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Topic Review (Newest First)
11-21-2014 02:39 PM
rustbucket I think the tank must look good despite it, this tank has always been one of my favorites.

I will say though I think young Congo's can be sexed, I have heard of it before, and had pretty good success sexing my young ones. But hopefully you'll get a good mix.

I am letting my tank grow out a bit as well, but its kind of a controlled mess (if that's possible) I liked it for a bit, but I think I may do a big trim today. I have baby bn's that I want to survive though.

I want a pic, I'll say nice things
11-21-2014 04:20 AM
Kathyy Thank you for the kind offer. I am going to experiment using just the gayi for now.

Well the tank looks like a planted tank again! No photos as the camera batteries are doubtless dead and it is over there and I am here. I have no clue as to how to take photos off my phone either. Want more excuses? I probably could come up with more.

I moved crypts from the front, cut back one of the giant Anubias nanas and placed it elsewhere, cleaned out the corners of the gayi, tiny Bolbitis and Java fern and various bits of dead stuff and glued some of the ferns back on the wood.

Some of the Java fern bits have divided leaves so I made a point of using them first on the wood. I don't think it is Trident, that seems to be gone but maybe this variation will be durable.

Pennywort stems are now visible above the hardscape as are a few gayi stems. Cut back moss is turning green. The big crypts now have leaves growing above the wood. Just now I polished most of the GSA off the front pane. All the water changes have cleared the water, it is now nicely colorless rather than yellowish.


I did buy a pack of Staurogyne repens from Petsmart and it is currently melting away and floating stems show no root growth. I can bring easy stuff back from the dead but not old PS stock apparently. I found that Marsilea stem in the hornwort AGAIN and needed to plant it upside down as it was so curled from living in the hornwort. Also found a Hydrocotyle sibthorpioides stem but so have the Congo tetras so it may not be long for this world.

Also picked up 15 tiny new Congo tetras, 12 gorgeous Sterbai Corydoras and 4 Rainbow Gudgeons that are currently in quarantine. At least there is no way the congos could be sexed and the males separated out! They are the size of the black neons in the tank!

This time round I will NOT let pennywort rule the tank!
I will remove and prune oversized plants!
11-07-2014 11:56 PM
jfynyson So sorry to hear about you getting hurt and having to watch such a beautiful tank take a back seat to real life. I'll be willing to help donate any stems I may have if they line up with your wish list.


John 14:6
Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
11-07-2014 11:29 PM
Kathyy Thank you very much. I still like the basic idea a lot too.

You wouldn't like the look of it right now! I got hurt 5 months ago and was only topping off the tank, feeding the fish and rinsing the prefilters when they clogged. An experiment of sorts let's call it. Allowed hornwort and pennywort to grow a deep layer in the tank and the plants weren't fed. No CO2 but lights still on. No fertilizer added to tank and no dechlor added to the small amount of water needed to keep the sump pumps from complaining.

Result? Anubias thrived. Crypts dealt fine but got elongated and pale in color. Stems mostly disappeared. Bits of P. gayi, feeble pennywort and happy hornwort remain. Java ferns NOT happy! Lost all leaves and trident seems to be gone. Bolbitis fronds and most rhizomes died but there are tiny new plants sunk in the bottom right of the tank same as the P. gayi. I found one bit of Marsilia floating with a couple tiny new leaves and all other ground covering plants gone. Hornwort took over the tank, pennywort was doing fine until nutrients ran out a couple months ago then turned into bare stems.

Lots of buildup of debris in right corners of the tank which turned out to be mostly dead java fern rhizomes and dead looking moss rather than mulm, sort of a surprise. Lost a lot of fish, down to ~dozen small platies, 1/2 dozen Congos and black neon tetras, 2 Corydoras, couple of otos and Ms. Bristlenose.

Since I had just been topping off the tank I assumed without actually testing that KH and GH would different than the tap water so I made 10% water changes daily for a week. Turned out to be a good idea as the Congo tetra male was looking peaked after the first few water changes, breathing rapidly with nose up. After a week I did dig out the KH test and tank and tap were the same so I am clear to doing bigger water changes now. Mr. Congo is looking fine now, I didn't mess it up too badly for him.

I pulled out the hornwort and put back all the healthy looking growth so not to mess with the plant mass of the tank too suddenly. Sorted through the debris piles and so far removed and replanted most of the P. gayi, some rooted itself through the debris! Planted the stray Marsilia. Now have lots of bare java fern rhizomes and tiny Bolbitis plants to find homes for. Will be moving the green crypts from left to somewhere else, cut back and move the extremely happy Anubias that is pushing on the front of the tank and hope the pennywort and gayi get happy soon. Pulled off dead looking moss and to my surprise it has started growing again.

BBA vanished but the plaques it forms on wood are still there. GSA stuck around. Cyano appeared especially in the hornwort thicket. I had a huge layer of cyano on the back left hand side of the tank that kept creeping towards the middle of the tank. Critters were eating it so it got all sorts of creepy holes in it. Finally got tired of watching it so wiped it off with paper towels so it was completely removed from tank. Have a couple photos on my phone but there they stay for now.

Since plant mass is much reduced I have been dosing with a lot less fertilizer so GSA is going to continue to form I think. I did wipe most off best I could this week though. I found window screen and have put it on top of the tank to screen light. Before I did anything even started changing water I did dump some N and P into the tank. Inside a week I could see tiny new java fern leaves appearing. They are now 3" long or so. The bare pennywort stems started growing new leaves but new growth is feeble with only 1" leaves. Even putting CO2 back on the tank last week hasn't perked up pennywort yet although I do see a lot of pearling going on.

Continuing plan of action? Go through the debris, toss dead stuff and glue/plant living stuff around the tank. Keep up water changes and keep feeding the plants. Move the plants mentioned, possibly buying more stems and ground covering plants. Increase Corydoras, Congo tetra numbers and probably buy a couple more pairs of platies as they have been breeding for 4 years without new blood. Oh - get up energy to get sponges out of sump and slap them around. Pretty sure they need it by now! Should be fine, I am improving daily and need to get moving.

Even before my injury I wasn't doing much in the tank. The attached photo is from February 2014 and obviously I wasn't doing a lot of pruning! That Ginger is a time sucker let me tell you!
11-07-2014 05:07 PM
jfynyson Any updates here ? I've always loved the looks of the tank...
08-07-2013 02:48 PM
jfynyson Tank is still looking great. I always love coming back to see your tank. My water parameters are very very close to yours. I'm seeing good growth (have to do bi-weekly trimming of some plants). I know you've mentioned you've had your bouts with algae. Have you ever experienced green beard algae (aka fuzz algae) ? If so what did you do ? I also have platies but I do not see them peaking at this stuff. My otos do not touch it either. DarkCobra's 1-2 punch with H2O2 & Excel do not touch this stuff either. I cannot find any info at all with regards to why I'm seeing this in the past month in my system when things were going so well. Thinking about trying black mollies as they may hit it up a bit.


I have 135gal high light (~ 80-100 PAR from LEDs at substrate) for 7 hrs (cut down from 8hrs), running about 40ppm CO2 (I titrated it), dosing EI (keeping NO3 around 30-40ppm, phos around 2-5ppm, adding potassium at same level as NO3, adding micros & Mg sulfate at same level as micros). I have good flow across the top of the water with a powerhead on each tank end(maybe too much as some plants lean side to side vs a gentle sway ???), add air stone at night, perform 50-60% WC weekly.
08-07-2013 05:43 AM
Kathyy
Quote:
Originally Posted by shawnleon View Post
Love the density of the scape, everything flows nicely and feels very organic. The rocks feel appropriately sized and blend in nicely. How are the Congo tetras treating the ferns?
Thanks! I have been trying avoid total anarchy by having a stronger hardscape than I have ever put together but it is rapidly vanishing. I think I have seen a couple of fern samples taken but so far they have been able to outgrow any grazing. I love my rocks but a neighbor has a larger one just rolling around the shrubbery and am thinking of asking if he wouldn't mind rehoming that one and any others he has that aren't being used. It would be nice to have fewer and larger rocks as they just vanish under the plants. You think that looks dense, the ferns have been going nuts for the past 2 months.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rustbucket View Post
Looking so nice, and the Congos!!!!!!!!! I'll switch my plants to suit them if I have too, love these fish so much, and yours are gorgeous
They sure are gorgeous!

Quote:
Originally Posted by HD Blazingwolf View Post
very true statement
i find this very so in my 75 gallon. i have 324 watts sitting over it from a Tek fixture
i've missed a water change before... BAD idea
It is amazing what a difference they make! Last summer the tank missed maybe 2 changes and what a mess I came home to!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jfynyson View Post
Curious. Could you share what your latest tank parameters are ?

temp
pH
KH
CO2 set up & bps
NO3
PO4
Dosing frequency
etc...
temp - about 76*F but the thermometer is in the sump and hard to read!
pH - 6.2-6.4 with CO2 on, 7.6 when it turns on each day.
KH - I think it is between 3-4 but my test is really old.
CO2 - set up & bps A 20" Cerges reactor powered by a RIO 2500 on its own open loop sitting in the sump. Cannot count the bubbles per second but 10 pounds of CO2 lasts for about a month.
NO3 - varies depending on how many water changes I do, 5-10 if 75% 2x a week, 30 if 50% 1x a week
PO4 - I haven't used the test lately but it was quite high last time. Plants did not like 2x 75% water changes with the same dosing I do at 1x and 50% change. I sure did though, the water was so clear and clean and there seemed to be less algae starting up.
Dosing frequency - 3x a week NO3+P, 3x a week micros, at water change I currently only dose Mg and Ca as I ran out of K. Staurogyne repens really took off when I was using the K.

On to the photos. I have been enjoying the tank and haven't missed water changes and even took out all the stems and reorganized them but my main obsession for the past month has been my new little 19 pound dog Ginger. Working on the fat [couldn't feel any torso bones at all when she came home], no longer flea ridden [I couldn't sleep the first night because I was itchy in sympathy with the poor thing] and a spunky fun little dog. She is supposed to be about 5 years old and really looks up to 13 year old Max. Have been reading up on going slow with a new dog and have mostly resisted heavy training but she is taking a lot of my brain power lately. Simply having her stay out of the kitchen at meal prep time has been quite a lot of work as she is really good at hiding behind me without getting stepped on. She looks to be a min pin/chihuahua/pomeranian/spaniel/JRT sort of dog. Be really interesting if she is actually a large flop eared long haired 'landrace' chihuahua as I have long been interested in natural breeds.
Attachment 187673

Tank today after a 75% water change and a week's worth of growth on stems. Giving up on pennywort in the fastest water movement. That mystery stem is very stiff and doing much better in that spot. I think it is Proserpinaca palustris but a very vigorous one that isn't getting red or divided leaves in my tank.
Attachment 187697

What the tank looked like before I did the weeding out last week and another just before I rehomed the enormous narrow leaf java fern. Most of the java is now the dwarf one which isn't so dwarf anymore. I really like the way it grows but of course it needs to be pruned and I will let it grow until that wood is completely covered...........
05-21-2013 02:47 AM
jfynyson Curious. Could you share what your latest tank parameters are ?

temp
pH
KH
CO2 set up & bps
NO3
PO4
Dosing frequency
etc...
05-20-2013 10:03 PM
nikonD70s looking good as always kathy. congo's look so much better in a planted tank. changed my substrate back to white sand the my congo's arent as nice. makes me want to sell all congos. or go back to planted.
05-20-2013 09:30 PM
HD Blazingwolf
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathyy View Post
I suspect keeping water really clean may be quite important to fighting algae at least in a bright CO2 injected tank.
very true statement
i find this very so in my 75 gallon. i have 324 watts sitting over it from a Tek fixture
i've missed a water change before... BAD idea
05-20-2013 04:27 PM
rustbucket Looking so nice, and the Congos!!!!!!!!! I'll switch my plants to suit them if I have too, love these fish so much, and yours are gorgeous
05-20-2013 03:32 PM
Kathyy Java, no interest. Bolbitis, I have seen them eying them and I think one took a chunk off one time - and that is how the H. sibthorpioides feasting started. Leaving the fine leaved plants alone though. It took them a year to decide they wanted fresh greens and they still stay away from the zucchini. Maybe I will try blanching some greens for them.

Thanks. It took me a long time to realize an aquarium scape needs to come from the same place as a terrestrial garden - the hard scape comes first. Once the shape is in you can figure out what plants go where. Ideally I would be choosing plants to fit the scape rather than placing the plants I have in the best spot for them in the tank but haven't gotten there yet.
05-20-2013 09:35 AM
shawnleon
180 Gallons of Ferny Wood

Love the density of the scape, everything flows nicely and feels very organic. The rocks feel appropriately sized and blend in nicely. How are the Congo tetras treating the ferns?
05-20-2013 07:06 AM
Kathyy Really haven't abandoned my tank, it is going strong. Just haven't taken any photos until tonight. Didn't wipe the drips off the tank, didn't wipe the GSA off the bottom of the panes, didn't do any pruning either though. Fish are happy and BBA is hanging on as a minor nuisance. I cannot see any algae from my chair, the plants are looking nice and I like the way the fish swim around my scape.

Rehomed most of the narrow leaved java fern and all the red java fern. No idea how large a tank the red java fern deserves, a lot larger than mine! It grew like a super sized trident for the most part, really big. The many stems in the back are all showing up now and I am liking all the variety. Potamogeton gayi, Proserpinaca palustris 'Cuba' I think, Rotala rotundifolia, Hygrophilia polysperma, Lysimachia nummularia and my old favorites Hydrocotyle leucocephala and Myriophyllum mattogrossense plus a little of the red Ludwigia are on the right and the left center has Persicaria sp. 'Kawagoeanum'. A scrap of hornwort has finally grown into something healthy and is anchored around a branch. It would rather wind around the java fern though. Need to work on what goes where I suppose.... later. I am thinking some stems look good mixed together and some don't.

FTS. Moved my java fern island to where the red java fern was before and some Blyxa japonica is in its place. The Trident java fern and the island really clashed. I didn't know Trident grew so large! That female Congo tetra reduced the Hydrocotyle sibthorpioides to stems and the Lindernia had no where else to go so am trying it in the dark right front corner. It looks nice but not sure it will do well. I put the H. sibthorpioides stems into a little glass jar with a bit of potting soil to see if it can grow back from bare stems just in moist air. A strand of java moss got in there as well.


Center of tank, love the way the rock and wood fit together and the crypt is finally showing its stuff. Staurogyne repens has decided to hunker down and grow nice and thick but it still doesn't look right. Marsilea has thickened into a nice carpet again out of sight on the left and there is a small amount of Elatine triandra that might get S. repens evicted once and for all if it takes off. It is scattered all through the front of the tank. Right where the two rocks meet is a 9 leaved Buce of some sort. It has had 9 leaves for a couple weeks but it was a cutting that now has 3 strong roots so that counts for something. It is tied to a small rock as the actual stem still wobbles a bit.
05-08-2013 09:27 PM
Dfektor Again super work! A beauty of a tank!
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