[1/5/15] Vivarium/Emersed tank [was]Old Tank with a New Look (10 galllon) - Page 2 - The Planted Tank Forum

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post #16 of 60 (permalink) Old 12-18-2013, 07:56 PM
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Shouldn't be too hard to find a kindred soul in the Philly area right? I think there's a pretty active contingent here on TPT too. You're in luck that way:

philly area swap list. great for local pickups!

Cheers
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post #17 of 60 (permalink) Old 12-18-2013, 07:58 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by m00se View Post
Shouldn't be too hard to find a kindred soul in the Philly area right? I think there's a pretty active contingent here on TPT too. You're in luck that way:

philly area swap list. great for local pickups!

Cheers
thanks for the info I'll check it out ^^
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post #18 of 60 (permalink) Old 12-19-2013, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
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First battle over, before and after photos below.

So I had at it two days ago and completely gutted and nearly fully drained the tank. I wiped down the exposed glass and tried (and failed) scraping off some old water stains with a razor...seriously how do you get rid of those?? Gave the filter media an quick shake off in tank water and gravel vac-ed the hell out of the substrate. I did a 150-200% water change, my dwarf gourami got to swim around in about 3-4 inches of water for several hours. The plants and rocks went through a bleach cleaning, sitting in a bucket of tank water with maybe 1:20 bleach: water (didn't really measure, 3 gallon bucket with one cap full of bleach) Since it was a weak mixture I let them sit longer than most do, maybe 30 mins or more. Rinsed each plant and wiped off any leftover algae with a new simple soft foam sponge. Rocks were giving a good scrubbing under running water with a rough bristled horse brush (awesome tool for cleaning hardscapes). Then they went through two more buckets of clean (overly-chlorinated) water for extra assurance that all bleach was gone. After that everything gradually went back into the tank. I put plants and rocks back in nearly same positions as before since I liked the layout, but the riccia went into a small basket I made from stiff plastic mesh and plastic screen door material (held together with fishing line and some zip-ties) and a piece of cork put underneath to keep it floating.
So here are some photos
before:

after:

during:



cleaned rocks, I still can't get a photo that shows just how red/pink they really are


Argentinean swords

My weird anubias nana with the roots growing off the old leaves

anubias nana


java fern (and one leafed anubias nana)




Since the tank was cleaned I've removed the excess riccia that was out of the basket as it kept getting stick in the no-light section of the tank surface, as well as the frogbit which got stick in the riccia. The frogbit is current being acclimated fro my mate's 3 gallon tank, and the excess riccia was tossed into the "55" gallon to see what happens.

Last edited by AquaAurora; 01-08-2014 at 05:43 PM. Reason: typo
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post #19 of 60 (permalink) Old 12-29-2013, 05:50 PM Thread Starter
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So after the algae bloom I decided the stronger lights were the most likely culprit and ask my handy hubby to help. he made an adjustable light stand for the fixture that holds the lights, ditched the original plastic black hood, and cut a Lexan clear top hood to go over the tank. Its an awesome and cheap cover you can get at HomeDepo and cut with a circular or jigsaw, just need a lot of teeth on the blade used, all the tanks active tanks in the house now have a hood made from this (each cut a little differently for its purpose). Instead of determining a permanent spot for the filter and heater, the whole back section of the new hood is cut so there's an 1.5 inches gap between lip of the tank and the polycarbonate so the HOB and cord for the heater can be moved anywhere along the back of the tank. The gap is just enough to no catch water leaving the HOB but its still narrow enough I'm not worried about my dwarf gourami (or other fish I may get in the future) jumping. If I did get concerned I'd just do some dense planting in the back to remove swim/jump room.
Now the light it 18 inches+ above the substrate instead of 12 and the light reaches all parts of the tank.
Unfortunately the anacharis did not survive the bleach treatment ad was leaf-less within a few days of the treatment so i removed it and added some fresh anacharis from the "55" which is doing well.
The riccia also seems to not be bouncing back, ti was half dead when I got it but I think the bleach treatment killed it off. Its still in the basket I made but there's not much noticeable green.. just kinda green-brown. If it doesn't grow back soon i'll toss it and remove the basket to put the frogbit in the corner (with suction cups and fishing line).
The Brazilian Pennywort that was tangled into the riccisa when it came.. I'm starting to think isn't pennywort, its staying very tiny in leaf size so it may actually be dwarf pennywort or Cardamine lyrata, I currently have it stuffed in the basket next to the riccia s it tends to get sucked into the filter if left free floating (its too small to weight down with gravel/weights yet).
I think when I did my super gravel clean (as part of the algae removal) I sucked out all the root tab minerals since the swords haven't really grown since they went back in. I may add another tab if I don't see new leaf growth soon, or just rip them out and stuff more anacharis in that corner.
Will update photos eventually, need to buy batteries first, my camera eats through them at ridiculous speed!
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post #20 of 60 (permalink) Old 01-02-2014, 04:14 PM Thread Starter
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Diatom attack

Have not sen any black beard algae since my clean, but now I have dreaded diatoms growing on my glass.. grr if its not one algae its another *shake fist* I know the diatoms feed on silicate/silicate acid which must be in my water supply as the gravel in the tank is well over a 1.5 years old and was cleaned very very very frequently. I tried asking Sechem customer support about their products for removing silicate, thoy pointed me at somethign taht takes out phosphate and silicate. Plants need phosphate to grow though so I'm in a conundrum about how to deal with this.. As much as I hate the idea of getting more mid/high tech I'm tempted to get excel or co2 to deal with algae.
Not really in the mood to drain the tank to clean off the glass but I guess I'll have to. I added in the rocks covered in leftover moss from my husband's tank. THey'd been in the no-tech in a window sill for a while with the half dead java leaves that have little plantlets on them. But the java kept getting screwed for light getting stuck under/behind the rocks.

Will get a photo up some time.
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post #21 of 60 (permalink) Old 01-02-2014, 05:04 PM
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I'd probably go the excel route to deal with algae. I've always done well in my low tech tank. It'll give your plants a boost too. Although with that being said, I've never been super stressed at a little algae here and there.

Also I'm curious as to why you've attached everything to plastic tubing?
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post #22 of 60 (permalink) Old 01-02-2014, 07:17 PM Thread Starter
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I'd probably go the excel route to deal with algae. I've always done well in my low tech tank. It'll give your plants a boost too. Although with that being said, I've never been super stressed at a little algae here and there.

Also I'm curious as to why you've attached everything to plastic tubing?
I wasn't too worried about the bba and the diatoms till they got really prevalent on the plant leaves (blocking the light and leaving them with dead spots once removed) and turned into large orange/yellow spots on the glass (little under the size of my palm).

As for the tubing, the anubias and java fern cannot have their rhizome in the substrate (what roots and leaves grow from) to ensure they stay above the gravel, but could still be secured and not float from my dwarf gourami swimming through them I used left over air line tubing/siphon hose and fishing line. The tubing doesn't float once under water and is semi-clear so its not as noticeable as using some other weight methods. I can push the tubing lightly into the substrate and move gravel around the sides of it but still leave the rhizome safely exposed to the water column. If I get more active fish I can push gravel into the tubing to give it extra weight as well.. so yeah that's why I use it.. though mostly just because it was what I had available without buying something new when I first scaped this tank ^^
The two black things used for some anubias were ceramic weights for fake plants from my niece that I tore the silk plants out of because I ran out of tubing >.>

I may ask for Excel for my birthday in a few months, I'll end up reading up on the other flourish products to see if I should get any others, I don't want to make the tank too complex to care for but don't want to make it unbalanced either.

Last edited by AquaAurora; 01-02-2014 at 07:19 PM. Reason: added details
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post #23 of 60 (permalink) Old 01-02-2014, 07:58 PM
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That is an interesting use of the tubing. I figured it was for something similar. I usually just stuff a few roots into the substrate and let them grow. I've never had to worry about fish moving plants(at least in my current systems) which makes it a breeze without adding anything under the rhizome. Hey, whatever works right?

Most of your plants should be fine with low level, regular dosing of Excel without adding too many other fertz. If anything with the way you've planted you plants, you might add a few root tabs. If you do get some Excel, check prices on amazon, I just got a big bottle relatively cheap(compared to my lfs).
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post #24 of 60 (permalink) Old 01-02-2014, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
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That is an interesting use of the tubing. I figured it was for something similar. I usually just stuff a few roots into the substrate and let them grow. I've never had to worry about fish moving plants(at least in my current systems) which makes it a breeze without adding anything under the rhizome. Hey, whatever works right?

Most of your plants should be fine with low level, regular dosing of Excel without adding too many other fertz. If anything with the way you've planted you plants, you might add a few root tabs. If you do get some Excel, check prices on amazon, I just got a big bottle relatively cheap(compared to my lfs).
Most of these plants (exepct the two nanas) did not start out with much for roots, and one leafed nana still only has one little root on it (hoping it grows more) so you're method, though definitely one I'd prefer to use, wasn't an option (and still isn't for a few) when I set them up. Hopefully in a few months I can cut most of them loose and plant without the tubing once their roots beef out more.
I've notice lfs tend to rip off (petco/petsmart by me) I buy on amazon as long as I don't need it today. I have root tabs under the swords but I may add some for the others once I figure out final layout for them all. I'm still messing around with ideas for arranging them and would like to add a few more plants but want to wait 'till tis warmer out to buy any more (lfs suck for plants here)

Last edited by AquaAurora; 01-08-2014 at 05:43 PM. Reason: typo
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post #25 of 60 (permalink) Old 01-02-2014, 08:23 PM Thread Starter
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new photos post cleaning

Finally took photos after cleaning the tank and finding some batteries.


Blob with hairnet int eh front is a mix of leftover Singapore, Peacock, and Christmas moss, behind it is a rock with Weeping moss, and another with Java moss, all leftover from stocking mosses in my husband's 3 gallon. I'm hoping they grow in quickly and hide the hair net. Amusingly enough my hair algae grew on the hairnet.. haha.. hahaha *glare at algae*
Ripped the ricca out of the floating basket as it was a greenish brown blob of dead crap, there's still some bits left floating around the tank. Right now I have the unidentified dwarf pennywort or cardamine lyrata (think its the dwarf) in the basket until its grown out more so it doesn't get sucked into the filter.


New lights made from aluminum and using the old light fixture. Lights are now 15-17 inches above substrate instead of 11-12 but can be adjusted higher or lower. No noticeable BBA and the plants don't have sighs of light deficiencies yet so I think its at a good height.

Last edited by AquaAurora; 01-10-2014 at 04:20 PM. Reason: photo blow out
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post #26 of 60 (permalink) Old 01-09-2014, 06:10 PM Thread Starter
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Black spots on java leaves + more algae battles

So the mish-mash of Christmas, Singapore, and Peacock moss on-a-rock has had hair algae growing off the hair net (same as the 3 gallon). I've been treating both tanks with about 1 ml of hydrogen peroxide on the infected spots once a day for 20-30 minutes without filter then do a 25-40% water change. The diatoms have not noticeably re-appeared yet since I did a good tank glass clean.
I've grown sick of the collage of differnt algae blooms I keep getting, so I broken down and got a bottle of Sechem Flourish Excel, with the hopes that it will help keep a stable co2 level and keep algae down with the increased plant growth. It arrived today so I will start the gradual introduction of it to the tank in the next few days (I'm assuming I should get rid of the hair algae before I start the Excel). I hope my plants won't be negatively effected by it, I plant to not do a full dose immediately but very gradually introduce higher amounts till I get to a common level used for a 10 gallon 'low tech/low light' tank.

Since the BBA battle and light adjustment some of my java fern leaves seem to be having issues with black spots, I'm not sure if its more new algae (doesn't look like the bba), damage from the heater, dead leaves from breakage, lighting issue, or something else. Hoping to figure it out soon, none of the image diagrams for flora deficiencies matched with this.

The two yellow-ish leaves are broken, but a few that are still green also have a lot of spots.. I should also note that none of these spot covered leaves have plantlets growing on them. I'm debating about pruning out the ugly leaves and possibly splitting the rhizomes up (have at least 5 separate rhizomes on there).

I'm also considering getting a few plants for the back that will grow tall/grow out of the water like Ludwigia repen or real Brazilian pennywort (learned my tag-along 'pennywort' is actually cardamine lyrata). Just to have something to block the gap in the cover so new fishies (when I get them) don't get ay ideas, and also to hide the equipment cords.

I'm going to go do another peroxide treatment now. Will post a tank photo before I start the Excel regime for later comparison.

Last edited by AquaAurora; 01-10-2014 at 04:21 PM. Reason: photo blow out
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post #27 of 60 (permalink) Old 01-11-2014, 07:59 PM Thread Starter
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At this point I'm not 100% sure if what I am staring at in the hairnet is hair algae or the threads of the hair net coming apart (as part of it snagged and ripped loose last time I put a soft toothbrush through it trying to catch the algae. I think tomorrow (Sunday) I'll do another bleach clean on the plants and rocks as algae is re-forming on them. Then start the Seachem excel regime Sunday or Monday, with a very small starting dose and gradually work up to regular dosing amounts (don't want to risk stressing my old fell (dwarf gourami)). I'll take a photo after the tank is cleaned and put back together for cross-referencing later if the Excel has helped.

Anyways quick half-arsed photo from yesterday:

Hoping the excel will kick start my java plantlets into growing more noticeably.

As for the black spots on the java fern pictured in the previous post, no ones really been able to offer any advice on what it is. Does not appear to be a deficiency or an algae, so I'm asumign its damage from either last bleaching, or the heater being near it for a while.
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post #28 of 60 (permalink) Old 01-11-2014, 08:12 PM
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As for the black spots on the ferns, my experience is that when the leaves get mature enough they begin to sacrifice themselves to produce new plantlettes on underside of the leaf. I like to call these new plants "pups"...I don't worry about black on my ferns unless it's clearly algae. I see that as a healthy sign, not a bad one. YMMV.
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post #29 of 60 (permalink) Old 01-13-2014, 05:10 PM Thread Starter
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Did a water change and cleaned the largest blob of java fen, the two larger nanas of algae, and the large rock with a mix of mosses, I decided the rest were fine since I saw no algae on them. I think my java fern leaves look bad as a bleach burn side effect, since last time I left them in a very weak solution but for nearly 30 minutes. That said I must admire the nana's resilience. This time they were only in for 5 minutes so helpfully won't have any more leaf damage. I also cleaned the taller rock off as it had diatoms growing on it again, but the glass seamed to be devoid of the orange-ish stuff when I whipped it down.
Photo right after refilling the tank:


4-5 hours later, pearling! Java can't be too bad if the black spot leaves can pearl for me.



Sadly I only have 1 syringe right now and its being used for ammonia feeding or peroxide treating as needed (washed between different uses). So I don't want to use the same one for the Excel. I was able to buy a 10 pack on amazon for cheap so I can have one for each need and if the markings wear off, I can grab out a new one. hopefully they will be here before the end of the week, until then, no Excel, I want to control how much (or in this case, how little) I use and eye-balling from cap-full-ness won't cut it.
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post #30 of 60 (permalink) Old 01-13-2014, 05:12 PM
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Most pharmacies have oral syringes they give away. People use them for administering meds to infants. Might be worth a shot to ask your friendly neighborhood pharmacist for a couple.
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