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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I have returned to bare. Can't keep substrate clean enough for my liking. Miss the sand look but like being able to rearranging the plants at will. It happens automatically as I push the driftwood around while vacuuming the glass bottom. I do it almost daily to get the crap out before it can break down. +/-5 gals a day. All the crap gets hidden under the wood so you don't ever see it. Works for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Daily Rescape

The daily rearrangement of the environment makes the fish more interesting/interested. Some say goldfish don't care about plants in the tank. Ridiculous. All fish relate very strongly to the landscape and plants. Observation or Anyone who has sportfished with a fish finder can tell you that. Fish follow the landscape features, they don't float around aimlessly in open water. Exploring the new layout keeps 'em occupied and behaving differently all the time. it's still not much to look at, but i am still new at it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Will need to fertilize now that the rich substrate is gone. C. Willisi suffering, C. crisp. balensae and all other plants fine. Probably using stored nutrients. One clump of hornwort pale. Adding K+, Cal/Mag, Fe. Will add traces and excel after a little observation. Am guessing I will need to add: 5~10ppm K+, 7 Fe, traces and standard dose excel. Could probably take the light up another 32 watts then to 2wpg.
 

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Did you paint the bottom of the tank? That helps a lot with the "empty" look
I have used the 2.99 latex sample size from home depot with great results. the sample will cover the entire back of a 125 gal
 

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Krylon do a "speckle" spray paint which ive seen sprayed on the tanks bottom which looks like real sand substrate.
 

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I completely agree with your statement about fish and plants. I have been moving things around for a year+ in my tank and it is obvious the fish love having a new scene as they explore unkown canyons and caves. About once a month something is changed, and no matter how small a change the fish really dig it!

+1 on the speckle paint on the underside of the bottom. You would like it, and the fish might too. I bet they miss turning the substrate. My son had goldfish for a time, and they always would pick gravel up and suck it then spit it out. It was fun to watch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Tried black paint underneath once. It was a bit better, but still a bit empty looking. Speckled sounds interesting. Am not draining this tank though. I am hoping for some brilliant epitome of the perfect solution to strike me. Waiting... Waiting...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
They do miss turning the substrate. They get a certain amount of almost microscopic food from it. The varying "unknown canyons and caves" seem to more than make up for it though.
 

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Foam bottom like a foam background, sculped ever so slightly to look realistic while still being easy to vac... could even make holes to put the plants in. That would still require draining the tank though it could look really awesome...
 

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Ive seen Tiled bottoms too, they can look better than bare bottom. A nice slate tile would look natural with a few slate rocks in various places around the tank .
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Would have to move all the slate pieces around to get at the daily poop fest below. It occured to me but I think it would be hard to deal with. Also, I think some food would slip between the pieces before it got eaten.
 

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You would silicone the slate to the tanks bottom so nothing would get trapped.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I plan to make a ~100 gallon tank. Perhaps I will do the slate bottom there. There's a great grey colored plumbers epoxy putty which sticks to anything and dries hard as rock and is safe for potable water systems. I'd silicone the slate down then fill the voids with the epoxy. It would add to the weight but a 100Gal is already heavy so what's the difference?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
oops. No way I will need 7ppm of iron. Thats EI level. Will continue using Equilibrium at 1 tsp./week for cation replacement and some K+. Will start trace supplements with Flourish 5ml. 2x/week and Excel at 8ml./day. Will always wonder if I really have enough PO3 being produced....
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Using the Equilibrium will only raise my hardness by 1 degree per month max, minus usage water changes and precipitation. I plan on doing a big water change a few times a year anyway. Maybe in the form of three consecutive 25% changes in three days. Gradual, just in case my tank gets further out of line with my tap than I think it will.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Dosing schedual

I will stop changing water daily (4-5%) to keep the dechlorinator awat from the ferts. So This is what I am thinking for a fert sched.:

Sunday: 5% water change - 8 ml. Excel
Monday: 5 ml. Flourish - 8 ml. Excel
Tuesday: 5% water change - 8 ml. Excel
Wednesday: Clean one of the filters while changing 10% water- 8 ml. Excel
Thursday: 5 ml. Flourish - 8 ml. Excel
Friday: 5% water change - 8 ml. Excel
Saturday: 1 tsp. Equilibrium - 8 ml. Excel

Updated for Excel every second day, flourish 1/week:

Day
1) 10% WC with Filter Clean
2) Eqlibrium - excel
3) Flourish
4) Excel
5) 5% WC
6) Excel
7) 5% WC



I will make a checklist. If I skip something it won't matter much, I'll just make it up later in the week.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Dosing rates

Since my tap provides ~2ppm PO3:

7 grams Equilibrium per week (4.55 ppm K+. .02 Fe and cal mag cations)
5 ml. Flourish per week (.05 ppm Fe and traces)

This will ensure a non limiting range/ratio for all nutrients even if my NO3 raises as high as 20ppm. without the need for EI sized reset WC's. I will start with excel every second day . When I double Excel (asap) I will double flourish. Water changes may even have to decrease or fast plants replaced with slow. Light may need upgrading.
The Hornwort which had yellowed seems to be recovering somewhat since the addition of K+. I have tons of it in there. 3-4x what it can use. Only traces remain missing. I see no need to delay adding them. Obsevrvation without them is moot. They are definitely needed.

My forms of iron, though theorhetically high enough in content, are not very stable at my pH. I will consider adding Flourish Iron which is even less stable but more available and safely overdosed. I will consider adding Flourish trace. I believe what they say about it, but it may well not apply at my growth rate.
These I will observe carefully to determine if they help.
 
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