Complexity Journal: 75g "High Tech" Planted Tank / New pics 8-24-2012! - Page 44
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Old 06-14-2012, 01:39 AM   #646
Complexity
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Thanks, Cardoc. It didn't take me too long. I'm using the customflo kits which I really like. I modify them somewhat (cut and glue some of the pieces to go the way I want), but most of the pieces are stock from the kit.

That spraybar won't show once the plants grow in. There's another one just like it lower in the tank. The lower one is the one with the injected CO2.
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Old 06-14-2012, 02:23 PM   #647
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Yeah, I should be able to get some pics next week. I just got some plants in yesterday and today so they're all curled up and all from being shipped. I want to give them a chance to at least point in the right direction before I start taking their photograph! LOL!
Oops! somehow I missed this one, so YAY for new plants and YAY for pictures soon

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I finally have some pictures!
WOOHOOO!!!!

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Tank has been running for about a week after being restarted. This isn't really a scape as the plants are in the tank mainly just to get them growing. Some of the plants have been transferred back and forth between my 75g and 90g tanks and some just arrived in the mail. So they all need extra TLC to get them growing into nice, lush plants. However, if the pearling and oxygen bubbles all over the tank is any indication, then the plants should be showing some good growth in the new couple of weeks.
Ugh, you jerk (), how is your "not really a scape" so much nicer than my "i did try to scape this"? To be fair to myself, I haven't yet rescaped since the tanks were neglected Your tank looks GORGEOUS even though it's newly planted, great job! I LOVE the way you set up the driftwood too! Also, what kind of crypts are those red ones? Is it just your bulb that gets them to look so red in pictures? or maybe your camera settings? My red crypts NEVER look that red, especially in pictures.

Can't wait to see this one fill in!
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Old 06-14-2012, 04:00 PM   #648
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LOL! If you saw which plants I have in front and which are in back, you'd understand why I said the tank wasn't scaped. As they grow out, I'll have to move them around, but I wanted to be sure the new plants that came in were able to get plenty of light so I put them in the front even though many will grow too tall to stay there.

Red crypts? I actually had to look back at the pics to see what you're talking about! They're not really red. They're more that brownish red color. I think it's a combination of all the above: partly their color, partly the lighting, and partly the camera. They show up more right now because they're the tallest plants in the tank for now. When I let my tank go low tech during my non-maintenance period, I bought a bunch of different crypts, and now I have crypts running out my ears!

Can't wait to see it fill in, too! I think that's really the most fun part!
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Old 06-14-2012, 05:33 PM   #649
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My ADA double check drop checker. I think I have the CO2 right on target!

Tank looks great, growth looks nice. Just in my experience, I always found with the double checks that 'right on target' was slightly less CO2 than my plants preferred. I was always on the 'brink' of algae when I had it matching perfectly like that, but thats with a lot of metal halide. If you find your fish are tolerating the CO2 quite well, and you're getting any precursors to algae, I'd up the CO2 by very small amounts each day and watch how your fish respond. I'm a bit reckless with my CO2 though! For example I usually push it until my fish are in distress then lower slowly until they start acting close to normal again, and no lower. Just my .02 though! Some people don't want to mess with their fish at all like that.

If I had to guess I'd say your CO2 was 25ppm-30ppm, and I prefer 35-40ppm, so like I said take my advice with a large grain of salt Also I use 100% RO/DI so getting 35-40ppm is pretty easy. I know I've pushed it way passed that by accident, good thing I rarely keep fish. I love the crypts by the way, good stuff.
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Old 06-14-2012, 07:50 PM   #650
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Thanks, Cm. I did not know the double checks were a tad on the lean side with CO2. I've done what you've suggested before (upped it until the fish shows signs, then dropped it one notch) with excellent success and am very willing to do it again.

The CO2 dosing is looking stable right now so I think I can inch it up a notch without worrying about it fluctuating upward beyond my intentions. That's the last step for me. I have to be sure things are stable and not swinging up and down before I inch it up that last bit.

Appreciate the clue about the double check.
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Old 06-14-2012, 08:34 PM   #651
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Thanks, Cm. I did not know the double checks were a tad on the lean side with CO2. I've done what you've suggested before (upped it until the fish shows signs, then dropped it one notch) with excellent success and am very willing to do it again.

The CO2 dosing is looking stable right now so I think I can inch it up a notch without worrying about it fluctuating upward beyond my intentions. That's the last step for me. I have to be sure things are stable and not swinging up and down before I inch it up that last bit.

Appreciate the clue about the double check.
No problem. Sounds like you already knew
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Old 06-14-2012, 09:17 PM   #652
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Yeah, but it's been a while. I always appreciate a refresher course.
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Old 06-16-2012, 05:08 AM   #653
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haahahaha well whatever they are and however it's planted, the tank looks great! Watching it grow and fill in is definitely one of the most fun parts of planted tanks! It's especially fun to keep journals with pictures so that you can go back and compare!
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Old 06-16-2012, 07:09 AM   #654
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I like the scape. Well done.
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Old 06-17-2012, 09:34 PM   #655
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Thanks, Karackle and Green!

Added fertilizer tabs today since the substrate is new. It'll be interesting to see if that makes any difference.

I'm also working to inch the CO2 up to its maximum point. I've had to increase the bubble count because it became a limiting factor. Since this tank is in my bedroom so I don't see it during the day, I'm being especially careful on raising the CO2. Don't want to gas my fish and not catch it in time.

Beginning to get diatoms which doesn't surprise me since this is a new setup (again). I knew I'd go through an algae phase as the tank matures and becomes balanced. I need to get some otos and amanos, but I'm out of space for QTs so that'll have to wait a bit.
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Old 06-17-2012, 09:47 PM   #656
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Thanks, Karackle and Green!

Added fertilizer tabs today since the substrate is new. It'll be interesting to see if that makes any difference.

I'm also working to inch the CO2 up to its maximum point. I've had to increase the bubble count because it became a limiting factor. Since this tank is in my bedroom so I don't see it during the day, I'm being especially careful on raising the CO2. Don't want to gas my fish and not catch it in time.

Beginning to get diatoms which doesn't surprise me since this is a new setup (again). I knew I'd go through an algae phase as the tank matures and becomes balanced. I need to get some otos and amanos, but I'm out of space for QTs so that'll have to wait a bit.
I've found that if I use exclusively RO/DI water in the first month that diatoms never gain enough steam to even need ottos and amanos, they come around for a day or two max then melt away quickly. My well water has a good amount of silicates in it (sandy soil) so without the RO/DI system the diatoms literally never go away as long as I do consistent water changes, as I'm essentially feeding them by giving them more silicates to replace the ones they used to grow. If you have access to pure RO/DI water I highly recommend it if you have diatoms, they don't stand a chance if you do consistent water changes with 0ppm silicates.
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Old 06-17-2012, 11:51 PM   #657
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Thanks for the suggestion, that's something I hadn't thought about before. Although I don't know where I'd get RO/DI water, and even if I did, I'd hate to try to lug 35g of water (50%) around every week. That's just more than I can deal with by myself.

The diatoms I'm getting now will go away once the tank matures. I've noticed a pattern in which my newly started tanks go through an algae phase a few weeks after being started, but once I kill the algae, it doesn't come back even though I don't change anything else. It doesn't have anything to do with the tank cycling because the tank is already cycled (jump started from other tanks). But it does seem to have something to do with the tank maturing in some way.

When I started up my 90g, it went through a horrible algae phase. Not only did it get diatoms, but it got hair algae, some BBA had started, there was some other kind of algae (a short filamentous algae), and then it started getting green water. Part of the reason that tank got so bad is because I was ignoring it since I was still in school, and I made things worse by stopping ferts once the algae started in. When I finally had time to address the problem, it wasn't hard to fix. I simply turned on my uv sterilizer and hit the tank with 4ml/g of H2O2 (yes, a very high amount, but I wanted to treat the entire tank). That killed the algae, and a week later, all traces of the algae had melted away. None of the algae came back even though I didn't change anything in my setup. I don't know what caused the algae in the beginning other than the tank being a new setup.

I've gotten to the point that I'm expecting the 75g to go through something similar. It's beginning now with the diatoms. I may not get all the other algae since I'm dosing heavy amounts of CO2, have changed out the light bulbs, as well as keeping up with the EI ferts so the plants may outrace the algae attack. But if not, I won't be too worried. Since I've used all my current settings before, I know everything will balance out once the tank gets past the new stage and finally matures. Then the tank's balance will be more stable.
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Old 06-18-2012, 01:40 AM   #658
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The diatoms I'm getting now will go away once the tank matures. I've noticed a pattern in which my newly started tanks go through an algae phase a few weeks after being started, but once I kill the algae, it doesn't come back even though I don't change anything else. It doesn't have anything to do with the tank cycling because the tank is already cycled (jump started from other tanks). But it does seem to have something to do with the tank maturing in some way.
This DEFINITELY seems to be true, I've gone through this many times myself. When we were going through all the moves a few years ago and had to take down the tanks to move, set them up for a few months until we could move into the new place, take them down for that move and set them back up, all of the tanks got diatoms each time even though we kept the beneficial bacteria colonies alive by leaving filter media and some plants in the transport containers with the fish. It does seem to have something to do with the tank maturing. Not sure on the why and wherefores, but the diatoms do seem to go away on their own after a time, not even too long of a time. Just makes the plants look a bit dusty for a while Yes, Otos and amanos will eat the diatoms, but they will also go away on their own.
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Old 06-24-2012, 03:28 PM   #659
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There is love it the air... errr... water! I finally moved my male Pelvicachromis pulcher 'Lagos Red' from the 29g tank where he raised his fry to the 75g tank to be with his mate once again. I had moved the female to the 75g tank about a week ago to give her the advantage of adjusting to the tank and finding all the caves before putting him in the tank with her. He is the most aggressive pelvicachromis I have ever had, but they have successfully bred before so I wanted to give them another try.

The female was all over the male the very instant I put him in the tank! She was so dark red, she was almost black! He was pretty much in a daze from being transferred into a new tank and then having her all over him, just dying to breed again. He couldn't make a move without having her run up in front of him, shaking her red middle at him in all kinds of contortions. You'd think she hadn't had sex in a year. Oh, wait... she hadn't!

Last time they bred, the male became so aggressive towards the female, I had to remove her from the tank so he raised the babies by himself. So they've been separated for several months. I kept two of their babies which I also put in the 75g tank. That tank will be for their family.

It's been a couple of days, and the male has explored the tank enough to become oriented. He's now showing his aggressive nature. But the female isn't daunted. She continues to entice him into breeding. This is what she did the last time so I'm sure they'll be breeding again soon. I just hope the 75g tank is large enough so the female will be safe after they've bred. I have about 10 caves in the tank for her to hide in if she needs to get away from him later on.
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Old 06-24-2012, 08:38 PM   #660
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The tank is going through the algae phase which I expected at this point. I'm getting a lot of diatoms which doesn't worry me even though they're unsightly. I'm also getting another algae that I cannot identify. I've looked at it under the microscope, and it doesn't match any of the algae I can find so far. It's actually quiet beautiful, and if it wasn't so aggressive, I'd love to keep it.

The algae is very bright green and very short. Under the microscope, it does not appear to grow in lengths, but in bunches (meaning, it doesn't grow like a stem, but more like a crypt or sword). The "leaves" are very short, pointed at the bottom and top, and fat in the middle (like a pointed banana). If it wasn't so bright green, I'd think it was another type of diatom, but its cellular structure and color is not the same as a diatom. The overall appearance is like a short bright green BBA. It blows in the current very pretty.

So far, it does not match BBA, green brush algae, any form of hair or filamentous algae, or any algae I can find on the internet. I've tried to identify it through all kinds of ways, but I'm stumped.

However, as nice as it looks, it's too aggressive. This algae definitely likes light as it is growing rapidly on everything closest to the lights. It's on the wood and leaves of the taller plants. It's completely coating whatever it's on which, if allowed to continue, would block photosynthesis. So I've had no choice but to treat the tank.

Yesterday, I hit the tank with 4ml per gallon of H2O2 for a total of 300ml. I spot treated as much of the algae as I could. I also hit the areas with diatoms to see if I could get rid of any of them while I was at it. Then I let that sit for 15 minutes with no filters and no lights. Then I turned on the filters and let them run for another 15 minutes while the lights remained off. After that, I turned on the lights. About 7 hours later, I did my weekly 50% water change.

The tank bubbled like crazy which is what I expected. Today, the water is a bit hazy from all the dead algae, but the fish and inverts are doing fine (the pelvicachromis are still doing their mating dances and all). The plants already look better without so much algae covering them. Interestingly, it looks like the treatment may have killed the diatoms as they aren't as dark as before which makes the whole tank look better. I'll know by next week.

I'll be doing extra water changes this week to keep up with the dead algae, but so far, so good. I will probably need to do one more H2O2 treatment to catch any bad spots I missed before, but that should be it. Once I get the tank passed this phase, the tank should do great.
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