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Burr740 could you describe a little more what you mean when you talk about the tank uber clean. I am seeing positive effects in my tank adopting this practice, and wonder what all it means to you?

For instance, I also have BDBS substrate, and I'd be interested to know more about your vacuuming routine. Lightly vac, deeply vac? And anything else you think might be helpful.

Thanks for anything you can share.
 

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@burr740, how long does it take prepare the tank for these photo shoots?

I mean, I'm sure the tank looks great everyday, but I imagine the attention to detail to take those photos requires some work. The way each group is perfectly tapered and spaced doesn't happen by accident.

And no matter how many times I see your tank, I marvel at it every time.

Planning the 180G yet??:grin2::grin2:
 

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Thanks man. Calling it photo shoots is funny. I have a cheap point and shoot that I barely know how to use. The most I ever do in preparation is wipe off the glass if it needs it.

But you are absolutely right, the shape of each group doesnt happen by accident. But it's more routine maintenance than prepping for a pic.

I do a little pruning most every day or two. Get in there with my hands for 5-10 minutes and pinch off ratty leaves, wayward sprouts, unwanted side shoots, that sort of thing. To me it's relaxing, a meditative activity. I enjoy doing it so it's not like a chore.

Then, on water change days there's always a few groups due for a major trim. Might be only one or two groups, or several.

Some things do better replanting the nice tops, some things do better mowed down. Whatever the case, you try to shape the group however you want it to grow out. So until its time to trim again, the group maintains the same basic shape, or at least heads in the direction you want.
Burr740 I appreciate the response. I think this illustrates that like many things in life, the end result is often proportionate to the effort put in.

You probably spend more time tending to your underwater garden than most, and it shows.

And I agree with you, I also find the time spent on the tank a form of meditation and enjoyable. Good for the soul if you will.

And by the way, the Nelsonia is a prolific grower. If left to its own devices, it could fill my whole tank in no time. Great plant for me, so thanks again.
 

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@Greggz this fts is for you. Much of the left side has just been hacked and sold, right side is a jumbled mess of indecision. :)
Thanks Burr740....... I appreciate you torturing me with your FTS. My tank is always a jumbled mess of indecision. But in all seriousness, the tank is really looking just great!

I was wondering, has going to the 120G enhanced your enjoyment of the tank? Has it brought any new challenges? I was wondering about the increased depth and how that might have an effect? Or is it just business as usual?
 

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I dunno, the plants look nice and all, but they're so short they look like the plants in my goldfish tank. Why don't you grow them out? Wait..I bet you could grow some really dank "stuff" in there. Why don't you do that?
You know Phil, I was actually thinking the same thing. My mermaid weed grows out of the tank in a few weeks. Burr I don't know if many understand the amount of trimming and the attention to detail that goes into your presentation......but I do. I gotta hand it to you, your discipline is pretty amazing.

Would be interesting to see your tank untamed (or Dank! as you will).
 

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For the past year or so, the sweet spot for me seems to be around .01 - .015 csmb, and .01 - .02 dtpa.

My dosing bottles last 5 weeks. I usually tweak the dosage one way or the other and try it for the duration....still searching for the elusive sweet spot.
Burr740 I was hoping you can tell more about how you mix up your micro solution? We have the same size tank, and I've never made a solution. Right now I am dosing about .1 csmb, but may try a lower dosing. Occurs to me when you get that size of dose, measuring spoons aren't good for much.

Do you put anything else besides the ferts and water in it (metricide)??
 

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Hot tap water + 5-10 ml of distilled vinegar. Add the vinegar, swirl it around a bit and let it sit while measuring the dry ferts.

The vinegar does two things; Acts as a mold retardant, and most importantly, it drops the PH way down to help preserve the chelators and various micro nutrients that become less effective at higher ph ranges.

Hence the reason to mix the water and vinegar first and let it sit for a minute or two.

Excel will keep the mold away but it doesnt help with PH. If your mixing water is over 6.5 or so, Id go with vinegar. My tap PH is ~7.7
Thanks Burr740, just what I was looking for.

By the way, did you take classes to become a "Plant Whisperer"? Or did it come naturally?:wink2:

But in all seriousness, I wanted to thank you for all your help and inspiration. I appreciate the way you share your experiences, and I'm sure it's been a great deal of help to many others here.
 

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Saxa currently doesnt really sell plants. He gives me stuff out of the goodness of his heart, and I try to return the favor when I can. :)

You can see his plants here

Going Dutch with Aquasoil - Aquarium Plants - Barr Report

and here

Rotala Kill Tank - Aquarium Plants - Barr Report


Reading both threads is well worth the time. Tons and tons of great info scattered all through both
Burr740 first of all it's always a pleasure to see new pics of your tank. It seems the only constant in your tank is change. It's always evolving, and I enjoy seeing what you are thinking and why you make the changes you do. It gives me inspiration to give my own presentation more thought (which it can sorely use!).

And I agree with the above. The Pikez/Saxa Tilly threads above are really a good read. I've gone back and re-read portions several times. Lots of good food for thought there.

But I must add, I'd put your 75 gallon journey thread in the same class. I've read and re-read it, and it has helped me greatly in my own journey. Speaking of which, my own updates to be following soon.
 

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When I first started reading the 75 gallon journal, I thought there was a decimal error in his trace dosing. Turns out there wasn't. That was a turning point in my horticulture routine.
Funny you say that. I did exactly the same thing. Probably wasn't until about the third time that I read it that I really understood how little he was actually dosing. Thought surely that must be a typo or error.

I'm actually just starting to follow that low of dosing this week, so will be watching everything closely to see where it leads.
 

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@Greggz , I took some pics with different lights on this morning, thought you might find it interesting. Just finished a wc so the tank is bubbly
Burr great pictures. That 3000k bulb is interesting. What brand is the one you are using? I may have to put one into my mix.

I wonder how the ATI Purple and the 3000k would look if you ran just those two together? Might be an interesting combo for my early evening viewing. I do like the way it looks with the Flora bulb as well.

Of course, your tank would look great under any lighting! And nice to see a picture of the 50G. Do you do anything different in that tank? Or just try to duplicate the 120G so the plants can transition easily if they get called up to the majors??
 

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These are Plantmax brand. Hydropinic suppliers generally have them, probably have to google around a bit.

My last two light fixtures came with choice of bulbs and I always get a couple 3000Ks along with 6500Ks

Wow, not bad actually. First time Ive ever had just these two on. Amazing how they balance each other out.

Burr thanks for trying that out. I must say, I like that combination. Just ordered one of the Plantmax. From what I see I think it's a better combo than the Flora I have it paired with now. I bet it will also be good at bringing out the colors of my Rainbows.

Interesting on the 50G. As closely as they are set up, you still notice differences. Just goes to show every tank is different, and this hobby is far from an exact science.
 

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Burr I like the way you measured it with the different combinations/numbers of bulbs. I should have taken the time to do that while I had the meter on hand. It looks like we are pretty close to the same PAR with all six bulbs on. You must be around 200 at the surface. And your other readings give me some idea of where I am with 2 or 4 bulbs running.

Do you run all six bulbs for the entire photo period? And if so, how long are the lights on?
 

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Sean I like the combination. Brings a different perspective to your tank.

The thing is, I bet it looks even better in person. It's difficult to capture the colors in a photo.

And Burr740, I don't know exactly how this happened, but we have started some type of bulb combo comparison think tank!!

I will say this, I have studied all of these pictures closely, and it is very interesting how the blend of colors changes the presentation of the tank.
 

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Burr740 sorry to hear about that. I think you are right about it being better now than in the prime of the summer.

At 86* I would guess you are at the upper end of when things could go downhill quickly. Hopefully it's just a quick blip on the radar and everything stays stable for you.
 

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That interesting. When things are back to normal I may try experimenting (with a smaller fan) to see if it drops the temperature any, and if so, whether running it a couple degrees cooler has any positive affect
That's very Burr740 of you.......and I might add a little mad scientist as well!!

But you know I mean that in only the most positive way. My wife's beginning to think I am one as well........but with her the emphasis is on the "mad" part!:grin2:
 

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Burr740 the latest series of posts in this thread are very interesting and a good read. Great contributions and well thought out comments.

If you are still searching for planted tank nirvana, it brings some comfort to a stumblin' fumblin' noob like myself (and I'm sure others here as well).

So thanks for sharing, and I very much appreciate the spirit of this discussion. Will be watching with great interest to see how things progress from here.
 
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