Someoldguy's pile of rocks - Page 3 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #31 of 44 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 08:19 PM Thread Starter
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So the experiment of spraying the Frogbit with insecticidal soap was almost a success . No more aphids , but the Frogbit died , too . Sorta like the operation was a success but the patient died . Nice try , but no cigar !
The rest of the plant growth is coming along pretty well , though thereís a bit of brown algae/diatoms on some of the rockwork and rear glass . I got lazy and never put screen over the light , so have been relying on a rest period of around 2 hours mid-day to keep a grip on things . So far , so good . Did pull out a bunch of hornwort , though .
Got snails again , might be assassin young (?) so I picked several out and will see what they turn out to be . Still real small .
The fert regime seems to be pretty much dialed in , as Iíd hoped when I started . Thereís some Osmocote tabs that were put in when the tank was set up in early January that Iíll probably be replacing in the next few weeks . Wonít be rooting around to see whatís left , just going to take it as an article of faith that everythingís pretty much dissolved . If algae pops up Iíll just increase water changes and decrease liquid ferts for a month or so until things get used up some .




Thereís 3 CPDís swimming around now . Had to find a place for them and this was convenient . Feeding crumbled up flakes as before . They should be OK until some stuff Iíve got coming up gets big enough to put into the tank .

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post #32 of 44 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 08:28 PM
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I love CPD's but I have all shrimp tanks I haven't heard of one person keeping both.. without shrimp getting eaten (juvys)
So I guess I just don't have the balls lol Anyway loving your tank, again!
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post #33 of 44 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 08:36 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah , I suspect shrimp fry will become snack food , but there's lots of hiding places in the lava walls , and amidst the plants so some might make it . Same might happen with the CPD fry if any appear .The 3 adults I put in the tank popped up as fry a week or 2 after their parents died . Thought they were something else , but got pleasantly surprised when they turned out to be CPD .
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post #34 of 44 (permalink) Old 06-24-2017, 04:20 PM Thread Starter
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So Ö. Been around 3 months since the last thrilling update. Water changes and fert dosing have remained the same as from the start. Osmocote tabs were added just after Easter to replace the 6 originals put in when the tank was set up in January. I got around to putting some window screening over the ledís in the hopes of cutting down light a bit more, but it didnít seem to do much so Iíve ordered a 1 stop ND sheet. Iíll cut that down and place it over the leds. 1 stop equals a 50% light reduction, so hopefully my excess light issue will be solved. Light cycle is 4 hours in the morning, 4 hours rest, 4 hours at night. Livestock has been changed, the CPDís and cories moved to other tanks and the tank is now home to 6 or so otoís along with around a dozen Poropanchax normani which are offspring of pairs I picked up a few years back and bred. Maybe theyíll breed in this tank, but Iím not holding my breath. Still see shrimps once in a while, plus assassin snails have increased.
The crypts are filling in pretty well, as are the java fern. Got some new Frogbit so weíll try that again. Everything else is doing well enough except Iíve got thread algae, which grows amazingly fast; plus some kind of red algae that forms spherical growths. Almost looks like a little ball of black worms.









I had hoped the thread algae were spirogyra, just because itís kinda cool under a microscope, but not the case, its something else. Either way, the red and green both gotta go.
Manually removed as much as possible of the thread stuff, along with the java moss and hornwort it had gotten into, and picked out the red ball algae. Along with a 30-40% water change plus some diatom filter time. Thereís a whole lot less biomass with the hornwort out so Iíll cut fert dosing by Ĺ for the next month or so.

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post #35 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-04-2017, 02:58 PM Thread Starter
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The 1 stop ND gel sheet arrived last week , and I finally got around to installing it beneath the LED’s on my Planted Plus . It’s not really gel , but some sort of very thin plastic , much like cellophane , which has been tinted a neutral gray in an opacity that will block 50% of the light passing through it . Just Scotch taped it on for now as I don’t know how well this will work .



The circuit board is white without the film attached ...

Looking at the LED’s with and without the film , there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of difference to my eyes , but when placed over the tank there’s a very visible difference , almost to the point where I may have been better off getting a sheet of the Ĺ stop stuff , which would have allowed 75% of the light through . I’ll give it a month or so , watching the plants carefully , and then make a decision about changing to the more transparent film.
Taking this into account , I’ve eliminated the mid-day rest period and will be having the lights on for a full 10 hours .So there’s a longer photoperiod , with less light intensity . Might need to cut back some on ferts , though , to compensate for the lower lighting .
The thread algae seems to be finished , a bit of the red stuff pops up every few days . It just gets pulled out .
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post #36 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-21-2017, 01:53 AM Thread Starter
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And the excitement continues.....
Was away for a few days last month , came back and found the beginnings of BGA . Just what I needed after getting rid of the other stuff . Didn't want to mess around with erythromycin and a blackout , the infestation was just starting , so I siphoned out as much as possible , did a big water change ( 30% or so) and diatomed the tank for a few hours . A bit came back so tried 'Red Slime Stain Remover" as suggested by one of the guys in my local shop .

It's a yellow powder that gets dissolved into a small amount of water and then dumped into your tank . You repeat after 2 days . Seems to work ; its been a few weeks now and nothing came back . The tiny amount left seems to have deteriorated into nothingness . We'll see.

A couple of the otos have disappeared , as well as one or 2 of the normani that went from in the tank to on the floor .

The ND film seems to be working OK ,and I'm back to the original fert schedule . I've never been pleased with the 'valley' in the center of the rear of the tank , so built it up with some lava rock and gravel . Planted with Crypt. usteriana in an attempt to fill things in a bit . No melting so far .

Some full tank shots , one with and one without the hornwort .
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post #37 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-11-2019, 09:59 PM Thread Starter
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Time to hit the reset button ! Over the past winter circumstances forced me to put my tanks on Ď restricted maintenanceí for a few months . All my smaller tanks had no problems , but this thing turned into an algae farm . So , decided to pull the fish and plants , and insert a massive dose of bleach . Thatíll teach them algaes!
So , the plan now is to have a piece of wood as a more or less central feature with 2Ē or so of substrate banking down to an open sand area . Thereíll be a stone embankment separating the substrate from the sand , plus a low wall of Coroplast to ensure the separation . Havenít decided if Iíll use the rounded stones as in the horrible quality picture below , or if I will go for something else , local sandstone or maybe ĺĒ crushed stone .
The Hardware:
Filter : Eheim 2215 , from old setup , transferred and running in another tank so the bugs donít die and cycling time will be reduced .
Heater : Jager , 150 watt
Light : Finnex Stingray . Not real powerful but this will be a low light , easy plant setup .
Maybe a UV down the road .
Substrate : Black Diamond 20/40 over Eco Complete . Mainly because Iíve got both , and BDBS has worked real well for me in a couple of other tanks .

So hereís where things stand right now :

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The wood was pulled out of the woods a few months back and was pretty spongy . Hosed it down , and baked it at 275 F. or so to drive out any moisture and dispatch anything that might be living inside . It needs to be stabilized with penetrating epoxy or it wonít last long . Iíve got it standing on a couple of 1 ľ PVC couplings . Iíll figure something out to connect the wood to the PVC and the PVC with a piece of cut back floor tile . A couple of 3Ē stainless wood screws should do the job .
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post #38 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-28-2019, 02:02 AM Thread Starter
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So I epoxied the wood , and fastened it to a piece of tile , using some 3Ē stainless screws that went through the tile , the PVC and into the wood . Iíve been holding off working on this thing as I want to make sure the resin is totally cured and finished outgassing , if thereís any outgassing . Plus I want to get a grip on what Iíve got available in my tanks that can be moved over to this one . Looks like lots of Anubias , Valisinera , some crypts , probably a bit of Java moss , and a couple of small bits of Buce for the wood .

Cut up some Coroplast into a 1 ĺ ď wide strip and bent it into a serpentine shape to delineate the border between the planted area and the open . When Iím finally happy with the shape Iíll hot glue it to the tank bottom to keep it in place while the substrates are put in . Rockwork should hide the corrugated edges .
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post #39 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-30-2019, 08:42 PM Thread Starter
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So ... thought some more about the beach area and decided it wasn't quite what I was looking for . On to Plan B ..... using rounded stones and pebbles from a local river and contouring the blasting sand . Looks much better , at least to me . So now to make up another intake tube from some black tubing , and slowly start planting . Once that's done , I'll hook up the filter and do a partial water change , 20% or so , removing new water and replacing it with water from a healthy , long established tank .
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post #40 of 44 (permalink) Old 08-01-2019, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
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Threw some plants in . Vallisenerias in both ends , some tissue culture crypts in the foreground , part of a bag I picked up a few months back at the local Pet***** and planted in some bonsai pots filled with BDBS and then placed in a small tank to try to get them acclimated to being submersed , and develop some decent roots . The experiment seems to have worked , but we'll see how they do in their permanent location . The back is planted with some cuttings of some unknown Hygro I picked up at a club auction and was floating in one of my other tanks . Hopefully it'll grow vertically and fill in a bit of the back . There's also some unknown Anubias which gets huge and may take over the back section of the tank . On the wood there are mostly variants of anubis nana , plus a couple of bits of Buce. Plus a few bits of Java Fern here and there around the tank . The smaller Anubias spent the last month or so in some pretty bad conditions , stuck in a plastic shoebox with minimal light so consequently don't look as good as I'd like , but they should come back in time .
The water's nice and cloudy , probably a combination of bacterial buildup and fine stuff in solution . I ran my diatom on it last night and cleared things up a bit , but maybe it's just a waiting game for the rest to clear . The 2215 that was originally on the tank prior to breakdown is back on after running in another tank for a few weeks . So it's 'precycled' and along with the 25% or so of used water from another tank that was used in filling this one up ,cycling should go pretty fast . Won't check chemistry until I get back on Monday from a weekend jaunt. Should get a pretty good feel as to what's going on with things then .
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post #41 of 44 (permalink) Old 08-06-2019, 08:45 PM Thread Starter
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The tank cleared up pretty well over the weekend . Bit of film on the surface from a shabby rinse to the blasting sand , but a couple of paper towels took care of that fast . Ammonia level was .50 ppm yesterday morning , and the same about an hour ago so it looks like there's a small cycle going on until the filter bacteria spread out and get working . Didn't bother checking nitrate/nitrite levels , and won't until the ammonia's at or near 0 .Just a matter of waiting now .
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post #42 of 44 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 08:40 PM
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Iím really liking the look of your tank. Looking forward to more progress and more pictures.


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post #43 of 44 (permalink) Old 08-09-2019, 02:44 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks , I'd planned to get the fish back into this thing over this weekend . Unfortunately I had a surprise medical issue (the joys of getting old!) that's going to slow things down some . With any luck things will be rolling again in a week or so .
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post #44 of 44 (permalink) Old 08-23-2019, 08:25 PM Thread Starter
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A truly inferior picture ! Reflections included for your entertainment! Got fish in , re-positioned/re-anchored some plants that didn't want to stay where they belonged , and replaced the mystery hydro. behind the wood with some vallisineria . Had a brief encounter with the fungal slime on the wood , but that was only for a few days . Placed a couple of root tabs beneath the vals and the larger crypts to hopefully give them a bit of a boost as the substrate is inert . If I do any water column feeding , it won't be for a month or so , and then very sparingly . It's low light , minimal tech so I'm taking my time .
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