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Old 11-11-2013, 09:41 PM   #31
nofearengineer
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A little update...I have had quite a bit of diatoms growing all over everything the past week. I have never once even seen diatoms in a tank of mine.

I'm not sure if it has to do with the slate maybe releasing extra silicates into the water (I don't have a silicates test kit to see the concentration).

Or maybe it's just the light being too bright. I measured the PAR with one of Hoppy's meters, and got 150+ at the substrate in the middle of the tank. Not too sure of the accuracy, but it is definitely bright. I have turned it down a bit, as there is certainly no need for that PAR level (yet).

So I did the proverbial finger-crossing, and decided to see for myself if Oto's reputation for being diatom feeders is true. I "borrowed" my three Oto's out of my 46 bowfront. I was a bit worried, as the tank is still very new, and hasn't really been cycled. And since the local PetSmart is in the middle of renovations right now, and can't seem to stock anything other than glo-fish, if I kill my Oto's I'm up the creek.

But I figured what the heck, how much bioload would 3 Oto's be on a 75 gallon tank, even an uncycled one.

Holy moly, did they go to town on the diatoms. Still a bit worried about their nutritional needs, I did throw a couple small pieces of algae wafer in, but they actually seem to prefer the diatoms.

I can't wait to get home tonight and see even more missing patches of brown.

God, I love Oto's more and more all the time. I can't imagine I ever used to keep tanks without them. They just seem to have no downside.
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Old 11-16-2013, 04:37 AM   #32
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My new plants arrived today. Did my best with a quick planting job. Forgive the diatoms. I've been struggling with them a bit, but I think the 12 Oto's and 3 baby albino bristlenose plecos will turn the corner this weekend.

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Old 11-16-2013, 05:23 AM   #33
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Can't wait to see the red and green contrast to become more visible!

I'm a fan of your hardscape!
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Old 11-16-2013, 04:37 PM   #34
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If you see the ottos steadily decreasing the diatoms, they'll eventually conquer them.
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Old 11-29-2013, 09:20 PM   #35
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Well, 2 weeks brought some changes, both bad and good.



Bad: the Limnophila Hippuroides (behind left rock group) really took a beating, especially from the diatoms, though what didn't disintegrate seems like it could make a comeback. I also lost a bunch of rummynose tetras to an unknown cause.

Good: My Nessaea crassicaulis and Ludwigia arcuata are really turning orange and red! The high light and ferts are making all the difference in the world. They are really competing for star of the tank. I'm going to have to trim both this weekend for sure. I can't wait to see how much topping and re-planting the Nessaea thickens up and changes how it looks.

The Hygrophila pinnitifada is even growing new offshoots and leaves, though I don't see much in the way of obvious root growth.

The downoi continues to spread like wildfire, and I see a probable RAOK in the future. It seems to absolutely LOVE my Flourite Black Sand substrate. Amazing root growth in the sand.

My PetSmart-bought A. reineckii that struggled in my non-CO2 tank is making a great comeback, though you can't see it much yet, as it is mostly behind the big rock group on the right. Perhaps I will relocate it soon. I'm just happy to see it growing well. I don't want to disturb it yet.

My Red Tiger Lotus (between rock groups) has started sprouting 2-3 inch leaves that are still hugging the substrate. I'm cautiously anticipating bigger leaves, fully prepared to move it into a different tank if it starts to get too invasive. The leaves sure are beautiful though!
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Old 12-01-2013, 02:58 AM   #36
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The Limnophila Hippuroides will most likely live and take off in a couple weeks. I've had this plant in my 125g and it grows like wildfire. It usually take 1-2 weeks after a replanting or large trim to go but once it does it grows quick!
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Old 12-01-2013, 11:49 AM   #37
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Nice looking tank and I think it will become a great looking tank.

I am going to steal a couple of ideas from your stand. I have a 10 year old 50G that I will eventually upgrade to a extra tall 180G. The 50 is on an old end table I bought at a road side auction for $20. I am going to build mine using red oak frame and 3/4 cherry planks. Will be a long term project for me, just finished my CAD drawing and am ready to purchase lumber.

I am going to have a friend help with some of the joinery work as I don't have all of the tools.
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Old 12-01-2013, 06:42 PM   #38
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Thanks, UDGags. The hippuroides tips are definitely growing, but they haven't regained any of their purple color. Hopefully, it will come back as you say.

Mark, can't wait to see the new stand. Happy to see mine influenced someone.
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Old 12-02-2013, 04:44 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nofearengineer View Post
Well, 2 weeks brought some changes, both bad and good.



Bad: the Limnophila Hippuroides (behind left rock group) really took a beating, especially from the diatoms, though what didn't disintegrate seems like it could make a comeback. I also lost a bunch of rummynose tetras to an unknown cause.

Good: My Nessaea crassicaulis and Ludwigia arcuata are really turning orange and red! The high light and ferts are making all the difference in the world. They are really competing for star of the tank. I'm going to have to trim both this weekend for sure. I can't wait to see how much topping and re-planting the Nessaea thickens up and changes how it looks.

The Hygrophila pinnitifada is even growing new offshoots and leaves, though I don't see much in the way of obvious root growth.

The downoi continues to spread like wildfire, and I see a probable RAOK in the future. It seems to absolutely LOVE my Flourite Black Sand substrate. Amazing root growth in the sand.

My PetSmart-bought A. reineckii that struggled in my non-CO2 tank is making a great comeback, though you can't see it much yet, as it is mostly behind the big rock group on the right. Perhaps I will relocate it soon. I'm just happy to see it growing well. I don't want to disturb it yet.

My Red Tiger Lotus (between rock groups) has started sprouting 2-3 inch leaves that are still hugging the substrate. I'm cautiously anticipating bigger leaves, fully prepared to move it into a different tank if it starts to get too invasive. The leaves sure are beautiful though!
I'd just go with Downoi as the entire foreground for now.

A grassy type of plant behind it and among the rocks, then your choice of stems in the rear. The Rock works nicely in this tank.
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Old 12-02-2013, 05:07 AM   #40
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Diggn your rock scape! How come I don't see your red tiger lotus?
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Old 12-02-2013, 02:57 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plantbrain View Post
I'd just go with Downoi as the entire foreground for now.

A grassy type of plant behind it and among the rocks, then your choice of stems in the rear. The Rock works nicely in this tank.
Are you suggesting I replace the S. repens with downoi as well? The downoi on the left is so thick, I've got plenty to transplant. Besides, I'm planning a 60P-type, unheated build with your manzy, CPD's if I can find some, and Panda Corys. I'm thinking the S. repens should look good in that.

Any suggestions on the grassy plant? Blyxa maybe? I've even considered C. undulata for the color contrast, though I'm a bit worried it might want more shade.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kl86 View Post
Diggn your rock scape! How come I don't see your red tiger lotus?
Thanks! If you look closely, you can see the red tiger lotus right in front of the L. arcuata. It has already grown 2 more leaves since I posted this. Apparently, when you hit a tiger lotus with high light, it wants to sprawl rather than reach for the surface. I will know more soon. Each leaf is bigger than the previous one. And soooo deep red!

Last edited by nofearengineer; 12-02-2013 at 04:59 PM.. Reason: aditional info
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Old 12-02-2013, 05:16 PM   #42
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You can sell downoi like hot cakes.
When in Rome.............

Blyxa is good, but make sure it does not get too big, trim often, it's a weed.

Crypts will get too large.
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Old 12-02-2013, 05:41 PM   #43
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Tom, the literature is implying that C. undulata will only get 6" tall. And I'm wondering if under high light, it might grow a bit shorter and bushier. I may try a couple just to experiment. All of my other crypts did just that when I went to med/high light in my other tank.

Maybe I can also move the A. reineckii to the midground...hmmm, decisions, decisions.
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Old 12-13-2013, 07:15 PM   #44
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Got some more plants...I think pretty much the final batch for this tank. Forgive the couple of pots in the front left. I just don't think Pogostemon stellatus will look right in this tank. So I'm gonna find it a home in my new project.

I pulled out about 100 Downoi that I found a temporary home for until I start selling them. Can't believe my good fortune.

I am pleased that my H. pinatifida is growing great roots now. In fact, everything that I moved around was incredibly rooted in the sand. So much for the theory of needing fertilized substrate to promote good root growth. EI in the water column is growing this stuff like crazy.

I got a couple more species of Nessaea..."red" in the back right, and "golden" in front left. I moved my A. reineckii in front of the pinatifida for some pretty good color contrast (I think).

I thickened up my L. hippuroides bunch a bit with some shorter stems. Hopefully, this bunch will not melt as bad as the last (though they did totally come back, and are now going to have to be topped and replanted soon).

The tiger lotus is just becoming a monster. I can see I will definitely have to trim it a lot to keep it from taking over. The L. arcuata needs more trimming. As soo as the new/relocated plants get settled.

I stocked 3 assassin snails to get to work on a snail explosion that occurred. First, I don't know where they came from, though I know it just takes a couple to get the ball rolling. And I don't know what was fueling their growth, as I definitely don't feed the small rummynose school much. Maybe it was just dying plant stems that were buried and out of sight that was feeding them. It got to the point that when the CO2 was on, I could literally net 50 of them each night off the water's surface. Either way, their days are numbered. If the snails don't get it done, I've got my eye on a couple of Yoyo Loaches.

The plan now is to work on my trimming and aquarium photography skills, now that I've got the CO2 and EI seemingly figured out and at a stable point.

The coolest thing about the tank to me, is that my old nemesis...algae...is non-existent, except where I want it...on the rocks. Apparently, there is something to this whole "keep the CO2 high" algae control plan. I just grow enough on the rocks to give the Otos and the BNP something to munch on when they get done with the plant leaves.
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Old 12-14-2013, 01:37 AM   #45
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Cool tank man. Maybe consider some dwarf chain loaches in place of the yoyo's, yoyo's get pretty large and like to uproot plants with their constant rooting around. Idk what kind of snails you have but sids will pretty much wipe out pond snails and ramshorns, the smaller mts will survive though.
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