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10 year 60cm tank... did some maintenance

erwin123

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DSC00762 13 nov 21 web.jpg


Weekly Low Tech update. I've been taking photos using the LED desk lamp. For a change, I decided to use my spare Aquazonic 20w LED to light the tank, to see if a more 'expensive' (anything is more expensive than my desk lamp) light makes a difference. As for the plants, not much by way of update. The P. 'Sao Paolo' emersed growth is more than 30cm out of the tank and I think it likes being emersed just fine and is shedding its lower leaves. Patiently waiting for the Monstera in the HOB filter to develop a new leaf.
 

erwin123

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AI0Q9103 13 nov 21 processed web.jpg

AI0Q9120 13 nov 21 processed.jpg


High tech tank update: Not much to report. My focus is on helping the L. Sphaerocarpa out. The R. Florida next to the Sphaerocarpa are still doing ok when it comes to the colour of the new leaves... just to confirm that this area has sufficient CO2 (i.e. The Florida will wilt first if it is CO2 related).

I've ordered some Osmocote clone ferts during the 11/11 sale, will follow 2hr Aquarist technique of 1 osmocote 'ball' per stem only. I picked the 'cacti & succulent' version instead of the regular 15-15-15 mainly because the cacti & succulent version has 0.25% copper, which is half the 0.50% of the other osmocote formulation. Rotala Kill Tank here I come! (or maybe not...)

On the other side of the tank. The bigger A. Pedicatella stem has nearly reached the surface and this will be its first trim. The smaller stem, not to be outdone, has grown a side shoot
 

erwin123

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monstera 28 oct web.jpg
monstera 17 nov web.jpg

Low tech update
Seems like the old Monstera leaves do not revive (they are still drooping) but the plantchannels its energy towards new leaves. My first new leaf!

Apart from the new leaf, the before and after photos show the Super Reds growing like weeds in the HOB. I'm sure they're helping to keep the nitrates low based on how much of it I have to remove every week!

I got a $5 usb pump for the low tech tank due to dead spots. I have a usb power meter which shows it running at 4.8v 0.2amp (just under 1w) and its silent. I put the outlet just below the waterline to agitate the water since I don't have a skimmer in this tank. The surface is totally clean and clear now. This suggests that a skimmer is not totally necessary as long as you agitate the water surface sufficiently?
 

erwin123

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DSC00771 18 nov 21 web.JPG



Low tech update. Bought a US$3.50 usb pump from a China seller. Running at 5v 0.2A or 1w, it uses very little power but moves a decent amount of water silently. Here's a video of it placed near the water surface and sucking in air and aerating the water. Thats a bit noisy so I'll probably have to lower it. Pretty easy way to improve flow in a tank.

The P. Sao Paolo has doing very well emersed with multiple emersed sideshoots forming. As a result, it doesn't need its submersed leaves but has instead started to sprout underwater aerial roots. I may have to remove it from the tank soon. (I already have Sao Paolos in my HOB filter).
 

erwin123

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Ammania trim.jpg
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AI0Q9144 19 nov 21 processed web.jpg

Thanks for the tip on the Monstera... will monitor carefully and repot in soil if needed.

Here's my high tech update. First trim for my A. Pedicatella, and replating of the two sideshoots that came out of the base. Roots were wrapped around a root tab.
L. Sphaerocarpa have lost all their bottom leaves though new growth looks fine.

I've taken delivery of my Osmocote-type Root Tabs (there seem to be 2 competing delivery systems Osmocote & Nutricote - Osmocote's delivery system depends by temperature, Nutricote is not - labelling for Starxcote says its affected by temp, so I infer its an Osmocote clone). I picked this formulation as it had the least amount of copper (0.025% vs 0.05% for many other formulations). Anyway, I have inserted them sparingly into the soil next to the more difficult plants and will see if there's any difference.


Edit: added an overhead shot with camera flash for my reference to compare with future photos (probably need to have off-camera lights to minimise the reflections etc....)
There is a new plant in this overhead photo - Ammannia Capitellata (originally "Nesaea Triflora") appeared in my LFS for $4 - cheap and obscure Ammannia are irresistible to me. :)I removed the front row of Syngonanthus (as the shot shows, still got plenty left) and planted the Triflora there, with Starxcote root tabs. This gives me two different species of Ammannias to test Starxcote on.

AI0Q9170 21 nov processed web.jpg
 
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erwin123

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AI0Q9199 Pedicatella 25 nov 21 processed.jpg

A. Pedicatella is doing well. The leaves of new sideshoot are looking much better than the new growth of the original stems, not sure why?

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Aromatica.jpg

Low tech update. After installing the usb pump to improve flow, the Aromatica grew 3 cm in 5 days and I had to pull it out for a trim. As I pulled, the root kept going on and on and on....
 

erwin123

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AI0Q9234 27 nov 21 web.jpg

AI0Q9254 Wallichii 27 nov 21 web.jpg
AI0Q9264 Florida 27 nov 21.jpg

AI0Q9243 pantanal 27 nov 21 web.jpg
AI0Q9285 Proserpinaca 27 Nov 21.jpg

AI0Q9239 sphaerocarpa 27 nov web.jpg


rotala n ammannia 27 nov.jpg


Weekly update. Lots of pics, but all resized to less than 0.5Mb

Plant updates
I manage to stunt all my Pantanals with all the funny stuff I'm doing (Yes I know Pantanals are a plant that love EI and I don't dose EI) so the crowns have stopped growing but several rather red sideshoots have popped up. Lets hope its an adjustment to the Starxcote....

Side photo of the L.Sphaerocarpa shows its current state where it has shed all its bottom leaves. If you look closely, there is a new sideshoot which is sort of exciting... as the sideshoot might be better 'adapted' to the tank conditions and maybe not shed as much? And note that it is next to the Wallichii and Florida, which should provide 'early warning' of CO2 problems, which is why I'm treating this as a mobile nutrient problem and hope the Starxcote will help.

And speaking of the Wallichii - the stem is pretty red, but the leaves are not turning pink yet... will continue to work on this.

New Plants
Removed:
I removed the very nice Eriocaulon Vietnam, split it, and replanted some of them in my low tech tank. I also removed the L. Super Red - while it was a beautiful red, it doesn't grow very straight and the stems keep on getting tangled. So I guess its time to try something new. I have plenty of them growing emersed though.

Added: I went to my LFS and they had another new Ammannia on sale, A. Senegalensis. After being inspired by the Rotala Kill Tank thread in Barr Report, any unusual and reasonably priced Lythraceae is on my buy list! Sticking with the theme, I also picked up R. Macandra 'Narrow Leaf'.

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Osmocote Journal
As I posted in another thread, I discovered a Masters thesis where the release pattern of Osmocote in water was studied - it was revealed that there is a big 'dump' of nutrients in the first two weeks and then a drop to a lower level. This suggested to me that I should put in a little osmocote weekly to 'smooth out' the 2 week spike
17 Nov: First round of Starxcote (Osmocote clone) added. Small amount individually inserted with tweezers next to the 'difficult' plants.
24 Nov: Second round of Starxcote added added.

Observations:
  • Nitrate Test (for what it's worth) shows the same colour as pre-Osmocote, TDS readings are also around the same.
  • No algae blooms. Usual GDA to scrape off the glass (as some photos show, I need to scrape more thoroughly...)
 
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erwin123

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DSC00825 28 nov 21.jpg


Low tech update. Split and replanted some of the E. Vietnam. Also replanted some L. Super Red stems - my lighting may not be bright enough to keep them 'super red' though (photo was taken with my spare Aquazonic 20w LED fixture which is not the regular light for this tank)
P Sao Paolo at the right side has sprouted multiple emersed sideshoots. Maybe its looking for more nutrients to feed those sideshoots as its sprouting aerial roots like crazy. I'll probably remove it soon once I figure out what to put in that corner.
And yes, I have all that Starxcote so I put a few into this tank as well next to the Aromatica and Vietnams! Low tech kill tank here I come!
 

erwin123

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AI0Q9308 2 dec 21 processed web.jpg

AI0Q9293 2 dec 21 wallchii web.jpg

I was on leave so I had time to do more maintenance. First signs of pink on the Wallichii as I have been slowly ramping up the lighting levels 1% at a time. Also continued my weekly addition of Starxcote... I may (or may not) have added too many this time (possible complacency as nothing bad has happened so far) so next week I had better pause the Starxcote additions.

Rear WRGB2: 63%
Front WRGB2: 53%
I have a total of 134w (67w x 2) on tap so I may be approaching the 'algae' zone soon. But at least I can say I saw my Wallchiis turn pink! 😅
(p.s. it bought this plant in a plastic cup with the handwritten words "Wallichii" - i'm open to the possibility that this is Cambodia or Enie..... I'm not exactly sure how to tell the difference)
 
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erwin123

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DSC00846 21 dec web.jpg


Finally, low tech update. It is still surprises me that you can grow coloured plants lowtech with an LED desk lamp.

Though not all plants remain red. I added some Ludwigia Super Reds that I had removed from the high tech tank. Unfortunately, they do not remain red in this tank and the new growth is greenish. I'll probably remove them later. Planted some Rotala Indica trimmings on the right.
 

erwin123

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Captured a short video clip to show the flow in my Aquarium. Recorded just after the CO2 switched off.

This is a 60x45x45 tank but if I exclude the 12cm of substrate, the tank volume is 60x45x33 = 89 litres (I usually refer it to100l because I've only just realised how much space in the tank is taken up by substrate that accumulated over 10 years😅)
I'm running Fluval 307, 407 and a usb pump at the left rear corner, published flowrate =1050+1350+200 = 2600 litres/hr, so thats shy of 30x flowrate.

I'm looking for a 'strong' stem plant that can be planted at the rear of the tank and not be bothered too much by the flow from the rear Lily Pipe and the current front-runner is the Ammannia Capitellata which is swaying ever so slightly (there's a single stem of R. Blood Red next to it that is swaying vigorously in the flow).
 

erwin123

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Weekly update
Did a trim of the various stems including the L.Senegelansis. No progress with the Sphaerocarpa lower leaves despite 4 weeks of Starxcote addition, so I gave it a hard trim and replanted. 4 stems of A. Capitellata is too many - its a big green plant. Had to remove 2 stems to make way for an A. Gracilis. Growing the Gracilis side-by-side with the A. Sengelansis will help me learn more about growing Ammannias. Removed a couple of S. Macrocaulon stems as the tank was a little to cramped

The Macandra Narrow Leaf on the left is colouring up rather nicely.


Small dosing experiment. Will drop my APT EI dosing from 2ml/day to 1.8ml/day since my tank has only 80litres of water (60x45x32) after subtracting the rather deep substrate. Will continue to add a little bit of Starxcote each week just before water change.

Slowly inching up the lighting to the algae danger zone:
WRGB2 Front: 55%
WRGB2 Rear: 64%

________________
Edit/update: Got a new Apera PH60 pH meter and I did a pH profile. Recording it here for reference. I am managing a 1.03-1.14pH drop during the photoperiod which is a 0.11pH variance which is acceptable but can be improved. As I am slowly increasing light intensity to make the Rotalas pink, I plan to tweak CO2 to get a 1.1-.1.2pH drop.

  • 24hr Degassed pH 7.25
  • 2pm CO2 on (didn't record pH)
  • 4pm lights on pH 6.22
  • 5pm pH 6.18
  • 6.30pm pH 6.13
  • 7.45pm pH 6.13
  • 9.00pm pH 6.10
  • 9.50pm CO2 off pH 6.11
 
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erwin123

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I've got an E. Cinereum suddenly growing like crazy in the front corner of the tank. The fact that the plant is pushing against the glass walls doesn't seem to be deterring it from growing. Given that the corner is the area of lowest light and probably weakest flow, I'm wondering whether this could be a reaction to its roots being deep enough to 'find' the Starxcote balls in the substrate. Yes, thats 12cm of substrate, with the bottom being 10+ years old 😅

Behind it is my B. 'Wavy Green,' and behind it, the B. 'Red Serenade' which has lovely leaves. The Wavy Green has some BBA which I put down to it being near the CO2 diffuser and strong flow; on the other hand, even though its growing, I don't think it has every been particularly healthy because its leaves are a rather pale green while photos on the internet show a rich deep green. I may replace it with something else.
 

erwin123

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AI0Q9368 17 dec 21 processed web.jpg

AI0Q9372 17 dec 21 processed web.jpg



Weekly update. I am trying to target a 1.2pH drop by increasing CO2 slightly but oddly my pH meter is reporting a higher 0.1 higher pH. I calibrated it again with the 4/7/10 solution and the higher pH is confirmed. I did not do any water change in the meantime so I'm checking whether my degassed pH has gone up (will need 24 hours for it to degas) Fortunately the pH reading is stable. I may need to deal with some BBA that is appearing (something to do with too much CO2 fluctuation as I try to tweak the CO2). Anyway, I bought a bottle of APT Fix since I was getting another bottle of APT EI, will try it out and see whether its more effective (more concentrated?) than Excel. Also, my google calendar reminder tells me that I need to clean my Qanvee diffuser tomorrow (I set it as a calendar item every 3 months).

When I have a new plant species, I usually plant it in two different locations to see if it makes a difference. Looking at Ammannia Sengelansis on the left side and single stem on the right, the difference is noticeable. The stems on the left have mega-sized leaves but are very green, the stem on the right is smaller leaves but is more 'orange'. Lets see how the growth progresses over the next few weeks.
The Buce. Wavy Green on the left has always had slightly yellowish leaves rather than the deep green shown in photos, I may replace it if an interesting Buce appears in my LFS.

So far, the (slightly) reduced water column dosing does not appear to be harming the plants. My Sera NO3 tests show a lighter shade of orange/yellow consistent with a reduced amount of nitrates added to the water column and also suggests that nitrates have not leaked out from the root tabs into the water column?

For reference, my dosing adds up to the following weekly total:
  • 9.7ppm N
  • 3.2ppm P
  • 11.6ppm K
  • 0.35ppm Fe
  • 2.5ppm Mg
 
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erwin123

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Experiment time. Picked up 2 packs of 6% EDDHA-FE from China seller, $2 each +$1.50 P&P, total $5.50. Will be using it for house plants as well (my degassed water is pH7.5)

(1) Use Rotala butterflys handy-dandy calculator to determine how much to add for target ppm. In this case, it will be a cautious 0.1ppm as my All-in-one Fert adds 0.3ppm weekly. So total will still be below the EI target of 0.5ppm.
(2) Poured required amount into ice cube tray (0.001g weighing scale very useful).
(3) Freeze
(4) Insert into substrate as deep as possible.
(5) Verify whether water turns pink/red (i.e. how fast it takes for the EDDHA-FE to leak into the water column) [internet says 0.1ppm EDDHA-FE will tint water]

This is where I'm hoping my 10-year old substrate will 'help'. As you can see from the photo, the lower part of the substrate comprises regular aquasoil granules and the compacted 'dust' of disintegrated aquasoil which I'm counting on reducing the amount of leakage into the water column. The 12cm depth is also going to be useful. Will report back on the results of this experiment :)
 

milesjames

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View attachment 178010
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I was on leave so I had time to do more maintenance. First signs of pink on the Wallichii as I have been slowly ramping up the lighting levels 1% at a time. Also continued my weekly addition of Starxcote... I may (or may not) have added too many this time (possible complacency as nothing bad has happened so far) so next week I had better pause the Starxcote additions.

Rear WRGB2: 63%
Front WRGB2: 53%
I have a total of 134w (67w x 2) on tap so I may be approaching the 'algae' zone soon. But at least I can say I saw my Wallchiis turn pink! 😅
(p.s. it bought this plant in a plastic cup with the handwritten words "Wallichii" - i'm open to the possibility that this is Cambodia or Enie..... I'm not exactly sure how to tell the difference)
Nice healthy looking plants 😊 I think you might be right to doubt if it is wallichii how long has it been in the tank did it arrive with red stems?
 

erwin123

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Nice healthy looking plants 😊 I think you might be right to doubt if it is wallichii how long has it been in the tank did it arrive with red stems?

dsc00561-10-sep-21-jpg.jpg


Hi, my Wallichii was first added in March 2021 (this photo is from Sep 2021) . They were emersed plants which had to convert to submersed form.

In Sep 2021 as the photo shows the stems were still green even though there was plenty of CO2, but I did a few tweaks including increasing the light levels slowly. I am also dosing all-in-one ferts rather than EI, so only adding 10ppm NO3 a week.
 
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milesjames

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dsc00561-10-sep-21-jpg.jpg


Hi, my Wallichii was first added in March 2021 (this photo is from Sep 2021) . They were emersed plants which had to convert to submersed form.

In Sep 2021 as the photo shows the stems were still green even though there was plenty of CO2, but I did a few tweaks including increasing the light levels slowly. I am also dosing all-in-one ferts rather than EI, so only adding 10ppm NO3 a week.
Great work on getting it to the reddened stem and pink leaf stage since this Sept photo was taken. 👍

Its definitely wallichii now I have seen this pic, if I had only seen the most recent pic, I'd have placed good money on it being Enie.

Keep up the good work I look forward to reading about your progress over the coming months.
 
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