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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello all,

This journal will follow the redo of my 40B that i've had up and running since March 2016. This tank is where I pulled the training wheels off and stepped into the high tech realm for the first time.

A little background for you all before I bore you with the tank specs. For the the first 6 months the tank did surprisingly well with very few issues. well then September rolled about and I got hit with BBA and a lot of the plants just weren't doing so hot. I had forgotten when I originally set this tank up I had a bag of Eco Complete laying around that I mixed in with about 70 pounds of blasting grit. The only thing i could think of was I had a build up of micro nutrients and i'm blaming the Eco for it. So 2 weeks ago I tore the whole thing down and replaced all the substrate.

I would like to give a special thanks to @burr740 and @houseofcards as they've helped me quite a bit through the first 8 months of this venture.

Equipment

Tank - 40B
Heater - 150w Eheim Jäger
Powerhead - Koralia Nano 240

General tanks specs

Ph- 6.8 degased, 5.9 at peak co2
Gh - 6
Kh - 4

Filtration

- Eheim Classic 2217
- Eheim Skim 350

Lighting

Front light - Beamswork 42x1w led
Rear light - Fluval Fresh and Plant 2.0

CO2

Regulator - Airgas Y12-244D, Burkert 6011A solenoid and a Swagelock SS-SS2-VH metering valve
Diffusion - Cerges reactor

Substrate

The best substrate around, 20/40 Black Diamond blasting grit

Fertilization

EI based and dosed per Rotala Butterfly dosing calculator for a 35 gallon tank

Plants

- Pogostemon Erectus
- Pogostemon Helferi
- Ludwigia sp. Red
- Ludwigia Arcuata
- Limnophila Aromatica
- Blyxa Japonica
- Java Fern
- Hygophila Corymbosa Compact
- Alternanthera Reineckii mini
- Staurogyne Repens
- Micranthemum Monte Carlo
- Anubias Nana Petite
- Hydroctyle Tripartia

Fish & Inverts

- 15 Green neon tetras
- 10 Ember tetras
- 7 Rummynose tetras
- 5 Orange laser corydoras
- 5 Otocinclus catfish
- 1 L182 Starlight pleco
- 1 pair of Apistogramma Erythrura mamore
- 1 pair of Apistogramma Borelli yellow face
- 8 Amano shrimp
- who knows how many Ramshorn snails

Let's hope this go-round turns out better for the long haul. I've learned so much within the past year and it's a constant learning learning experience which i'm sure won't end.


Pictured below is a shot from a bout 2 months ago when things were doing pretty good. Also a few shots of the tear down process and some corydoras digging the open area to play around in.
 

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Wow that pic 2 months ago is a stunner! Like the new layout too.

Couple of observations:

The AR leaves look perfectly flat in both the before and after pic. That's a good sign the problem was not excessive micros, or low Ca or Mg. Either of the three will cause the leaf edges to severely undulate.

As the overall plant mass goes up, so does the global demand for nutrients and co2. Slower species will begin to get out-competed if either one is in short supply.

If you weighed all the plants in the before pic, and compared it to the total weight in the after pic, there'd be a huge difference.

Think of the tank as room full of people, and there's one platter of food to feed them all. The plants are the people and the platter of food represents ferts and co2.

Lets say there are 20 people in the freshly trimmed after pic. In the before pic...it's more like 200, and the platter of food hasnt changed.

Flow is also greatly reduced when a tank gets full. There's no way around it. So not only do resources begin to run short, to make matters worse they arent being delivered as efficiently because the flow cant reach everywhere.

The tank was too good for much to be wrong. I suspect it simply reached a point where it ran short of something. CO2 is the most likely suspect.

That's not a very big drop in PH. Any way you can hit a full 1.0?


For this second go around, try to keep the biomass in check better. Leave some space between groups for better flow. Prune the fast growing stems more regularly.

It's much better to do small trims on a handful of species every week or two, than to wait until the whole tank is a jungle and do it all.

Just like everything else in a high tech set-up, the overall plant mass should be fairly consistent. or at least a person should be aware of the implications.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
That's not a very big drop in PH. Any way you can hit a full 1.0?
Yeah I can, before I tore it down I was getting down to about 5.9 or lower. I recently discovered the ph/co2/kh chart, and from what I saw I only need to drop by about .2 to achieve 30ppm co2 concentration. I've been toying with the metering valve the last few days and it's back up again because my drop checkers super yellow right now.

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/1...s/1096681-understanding-ph-kh-co2-levels.html
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The chart also shows degassed levels around 20 ppm, which cannot be right.

The yellow drop checker is good sign though, assuming the solution inside is 4dKH
Yeah it's 4dKH fluid and the tank water has a huge of 4 as well. The ar is doing really well besides the older leaves which from what I've read are generally prone to algae. Oh, and since I did the tear down the Aromatica has gotten some really good color😉.
 

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Wow, super healthy plants, nice layout that's what it's all about. Glad I was able to help in any small way, congrats! Definitely a motivator to get someone into this or like me get a big tank going again.
 

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Beautiful tank, before and after being redone!

What kind of cories are those? And what is the shorter red plant in the original tank?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Beautiful tank, before and after being redone!

What kind of cories are those? And what is the shorter red plant in the original tank?


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Those are gold laser corydoras and the smaller red plant is Alternanthera Reineckii mini.
 

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Weekly update, everything is just clicking along. Looks like the MC is starting to spread some as it's still converting to a submersed form.
Beautiful tank, wish I could get something like this going.

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