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  1. paul.in.kendal

    Cape Clear

    So I've not re-done the Ph readings, primarily because it's such a pain to do. The staghorn continues, I've raised the luminaire a little more, and I'm focusing on propagating healthy new growth, with assertive pruning, rather than preserving existing growth, which is a fool's errand. Just...
  2. paul.in.kendal

    Cape Clear

    I think that either the 1300 or the 1330 reading is wrong. I'm going to do it all again (not today, I need an early night!) and see what I get. Thanks again, Clive.
  3. paul.in.kendal

    Cape Clear

    The probe and buffer sachets turned up yesterday, so I took some half-hourly readings. I finished a 50% water change at noon, using my (pH7) tap water. pH readings as follows: 1300 - 7. 0 1330 - 6.7 (co2 injection begins) 1400 - 6.7 1430 - 6.7 1500 - 6.5 1530 - 6.4 1600 - 6.3 1630 - 6.3 1630 -...
  4. paul.in.kendal

    Cape Clear

    I've ordered ten sachets of ph7 solution, as it seems to be a one-point calibration process. Hopefully that'll do me for a couple of daily half-hour sets of data? Or do I literally need to recalibrate for each and every one of those half-hourly measurements?
  5. paul.in.kendal

    Cape Clear

    Thanks for that, @alto - I've discovered that, infuriatingly, the pen doesn't come with any calibration/buffer solutions, and Sterner don't even nudge you in that direction when you order it! So I've now ordered some sachets separately. I'm guessing calibration is only needed from time to...
  6. paul.in.kendal

    Cape Clear

    Too late, a Milwaukee has been bought. What model of Hanna should I have got?
  7. paul.in.kendal

    Cape Clear

    Looks like Milwaukee is a respected brand. Their ph600 pen is available for £15 - £25. As I'd presumably only be using this for a few days, to get a handle on injection timing and rate, that would do it I reckon.
  8. paul.in.kendal

    Cape Clear

    Thanks Clive. [Retires to research pH probes].
  9. paul.in.kendal

    Taller bodied fish

    Red phantom tetra feeding
  10. paul.in.kendal

    Cape Clear

    I've now introduced a shoal of red phantom tetra. They seem absolutely fine - no sign of distress while co2 levels are elevated. And thinking about what @ceg4048 said about staghorn and co2, it occurs to me that, while I had sufficient co2 in the tank in the early stages of healthy growth, it...
  11. paul.in.kendal

    Taller bodied fish

    Thanks once again for all the suggestions, folks. I've gone for a shoal of 15 red phantom tetra, which seem to have settled in fine. They definitely seem to favour the lower half of the aquarium, so the suggestion from @Simon Cole to add another shoal that will tend to stay higher in the water...
  12. paul.in.kendal

    Cape Clear

    Hi Clive, I have misrepresented what the calculator says about 30ppm calcium. It's not a target, but a limit: "Here you increase the upper (maximum) limit the calculator should use when designing your fertilizer. Beyond these values the calculators will refuse to calculate. Note that the...
  13. paul.in.kendal

    Cape Clear

    ... and I've been doing 50% water changes like a maniac - aiming for a daily water change and never skipping more than one day.
  14. paul.in.kendal

    Cape Clear

    I've been removing staghorn algae from the aquarium for a couple of weeks now. I was hoping it would start to subside, but it's proving persistent. It does seem to have migrated from being mainly on the plants to being mainly on the hardscape, which I hope means the plants are getting stronger...
  15. paul.in.kendal

    Tap fittings/water changes.

    I've got the same connector, with a t-connector too. Once the hose is in place I don't have to touch it until the job is done, draining via the side-link, then refilling direct (dechlor going straight into the tank). The four taps mean I can test tapwater temperature at any time, by running it...
  16. paul.in.kendal

    Cape Clear

    Thanks Darrel, that's great - really helpful, as always!
  17. paul.in.kendal

    Cape Clear

    I make up my own EI all-in-one, using the excellent IFC Calculator. After Clive suggested I review my NO3 dosing, I went back to the calculator to check. And found I have been guilty of "garbage in, garbage out". NO3 was fine - but MGSO4 wasn't. I've been dosing twice as much as I should. Turns...
  18. paul.in.kendal

    Taller bodied fish

    One day I'll have a covered tank and keep hatchet fish for sure. Current thinking on this set-up is a shoal of 15-20 black phantom tetra and a group of 3-4 pearl gourami. And red cherry shrimp.
  19. paul.in.kendal

    BEST ALL IN ONE

    Absolutely this. The problem when starting out with EI is that it allows for endless tinkering, and so some people tinker (which is great). But that means you look up EI on here and quickly get lost in all the discussions about tinkering. If you're new to it (like me) you probably have to...
  20. paul.in.kendal

    Taller bodied fish

    Been thinking about this, Simon. Do these two species really keep apart in the tank, above and below? I'm guessing the two shoals rarely sit one above the other like they're stacked on shelves. But if they generally mix freely with each other, that would give the aquarium a very different look...
  21. paul.in.kendal

    BEST ALL IN ONE

    I'm with @Mr.Shenanagins - tailored to your own water parameters, incredibly cheap, DIY all-in-one from dry powders is surely the best!
  22. paul.in.kendal

    Cape Clear

    Um, yes, I do seem to have a bit of GSA too, don't I? I'll get onto it. I have tweaked up the CO2 just a fraction already, but I'm sure lack of flow was the primary issue, not the CO2 level itself. I'm reasonably happy with my dosing levels (full EI) and I think the pale colouration is just in...
  23. paul.in.kendal

    It’s a weed

    Well I took the plunge and added a terracotta urn to my aquarium Cape Clear I'm not sure if I like it, but we shall see.
  24. paul.in.kendal

    Cape Clear

    Since the new plants went in I've had a few minor issues. A greasy film appeared on the surface. Not very much at all, but as @ceg4048 tells us, it's a sure sign plants are in distress. There are a couple of possible causes. I had much reduced filter flow for a couple of days, down from 75% to...
  25. paul.in.kendal

    Cape Clear

    After reading an article about flipping photos of aquascapes to identify design shortcomings (in the latest issue of PFK), I thought I'd try it on my aquarium. Original: and reversed : I think (modestly!) it looks pretty good both ways around. The major shortcoming is the big rock on the left...
  26. paul.in.kendal

    Cape Clear

    OK, current plants: Foreground Micranthemum tweediei Monte Carlo Hygrophila lancea Araguaia Staurogyne repens Rotala bonsai Pogostemon helferi Hydrocotyle tripartita Midground Lagenandra meeboldii red Crinum calamistratum Background Hygrophila Siamensis 53b Hygrophila polysperma rosanervig...
  27. paul.in.kendal

    Cape Clear

    Aquarium doing fine with the last wisps of hair algae now gone. Just a little bit of staghorn algae on the Crinum calamistratum, which I've removed manually. I've just had some choice replacement plants for the few I lost to the algae from those lovely people at @Horizon Aquatics -...
  28. paul.in.kendal

    Taller bodied fish

    Now that's a spectacular fish!
  29. paul.in.kendal

    Taller bodied fish

    My water is VERY soft. Run it at 24° at the moment. But they do look absolutely superb. How big are they?
  30. paul.in.kendal

    Taller bodied fish

    Odessa barbs look very interesting. Do you have pictures of yours, @Regent ?
  31. paul.in.kendal

    Taller bodied fish

    Thanks for the compliment Simon, and thanks for all the suggestions! This is not getting any easier!
  32. paul.in.kendal

    New curved corner tank

    Hi Russell I've no experience of bow fronted tanks myself, so can't advise. But you might try re-titling this thread something like "Bow fronted tanks - good or bad opinions?" Just might bring out the lovers and loathers of these aquaria to help you!
  33. paul.in.kendal

    Taller bodied fish

    More great suggestions. I'll post up here once I've made a decision and a purchase. Thanks everybody!
  34. paul.in.kendal

    Cape Clear

    That's interesting, Alto. Once I'd replaced the lamp I raised the luminaire from about 200mm to about 300mm above the aquarium for that very reason. It's noticeably brighter than the old one - unsurprisingly, looking at the state of it. And reverting to inline reactor was definitely the right...
  35. paul.in.kendal

    Cape Clear

    That's perfect, Paulo, thank you so much!
  36. paul.in.kendal

    Cape Clear

    Ah, that's very clever, but not what I meant. Here is a link to a thread I started on suitable fish for this aquarium. https://www.ukaps.org/forum/threads/taller-bodied-fish.63740/ I've tried making it appear with just the little square UKAPS logo and the thread title, but it just won't...
  37. paul.in.kendal

    Cape Clear

    The amount of cursing I've done trying to prime this thing, and now it's a breeze. I remember when I realised these connectors would not only make it so much easier to clean the inlets and outlet, but also facilitate priming, I couldn't quite believe they don't come as standard with the big...
  38. paul.in.kendal

    Cape Clear

    Just fitted three of these Eheim double tap connectors, and what a difference they've made to maintenance! The Eheim 2180 thermofilter (now called the 1200XLT) has always been a pig to prime. It has two inlets, so getting a syphon going is very tricky - even on one inlet. Getting the second...
  39. paul.in.kendal

    Taller bodied fish

    I've got 2x24w fluorescents and a 150w metal halide. The fluorescents come on half an hour before the MH and turn off half an hour after it, so it's not quite such a shock. And I have amazon frogbit too (just ordered some phyllanthus fluitans from @EA James as well 👍🏻). But no Amano or other...
  40. paul.in.kendal

    Taller bodied fish

    Thanks for that. I'll bear it in mind if things start chucking themselves out, onto the floor!
  41. paul.in.kendal

    Taller bodied fish

    That's interesting - why would a light on stop then from jumping?
  42. paul.in.kendal

    Taller bodied fish

    I've just got George Farmer's book and there's an inference he uses Amano shrimp in open-topped aquaria - I thought this was no-no too? Maybe I'm just misreading him?
  43. paul.in.kendal

    Taller bodied fish

    Lemon tetra do look very nice indeed. Not so sure about hatchet fish - with an open top I think they might take a jump? Great looking though.
  44. paul.in.kendal

    Taller bodied fish

    Great suggestions - some good ideas there, plenty to think about.
  45. paul.in.kendal

    Taller bodied fish

    I'm after a shoal of small fish for my high aspect ratio tank - it's 100x45x55cms tall. As George farmer says in his new book: "Taller ranks suit taller-bodied fish and shallower tanks more streamline species". I've had harlequins before, and I'm tempted to have them again - right size, right...
  46. paul.in.kendal

    Why "Drop checker"?

    Why is a drop checker called a drop checker? It measures the PH drop as co2 concentration increases, but wouldn't it be better to call it a co2 checker? That's what we're using it for, after all. If we are to encourage more or to take up our hobby it would surely help if we used more obvious...
  47. paul.in.kendal

    Beginning of creation Aquascaper 1200

    Loved this in the flesh - looks great here too!
  48. paul.in.kendal

    Cape Clear

    Covers are off and it's lovely and clean - a few bits of algae around (can't tell if it's alive or dead), but certainly a massive improvement. In the end it was wrapped up for about 90 hours.
  49. paul.in.kendal

    Replacement metal halide bulbs

    The covers are off, the new bulb in, here's a photo. I can't honestly see any difference myself - apart from it being clear of algae of course!
  50. paul.in.kendal

    ‘Lazarus’...80x40x40, back on track!

    This is looking great - well done!
  51. paul.in.kendal

    Replacement metal halide bulbs

    I'm doing a blackout right now, but I'll take a picture once it's done. I'm guessing that it'll be hard to see any difference, especially as the exposure will adjust to compensate for the change.
  52. paul.in.kendal

    What other hobby's do you have?

    Paper modelling. If you think aquascaping takes patience, try this! My current project, a Japanese castle called Himeji:
  53. paul.in.kendal

    Cape Clear

    Thanks both. Although I was hoping to see the algae off just with determined removal and daily water changes, the variability of light and Co2 I've been using meant that wasn't going to happen, I reckon. So I'm interested to see the impact of a blackout. I cleaned out the pipework and filter...
  54. paul.in.kendal

    Cape Clear

    OK, so I managed to dislodge the plug for the solenoid during a cabinet reorganisation, resulting in no co2 for a whole evening. I've also noted that the new online diffuser, while producing lots of pretty microbubbles, isn't as efficient as the old Aquamedic 1000 reactor, so I've swapped back...
  55. paul.in.kendal

    Replacement metal halide bulbs

    New lamp installed. This is what the old one looked like - tricky to remove, as the ceramic end caps crumbled. And the full reference - I've checked, this is the 5200k version. Thanks again for all the help, people.
  56. paul.in.kendal

    The brief and incomplete future of aquascaping

    Marcel Duchamp first pressed a urinal into service as Art in 1917, and debate as to "What Is Art?" has gone on ever since. It's largely pointless, because Art is whatever we say is Art. I think some of the work by Japanese conceptual artist Makoto is both thought provoking and extraordinarily...
  57. paul.in.kendal

    Replacement metal halide bulbs

    https://www.fastlight.co.uk/acatalog/BLV.html Fastlight Direct also have them.
  58. paul.in.kendal

    Replacement metal halide bulbs

    This looks absolutely right - thanks Nick!
  59. paul.in.kendal

    Replacement metal halide bulbs

    Follow-up question if I may: End fittings showing up in my search for that Osram lamp vary. There's this one, which looks like what I've currently got: but most look like this : Are they interchangeable?
  60. paul.in.kendal

    Replacement metal halide bulbs

    Thanks for the replies, folks. And John, thanks very much indeed for the offer of the spares, but I think I'll go for the Osram suggested, as it's nearest the colour of my current lamp.
  61. paul.in.kendal

    Replacement metal halide bulbs

    I've got an Arcadia Series 4 pendant luminaire and I'm struggling to find a replacement metal halide lamp for it. The current one is working, but I'd like to have a spare to hand. Any suggestions? Specification : Metal halide 150w - 5200k double ended rx7s Geisemann in Germany do a suitable...
  62. paul.in.kendal

    Cape Clear

    Continuing to attack the algae daily, and daily (sometimes double) water changes. Here you can see regrowth in the centres of pogostemon helferi. This was a key diagnostic for me: when this started growing the crisp, cos-lettuce type rosettes in their centres, it was an obvious sign the plants...
  63. paul.in.kendal

    ‘Lazarus’...80x40x40, back on track!

    Thanks for those tips. I'm going to wait and see how the plants respond to the increased co2 before (possibly) doing a blackout. And I'm not going to put any livestock in while the aquarium is a mess - not even algae eaters.
  64. paul.in.kendal

    Cape Clear

    I can't tell you how good it is to read that!
  65. paul.in.kendal

    Cape Clear

    Hi @Tim Harrison - if I keep on removing the Rhizoclonium and doing big daily water changes, will it go of its own accord, without a blackout?
  66. paul.in.kendal

    ‘Lazarus’...80x40x40, back on track!

    Thierry, have you got any pictures of the blackout underway? How did the aquarium look once the covers came off?
  67. paul.in.kendal

    Cape Clear

    Had a closer look at the journal by @CooKieS (Lazarus) and it's reassuring to see the exact same thing in someone else's aquarium. And feel for them too, if course!
  68. paul.in.kendal

    Cape Clear

    Thanks Thierry. I'm seriously considering doing a blackout. But first I want to see how the plants respond to the increased co2.
  69. paul.in.kendal

    Cape Clear

    One month old. Lots of algae in there, but plants are responding well again, now I've got the co2 back on track.
  70. paul.in.kendal

    It’s a weed

    Is there scope for a thread dedicated to urns, columns, pots etc? I'm not suggesting the cheesier end of the spectrum, but I'd like to see more images of decorative elements that really work, like both yours do.
  71. paul.in.kendal

    It’s a weed

    They're absolute beauties. I see Amtra make something similar - but not so nice!
  72. paul.in.kendal

    Internal Glass Cleaning

    Cleanator has put my long handled razor blade and my magnetic cleaner on the scrap heap. Works really well.
  73. paul.in.kendal

    It’s a weed

    Slightly off topic, but I love the little Greek urn in your tank. I think I want one! I've had lots of requests to put a Spanish galleon, a treasure chest, a deep sea diver etc etc in my aquarium, which I'm (obviously?) not going to do. But that classical amphora just ĺooks - right.
  74. paul.in.kendal

    Why do we advise Newbies like me low tech

    As others have said, it depends on the individual. I went straight for high tech when I began, and would recommend it if you like to take on new challenges with gusto. Things can wrong more quickly, but that's a great way to learn, if you're robust enough not to get discouraged and downhearted...
  75. paul.in.kendal

    Cape Clear

    OK. I've been doing some serious observation, reading, thinking. For the first three weeks everything was fine, plants growing rapidly. Only then did the algae start. I've just checked the filter, and that was fine. No issues with flow - I use a spraybar with a 1700lph (rated) filter, so tons...
  76. paul.in.kendal

    Cape Clear

    Thanks for this, Darrel. Not gritty at all, so I guess it's Rhizoclonium. I'll check my filter to ensure flow is good (although it certainly seems to be fine) and continue with physical removal and big daily water changes. Lights are on for six hours, so I'll stick with that. I might get some...
  77. paul.in.kendal

    Cape Clear

    The stems on the right (mainly Hygrophila Corymbosa "Siamensis 53b") are mainly just placeholders, building up plant mass until the setup stabilises and I can add choicer specimens there.
  78. paul.in.kendal

    Cape Clear

  79. paul.in.kendal

    Cape Clear

    I'll try to take some pictures later, once the lights come on. I wish it was just diatoms. No, hair algae of some sort.
  80. paul.in.kendal

    Cape Clear

    The algae continues, and more plants are being lost. I remember this from last time around, ten years ago. The sense of rising panic as algae takes hold and plants suffer. The temptation to furiously adjust everything in an attempt to 'fix' a problem that (as I understand it) is just down to it...
  81. paul.in.kendal

    Cape Clear

    Three weeks in. The Monte Carlo carpet has been trimmed, and the astonishingly quick-growing limnophila sessiliflora has been cut back repeatedly. After a solid start some plants are falling apart and getting removed - some of the staurogyne reopens and now bucephelandra is melting away a bit...
  82. paul.in.kendal

    New filter! Lets choose one

    My aquarium is 100x55x45,so pretty similar. I've got an Eheim 2180 thermofilter, nominal max flow rate of 1700lph, and it's just fine. If I was buying new I'd be very tempted by the Oase Biomaster 850 (claimed 1250lph max), if only for the easy-clean pre-filter.
  83. paul.in.kendal

    35L jungle

    I had that on my frogbit too when I started my scape a couple of weeks ago. They're now settled in and are producing unmarked foliage. My best guess is that the marked 'new' leaves were actually already there as tiny embryo leaves when I got the plants, and the brown markings are due to them...
  84. paul.in.kendal

    New inspiration wall 🤪🤪🤪

    Great idea. When I was in the shop you had a few up already and they were instantly recognisable as ADA scapes - some are classic, even iconic images. Tropica have some beautiful prints of their watercolours of specimen plants - have you got some of them up, too?
  85. paul.in.kendal

    Weekly livestock video

    Here's my aquarium after twelve days of growth. Hardscape, plants and advice from Horizon Aquatics. Thanks, James and Nicole! (I've just started a journal, entitled 'Cape Clear').
  86. paul.in.kendal

    Cape Clear

    Second time around I've been much, much bolder than my first attempt a decade ago. Looking at my notes I see that back then I only switched on the MH after two weeks, for just 15 minutes to begin with. This time I've had all the lights on from the start, fluorescents for 6 hours and MH for 4...
  87. paul.in.kendal

    Cape Clear

    C. 200l Optiwhite, 100x45x55 tall Eheim 2180 thermofilter Arcadia Series 4 luminaire, 1x150w MH, 2x24w fluorescent Aquamedic AM1000 co2 reactor CO2Art PRO-SE dual stage regulator ADA Amazonia version 2 substrate EI dosing, homemade all-in-one mix from dry salts (using the IFC Aquarium Fertiliser...
  88. paul.in.kendal

    Cape Clear

    Ten years ago I set up a planted aquarium ("Punishment of Luxury" - it's on here somewhere) with moderate success. After a few months I took it down, and the aquarium has been standing empty, reproachfully, in the corner of our dining room ever since. With plenty of time on my hands (we all...
  89. paul.in.kendal

    Weekly livestock video

    Visited Horizon Aquatics today. Superb store, with excellent advice from James and Nicole. Left the store with lots to think about - and some lovely hardscape and substrate in the boot! Thanks so much guys!
  90. paul.in.kendal

    Paul's 200L, "Punishment of Luxury"

    After a MUCH longer break than expected, I'm now starting to resurrect this tank. First job - fill it up with water and check all the systems work. Second job - re-read my own journal and try to work out a schedule to turn a rather smelly dormant tank into something beautiful again! I'll take...
  91. paul.in.kendal

    Paul's 200L, "Punishment of Luxury"

    Hi Tony Real life has intervened rather over the last few months. I eventually stripped out all the plants, then decided it wasn't worth replanting as we're off to Oz for several weeks in December/Jan (I know many of you would have easily managed a complete rescape in that time, but there you...
  92. paul.in.kendal

    Good EI discussion (split from Paul's 200L journal)

    Re: Paul's 200L, "Punishment of Luxury" Clive, I'm once again totally gobsmacked by the amount of time and effort you are prepared to spend helping people like me with the hobby. After reflecting on your post, I was stunned by how accurately you diagnosed the errors I made that led to the...
  93. paul.in.kendal

    Paul's 200L, "Punishment of Luxury"

    Clive, I'm once again totally gobsmacked by the amount of time and effort you are prepared to spend helping people like me with the hobby. After reflecting on your post, I was stunned by how accurately you diagnosed the errors I made that led to the current soggy mess I'm in. I'm certain you're...
  94. paul.in.kendal

    Happy Birthday

    You're too kind, George :thumbup: It's all down to clean living - NOT!! Perhaps having no kids has something to do with it - either that, or not discovering the dubious pleasures of fighting algae until I was already fairly ancient! :angel:
  95. paul.in.kendal

    Good EI discussion (split from Paul's 200L journal)

    Re: Paul's 200L, "Punishment of Luxury" Clive! Please, please jump in! You can't offend me (I'm the newbie with bugger-all experience), and if it's Graeme you'll be taking issue with, I''m sure he can cope with a (cough) 'difference of opinion'. :wink: Cheers for the sound advice Graeme...
  96. paul.in.kendal

    Paul's 200L, "Punishment of Luxury"

    Clive! Please, please jump in! You can't offend me (I'm the newbie with bugger-all experience), and if it's Graeme you'll be taking issue with, I''m sure he can cope with a (cough) 'difference of opinion'. :wink: Cheers for the sound advice Graeme. I'll be following it - unless anyone else...
  97. paul.in.kendal

    How to re-scape a hi-tech tank, once it's past its best

    Thanks for the feedback, people. George, I'm thinking more and more along the lines of retaining the existing hardscape and seeing how a different planting scheme changes it. TBH my initial plant choice was fairly arbitrary, as I had zero experience. Now I've got a (teeny) bit more, it'd be...
  98. paul.in.kendal

    Paul's 200L, "Punishment of Luxury"

    Thanks for your concern, Tony - good to hear from someone who's 'been there, done that'! I have thought about trying to resurrect this - but have a look at these pictures to see the extent of my problems: As you can see, I've got a major problem, and I'm worried the only way to try...
  99. paul.in.kendal

    How to re-scape a hi-tech tank, once it's past its best

    Not sure how long it'll take - that depends on factors beyond my control (i.e. work). What I'd like to do is build-in some flexibility so I'm not panicking to get the job done, without enough time to do it right.
  100. paul.in.kendal

    Paul's 200L, "Punishment of Luxury"

    My glosso is recovering nicely after I pulled it all out and replanted individual pair of leaves properly. But I realised I had neglected to prune the rest of the tank in good time, and it was all very overgrown. So I gave it a very serious going over, and discovered a fair bit of decay in...
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