"Six Years Later" Journal (75g stems/JF/crypts) (T5 & CO2) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-16-2017, 04:11 PM Thread Starter
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"Six Years Later" Journal (75g stems/JF/crypts) (T5 & CO2)

Despite having planted aquariums for over 6 years now, I haven't ever created a legitimate journal on the forums. Always just jotting things down in notebooks, and saying "I will start a journal after _____ is ready/grown in". I've learned that perfect time never comes so here we are.

To document for history purpose -
  • I have always followed full EI dosing from the very beginning.
  • I have always struggled with wanting WAY too much light;
  • I have always underestimated the importance and OVERestimated the efficiency of my CO2 systems.

This is something that has become apparent in the past two years that I have dedicated to testing parameters and modifying things - not just sticking to the old regime I've always followed with minimal success. Since modifying things I have seen some relative success for myself, and feel its time to start documenting things and seeing if my trial and errors can help others


On the next post I will post pictures I've taken of my aquariums over the past 6 years.

-----

As of current, I've been growing out various plants in my 75 and testing to find what survives best. I have finally grown tired of attempting to keep 2-3 specific species alive, and ignoring the other 15 species that are thriving. I am trying to adopt the policy of sticking with what lives, and throwing out what doesn't work with my parameters.


Aquarium: 75 gallon standard AGA

Lighting: Hydrofarm 2 T5 bulb - ON for 8 hours a day... Bulbs are standard 6500k and trulumen flora

Filtration: 20 gal Sump with Eshopps overflow. Plumbed as Herbie overflow style. Sump holds ceramic rings, purigen, bio balls, rough and fine filter floss.

Return pump: Jebao DCT-4000 (rated at 1080 gph at 0 head I believe)

CO2: Older model GLA regulator.... 24" 2" diameter Rex Griggs reactor... all ran closed loop in the sump off of a Rio 1400 pump

Others: Eheim heater... small various powerheads...

----

Species list now includes:

Bacopa Monnieri
Bacopa Salzmannii
Blyxa Japonica

Crypt Undulata
Crypt Wendtii Green Gecko
Crypt Pahang Mutated
Cabomba Purple

Dwarf Hair Grass

Java Fern (regular)

Limnophila Aromatica
Lobelia Cardinalis 'SMALL FORM'
Ludwigia Repens
Ludwigia Rubin

Mayaca fluviatilis
Microsword

Persicaria sp Sao Paulo
Proserpinaca Palustris (Mermaid Weed)

Rotala H'ra
Rotala Rotundafolia
Rotala Macarandra Green

---







Before last Trim



After last Trim - ripped everything up and restarted with just tops


Last edited by Williak; 01-17-2017 at 01:24 PM. Reason: .
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-16-2017, 04:22 PM Thread Starter
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Bump: Past to Present


























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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-22-2017, 12:01 AM Thread Starter
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Waterchange. No trim.

Added some new species... rotala wallichi and nanjashen.... pogstemon kimberly.... echino diversifolia... more cabomba purple

Spelling is probably wrong on most of those. Will add to species list.












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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-22-2017, 12:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Williak View Post
I have finally grown tired of attempting to keep 2-3 specific species alive, and ignoring the other 15 species that are thriving. I am trying to adopt the policy of sticking with what lives, and throwing out what doesn't work with my parameters.
I agree with this so much. I've been keeping a running list of plants that *might* do well in my tank and I like the looks of. When I have funds to spare or can get an RAOK, I add some to my tank to see how they do for me. Last bunch I added only 2 out of 5 species did well. I was really disappointed the others didn't take, but finally got tired of looking at some dying plants and when I finally took the failing ones out, the tank looked (and I felt) so much better.

It's like this gardener I follow who once said when people asked her how she chose plants that would do well in her yard (very arid climate and she doesn't water often). She said she just plants a ton of stuff, watches to see what thrives, and gets more of those plants next year.

Bump: I like seeing all the different aspects your tanks have taken over the years.

Wish my bacopa looked as good as yours! But then, I don't add C02...
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-22-2017, 01:53 AM
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[*]I have always struggled with wanting WAY too much light;
[*]I have always underestimated the importance and
OVERestimated the efficiency of my CO2 systems.
Beautiful tank and healthy looking plants. Thanks for sharing.

I found the two items above interesting. Can you elaborate?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Williak View Post
As of current, I've been growing out various plants in my 75 and testing to find what survives best. I have finally grown tired of attempting to keep 2-3 specific species alive, and ignoring the other 15 species that are thriving. I am trying to adopt the policy of sticking with what lives, and throwing out what doesn't work with my parameters.
I have come to agree with above. There's no rhyme or reason as to what works in my tank, so I am trying to stop banging my head against the wall. Sticking with what works is a lot less stressful.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-22-2017, 04:59 PM Thread Starter
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I agree with this so much. I've been keeping a running list of plants that *might* do well in my tank and I like the looks of. When I have funds to spare or can get an RAOK, I add some to my tank to see how they do for me. Last bunch I added only 2 out of 5 species did well. I was really disappointed the others didn't take, but finally got tired of looking at some dying plants and when I finally took the failing ones out, the tank looked (and I felt) so much better.

It's like this gardener I follow who once said when people asked her how she chose plants that would do well in her yard (very arid climate and she doesn't water often). She said she just plants a ton of stuff, watches to see what thrives, and gets more of those plants next year.

Bump: I like seeing all the different aspects your tanks have taken over the years.

Wish my bacopa looked as good as yours! But then, I don't add C02...
Thanks, I appreciate that.

Yes that is just the method I've adopted to continue enjoying the hobby lol. Everytime I order plants, I'll always order ~6-8 new species and throw them in.... then one wouldn't do good.. I'd start tweaking CO2 levels.... before I know it I've built 2 new reactors trying to get more CO2 dissolution.... then from so many CO2 fluctuations, now I have some algae... then I'm changing my lights... now I'm looking at my sump and changing filter floss pads... rebuild CO2 reactor, so forth and so on..

Anyhow it just felt too tiring chasing something I'm not getting solved every time. At this point, I have set my CO2 running where I know my levels are roughly 30 ppm.. Sump is showing good filtration/water clarity. Lights are well within reason and good duration. Whatever grows is what I'm sticking with... I plan to just continue trying out new species continually until I have compiled a nice list of ones to choose from.

--

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greggz View Post
Beautiful tank and healthy looking plants. Thanks for sharing.

I found the two items above interesting. Can you elaborate?


I have come to agree with above. There's no rhyme or reason as to what works in my tank, so I am trying to stop banging my head against the wall. Sticking with what works is a lot less stressful.
Hey Greggz,

I have watched your 120 journal for a long time now, thanks for checking out my thread

All I meant was when looking at my CO2 as part of the light-co2-fert balancing triad.... I always assumed (and really exaggerated) my CO2 levels in my head - when looking at issues with algae or whatever, my thoughts would be "I'm using a good regulator... high BPS... good atomic diffuser with powerheads blowing on it... that aspect has to be taken care of"

But I really never tested anything. Nothing would ever balance out. Low ferts, then high ferts.... change lights... tweaking constantly and allowing ample time in between. You can look back at the tanks in the beginning where I posted my history of planted tanks. The stems were so thin... never propagating or really thriving at any point. I would order 10 stems, then have maybe 15 6 months later....

Once I tested my CO2 with a pH pen and actually looked at quantitative data, I realized I was way off on my CO2 levels.

The same scenario, except reversed, occurred really with lighting. Since assuming my CO2 levels were all gravy... I kept adding more light, more light. And wondering why the plants were almost mutating they had such insane light levels ( 4 T5s about 12" above substrate in a frag acrylic aquarium )

So after testing and seeing how much I overestimated my CO2 diffusion, and appropriate lighting levels... Things have gone much smoother.

Last edited by Williak; 01-22-2017 at 05:11 PM. Reason: .
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-22-2017, 11:53 PM
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Hey Greggz,

I have watched your 120 journal for a long time now, thanks for checking out my thread

All I meant was when looking at my CO2 as part of the light-co2-fert balancing triad.... I always assumed (and really exaggerated) my CO2 levels in my head - when looking at issues with algae or whatever, my thoughts would be "I'm using a good regulator... high BPS... good atomic diffuser with powerheads blowing on it... that aspect has to be taken care of"

But I really never tested anything. Nothing would ever balance out. Low ferts, then high ferts.... change lights... tweaking constantly and allowing ample time in between. You can look back at the tanks in the beginning where I posted my history of planted tanks. The stems were so thin... never propagating or really thriving at any point. I would order 10 stems, then have maybe 15 6 months later....

Once I tested my CO2 with a pH pen and actually looked at quantitative data, I realized I was way off on my CO2 levels.

The same scenario, except reversed, occurred really with lighting. Since assuming my CO2 levels were all gravy... I kept adding more light, more light. And wondering why the plants were almost mutating they had such insane light levels ( 4 T5s about 12" above substrate in a frag acrylic aquarium )

So after testing and seeing how much I overestimated my CO2 diffusion, and appropriate lighting levels... Things have gone much smoother.
I agree with you. Higher CO2 levels can cure a lot of ills. Tom Barr says this over and over. It's difficult to really know exactly what your CO2 ppm is, as our measurement techniques are more like best guesses. But in my experience, more is better.

And it's funny you say that about the lights. I also agree with you there, better to err on the side of too little light rather than too much light.

Once again, the plants are looking great and keep up the good work.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-30-2017, 03:30 AM Thread Starter
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Drinking black rum and taking pictures.

I'll be moving in a few days to my first home. Doing some renovations then planning to transition to a 6 foot in the next coming months. I'll be documenting the stand build and everything else.



Echino diversifolia


Bacopa


Top left


Top right


Girlfriend thing


Blyxa and others


Some of my tri color swords. Pretty livebearers.


And some mermaid weed



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