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Discussion Starter #101
You sir have a blue and green thumb!

I am having a tough time with deciding how often to dose fertilizer. I am leaning towards an all in one with thrive to keep it simple. George Farmer is an advocate for dosing everyday in high doses. This is of course for high tech tanks. He doesn’t believe that the extra nutrients will effect freshwater like it would for saltwater. He doesn’t believe that an excess of nutrients will cause algae issues as long as you have a healthy planted tank. He believes that you are much better off oversupplying ferts versus starving your plants.

Your tank looks amazing, what is your take on ferts? I know it always depends on what’s in your water.
I personally don't agree with any kind of "over fertilize" approach. My first high-tech tank I was doing PPS ferts and was super-strict about dosing, water changes, etc. I was thinking of it like the saltwater SPS tank I had at the time where I was running a dosing pump, etc.

What did I end up with? An algae farm that frustrated me to no end. These days I'm quite the opposite, I try to do as little ferts as possible, especially on a new scape!! I figure the substrate is leaking nutrients and the tank is in a wonky period at first as everything settles in, cycles, etc. I do 0 ferts for about the first month and slowly ramp up ferts over time when I start seeing subtle signs of deficiency. And I also don't "panic fert" which is tempting to do when you start seeing signs of deficiency - I stick to small changes and waiting about a week for results before adjusting further.

Is this the right or best method? Who knows, but it works for me and keeps algae and frustration levels to a minimum.

I did see that Farmer had some algae issues in his Scaper 1200 recently but I didn't really track it closely enough to understand what the cause of his issues were.

It took me a second to realize that you were refering to ADG as the UNS dealer. I got most of my UNS tanks from buceplant with the exception of my 120P. I just finished setting up my 120P and hope it'll turn out as nice as your 45cm and 90U.
Yep! Got all my UNS from ADG. If I didn't have access to them locally I would have ordered from Buce. I love the 120P format and wish it was an option when I got the 90, it would be fun as heck to scape! I'll keep an eye out for yours :)

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Discussion Starter #102
Quick video walk through of the two main systems.


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I am going with a 90P now because I must have a small school of rainbows. Do you worry they will jump out? That’s my only reservation right now about pulling the trigger on rainbows.
 

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Discussion Starter #105
I am going with a 90P now because I must have a small school of rainbows. Do you worry they will jump out? That’s my only reservation right now about pulling the trigger on rainbows.
It's definitely a worry, I keep a screen cover (RedSea DIY) on the tank the majority of the time. When I first set up the new scape the old cover wouldn't fit the new plumbing and light mounts, so I ran topless for about 10 days. No jumpers but I was worried every day!!! Those rainbows are fast swimmers and aggressive eaters and hit the water surface hard when you put food in. Running topless it's only a matter of time before you find carpet surfers.


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Man that kinda stinks. I will have to order a artfully acrylic lid then I guess. Are they worth it then? They look like amazing fish but it really takes away from the look of a rimless tank
 

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Rainbows are wonderful fish to keep. I've had many that lived 6-8 years, and they can go longer. They are not difficult from my experience.
 

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Discussion Starter #109
Man that kinda stinks. I will have to order a artfully acrylic lid then I guess. Are they worth it then? They look like amazing fish but it really takes away from the look of a rimless tank
The Red Sea covers are super clean visually, and I HAVE to have a cover on the saltwater tank because of all the expensive jumping fish. So overall it there is minimal visual impact and the two large tanks match as they both have the same covers on them. Not sure if you have ever had a glass or acrylic kid before but they are a MAJOR PITA, the screen covers are far easier to manage.
Loving your tanks! All of them are exquisite. Did you give up on discus?
Thank you so much! Yes, gave up on the discus. I knew they weren't an ideal choice from the start but I wanted to try. They struggled in my tank so I eventually gave up and re-homed them to a friend's discus tank.
Rainbows are wonderful fish to keep. I've had many that lived 6-8 years, and they can go longer. They are not difficult from my experience.
I agree, these guys have been super easy and actually quite robust! They have made it through a couple of accidental gassings, tank reboots, stupid mistakes that wiped out other species of fish, etc. Despite all the adversity I have not lost a single one of the original 7 I bought about 1.5yrs ago.

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Discussion Starter #112
Beauty scape mate.

That lighting setup and skimmer cover are both genius..
Why thank you very much!
At what point did you move away from the inline CO2 diffuser?
Probably a year or so ago for two reasons. 1) I felt like it was a little inefficient because I was going through a LOT of CO2 for a 50gal tank 2) it was a pain to clean.

While it looked great it is a solid piece of glass so had to be bleach soaked every other water change which was time consuming. The in-tank diffuser I just brush off with a toothbrush which takes 30 seconds instead of 30 minutes. I don't like the visual impact of the AquaRio Neo but think it's worth the trade-off in maintenance. Though I still consider going back to an inline from time to time.



The nymphoides hydrophylla, as cool looking of a plant as it was, really wasn't ideal for the location I had it so I decided to swap for a couple new stems (rotala sunset and orange juice) that I could keep shorter and smaller so that the top-most rock in the scape isn't lost.

Have also noticed I am getting some signs of nutrient deficiency so I am working on getting my ferts dialed in to bring some vibrancy back to the plant colors.



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Man, I remember your posts from WAY back in the day (over a decade ago). I used to post under @Solstice back then. I just started up a new tank today after a long hiatus and stumbled across your journal almost immediately after getting back to it. I'm glad to see you're still at it dude. Fantastic tanks!
 

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Everybody loves the 45S, including me!! I mowed the lawn actually as the eleocharis acicularis was getting quite long. Here is an updated FTS



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I apologize for going back so far, but what are the bushy plants with crinkled leaves that are in a diagonal row going from the center to the right rear of the tank?
 

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Discussion Starter #115
Man, I remember your posts from WAY back in the day (over a decade ago). I used to post under @Solstice back then. I just started up a new tank today after a long hiatus and stumbled across your journal almost immediately after getting back to it. I'm glad to see you're still at it dude. Fantastic tanks!
I don't think I've been around quite that long, but it's getting darn close to a decade! Though I do recall a solstice! Glad to see you back in it, feel free to hit me up if you need any advice, I love talking about this stuff :)

I apologize for going back so far, but what are the bushy plants with crinkled leaves that are in a diagonal row going from the center to the right rear of the tank?
That's pogostemon helferi, one of my current favorites! It's all across the midground in the large tank also :)

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What kind of van are you using for your water changes? It seems more convenient to stash than my brute can...
 

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Discussion Starter #118
What kind of van are you using for your water changes? It seems more convenient to stash than my brute can...
I have 3 Rubbermaid "Slim Jim" 23g trash cans with a couple of lids and dollies. It's 3 because I use one for new saltwater, one for new freshwater, and one for discard water. They are great because I can stack them together and the slim profile is easily stored in a closet out of sight.
For those immersed plants, do you water spay the branches/leaves?
Most of the emersed growth is actually water loving terrestrial plants or semi-aquatic plants with the exception of the ludwigia, so I don't spray them. It's a bit of a hybrid scape similar to a paludarium in that the substrate is nearly to the surface at the back of the tank.

It's starting to get a little long in the tooth so I'm feeling a reboot coming up soon.







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Discussion Starter #119
Well the new fert regimen is looking promising, getting some explosive plant growth and the colors are not quite there but definitely headed in the right direction!



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Discussion Starter #120
So I was doing a WC on my 5N over the weekend and managed to accidentally knock the light over and crack the tank!! Whoops!! It wasn't actually leaking but I wanted to replace it to be on the safe side. I first considered just getting another 5N then ended up deciding on something new! The reef is a standard "U" LxWxH ratio, the large planted is a longer "P" ratio, the 45 is obviously an "S" ratio, so what was I missing???

A cube of course!!! So I decided to go with a 30C and a new scape to replace the 5N. I picked up some driftwood from ADG and carefully glued it into shape, filled with black lava rock, and added gold sand. I decided to go with a black back on this one, and the end effect was kinda sterile and drab to me. So even though I planned for a hardscape only I decided last minute to go with some nice low-tech low-light plants to fill it in and get a color pop! Pretty happy with the end result.

Original 5N:


Topdown of 30C:


30C front view:




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