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Old 12-28-2013, 10:35 PM   #31
plantbrain
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EH is growing back into the new section, I removed the L. senegalensis and put it where the Rotala sunset was. The sunset did not like being shaded and the L senegalensis is much tougher and offers a better contrast anyway.

Oh well.
Erio setaceum is not doing as well as I'd hopped, but it does require patience, so we will see. Not so sure it's an ideal location either for it.
I have the Limnophila "gigantea" I managed to bring back from the non CO2 quarantine tank. I may put it in that location, it'll look nice. S. madiera might also be suitable there.Syngonanthus "Uaupes" can stay on the other Left side. This way they will not look so similar together.


I mostly have only 3-4 spots to work on and find a good balance between rare plants, easier to care for and trim, and good texture and color schemes. That's a lot to balance each attribute. Not an easy process. I had a couple of folks stop by, Ebi from Utah and another local who had not seen my tanks before.
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Old 12-28-2013, 11:42 PM   #32
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I had a couple of folks stop by, Ebi from Utah and another local who had not seen my tanks before.

Thanks for the opportunity Tom!
Pictures truly do no justice to how striking the colors look in person!


I must highly suggest, if anyone gets the opportunity to visit Tom's place, leave the girlfriend at home ;p
Hehehe
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Old 12-29-2013, 09:40 PM   #33
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Thanks for the opportunity Tom!
Pictures truly do no justice to how striking the colors look in person!


I must highly suggest, if anyone gets the opportunity to visit Tom's place, leave the girlfriend at home ;p
Hehehe
I'm sure you got thrashed afterwards.
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Old 12-30-2013, 05:07 AM   #34
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Ludwigia sphaerocarpa is looking good right now. Not sure why really, it's weird sometimes post trims and gets a little wrinkly, but I've hacked it and few times now and it's just fine and the color is still becoming richer.
I want to move the Trithuria sp, blood vomits. I think they will look best in a row. But where to put that row?
I'd likely put something like Belem hair grass or maybe the Monte carlo again.
Added the Fissidens moss to the branches that make a border around that section.


The Erio compressum's have done well thus far.
No floating. I split them into a couple more plants once I got them from Aaron, but I counts another 3 on one group and another 3 on another ans at least 2 on the 3rd plant.
So they are growing and doing well in this tank. They are so nice, it would suck if they did not

So the 3 problems sections for now:

1. The Rear Left side(see below)
2. The Blood vomits(sounds like my friend's old punk rock band, the blood farmers)
3. The rear right side.

I'm okay with these issues for now and have a couple of options.
But I want to maximize the return for ease of care, stability of growth patterns, able to sell the plants for a decent return and most importantly,a nice look and eclectic species.
Weighing all these demands is never an easy choice, you can quickly chose a few, but as you get towards the end of the location spots in the tank, and the picky behavior due to placement location in the tank to different plant preferences, well..........








I have some issues here, I'd like to move the Syngonanthus urapues over to the left, but it's too dark for it under the branch. I could try and pack more soil back in there and that would raise the level up more, but that will be tough over time.
I could call the Fissidens branch a green row and then move the Cuphea back one spot and add Rotala sunset in the more forward section where the Cuphea is now. Both the Syngonanthus and the Rotala need open areas and good current and CO2 to do well.



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Old 01-22-2014, 03:42 AM   #35
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Nice looking setup...as usual.

What type of lighting do you use and how long do you leave it on for?

Also, what is your dosing regiment?

Or is that all secret squirrel stuff?
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Old 01-22-2014, 04:11 AM   #36
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Nice looking setup...as usual.

What type of lighting do you use and how long do you leave it on for?

Also, what is your dosing regiment?

Or is that all secret squirrel stuff?
I hate them varmits.

Light is an ATI dimmercomputer 8x54 w T5.
I run the light at 0 up to 100% over 1 hour, then 100% for 6 hours, then 100% to 0% over the last hour, CO2 shuts off about 15 minute before the lights go off completely, CO2 starts when the light starts.

Dosing is a simple thing; 2-3 x a week, 1.5 tsp KNO3, 1-2 Tablespoons of GH booster, 3/4 tsp of KH2PO4. Traces, most days, but I skip a few.
Nothing cool or special, as nutrients are not a critical factor, something I've long said for coming up on 2 decade. As usual

Good CO2, good care, good algae crew, good light, good water changes, basic stuff really.
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Old 01-22-2014, 07:00 AM   #37
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I hate them varmits.

Light is an ATI dimmercomputer 8x54 w T5.
I run the light at 0 up to 100% over 1 hour, then 100% for 6 hours, then 100% to 0% over the last hour, CO2 shuts off about 15 minute before the lights go off completely, CO2 starts when the light starts.

Dosing is a simple thing; 2-3 x a week, 1.5 tsp KNO3, 1-2 Tablespoons of GH booster, 3/4 tsp of KH2PO4. Traces, most days, but I skip a few.
Nothing cool or special, as nutrients are not a critical factor, something I've long said for coming up on 2 decade. As usual

Good CO2, good care, good algae crew, good light, good water changes, basic stuff really.
Tom,

Looks amazing as usual! What substrate are you using and do you add anything to the substrate?

Last edited by HunterX; 01-22-2014 at 07:00 AM.. Reason: typo
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Old 01-22-2014, 03:44 PM   #38
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Tom,

Looks amazing as usual! What substrate are you using and do you add anything to the substrate?
ADA aqua soil amazonia, normal type.

Nothing else.

Never found much use with a hodge podge of mixes and layers except an ugly tacky looking sediment that did no better than the single type. ADA AS is basically rice paddy clay loam, and it makes less mess than rice paddy soil since they slightly backed and rolled it. Wetland soil, that's where wetland plants grow, so seems obvious to use it as long as it looks good and does not make too much of a mess.
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Old 01-22-2014, 03:57 PM   #39
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Tom, how do you avoid an ammonia spike after ripping all those plants out? I find every time I rip out a patch of plants that large, I always get at least a small spike overnight, even with a hefty water change after the uprooting.
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Old 01-22-2014, 04:26 PM   #40
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Tom, how do you avoid an ammonia spike after ripping all those plants out? I find every time I rip out a patch of plants that large, I always get at least a small spike overnight, even with a hefty water change after the uprooting.
Good question.

I do my trimming 1st, right before the lights come on, I trim to minimize the muck and dust, some plants, I'll top and mow like a hedge(Ludwigia "red"), or another I'll pick off old ugly leaves(A reineckii mini), or the P stellata I removed, I just cut all the way to the bottom stump, left it in there, it might respout later, or it might die off.

Plants like the Mini Myrio, the R wallichii, these always look and recover better if I pull them up gently, then replant the tops, discard the bottom.

L. senegalensis, I top like a hedge and then replant the tops to fatten up the group, or sell the tops, same with the R. mini butterfly. Downoi, I always uproot and replant, foreground plants I'll often cut the front sod back and if it gets too ratty, I'll hank the rug up then replant it.
Cuphea, much like the L senegalensis.

You sort of know the plants and what works best after a while.
Still, for any given hobbyists and approach, topping might work well for one person, not so well in another tank.

So after I do that, often turn the light son and then turn the filter off while I trim, I'll net the leaves off the surface, then do a 60-70% water change, my sump still has a fair amount of old water in it. Clean my prefilters and mesh for the overflow, net out any shrimp that went into the prefilter area, toss the nicer ones back into the tank, cull the rest.

Refill, add all the ferts, done.

The pics in the next post are exactly what was done and the 7 hours afterwards, it was a pretty good sized hacking.

I'm not measuring NH4 however. The tank is really thriving well.
I did have a touch of BBA after adding some livestock maybe 6-7 weeks ago. RCS population exploded about then also, likely by eating a dead fish or two.
I had the gas tank run out for a day or 2, so.......then I changed the current to reduce the off gassing after I fixed that, the BBA kept coming, not on plants, but little tufts on the wood, I picked most of it off I could get at easily. About 3 weeks of good consistent care, it's dying off.

Certainly not a big issue, but one I went after quick. Picking it off, CO2, CO2 and CO2(degassing/current are all linked here) and then just good general care, staying on top of things took care of the rest. People neglect stuff, or overlook something. You fix it and move on. I'd say the CO2 is dialed in better in this tank than the last version I did. Better current, mixing etc.
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Old 01-22-2014, 04:27 PM   #41
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Tank continues to thrive. I hacked a lot of the groups back yesterday. Mowed others back down. I removed the P stellata narrow in the right corner and then expanded the Erio type 3 out since it is doing well in that position.
The section is still weak for now, but in 2-3 months, it'll be real nice. The Syngonanthus canuck and the maderia are doing very well, one is albino white and is still growing well, might be a mutation, but more likely just got a chlorine or the water was too hot during a water change since the in/out was on top of the plant, only 3 or the 15-20 stems were effected though and the others corrected themselves. I'll find out in a month or two, but doubtful it's a real mutation, but you never know. Elatine hydropiper is doing well, thickening up and piling on itself. I added some more along the side of the tank to see how it'll fair. Some of the older Erio compressum leaves are getting a bit of green spot algae. I'll need to trim those off sometime, plenty of nice new growth that's well out pacing any algae. I must have 12 side shoots at least now. Also got a touch of BBA for about 2 weeks, but, the gas was out for a couple of days, just kept up on everything and it's stopped about 2 weeks ago. Not on the plants, but the wood had tiny bits forming. Why? Not sure, maybe from adding the fish, maybe the CO2, maybe slacking on water changes, hard to say. Certainly manageable, but I know it need not be there at all. All new growth of BBA stopped about 2-3 weeks ago and it's slowly going away. I changed the current which increased the CO2, reduced the degassing Fish seemed a bit more sluggish, but still fine. So that might be it also, or a combo of the CO2/current ripple adjustment, more water changes, staying on the CO2 tank switch if it runs out, adding new livestock etc.
Also, there's been a huge rise in RCS population the last 2 months, they are everywhere like flies.





Filter side view




A reineckii mini. I have pruned off any raggy looking leaves, and the nice new side shoots, fill in nicely. This is the best way to prune this plant it seems. You can uproot and then replant the side shoots, but there's a little bit of delay as the plant establishes the root system, but that method is good if you need more or a larger area for planting. I just top of the taller stems from here and remove some older side leaves now.

Blood vomit, sort of like Belem hair grass almost if you allow it to fill in and grow thick. I'd hoped for something different look wise, but they sell well, I've had trouble finding an optimal location in this design for them also, they really need a long row, not what I have now.




UG continues to do even better in this version of the 120 Gallon redone. If I were to focus more on nature style, I'd use this plant mostly along with Mini pellia/Ricciacardia, mini Myrio, maybe the Rotala mini butterfly.




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Old 01-22-2014, 04:38 PM   #42
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Wow! breath-taking as always

Are those T5s that you're using? I'm still a noob when it comes to lights
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Old 01-22-2014, 05:56 PM   #43
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That mini pellia on that stump looks sweet. I wish mine would have taken off. I don't know what I did wrong last time I tried it but it didn't do well. Maybe I shouldn't have tied it down and just tried sticking it in some cracks and grooves of the wood. I will try it again and see if it makes a difference or not. Also I have a question for you about H. Araguaia, I planted some when I started my tank back in August and it kind of just sat there. It looks healthy and was growing just at a super slow rate, and within the last week it started growing new growth faster than it has it the last 4 months. Does this plant take a long time to get established or does it maybe need to be moved to a different spot with more light.
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Old 01-22-2014, 06:06 PM   #44
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Hi Tom,

Fantastic looking tank.

I have a question for you, does your UG put out a deep root system into your substrate? Or is the root system pretty thin?

Thanks!
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Old 01-22-2014, 06:39 PM   #45
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Tom,

I'm wondering about sealing the wet/dry vs surface agitation. Why seal the wet/dry and then use surface agitation for O2? Is that preferable because surface agitation is more controllable?

Edit: I went ahead and just tried it myself and answered my own question. Just going by my fish behavior, it does not seem like much oxygen is lost by sealing the wet/dry if any. I then started reading more (I did all of this backwards didn't I?). It seems Tom and some others have found that with a sealed wet/dry and the right overflow design, you don't noticeably degas more co2 than a canister filter despite having higher oxygen levels. So then why not have surface agitation too?

I may have gotten a little off topic here. I was responding to the adjustment of surface agitation in fighting the BBA.

Last edited by BraveBuc; 01-24-2014 at 05:45 PM.. Reason: I think I found my answer.
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