodies on the substrate. Good job I wasn't there or I may be on the 6 O clock news tonight.

Anyway, we now have a plant only tank which I shall be growing on to fill out the amount of Crypts in there for the next scape. This will still be in a couple of months time or a little less because I can now run the CO2 into the yellow.

One thing I had been meaning to post was that Bolivians had got Cammalanus worms in their intestines which began to show through last week. They were still full of colour and energetic so I was pretty confidednt that given the right medicine that this could be cured through the food method. I had ordered some Panacur (Dog Wormer) because there are no longer any decent fish meds available for this kind of thing and therefore we have to resort to using medicines intended for different animals. Levisimole is the best but is darned hard to get hold of in the UK, even when asking a vet for a prescription. Sods Law, this arrived today when there are no fish now that need deworming!!.

Oh well. This time I am not considering giving in because this is avoidable. The children's bedroom now has a bolt on the outside. A fire risk it maybe, but I consider this less of a risk than them in the kitchen each morning eating anything they want, drinking god knows what and having access to any implements they want (the cupboard locks are also no good anymore)

I think I will send my 3 year old on some Krypton Factor type competitions so that he can win me some money. Maybe I will buy him a Rubik's cube tomorrow.

Was going to put some final pics on but this is what I have now. lol I have moved some pieces about just to give the crypts more room.
soapywater.jpg

bubbs.jpg



Andy
 

Egmel

Member
Joined
28 Mar 2008
Messages
724
Location
Guildford, Surrey, UK
Re: 'Under the forest canopy' - 03/04/08 Update with pics

Sorry to hear about your losses :(
Good luck with the 3yr old krypton factor wannabe! I remember mum tying all the cupboard handle doors together with bungee cords, health and safety would have had a fit about that too! Hopefully yours will grow out of it soon.
 

REDSTEVEO

Member
Joined
31 Mar 2008
Messages
1,308
Location
Planet Earth
Re: 'Under the forest canopy' - Disaster Strikes (again)

SuperColey1 said:
This wouldn't have been a problem apart from the fact that the fish cabinet is locked. He improvised andused washing up liquid.

When my wife awoke she came downstairs to a tank of bubbles and many dead bodies on the substrate. Good job I wasn't there or I may be on the 6 O clock news tonight.

Andy

Oh dear :( I guess that meant an hour or two for the little one on the naughty stair?

Never mind, ten years from now you'll be able to look back and laugh at this (not)

Best of luck with the restart.

Steve.
 

Similar threads

Top