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Old 11-15-2013, 07:01 PM   #151
Brian_Cali77
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Man... sounds like you are in a conundrum. Although I have an appreciation for well executed low-tech tanks, high-tech offers just more interaction and excitement. I have a few low-tech tanks which can only exist because I have a few high-tech going...LOL BUT, IMO, ADA really shines in a high-tech state. Just something about the name and sexy rimless that go hand-in-hand.

Remind me again. If ferts are on point and co2, then it may be the bulbs. Did you swap those out to giesemann midday and/or powerchrome aquaflora? You can have a crap load of high PAR, but if spectrum is off from old bulbs or low quality ones, the plants just tend to fade to green, IME... take the Finnex Ray 2 for instance. Loads of PAR, but lots of complaints of fading red plants... that is until spectrum is supplemented with a Monster Ray or changes to the fixtures, as with what is now being offered in the Planted+.
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Old 11-15-2013, 07:41 PM   #152
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Originally Posted by Brian_Cali77 View Post
Man... sounds like you are in a conundrum. Although I have an appreciation for well executed low-tech tanks, high-tech offers just more interaction and excitement. I have a few low-tech tanks which can only exist because I have a few high-tech going...LOL BUT, IMO, ADA really shines in a high-tech state. Just something about the name and sexy rimless that go hand-in-hand.

Remind me again. If ferts are on point and co2, then it may be the bulbs. Did you swap those out to giesemann midday and/or powerchrome aquaflora? You can have a crap load of high PAR, but if spectrum is off from old bulbs or low quality ones, the plants just tend to fade to green, IME... take the Finnex Ray 2 for instance. Loads of PAR, but lots of complaints of fading red plants... that is until spectrum is supplemented with a Monster Ray or changes to the fixtures, as with what is now being offered in the Planted+.
I have not replaced the bulbs yet. With the holidays coming up, trying to save every penny as this year will be expensive. If I change out all 4, it would be pretty costly. I may try to do two bulbs and then I would keep my 6,7000 and rosette bulb. We will see.

Trust me, I feel you on ADA and high tech. I was thinking, if I go low tech, I may as well get rid of my inline heater, lily pipes, filter and just use a HOB and an intank heater, haha.

I was also thinking, in an idea world, I could just swap the fixture from my holding tank over to the 60P. I just gave away another one that had good bulbs, I actually have a 3rd with no bulbs. The cost to replace the bulbs is more than I want to spend for an experiment, especially considering it's a 30 inch fixture I wouldn't use even if it worked. Then I realized I do have two 10 gallon hoods I could use.

So, I may swap the fixture over soon and just test the differences for a week. I do have a lot of algae so it may not be a good test. I could keep the CO2 going but I think that may help with algae, but not with color.

I am not sure my ferts are on point either. I have been doing EI but I haven't had the best of luck getting color with EI. In the past, when I have messed around, I usually did more harm than good.

Just for fun, here is a terrible picture of the holding tank. This Rotala was about the same color as HM before I moved it (2 days ago). I feel the color portrayed is impressive going to much lower light for 2 days but it's even more red than it shows. It's not just the top growth either and the light is higher than the rim of the tank, actually almost the same height as it would be if on the rim of my 60P.



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Old 11-15-2013, 08:27 PM   #153
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Conundrum PT 2. I decided, I can put my old fixture on the ADA and just wait a week. Well, with the 6,700k, colormax combo, my good reds just became brilliant reds. Don't get me wrong, the tank is extremely unattractive to look at but the reds look incredible. I also don't know if I can deal with my tank being this dim.

I am running a 6,700/10,000 combo on one bank, 10,000k/rosette on the other. I knew I had too much blue in the mix (an extra 10,000K) so I may just go get another bulb. Even though I am not a fan of Coralife bulbs, I just get a colormax bulb for $15 and see what happens. Either a 6,700/10,000 on one bank, Colormax/Rosette on the other, or 6,7000/rosette, 10,000/rosette, whatever looks better.

We will see where this goes. I don't have a lot to do today so I may make this more complicated than it needs to be haha.
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Old 11-16-2013, 12:22 AM   #154
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Sooo....yeah....I don't know what is going on. I did a 50% water change and lost 3 fish. Not my new oto's, my Rummy nose that seemed very hardy and have been around. I thought back to the last time I had this issue and it was when I was experimenting with adding a lot more ferts than I should have been. Then it hit me, I have not done a water change in awhile, it is college football season and I have been way more busy than I have in awhile.

Now I am thinking my issues are an excess of ferts. I have no basis for this, just a hypothesis. I can get good reds in low tech but part of that is not having much ferts.

So now I am wondering, what are a few test kits that are accurate? I think if I have 2 or 3 that are accurate, I basically assume that I am pretty on track.

That led me to another thought, I have never tested my water for ferts to begin with so I am basically totally blind here. I can't fix my problems if I don't know what the problem is.

While I figure all that out, I have decided, since I already took the time to change out the lights, disconnect the auto doser, I will keep this low tech and just see what happens. I am running like .25 BPS right now, just to prevent water going back into the reg and hopefully having my diffuser not clog (though I plan to clean it anyway so that isn't really an issue).

Even though I am not loving my tank, I did a minor trim and it looks better than it did. The new light is bringing out some color, even the little bit of yellows in the middle that usually seem 100% green. I can't take any credit for the back corners, that is AFA's work.

Lastly, it's weird having a light just on the tank. I am so used to having the light off the tank, I really don't like it. I will also say that my Coralife T5NO seems extremely dull in appearance compared to 2 bulbs of T5HO much higher above the tank.

Here is how it looks now. There is some debris on the substrate as I cleaned my outflow while on the tank (not totally clean either).




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Old 11-16-2013, 02:42 AM   #155
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Don't give up on high tech! I think once a person gets comfortable with high tech, low tech would be way easier.

I don't even think your tank looks bad, it just needs to start growing out more. When I look at this tank, I just see a normal tank that will look awesome once the plants fill in.

Why not just copy AFA's 60P, do what they do with their tank. You said you lived close to them right?
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Old 11-16-2013, 03:23 AM   #156
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Originally Posted by FlyingHellFish View Post
Don't give up on high tech! I think once a person gets comfortable with high tech, low tech would be way easier.

I don't even think your tank looks bad, it just needs to start growing out more. When I look at this tank, I just see a normal tank that will look awesome once the plants fill in.

Why not just copy AFA's 60P, do what they do with their tank. You said you lived close to them right?
I don't like my tank but that doesn't mean it can't be fixed. As for going low tech or not, I can always go back if I go low tech.

As for AFA, I live kind of close. I wouldn't go out there just to go there, I have friends out that way and like SF to go out. If I were to go on any given day, it's about 1 hour each way. Drive time shorter than that, not by much but with parking and potential backups, it's about what I plan for.
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Old 11-16-2013, 04:34 AM   #157
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Oh it's not that bad!

As for the test kits they can be good just need to calibrate. I wouldn't worry too much as your water was fine before. Your first tank was great with that water.

Do a couple of water changes to get the ferts back down to normal ppm levels and start growing back again.

This will at least strip the nutrients from the water so the algae doesn't have stuff to feed on.

Even though these tanks are supposed to be calming to look at sometimes they can stress ya out more than helping (like algae issues). But it's really rewarding when you beat it. Hang in there!
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Old 11-16-2013, 03:31 PM   #158
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Even though these tanks are supposed to be calming to look at sometimes they can stress ya out more than helping (like algae issues). But it's really rewarding when you beat it. Hang in there!
Yeah, for me, it's just been a constant "one thing after another".

When I say I have been incredibly successful with low tech, one thing about that is I have basically been able to get all the results of high tech but better. For example, my last 20 long was high tech with HC and rocks. After a few months, I still wasn't extremely happy with where I was at. However, here is a journal from a few years ago where I had my HC fill in, for basically nothing, in about 2 months:
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=103106

Not that I love the scape but this was some nice HC and I got pearling every day. I have had some seriously colorful reds in low tech.

That said, I am hedging my bets right now. I am keeping everything intact but going to run my T5NO fixture for a bit. I will use Excel as well daily. No CO2 for now. My hopes are to see the algae subside.

If I am still getting good color with this light, while reducing algae, I will up the CO2 and see if I get the same color or worse. If colors get worse, which I suspect, I will go back to my other light. If colors get better or stay the same, I will reevaluate my lighting.

The other thing this does is give me a safer margin of error while I add fish.

I guess this is part of the fun/frustration too, trying to verify or validate my theories. In the last 3-4 years, the hobby has really been me just doing what I feel is correct. What initially made it fun was consistent experimenting and trying things that people told me wouldn't work.
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Old 11-17-2013, 08:40 PM   #159
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So, I will likely take some pictures tonight. Both this reply and pictures are probably a lot more helpful to me as I read through my journals every few months when I hit a new issue.

Anyway, as I suspected, some plants got new color and look better, others seem to be loosing some. The main one doing much better is Hygro Brown. Getting a nice, dark, magenta type color. My R. wallichii is growing more densely without quite as much deep red but still is more attractive. On the flip side, my R. Singapore is going green, though one stem is still red. Then my R. macrandra is loosing color, absolutely no surprise there.

This is less a very short time period so we will see where this goes. I am hoping to see some color out of my l. aromatica, not that it's important as I now know I am going back to high tech, but I do just want to remember my goal of putting it there.

Because I added new fish, I will keep it low tech for the time being. See what a few days will do.

The major benefit here is my oto's are getting rid of quite a bit of algae, even in the last 24 hours. It may be better water quality, it may be that they have adapted by my feeling is they are more inclined to be out in lower light levels.

Once I get a hold on this algae, which may be a lot quicker than I thought, I will see where I want to proceed. It is a good "reset" that I think I need for this tank.
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Old 11-18-2013, 12:54 AM   #160
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So here are some picture updates. My camera is not good so you can't see how much algae has cleared up but it's been fairly dramatic. I credit the oto's, more than the change of other things but algae was coming very fast before, it seemingly has slowed down.

Though this tank is still fundamentally the same as when I first started, I am liking it a lot more, now that it's a lot cleaner. However, I still have a long way to go. I have obviously not done much with the left, right, or foreground. I have some ideas for all. The main thing is getting the foreground/mid foreground in place. Right now, the foreground has close to 1/3 of the tank real estate. The fact is, some places it may go back that far but I will have a mid/foreground that will come as close to 2 inches from the glass. I have not figured out what plants as of yet.

As for pictures, it looks about the same but I find it a lot better looking, just with the lack of algae, etc.


Here is a picture of what was told to me to be Hygro Brown. You can see that even one leaf back, it was totally green before.
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Old 11-18-2013, 03:04 AM   #161
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Sup tal,

Is your heart set on a Dutch tank? You could rearrange the tank into a scape with depth and rocks/woods. Right now it has a very flat feel, which I suppose is more inline with a dutch tank. I looked at your other HC Cuba tank with rocks, I think that would look awesome with your 60P.

Either way, I think it's coming along. I just feel as if there no central theme or focus with your current scape.

Hope you don't mind the criticism.
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Old 11-18-2013, 03:24 AM   #162
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Sup tal,

Is your heart set on a Dutch tank? You could rearrange the tank into a scape with depth and rocks/woods. Right now it has a very flat feel, which I suppose is more inline with a dutch tank. I looked at your other HC Cuba tank with rocks, I think that would look awesome with your 60P.

Either way, I think it's coming along. I just feel as if there no central theme or focus with your current scape.

Hope you don't mind the criticism.
I am not set on a Dutch tank but I have really wanted to do one for some time. I had no idea I would get a 60P as a gift and having a tank that is taller than deep made me say, let me try this out. More over than that, it was a wedding gift so I really want to honor what my wife wants from that standpoint, and it's in the living room as well. She is not a big fan of natural and likes color better.

I do agree it looks flat. Trust me, when I say I think it looks ugly in above posts, I am not lying. However, I do like some variety, especially in the main room people see. My last tank was quite the same idea as the journal I liked, just a 20 long instead. Here is a pic, not that I had an excellent layout or anything.. I never quite finished it:



That said, I have seen a few tanks that are very much stem only but have a lot more scaping going on. I have considered going a different route more than a few times. However, I have struggled with this setup (light/co2/tank balance) to where I don't mind waiting to get it right before I go a different route.

I know I can sound "emo" and I know I can be that way but I haven't "nailed" a display type tank in awhile. I may combine natural with some good color, I really would love to move this tank to our bedroom, put our bedroom nano in my studio, and put a 90P in the front room. I am very stubborn and want to make sure I get on the right track before I plan any moves, not that I have the money for a 90p anyway.

Just saying, I totally feel you. However, I really think with a few changes I can make this a more appealing tank. Then, I give myself a chance to make changes. If wife agrees, we are all good. I don't want to throw my wife under the bus either, she's not too picky, she just wants things to look nice and feel like I am not taking over the home.
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Old 11-18-2013, 05:06 AM   #163
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Damn dude. You really know how to use your space in that tank. I know its a small tank. You got everything lined up and it still looks open.
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Old 11-20-2013, 06:25 PM   #164
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Here is an update after about 5 days of being low tech. Although not shocking, I will say I am pleasantly surprised how this is going. I thought in particular that the R. macrandra would struggle (back right corner). As you can see, the color is back, and actually really strong on some of the leaves. The R. Singapore (left corner) has yet to color up back to when I bought it and though it's hard to tell in the picture, it is getting more color, day by day. Even the Limnophila aromatica is getting some color up top but still struggling. The only plant that doesn't seem to be improving, but still isn't getting worse, is what was sold to me as Nesaea red. Not sure that is what it is now, but that may have to go. Sucks as I bought so much of it, only 1/3 is in this tank.

I know I have been posting a bunch of pictures but I really wanted to remember where I am at before I trim. I am going to trim back pretty hard to day as I want all the uncolored green in the middle to be cut where visible. Also, some plants are growing a lot more upward, rather that outwards so I think it will give me some room. Tank will not likely look good for a few weeks.

Here are the most recent:








And for comparison, right before I switch lighting and turned the CO2 off:
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Old 11-23-2013, 01:42 AM   #165
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Ok, I know I update a lot but I actually use my journals to teach myself and even read some of my first when I have had an issue before (actually one of the reasons I switched to low tech after reading an old journal). I can now say that my tank is basically 100% algae free. I am not sure where I am going to go, after my stems recover, I may stay low tech, I may go back to high tech. If I go back to high tech, I seriously have to learn/relearn mode because I really don't know what I am doing wrong but I can see I have more than ample light. That will be decided later, I do want to start adding CO2 again and see how that works, but with a much lower light level. I also use "low tech" loosely. IMO, there really isn't a "medium tech" as much as there used to be. I consider low tech to be no injected CO2, no complex fert routine, no complex lighting system.

I did want to post a picture after a trim to give a better idea of what is going on. You can see that my tank is pretty much full. On one side, it's fun because I am basically done, outside of letting the tank grow into itself and manicuring it. On the flip side, though I wanted to try a bunch of new plants, I didn't leave enough space for some I really love. I will likely make some changes, just saying, now it's time to be patient.

The main plant I see potentially ripping out is the Limnophila aromatica. I always thought this would be my favorite plant as I love it in pictures but I just haven't had much luck with it coloring up. The second that may go is Hygro Brown. I honestly got this as a ROAK from Psiorian at the start of this tank and didn't know much about it. I like it but I stayed away from L. Repens for a certain reason so far and this may have the same issues. If I rip both out, which I am not planning to yet, I will have a TON of room.

Ironically enough, I planned on this taking about 3-4 months to get somewhere. I am just past the 2 month mark, if you consider the fact I moved the (unplanted) tank into the equation. Though It's taking me less time than I thought to get this far, though having a bunch of trouble in the process, it feels slow. I keep seeing peoples tanks develop in a month or less and forget how I do things.

Ok, on to the boring pics, recent hard trim:



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