After six months of treatment and neglecting the tank, I'm back. Sort of. The first two regimens didn't work so we're gearing up for the third, and final, option. It's going to be seriously rough so there's no telling when or how often I'll be updating the thread once that gets going. In the meantime I may as well start one while I'm on sitting on my butt at home all day. The concept of the aquascape is super simple: use only the plants I had on hand and farm them for a future aquascape. After the different trials since starting the system back in October of 2016 I think I've finally settled on a hardscape arrangement that's going to work well. It's fairly low and open, which allows good circulation and ease of access.
The final goal is to get the tank set up in a final arrangement similar to this, but with the hardscape moved forward and to the left a little bit to make room for stems in the rear and get the wood in a place that accentuates the focal point in the back. Right now it's just an inch or so too far to the right and the middle upright branch is at the 1/3 point rather than the notch between it and the rightmost branch. When doing the rearrangement the Anubias is going to be taken off the wood and used for the midground. It's too overpowering as it stands, buuuut, being up in the water column and heavy circulation is best for growth and a lot of them are strongly attached. Once the wood's "clean" it's going to get a light moss covering with perhaps some Bolbitis or a little bit of Anubias in select places. I'd prefer not to use the Anubias as it's really hard to get any moss that intergrows down under the leaves and is nigh impossible to remove without serious measures. It eventually covers the Anubias and is generally a royal PITA. We'll just have to wait and see what happens. The whole system needs to be as simple to care for as possible as one of my coworkers will be caring for it while I'm away getting nuked. He's done maintenance professionally for a long time, but doesn't have experience with a tank of this tech level. Funny to hear that from an experienced high end reefer.
To that end I've reached waaaaaaay back into the recesses of my mind and resurrected the regimen I used on the old 90 gallon discus tank. I've also added 12 or so juvenile cherry shrimp that were living in a small tank I'd set up for breeding, but ended up killing their parents. They're doing pretty well so far and I'd like to get more so stability is key. They're doing well with the current regimen so I'll be sticking to it unless plant or shrimp health issues come up. I'm not chasing concentration numbers and have no idea what the water chemistry really is. The regimen is based on past experience and empirical concentration calculations. With the relatively low light I can get away with lower concentrations and less frequent dosing. Love it.
The CO2 input rate is a bit on the high side, but I wanted to make sure there was plenty of oxygen so I took the seal off the sump. The idea is to inject it more along the lines of a diffuser rather than a super efficient sealed system. The gas goes into the sump via the Cerges, gets pumped into the tank, and what degasses, degasses just like bubbles not getting dissolved when using a diffuser. Hakuna Matata!
80 gallon Deep Blue Professional 48x24x16
Light- Agrobrite 6 bulb fixture running 2x 54w T5HO for 10hrs/day CHANGED to 6hrs/day
to prep for being gone for 3.5 months in the near future.
CO2- approx. 9 bubbles/sec; concentration? I have no idea
KH- No idea! 1/2 tsp of baking soda is added after water changes. This used to get me up to 3dKH when I lived 30 min away in Charlotte and the water here is from the same supply.
Water changes- 50% 1x/wk
KNO3- 3/4 tsp 2x/wk Sun and Thurs CHANGED to 3x/wk M, W, F
KH2PO4- approx. 1/16 tsp 2x/wk CHANGED to 3x/wk M, W, F
Ca- via Brightwell Calcion liquid; 40mL (approx. 20ppm) after water changes
Mg- via Brightwell Magnesion liquid; 20mL (approx. 5ppm) after water changes CHANGED to 2x/week
as the plants were getting rather pale
Fe- via Brightwell Ferrion liquid; 10mL (approx 0.1ppm) 1-2x/wk as appears to be needed. CHANGED to no dosing
as the trace mix seems to be adding enough.
Traces- CSM+B. One tiny (1/32 tsp?) former test reagent scoop 1x/wk. May increase frequency to an extra scoop per week if plants show serious problems.
I have plans to get a Dash, Pinch, and Smidge (1/16, 1/32 and 1/64tsp) measuring spoon set sometime in the nearish future to dose P and traces in this tank and ferts in a 12g I've got in the works.
Spiderwood and rip-rap from a nearby creek.
A. nana 'Petite' - Aqvinnova TC
C. cordata - Dennerle TC
C. wendtii 'Tropica' -Aqvinnova TC
C. costata 'Green' - Aqvinnova TC
L. meeboldi 'Pink'
M. pteropus 'Trident'
E. pusillis "Mini Hairgrass" - Dennerle TC
A. repens 'Lila' - Dennerle TC
1 Amano shrimp named Takashi who lives in the overflow, 1 Otto named Lucky who's the last surviving member of his crew, 12 little cherry shrimp, and a boatload of pest snails. Anyone know how to kill snails in a tank with shrimp? Loaches aren't an option.
Please forgive the quality of the plants. They'd been living under "benign neglect" conditions for some time and got a serious root pruning prior to replanting. The Crypts have been especially pissed off with me and are in full on protest mode.
Merry Christmas everyone!