|11-17-2013 10:31 AM|
Thanks! It's looking a bit fuzzy at the moment. I've had some CO2 issues that have really affected growth and resulted in algae madness. The plants are still kicking, but there was a few weeks of really poor growth, and I can't seem to kick it. Things are bouncing back, but slowly. I'm expanding my LED fixture to account for the poor coverage, but it's expensive and time is not something I have a lot if at the moment, so I have my crummy Odyssea "T5HO" units with brand new Coralife lamps doing the heavy lifting. Likely I'll finish the LED's up in December when I have the time.
It's frustrating because I feel like I have good 'scapes but for some reason I'm having such incredible trouble with CO2 and lighting that all of that is immaterial. This too shall pass, I suppose. I have no intention of giving up, though I'm sure my wife wishes I would, haha!
|11-03-2013 05:05 AM|
|xmas_one||Never saw this thread, nice aquascapes!|
|11-03-2013 04:21 AM|
How does it look now?
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|08-20-2013 12:30 AM|
Thank you for sharing your info. I see a lot of nano's with LED's and they do fine. I actually was going to do a DIY LED at the same time you did. Something kept telling me that my T5HO fixture is perfectly fine so no need to drop the cash until LED's become more of a mainstay in the planted tank realm. My main concern was trying to diagnose any potential problems if I were to go LED. Looks like you had the experience I luckily avoided but I have to thank you so much for sharing. We all make mistakes in this hobby and seeing people who can obviously do very nicely with their tanks allows everyone else to learn. For me, I will wait on LED's but I will see what you do.
Hope to see an amazing tank as you switch things back over to your other fixture.
|08-19-2013 10:32 PM|
It's time to drop a little truth, here. It turns out that I have been completely wrong about what's been happening in my tank the last year or so. Let's start at the beginning.
When I first set up this tank, I had two 54W x2 T5HO Odyssea fixtures over the tank. At the time I was using all 4 lamps to illuminate the tank, and I quickly developed the brown fuzz.
Too much, right? Right. So, I raised them up and nearly blinded my wife and myself and we squinted to see either the tank or our nearby television in the intense glare.
So, I planned for the LED's. I designed and built my fixture to work with this tank. At the back of my mind, I always had a little doubt, nagging at my process, but never fully intruding in execution. It's not enough! the little voice kept whispering.
I hung the fixture, proud of my accomplishment - and proceeded to watch my plants fade slowly into mush. I was so frustrated. I thought it was too much light, a CO2 issue, not enough nutrients, contaminants in my tap water, poor flow, inadequate filtration - anything but what the nagging little voice told me, because as soon as I lowered my fixture or dialed up the faders, I would get algae again!
At the peak of my trouble, I finally dismantled the (now BBA-laden) scape, and installed a low-light plant scheme that was really just an effort to make myself feel better about the failure.
It only got ugly slower.
I was breezing through the forum a few weeks ago, and came across a post by Tom Barr explaining why he didn't use LED's at the moment. I'm not sure what exactly he wrote that triggered the little whispering voice to suddenly become a shout, but that's what happened. I realized that for my LED's to be an effective method of lighting my tank, I would need to double the width of my 6" wide fixture.
As a sort of test, I removed the LED fixture, and replaced it with my old T5HO's, this time with only the 2 Geisemann lamps plugged in, and lo and behold! Almost instantly, the tank appeared twice as bright. Within minutes my Marsilea was pearling - a sight hitherto unseen since the original scaping of this tank.
Since this replacement, I have seen much improved growth and health in my aquarium. What a bonehead I have been. Denial is a powerful force, people. Instinct can often be ignored as a result. It's unfortunate that the process had to go that far, and I had to lose so many plants before realizing what I needed to do, but there you go.
The next phase (to be implemented over the course of many months, as my annual tank budget is tapped) is to expand my LED fixture to accommodate the actual requirements of my tank. This means having one emitter for every 4 square inches of footprint, and hanging it at an appropriate height as well as dimming it to the appropriate level. It will take a while to adjust, but I'm ok with that. I'm nothing if not patient.
Until then, I'll keep my Odyssea fixtures in operation, and feed my tank properly.
|08-10-2013 07:17 PM|
|theblondskeleton||Thanks for the suggestions, guys. I think I'll just fill it in with the lilaeopsis and maybe bring in some hydrocotyle sibthorpioides as well. I'd like to keep that side open and simple.|
|08-10-2013 07:15 PM|
|08-10-2013 06:45 PM|
I would personally add more micro sword right there. Possibly filling in a bit of that V shape behind the rocks.
Looks really good, can't wait to see this fill in.
|08-10-2013 02:37 PM|
Red Tiger Lotus or more anubias and let the stems grow in behind them.
Good to see an old familiar face back in the game!
|08-10-2013 04:16 AM|
How about something with round leaves like lysimachia nummularia?
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|08-10-2013 04:09 AM|
Blank spot between the rotala green and the lilaeopsis... What to fill it with?
Anubias nana petite
|08-07-2013 06:40 AM|
Thanks! I'm looking forward to it as well. I think I would love to have a seriously massive seiryu stone. Something about 12"x18"x12" or so. I never quite get the mass I'm looking for. One of my favorite stone tanks is the manten stone 180-P in the ADA gallery. The main stone in that one is about 2 feet long and 12 inches thick! I wish I had access to that kind of stone here. We have a lot of basalt where I am but it's not terribly pretty by itself.
|08-06-2013 08:22 PM|
|08-06-2013 07:49 PM|
Ok, so I lied about that last scape looking good. The longer I looked at it, the less I liked it. Under planted, under structured, generally unimpressive.
So I tore it down to the bones, tossed the junk an started over with a little bit more time on my hands. I'll post pic as soon a I can, but know this scape features a return of my seiryu stone and uses some of my branch wood. I'm going with all new plants (except my Anubias nana petite- I love that plant). At the moment, the plants will arrive tomorrow and the substrate is most and waiting to receive its bounty.
|06-26-2013 10:16 PM|
Sorry for the long delay! It's been a crazy school year, and I just finally have a few minutes to update.
No pic at the moment - sorry!
For a couple of weeks after rescaping, I had some difficulty with the layout. The plants were dying back, and things just generally were not looking good. I diagnosed too much light as a culprit and things improved, but not as much as I had hoped.
Then, 3 diffusers died in rapid succession. 2 were cheapo versions of the Atomic diffusers, so that was understandable. They had seen the best of their usefulness. One was an Atomic diffuser that just wasn't big enough for the tank. After getting rid of the XP3 (too much flow was generating BBA in some specific locations on rocks), dialing down the lights, replacing diffusers and adding some red LEDs to the fixture, things are bouncing back - albeit as slowly as ferns generally grow.
This is a long-term scape for me, so I'm looking at a few months of growth before I see what I'd like out of this. I picked up some truly awful windelov from my LFS (overpriced and nearly dead) and the rhizomes are just now starting to send off some new, healthy-looking leaves. The others have gone brown except for the tips, which are oddly enough doing quite well.
I'm still futzing with the light and trying to find the sweet spot with this layout. My CO2 is finally stable, so it's really a question of balancing out the light.
My crypts are throwing very long petioles with smallish blades, and I'm assuming this is from light issues? Here is the oddity: there are some that are growing very tall very quickly, and some that have thrown a lot of very tiny leaves (8-9 leaves at 2-3 inches in total length, versus 5-6 leaves 6-10 inches in length). Many of these are right next to one another. two of these are a few inches away from my diffuser and have 2-3 leaves about 2-3 inches in length. I'm really confused by what's going on there.
At best, I can assume there is a light/flow issue going on, but how to address it I have no idea. It'll take some creative brainstorming, I guess.
Overall, however the scape is looking pretty decent. I have some new residents: some juvenile Bosemani rainbows (2 males, 2 females) and a couple of German Blue Rams. I'll be adding to this group as time goes on. Amanos, corys, otos, and a school of glowlight tetras round out the mix. Everyone seems to enjoy the place.
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