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Complexity 07-06-2012 08:49 PM

Complexity Journal: 90g "High Tech" Planted Tank / Welcome to my mess!
I figure it's time I make a journal for this tank. I've had the tank for a few years, but it used to be a non-planted cichlid tank. I decided to switch it to a planted tank a few months ago.

Tank Specs:
90 gallon tank – 48" length x 18" width x 24" heigth
Lighting - TEK T5HO 4x54w with Geisseman Aquaflora and Midday bulbs
Photoperiod – 12 hours (2 bulbs) with a 3 hour noon burst (4 bulbs)
Filtration – Two Rena Filstar XP4 canister filters
Filtration Tubing – Two Customflo Water System by Lifegard Aquatics
Substrate – Eco Complete
CO2 – Pressurized system, Milwaukee regulator, pH controller, Rex Griggs style reactor
UV Sterilizer – Coralife Turbo Twist 12x 36w
Fertilization – EI dosing with dry fertilizers
Water Changes – 50% weekly
I've been using this tank to help me keep some of my plants going while I've redone my 75g. I had a terrible algae outbreak shortly after getting this tank started, but H2O2 treatments resolved that. There's still a little algae on some of the old growth, but the new growth is looking really good.

Here are some pics I took on June 30. The plants are growing so fast, many have reached the surface and have folded over several inches already. I plan to transfer some of these plants to my 75g tank.

At this point, this tank is not scaped. Once my 75g tank settles down (it's going through the end of an algae phase), I will then scape both tanks.

So here's my jungled up mess of plants! :smile:

Starting out with a couple of full tank shots.

Mixed up Ludwigia. I received Ludwigia x Arcuata and Ludwigia x Lacustris, but they were mixed up in the box so I couldn't tell which one was which. So I planted them all together, hoping I could sort them out once they grew. Now they've grown, I need to figure out which is which. I hope I can! It's hard to tell when I look at them in the tank!

I'll be pulling these out and moving them to my 75g tank (at least one of the species) since they're fast growers.

Tucked in the back is some Heteranthera zosterifolia (star grass). It grows really nice in this tank.

When this Nymphoides taiwan first arrived, it looked terrible. Most of its leaves fell off the instant I picked it up. But I planted it anyway since you never know. Well, it recovered. And then it grew. And then it flourished. And now it's taking over my tank! Ack!

In the 7 days since I took these pics, this plant has at least tripled (maybe quadrupled) its leaf size at the top. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with this plant. It's a monster! But it's really pretty.

This is my red tiger lotus, Nymphaea zenkeri. It's also growing like gangbusters now. There's actually about 3 plants here. I got some really nice ones in the SNS here which just thrilled me. The leaves are starting to grow larger than the palm of my hand.

I also got a little baby red tiger lotus plant that was so small, I had to use a lead weight to hold it down so the roots could touch the substrate. It's doing great and will be ready for a tank of its own sometime soon.

This is Staurogyne 'low grow' which everyone keeps saying is really easy to grow, but it's not doing the greatest in my tanks. It almost died, but it's recovering and putting out new shoots. I'll separate them and plant them separately when I actually scape the tank. I'm not sure how I feel about this plant yet.

This is Bacopa Caroliniana. I have a lot of different Bacopa plants so I wasn't really wanting another, but it cane with a plant package so I figured why not. This plant has started putting out enormous leaves! They're at least twice the size they were when I first got it. It's not like my other Bacopas. I'm really liking this one. I can't wait to work this one into a real scape somehow.

Just a couple of pics showing some of my other plants. There's Hygrophila 'Araguaia' which grows like a weed.

I think the tall plant on the right is supposed to be Limnophila sessiliflora, but it's growing so stretched out that it's not looking right. I need to move it out of this tank and into a low tech tank. Apparently, the space between the nodes is affected by the light, and high light encourages longer spaces. So this plant has to go from this tank.

I'm pretty sure the green crypt in the picture is Cryptocoryne ciliata, but I also bought Cryptocoryne pontederiifolia at the same time so I may have the ID mixed up. It barely grew in my low tech tank, but has really started to take off in this tank.

There are a bunch of other plants jumbled in here, as well, but I'm not going to list them all. There are just too many to name each and every one of them.

One of the things I love most about this tank is how the plants pearl. There is just something mesmerizing about the pearling that captures me. Here is one of my Bacopas about to release a large pearl of oxygen.

And that's my 90g tank! It's a huge mess right now, but my original goal of getting the plants to grow has been met. Once I get my 75g to grow plants like this, I can then scape both tanks.

Complexity 07-11-2012 07:44 PM

The plants are growing like crazy in this tank! I had so many hitting the surface and folding over that I had to do a major trimming this last weekend. I also moved some of the plants over to my 75g tank since this one is getting overly crowded.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do with the Nymphoides taiwan. That plant is growing beyond belief! I ended up removing all its leaves. I must have had 20 new plants growing from it. I replanted two of them in one of my low tech 29g tanks. If it can grow there, then I may remove it from the 90g. I think this plant is too fast growing for a high tech tank.

Ran out of CO2 today. It was funny because I was looking at the tank and noticed the drop checker color wasn't as yellow as normal; it had turned slightly green. So I checked the CO2, and sure enough, it was empty. Fortunately, I have a spare cylinder filled up for just this reason. I was able to switch to a full cylinder and get the CO2 up and running immediately. :smile:

akdylpickles 07-11-2012 11:26 PM

Tank looks great! :)

HunterX 07-11-2012 11:55 PM

It looks great!

Complexity 07-11-2012 11:59 PM

Thanks guys! It looks like a jungle mess to me! LOL!

I have no idea how I'm going to scape this tank and my 75g when the time comes. I have too many plants, and it's hard for me to let go of perfectly good trimmings.

akdylpickles 07-12-2012 01:31 AM

are you sure the tank is only 20 in tall? most 90s are 24in tall.

have any pics of the Pelvicachromis taeniatus 'Moliwe'? :D

Complexity 07-12-2012 02:35 AM

It could be 24" tall. Hmm... let me measure real quick. Yeah, you're right, it's 24" tall. I need to fix that. Thanks for catching it!

So far the 'Moliwe' are juveniles so they're hard to get pics. I should have 5 in the tank (lost one of the original 6). I've only seen 3 at a given time, but it's a big tank. I have 12 more juveniles in a 6.6g QT which I'm about ready to switch to my 29g so they can fatten up a little more. Then I'll move them to the 90g.

I was trying to get pics of the fissidens earlier, and I think I got one of the juvies in the pic.

pejerrey 07-12-2012 03:38 AM

Very nice plants man! You should see what a red cabomba will do in such conditions!

Anyhow, congratulations for the growth! Exited to see you rescape!

Complexity 07-12-2012 04:27 AM

Thanks, Pejerrey! I've heard that amanos like to eat cabomba. If that's true, then it has no chance in my tank since I like to keep tons of amanos. If not, then I'd love to add red cabomba. The purple cabomba is doing well in my 75g tank, and that one's not growing plants as well as this one yet. It's really pretty when it pearls!

Complexity 08-03-2012 10:01 PM

The plants in this tank are growing like mad now. I've increased the lighting from a 3 hour burst to a 5 hour burst. So the tank is getting a 12 hour photoperiod with 7 of those hours running 2 bulbs and 5 of those hours running 4 bulbs.

I've noticed improved growth in some of the plants, especially the Limnophila aromatica. It was growing pretty leggy, but now the growth is much more compact and starting to shift sideways, indicating that it's happy with the extra light.

The Nymphoides taiwan and red tiger lotus are both growing huge! The Nymphoides taiwan has grown to the surface twice with about 25 huge leaves. I cut it back once already, and today I cut all the leaves off, leaving just the base plant and roots. If it grows back, fine. If not, fine. It was just too big the way it was! I will have to remove it from this tank if I can't get it under control.

The red tiger lotus is putting put HUGE leaves! The leaves are as big as my hand with my fingers spread out! I cut out about 7 leaves the other day, but it just put out a ton more. So I cut out about 15 of the huge leaves today, leaving only the smaller new leaves at the base. I know it'll grow back fast. I wanted a big red tiger lotus, but I have never seen one with such huge leaves before! Fortunately, it's not trying to put out surface leaves so I'm happy about that.

The plants are growing so well that I'm having to do some major pruning to quite a few. I'm uprooting them, picking out the best 5-10 stem tops, and replanting those. There are so many plants in the tank, they're fighting for space to grow, and I'm fighting to find places to plant them all which is why I'm thinning some out now.

I really need to scape this tank, but I'm not sure how I want to scape it yet. I have a lot of different crypts that I need to move around which isn't helping with the space problem.

Eventually, I'll figure out how to use my new fancy camera so I can take some pics! I've just been really busy this last week so I haven't had time to read up on it yet.

OVT 08-08-2012 11:34 AM

Looking really, really good.
Nymphaea zenkeri sp. "HUGE" is looking fat and happy :)

Complexity 08-08-2012 05:14 PM


Originally Posted by OVT (Post 1971699)
Looking really, really good.
Nymphaea zenkeri sp. "HUGE" is looking fat and happy :)

Thanks! You haven't seen anything yet. It turns out the ID was wrong. I now believe it is more correctly identified as Nymphaea zenkeri sp. "GARGANTUAN"! :hihi: I have never seen one so large before in my life. The leaves are larger than my hand with my fingers fully extended!

I wonder where in the heck I could have gotten such a majestic plant like this? Hmmm.... :wink:

OVT 08-08-2012 09:28 PM

Must be good genes: the mother was 18" x 18" x 18" :)

Complexity 08-08-2012 10:02 PM

I believe it! You definitely sold me some excellent plants! :hihi:

Plus, it's very happy in that tank. The others that I put in my 75g have struggled, but it's only because that tank has struggled more. It's actually been quite interesting to watch how plants in the two tanks have reacted. I split many of the plants between the two tanks (hedging my bets) so I was able to see how they responded to the different environment. It was very clear that the tank made a big difference in the success of the plants.

Even though I put the largest red tiger lotus in the 90g, I still put the next largest one in my 75g (trying to balance them out). I also put the very tiny baby in my 90g in another spot.

The red tiger lotuses in my 90g have become massive and explosive. Not just one plant, but all the plants I put as the centerpiece. However, the lotuses I put in my 75g have actually decreased in size. They lost their larger leaves and only the smaller leaves have survived. They are just now beginning to show signs of recovering (which matches the condition of the 75g in general).

Even the tiny baby lotus I put in the 90g has grown very nicely to the point it is larger than some of the small lotus plants I put in my 75g tank. That tiny baby was originally so small, I had to loop a plant weight around the base to hold it down. It didn't have enough of a base to actually plant in the substrate. But now it's definitely ready for me to move elsewhere.

BTW, remember my confusion of the different ludwigias? I think I may have finally managed to pick out at least two of the stems to be Ludwigia x lacustris. After I let them all grow, I noticed that a couple of the stems didn't branch out like the rest. So I separated them from the others. They are now beginning to show more of a rust/orange color. So I'm beginning to think they may be the Ludwigia x lacustris. I'm still not positive as I may have as many as 5 different Ludwigia species in my tanks so it's hard to figure out which one is which, but I'm hoping I'm beginning to get them all straight.

akdylpickles 08-09-2012 12:58 AM

We need some new pics! :)

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