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Old 03-24-2013, 11:49 AM   #33
OVT
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Default First trim and evaluation

As per my previous post, it is time to trim and check the plants more closely for the first signs of trouble.

Without doing pre- and post- planting dry weight test, I am guessing that the plant mass doubled in the last ~ weeks. The surface is now ~75% covered with pennywort, water sprite, L. repens, S. sessiliflora and R. 'Bangladesh'. I trim the L. repens to ~4" off the substrate, remove the trailing water sprite stems and shove the rotala to the side. This gives me better access to the mass of floating pennywort.

The first thing I do is check the roots: they are long, bushy and dense. The bad news is that I'm seeing some strands of the thread algae. Not really unexpected. Based on this appearance I take two remedial actions: I thin the plants more then I initially wanted (to improve circulation) and I raise the water level ~ 1/4" to slightly reduce the o2. I trim off ~1/2 of the plant to open the substrate to more light.

Blyxa is next: it looks green, healthy and ready to take over whatever space is left. I pull out the longest stems and check the roots. The roots are long and healthy. The roots on the water sprite are partially in and out of the substrate and looking white and healthy, with no signs of rot. Given the state of the roots on Blyxa and the water sprite, I will not vacuum or loosen the substrate.

Vesuvius is next: I remove several decaying blades and check the runners. I find at least 3. I remove the longest, which is snaking all over the tank. That guy has 9 plantets (smile). Even with a bunch of runners, the plant is staying put and I see no signs of rot on the roots visible above the substrate. Another indicator to leave the substrate alone.

The S. sessiliflora is looking better then in any of my high-light co2-injected tanks (as expected). It is now snaking across the surface from the back corner to the front. That's about 10". I really do not want to reduce the plant load in this small tank too much too fast. So, I leave it and the rest of the plants be.

I check the trimmed stems of L. repens in the white kitchen sink. Only against the white background I can see that the top of the leaves are not completely green but do have just a touch of color. I check the leaves' edges and do not find any bites from snails (more on this later). I also do not find GSA on the lower leaves. Therefore, I will not change my fert dosing just yet.

I check the R. 'bangladesh' and it looks totally green in the tank. The internodes are on the longer side, telling me that it could use a bit more light.

As I have removed a chunk of floating plants, it will be interesting to see if more light will benefit the rotala and the L. repens.

With the exception of a couple of rotten stems on Vesuvius, there are no rotting matter in the tank. That's good news. I check the outflow, the rocks, and the tank corners for BBA. I cannot find any (another smile). If BBA does not show up on it's own, I will do a 'BBA test' in a couple of weeks.

The last thing I do is double-check the glass for GDA and GSA. I only find some spots around the tank. I take a bunch of pictures and, lo and behold, they show a lot more GDA and GSA that I could see with my naked eyes. The glass will get cleaned at the next water change and I make a mental note to dump in some extra K.

Overall, I am happy. So far, my initial guesses on light, ferts, and flow seem to be holding. But the tank is not even 2 months old and popping open the champagne would be a bit premature.

Remedial Actions Summary:
- add K at next WC
- raise water level ~ 1/4"
- keep checking for green thread algae and BBA
- keep everything else the same


The trimming bounty:
(check the roots on Blyxa, the color of L. repens and pennywort and the length of that single runner)



After the trim
Front:



Top:



Back:



Too long internodes on R. 'Bangladesh':



The picture that showed me algae on the glass:


Last edited by OVT; 03-24-2013 at 12:11 PM.. Reason: pics
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