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Discussion Starter #161
Gorgeous blyxa! How's the living wall going?
Thanks! Not completely sure why it grows so red in this tank. I've sold it to other people in the area and it grows completely green, even under seemingly high light.

The living wall is going pretty well. I've added a lot of plants since I last posted here, and there has been some growth. Winter is not the best time to start a project like this since a lot of tropical plants go dormant in winter. It seems like I've got the watering down, now I just have to figure out fertilization.

I'm in the middle of a two week ski vacation, so the big test will be whether all my sensitive calatheas have survived!

How do you like the chihiros light so far? Do you have any issues with the app or it getting too hot? I’ve been eyeing one of these or a twinstar 600s. How is the light spill on the chihiros? I know they sell shades for them but haven’t seen many with the shades attached. Tank looks great! W
I like the Chihiros. I can only compare it to the Fluval 3.0 but the spread, color controls and aesthetics seem a lot better to me. I haven't had any heat or app issues. I'll admit it's not a super intuitive app but once I figured it out it at least performs consistently. I don't have any shades and it hasn't been an issue so far, but I imagine if you were going to hang it pendant-style you might want shades since it is super bright.
 

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I've been thinking about how easy and fun it is to just put plants where I like them, not push par, allow algae to grow where it wants...

I've been reminiscing on the Dutch-style journey and how unnecessarily stressed out I got about it. I was also looking through past pictures and realized that the final picture I submitted to the AGA was not when the tank looked best - if I was going to do it again, I would take pictures along the way and then choose my favorite. The biggest thing that kept me from doing that was getting the moss wall to look right. I think Burr has the right idea with anubias/buce walls, they are just lower effort since they grow slowly but are still pretty bulletproof.

Sometimes I take planted tanks way too seriously. It's nice to just relax, watch some pretty plants and fish, and remember that it can be a super relaxing, stress relieving hobby.
These are words of wisdom. I have come to the same conclusion. My other hobby is audio, which can also become obsessive to the point where you forget to listen to music. After watching so many YouTube videos with remarkable tanks one feels that they have failed if one's own tank cannot reach that high bar. It is easy to forget how much time and money these folks put in to keep their tank looking like that and also that they are often filming it at a peak, fleeting moment.

I now am concentrating on Buce/Anubias/Crypts ...and patience. At some point it is good to just sit and gaze at the tank like a person recovering from a fresh lobotomy...
 

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I like the Chihiros. I can only compare it to the Fluval 3.0 but the spread, color controls and aesthetics seem a lot better to me. I haven't had any heat or app issues. I'll admit it's not a super intuitive app but once I figured it out it at least performs consistently. I don't have any shades and it hasn't been an issue so far, but I imagine if you were going to hang it pendant-style you might want shades since it is super bright.
Awesome thanks for the info. Looking forward to the light as it will be replacing a Fluval 3.0 as well. All the best, w
 

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Discussion Starter #164
Everything looks a lot better than expected after so long away. The dying 53b leaves seem better, but it is turning a little pinkish which I haven't seen before.


Rotala "Green" looks good from the side but the top shows extensive pinholes. Not sure what it is- maybe micros? I dropped some osmocote balls in the soil next to it just in case. Hopefully it won't cause any issues with my shrimp.

Side view:


Top view:


Finally, a FTS. I didn't do a large trim (except for the myrio Roraima), the rotala nanjenshan needs to be shaped.


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I just found 1 hole in my Rotala M Green.... Debating what it could be, maybe I haven't been adding enough Mg

how long has yours been like that?
 

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Discussion Starter #166
I just found 1 hole in my Rotala M Green.... Debating what it could be, maybe I haven't been adding enough Mg

how long has yours been like that?
In my experience the main trouble with Rotala macrandra "Green" is that it needs good light and can't deal with overshading. The lower stems never stay healthy if they're planted as densely as other rotalas. I've grown it in very rich and very lean conditions and it has been alright, overall it doesn't seem too picky. My working theory is that when it gets too long and lays across the surface it shades itself out pretty quickly, leading to those pinholes which are the beginnings of melt.

That said, I also have fairly low (2-3) GH in this tank so I can't rule out a magnesium deficiency.
 

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Discussion Starter #167
Misidentified plant?

I'm pretty sure I have a misidentified plant in here. I had bought something labeled as Rotala nanjenshan in a bunch plant form just a couple weeks before the AGA deadline since one of my groups was struggling and I needed to fill out the tank. It didn't look like what I remembered, but I attributed that to different growing conditions in the LFS tank. After going through old photos of Rotala nanjenshan from an ADA tissue culture it's pretty apparent that the plant I recently bought is not Rotala nanjenshan.

This is the Rotala nanjenshan from the iwagumi rotala tank from 2019:


This is from the current setup:


I'm guessing it's Mayaca sellowiana, not Rotala nanjenshan. From a little googling it looks like Mayaca sellowiana is often confused for and mislabeled as Rotala nanjenshan. The funny thing is that I bought both the ADA tissue culture and the bunch plants from the same store (Aquarium Zen), and I'm pretty sure he's grown TC Rotala najenshan in his display tanks before so he should know what it looks like.
 

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Discussion Starter #169
FWIW APC's plant finder entry for R. Nanjenshan looks like the 2nd pic



https://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/plantfinder/details.php?id=169



The first pic looks like a R. Rotundifolia variant, or perhaps it's a cross of the 2?....hmmmm
Ya know I think you're right. The TC I got must have been mislabeled, because it looked more like regular rotala rotundifolia than any nanjenshan pictures I can find online.

Problem is I can't find any good botanical description of the difference between rotala nanjenshan and mayaca sellowiana, so I don't know how to tell what it is!

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Discussion Starter #170
No big update today. Things are going pretty smoothly, the only algae is a little BBA on the driftwood.

The Nesaea pedicellata "Golden" appears to be making an unexpected comeback. Still growing very slowly, but it looks healthy.



I also got a tiny ludwigia sphaerocarpa "mini" which is a very charming little plant. I'm interested in seeing how it grows in this tank. I'll probably hold on to this for the next Dutch project if it does well, it's got such an interesting form and color.



Last water change I did a big thinning out, and removed over 50% of the stems. It was probably a bit aggressive. I'm hoping to break out the fancy camera to take photos for the GSAS home show and I'm not sure if it will recover in time!

I haven't dosed micros in about a month. I'm not doing any fancy experiments, I just don't have a dosing bottle at the moment. I should probably get on that...


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Discussion Starter #171 (Edited)
AGA 2020 scape

Well, I'm more than a little frustrated. After all that effort, I somehow managed to submit my Dutch tank in to the regular AGA aquascaping category rather than the Dutch category. I was rather looking forward to having it judged. Anyways, here is the link to the AGA submission and the full-tank shot is below.
DSCF3082-2.jpg
 

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Regardless, very nice!

Probably would have done well in the Dutch category. If you want to send it to one of the judges and get some feedback let me know.
I guess they stopped doing it or too many entries but I thought AGA gave commentary on every tank as opposed to IAPLC where you just got a ranking. So no ranking and no comments :frown2:
 

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Discussion Starter #174
I guess they stopped doing it or too many entries but I thought AGA gave commentary on every tank as opposed to IAPLC where you just got a ranking. So no ranking and no comments :frown2:
Well the Dutch category only had 26 entries, and Vin wrote an essay of feedback for each one. I was thinking of just sending it to him and asking for feedback. I already know some things I could improve on (not enough contrast between C. spiralis and Blyxa, too many red plants, could use neater trimming) but it would be nice to hear what else I could work on.
 

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Well the Dutch category only had 26 entries, and Vin wrote an essay of feedback for each one. I was thinking of just sending it to him and asking for feedback. I already know some things I could improve on (not enough contrast between C. spiralis and Blyxa, too many red plants, could use neater trimming) but it would be nice to hear what else I could work on.
Yeah, I guess with 90+ entries it would be too many and they just gave feedback on the Top 10. I would send it if your interested to see what he would say.
 
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