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Discussion Starter #3,481 (Edited)
Looking great! How do you deal with Nymphoides taiwan when it reaches the surface? I have them in a few tanks and have short stems from pruning them everywhere.

Also, what's the burgundy plant front towards the left?
For the Taiwan, it depends. Sometimes I will just pinch the top leaves. It will get thicker that way.

And them sometimes I pull the whole clump and remove 4" or 5" from the bottom and replant. It's about the most trouble free plant there is. No matter what, just grows and grows.

Front left burgundy is Barclaya Longifolia. Almost lost it when I changed substrate. It melted to nothing but the bulb. Now it's back to it's former glory and really is a striking eye catching plant.

 

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Discussion Starter #3,483
This is like baby steps to your fully defined Dutch style groupings. I can see where your going with it now from this update. Looks great as usual!
Interesting to hear you say that.

I have had a plan, and it is to get to a more "Dutch" style tank. But there have been a lot of set backs along the way. Very slow USPS delivery times had some plants come in at mostly mush.

Take the L. Cuba in the center. Took about 10 days to get to me. One stem was not completely disintegrated. Planted that lone stem, and it sat there for the longest time. Slowly came back to life, and now it's flourishing. Same story with lots of other ones.

At some point I will begin to pare down number of species, and get things more defined. Right now it's in free-for-all mode. Going to see which ones do the best and keep slowly moving things along.

In the meantime, I have to say the tank has been very enjoyable to observe lately. A bit wild and gaudy (maybe too much for some), but it's kind of fun to let it go unleashed for a while.
 

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Discussion Starter #3,485
It looks like you got your groove back from the substrate swap! This is looking fantastic. Full, healthy looking plants!

Can't wait to see what you do next from here!
It's funny you put it that way. It takes a lot of time and trial and error to get that "groove" on. Over the past few months I have been working on dialing things in.

Pretty certain I understand the tank chemistry now. CO2 seems very well optimized. Ferts are much lower than ever, and seem to be in a good stable place. Dialed down light for a while, but as things improved, started dialing it back up. Now am back to full 8 hours at about 127 PAR.

I have always found that last key to be more light. That is to get a really good separation of colors, no substitute for it. But you always need to make sure everything else is dialed in first. Otherwise, can exacerbate other issues.

But believe me I know that the next challenge is right around the corner. Something I don't see coming will slap me silly. So always keeping the guard up, and there is always room for improvement.
 

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Discussion Starter #3,487
Thats a nice looking Barclaya
Thanks Joe and good luck in the Dutch contest this year.

Enjoyed seeing the sneak peak in your journal, and a glimpse of the effort that goes into the presentation.

I have a ton of respect for the work that goes into it. Much easier for a scape like mine.......the only critic I have to listen to is me!!:wink2:
 

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Discussion Starter #3,489
This is so colorful :surprise:. Thought I was looking at a reef tank >:)

BTW, what kind of co2 diffusion method you're using in this tank?
That's funny I have been getting the "reef" tank comment a lot lately. Maybe this a new "Fresh Water Reef" style? Heck, I don't know it's really only what I like at the moment.

I'm using a DIY Cerges with a 20" filter housing.

After running through the Cerges the outputs are split with one going to each end of the tank.

It's being driven by a Rena XP-XL, one of three filters on the tank.
 

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That's funny I have been getting the "reef" tank comment a lot lately. Maybe this a new "Fresh Water Reef" style? Heck, I don't know it's really only what I like at the moment.

I'm using a DIY Cerges with a 20" filter housing.

After running through the Cerges the outputs are split with one going to each end of the tank.

It's being driven by a Rena XP-XL, one of three filters on the tank.
I can definitely see the "reef" aspect of it now. Looks great.
 

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I bet it depends on the plants, and I'd love to know the answers as well!

Looking fantastic, Gregg! My wife hears, "come look at this!" on a weekly basis and stops what she's doing to look over my shoulder at planted tank pics on the internet to humor me/my interests. I want to believe that this pair of photographs has made a tiny bit of headway in my quest to move one of my 125's from my shop to our home. I built a stand out of high grade cherry probably over 15 years ago to do just that, and it's only ever had a reef tank sit on it at my shop.
 

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Discussion Starter #3,499
So is the trimming method replanting tops mostly and pulling bottoms or combination of the two.
That's a great question and something we should discuss and focus on more. Trimming, pruning, and plant mass management is an important part of the equation.

Today was a lot of pulling, topping, and replanting. The big ones in the back like the Cuba, P. Kimberley, Macranda's, Pantanal, etc. get pulled and thinned out. I take them all out and once and give that area a good vac.

If I need more, I will leave a few of the bottoms planted. But none of that today.

Then you have plants like the Lobelia Cardinalis "Mini" in the front right that get too thick and bushy. They will eventually start too choke themselves out. So I pull those and split them into smaller plants, removing a lot of the older larger growth. Basically give them a fresh start with less mass.

I usually just pinch some tops of the Nymphoides Hydrophylla 'Taiwan' in the back left corner. But today it came out and really go thinned out. No worries hacking it hard, it will grow back in no time.

The group of Syngonanthus Belem in the front right needs a good trimming about every three weeks. Today it all came out. There are loads of new side shoots when you let it go, and again it gets too thick. So those get pulled and about 1/4 of the stems get removed. They grow better when they have some room to breathe.

The only tall one I didn't pull today was the Cabomba Furcata, as I just ran out of steam! Might even trim them down over the weekend to get everything back in proportion.

I've said this before, but the tank responds very well to a good trimming and removal of mass. The plants always seem to enjoy a little extra elbow room.

I'll have to do a more proper post on the whole process sometime like I've done a few times in the past.

And I think it does demonstrate something. When you learn how to grow plants.....they grow! So be careful what you wish for. A high light high tech tank full of stems is a hands on project. If you don't enjoy the process, the hobby may not be for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #3,500
And he's back! Here we go, get ready for the ride!

Pretty impressive growth and plant health Gregg!
LOL yeah I always get a bit more focused on the tank when the weather turns. I think that is true for a lot of people.

And as you know, it was quite a ride during the transition to Landen. Not for the faint of heart. Lots of careful nurturing of plants to bring them back to good health. Which is probably also a good topic.

Many times even going to a new tank will cause a plant to stunt/melt. Things can look bleak. My method is to keep removing leaves that are too damaged, remove any algae I can off the leaves, and put them in a spot with no shading. Clean leaves can soak up the light and do a lot of healing.

I should have taken some pictures, as some looked pretty much dead. But then all of the sudden you will see some nice new growth, and pretty soon they come back strong. They need time to figure out how to process the new environment, and I've learned not to give up too soon.

If you saw the pathetic single stem that the L. Cuba started with, you would never believe it's the same plant. Have more now than I know what to do with.
 
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