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  Topic Review (Newest First)
01-13-2013 05:08 PM
jahmic So the hygrophila corymbosa predictably dropped the lower leaves, but seems to be doing well....I've even seen new growth at the tops. I also found a couple bonus stems of asian ambulia in the batch of hygro I picked up last week...and it's been growing and showing some GREAT looking pink tips.

The sunset hygro I picked up from Noahma a few weeks back is doing great as well...I've seen some definite growth at the tips and the lower nodes. I had trouble with the base rotting in the past, but had previously tried planting it in an area with a thick MTS layer under the substrate. I instead planted it in an area with no MTS under it's just growing in flourite...that seems to have made a huge difference.

The PAR 38 bulb seems to be working as planned. I moved all of my emersed growth to the center of the tank and leaves are starting to grow toward that light rather than form a canopy just below my 30" fixture. I have a cfl plant bulb that I'm going to mount on the other side of the tank, opposite the par38. I'm hoping I can finally get some nice emersed growth going with light passing across the top of the tank from either side. You can see the par38 mounted on the left of the tank in the pics below. Only a small amount of light spills into the submersed portion of the tank, I'm not sure of the optics on the lenses...but they appear to be no more than 60 degrees...and I'd guess 30 degree optics judging from the spread.

Here are a couple quick pics I grabbed with the phone today.

You can see the CFL bulb mounted below the center brace in this picture, it was placed there because I was getting so much shadowing from the emersed growth in the center of the tank. I think this only further encouraged my sygnonium to grow leggy in that area due to the extra light there. I plan on relocating that bulb to the other side of the tank, opposite the par38 bulb.
01-06-2013 09:55 PM
jahmic last FTS was over a year ago!?

Sorry for the lack of updates, I've been without a home computer for some time now...but I just solved that issue today so I should have more regular updates. Also...I've admittedly been a bit distracted by the SW world, as I now also have a couple reefs running at home.

Anyway, the tank has been pretty much on cruise control. I hadn't added many submersed plants since the last FTS was posted, but I've played around with different emersed plants with limited success. The sygnonium is still doing great, although I am getting very tall, "leggy" growth out of it. Since the last pic of the emersed growth, I cut the plant back and now just have 3 planters of sygnonium growing emersed....but they all grow toward the center of my Coralife fixture and seem to be lacking enough light to get bushier growth toward the back wall. I'm not sure if that's just the nature of this plant, or if it's something that can be remedied with more light...but I decided to get a red/blue par 38 bulb that I mounted to the side of the tank, pointing across the back. The light only hits the emersed growth, so I shouldn't have any algae'll be interesting to see if this makes any difference. My goal is to keep my emersed growth from blocking the light going down into the tank; if the sygnonium doesn't change it's growth pattern I might try either a grassy plant, or just get something that grows much shorter to keep in the planters.

Here are some recent photos, prior to adding the par38 bulb...which just went online today. In the pics below, the only plants added to the tank since the last FTS are the Ranunculus inundatus and the sunset hygrophila. I got some great growth out of my C. parva, which has formed a nice grassy mat in the front of the tank

The one disappointment for me has been my Cryptocoryne balansae...I wanted to fill in the back corners of the tank with it, but it keeps growing 3-4 leaves, sending out a runner, then melting down to a nub. I've been utilizing root tabs, but haven't seen any improvement. I have about 4-5 short plants of 2-3 leaves in each corner, but it just won't grow well for me. Yesterday I picked up some hygrophila corymbosa 'siamensis' from a friends 120 gal. I'm going to give the plant a few weeks to settle in and may prune the lower leaves if they start to drop. He was running CO2 and 300W of metal halide over his the plants are nice and healthy but are probably getting a bit less light in my tank. I also figure if I wait a month, it should give a more accurate picture of my tank's condition...of course it looks great at this point, but I suspect things will change as the narrow leaf hygro settles in.

I had some difficulty shooting this tank after taking pics of my reefs over the past year, since I don't use a flash for those tanks. I do like the natural feel of the pics posted above, but I did end up with a few dark spots I didn't care for so much...hopefully I can get back into practice.

I also picked up a macro lens, but haven't had the chance to play with it in combination with my flash. I did still manage to get a decent fish shot with the kit lens's my male killi garneri...and a few of my beckfordi pencilfish. They're both tank favorites, and the pencilfish always seem to school wherever the killifish is hanging out.

The current fish list for the tank is:

- 1 male killi gardneri (had a pair but sadly lost the female due to a power outage)
- 8 cardinal tetras
- 8 beckford's pencilfish
- 3 rummynose tetras
- 1 male honey gourami
- 5 panda cories

All the fish have been established in the tank for at least 9 months...aside from the panda cories which were just added over the past week.
05-12-2012 01:25 AM
2in10 Awesome growth, congrats
05-12-2012 12:08 AM
Originally Posted by AhVy View Post
So interesting...any updates?
My sygnonium is thriving for sure. The pandanus is doing well...just a bit sensitive to changes in water level. I had some roots die off and it began to drop the lower leaves, but still looks healthy.

Here are a few shots of the crazy growth from the sygnonium. Unfortunately it has started to shade the crypts below. I may trim it back soon and try to root the cuttings so that I can primarily keep sygnonium as emersed growth with the pandanus as a nicr centerpiece. Debating putting the glass canopy back on as well...the baby panda bamboo is not liking the dry air here. I will give it some time though to see if it eventually adjusts and starts growing though, as I'd hate to compromise the sygnonium.
05-01-2012 08:41 AM
AhVy So interesting...any updates?
01-22-2012 03:57 AM
jahmic Oh, and yes I lost my leather fern. In fact I lost all of my emersed growth at one point to an aphid invasion. I did get rid of them, but by that time the damage was done and I lost plants one by one. In the end, the solution to the pests was simple...removing the glass top dropped the humidity and they stopped thriving.

Slowly learning and getting this tank up to par.
01-22-2012 03:51 AM
jahmic I remember you mentioning that before, and had been wanting to do that for a while. I initially held off since I was planning to raise the water level. Once that was done I stuck with the white background for a bit longer; raising the water meant raising the lights, and the background was supplementing the poor reflector in my coralife T5NO fixture...not very well, but enough to support my laziness. Lol

Finally upgraded the lighting today, allowing me to raise the lights above the emersed growth and still get light to the substrate. Just went with the coralife T5HO dual fixture...the reflector actually works and light is hitting the back corners of my tank again.

Figured since my lighting issue is resolved, I should stop being lazy I swapped the background. Here are the before and after shots Excuse the quality...posting and taking pics from my phone these days :/

I'm contemplating also running the black background on the lower portion of the right glass. The left glass will have to remain all white, as the outside of that end if the tank is visible from the doorway. It would just look awkward having a trash bag hanging from my case you were wondering what u used for a background. I also plan on adding a planter to the right glass toward the foreground. Since that area will have more emersed growth, I think the black background on that side would be appropriate, as it would represent the "riverbank"...the left side of the tank could remain open and represent the open water. At least that's what I see in my mind...hope it makes sense and I can bring it all together.
01-21-2012 12:42 AM
hydrophyte That's looking good. You got some nice new fish in there.

Those two plants over on the right of the video (the pink one and the other one with similar leaves) are Syngonium varieties. Those can be nice for adding color. They usually root pretty well too.

Did that leather fern flake out on you? That is usually such an easy plant. I saw that you had started with one from one of those previous posts.

Nice job growing that Pandanus. As that plant grows up bigger you'll start seeing the prop roots too.

If you can apply a black background to that tank those planters will just disappear.
01-21-2012 12:35 AM
jahmic Definitely due for an update here...

I still need to update the first post, and upload some pics of the progress over the past several months, but here is a vid for now. Actually took this for hydrophyte, but figured it'd be a worthy addition to the thread.
05-31-2011 01:47 AM
Originally Posted by jahmic View Post
Emersed plants

(Also put a little coconut hut in the that a fish?)
Hey that's looking great!

One trick that is really helpful for riparium setups is to cover the aquarium rear panel for at least the underwater part with a black background. This will hide the riparium planters and as the plants grow in they will almost disappear from view. I like to use black latex paint because it's pretty cheap and it comes off again real easy. Paint doesn't stick to glass very well, so it's important to carefully clean with Windex or something like that to remove all of the dirt and finger smudges.
05-30-2011 08:53 PM
Noahma Sorry to hear about your female. so far, the one I got from you is doing great, they are never more than 4-6" apart from each other.
05-30-2011 08:47 PM
jahmic I wouldn't worry much...I think my male is just overly aggressive.

The 55g has a bigger footprint too...and if you're tank is pretty well established and heavily planted, it should keep them comfy and out of sight of each other if one decides to be "assertive".

I figured my tank broke up line of sight enough for them, but it definitely wasn't the case. Once things fill in some more, I'll probably end up giving it another go. I honestly probably should've waited to begin and learn I suppose.
05-30-2011 03:09 AM
VeeSe =(

Sad to hear about the female GBR. I was planning to get a pair for my 55G tank too, and now I'm more scared than before.
05-29-2011 06:16 PM
jahmic Oh the ups and downs of fishkeeping...

Although the female laid eggs, it was a pretty unsuccessful spawn for multiple reasons. For about the 36 hr mark it was pretty apparent that the vast majority of the eggs weren't fertilized. There were a couple "maybes" in the group, but it wasn't promising at all.

By Day 2 of the spawn, the male's aggressive temperament toward the female escalated quite a bit. He went from guarding and fanning the eggs to simply sitting over the nest and "eyeballing" the other side of the tank, just waiting for the female to come out of her (unused) breeding hut. I was able to feed her in that corner of the tank, but she didn't want to come out much. Reason? The male was intent on not having her around anymore. He went from flaring and chasing a little to outright attacking her. She was still pretty bold and would try to come out and explore ever 20 minutes or so, but it wasn't looking good.

I had a QT tank setup, but it was full of some recovering cardinals...which meant removing her wasn't the best option at the time. I decided that the next day (Day 3 of the spawn) I'd at least get a breeding net and float it in the tank for her. I figured if any fry hatched and the male's habits kept up, it'd be too much for the female. When I got home from work to check on things, it was obvious that the spawn was unsuccessful...the male abandoned the eggs by that point and fungus had spread through the nest. There were also some snails grazing on the eggs at that point. I figured that it was for the better though, since the female was now out of hiding and seemed to be getting along with the male.

Only one problem...she was injured. Either the male got a hold of her, or she ran into some driftwood trying to escape him at some point. She didn't look too bad, her color was still good and she was active and eating. Sadly though, her conditioned worsened through the day and she became lethargic.

By the time I pulled the cardinals from QT and started to drop acclimate them to the riparium (they'd been in QT for 2 weeks and were going to be moved this weekend anyway), the female was gray and sitting on the bottom of the tank

I bagged her, floated the bag in the QT tank while I transferred the cardinals, and when I went to the QT tank...she was dead.

So...I think I've pretty much given up on breeding these guys for the time being. Either my male is just has a serious case of intra-species aggression, or I should expect this every time. Having bred bettas in the past, I'm sort of used to this pattern, but was hoping to have some more "peaceful" spawns with a pair of rams.

I'll get pics of the tank up a little later today, most likely. The cardinals are in there now (9 altogether), and I put some new plants in the tank to alleviate the PTSD I acquired trying to save the female, haha.

I guess a couple more things worth mentioning:

I checked my hardness and my GH is now 2 degrees higher than the tap water after topping off the tank for the past month. I know that at one point I used warm tap water (treated of course)...and figure that the mineral buildup in my hot water heater may have helped contribute to the increase in the tank's hardness...compounded with the fact that my tank evaporates about 2 gallons of water per week. I've been good about using a heater in the bucket to heat up the cold water, but I'm sure it's still contributing.

So, I decided to perform the weekly top-offs with a mix of tap and RO water (~3:1) to keep the hardness down. Being that I'm topping off once a week, it's not too much of a hassle to get a 5-gallon bucket of R/O from the lfs once a month. I also ordered a TDS meter so I can do some quick checks on a regular that I dropped the goal of breeding these guys, I think I'll just focus on keeping the fish and plants as happy as possible.
05-26-2011 04:40 AM
Noahma congrats man. I hope my new male will spawn with the girl I got from you when he matures enough. I am still sat by the loss of the other male, but this one is healthy as a bull.

Originally Posted by jahmic View Post
My rams spawned!!

I got home from work and noticed the female and male both cleaning the front left corner of the tank, as they had been for the past day or so. The male's behavior over the past couple days had changed as well...he was much more docile, and only showing his full fins in response to the female. He would basically act submissive, which calmed the female down some and they had been spending much more time together, rather than him just playfully chasing her around.

The female's vent was definitely extended when I got home from work, so it was looking like she may have been close to laying her eggs. I went out for a few hours and came back home to this:

The male has been hovering over the eggs and fanning them for the past hour since I've been back. Occasionally a piece of detritus will float near the pit and the male quickly scoops it up into his mouth and spits it out away from the first I thought he was eating the eggs, but so far so good. Luckily these 2 are in the tank alone for now...aside from some amano shrimp that they've already scared into the opposite corner of the tank. Ironically, the shrimp are hiding out in the coconut breeding hut.

They may have a bit to learn...well at least the male. He's been chasing the female away from the eggs. He doesn't pester her...but flares his fins and goes out toward the middle of the tank to ensure she retreats back to the hut. If either of them were going to eat the eggs...I'd bet it'd be the female though, as she pretty much devours most of the food at feeding time, while the male just tends to wait to pick stuff off the bottom a couple hours later.

We'll see how many (if any) eggs are left in the morning. Who knows if the male will give up watch, or will just get hungry.

I'm just happy that my rams are thriving
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