My 29 Gallon Journal (WARNING: 56Kers) **12 August '04**
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Old 07-09-2004, 08:07 AM   #1
ColinAnderson
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My 29 Gallon Journal (WARNING: 56Kers) **12 August '04**


Initial setup. How desolate?

We'll put some plants in. Ah, yes, that's looking slightly better. It receives my approval.

Looks okaayyy in the dark, but still missing A LOT.


Cycle, cycle, cycle, cycle.

And, an amazing two weeks later (yes, two weeks) the cycling is finished and some fishies (gold skirt tetras and red-eye tetras, TBE) are joined with even more plants. Laterite and flourite were added to the substrate to help with nutrient uptake and that sort of thing. It's beginning to look halfway decent.

But, alas, my light fixture wasn't working correctly, which is fine and dandy as I don't have my CO2 delivery system setup quite yet. So we move back to the dual regular flourescent fixture and look at the gold skirts and red-eyes.


Today, I re-aquascaped a bit (one, to spread out the bunched stem plants [rotalia, cambomba, anacharis, and moneywort] and two, to help with the introduction of the new fishies).

Six black phantom tetras were added along with two from my ten gallon to complete a handsome school of eight. Very, very attractive fish and quite a sight while shoaling. Their shy nature just drives me crazy ... crazy in love.

Six silver hatchetfish were added as well (I just love the elegant movements and the way their pectoral fins flow upward and back, almost as if they have wings).

Since introducing corydoras to my ten gallon, I've fallen in love with these adorable little dummies. Reminescent of classic Seussical characters, their tireless back-and-forth swimming has me hooked. Seldom do they rest, though I caught this one off-guard.

I also tied my lovely java fern specimen to my piece of driftwood (procured and treated from the lake in my neighborhood), which until now has been loosely planted in the substrata. Many fernlets are appearing on its leaves, and I can't wait until I have to find places to plant them.

All in all, everything's going quite well. The tank's still rather sparse and lacks any real sense of coherence, but we'll let the coming weeks sort that out.
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Last edited by ColinAnderson; 08-13-2004 at 04:56 AM..
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Old 07-09-2004, 08:16 AM   #2
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tank looks good, needs a black background though.

What a difference between the first couple pics, and the last. Good job
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Old 07-09-2004, 08:28 AM   #3
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Thanks! Yeah -- the background's coming next as soon as I have more time to run by the fish store.
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Old 07-11-2004, 06:18 AM   #4
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Thats looking wonderful Colin! Even the gravel mix has great color to it. Keep the pics coming!
-David
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Old 07-21-2004, 03:43 AM   #5
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I'm starting to become painfully aware how bad these pictures are. I can honestly say it looks much better seeing the real thing. Anyway, here's the update:

Finally have the working PC fixtures, which illuminate the tank unbelievably well. I have my pressurized CO2 system up and running, with a small amount of pearling going on at the end of the day (still tweaking my injection levels).

More plants have been added (ludwigia mullertii, alternathera reinekii, 2x vallisneria gigantia, cambomba caroliniana, rotalia indica, egeria densa, bacopa monnieri, and one more microsorium pteropus) to fill it in.

Hopefully to your delight, I've added a somewhat smaller version of the rock retaining wall I had originally placed in the aquarium. It works remarkably well as a plateau on which to situate one end of my drift wood, so as to form a "bridge" through the aquarium. I've tied both java ferns to the wood (good grief, it felt like surgery, getting these things tied securely).

The water sprite was pruned back a lot -- as you can see it's still going strong. The anacharis is growing very fast as well -- two of them already brushing the surface of the water. One of the jungle vals is doing extremely well (as you will see in the picture) and growing across the tank. The other three have yet to really take off, but are doing well all the same. I cannot account for the difference.

The rotalia is doing well, growing at a slower pace. I'm still waiting to see some really nice color from it. The alternathera and red ludwigia dulled initially, but once the pressurized CO2 as added, they really brightened up in the red spectrum.

I'm going to attack fertilization next, and see if I can really bring out the color and growth of the plants. I should receive my new Eheim canister tomorrow or Thursday, at which time I'll be able to construct a better inline reactor so that I can get better CO2 dissolution. Anyway here are a few shots (again, in terms of color and things, these don't do it justice).



The rockwall is back and looking great; and the melon sword is really taking off.


One of the jugle vals is doing extremely well, as you can see it reaching out along a large part of the tank.


I've also added the black background (which really helps!) and as soon as I get the new Eheim filter, I should be able to take away the CO2 reactor on the right side, and a few weeks later, the Emperor 400 filter.

Criticism (contructive preferably) always welcomed.
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Old 07-21-2004, 04:05 AM   #6
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Hey Colin,

Looks like you're on your way.

RE: the left side:
I wonder how it would look if 1) you pushed the stone terrace frontward, and 2) moved the stem plants toward the rear (on the terraced area)? You may also want to try to have them placed in a diagonal toward the center.

Also, re: the fern--let's see it more clearly! : )

Looking good.
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Old 07-21-2004, 10:39 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John P.
Hey Colin,

Looks like you're on your way. ...

Looking good.
Thanks! However, the driftwood is remaining stubborn and in want of floating -- so I had to rubberband a rock to the end to keep it down -- and the rock had to be large enough to keep it down, which takes up most of the space on the terraced area!


Quote:
Originally Posted by John P.
... RE: the left side:
I wonder how it would look if 1) you pushed the stone terrace frontward, and 2) moved the stem plants toward the rear (on the terraced area)? You may also want to try to have them placed in a diagonal toward the center.

Also, re: the fern--let's see it more clearly! : )
As soon as the stupid wood stops floating, I'll definitely try your idea. And more pictures of the java ferns tomorrow evening! The larger one is sitting in the elbow (where a branch was broken when I was treating the wood, leaving a crater), and it's the perfect size!
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Old 07-21-2004, 02:35 PM   #8
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I like the rock setup in the first picture. It'd be cool if you had riccia and dwarf hairgrass only with that rock setup. It'd look pretty friggin cool.

anyway, nice work
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Old 07-21-2004, 03:52 PM   #9
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Looks great. A good start and once the stem plants start to fill in with the CO2 you're going to have a sharp looking tank! One suggestion, you may want to plant the R. indica on the left 2-3 stems at a time and make a large "hedge" of it or space it out more into a diagonal manner (as mentioned above). If you keep it bunched up, the lower and inner leaves in the bunch will rot. Once you space it out you'll see it will "take off" and form a lot of sideshoots.
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Old 07-21-2004, 09:15 PM   #10
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I'm likin it so far. You're doing nice things with it

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Old 08-13-2004, 05:04 AM   #11
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This thing is a jungle. I haven't been scaping or trimming much as I'm moving next week and will do all that when I move. The vallisneria gigantia is just that, gigantic. I don't have a picture of my cambomba carolinia either -- but it is doing fantastic. That clump at the top of the pictures is my new batch of riccia fluitans thanks to adriansg. Great job Adrian!



The althernathera is doing wonderfully -- it has brilliant coloration.



The rotalia indica has been doing amazingly well also -- I spread it out as dawger suggested, and it has exploded.



My red melon sword is also growing at an amazing rate.



Here's one of my new angels.



Lastly, what type of algae is this?

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Old 08-13-2004, 06:57 AM   #12
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Colin, the tank looks great! Pruning after you move is going to take forever!! As far as the algae...seems like a hair algae that is more of a "macro" type. I had that for a bit before I moved my tank and its pretty easy to control...just grab it and keep twisting it until its in a ball--then chunk it. When you do move, do a good plant dip for about 15-20 minutes in a potassium permanganate solution, start off with no micro ferts (just the 10:1 nitrate, phosphate ratio...you may even want to skip the phosphates for a week or so), then everything should be nice and stable. As far as a pp solution...they have Jungle Clear Water at walmart...pretty cheap and it should last you a while. Just get a good bucket and squirt some of it in while you fill the bucket. I usually make my solution a deep purple color. That has always controlled my algae problems.
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Old 08-13-2004, 07:51 AM   #13
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Wow, good job Colin. Plants look really healthy and filling up nicely Don't worry about algae. You have a really minimal algae growth/problem there compare to many people's new tanks (including me )
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Old 08-13-2004, 12:47 PM   #14
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Nice growth in the tank Colin and I love the "Empty Wallet" remark in your sig

As far as your algae is concerned be sure to check that your CO2 is doing its job and back off on ferts a bit , with all the fast growing stems in there you really should have no nutrient build-ups for the algae to feed on, you just have a small nutrient balance problem somewhere.
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