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Topic Review (Newest First)
08-25-2014 06:40 PM
theblondskeleton [IMG][/IMG]

Growing and growing...
08-20-2014 10:48 PM
theblondskeleton
Quote:
Originally Posted by frrok View Post
Lava rocks have silicates? Thought it was inert?
The short answer is yes, but how much depends on what kind of lava rock it is.
08-20-2014 08:18 PM
talontsiawd
Quote:
Originally Posted by theblondskeleton View Post
Thanks, Matt! Glad to hear you're making some progress, too. I keep forgetting the whole "keep it simple, stupid" approach. While I have a potentially fatal addiction to tinkering, it is best to remember I'm not an expert, and should rely on what has been proven to work.

Though the LED thing has really worked out in my favor, and THAT is a big relief, haha...
Yeah, exactly. Honestly, the more major issues I was having were the simplest, not enough flow/surface agitation and too low of CO2. However, it wasn't that simple, my guppies always look like they are gasping but if I up the CO2, or lower it, they still do. With no CO2, they still have that behavior. I probably am injecting 5x or more CO2 than I thought I was able to. The flow was kind of similar, I knew my filter was more than capable for my tank size, it was a combination of my outflow and having so much stuff inline. Only now can I get decent surface agitation with the same outflow, now that I took much of my inline stuff out.

That's what I am saying though, it's always something you add, thinking you are doing a favor but neglect to second guess it. Even the fish, simple as behavior, it's funny in retrospect but gave me a long time of grief.
08-20-2014 07:48 PM
frrok
The 120-P Reader - Pictures Included (56KWarning)

Lava rocks have silicates? Thought it was inert?
08-20-2014 07:37 PM
theblondskeleton Thanks, Matt! Glad to hear you're making some progress, too. I keep forgetting the whole "keep it simple, stupid" approach. While I have a potentially fatal addiction to tinkering, it is best to remember I'm not an expert, and should rely on what has been proven to work.

Though the LED thing has really worked out in my favor, and THAT is a big relief, haha...
08-20-2014 07:26 PM
talontsiawd Looking good and glad to hear that this is on it's way back. I don't have any suggestions but I recently did somewhat the same. That is, simply eliminate anything that could be an issue and assume anything I had not use before could be a potential issue. Slowly but surely I am getting better results while doing less water changes than before and using more light. I thought my light was my issue as well, and though the high light may have made the problem worse, I am seeing it was not the cause of them.

Anyway, just glad to see this back and good to hear you are making a strong come back on this. I know how much work you put into it.
08-20-2014 07:03 PM
theblondskeleton [IMG][/URL][/IMG]

Steady as she goes. Another iPhone pic, but I tried a little harder this time, haha... I should just get my good camera out sometime. I trimmed the HC back, but it's still not quite as short as I'd like - it needs a week or two to root better before I can trim it as low as I want. The glosso is taking its sweet time to grow in, but it's doing its job as well. The stauro is going to take over if I'm not careful, haha... that stuff grows like crazy when it's happy. I added some anubias nana 'petite' in the shady spots, as the HC and glosso would not grow there. They were not the healthiest plants, but they are bouncing back now that I have my crap together. Added livestock on Sunday: 32 neons and 20 otos. Everybody is happy and thriving, the neons are super colorful and the otos are fat and grazing happily.

Seeing this with the plants growing in, I'm not really happy with the left side hardscape. The right side grouping is groovy, but the left just looks like I threw some rocks in there. Which is essentially what I did.

I think this definitively demonstrates that my light was not the issue after all, as I have made absolutely no changes to it since I removed it initially. At the current height, the coverage is flawless, and my plants pearl within minutes of the lights coming up every day. The issues had to be because of one or all of the following:

1. The lava rock adding silicates to the water column.
2. The water aging system I had in place.
3. Unknown CO2 issues that have since been resolved

My solutions:

1: Toss the lava rock. Easy.
2: When we moved, I dismantled my 50-gallon storage barrel and hoses that brought the water to my tank. The issue was that I wasn't draining my hoses after water changes, so I was getting anaerobic bacteria buildup in the hose. I flushed it before each water change, but I'm thinking that wasn't enough. Even if it wasn't the largest issue facing my tank, I imagine it had a negative effect on my plants, making it even harder for them to survive.
3. I had my system set up with a 10-lb CO2 tank, dual stage reg, 2-port manifold, ancient bubble counters (JBJ-style without the check valves I've had for about 10 years) miles of hose, old check valves, and some sketchy diffusers. I switched back to a reactor (as I have had great success with Rex-style reactors before) and dismantled the whole system, cleaning and inspecting every connection. I removed the manifold and tossed the old bubble counters, replacing them with shiny new ones with check valves. I also reduced the hose to the minimum necessary. To be certain, I also introduced my 5-lb cylinder with a dual stage reg and an atomic diffuser. The combination works well, but it should be just fine with either one by itself. I'm a little hesitant to change anything (if it ain't broke don't fix it), but I'd sure like to figure out which will be the best solution. I'd like to free up the 5-lb cylinder for my 45cm tank.
08-12-2014 04:55 AM
theblondskeleton Thanks - the HC is REALLY tall at the moment. It contained some of the longest stems I have seen in pots. It made it much easier to plant, but it is considerably taller than I will typically keep it. After it roots, I'll cut it back down to size. The smaller stones up front will stand out just fine.

I had it going well back at the other place, but I hadn't taken pictures for a long time. It had some bolbitis, cryptocoryne wendtii red, marsilea minuta, anubias petite, and some windelov fern. It looked ok, but my CO2 was giving me issues. I picked up some new bubble counters with check valves in them, as my check valves all went kaput, but I need to adjust my reactor, and swap out the needle valves on my second line (the one to the diffuser), as the old one is a cheapo. It looks like I'm finally getting enough CO2 in there as it is, but it's not a permanent setup the way it stands. I anticipate things will go smoothly, as long as I don't screw anything up with some crackpot idea, haha...
08-12-2014 12:33 AM
talontsiawd Looking good. Do you have any slightly taller stones or even add some AS under the front ones? The foreground is overshadowing a bit but it also looks pretty long. Anyway, great to see this going again.
08-11-2014 09:34 PM
theblondskeleton [IMG][/IMG]

Planted with staurogyne 049, glosso, and HC. I may add some riccia for texture, but it really depends on how high maintenance I want to get with this. It will already be quite heavy with all the glosso and HC.

Terrible pic, but here it is. Everything looks very healthy so far. The glosso has transitioned, but it was a messy one. after cleaning out the die off, it's now growing sideways, so I assume the time to trim it down will come in a week or two. Meanwhile I need to let it root some more. The HC (the absolute best batch I have ever received from any plant vendor, who replaced a dead batch and shipped it free - with extras!) was just planted last week, but it is already spreading and growing down to the soil. It appears that my diatom issues have been solved, and my light is actually doing quite well with these plants!

With the fixture hung at 34cm from the surface of the water. This gives me a nice, even pool of light at the substrate, without too much dark space at the edges. The warm whites I added seem to have balanced it out well, and it appears identical to sunlight, which is pleasing to see. The greens are very pretty, and the stone's bluish tint comes out well. It feels like an aquarium in HD, haha...

It also appears that I have a very tiny baby shrimp stowaway who is happily occupying the tank.
07-23-2014 10:27 PM
talontsiawd
Quote:
Originally Posted by theblondskeleton View Post
Thanks, Matt! I agree - it has occurred to me that maybe I toil for nothing with these things, but I love it so much, haha... I just can't stop!

I threw in my Aquasoil, and tucked some marsilea minuta in the soil for the moment. I have glosso and Staurogyne 049 on the way, (and some HC because I just can't help myself). I want to keep it as simple as possible. When the other plants arrive, I may relocate the marsilea to another tank or a grow out tank. I have a garage now, so I can do that
I call it the "dream tank syndrome". I have seen it many times on the board, experienced it myself. It seems like as soon as you get to where you really go past what you are used to in terms of investment, equipment and expectations, a lot of us tend to just have issues. Even if we had a very similar tank before, just scaled down, or the same size tank, just not ADA, it's just some cursed thing. Now some don't get this, and there is no reason for it, it just happens.

Grow out tanks in the garage are awesome. I had one for awhile, I was able to keep a "back up" of all my plants. Unfortunately, it gets too hot in the summer here to keep plants so I ditched it.

Anyway, a fresh start is good and most of your plants don't need crazy light or care, assuming they get enough light and CO2, you will be fine, then start upping slowly. I actually have converted my 60P to low tech twice when I started having issues, some people don't like that option but I have kept my tank going for a year, that always brings it back to a "workable" point when something goes really south on it. In 2 weeks, it basically has reset it self back to being more than manageable.
07-23-2014 09:59 PM
theblondskeleton Thanks, Matt! I agree - it has occurred to me that maybe I toil for nothing with these things, but I love it so much, haha... I just can't stop!

I threw in my Aquasoil, and tucked some marsilea minuta in the soil for the moment. I have glosso and Staurogyne 049 on the way, (and some HC because I just can't help myself). I want to keep it as simple as possible. When the other plants arrive, I may relocate the marsilea to another tank or a grow out tank. I have a garage now, so I can do that
07-23-2014 07:56 PM
talontsiawd I can't wait to see the next iteration of this. Funny yet unfortunately, I have been right there with you. After a long track record of being fairly successful, as soon as I started something I felt should be relatively easy, it has been one thing after another. Once I feel I nail down one thing, I find it wasn't really the issue, then find the next. I honestly am not sure what is going on but what I am learning, forget everything I know and see what happens.

I wish you the best of luck on the new setup, take it slow and make sure you enjoy it. I almost quite the hobby but found making my life easier and simplifying things brought back the interest, even though my tank should be better, I still enjoy figuring out the problems when they aren't so bad I just want to rip the whole thing down.
07-23-2014 07:24 PM
theblondskeleton Man, what a roller coaster this year.

So, it seems the light wasn't the issue - not entirely. the main issue I had was with the lava rock I was using underneath my substrate. I have had nothing but diatoms since I put it in my tanks. I thought it was helping the tank by providing more surface for bacteria to colonize, but it was also contaminating my tank with silicates - leading to constant diatom issues. The main issue was that I was looking for the cause on the internet. This led to many many different diagnoses. Anyway, I took it out a few months ago, and the tank cleared up like magic - no diatoms in months.

Next, I was still experiencing growth issues - it looked like a CO2 deficiency, but I was already dumping so much CO2 in, I was constantly on the verge of gassing my fish. I swapped out my diffusers for a reactor, as I had major success with one in the past, and the CO2 levels became easier to manage, but I STILL had growth issues. WTF??

I had been aging my water in a 50-gallon barrel in my loft for years. I had a hose running from the barrel to behind my tank to make water changes easier. However, I never drained the hose between changes, so it developed a permanent colony of anaerobic bacteria - the evidence? The reek of sulfur. I tossed that hose when we moved.

Yup. We moved. Tore down the whole business, and moved across town - woohoo! No more tiny condo!

So, now the tank sits empty in it's new spot, with a newly painted gray stand (much better than the blue, haha), my repaired LED light, and my cleaned up seiryu stone, patiently awaiting the next adventure. I will be going for an iwagumi-style layout, I am determined to grow glosso, and I am really excited (and hopeful) that I have eliminated the issues that have plagued me since I got those crazy ideas.

Wish me luck.
03-04-2014 03:11 PM
FlyingHellFish Very nice looking tank, sorry about the LEDs not working. I think you would do very well if you added more coverage, which is a common drawback of LED fixtures. More companies are focusing on Lens with wider reflectors, but like anything new, it needs more improvement.

LEDs with a planted tank can be done, and I like your DIY fixture, give it another shot.

When I switch to LEDs, it went smoothly for me. I hope you rethink this and give LEDs another try because that scape is straight out of a ADA gallery.

CFL


=======

LEDs



I need to work on creating a decent scape, argh. You get the idea though,
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