Keating1's 55 Gal Tank Journal - Page 20 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #286 of 298 (permalink) Old 04-08-2019, 02:57 PM
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Ken, thanks for sharing the super bloom photos. I've seen some online elsewhere (one of my CA cousins is a great nature photographer and has posted some). Makes me kind of wish I still lived in NoCal to be able to make the trip south, especially since it is still cold here, mud season (anyone who has never been here in mud season can't imagine it. Folks without hight clearance and AWD can't even make it to my house for a couple of weeks because the dirt roads become impassable... 70% of the roads in our state are dirt), and I still have snow on the ground at my high elevation. I will share your photos with my s.o. as she is a Vermont native and never been to CA (which we are soon rectifying). Gorgeous photos. Thanks!
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post #287 of 298 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 03:17 AM Thread Starter
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Ken, thanks for sharing the super bloom photos. I've seen some online elsewhere (one of my CA cousins is a great nature photographer and has posted some). Makes me kind of wish I still lived in NoCal to be able to make the trip south, especially since it is still cold here, mud season (anyone who has never been here in mud season can't imagine it. Folks without hight clearance and AWD can't even make it to my house for a couple of weeks because the dirt roads become impassable... 70% of the roads in our state are dirt), and I still have snow on the ground at my high elevation. I will share your photos with my s.o. as she is a Vermont native and never been to CA (which we are soon rectifying). Gorgeous photos. Thanks!
Thanks Dan. Your old stomping grounds, Marin County, should be a beautiful lush green right about now with all the rains we've received. I'll be heading over to do some backpacking through Point Reyes in a couple of weeks, then the following week down to Big Sur for some more backpacking. It should be nice. Aquarium maintenance will definitely be put on the back burner!

Wow, that mud sounds nasty. Does mail get delivered or do you have to travel to reach the mail box?


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post #288 of 298 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 04:06 AM
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Heidi my postal carrier, makes it here most days (Place is small. Everyone knows just about everyone on a first name basis. I am even on a first name basis with our Rep in the US House, which is not uncommon in these parts... he has my work on his office wall in DC) . Still there are days when the mail can't get to me, maybe the gloom of night can't stop postal carriers, but Vermont weather can. Some days in the winter the road is simply not passable and in the spring the mud can get bad. One must know how to drive on the ridges in the road, which is tricky. Not uncommon for folks to get stuck. And with the wrong vehicle, forget even trying. But spring peepers will be around soon (the tree frogs that announce both that spring has arrived and the end of sugaring season... the last sap run is called the "peeper run"). They get so loud that I have to cover my ears at dusk near the pond.

Enjoy Pt Reyes. I hiked there regularly, know every nook and cranny. I guess maybe you'll spend some time at Coast Camp or Sky Camp. Bring Technu. The poison oak will be pretty abundant. But I'm sure you know this. Interesting to see how the forest has recovered after the fire a couple of decades ago. I am taking my "honey" up to Mendo for a few nights on our visit after showing her a bit of my old stomping grounds. No backpacking for us (she doesn't share my love of that), but should be nice. We may have to visit again in the summer, because the Mendocino Music Festival this summer is focused on Brahms (and we both love and have sung a lot of Brahms).

Have a super hike, Ken!

Sorry folks that this is off planted tank topic, as it were.
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post #289 of 298 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 04:14 PM Thread Starter
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Heidi my postal carrier, makes it here most days (Place is small. Everyone knows just about everyone on a first name basis. I am even on a first name basis with our Rep in the US House, which is not uncommon in these parts... he has my work on his office wall in DC) . Still there are days when the mail can't get to me, maybe the gloom of night can't stop postal carriers, but Vermont weather can. Some days in the winter the road is simply not passable and in the spring the mud can get bad. One must know how to drive on the ridges in the road, which is tricky. Not uncommon for folks to get stuck. And with the wrong vehicle, forget even trying. But spring peepers will be around soon (the tree frogs that announce both that spring has arrived and the end of sugaring season... the last sap run is called the "peeper run"). They get so loud that I have to cover my ears at dusk near the pond.

Enjoy Pt Reyes. I hiked there regularly, know every nook and cranny. I guess maybe you'll spend some time at Coast Camp or Sky Camp. Bring Technu. The poison oak will be pretty abundant. But I'm sure you know this. Interesting to see how the forest has recovered after the fire a couple of decades ago. I am taking my "honey" up to Mendo for a few nights on our visit after showing her a bit of my old stomping grounds. No backpacking for us (she doesn't share my love of that), but should be nice. We may have to visit again in the summer, because the Mendocino Music Festival this summer is focused on Brahms (and we both love and have sung a lot of Brahms).

Have a super hike, Ken!

Sorry folks that this is off planted tank topic, as it were.
Sounds like peaceful location where you live, much different than here is Calif where it can get crazy.

Will be hiking into Sky Camp, next day to Glen Camp, via the coast line, and the next will be exiting out either Palomarin or Five Brooks. And yes, unfortunately I'm very familar with Technu! I usually use Zanfel if i get poison oak rash, but it's expensive, $40 per tube, but it seems to be the only medicine that works for me.

Mendo is a beautiful area, we took the kids there on numerous trips, we typically stayed in Vann Damme State Park. I'm sure your s.o. will enjoy the visit, it's all beautiful!
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post #290 of 298 (permalink) Old 04-14-2019, 06:17 PM Thread Starter
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Current photos of the tank. If you right click on the photo, it should take you to the photo link and allow one to zoom in. If you do, you'll notice more BBA on the lower leaves. About two weeks ago I noticed the plants were not growing as fast nor as healthy. Odd, i thought, as dosing wise nothing has really changed. After giving it some thought, the only thing I could come up with as a cause is over the past couple of months I've been adding Absorbic Acid and Potasium Sorbate to my macro solutions to prevent mold from growing. Maybe it's slowly been accumulating to a ppm level that the plants don't like. So I changed out the solution and used 40 ml of white vinegar in the 800 ml Voss dosing bottle instead. I've seen some improvement, so time will tell.

I've been busy with work and life, so I've haven't been able to spend as much time on TPT as I would like. That and the weather has warmed up quite nicely so it's been much harder to stay indoors.









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Last edited by Ken Keating1; 04-14-2019 at 06:28 PM. Reason: Grammar
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post #291 of 298 (permalink) Old 04-14-2019, 09:56 PM
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Spoiler alert, but the following are photos that have nothing to do with aquariums! To be honest, this week I’ve completely ignored my aquarium for good reasons. The reason I’m posting these is most here on TPT enjoy beautiful plants, so I feel most would also enjoy these photos.

This year in California we had optimal conditions for super bloom conditions. Early rains occurred, along with numerous rains throughout winter. This allows wildflowers to germinate early and allows them to grow throughout winter in great numbers. The locations of these wildflowers have very poor soil conditions, so if the rains don’t come early and often enough, there’s not enough water to support the wild flowers and only a few plants will make it to the blooming stage. Super blooms occur maybe every 10 years or so, so not very often.

On Wednesday, my youngest daughter and I drove 350 miles from Sacramento to Lancaster to the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve where we met my middle daughter. We hiked Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning throughout the reserve and headed back to Sacramento Thursday afternoon. Fun trip, we had a lot of fun together plus we able to see some beautiful scenery. Sorry for the amount of photos, it was just easier to post a lot as opposed to try to figure out which few to post as they were all beautiful. Hopefully all will enjoy the photos!





























I showed this to John and he was amazed. It looks so unreal- computer generated because it is so spectacular. Of course, we do know it is real- but we forget how amazing nature can be.



I pinned it to my spectacular nature photos on Pinterest. Hope you dont mind.
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180 g. low tech w/ wild South American cichlids, corydoras eques, and African Congo riverine tetras.
60 g. low tech w/ F1 Alenquer pair /Stendker "Tefe" discus and wild Altum Angels
30 g. low tech w/ Wild Tucano tetras
30 g. low-tech African Biotope
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post #292 of 298 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 05:29 PM
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I miss your posts @Ken Keating1

I know you have been very busy and the sun is tempting you to go outside- but, how about some pictures (grin).

180 g. low tech w/ wild South American cichlids, corydoras eques, and African Congo riverine tetras.
60 g. low tech w/ F1 Alenquer pair /Stendker "Tefe" discus and wild Altum Angels
30 g. low tech w/ Wild Tucano tetras
30 g. low-tech African Biotope
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post #293 of 298 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 11:02 PM
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Absolutely beautiful tank! I think that's the coolest 55 gal tank I've seen surfing this site so far.
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post #294 of 298 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 03:25 AM Thread Starter
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I miss your posts @Ken Keating1

I know you have been very busy and the sun is tempting you to go outside- but, how about some pictures (grin).
Thanks Amy for the photo requests! One of my other hobbies is backpacking, and I've been out and about the last couple of weeks backpacking in the Big Sur and Point Reyes areas, about 50 miles of hiking. Beautiful time of year, so it's been fun. Plus I've been buried at work, so I've had very limited time to spend time on TPT, much less being able to post or even work on the tank. I miss the folks on here, plus all the great info.

So here's some photos hiking in Big Sur:




And now for the important stuff!








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Absolutely beautiful tank! I think that's the coolest 55 gal tank I've seen surfing this site so far.
Thanks sittinglynx! You should look at @Grobbins48 's 55G Tank Journal, it's a great 55G journal, it's right up there at the top of all the journals on TPT. The only thing is we're all waiting for him to change the 55 in the title to 125!


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post #295 of 298 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 03:59 AM
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Thanks Amy for the photo requests! One of my other hobbies is backpacking, and I've been out and about the last couple of weeks backpacking in the Big Sur and Point Reyes areas, about 50 miles of hiking. Beautiful time of year, so it's been fun. Plus I've been buried at work, so I've had very limited time to spend time on TPT, much less being able to post or even work on the tank. I miss the folks on here, plus all the great info.

So here's some photos hiking in Big Sur:




And now for the important stuff!










Thanks sittinglynx! You should look at @Grobbins48 's 55G Tank Journal, it's a great 55G journal, it's right up there at the top of all the journals on TPT. The only thing is we're all waiting for him to change the 55 in the title to 125!
Your photos from Big Sur are breathtaking. Wow! What a gorgeous place. I haven't been there yet- hope to get there soon. In July am spending a week at Sea ranch, I am looking forward to it.



Thank you so much for adding pictures for those of us who have been missing you and your inspiring tank.
The plants are exploding- growth is great despite you being pulled in many direction, lol!

Hope work settles down soon..
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180 g. low tech w/ wild South American cichlids, corydoras eques, and African Congo riverine tetras.
60 g. low tech w/ F1 Alenquer pair /Stendker "Tefe" discus and wild Altum Angels
30 g. low tech w/ Wild Tucano tetras
30 g. low-tech African Biotope
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post #296 of 298 (permalink) Old 05-19-2019, 03:09 PM
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Hands down my favorite 55 I have ever seen. I've been a long time lurker here, your 55 is the inspiration behind the scape of my 55 I just posted in my new member introduction thread.

I have to ask what camera are you taking pictures with and how in the world do you get such good pictures? I took out my DSLR the other night to get some tank shots, set it up on a tripod, used a remote timer, used a polarizing filter and all that jazz and my pictures STILL look like garbage compared to yours. I can take good landscape pictures all day but for the life of me I can't take a single good picture of my aquarium. Sorry if you've already addressed what your taking pictures with further back in this thread.
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post #297 of 298 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 03:25 PM
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Thanks sittinglynx! You should look at @Grobbins48 's 55G Tank Journal, it's a great 55G journal, it's right up there at the top of all the journals on TPT. The only thing is we're all waiting for him to change the 55 in the title to 125!
Thanks for the kind words Ken. Glad to see you and the tank are doing well. I am in the same boat of trying to enjoy this nice weather and balance some time with the tank. It is taking its toll a bit on the tank right now, but nothing I can't bounce back from.

We will see about the title change- I know right now would not be the right time, need too much dedication to a new setup!



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post #298 of 298 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 04:51 PM Thread Starter
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I have to ask what camera are you taking pictures with and how in the world do you get such good pictures?
Taking aquarium photos is not easy. I've tried a lot of different approaches and cameras. My daughter is a film editor and takes a lot of photos has spent hours with her DLSR trying to take good photos on the tank and it's just not as easy as it seems like it should be.

I've found the best shots come from my Sony RX100 III camera set in Scene/Hand Held Twilight mode. The camera takes a burst of shots and then the camera uses image processing to reduce subject blur, camera shake, and noise. I use this camera for backpacking trips because of it's light weight and excellent photos. If I use any other cameras/iphones/ipads for the aquarium then it's a lot of work to get the photos to come our half way decent.

Photos are taken at night time in complete darkness with only the tank lights on. There's a large window on the wall to the right with blinds. Even with the blinds closed, during the day there's enough light that gets into the room such that the room, contents and myself would show up in reflection of the tank. Tank photos turn out much better when the room is in complete darkness.

I've really learned to appreciate photos taken from other hobbyist that have been submitted for competitions, they're really a work of art and not easy to do.

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Thanks for the kind words Ken. Glad to see you and the tank are doing well. I am in the same boat of trying to enjoy this nice weather and balance some time with the tank. It is taking its toll a bit on the tank right now, but nothing I can't bounce back from.

We will see about the title change- I know right now would not be the right time, need too much dedication to a new setup!
I understand completely regarding balancing non-tank and tank time. I'm getting much more BBA than I've had before due to lack of maintenance, but it's a trade off and I'm hoping to catch up this Memorial Day weekend on some long overdue maintenance. Spring-Summer is really my outside time, and fall-winter is my aquarium time. I feel this works out great and hopefully will help prevent aquarium hobby burn out.
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