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Do NOT let your insurance company see your science project...LOL !

Steve I dont know what to say man... this entire venture has been quite an experience for all of us because of the way you have detailed your journal from plain glass and plumbing parts to a well thought out creation !

I had to show my wife the equiptment photo... she says I cant play with you know more, you are a bad influence on the checkbook !!

I guess this is my last post here...thanks alot ! :tongue: :icon_bigg
 

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Discussion Starter · #82 ·
Buck said:
I had to show my wife the equipment photo... she says I cant play with you know more, you are a bad influence on the checkbook !!

I guess this is my last post here...thanks alot ! :tongue: :icon_bigg
Gee Buck. That's really a bummer. I'll miss you here! But you can tell your wife that she's very perceptive, and in full agreement with my own wife. LOL

But I'd like to think of myself as a multi-faceted bad influence, and not just limit it with being stupid with money. I can be stupid with lots of things! I've seen myself do it. :proud:


Hop - please document how you achieve your objectives. And let me know where to read about it. Because if you can achieve a nice reef with no visible equipment, no noise, and little maintenance, I'm ready to dive in! If you'll pardon the pun.


Truth be told though, the glass is cool. And the reduced equipment is nice. And low maintenance is important for me since I travel a lot. But all that is just to facilitate the thing I have not mastered - how to paint a beautiful picture in that frame.

The tank and stand are just the canvas. Now I have to learn how to paint.
 

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well put...Good analagy
 

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So, let me get this straight...you built your own tank :icon_bigg !

This has to be one of the fastest exploding threads to hit this board in a while. Just got a chance to catch up on it. Those shots almost make it look like there's no glass even there. Very sweet. Great lookin' rig you got goin' there, Scolley!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #85 ·
Thanks folks!

BSS - You bet I built my own tank. Well, I didn't cut the glass. But I did everything else. When I started I had no idea what to do, but with access to info on the internet, and lots and lots of help from people on this board, it got done!

Some weekend if you got nothing to do (all weekend), and are bored to tears, you can take a look at this thread and read about the whole tank building project. It was a bear. But it got finished, and this thread is just the progression of that story.

If this thread gets much viewing, IMO it's not because of the merit of this particular thread. It's because my "little" tank building project was such an ordeal that lots of people just got caught up in the drama - a little tank building soap opera.

This thread is just kind of the next season. :icon_wink
 

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Discussion Starter · #86 ·
Algae!!!

All the plants are growing. New leaves, new roots, shoots and runners. Even have some color developing. And 2 days of the Magum on the tank took out the initial haze in the water - so I assume that was silicone dust - not GW.

A few days ago I put the lights on a 4 hours at 108 watts, 4 hours at 216 watts, and 4 hours at 108 watts schedule.

And now the top of my sand is turning greenish. It clearly has algae growing on it. I cannot see any evidence of more. But this is a white surface, so I suppose it's like a canary in a coal mine - the first place you notice a problem.

Or maybe because it's white, and so reflective, the surface gets double the light (coming in and bouncing off). I don't know - never had sand.

Think I should dial back that duration of that 4 hour photo period. Or am I panicking over nothing?

Oh yeah, I forgot. In a couple of days I'm going away for jsut over a week. So it's not like I can monitor the algae. So, short of getting clear advice to the contrary here, I'm cutting moving to a [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] photoperiod. Better safe than sorry.
 

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scolley said:
A few days ago I put the lights on a 4 hours at 108 watts, 4 hours at 216 watts, and 4 hours at 108 watts schedule.

And now the top of my sand is turning greenish.

Think I should dial back that duration of that 4 hour photo period. Or am I panicking over nothing?
Hey Steve,

Nice wires... :cool:

Well, let me show you some predictions :

- DYI build a tank (5 months )
- Photo Album ( 2 months : Oh boy, Algae , I will be back)
- Algae ( 1 month : help )
- Photo Album ( I'm back : look at me )

So the algae are normal in a fresh tank. Especially in the white sand.
Everything must mature and it will take a week or 6.

I my high light tank I follow this schedule :

- ferts
10 mg/l NO3
0.5 mg/l PO4
1/3 dose micro
CO2 30 mg/l

- lights 8/9 hours max

3 hours 50%
3 hours 100%
3 hours 50%

So I would lower the total period of light till the tank has matured a bit.

Gr. PJAN
 

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Discussion Starter · #88 ·
Thanks PJAN! I've already made the change to my light schedule.

But it also seems you are suggesting a reduction of Micros down to 1/3 normal dosing as a tank starts out. Is that correct?
 

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The lower micros make sense when you think about how little plant biomass there is in the tank at start up. You might not have experienced this yet but if I were to take all of the plants out of one of my established tank, I would not be able to put them all back in. I can't plant a tank as thick as it will grow in. When you have an established biomass then start to up your micros.
 

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Discussion Starter · #90 ·
Thanks Sean. I believe you, and I'll do it. But it makes no sense to me. I know I'm running the risk of devolving this conversation into an EI debate, but...

Why cut the micros if you aren't cutting the macros? The same reasoning about plant density should apply to either. Frankly, all density should affect is the uptake rate.

Everyone lives in fear of not keeping their macros up, and letting nothing (micros included) bottom out. Seems to me if I keep my macros at normal levels, with reduced micros, I'm running the risk of bottoming out on a micro. Then I've got excess macros the plants can't use as well, and BINGO - we're back to algae again.
 

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I agree with Sean that ther is little biomass.
That's the point.
Understanding fertilization is very complex.

1) High light tanks - like yours- are reacting different than low light tanks.
To be short on this one : The need for higher NO3 and PO4 concentrations is a direct result of the high light + CO2. You can say the plants need a sort of overpressure of these macro's during the high light period. The growing speed is at maximum and the internal buffer of the plants will only last for an hour or so. After that point the macro's in the water will be the supplier.
That's the reason why higher concentrations work out better in high-light tanks.
It's a bit strange that a high light tank doesn't do well with say 3 mg NO3, isn't it?
After all, there is NO3 available !
The overpressure makes it easy for a plant to get enough NO3 at the peak.

2) The micro's are very necessary of course. The whole chain ( macro's and micro's) has to be complete for optimal assimilation.
But, there is not a need for an overpressure of the micro's. They are taken active by the plant : they have certain receptors for uptake.

Too much miicro's can lead to algea. Especially in non-mature tanks. The bacterial stability is not optimal and the plants are just shooting roots and a few small leaves.

In my opinion it's better to calculate the biomass and dose according to it.
If you put all your plants in one place... how much space will they take?
Perhaps 1/4 of the space?
So we need to dose micro's for these plants and 1/3 should be ok to start with during the beginnig ( say 4 - 6 weeks ).

3) the peak with the lights has several advantages.

2 lamps ( 108 Watt ) = low light
This will allow the plants to grow steady and easy. In fact under these low lights the plants can do with lower NO3/PO4 because everything is easy running.

4 lamps ( 208 Watt) or more lamps = high light.
Now the plants need to have more NO3/PO4 etc and running low on there internal buffer. The overpressure of NO3/PO4 helps them out.

This high light period for 3 -4 hours is enough to keep the plants down and give them enough impulse to grow nicely with red leaves ( if they can)

A big advantage is that you can play with the growing speed of the plants by adjusting the totall high light hours. 3 hours is normal and 6 hours high light means turbo-boost. But also more worries if there are enough macro's available.

A smaller peak ( say 3 hours) will not punish you hard when you're forgot to dose macro's or running too low for some reason. It forgives you to a certain point.
Isn't that nice?

Gr.PJAN
 

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Discussion Starter · #92 ·
Wow!

PJAN - I love the pressure concept. I haven't a clue as to what that really means biochemically, but it is easy to understand!

What a great explanation. That's d*mn near sticky worthy IMO.

So, either you are a world-class BS artist, or there is something to what you are saying. I'll follow your and Sean's advise... The lights are down to 3hx108w then 3hx216w then 3hx108w, and tomorrow I'll be doing a water change with massively reduced micros after that.

Thanks!

Oh yeah.. everything is pearling like no tomorrow (in high light) but I also had to do my first scraping of spot algae off the glass today too.
 

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Interesting PJAN...I've never heard of anything remotely like that before. Of course I'm only a botanist/ecologist...not a plant physiologist or met/mol expert. Is this an idea you came up with or is there a study on it?

You are right though about the biomass part...but give that tank some time to fill out and then start your mega dosing routine :)
 

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Scolley, I am just wondering what levels of ferts are you trying to keep.

When I started up my tank I ran 10 and 1 at first for a few weeks then once the plants really showed established growth I upped it to 15-20 and 1.5-2 and micros from day one but only half what I now dose. I dose 10mil flourish now every other day. My tank is 58gal.

Are you still going to use the complete flourish line?
 

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Discussion Starter · #95 ·
At the moment I'm doing a weekly water change, testing post water change, and dosing up to target levels. I'm not dosing more often as the uptake rate has been somewhat slow.

My targets are N - 12 to 14, P 1.2 to 1.4, and K 20 to 25. That is all Seachem liquids except for the prodigious amount of N and P that comes in with the tap water. On top of that I had been dosing 2X the manufacturers directed dose for TMG and Flourish Iron. And I've been using about 1/x the recommended does of Flourish Excel, both as an algaecide, and due to some peoples belief that it really help the HC I've got a lot of. And my CO2 stays between 28 and 38 ppm.

Yesterday, with both the massive pearling and newly arrived algae, I tested N & P, and while the P had only moved down to 1.0 or so, the N was 6, maybe 7. That was after 4 and 1/2 days. So there is some uptake.

I'm leaving for 8 days tomorrow, so I think I'll bump the N, P targets up a hair, and as per recommendations here, hit the water change volume with 1/2 doses on the micros.

And BTW - I will switch to dry ferts soon enough. Ripping through too much liquid to keep this up long. But I'm going to wait until the tank is thriving, using ferts I understand well first. Then I'll switch.
 

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Georgiadawgger said:
Interesting PJAN...I've never heard of anything remotely like that before. Of course I'm only a botanist/ecologist...not a plant physiologist or met/mol expert. Is this an idea you came up with or is there a study on it?

You are right though about the biomass part...but give that tank some time to fill out and then start your mega dosing routine :)
I am a plant physiologist. Studied 6 years for it...

Nutrition uptake by aquatic plants is much more comlex than everybody thought 10 years ago. It's an active and selective process. And this process fluctuates under different circumstances ( e.g. high light and/or high CO2).
CO2 has also an optimum : around 30 mg/l. Also an overprussure thing.
(some stuff can be found on the internet about it)
I did my own investigations on aquatic plant growth. Not published. But with scientific results.

Gr. PJAN
 

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PJAN said:
I am a plant physiologist. Studied 6 years for it...

Nutrition uptake by aquatic plants is much more comlex than everybody thought 10 years ago. It's an active and selective process. And this process fluctuates under different circumstances ( e.g. high light and/or high CO2).
CO2 has also an optimum : around 30 mg/l. Also an overprussure thing.
(some stuff can be found on the internet about it)
I did my own investigations on aquatic plant growth. Not published. But with scientific results.

Gr. PJAN

Nice!! You need to get them into a journal...if you want me to review if for you I can help you out.

I stayed away from physiology...I was much more interested in conbio, population ecology, community ecology, plant/animal interactions, etc. Although there was a chapter of my dissertation that needed someone with electron microscopy experience....(unfinished business for a future grad student). The only plant physiology experience I have is with my research (heavy metal hyperaccumultion of nickel, zinc, cadmium, etc and translocation into shoots, chelation, etc...)
 

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Discussion Starter · #98 · (Edited)
OMG! PJAN coming out about why he seems to know so much! With Georgiadawgger following close behind! I had been paying close attention to these guys. Now I've got to pay real close attention.

And you saw it here first folks! :proud:
 

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Discussion Starter · #99 ·
2 weeks in...

Here are a few clickable 2-week progress pics...








I suppose the only things worth commenting on are:

1) I've got snails. But I don't want to move my loaches over yet. I'd rather give the HC a bit more time to root well.

2) On the HC topic, all along the border between the substrates is HC. Or at least it's supposed to be. Clearly little bits of riccia got stuck in all of it, and now I've got a riccia border! The HC is taking hold and growing, but the riccia is growing LOTS faster. And pulling out the riccia rips out the HC. So I suppose I've got an HC/Riccia combo border in the making. Good thing riccia is indigenous!

3) I had a lot more lily pads in the top left, but I injured them in the water change and had to cut them off. :icon_frow I'll have to learn how to accommodate that in the future.

4) I've got algae on the sand and the glass. But as per recommendations, I've changed my lighting schedule, and I'll be backing down on the micros.​

But even with all that - Man! Am I ever loving this!!!
 

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Wow! Looking fantastic.
Amazing how you can get that block of water to stay around your plants. :icon_wink
The clearness of that glass will never stop to amaze me.
 
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