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10 year 60cm tank... did some maintenance

erwin123

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While I was refilling my 2nd CO2 canister, I left my Neo diffuser in my tank for a few days unused. When I hooked the CO2 back up, the Neo diffuser stopped working (no bubbles) and soaking in bleach didn't help. Odd. I had to replace it with a new one with worked fine.

Anyway, since I was messing about in the unsightly rear corner of the tank (the R. Macandra do a good job obscuring the mess), I decided to position the new diffuser under my external USB pump. The USB pump sucks up the bubbles and seems to be doing a good job pushing the CO2 across the substrate ... no visible bubbles float to the surface, as long as the diffuser is set at 1 bps. When I increase the CO2 to say, triple the amount at 3bps, the pump occasionally makes gurgling sounds (gas trapped in the pump) and I see bubbles being spit out and floating to the surface.

Heres a video of the concept. From the video I also notice that there are CO2 bubbles from my Lily Pipe output already being pushed to the corner substrate level which is good, so this extra diffuser is just to add a little more to the substrate level.

p.s. the orange lava chips were from 10 years ago. I wanted to create a slope at the back and a bag of this was a whole lot cheaper than aquasoil. So I put it right at the bottom, but after 10 years, they have made it to the surface.... I try to remove any that are visible from the front

pps I have never cleaned the twinstar and the area around the metal mesh disc remains a very clean white though other parts have algae.
 

erwin123

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Weekly update. Major hacking of plants. For the 3 overgrown Rotalas (Wallichii, Macrandra and Blood Red) I tossed half the stems and trimmed the rest by more than half and replanted the tops.

I can now see that I have some space behind my Macrandras maybe for a new plant!
(I just have to keep my Macrandras trimmed low so they can be seen). I had some old L. Super Red hiding behind there but because they get entangled easily when overgrown, not a good choice for me and my lack of tank maintenance. 😅

The Wallichiis right at the back of the tank are the new batch I bought from an LFS which brought them in from APC Thailand. After 2-3 weeks, they are "narrower" than my current Wallichiis in the middle but colour wise pretty similar. Will wait for sideshoots to appear and become fully grown - new sideshoots may indicate the final 'form' the plant takes in my tank.

Am thinking of moving some of the Wallichiis there to make space for more Pantanal/Meta - assuming I don't kill the single Meta stem in my tank (I took the photo at the end of photo period so it was closing up).

Finally a little comment about the H. Lancea Araguia at the front. I do like their reddish-brown colour mixed with the green of the Erio and hairgrass.

I have not tweaked my ferts for the longest time - I've settled on 0.9ml a day basically (except I add a little more - 1.2ml on water change day) since the A. Pedicatella seem to be ok. Plants are happy, algae is also happy.

Finally, I bought a locally made RGB lightscreen - in the previous photos I forgot to turn it on. But its on for this photo.
 

erwin123

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Weekly Update.
Nothing much to update. I trimmed and replanted the Meta which had sprouted 2 side shoots. So far no stunting despite relatively lean(er) dosing. I had purchased some emersed Pantanal just for comparison and they are still converting. Curiously, their newest leaves are still in the emersed form but they are nevertheless turning orange. I know there are reports about Pantanals being confused and sprouting emersed leaves while submersed, so I'll continue to monitor.
The APC Wallichii at the rear of the tank have grown taller and can be compared with the original Wallcihii nearer the middle of the tank. While the colour of the plants look the same, the Wallichii from APC are noticeably 'thinner'.

However, the conditions at the back of the tank are a bit different as the Lily pipe outflow caused them to sway like crazy while they were converting from emersed to submersed form - not sure if that affected them.
 

erwin123

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Following the grand tradition of aquarists who plant their Pantanal/Mets/Cuba next to their Pedicatella, here's my obligatory Meta+Pedicatella photo! The red at the top is real - its far redder than the colour I was getting with Pantanal. But I have to figure how to make more of the lower leaves the same colour! 😅

Photo made possible as I decided to trim down my Pedicatellas which enabled me to see the nice red sideshoot on the Meta. Hopefully it will be a viable stem that I can harvest and replant!
 
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plantnoobdude

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your meta and ammannia look much better than mine😅 @erwin123
would you say the meta is easier than pantanal? so far it looks like you have very little trouble growing it.
also, how do you propagate pantanal? mine just kinda grows, then I have to top it, because otherwhise it starts throwing emmersed leaves... maybe I need more light? the light is at 30-40% with a lot of cover from floaters. (this is to combat algae). so far I tried letting it grow accross the surface of tank to let it grow sideshoots, this didn't work. now I am floating a stem stump at the top of the tank to see if i can get some sideshoots.
 

erwin123

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your meta and ammannia look much better than mine😅 @erwin123
would you say the meta is easier than pantanal? so far it looks like you have very little trouble growing it.
also, how do you propagate pantanal? mine just kinda grows, then I have to top it, because otherwhise it starts throwing emmersed leaves... maybe I need more light? the light is at 30-40% with a lot of cover from floaters. (this is to combat algae). so far I tried letting it grow accross the surface of tank to let it grow sideshoots, this didn't work. now I am floating a stem stump at the top of the tank to see if i can get some sideshoots.

I think its too early to say whether Meta is easier than Pantanal (internet says it is). Will wait and see how the sideshoot grows and whether more are pop out. If Meta grows sideshoots easily then I would classify it as easier than Pantanal.
For Pantanal, I think I only ever got multiple sideshoots when the main 'crown' stunted so that was not ideal.

I'm wondering if giving the Pantanal more 'space' around it will encourage it to grow sideshoots? i.e. if the area around the stem is crowded and shaded, the natural instinct of the plant is to put its energy towards growing higher - which also relates to your point about more light - if it gets more light, it might think it has reached the top, and will slow down vertical growth in favour of sideshoots? (just a theory, I'm not a scientist....)

My lighting is already maxxed out, with both WRGBs at 100/80/90. However, I think that is still far lower PAR than a 4x T5HO setup, for example. I guess a WRGB2 Pro upgrade is coming soon.... 😅
 

erwin123

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Weekly update
Did a big trim and tossed several stems in order to ensure that Meta/Pantanal has space to grow. They do not like being shaded and in the past, have stunted when they are crowded out. BBA on hairgrass, applied some APT Fix and it turned purple pretty quickly.

The third photo shows the relatively red Meta compared to the orangey reds of the Pantanals that are still converting from Emersed growth. Will be trimming and replanting the Meta and leaving the sideshoot. Hopefully by next week Pantanal will have converted to fully submersed form and we can make a direct comparison to Meta.
 

erwin123

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I haven't posted a photo of my low-tech tank for sometime. This was my 'work from home' low tech tank that sat next to my desk in my 'home office.' However, as I am mostly back at work, this tank has been totally neglected. No water change for 1 month, adding ferts (APT EI) as and when I have the time. I just took this photo as I had the May day holiday to do a water change (I guess 4 weeks was enough) and scrape some of the algae off the front.

Nevertheless, plants are doing well - there is no algae on the Bucephelandra! Some of the Buces were recently transplanted from the hightech with various algae/BBA on them. In the low tech tank, the algae/BBA disappeared! Of course in lowtech, the leaves are 'green, but they look reasonably healthy. If you look at the right side, you can see a Buce flowering. As for the Rotala Vietnam (previously thought to be Wallichii), but now that I have the APC Wallichii to compare, I can see the difference, I haven't trimmed it as you can see... so they are playing the role of 'floating plants' I guess....

Once I have enough extra cuttings of the Wallichii, I can put some into the lowtech to see if they can turn pink
 

erwin123

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Weekly update
The 3 stems on the left are Pantanal converting from emersed form (discarding the emersed lower leaves).
To the right of the Pantanal is the Meta sideshoot and the original Meta (still very red). There is one more Meta sideshoot lower down, hope it will make an appearance for next week's update!
The Meta sideshoot has hit the water surface and is ready to be replanted. Hopefully after replanting into osmocote enriched aquasoil, it will turn red.... I will be very sad if the Meta sideshoots don't turn red.... 😭

As I have removed most of the Buces in the front, I bought some more L. Senegalensis to boost the numbers in the front. They didn't like overcrowding and those that were shaded by the R.Macrandra stunted so I lost a few stems. I'm going to be really strict about hacking away the Macrandra to prevent it from shadowing the other plants.

I have begun a new experiment! I bought a small bottle of TSN (Tropica Specialised Nutrition)! Instead of dosing 0.9ml of APT EI daily, I am now dosing 0.7ml APT EI, + 0.4ml TSN.
Technically this should help the Pedicatellas even more by lowering the amount of K being dosed (TSN has really low K), but lets see if the trace amounts of Ammonium make any difference.
 

plantnoobdude

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Technically this should help the Pedicatellas even more by lowering the amount of K being dosed (TSN has really low K), but lets see if the trace amounts of Ammonium make any difference.
how much N are you dosing from N?
are you still adding the root tabs weekly?
 

erwin123

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how much N are you dosing from N?
are you still adding the root tabs weekly?
The IFC spreadsheet just gives the NO3 figure.
It says that 0.7ml APT+0.4ml TSN is 6.2ppm NO3 / 5.2ppm K
0.9ml APT EI alone was 5.8ppm NO3 / 6.3ppm K (edited)
So I have reduced K slightly and increased NO3 slightly.

I'm still adding about 10 small plantacote/starxcote balls every week.

Macek in another thread mentioned Manganese, and I'm looking into that as well. I don't really have access to DIY ferts so I might get Seachem Trace and dose a small amount to see if anything changes.
 
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macek.g

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Macek in another thread mentioned Manganese, and I'm looking into that as well. I don't really have access to DIY ferts so I might get Seachem Trace and dose a small amount to see if anything changes.

Yes it's a good product, but remember sulphate-based, so I recommend taking it daily as Mn precipitates very quickly.
In general, I recommend chelated Mn and in relation to Fe 1-2, or even 1.5-2:):)
 

erwin123

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For reference the 4 stems at the front are Pantanal - Pantanal - Meta - Meta. (one more Meta and one more Pantanal stem at the back of the tank, barely visible)


Weekly update
As mentioned earlier, I bought some Seachem Trace and targeting to dose 5ml a week. So I added 2ml after water change and then 0.5ml daily. This is the first week of dosing so too early to say if there is any effect I guess.
Cut the Eriocaulon Vietnam into half and replanted one half.

The Meta sideshoot I cut and replanted has turned red. There is a another Meta sideshoot just visible right at the back of the tank. By next week, I should be able to cut and replant, and hopefully it will turn red after that.
The reds on the original Meta are amazing. The colour of the Wallichii's red stem and the Rotala Blood Red at the right are good references for how red the Meta is. I'm hoping the sideshoots will be as red as the original stem.
 

erwin123

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Weekly Update
I added my spare Aquazonic LED that is only 1 inch wide with 15x1.5w LEDs (22.5w) that I could just squeeze in between the 2 x WRGB2 which are already running at 100/80/90. So now I have a total of 134w+22.5w = 156.5w of LEDs over my tank. The tank water depth is 32cm so hopefully the extra light will help my plants grow better! Or at least turn more Wallichii pink! Algae are happy too! 😅


I have been adding Flourish Trace (2ml after WC, then 0.5ml a day for a total of 5ml a week) and am unsure if there are any changes/improvements. I might dial back the Flourish trace to 2.5ml a week (APT EI and TSN are supposed to have trace elements as well so I don't want to overdose). Have trimmed and replanted the Meta sideshoots so hopefully next week I'll have 4 full-sized Meta stems to photograph.
 

erwin123

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Update from LFS. Meta price has been slashed by half from $4 to $2. I guess Meta is so easy to grow, its reaching 'weed' status. In other news, I have not seen M.Tuberculatum on sale for the longest time, but M. Roraima was on sale and for $2, I thought I would just give it a shot, though internet says its a large plant and grows like a weed.

I have 2 large stems of Ammannia Senegalensis at the back of the tank. Internet photos shows there is a slender more attractive form but all I get, even from sideshoots, are giant sized plants. So I've removed one of them to make space for the Roraima.
 

Hanuman

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Update from LFS. Meta price has been slashed by half from $4 to $2
Lucky you, I guess you got the local price. I payed $10 per stem most probably from the same shop where you bought it from if you got them from Green Effect. I got some Rotundifolia “sp Red” (blood red SG) and Erio. Setaceum for free though so can't complaint.🙏
but M. Roraima was on sale and for $2, I thought I would just give it a shot, though internet says its a large plant and grows like a weed.
I wouldn't call it a large plant but it's bigger than Tuberculatum. It just grows fast and tall, faster than any plant you have in your tank I would say and faster than tuberculatum and tuberculatum is already a certified weed. When you plant it make sure to have the stem well dug and when trimming, cut just below a node. That's valid for any plant in fact. But I can see some major growth difference between two stems of Myriophyllum one next to each other if one was not properly trimmed or dug. It's very predictable. Also careful when planting, the stem can snap easily.
 
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