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Old 04-05-2013, 08:36 PM   #31
ETK
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Cool idea, that elatine triandra looks nice. My Rotala is growing really low and bushy in the front, and this looks similar but even lower. I read a little about it, and it looks like it's a stem, but will also spread? Do you just let it spread, or do you replant the trimming like a stem plant?

BTW, nice tank! looks like a similar basic driftwood structure as mine. One problem I am having is that BBA seems to love the upper bare branches that are exposed to lots of light . . . I am still working on the CO2 levels, which might help.
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Old 04-05-2013, 09:44 PM   #32
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Cool idea, that elatine triandra looks nice. My Rotala is growing really low and bushy in the front, and this looks similar but even lower. I read a little about it, and it looks like it's a stem, but will also spread? Do you just let it spread, or do you replant the trimming like a stem plant?

BTW, nice tank! looks like a similar basic driftwood structure as mine. One problem I am having is that BBA seems to love the upper bare branches that are exposed to lots of light . . . I am still working on the CO2 levels, which might help.
It will grow like most carpet plants, spread out along the substrate via runners.

Spot dose the bba with excel (i find it works better than h202)with the filters off, let it sit for 20 min. It should turn the bba a red/grey color within 6 hours or so, which is then easier to remove.

I seem to always get a few patches of b.b.a on wood in a new tank, as your plants are growing, the tank has a higher c02 demand than say a month ago, so this causes a drop in c02 levels and can induce algae, especially b.b.a as it likes fluctuating c02 levels. So stay on top of the c02, increase it slowly as your tank fills in more densely. make sure you have plenty of surface ripple, and attack the algae as you see it before it spreads.

edit, another idea on the bba. The way your outflow is setup, the flow is broken up between the heater and the c02 reactor. C02 becomes harder to dissolve as the ppm rises, so when the tank has say 30ppm, c02 is going to be harder to dissolve than say at 10ppm. This will create a larger pocket of air in the reactor later in the c02 schedule, which will also create more back pressure and push more water toward the heater, so this is probably creating a large variation is the amount of water being driven through the reactor, in turn creating a fluctuation in c02, which bba loves.
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Old 04-06-2013, 12:00 AM   #33
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I don't know how I missed this one before, but it is fantastic.
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Old 04-06-2013, 01:48 AM   #34
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Thanks Mike!
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Old 04-10-2013, 11:49 PM   #35
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Your tank is looking great. Are you still happy with the manifold setup for your equipment?

I am going to build mine this weekend. I keep putting it off. I think for pipe size I will go with 1/2 to save on cost and room in the stand.
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:58 AM   #36
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Hi Marc! Yeah, still happy with the manifold. No problems at all.

I did notice decreased flow a while back, but the cause was pretty obvious when I opened the filter: the polishing pad I had added was completely clogged with gunk. I replaced it this time, but I know I will get tired replacing it often, so eventually I will just add more bio media. I think the coarse pads that go around the media baskets of the FX5 are probably plenty of mechanical filtration. My water has been super clear, though, so maybe the polishing pad is worth the extra maintenance.

I am glad you are going to build a manifold; Post pics when you do! I don't know why more people don't use plumbing like this. I think people are worried about plumbing things in parallel. So far it works for me, and you can be guinea pig number two!
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Old 04-11-2013, 01:24 AM   #37
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Did a major trim, and cleared out some of the stem plants in the front. It really helped the sense of depth of the tank, although that is hard to show in pictures. Now I just need to choose some mid-ground plants to fill in the edges of the valley. Still considering the suggestions above--thanks again.

The riccia rocks are doing great, and I have added a few more from the trimmings. Man that stuff grows fast!Click image for larger version

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Old 04-11-2013, 03:38 AM   #38
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Hi Marc! Yeah, still happy with the manifold. No problems at all.

I did notice decreased flow a while back, but the cause was pretty obvious when I opened the filter: the polishing pad I had added was completely clogged with gunk. I replaced it this time, but I know I will get tired replacing it often, so eventually I will just add more bio media. I think the coarse pads that go around the media baskets of the FX5 are probably plenty of mechanical filtration. My water has been super clear, though, so maybe the polishing pad is worth the extra maintenance.

I am glad you are going to build a manifold; Post pics when you do! I don't know why more people don't use plumbing like this. I think people are worried about plumbing things in parallel. So far it works for me, and you can be guinea pig number two!
Thanks for the info. Yeah I hope to get it built this weekend.

Did you use 1 inch vinyl from canister to the manifold, then to the tank? I was going to order some black vinyl from marinedepot.
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Old 04-11-2013, 05:25 AM   #39
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Yes, 1" vinyl from canister to manifold, but I used the stock ribbed tubing to go from the manifold to the tank. It already has a rubber connector that fits on a 1" hose barb. That way you can use the stock fx5 tubing for both the inflow and outflow from the tank.
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Old 04-28-2013, 08:45 PM   #40
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Update: HC is really filling in. I have had some BBA issues, but I think I think it is receding now. I spot dosed H2O2, and also increased my co2, and I think it's working. I had to trim the alternanthera reinekii pretty aggressively, but its a pretty fast grower so I should be able to replant the stems soon. Right now there are some scraggly stems showing where I had to trim leaves that had BBA.

Still haven't decided on a mid ground plant to replace the stems in the front corners with. I want to wait until the BBA is gone before I change anything.

The angelfish spawned again, using an Anubia leaf again. Several eggs have already turned opaque, though, so I don't think these eggs are fertile. The parents are doing a great job fanning and guarding them, though.Click image for larger version

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Old 06-18-2013, 06:39 PM   #41
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Great tank man!
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Old 06-18-2013, 08:28 PM   #42
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Great tank man!
Thanks! Here are some current pics that I took last night.

I had some BBA issues, and then some minor hair algae issues, both of which seem to be in check now. More CO2, and more flow (opened up the bypass in the manifold a little) seemed to be the answer.

The driftwood was pretty well covered in BBA, so i removed it and scrubbed some off and drizzled it with H202 as well. This also gave me an opportunity to take off the rocks that were tied on with fishing line. I could see some of the fishing line, which really bugged me. Now the wood sinks on its own.

I also took the opportunity to pour more sand in and around the driftwood to bring back the original "Valley" look that I was going for. The sand had flattened out a lot. I am hopping the HC will spread up to the driftwood and hold the sand in place.

The stem plants in the back are still recovering from a replanting I did a while ago. I replanted them since they were getting a little too bushy and/or scraggly in the back.
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Old 07-16-2013, 04:40 AM   #43
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Here is the tank as it sits. Almost no algae right now. I had the algae under control with more co2 and more height for the light, and then excel spot treatment has really knocked almost all the rest out.

I have been trimming the rotala a lot to make it bushier. I think I need to add another kind of stem plant in the background next, and maybe some more medium sized crypts to the front left and right.
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Old 08-14-2013, 03:39 AM   #44
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I just got back from vacation, and the tank got pretty jungly. I think I like it, but I will need to thin things out pretty soon.

HC is filling in nicely. The red stem plant has developed some holes in some leaves. Not sure why, might mean I need to top them and replant the tips. Old growth always gets scraggly eventually.Click image for larger version

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ID:	191602as well as the large anubias.
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Old 03-10-2014, 12:37 AM   #45
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Had to do a tear-down and rescape the whole tank due to a problem with the cabinet...

The HC carpet was starting to uproot anyway, so it was a good opportunity to replant anyway. I also added a lot more slope back to the substrate and rearranged things. If the HC roots and spreads quickly enough maybe it will stabilize the slope some.

At this point, since the crypts and anubias are doing so well, I have removed all almost all the stem plants. No room for them now! The crypts are huge.

Still have some bba, but not bad. I used H2O2 on the driftwood when the tank was down, so that should help knock the bba down a bit.
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