Tank shot: 2/24/2014
Over the past week, the tank was overrun by diatoms after I added the ammonium to provide food for the biological bacteria. While I was cleaning the tank, I bumped into the driftwood with the siphon and messed up the arrangement. I remembered AnotherHobby's advice that substrate moves and that it would be wise to secure driftwood to prevent erosion.
Here are some pictures of the driftwood secured to eggcrate using cable ties. It was quite an exercise to save the water, take out the plants, remove the substrate and put everything back in, but I think it was more than worth it! Borderline OCD, I know, but shooting for the stars on this one.
Sorry if it's hard to see the cable ties securing the driftwood. The driftwood was wet when I did this. The extra cable ties at the edges are similar to "legs" so the egg crate sits evenly on the bottom.
I added some osmocote+ beads to the floor of the tank to provide some substrate fertilization. I also ordered nilocg's all-in-one macro and micro fertilizers, which I'm hoping will simplify the EI dosing process with a pump here and there. I do dose some extra iron to induce some more coloration from my l. aromatica and ludwigia.
Interestingly, upon removing the substrate and putting it back into the tank, my tank has shown signs of nitrite over the weekend. Took about 4 weeks for nitrite to show up, but nonetheless a great sign that the tank is cycling and will soon be fish/shrimp ready.
The pogostemon erectus is looking crummy with some twisted small leaves at the top.
CO2 has been BLASTING and the light is 15 inches about substrate, which according to Hoppy's PAR analysis, puts out around 100 PAR. Can't be calcium because I have crushed coral in the filter, and also because Tom Barr has repeatedly explained that it's rarely seen. Nitrogen was kind of low before, so I'm guessing it's some sort of nitrogen deficiency. It has also been taken from AFA store, so maybe the transition between the two environments is causing the stunting. Nonetheless, I see many side shoots. This plant roots like crazy also! Within two weeks or so, it's more rooted than any other plant.
Last, I changed the placement of the lily pipes because I figured that placement of the inflow and outflow in the rear right would blast nutrients and CO2 to the stem plants, circulate it around the front and slowly back to the rear right. What I noticed with the other setup was that I would have strong flow near the front of the glass and as it lost momentum, I would lose even more flow with the stem plants and driftwood in the way. Let's see if I get better growth patterns this way.
Really excited for this! Thanks for following.