Someoldguy's pile of rocks - Page 2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #16 of 44 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017, 04:44 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Pattern8 View Post
I've experienced that cloudy white shroud on every new piece of wood I've ever used. I always thought it was just the beneficial bacteria establishing itself. Never knew it was a fungus until now.
Many years back , when I first started fooling around with putting wood into tanks , I ran into the white slime issue , and hit Google to try to find out what was up with it . At that point in time , the general consensus across the boards was that it's fungal in nature . I'm no expert on fungi so I'm just assuming that info from many different sources is accurate and not the perpetuation of an 'urban legend ' of sorts . What baffles me is that the occurrence is on wood that has been treated with penetrating epoxy which should , in theory , at least , seal up any fibers or organics that could support fungal growth .
Anyway , maybe I'll wait it out , or more likely it'll get sucked out with an approaching water change .
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post #17 of 44 (permalink) Old 01-12-2017, 03:09 PM Thread Starter
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Guess the cycling is done , 0 nitrites as of last night . Crypt. Melt seems to have stopped , wasn’t total so the tank still looks halfway decent . Same goes with the anubias , doesn’t seem to have been rhizome rot ( at least not yet ) .
But there’s snails . Can’t believe it , all the plants sat in an alum bath for a couple of days , and I’ve still got ‘em . Even worse , it looks like they’re pond , or bladder snails , both of which seem to reproduce exponentially in my tanks . So I’m going on a snail hunt twice daily . Squash 8 or 10 each time . If I can get them while they’re small I’ve got a fighting chance . Pulled a couple of assassin snails from one of my other tanks , maybe they’ll be of some help , too .
Did a small ,10-15%, water change today to rid the tank of dead leaves , mulm , and the like .
Over the weekend I’ll be doing some small addition/moving of plants , pix then .
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post #18 of 44 (permalink) Old 01-12-2017, 03:43 PM
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Looking forward to the update and I love all the thought/DIY you put into this one. I guess you can always do the lettuce trick to get more of the snails.

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post #19 of 44 (permalink) Old 01-12-2017, 04:25 PM Thread Starter
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Looking forward to the update and I love all the thought/DIY you put into this one. I guess you can always do the lettuce trick to get more of the snails.
Yup ... the ol' lettuce/zucchini/cucumber trick is my fallback . Right now I'm just getting little guys and I hope to be able to squoosh them out of existence before things get out of hand .
Thanks for your appreciation of my efforts ..... basically I thought this thing out extensively over 6 months to a year or so , trying to incorporate stuff that I've picked up , or tried , over the years that I knew for sure would work for me . Any new tank will have ' teething pains' for the first few months until everything gets dialed in . My goal with this thing is to keep those to a minimum . Nobody needs a tank that runs from crisis to crisis .
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post #20 of 44 (permalink) Old 01-15-2017, 05:52 PM Thread Starter
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Some small additions to the tank :
Added some more bolbitis to the back center , replacing a few tissue cultured wendti which melted back into nothingness .



Some more Java Fern went into the back center right and along the right and left sides ; again to replace vaporized crypts and a few strings of Monte Carlo that went someplace .






Couple more Buces on the root and back left lava wall .






Most of the larger crypts are showing new growth . As are a few of the Anubias that melted . Think maybe they had some sort of transplant shock that caused them to drop leaves .



Still squashing snails .
The floaters in the tank are doing real well so far . Frogbit’s developing long roots , riccia’s becoming a nice pillow , and the hornwort has decided to spend its’ time trying to fill up the tank .
The substrate filter pickup is working pretty well , though there’s the expected mulm buildup starting . I’ll let it build up for a few weeks and then start siphoning what I feel is excessive during the bi-weekly water changes . A bit ( or maybe more than a bit) here and there won’t hurt anything .
Ran the diatom filter for a couple of hours after adding stuff to clear all the floating organics out of the water . Amazing how clear it gets the water .
Waited to begin ferts. until the cycle completed , so began yesterday . Adding 30 ml of each :
K2HPO4 mixed in a solution of 1.75g/250ml of water
KNO3 in a solution of 15.5g/250ml of water
Microplex (for traces ) in a solution of 4.25g/250ml of water
Chelated iron in a solution of 3.4g/250 ml of water
Used a cheapo Harbor Freight scale to do the measuring.
Proportions are from here : Rotala Butterfly | Planted Aquarium Nutrient Dosing Calculator calculated assuming low light EI , 10ml dosage/10 gallons ( or 1ml/gallon of tank water)
Using a plastic graduated cylinder and making a solution for 1ml/gallon makes dosing pretty much brainless . Fill the cylinder to the level of your tank’s volume and dump ……. done.
Been using this for a while now in 16 other low light/tech tanks and it seems to be working OK . No problems save for 1 20long that gets BGA occasionally . But that tank is pretty heavily stocked .
I’m using a 30 ml. dosage to compensate for the amount of water volume displaced by the hardscape . Probably getting too concerned over this , but better too little than too much at this point.
I’m thinking of introducing 8 or 10 RCS into the tank , possibly next weekend , if everything stays stable . The only concern I’ve got is this crevasse that was filled with substrate , but pretty much opened up thanks to gravity . I’d like to fill it up , my thought being that if something can to get into a tight area ,get trapped , and die ,
it will . Any ideas as to possible fillers?



And the obligatory full tank shot .

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post #21 of 44 (permalink) Old 01-15-2017, 06:32 PM
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post #22 of 44 (permalink) Old 01-30-2017, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
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2 weeks later , still squashing snails . I’m beginning to think that I’ve got the only vegetarian assassin snails around . Probably why they were cheap .
There’s been major growth with the Hornwort . Compare today’s pic with that in post 10 .



One Hornwort free…



The crevasse in the left rock wall was plugged , hopefully permanently , with an infusion of gravel and wedged in bits of lava , and overplanted with a bit of Anubias nana and Java Moss . It was a whole lot deeper than I’d thought , 1 ½-2” , so you know something would have gone in there and died .
Seems to be a bit of algae starting on the back wall , so time to readjust lighting by incorporating a rest break in the light cycle of 2 hours or so in mid-day . We’ll see how that does . If there’s no reduction in algae before the next water change , then I’ll investigate either a piece of window screen or some 1 stop ND gel over the led’s , and see if that works . Or maybe a UV . Also going to run the Diatom filter after this week’s water change for an hour or so to clear any floating algal cells that might be floating around .
Nitrates running close to 40 so that’s not helping either , so I’ll forgo the KNO3 dosing after this water change .
The Hornwort was to be thinned out this weekend , but think it’ll stay in for another week or 2 . Everything else seems to be doing fine , getting new growth pretty much on everything , although the Frogbit has acquired a population of tiny bugs .





Got 2 opinions as to what they are : Aphids , or Springtails ; plus something else .



Gonna try to rinse them into oblivion .
Picked up some Cory. habrosus last week , they’re currently in an unused tank awaiting a clean bill of health . I’ll add them next week , or the week after if everything’s still OK .
Probably add some RCS this week , there’s 10-12 happily existing in a couple of shoeboxes along with some Riccia that are awaiting bigger quarters .
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post #23 of 44 (permalink) Old 02-13-2017, 12:54 AM Thread Starter
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About 2 weeks back , I added some RCS , and last weekend half a dozen Cory. habrosus .





Don’t see the cories much , they blend right in with the gravel .
All the plant life seems to be settling in pretty well , Java Ferns are developing plantlets , Crypts are showing new growth , turning off the lights for a few hours mid-day hasn’t eliminated the small amount of algae on the back wall , so I’ll try using some screen to cut down intensity and see how that works .The aphid infestation on the Frogbit appears to be pretty much under control ,I’m rinsing them off as they appear .
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post #24 of 44 (permalink) Old 02-13-2017, 04:13 AM
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Aphids!

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post #25 of 44 (permalink) Old 02-13-2017, 02:12 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah , seems to be the general consensus of opinion, both here , and on another (non aquarium) forum . So far , so good with rinsing off , but if it doesn't work long term , I'll pull the floaters out , put them in a plastic takeout container with some water , and give them a shot of Safer Soap . Wait a week or 2 , rinse everything off and back into the 45.
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post #26 of 44 (permalink) Old 02-13-2017, 03:02 PM
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For what its worth, with regards to your snails, I have found that I can vacuum them out pretty quickly with minimal effort. Now, the trick is figuring out the vacuum system LOL.
What I did was use a regular gravel siphon and get the water flowing thru the siphon as usual. Then once the water is flowing, remove the actual siphon and so all your left with is the small plastic hose. The water flow into the hose is strong enough to suck up the little snails (and sometimes a some sub-straight as well). I bet I have removed more than 50 trumpet snails from the tank is less than a few minutes.
Again, it may not work for your situation but I figured I would throw it out there in case it did.


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post #27 of 44 (permalink) Old 02-13-2017, 04:21 PM Thread Starter
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For what its worth, with regards to your snails, I have found that I can vacuum them out pretty quickly with minimal effort. Now, the trick is figuring out the vacuum system LOL.
What I did was use a regular gravel siphon and get the water flowing thru the siphon as usual. Then once the water is flowing, remove the actual siphon and so all your left with is the small plastic hose. The water flow into the hose is strong enough to suck up the little snails (and sometimes a some sub-straight as well). I bet I have removed more than 50 trumpet snails from the tank is less than a few minutes.
Again, it may not work for your situation but I figured I would throw it out there in case it did.
Sounds good . Don't think it'll work on this tank as the snails I'm dealing with are tiny , and there's only a few a day that I'm squashing . BUT ... I've got a 20 long that's overrun with pond snails . When I do water changes , I use a small booster pump to accelerate things , and provide suction for the lower shelf on my racks which are below the house drain level . Think I'll try to see if the snails will pass the impeller in the pump . If that doesn't work , maybe a shop vac will .
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post #28 of 44 (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 09:37 PM Thread Starter
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Some years back , I’d fooled around making home brew “Blackwater Tonic” from dried ,crumbled up , and boiled oak leaves that I’d picked up in the late Fall . At the time my Crypts, and some of the fish I was keeping seemed to do well with the addition of the mix into their tank’s water . Figured I’d try it again , so cooked up a batch and added it in , along with the boiled oak flakes .



Only about a pint or so of liquid , less than .5% of the total water volume of the tank , so there was no real change in the water’s coloration . The leaf flakes ended up where they ended up , I just knocked off the bits that landed on leaves . So let’s see if there’s any change , either for better or worse , that can be attributed to the tannins in this stuff over the next few weeks .
Think I’ve got the snails beat . I’m only seeing one or 2 every couple of days . Guess a month of squashing , plus the assassins did the trick .
A couple of the Bolbitis bits went brown on me and were pulled and replaced with a bit of Anubias ‘nana petite ‘ . At least I think it’s petite … we’ll find out . Still fighting the aphids . Pulled the Frogbit out , along with some of the hornwort that had an aggregation of bugs on it , sprayed them with insecticidal soap and put them in a takeout container along with some water and a clear lid .I’ll give it a couple of weeks and see what happens . The rest of the hornwort , along with the riccia is in a 5 with some craft mesh over it to keep everything submerged . Maybe any aphids hiding within will drown over the next few days . I’m only replacing part of the hornwort when it goes back into the 45 as its’ growth has been pretty rampant . Think I’ll do today’s water change with a ShopVac to suck out any bugs which might be lurking on the water’s surface .
Biweekly ferts the same as before . Nitrates between 20-40 . Temp. still 75 F +/- .
FTS next installment .
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post #29 of 44 (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 09:51 PM
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ooh cool idea
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post #30 of 44 (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 10:13 PM Thread Starter
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It's something that's been around for years and years . Always worked OK for me , though I don't utilize it too much . If you decide to try it , make sure the leaves you use are from an area which doesn't have aerial spraying for West Nile , gypsy moths or whatever . It'll smell some when you cook it up , also let the brew cool down to room temperature before adding it into your tanks . All in all ,it won't do miracles , just another thing for your mental toolbox of fish stuff .
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