3 Gallon Low Tech ADA Aquasoil II Experimental Tank ***Mar 09 Update - Page 2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #16 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-28-2009, 10:28 PM Thread Starter
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Tank is turning into a real jungle and needs trim badly. the pygme chain sword did not turn out to be so pyme. It totally overwhelmed the tank with runners all over the place. Rotala indica has shot to the top of the tank. Cardamine lyrata has increased in density. The java moss wall is disappointing as the java moss has not really filled in. The cherry shrimp and otocat are still alive and active. I am not sure if the shrimp are reproducing. There is some brown algae that has developed on the mid left corner of the tank wall. At first I thought it was diatom algae, but since the Otocat is largely ignoring it and is not feeding on it, at this point it is somewhat of a mystery to me. It looks more like brown dust algae if there is such a thing. I haven't tried to scrub it off or anything as I want to see what it does(ie., whether it spreads or stays in that one corner or goes away with time). Pictures due end of April 2009. I will post pictures at that time as I really want to see what this "brown dust" algae does.
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post #17 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-28-2009, 10:51 PM
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ah man, we gotta wait til the end of april?

c'mon homer, throw us a bone...

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post #18 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-13-2009, 05:22 AM Thread Starter
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ah man, we gotta wait til the end of april?

c'mon homer, throw us a bone...
O.k., you got your wish, only because the tank needs a trim badly, with rotala indica and ludwiga repens breaking the surface and beginning to grow immersed.

The Good: Plant growth has literally exploded. Pygme chain sword is totally choking out the tank as are the rotala indica and ludwiga repens. The otocat turned out to be the healthiest from any otocat that I have ever owned. I usually put a piece of microwaved zucchini in the tank for him(as you can see from the feeding clip) and like to remove within 24 hours to keep it from going soft and disintegrating in the water. That is difficult to do as he feeds off it 24/7 and usually consumes all of it within 24 hours. Lol, not even my Albino Bristlenose pleceo and Siamese Algae Eater combined with are 5 times the size of this guy can accomplish that same feat in my 40 gallon. There is always some zucchini left over in the 40 gallon when I remove the feeding clip. The cherry shrimp has given delivery to a bunch of babies and the tank is full of more cherry shrimp than I can count. They also seem to be enjoying feeding off the zucchini with the otocat. No cherry shrimp deaths to report and they seem to be healthy, active, and thriving so I take that to be a good sign.

The Bad: Stupid moss wall has bearly filled in if at all. And interestingly the java moss tied to rocks is not doing as well, but riccia tied to the rocks actually grew and did better than the java moss.

Below are some tank pictures.




O.k. so with the good and the bad, you had to know that there would have to be "the ugly." Well here it is.

The Ugly: There was a breakout of diatom algae approximately 4 weeks after the tank set up, which the otocat pretty much consumed. However, there were blotches of brown diatom looking algae that the otocat seemed to ignore. On closer inspection, this algae is similar to green dust algae but it is brown and caked onto the areas of the tank wall like hard water stains as per pictures below. Unlike diatom algae it does not easily wipe off. I have never seen anything like this in any tank that I have ever set up.



So what now, well the experiment will continue I will have to trim as the growth is totally out of the hand. With the algae, there are a couple of options. Leave things as they are and hope it goes away on its own, or as per picture below use this algae fighter since the tank is plastic using a credit card to scrape off the algae is not an option.



The good thing about the algae is that it is isolated on only a few sections of the tank and has not spread since it formed, which leads me to believe that it must be an artifact of a change that the tank underwent and once scraped off it will not rematerialize.
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post #19 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-13-2009, 10:52 AM
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It's interesting to see how much growth you are getting with your low tech setups. I wish my plants were growing as fast. I wonder how much of it has to do with the plants you are choosing. Maybe your next experiment can be with Flourite Black Sand.
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post #20 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-13-2009, 11:04 AM Thread Starter
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It's interesting to see how much growth you are getting with your low tech setups. I wish my plants were growing as fast. I wonder how much of it has to do with the plants you are choosing. Maybe your next experiment can be with Flourite Black Sand.
Thanks. I think a lot of this may have to do with starting with healthy plants. It is like the healthier plants have more energy reserves, and it is almost like they start using up their reserve energy stores rapidly right off the bat, then after a certain time, usually 3-6 months, growth begins to slow down to a crawl. The only tank where I have seen the opposite happen is my high tech 40 gallon planted with pressurized c02, where it has been up for a couple of years and I find myself trimming at least weekly. In that tank, growth has never slowed down. The thing that has me scratching my head is the algae. Is there such a thing as "brown dust algae?" Regardless, today is the day for a big trim. I hope I do not disrupt the balance too much. I may add some water lettuce to offset the negative effects of a huge trim. I will scrape off that algae with the algae magnet and see if it reappears.

You may be right the choice of plants may have a lot to do with the growth also. And good suggestion about fluorite black sand. I have some on standby for testing. However, I am mineralizing some soil right now and I want to take the mineralized soil for a test drive next. I have heard lots of good things about mineralized topsoil that it has really peaked my curiosity. This will be with a cap of pool filter sand that on its own the locals in my city are having exceptional plant growth with.
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post #21 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-13-2009, 11:07 AM
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That's an interesting observation. I never thought about the plants using up their reserves as they get settled in the tank.


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post #22 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-13-2009, 11:14 AM Thread Starter
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That's an interesting observation. I never thought about the plants using up their reserves as they get settled in the tank.
If it is true, then most would say that nutrient exhaustion would be responsible for the slow down. That is why I chose a nutrient dense sediment like ADA Aquasoil II. I wanted to see if this would compensate for the plants running out of the small amount of nutrients they would need to continue to grow well in a low tech over a very....long period of time(with no water column dosing). In theory, it should work.

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Really?
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post #23 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-14-2009, 07:39 AM
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If it is true, then most would say that nutrient exhaustion would be responsible for the slow down. That is why I chose a nutrient dense sediment like ADA Aquasoil II. I wanted to see if this would compensate for the plants running out of the small amount of nutrients they would need to continue to grow well in a low tech over a very....long period of time(with no water column dosing). In theory, it should work.


Really?
lol, I love that dance you do when you skip church.

If this helps any, I've had plants in my inert sand substrate for a few years and they have stayed alive (they hang on for dear life but they're alive). I do gravel vac and complete WCs in that tank too so the only form of nutrients is from the fish waste (not even food feeds these plants as I feed freeze dried blood worms almost exclusively and every last one gets eaten).
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post #24 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-14-2009, 04:29 PM
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that's a lot of growth! are you putting anything into the water column? that might explain the lack of growth on the moss wall. does aquasoil leach nutrients into the water or does it stay down in the substrate?

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post #25 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-14-2009, 07:30 PM Thread Starter
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that's a lot of growth! are you putting anything into the water column? that might explain the lack of growth on the moss wall. does aquasoil leach nutrients into the water or does it stay down in the substrate?
No water column dosing at all. Java moss is one of those plants that just does not do well for me. It has failed to grow in just about every tank where I have tried growing it. It will not grow in my 40 gallon high tech planted tank where I dose Estimative Index. It did not grow in my 15 gallon experimental c02 tank with DIY c02, Aquasoil II, and water column dosing. It does poorly in my 5 gallon low tech hex tank. The funny thing is that riccia grows like a weed in all those tanks, and it is usually more difficult to grow than java moss.

Aquasoil, from what I understand, does leach trace amounts of nutrients into the water, but most of the nutrients remain in the substrate.
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post #26 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-15-2009, 11:11 AM
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that growth is definitely impressive. does java moss hate your water, or are you using RO? the only thing i can think of is there might be some trace mineral/chemical in your water that java moss hates for some reason, but that's all a complete guess.

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post #27 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-15-2009, 01:05 PM Thread Starter
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that growth is definitely impressive. does java moss hate your water, or are you using RO? the only thing i can think of is there might be some trace mineral/chemical in your water that java moss hates for some reason, but that's all a complete guess.
Thanks. I am using dechlorinated tap water. At first I thought that it must be something in the tap water as well(extremely high phosphate levels), but then this was ruled out when my coworker showed me his tanks where java moss was growing like a weed. We both have tanks with betta fish in them at work, no ferts, same tap water, same food for the bettas. In his tank, the java moss took off and keeps growing, although it is full of diatom algae. In my tank the sample of java moss taken from his tank and placed in thet tank died, disintegrated and began melting in the water,, so I had to remove it to prevent water quailty issues. The only thing that I can think of is possible too high water temperature. My betta bowl at work is close to the fan at the back of my desktop computer and my co-worker's is nowhere near.

In this 3 gallon it is not dieing but not growing much either. It could be a light issue too as the java moss at the left tip of the moss wall at the top seems to have grown quite a bit. We will see what happens after I trim and the allows more light throughout the tank.

Last edited by Homer_Simpson; 03-15-2009 at 03:58 PM.
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post #28 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-15-2009, 03:40 PM Thread Starter
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FWIW, here is a picture of some of the trimmed plants. As you can see, they are all healthy and algae free. The sunset hygro is not displaying that characteristic pink leaf coloration, but other than that it grew like a weed in the tank,
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post #29 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-15-2009, 04:57 PM
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post #30 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-15-2009, 06:02 PM Thread Starter
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Those look great!!
Thanks. I was comparing the trimmed Ludwiga Repens to the Ludwig Repens growing in my 40 gallon high tech tank(water column dosing of ferts), with all the bells, toys, and whistles. Quite honestly and as near as I can see, there is literally no difference between the both in terms of leave shape, size, and coloration. Although too early to say for sure, Ludwiga Repens looks like a good stem plant for low tech tanks with no c02.
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