Aquatop high clarity 12 gallon long
Filtration and Circulation
Eheim 1250 with custom intake
Current Satellite Plus Pro
Photoperiod: 11:00 - 22:00
ADA Aqua Soil Amazonia (regular and powder type)
NilocG Thrive: 1 pump M, W, F
Flourish Excel: 4.0mL daily
+ 500mg MgO supplement: M, Th
50% water change Monday morning and Thursday evening
Frozen baby brine shrimp
Repashy Soilent Green
Repashy Meat Pie
'Papua New Guinea'
sp. 'black pearl'
sp. 'pink lady'
sp. 'royal blue'
sp. 'super mini'
I planted and flooded the aquarium on 3.01.1 and am really pleased with how things are coming along so far. My hardscape shifted when I had to move the set up to its permanent location. I didn't want to traumatize the plants anymore than they had been, so I left it as it settled.
Frustratingly, all of the HC I had in the carpet was uprooted by sloshing during the move. I had a tremendously difficult time replanting it (my planting pincettes are not fine enough to make a clean retraction from the substrate without unsettling the plant). What was worse is that the plants got shuffled and were really just a tangled mess of tiny leaves, roots, and stems. Unable to psychologically commit to sorting through the mess and replanting each piece, I decided to try to arrange the strands of HC into mats, press them against the substrate and sprinkle some AS sparingly over top. While this isn't the most presentable option, the HC is growing and starting to take root once more.
This is also the point at which I decided to intentionally mix other plants into the HC. Previously I had the HC as its own field and had planned to aggressively cut back any DHG and L. mauritiana
that moved in. After having to reset the HC I really thought about what I want the scape to look like. I decided that mixing together the carpet plants would lend a much more natural look that suggested the shallow marginal areas of flooded fields from which the celestial pearls and rosy loaches hail. Into the HC was mixed S. repens, C. parva, L. mauritiana
and E. acicularis
. I have been carefully trimming plants to ensure that none are choking the others out as the more slow growing plants fill in. Once the plants are as nicely established and grown in as I would likeI plan on dialing the lighting back some, adjusting fertilization accordingly, and let this become a more low maintenance scape. Reading what Tom Barr and others have to say in regard to using less lighting and having a more steady system has really convinced me that's the way to go. Until then, as I am always very obsessive when starting up a project, the frequent care currently required is actually perfect.
As for the rest of the plants, all of the crypts melted (as I was expecting). I helped mitigate the amount of crypt slop I had to pluck out of the aquarium by trimming off all large leaves prior to planting. Each portion of crypt has new growth coming up , so it's just a matter of time before things fill in as I would like. I think the C. wendtii
'bronze' will be striking once it bounces back.
Wow, typing this up has been a great distraction from studying for my finals tomorrow.
Any way, thank you for reading this! I would love to hear constructive critiques, especially of the stones, as I intend to rearrange them a bit once things have settled in more.
All my photos were taken with my iPhone 6, and are of according quality. A few are crooked, and while I generally would take the time to edit them to fix that, I have been far too good at procrastinating already.
After planting the tank, before flooding it:
Aquarium in temporary location:
Murkiness has begun to settle:
After moving the aquarium to its permanent location:
Just a mess of HC. I added Purigen because of frustration from the cloudiness caused by disturbance to the substrate.
Thank you, Seachem, Purigen is a miracle worker!
The plants are recovering nicely and starting to look more vibrant.
Not much to report today. Ammonia levels have been holding at 0.0 ppm since Monday. Nitrites are down to 2.0 ppm from >5.0 ppm the past several days. Nitrates were somewhere between 10.0 and 20.0 ppm yesterday, now there are down to 5.0 ppm. I have not done a water change since Sunday evening, so I assume the plants are accountable for the drop in nitrates.
Full tank shot from this morning before work:
Aerial shot of the right side; some S. repens
, sprouts of C. wendtii
'bronze' and C. parva
Checking the water after work (~12 hours after first reading), the nitrites had dropped to 0.25 ppm.
Some of the crypts are growing surprisingly quickly, many patches of grass could use a trim, and I'm still fighting to keep my HC rooted, though some has taken hold and is creeping.
Ammonia: 0.0 ppm
Nitrite: 0.25 ppm
Nitrate: 10.0-20.0 ppm (very difficult to tell difference in hues on API chart)
I also pulled the emergent plants out of the top last night.