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10 year 60cm tank... did some maintenance

erwin123

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Low Tech update. As L. Aromatica reaches the surface, the top leaves are taking on a purplish hue. I think its Aromatica and not Hippuridoides because it has variable leaves per whorl/node? (for example at the bottom its 3 leaves and increases to 6 leaves per whorl).
Had to trim my R. 'Blood Reds', they are great low tech red plants that constantly grow.
R. Wallichi sideshoots continue to grow. The AR Mini in the far right under low light is algae free whereas in my high tech tank it always has algae 😅
I'm moving more and more excess S. Macrocaulon.into the tank. The shrimp like hiding in the 'umbrella' so I plan to add even more... probably on the right side of the tank. I might need to consider a clip on usb light or something for the shaded right side.
 

erwin123

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Low tech update. Move some more S. Macrocaulon into the low tech tank, trimmed the R. 'Blood Red'. R Wallichii continues to grow but still a bit reddish (In very dim light they turn green).
The L. Super Red in extremely low right on the right are long and stringy... maybe I need more light! Famous last words 😅
 

erwin123

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Weekly update. Did some minor maintenance. The Eriocaulon 'Polaris'/'Japan' in the middle is getting larger and larger, not sure what to do with it. The Eriocaulon 'Vietnam' is doing ok, but the Rotala Bonsai on the right is fillng out and I'll have to move the 'Vietnam' maybe to the front of the tank. Too much algae on the Buces while at the same time new leaves are appearing. H2O2 creates lots of bubbles of the Buce leaves but not much else. I plan to buy a bottle of APT Fix to see if it helps....

The Ammania Pedicatella has survived the first week in my tank but some of the leaves are not looking good. There does appear to be new growth right at the top.. I would hate anything to happen to her. Do you really think she'll pull through? :p
 

erwin123

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Occasionally, I move stems with algae issues from my high tech tank to low tech tank for the cleaning crew to give the plants a good clean. Here they are working on one of my Limnophila 'Vietnam'.
Am thinking whether to do that for the Buces... cos most of them put out some roots into the substrate and not sure if they like sudden changes.. but maybe I'll just give it a shot (i.e. take the Buce out, zap them with H2O2, and put them in low tech to see if the shrimp will eat the dying algae)
 

erwin123

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11 oct cleaning buce.jpg


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First Buces sent for cleaning! 🧹 I put a few drops of Excel on the leaf before putting it into the Shrimp tank but that wasn't enough to turn the BBA at the edge red. Will need to zap the BBA again.

photography note: after cleaning, I ought to have underexposed the leaf more as it became more reflective after the algae was removed?
 
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erwin123

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DSC00655 Aromatica colour 16 oct 21.jpg

One stem of L. Aromatica decided to colour up in my low tech tank. I've not edited the colour/saturation of the photo - the colour is sort of a reddish brown. I have 2 other stems in more shaded parts of the tank and they haven't coloured up, so the inference is that it needs light to colour up?

In front of the Aromatica is my Rotala Wallichii, given its 'sensitive' reputation, I'm glad that it can propagate in Low tech (this is a sideshoot from a cut-off stem), and there is a tiny hint of yellow/orange colour at the top
 

erwin123

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Weekly update.
Ammania Pedicatella still hanging in there. still not sure of the condition of the lower leaves.
Need to trim some stem plants, but spent my tank maintenance time this week moving Buces to my low tech tank for cleaning.

During the Buce cleaning, I noted Fern had sprouted amongst a bunch of Buces. As this particular clump was supposedly 'wild' Buce rather than the farmed variety, I had hopes that it would be something interesting. In another plant ID thread it was ID possibly as a "Philippine" Java Fern. But I don't think I have space for a whole Java Fern in my tank so I moved it to the Low tech and got a replacement Buce. The current stock was a B. 'Red Serenade (too many fancy names, I just go by leaf size to differentiate Buces nowadays) so I got it and placed it where the Fern was. As a result, you can see the Eriocaulon Vietnam a bit more clearly on the left hand side of the photo.
 
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erwin123

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Low tech update. Decided to rationalise the layout and reduce the number of plants, after all this is a 16 litre tank (I thought it was 10 litres need to improve my maths). Still got a long way to go but I timebox my maintenance - eg: I set myself 30minute a week to do layout maintenance and anything more than 30min, I'll just leave to another week. The Rotala Blood Reds are looking untidy because I just planted cut off bottom stems in order to grow new sideshoots, need to cut and replant the sideshoots I guess.

I'm quite pleased how 'easy' it has been to maintain a small low tech tank like this. Shrimp are breeding well and I've transferred maybe 10+ shrimp into the high tech tank already.

Maintenance routine
  1. (50% water change once a week and top-up for evaporation.
  2. During water change, wipe algae off the tank glass (i.e. acrylic).
  3. After water change add:
    1. Tiny bit of CaCl2 and MgSO4 I confess I don't even bother to measure)
    2. 1-2 drops of APT EI
  4. 1 drop of APT Zero mid-week (I have bottle that I need to use up)
  5. Feed 1 Hikari tropical sinking wafer 5 times a week (regular wafer for fish)
  6. As long as the water is flowing, do I really need to clean this filter? Especially since the tank is at my "WFH desk" and I prefer not to make a mess. Instead I put a small piece of 100micron filter wool at the outflow and I replace that every couple of weeks after it gets brown.
I do not dose "Liquid Carbon" as I'm not trying to increase the speed of growth. I'm happy if the plants don't die.
 
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erwin123

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Weekly update... just letting the plants grow. Buce. Antyovani appeared in my LFS. Internet says that is an farmed species from an Indonesian nursery with relatively large leaves ... so not another Brownie variant, I just had to get it and make space for it :) The AR Mini bush at the left seems to have been quietly growing.

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As I have not made much progress with the L. Sengalensis, I decided to let them grow instead of trimming them. My reasoning was to let them establish a decent root system (hard to do if I trim & replant them constantly) and see whether that would help with growth. Interesting, one stem split into 3 at the crown... not even clear which is the original crown.
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Eriocaulon "Polaris" (also known as "Japan") getting a bit overgrown, but the cherry shrimp love it a lot and are keeping it clean. There are no instructions on the internet how to trim this? Do I treat it like hairgrass and hack away? On the left and right of the Polaris are the E. Cinerums which prefer to send out flowers rather than grow bushier.


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I've not had any success with R Florida. Can I blame my water gH for this? (its 6). I've just left these 2 stems at the side of the tank since they are still alive and there's a little bit of colour.



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I have Eriocaulon Vietnam in the extreme left and right of the tank, both are pretty heavily shaded but are doing fine. Previously I had the similar looking Helanthium Bolivianum in my tank and I must say I much prefer the Vietnam for a number of reasons. Behind the Erio you can see the bottom leaves of the Ludwigia Sphaerocarpa not looking too good. The plant is definitely still growing but need to figure out how to help it out. There is a Co2 diffuser right next to it on the left so it gets the Co2 mist.

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Finally, Ammania Pedicatella. The stem on the left is doing a lot better than the one of the right, maybe because the one on the left has more light? The condition of the lower leaves suggests I still got a lot of work to do...
Buried amongst the plants is my other Erio Vietnam, which seems ok with being in the shade and crowded by the R. Bonsai.
 
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erwin123

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Low Tech update
Allocated my 30minutes of weekly maintenance to sorting out the Rotala Blood Reds. Had to trim and replant the L. Aromatica on the left which is a nice red-brown. The R Wallichii will hit the surface soon so I will need to trim and replant. I had a spare 2w USB clip on lamp which I added to light up the darkened right side of the tank (my desk lamp can't cover the entire 450mm width of the tank). The L. Aromaticas on the right responded nice by starting to colour up at the crown. Aromatica is really an "easy" plant to grow if it colours up in response to a 2w USB light.

So now I have 9w+2w = 11w of light for a 16 litre tank though admittedly, these are cheap lights and I don't know whether they are pumping out the same amount of light, as say, an equivalent wattage but more expensive aquarium light.

Added one more S. Macroraulon stem to the tank. The shrimp love this plant a lot, I guess it provides a very nice hiding place.
 

erwin123

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Update.
High tech tank
I've just been letting the plants grow. The Ammania Pedicatella on the left is growing well (more light than the one of the right?)
Took a photo of my eclectic collection of Buce. The larger leaved "Dark Metallic Blue" (a common farmed variant from Indonesia) is sprouting new leaves regularly but the old ones have algae issues.

Low tech tank
This is the tank that I view the most often because its on my WFH desk. Plants are doing well and I love the rust-coloured leaves of the Limnophila "Aromatica', When I have the time I'll move all the Aromaticas on the right to the left side and move the R. Wallichiis to the right. The Wallichiis are able to grow sideshoots from cut-off stems but they more or less remain steadfastly green


Experimenting TDS meter
I bought a TDS meter and the figures I got were:

Tap Water: 68ppm
High Tech just before water change: 258ppm
High Tech after 60% water change: 165ppm

So in the course of the week, PPM increases by 50%.

Low Tech: 160pm midway between water changes ( I do WC on a different day). I guess the difference is primarily due to high tech tank getting a higher dose of ferts with my low tech getting 1/2 the amount of ferts. (I also bought a 0.001g resolution weighing scale for about US$11 (worked a whole lot better than I expected for the price))so I now know that 1 drop of APT EI from my syringe weighs 0.6g,
 
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erwin123

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DSC00735 sphaerocarpa.jpg
Ludwigia S1.jpg



Decided to come up with a plan to address the problems with the Ludwigia Sphaerocarpa. Took some overhead shots for my reference in order to gauge progress. I had to trim the larger stem as it reached the surface, so it has no problem growing tall. But the lower leaves are not in good shape.
I'm ruling out CO2 as a problem because its right next to a CO2 diffuser and getting the CO2 mist. The flow of the mist also shows that there is some flow in that area. Also, I have a stem of Rotala Florida right next to the Sphaerocarpa - The Rotala is like the canary in the coal mine where it comes to CO2 problems. pH drop is a stable 1.0 at lights on, dropping to 1.1 in the middle and 1.0 at lights off. I am also tweaking it to try for a 1.1 drop on lights on, max 1.2 drop in the middle.

But for the yellow leaves with holes, I'll go with nutrient deficiency (particularly mobile nutrients) as a working hypothesis even though I am dosing the manufacturer recommended dose of APT EI (daily dosing and weekly total 13.8ppm N, 4.5ppm P, 15ppm K etc) . I also add 4ppm of Mg weekly with Epsom Salt as some say APT doesn't have enough Magnesium and furthermore, there are Neo (Aquario's root tabs) and Ferropol Tabs next to the plant. The other plants also seem ok. I don't plan to increase water column dosing because that may affect the Ammania but am investigating additional root tabs - Nutricote (the Japanese version of Osmocote) is available here so I plan to get some. I'll also bump up the light levels slightly. I've gone gradually from 50% to 55%, maybe I'll slowly increase to 58%, (I do 1% increase every 3 days).
 

Libba

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gH is 6 - JBL test kit
pH - Apera ph20 pH meter (calibrated with 4.0/7.0 solution) pH20 Digital Pocket pH Meter Pen Tester Kit-Apera Instruments
TDS - generic TDS test pen 160ppm (just after water change) to 230ppm (just before water change)
kH - don't have a kH test kit

All sounds perfectly adequate. I'm having such a hard time trying to figure out why your sphaerocarpa isn't as healthy as it could be. Could you try experimenting with more flow during the photo period?
 

erwin123

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OP where are the torpedos?
Sadly, as i revealed earlier, I knocked into the CO2 regulator while cleaning my canister filter and didn't realise it. Later when Co2 came on, there was too much CO2 coming out. This caused the torpedoes to jump. My Co2 regulator dial is quite loose and easy to turn. i've learnt to be more careful so I check after cleaning my canister now.

The Corys and shrimp fortunately did not jump and have made a full recovery.
 

erwin123

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Weekly update

High Tech
Did some trimming of S. Macrocaulon. Some of them are S. "Lago Grandes" but its all mixed up already. A. Pedicatella is surviving on the right side, so my focus is on the L.Sphaerocarpa on the left.

Low Tech
Limnophila Aromatica colour shifting from rust brown to slightly purplish. Removed some of the non-thriving stems to make way for more Macrocaulon cuttings from the high tech tank. Eagle-eyed viewers will see that there is a Monstera in the Hang on back filter - it was given to us to revive. One node has been potted in soil while one has gone into the hang on back. The old leaves may not revive but I think there is a new leaf forming. Fingers crossed....
 
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