ua hua's 90 gal. High Tech NEW SCAPE started8-31-13(new pics) - Page 6
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Old 09-04-2013, 03:40 AM   #76
ua hua
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Day4:

I finally tested my water today just to see where I was sitting with the ammonia levels and I was quite surprised that the NH3 was not higher.

Parameters are as follows:
pH: 6.2 (7.2-7.4 out of tap)
NH3: .25 ppm
NO2: 1.0 ppm
gH: 3
kH: 6

My kH before the Aquasoil was always around 12dkH so the Aquasoil has drastically lowered my kH which is a good thing. I always had problems growing Rotala macrandra and for some reason I attributed that to my high kH as I know it does best in lower kH so may try adding it in the future to see if it was in fact my water or if it was just me that can't grow it. I still have nothing but a good experience with the Aquasoil so far. The stem plants are all staying well rooted which I always had a hard time with more fragile stem plants using Flourite.

For those that use Aquasoil I'm curious how long the buffering capabilities last for the Aquasoil?
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Old 09-04-2013, 04:27 AM   #77
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You are well on your way to another beautiful jungle.

The new AS seems to leach about 1/2 ammonia then the old one. With a tankfull of plants and established media, the cycling now takes 5-10 days based on the amount of AS. My very first AS tank took almost a month.

I cannot speak to AS buffering ability as my tap and tank water hover around 3 kH 6 dH. I cannot find any real data on how they actually achieve it. I am guessing that a ton of organic matter does not hurt. Another good news of old vs new is that the balls stay intact longer. My oldest ~3 years AS is all of a sudden in a rapid decline: I am seeing more and more AS dust on top of substrate and plants.

v2
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Old 09-04-2013, 05:34 PM   #78
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Originally Posted by OVT View Post
You are well on your way to another beautiful jungle.

The new AS seems to leach about 1/2 ammonia then the old one. With a tankfull of plants and established media, the cycling now takes 5-10 days based on the amount of AS. My very first AS tank took almost a month.

I cannot speak to AS buffering ability as my tap and tank water hover around 3 kH 6 dH. I cannot find any real data on how they actually achieve it. I am guessing that a ton of organic matter does not hurt. Another good news of old vs new is that the balls stay intact longer. My oldest ~3 years AS is all of a sudden in a rapid decline: I am seeing more and more AS dust on top of substrate and plants.

v2
I was really surprised at the low ammonia levels after only 4 days so at this rate it should be cycled in less than a month for sure. I did keep my filters running while doing the rescape so I would hopefully save the bacteria so that should help speed things along. The sooner the better as I finally found some Apisto panduro but was going to wait until the cooler weather to order them. They are only sold as unsexed pairs so hopefully if I order 4-6 I won't end up with all the same sex. I will also be getting some blue emperor tetras to put along with the rummynose.
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Old 09-07-2013, 04:35 AM   #79
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One week update:

Another huge water change yesterday and I think in another week my ammonia levels should be safe to add fish but I will have to wait and see. The L. sp. red had quite a bit of melt and only 2 stems are ok as the other were turning to mush so hopefully the two that are left will fill in or I will have to get some more. I'm thinking of another red plant but haven't yet decided if I will try my luck with my nemesis rotala macrandra. I have some white fungus growing on some of the branches that I hope goes away soon as it really bugs me.













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Old 09-07-2013, 05:26 AM   #80
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looking forward to seeing your blue emperor tetras. never had them myself. some pics look fantastic and others, sorta washed out.

your new scape looks great.

thanks,
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Old 09-08-2013, 06:21 PM   #81
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looking forward to seeing your blue emperor tetras. never had them myself. some pics look fantastic and others, sorta washed out.

your new scape looks great.

thanks,
Thank you. The blue emperor(Inpaichthys kerri) are really beautiful if you see them in person. I have had them before and I really liked them. They can be a little aggressive for a tetra but if you have a large enough school they are fine. I will be placing an order with Wetspot sometime at the end of Sept. and will be getting the blue emperors and some Apistos.

I'm looking to add my plant nemesis rotala macrandra to the tank to see if the lower kH will help me with this plant or if I just suck at growing it. I'm also trying to find some Ammania gracilis even though I know this plant gets huge I think it would look nice it the background but I haven't seen too many people selling this plant for some time so might have to look for another option.
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Old 09-08-2013, 07:24 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by ua hua View Post
Thank you. The blue emperor(Inpaichthys kerri) are really beautiful if you see them in person. I have had them before and I really liked them. They can be a little aggressive for a tetra but if you have a large enough school they are fine. I will be placing an order with Wetspot sometime at the end of Sept. and will be getting the blue emperors and some Apistos.

I'm looking to add my plant nemesis rotala macrandra to the tank to see if the lower kH will help me with this plant or if I just suck at growing it. I'm also trying to find some Ammania gracilis even though I know this plant gets huge I think it would look nice it the background but I haven't seen too many people selling this plant for some time so might have to look for another option.
i've been tempted to get some from ab too. from some pics, i have no doubt they're gorgeous once settled in a nice tank. i'll live vicariously thru you for the time being!!!! best of luck and looking forward to seeing them.

thanks,
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Old 09-12-2013, 01:52 AM   #83
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Day 12:

pH: 6.2
NH3: 0 ppm
NO2: .25 ppm
gH: 3
kH: 7

I don't see any NH3 detectable on the test kit but with the NO2 at .25ppm I know that there is still some NH3 but with those crappy test kits it's hard to tell. I will wait another week before adding any livestock to the tank. I plan on getting about 25 amano shrimp to keep the any algae at bay during the first month or so after starting.

I have been having GDA forming on the glass after a few days which is annoying to say the least. I wish I knew what to do to keep this algae from growing on the glass but I'm at a loss. No other signs of algae and the plants are growing really good. The P. stellatus has put out several side shoots and has grown about 6". The bylxa has grown considerably also. I will be adding my nemesis rotala macrandra some time next week, so fingers crossed that I can grow it this time. I would also like to add some Ludwigia inclinata red at some point but may wait for another week or two.
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Old 09-18-2013, 05:04 AM   #84
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Day 18:

Everything is growing exceptionally well and faster than I expected. The elatine has been trimmed twice already and will need another major trim by next week. The P. stellatus has grown to the top of my tank and has been shooting out about 6-8 sideshoots on each of the stems. I added some "true" sagitaria sublata, l. cuba tornado, ammania gracilis, hyrgo brown. I don't know how the h. brown will work in the tank as it grows really fast but will wait and see. I don't plan on adding any more plants except for rotala macrandra.

I have been getting GDA on the glass a couple of days after cleaning it but if that's the worst for the algae I can deal with cleaning the glass. I just wish it wasn't there so worst case scenario I will do the wait 21 days then wipe treatment. I was having this brown stringy looking algae that I think was some kind of diatom algae but after doing water changes every other day it's gone. I will be adding 20 Amano shrimp and 10 otos from Rachel for the time being next week before adding the rummies back into the mix.

I wish someone could give me a tutorial for idiots on how to take photos of an aquarium because no matter how many I take they all look like crap. I have a decent Nikon dslr camera but the operator knows absolutely nothing about using it. I bought it to take pictures of my kids and taking photos of a tank is a whole different animal.











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Old 09-18-2013, 01:08 PM   #85
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I wish someone could give me a tutorial for idiots on how to take photos of an aquarium because no matter how many I take they all look like crap. I have a decent Nikon dslr camera but the operator knows absolutely nothing about using it. I bought it to take pictures of my kids and taking photos of a tank is a whole different animal.
First off, cool tank! I think it's really going to look excellent as it fills in. With regards to your photos, I can give you a few tips. The first thing I'll say is that you either pushed saturation in your most recent photos, or you are doing it in camera. Either way, I'd avoid that, as it makes the tank look unnatural. You lost tons of detail in your greens and the reds look off.

For taking photos of a tank, here is a list of tips off the top of my head:
  • Use a tripod and a remote shutter release or a timer, it makes a big difference
  • Use the lowest ISO you can get away with (this is why the tripod is needed)
  • Use the highest aperture (f-stop) you can get away with (also why the tripod is needed)
  • Turn off your pump about a minute before you shoot, and let the water stop moving the plants
  • Shoot in RAW, or set things such as vivid to neutral or 0
  • The closer you are to straight on square with the front of your tank (left to right and top to bottom), the sharper
  • Play around with zoom and the distance your camera is from the tank.
A low aperture number will give you less objects in focus. If you can shoot at at least f-8 and ISO 100-400 on a tripod, that will go a long way. The only thing that may get motion blur is your fish, as long as your turn off your pump.

Shooting straight on makes a very big difference. As you get off center, the water distorts things and causes chromatic aberration and less focus. Shoot square to the glass, and things will be much sharper. I know this limits your options with shooting angles, but the more off square you are the less sharp your pic will be.

With regards to distance, I tend to shoot about 4' from my tank and zoom in a little. But try shooting closer with a wider angle, or a little further way and zoomed in more. You'll get a different feel from each one.

Rather than just snapping a pic, play around for a half hour and test out different settings. Compare them and see what you like.
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Old 09-18-2013, 01:26 PM   #86
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Your right about the saturation in the photos as I just started changing settings without knowing a thing about what they do. Did I mention that I know absolutely nothing about photography. I have a hard time shooting my tank straight on at any distance because of where its located. I do have a tripod but I can't shoot straight on. I will try the suggestions you mentioned but they always turn out blurry or too bright. I appreciate the help as it's frustrating trying to get a shot that looks decent. The first few photos I posted are not very representative of what the tank looks like because the colors are way off. The last couple of close ups of the plants are the most natural.

By the way I have been following your thread on your tank and I have to tell you it looks beautiful and your photos always look awesome. Maybe you can just make a road trip and take some photos for me.
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Old 09-18-2013, 01:39 PM   #87
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I have a hard time shooting my tank straight on at any distance because of where its located. I do have a tripod but I can't shoot straight on.
Is there a wall right there? That might make it tough. If there isn't, the tripod doesn't have to go on the floor. You can get creative with it and put it on stuff or attach it to things if need be. I have a chair in the way that I move when I take shots, so don't be afraid to take a minute or two to just move some furniture out of the way.

With regards to blurriness, without a tripod and a straight on shot, it will be hard to get sharp photos. You are fighting light and diffraction forces that won't bend to your favor.

That said, even with the photography struggles, it's easy to see how nice your tank is.
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Old 09-18-2013, 01:47 PM   #88
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Is there a wall right there? That might make it tough. If there isn't, the tripod doesn't have to go on the floor. You can get creative with it and put it on stuff or attach it to things if need be. I have a chair in the way that I move when I take shots, so don't be afraid to take a minute or two to just move some furniture out of the way.

With regards to blurriness, without a tripod and a straight on shot, it will be hard to get sharp photos. You are fighting light and diffraction forces that won't bend to your favor.

That said, even with the photography struggles, it's easy to see how nice your tank is.
I wish it was just a matter of moving some furniture but it's because it's about 3' away from my railing to my entryway, which is a level down. I would have to setup a ladder or something if I wanted to get straight on. I may have to get creative or better yet I may just take a video. It's hard to screw that up right.
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Old 09-18-2013, 01:52 PM   #89
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Yeah, that's a real pain. Bummer.

I know it's a bit of work, but it's probably 5 real minutes of life to grab a step ladder. Yes, it's a bit of effort just to take a pic of your aquarium, but it might be worth it to you, and probably won't take as long as you think. The real trick would be getting a stable shot from a step ladder.
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Old 09-18-2013, 06:12 PM   #90
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Is that Pogostemon erectus?
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