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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here it is. The story continuing from my thread here
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=260722

My 25 gal, 1st planted tank, all the way back in 2008. Thread is here:
http://www.gtaaquaria.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2631

My DIY 45 gal thread is here:
http://www.gtaaquaria.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4052
I read it again after a few years, i just ignored the comments :p ehehe Also go to last page for good pics.

So I eventually moved to high tek, diy setup. I had two shop lights pumping 2.9 w/g in my 45 gal tank with diy co2 bottles. I was really happy as everything was growing. Then I saw that there were holes in my plants and my anabius turned white. Later on I found out nutrients were also important. So I ended up buying dry ferts and dosing EI method.

The tank was going really well, loved it, regret not taking pics though. After a little while I got hit with the two worst things to hit a planted tank, U. gibba and Cladophora algae. I battled these two things for a whole year. They killed all my plants and destroyed my tank. In the end, through succession, my tape grass took over the tank along with clado. Both the algae and the carnivorous plant preferred healthy plant conditions meaning normal plants couldnt out compete them. Nor would high co2 or blackouts do anything. After a year I tore out the entire tank, threw out all my tape grass (buckets worth) and washed my tank and gravel in close to boiling water. I dried the gravel, threw it outside in my balcony in -10c weather for a few days and started over.

I tried scaping but it didnt work. I wanted wood and different levels of elevation. In the end I got rid of the mopani because it took up too much space and didnt look good. My lvl floor didnt work out either, Im not sure, they werent high enough and I just dont know how to do it.

So I loaded the tank with a few plants, didnt even spread them apart in the beginning. Went well and from there on forward its been like that since. My plants take over the tank and theres no space to scape. I feel bad throwing away bags of plants away. I sell them at low prices but as soon as someone hears "high light", no one bites.

So previously I used to take pics at random times. Recently, I take pics every month, I have a huge folder with mini folders for each month. My old HD crashed at lost a few months of pics.

My old setup at its prime. Dont know the name of the nice stem plant in the back left.


Old tank before teardown


New tank setup


Difference in water temperature


So it begins....


July 2011


Aug 2011


Sep 2011


Nov 2011


May 13, 2012


throwing away buckets worth


May 27, 2012


June 17, 2012


July 1, 2012


July 30, 2012


Aug 17, 2012



Sep 3, 2012


Sep 24, 2012



Dec 8, 2012


Jan 1, 2013


Feb 5, 2013


Feb 15, 2013



And a few random images from the timeline




 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Wow, you can sure grow some plants. Jan 1, 2013 is my favorite photo straight thick with plants.
ehehe thanks. I want it like that again, except without losing species (weed plants take over killing light to others).
 

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Beautiful!!! I wish I could get plants to go like this with out co2. I'm still working on balancing everything out. Just reduced my light and now my plants look healthy at least. I love your progression of photo's. It just proves that no matter how beautiful the tank looks it still had to get that way somehow. Lots of time and patience. I also love that you can find a few of the same plants throughout your progression. The bright red stem is amazing, the one from Feb 15. What is that one called?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Beautiful!!! I wish I could get plants to go like this with out co2. I'm still working on balancing everything out. Just reduced my light and now my plants look healthy at least. I love your progression of photo's. It just proves that no matter how beautiful the tank looks it still had to get that way somehow. Lots of time and patience. I also love that you can find a few of the same plants throughout your progression. The bright red stem is amazing, the one from Feb 15. What is that one called?

Thank you :) The plant is Ludwigia sp. Rubin. I threw out like 10 stems last weekend. Local sale here is very slow. Shipping to US is impossible.

There was little patience to tell you the truth, everything grows like weed. A few of my rare, high demanding plants were out compete by others and as a result perished. I really want a bigger tank, but just no space.

Without co2 Im afraid theres no way to getting beautiful plants or colour, unless you have low light plants such as anabuis, crypts and mosses. DIY co2 really isnt worth it. in the beginning I just couldnt make the jump to pressurized because of the usual cost. But once I did, man its so worth it!!! In the long run its cheaper too.
 

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It looks great, but, in my personal opinion, you need more plants LOL
Pretty impressive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It looks great, but, in my personal opinion, you need more plants LOL
Pretty impressive.

Thanks.

You mean more species? Some plants grow fast like weed, others medium and slow. So atm Im finding the balance and throwing clippings of anyplant that takes over too much. I try to sell for dirt cheap prices but no one bites. I just want 1 proper time where the back ground is filled to the top with greens reds, medium height plants in the middle and a nice UG or HC foreground. Just once...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The last few months have been terrible. Its been really degrading. I got hit hard by diatoms and glue green. Past week its been alot better. Everyweekend I do the h2o2 dose before change, Ive increased my macro dosing and decreased my trace, Ive reduced lights from 9 to 8 hours, made a DIY co2 diffuser but its still not going away. Im slowly cranking up the co2. Its very annoying that theres no accurate way of telling the co2 level.

Heres a depressing pic. Its all a mess. I have a hard time clipping and planting because there are small plants everywhere on the gravel. If I place a clipping beside the plant I clipped from, it will end up blocking the light to another plant right beside it. I just want to do a total rescape. I even have a 31" manzanita wood waiting. But I dont want to put that in since the blue green and diatoms will attack it. I hate it!!! Im unsure whats the cause. Ive had this same setup with nothing changed for over a year yet this problem just started all of a sudden.

Whats really pissing me off is that the aromatica isnt turning red. Meaning something is off. How can co2 be that big of a factor? Everyone has a co2 indicator which isnt that great, yet they get brilliant colours...


 

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And this is why I love my medium-tech tank. I get a lush growth without being a slave to the pruning process or the constant frustration of balancing C02 and ferts.

And while I might not have bright reds, I still have a staggering array of plant textures and colors from deep bronzes to emerald greens, bright yellows and soft blushes of pinks and corals. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I Love your tank man. Especially July 2011. A few plants can sure go a long way!
Thanks, the Ammannia Garcilis just took over. Im glad I found a buyer and sold all but 1 stem. Ive been selling it consistently, I love it. Its easy to grow, RED AND PINKISH and will occupy whatever space you give it. It will grow small and compact in tight spaces, big, fat and lush in open.

Looking back at these picks I just wish I didnt have algae like back then. Its been so bad recently. I have a thick film on top of my tank too, its so thick that my skimmer cant even break it. Nothings changed since I took these pics. I have not added any wood or sand. Maybe its because of the chelated iron Im adding with Trace?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
It seems that my diatom and bga are receding, but they are still pretty bad. 45% of my front glass gets covered with dia and then bga within 7 days. MY plants have been growing pretty fast so the algae has not had a chance to attach itself. the slow growing leaves though, stand no chance :( Im getting fed up with this. These two things have been taking over for 2 or so months now. Im thinking its the bulbs.

Clipped lots of dd and 2 stems of aromatica. Its pissing me off, the aro is boring green. When I had normal T8s, it was slight yellow with purple undersides.







Used a new method to take pics




Played around with settings in photoshop
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Heres an update. Just did water change so water a lil cloudy. I moved all the tall stem plants to the back. The problem is, I have no space to put the clippings even though there seems to be space. On top of that, I have 1 or 2 slow growing stem plants that are in the shadow and will perish. I dont want to move them forward because its a high water flow area. Plus, theres grass and other foreground plants. atm it looks messy, Im waiting till next week, hopefully it looks better.


Crappy pics, I might try taking pics in the evening with a dark room.

Also, Im experimenting with the emersed setup as well. Got indica/rodufolia and DHG. I put a crypt and Ludwigia senegalensis into the same container, they dried out. I think the crypt might survive. I seriously need a big container now that I know my setup somewhat works.








Replies of any kind would help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Any updates?
I should have a big juicy update tomorrow. Ill take pics after my water change. My entire front glass is covered with diatoms and BGA. In about 5 to 7 days, they cover my front glass. Its been going on for months. Even so my plants are growing all loco.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
HUGE BLOG POST!!!! Im going to try my best getting all the pics in order. Uploading them will take 15 minutes alone. Im very tired because I spent the whole day in the hot balcony and rain doing my succulent DIY project. Not to mention my 2 hour tank maintenance/water change today. Check my hens and chick thread in my sig.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pics cover tank growth from May 6 to June 3rd, 2013.


So here it is, I leave the tank for 2 weeks and it becomes a jungle. The pics dont do justice. Its alot more than the pics show. I also hate how fast the diatom and bga grow. They get on some of my plants too. Im still trying to figure out what the hell is causing this. I did a major water change and prune, made a bucket load of clippings. Im still trying to sell them, but no ones biting. So Im going to end up garbaging them. EDIT: they went to garbage before water change. Theres just no demand up here in Toronto. Shipping here is too expensive. I went to Canada post and their rate for a medium box is $14 and shipping will take 4 to 5 days (I quoted for BC since I had people showing interest from there).


In all this jungly mess I took a heavy loss. I lost my most favourite plant, Ludwigia senegalensis (I JUST FOUND 1 STEM STILL ALIVE YESSSSS!!). I had good 4 to 5 tall stems of them. But against other quick growing plants they were not fast enough. They came under shade and just disappeared. I was shocked, like they really did disappear. They were right in the middle left of the tank, I cant find them anymore. Dam. I also lost a very rare Ludwigia (pilosa) SPHAEROCARPA. I had 2 good flourishing stems and they were my biggest investment returners :) I could sell them for $10 easy. But both disappeared as well. I also lost the rarest plant Ive ever had, even rare in terms of PTF, the Ludwigia cf. suffruticosa. It was growing fast as well. Im so sad and disappointed by this. Im happy plants are growing, but I just hate it how big of a difference it is in the growth rate. There have been too many rare species Ive lost over the month. Ive spent some $200 on plants alone from PTF in the past few months. I almost lost the Rotala Macranda 'Japan Red'. But Im really happy I planted a stem in the open before leaving for vacation. Its in rough shape but survived and is growing well in light.

I wonder if anyone even reads this.

My Plan now is:

Get rid of all the plants on the left side. Its a jungle of everything and it looks messy. I dont like it. I think Im going to get rid of Staurogyne Bihar, Ludwigia sp. Rubin and another yellowish plant I dont know the name of. These guys get too big and take up all the space to scape. So Im getting rid of them. I love the rubin. It has amazing colours. Dark blood reds to brilliant purple. I love it. But it grows too dam fast and worst of all, leaves get toooo big.

The next step is to get rid of dwarf sag. Thats an annoying plant. Half a year ago I sold it all and somehow a small piece still stayed. Now its growing like a weed. I also need to get rid of my staurogyne repens. Ive decided I want a DHG carpet. With these 2 plants gone, I can have some space to plant the dhg everywhere.


May 6, 2013


May 12, 2013

Big pic, click to expand.


May 14, 2013


May 27, 2013. After I return from vacation.


Removed algae from glass




After hack and slash


Selling the clippings.



May 30, 2013 (not sure if right date, maybe missplaced pic.)


Jun 2, 2013 Today






Butterfly, they were in shade and took damage. They are growing well now.



I would love it if Tom Barr or CrazyDaz comment here. Although Im ashamed of my tank conditions.
 

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Great photo journal. I feel the same about dwarf sag. It is slowly taking over all of my tanks, and I think I'll eventually have to tear it down if I want to get rid of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Great photo journal. I feel the same about dwarf sag. It is slowly taking over all of my tanks, and I think I'll eventually have to tear it down if I want to get rid of it.
Yea, I think its a good plant for low light tanks. I never thought of it as a low light plant since its used as a mid to low cover in tanks.

My Barclaya Longifolia finally show out new leaves. It hasnt budged in over 6 months!!!!!

Also what a day, they terminated my contract at work, business lower than usual. Dam.
 
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