New 20g Planted Tank (Epiphytes only) - 5/25/20 - Small photo update! - Page 9 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #121 of 143 (permalink) Old 05-15-2020, 09:11 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Crazygar View Post
I am regretting the black background on my tank as well. One day, when I have to move it for whatever reason, I can peel off the background currently (it's plastidip, comes off in one shot) and replace it with some frosted white window adhesive.. May even work on a small backlight project for fun.

Gary
I'm not really regretting it, was just nice to finally see it without the black on, still pretty happy with the black but the no or frosted/milky background does look very nice too. A custom backlighting panel is also an interesting idea I might consider however its the kinda thing I am not sure I want to invest in because I might not really like it. For now I am just really happy the adhesive film is off the tank and now panels (plexi) are a nice solution I can easily swap out and incorporate pipe/hardware mounting to!

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i think the SS pipes would look better with the no background look. They're would be less contrast and you would have MORE contrast with the dark wood. Either way, the tank is really nice.
Ah right the SS pipes do blend in nicely withe the no background or light background, good point there. I liked how the middle "cave" areas were kinda highlighted by the no background - I did almost find the wood itself almost became too dominate though, the main thick trunk part of it is already quite borderline massive for the scape/tank I feel so that is one plus of the black, it kind of mutes the size of the wood I feel like.

Hard decision! Maybe I will just cut a clear/frosty piece of plexi one day and do the swap, like next time I decide to clean the pipes.


Thanks for all the input and positivity guys!

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post #122 of 143 (permalink) Old 05-15-2020, 02:35 PM
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Personally, I like the black background on your tank, but I would agree that a frosted white would be a welcome change. I painted a frosted white background on one of my tanks. It turned out ok, but I wish a had painted a few more layers on as it it still too "see-through" for my liking. My vote goes to frosted white.



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post #123 of 143 (permalink) Old 05-16-2020, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, change could be good, like I said I will consider it more easily now that my background panel system is in place and I dont have to peel anything annoying anymore. Still liking the black so no rush!


That tank has nice proportions! Well, I guess it would be annoying to tape it all off again but I guess you could spray on another layer or two to frost it more?

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post #124 of 143 (permalink) Old 05-17-2020, 08:40 PM Thread Starter
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So I did some water testing today and got these results:


NO3: 3 (almostttt looking like maybe 1)
PO4: <0.02 (maybe 0.05)
K: ~ 20 mg/L


NO3 is really quite low, as well as PO4 - very low, almost none existant apparently. I dose my NPK and Iron+ ferts daily, 1.5ml of NPK and 1.5ml of Iron+ which is recommended on the label for "lower" light with CO2... I actually had dosed NPK and Iron+ like at 3 or 4pm today and did this series of tests at about 7:30PM FYI. Finally, for whatever reason, K is so actually a bit high, 5-15 mg/L is more the ideal range. I guess it isn't so high and has to be quite high to cause a problem.

So as a kind of noob to ferts I think I ought to dose higher NPK - or at least N and P I guess individually... what do you all think? Would my frequent smallish water changes and frequent cleanings might be really stunting my livestocks contribution of nutrients to the water? Dunno, the plants look pretty good but I honestly cant say I have tons of reference really. I do have fairly persistent algae that tends to grow on leaf edges so I have heard maybe higher N and P could help that actually? I am a bit wary because the bulk of my plant mass is quite slow growing and I dont want to just feed my algae!



PH: 6.8 (at 7pm so after a full day of gas, my 20mg drop checker was nearly yellow today actually as I increased co2 a bit lately). Need to test degased water tomorrow!

KH: 5

GH: 14


So my KH and GH haven't changed since about a week of trying the new standard 12L RO 6L Tap mixture. Yesterday would have actually been the 3rd change with this mixture. So nearly 36L of RO has gotten in the tank in that amount of time and not much hardness has changed. I think I might try to only top off now with pure RO - that and be patient that the WCs will slowly soften the tank.

My goal is somewhere in the range of 3-4 KH and 6-10 GH


Soooo any input about my values (particularly the NPK stuff) would be really appreciated! Also any input/experience about using RO water to soften an established tank would also be really appreciated!

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post #125 of 143 (permalink) Old 05-17-2020, 09:24 PM
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I would definitely increase N&P.

Even with "slow-growers" under co2 they will be uptaking much more. Aren't they pearling? If yes, pretty fast photosynthesis. I'm not one to believe high levels of dosed macros cause algae. What' the difference if no3 is 3 or 30? Wouldn't both levels be appetizing to algae? I had very little plant mass in my tank when I started and I was doing regular EI numbers resulting in no3 being 40-80ppm and I had no visible algae.


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post #126 of 143 (permalink) Old 05-17-2020, 09:30 PM
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Do you plants look like they need NO3 and PO4? If not, I'd leave them be. They can do a lot of excess uptake over the course of the day, that doesn't necessarily mean they need more of those nutrients.

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post #127 of 143 (permalink) Old 05-17-2020, 10:06 PM
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I would suggest gobies
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post #128 of 143 (permalink) Old 05-18-2020, 09:12 AM Thread Starter
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I would definitely increase N&P.

Even with "slow-growers" under co2 they will be uptaking much more. Aren't they pearling? If yes, pretty fast photosynthesis. I'm not one to believe high levels of dosed macros cause algae. What' the difference if no3 is 3 or 30? Wouldn't both levels be appetizing to algae? I had very little plant mass in my tank when I started and I was doing regular EI numbers resulting in no3 being 40-80ppm and I had no visible algae.
Well, the plants in the higher parts of the tank are pearling some, the trident java fern pearls quite a lot, actually even the lower placed mini java ferns as well, the buces dont pearl soooo much but some of the higher ones do. Pearling now is certainly a bit less since the light got turned down in intensity the last few weeks. Well the thing is, even so I could perhaps give it a try - I mean I already have a bit of an algae problem, don't want to make it worse but then again plenty of people seem to say that maybe deficiencies can drive algae as well.

Leads me to my next point, I really need to properly ID my type of algae lol!

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Do you plants look like they need NO3 and PO4? If not, I'd leave them be. They can do a lot of excess uptake over the course of the day, that doesn't necessarily mean they need more of those nutrients.


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I would kinda say yes they look like they do, however I lack enough experience to really be that confident in that appraisal haha!

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I would suggest gobies
Hehe, thanks for the input but we are well past the point of adding any other fish to the tank (except maybe a few Oto's )

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post #129 of 143 (permalink) Old 05-18-2020, 12:41 PM
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Leads me to my next point, I really need to properly ID my type of algae lol!
Looks like mild staghorn algae, no?


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post #130 of 143 (permalink) Old 05-18-2020, 07:10 PM Thread Starter
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Looks like mild staghorn algae, no?
Sometimes it looks like staghorn, sometimes it looks more like bba I feel like... most of the time I really cant decide what it is lol! Maybe I have both? I dunno ugh this algae thing is annoying!

I was thinking maybe it could be interesting to do the alcohol test to see if it turns red/pink to determine further about the ID.


Today I ordered individual N and P (already had K individually but it is still actually sealed). So I plan to start to raise my values. I also got another drop checker to maybe play around with my co2 to see what it says, got 30mg/L fluid too, so I might try to go more for 30mg/L than my 20mg test I have in the tank since forever.

Finally I decided to get a small hydor powerhead pump thing and maybe get flow out from the back area of the tank, think maybe getting some more flow in might be good, just gotta find a good spot for it that doesn't turn into an eye sore otherwise I will just return it lol!

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post #131 of 143 (permalink) Old 05-18-2020, 10:22 PM
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If your low on N, there really isn't any reason not to add more. You want to be preventive not reactive. Once you see a deficiency on a plant, uptake has slowed, there is dying plant tissue and the release of ammonia and thus the algae. You want to prevent the spores from developing in the first place.


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post #132 of 143 (permalink) Old 05-23-2020, 10:13 AM Thread Starter
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If your low on N, there really isn't any reason not to add more. You want to be preventive not reactive. Once you see a deficiency on a plant, uptake has slowed, there is dying plant tissue and the release of ammonia and thus the algae. You want to prevent the spores from developing in the first place.


Right well, I'm on it now haha! I now have a individual bottles of N-P-K and Iron+

I have 2 days in now on increased dosage, I will post what ferts I am using and their concentrations later on in the week when I am less busy and have more water testing data, anyway I did a quick test last night on some parameters:

Quickie results after 2 days of higher NPK dosing:

KH: 4
GH: 11 (slowly going down)
PH: Degassed 7.8
NO3: 3 or 5 mg/L (slightly up from old dosing)


*Like I said, in the coming week or so I will be increasing ferts dosage and testing water, hopefully can dial in a good dosage quickly. I have been trying to educate myself about daily NPK dosing with slow growers and perhaps even sensitive fish, my GBR's surely don't want sooo much N in the water column but I have decent (albeit slow grower) plant mass in the tank and assume I can still dial in fairly decent dosing in this tank, just want to be cautious with the GBR's, anyway some reading on this subject has been helpful:

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/1...e-problem.html



Annnyway, here are some pictures from yesterday from some of the plants showing deficiencies, any input on what they are displaying appreciated!








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post #133 of 143 (permalink) Old 05-23-2020, 11:25 PM
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Big pieces of lava rock will also start developing colonies of denitrifying anaerobic bacteria in them after a couple months. Usually around 6mo the nitrogen conversion rate will stabilize.
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post #134 of 143 (permalink) Old 05-25-2020, 05:47 PM Thread Starter
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Big pieces of lava rock will also start developing colonies of denitrifying anaerobic bacteria in them after a couple months. Usually around 6mo the nitrogen conversion rate will stabilize.
So I will basically have a reef tank style filtration haha probably not enough flow for that tho

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post #135 of 143 (permalink) Old 05-25-2020, 06:04 PM Thread Starter
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Hey everyone, just a small photo update, still haven't done all the water testing I wanted to yet, been busy but I should be able to do it in the next couple days finally!

In the first few pix I show the 2nd drop checker I installed with 30mg fluid, so have both 20mg and 30mg, both hidden in the back, I circled where I can just barely see the readings from the front of the tank through the java fern and wood, its not very big but it is plenty - nice to have em in the tank without having the eye sore aspect of them.

Then some pix of the GBR pair, the female (Deborah haha) is about to lay eggs again it seems, funny how different she starts to act, already getting a bit aggressive and Jer (the male) starts being more respectful and less bullying - like she's not gonna take his [censored][censored][censored][censored] so easy anymore haha, I say this cuz lately hes been a bit of a bully when feeding especially, but it has definitely been less since she started to be in the breeding mode.

















and now the last few during the end of the day here, the sunset part of the light-cycle, really love how the tank looks with the lights extremely low and only on RGB, plus the lower ambient light of the day ending helps a lot. The green neons also look really really good in low light at the end of the day, they really pop!







schooldazed and cheesesteak like this.

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Last edited by andrewss; 05-25-2020 at 07:48 PM. Reason: sunset
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