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post #76 of 189 (permalink) Old 07-30-2018, 10:56 AM
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Haha yes, I've always been a bit partial to 'jungle' style tanks.
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post #77 of 189 (permalink) Old 12-07-2018, 02:32 AM
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Hi @ipkiss

It's been a while, just wondered if the tank is still doing well?
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75 Gallon, 2X55W AH Supply CF 8800K, 1XFluval F&P 2.0; 45 Gallon Tall, 96Watt AH Supply CF 6700K; 30 Gallon Long; Fluval F&P 2.0; 20 Gallon, 1X26W AH Supply LED; all with CO2 and (Calcined) Montmorillonite Clay
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post #78 of 189 (permalink) Old 12-11-2018, 08:51 PM Thread Starter
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Hah! @Seattle_Aquarist and @sdwindansea, I'm grateful that you two remember my struggles and care enough to look me up!

So, as always has been the case, my attention to this tank waxes and wanes over the course of the year. The tank is still around and is, hopefully, currently on the upswing. Fingers crossed!

Let's rewind and go back to september as that's the next interesting picture after the previous update

2018-09



Well, it looks like I've once again left the tank to its own devices and let it get out of hand. That experiment with the red ludwigia was a bust. Low hacking + choked out by other weeds practically killed it all off. almost every stem. The rotala macrandra suffered greatly too. It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking the wild growth must mean all the plants are doing great, but this is classic weeds choking out the valuable stuff.

So, I get off my butt and do a massive trim and clean. Also finally put in those stainless inflow and outflows. Look at this silly guy going where he shouldn't have. His friends are just straight up ragging on him. Yea. how's jail feel buddy? Would you believe just that little L crook above him and he was unable to get out until I emptied him out?



Here's the tank 2 weeks later from the big trim. Still recovering, but as usual, the obligatory fall equinox sunlight shot. Didn't get the angle quite right this time around. Maybe it came another day, but I wasn't around to get it.



So then, the tank pretty much stayed the same throughout october but I ran out of micros around this time. (read: iron) This completely withered up the rotala macrandra and finished perhaps the last stem of red ludwigia. At the same time I think I lost my cabomba to it too. The great iron shortage. Time to partake some of Burr's secret sauce. Orders for Burr Micros and a jeweler's scale were placed.

I also felt that I needed some new plants to liven things back up and restore my interest.

2018-11



Here on the left, we have a plant I've wanted for a while now. Rotala ramosior (sp. florida)!! Oh the irony and the insult. Having to buy a florida native plant from a place on the west coast. I've even been tempted to go out to our waterways to hunt for it but I realized Florida IS a BIG state. Sanity prevails and I let my mouse do the traveling. Anyway, I've been trolling for this since the beginning of the year and a random google search in November netted me a place called pearlingplants.com offering it for a pretty decent price. Got that, along with alternanthera reineckii (variegated) [middle plant]. My AR dreams ride again! And finally, some rotala colorata [right] just to fill out a package deal.

Planted in their new homes:



Here's a wider shot after some housekeeping.



Tank is overdue for another water change for December's update, but as I haven't done so and the glass algae is kinda too strong for a good pic, I'll hold off a little.


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post #79 of 189 (permalink) Old 12-11-2018, 10:29 PM
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Although I am just joining, I've enjoyed this forum on and off for a few years. I just found this post this weekend and it consumed the majority of Saturday afternoon as I read it a couple times. Thanks for sharing this. It's both entertaining and informative. I feel as though the beginning of your journey is a mirror of my own brief experiences in planted tanks. Tonight, after getting home from work I saw that you'd added to it so I had to give you a shout out. Keep up the good work!
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post #80 of 189 (permalink) Old 12-11-2018, 11:27 PM
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It's looking lovely.
Funny how your little fish couldn't find its way out of the bend.
Guess that's how I can catch them in an inverted water bottle- they just can't find the exit!
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post #81 of 189 (permalink) Old 12-11-2018, 11:41 PM
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@ipkiss Sorry about this, just trying to get the hang of this tagging (mention) thing.
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post #82 of 189 (permalink) Old 12-12-2018, 02:17 PM
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Hi @ipkiss

Very nice, looks like you have things well 'on track'.....keep up the good work!
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post #83 of 189 (permalink) Old 12-13-2018, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GWYIII View Post
Although I am just joining, I've enjoyed this forum on and off for a few years. I just found this post this weekend and it consumed the majority of Saturday afternoon as I read it a couple times. Thanks for sharing this. It's both entertaining and informative. I feel as though the beginning of your journey is a mirror of my own brief experiences in planted tanks. Tonight, after getting home from work I saw that you'd added to it so I had to give you a shout out. Keep up the good work!
Hi @GWYIII

Welcome to finally being active on the forums. Hopefully, you will find the experience rewarding. I, too, used to lurk like you until someone drew me out of my shell by insisting that I post to qualify for an RAOK offering. Thanks for responding positively to the thread! It's folks like you who help make it worthwhile for me to be so longwinded! I wish you much success and contentment in your path! Know that there's good folks around here who are always willing to help.


And so, here's the December post water change, pre trim pic.

2018-12



The rotala colorata (center, back cluster), an afterthought/filler during the purchase, is turning out to be a pretty big presence due to its seemingly easy to grow nature. The other new acquisitions are adapting surprisingly well with little or no melt. The previously damaged rotala macrandra is recovering. Frogbits are getting HUGE and the roots are getting very well developed now. If I had to guess, I'd attribute the lion's share of recovery to the tank joining the Burr Micro Brigade. That iron .. so critical. That iron without the inconsistencies of CSM+B .. all the better. The rotala macrandra is the one taking the best advantage. Also, they are being persuaded to consume all these nutrients by twin Current Satellite Plus Pros. The old Ecoxotic E-60 had finally been recently retired. The light output of that unit was seriously only a shell of its former glory. Maybe I'll find a low tech tank to hang it over someday.

Cribbing from @Greggz 's spreadsheet format,


Formula was from @burr740 's 2018-06 "Stronger FE version". With so many versions of Burr formulas out there, I just decided to pick on a recent one and I liked the stronger FE content. I was, however, prudent enough to half everything in that spreadsheet above to make 250ml worth. Just to make sure things worked. It bordered on the ridiculous to measure out 8 milligrams. As Burr mentioned, these jeweler scales sometimes don't even respond until you put at least 6-7 milligrams on them. May as well just count the granules instead!

But anyway, the trouble was worth it. I think the plants have been the happiest they've been in a long while .. or ever.


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post #84 of 189 (permalink) Old 12-14-2018, 12:21 AM
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I am going to go out-on-a-limb and say that this is the most valuable thread on plantedtank.net that I have come across. Well-written, informative and highly entertaining. Kudos to the OP!

My only suggestion would be to have a "lessons learned" section in the thread that summarizes the OP's take-aways.

Great thread! Thank you ipkiss!!!
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post #85 of 189 (permalink) Old 12-14-2018, 01:05 AM
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Nice update! The plants look very bright and clean and happy

Are you dosing that .2 blend 3x week or what?
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post #86 of 189 (permalink) Old 12-14-2018, 06:14 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mighty Quinn View Post
I am going to go out-on-a-limb and say that this is the most valuable thread on plantedtank.net that I have come across. Well-written, informative and highly entertaining. Kudos to the OP!

My only suggestion would be to have a "lessons learned" section in the thread that summarizes the OP's take-aways.

Great thread! Thank you ipkiss!!!
@Mighty Quinn , very high praise. thanks! I hope it stands the test of time as you encounter more threads. I promise I won't be offended if I lose the most valuable title . It's interesting that you asked about a "lessons learned". I'll consider it and see where I can fit it in so that it flows with the story. Over the years, I tend to wax philosophical about things and those were the lessons I sort of brushed upon during the preface.

If I had to tell you, directly, the best lesson I've learned from this tank.. and that it still constantly teaches me.. It's patience. That really works in the grand scheme of things as this is all meant to be a hobby --unless you're out to farm the plants for a living. A hobby is supposed to follow you through life. Keep you entertained, satisfied, and content. There's no end to a tank as long as your interest in it exists. So what are you rushing for? I put this first, because this is the most trying one for me. It's even harder to have when the tank is NOT going right. Patience is key to observing any results from actions taken upon in the tank. I always forget to just let the tank do it's thing before taking the next step. Otherwise, you may overcompensate and do more harm than good sometimes.

Another good one is humility. Humility to acknowledge that guys are figuring things out every day and that new knowledge should not be dismissed. Remembering that there was a time when people surely believed that the earth was flat, that ph swings kill fish, that micro fertilizers were toxic -- just to name a few -- will put that into perspective. Humility to realize that none of us are a deity, or even an advanced being that can demand the plants to grow to your will. (See patience ) and to accept that sometimes, they just .. wont. Well, there's a few guys on here that seem to be, but they're humble enough to show you a plant that has taunted them.

I seem to have enough time for another one. Lets go with acceptance. From a budgetary stance, I've had to come to terms that I cannot, and perhaps will not and need not afford some of the amazing tanks and tank accessories that litter this forum. I will admire from a distance, be happy for their owners, and wish it brings them great satisfaction to their hobby and maybe wistfully wish that someday, I'll be in a position to have one, but that it's also entirely okay to not ever achieve that. From a skillset stance, I've also had to come to terms that I cannot, and perhaps will not and maybe need not have some of the amazingly scaped tanks that litter this forum. I will ALSO admire from a distance, be happy for their owners, and wish it brings them great satisfaction to their hobby and wistfully wish that someday, I'll have the time to hone my skills to have one, but it's also entirely okay to not ever achieve that. Otherwise, you'll just kill yourself from the stress. Remember, it's a hobby. Not a career. If it's stressing you and you're not having fun... maybe it's time to call it off. and that's completely OK too! But, if the hobby still talks to you, then, realize, as I mentioned in the beginning, you DO have a sympathetic ear in most of us and we're all "suffering" oh so happily (maybe on different levels), and you are not alone!

Oh, wait, you mean you wanted SPECIFIC tank lessons? Oh, me and my philosophies ...

The main lesson that is currently guiding me (subject to change due to above philosophies) is the triangle, the 3 pillars, the proper balance of lights, co2, and nutrients. It is the current laws of gravity for the planted tank community that I can seemingly observe. Everything you see in this journal and this time *I* will go on a limb, and everything you see in this forum can probably somehow be explained in a way that fits the proper balance. I could go into explaining, but why bother, as a fellow member has already concisely and elegantly presented it on his website: 3 Growth Pillars by Dennis Wong If you haven't went through that site and are new to the hobby, you must. You can waste your time reading tons of other guides on many pages all over the internet, but this guy sort of collated them all together in one place. Anyway, following the 3 pillars, all the sub lessons are well, just subsets and it's important to not forget the big picture of how doing something specific will the entire tank! For example, I could go on about how the recent lesson was don't run out of micros, or, stop being cheap, or buy in advance, but really, it pales in the face of the main lesson. I lost my balance of lights, co2, and nutrients.

Of the 3 pillars, here's a few specifics I've learned. First up, my signature quote. It's almost always too much light. Of the three pillars, I feel light is currently the easiest mistake to make. Access to powerful lighting has never been easier or cheaper and thus, most new hobbyists fall into this trap -- myself definitely included. See the algae farming years.

Then, I'd have to say if you're going to do CO2, do it right. Don't halfway it. It'll just be grief otherwise. Right can mean 3 bottles of DIY with proper valving and reactors or fully pressurized, etc. But for all that is good, don't do the silly single bottle with the hagen ladder that I did. It was a cheap way to get into the game but at that level, I may as well have not played and just focused on growing types of plants without CO2 properly instead. Doing it right, also means to put in enough, to aerate your tank for good o2/co2 balance, to manage current flow. Getting CO2 properly injected cannot be underestimated. It's usually not simply open a valve and watch a drop checker.

As for nutrients, I've committed the error of simply ignoring them in the beginning. Without holistically looking at the 3 pillars entirely, I didn't recognize the interaction and it was to the tanks detriment. However, even having said that, I feel that as long as there is "some" nutrients, unless you're past the massive algae farm stage, it's usually not to blame. But if you're getting somewhere and your plants are just not popping healthy, then yes, it definitely is time to pay attention to what you're feeding them.

Addendum: Here's a more specific itemized list from @Greggz that may be more what you or others are looking for:
Greggz' contribution to a Pro Tips thread
Came across this after the original post but it's so good that I feel it should be added here for posterity. I'm sure Greggz won't mind!

Quote:
Originally Posted by burr740 View Post
Nice update! The plants look very bright and clean and happy

Are you dosing that .2 blend 3x week or what?
@burr740, it's daily as long as I can help it or remember to do it. I noticed you went to a .3 for 3x but I didn't want to go there mainly because daily is easier to remember than every other day -- especially if I'm front loading and have nothing to do on off days.


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Last edited by ipkiss; 12-19-2018 at 06:32 PM. Reason: added more specific lessons of co2 and nutrients; added Greggz list
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post #87 of 189 (permalink) Old 12-14-2018, 11:03 PM
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Hi @ipkiss,

Funny that you should bring up Dennis Wong because he is one of the speakers, along with Christel Kasselmann, Cara Wade, Vin Kutty, and Cory McElroy at the AGA International Convention next spring in Seattle. I've been reading Dennis's website and the "Three Pillars of Growth",etc for the last week or so.
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post #88 of 189 (permalink) Old 12-14-2018, 11:51 PM
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Very, very nice post @ipkiss .........I really like the "lessons learned" theme.

Well thought out, well communicated............all around a good read!
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post #89 of 189 (permalink) Old 12-15-2018, 12:53 AM
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Fantastic journal! Definitely a great read and I really like your tank!
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My tank journal.

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post #90 of 189 (permalink) Old 12-15-2018, 02:18 AM
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@ipkiss thank you for sharing your experiences. The key of this being a hobby for most I feel can be missed, and what you wrote really spoke to me! Nicely done!
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