180 Gallons of Ferny Wood - Page 5 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #61 of 136 (permalink) Old 03-03-2013, 04:20 AM
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beautiful setup!
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post #62 of 136 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 06:04 PM Thread Starter
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jhays79, the substrate is a mix of every modern day substrate I have used and the only reason the gravel from the 1970's isn't in there is because the bag broke and it was lost! It is medium sized dark gravel, Schultz's Aquatic Soil [tan Turface], pea sized natural gravel with the biggest bits sifted out and last some SafeTSorb which changed the overall appearance from gold to beige. So far the small stuff isn't broken down SAS but mulm and the stuff is over 10 years old now. I really like the variety in particle size and color variation.

UGags and alkatraz, thanks for the kind comments.

Lately I have been very busy and only had time for water changes. A change this large twice a week seems to do wonders for the plants. This plus rinsing the prefilter is all I have had time for lately.

During the day.

Last night 5 minutes before the lights went off. Rocks have nearly vanished and I have so much moss and small form needle leaf java fern that the wood may be mostly covered soon as well! Usually there is more pennywort floating on the left but I took nearly all of it out this week.

I hadn't checked the overflow box for surfers for a couple weeks and found 11 fish in there last week. There was only 1 this week but no rescue this time as I do better if I pull the standpipe out and I wasn't sure there was room in the sump for the ~6 gallons of water that might be in the overflow box. They do fine in there as food goes overboard and the standpipe is tall enough that there isn't a lot of water movement at the bottom of the box.

BBA has been a bother as I haven't gotten in and removed infested leaves and between large water changes and forgetting to refill the fertilizer cups nitrate has dropped so there is some BGA at the left front of the tank. Not the rear though, interesting. More light in the front? The huge water changes and spraying a 10:1 Metricide mix on the tank when water is low then immediately refilling seem to be annoying the BBA to the point some clumps are falling off and I am vacuuming them out. I just saw a platy attacking an apparently healthy clump yesterday as well. There were some 'cooked' clumps nearby but she wanted that BBA.
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post #63 of 136 (permalink) Old 03-23-2013, 05:23 PM
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Killer tank! Very mesmerizing to look at.

Glad to see someone out in the 805 area.

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post #64 of 136 (permalink) Old 03-23-2013, 06:50 PM
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Amazing tank! I've asked this before elsewhere on TPT but I'd like your input... how is growth affected once the bottom of stem plants (and even non stems like needle leaf java fern) are shielded from light due to growth at the top?
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post #65 of 136 (permalink) Old 03-24-2013, 05:52 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks cicnatic and STS100. I love looking at it and not just to make notes as to what needs to be done either! Actually having trouble writing this as every time I look at the tank I lose my train of thought.

STS, I mostly pull and trim. I would want to top quite low and it would take forever to see the plants again. H. polysperma would take over the tank too, I think that is what that mystery stem is, the leaves are twice as long as sunset hygro though. Some stems don't do well with topping in my tank either - or I think they don't do well. One reason I have a bright, CO2 and NPK enriched tank in the first place is I am too impatient to wait for growth! The other, I am still half convinced that my plants are simply outgrowing algae rather than growing algae free.

Old leaves die, old leaves are lower in the tank, that is about all I know about it in fast growing stem plants. When I started my first journal here I cut a couple feet of mostly bare Anubias rhizome into bits and glued them all over the wood. Some ended up in nearly complete darkness and grew leaves about the size of pencil erasers where the normal leaf size in my tank is about 1.5-2" long. I wonder if java fern and Anubias and Bolbitis get too crowded and there are going to be problems but not sure that has ever happened. The rhizomes just grow out and ones inside are weaker and don't grow as fast I think. The narrow leaved java ferns aren't used where they can get shaded in my tank, Bolbitis is sort of large to place under the main shade makers in the tank and Anubias is just fine in a lot of shade.

Well this week no photos but I am not done yet. Background stems are tall and some are scraggly, there is even a Marsilea leaf up there. I pulled a lot of Marsilea and Hydrocotyle sibthorpioides out which took out the visible BBA remaining. Staurogyne repens was actually looking quite happy under all that herbage and there are several crypt weeds now visible. In spite of the quart of plants I pulled out the foreground still looks very green. One of the female Congo tetras has been supplementing her diet with Hydrocotyle sibthorpioides so I still need to clip off a couple of bare stems and keep pulling out Marsilea. I will replant the stuff with the smallest leaves, perhaps it is minuta. I need to get tough with the dwarf java fern too, it is creeping off its wood where ever it is attached and some leaves are growing the wrong way. I found a clump of sad Fissidens and tied it to wood in the light, just looked and there are some bits growing, all is not lost.
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post #66 of 136 (permalink) Old 03-24-2013, 09:50 AM
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The tank is still looking AWESOME!!! Everything looks so green and happy! Fish are looking awesome too! You have done a BEAUTIFUL job, and hopefully I will soon have a large tank too, and this tank will be the inspiration for it!

Keep up the great work!
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post #67 of 136 (permalink) Old 03-24-2013, 04:34 PM
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looking good kathyy. I missed the last update but i think it is my favorite thus far and looking forward to the new pics.
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post #68 of 136 (permalink) Old 03-27-2013, 11:04 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Kwheeler!

Plants finally are clean for the most part but some are not happy at all. H. sibthorpioides is not liking getting grazed, Persicaria 'Kawagoeanum' doesn't like getting dried out during water changes and one mystery plant which is likely Proserpinaca "Cuba" is alternately stunting, losing growing tips then bushing out, all without showing nice color and leaf shape. Really strong stems and thick leaves though.

Full tank. I did chop some of the stems back a little. When you dump out all but 4" of water 20" stems tend to get really tangled.

Fern island is visible again. I replanted the smaller leaved Marsilea but there is still quite a mess in there. Sorry about all the bubbles, this is 4 hours after the tank was full too.

Middle of tank, Anubias flower, Crypt weed and recovered Bolbitis with lovely dark shade underneath. There is actually another crypt weed in the middle of the Bolbitis clump.

Thinned out foreground with wood hanging over rocks. Loved the overgrown Marsilea but enough was enough!
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post #69 of 136 (permalink) Old 04-01-2013, 04:16 PM
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Still loving this tank Kathyy.

I am surprised you change out so much water each time. How often do you do this?

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post #70 of 136 (permalink) Old 04-01-2013, 05:53 PM
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I adore this tank, I'm always trying to mimic it in some way, but can never seem to get mine as natural, yet refined looking.
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post #71 of 136 (permalink) Old 04-01-2013, 09:34 PM
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Without a doubt, my favorite tank on this site!
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post #72 of 136 (permalink) Old 04-01-2013, 10:38 PM
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Do you have CO2?


My Golden Rule of planted tanks: WWTAD-
"What would Takashi Amano do?"

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post #73 of 136 (permalink) Old 04-02-2013, 01:20 AM
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wonderful tank!!!
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post #74 of 136 (permalink) Old 04-02-2013, 06:49 AM
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How did I miss this? Anyways this is an excellent tank and you have done an excellent job with it! Keep up the good work, it's very inspiring
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post #75 of 136 (permalink) Old 04-02-2013, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by rustbucket View Post
I adore this tank, I'm always trying to mimic it in some way
Same here! I don't currently have a planted tank running, but the system I'm about to start building will definitely be inspired by this one. The aquascaping is really nice.
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