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17 US gallons excel supplemented tank ( 3rd Month !! )

Re: 17 US gallons excel supplemented tank.

A little picture update.

Got some hygrophila polysperma rosanervig , cabomba (this one had never failed to melt completely during all my previous attempts). Also added some staurogynes in there to fill up the foreground a bit. Everything is just fine so far.So far no major issues. No issues at all actually. Pruning rates are next to none.

Mmmmm,....that co2 cannister is just lying there,...unused,...alone,...neglected,....along with its best buddy the UP atomizer. Should I ask for trouble or should i just be patient & leave things be. :lol:

My wife's finally come around to the idea that faizal loves planted tanks. :lol: :shh: She constantly asks me why is it that the other tanks on youtube look nice and bushy but mine still looks kinda empty after so long being set up ( Hence the effort made to purchase some cabombas to "bush" things up). I keep telling her that those tanks belong to Mr Amano & Mr Mark Evans,...they are supposed to look like that. :D

So here's how it's looking now: Nothing great,..but feels nice when I get to share it with you guys.





Oh yeah,...I just played around with the PAR readings the other day,...very very low indeed.

Some areas of the substrate are around 8-10 but the plants are looking healthy. At the surface it's between 30-40 only. What'd you know? :D The new leaves are growing,...albeit very slowly. It's almost like a non co2 tank,...but not quite. :)

The tank's around 17 US gallons,..so I am dosing 2.3 ml of excel daily ( a bit more than it is recommended on the bottle). 8.5 ml excel (as per bottle's recommendation) weekly after a 50% water change. Haven't cleaned the filter yet, hence the dirty looking tubes. Macros twice weekly and 2ml of seachem flourish iron & 2ml of seachem flourish comprehensive for micronutrients. Daily small water changes ,....anywhere between 15-20%. I dose the nutrients & excel after these small water changes. Melting of most leaves sort of stopped about 2 weeks ago. But the echinodorus tenellus still has lots of its emmersed leaves on it. There are just a few of them showing the submersed leaf forms but not much,....is it safe to give it a major trim to encourage the submersed leaf forms to come out now?
Re: 17 US gallons excel supplemented tank.

It's been about 2 months since I had started with excel supplementation in this tank. I removed the Cabombas a bit. Replaced them with some new kind of Egeria,...seem to be doing well,...also sort of gives a bushier appearance.

The staurogynes are showing some hair algae on the leaves. There are also plenty of new holes forming on the philippine java fern that you see on the right rear corner of the tank there.

I have been consistent with my excel dosing , haven't increased my light intensity or anything. What could be the reason for this? My flow is good. The water from the spraybars actually hit the front glass. Could the reason be an overall increase in plant mass over this 2 month period?

Here's how it's looking now.

I am sorry but i am still taking these shots with my cellphone. I am unable to get a decent shot of the hairalgae on the staurogynes.



I had some issue with the water having a slight green tint over this last one week. I think it was green water as it went away after i cleaned the filter and light vacummed the substrate. It's shocking how much poo my sailfin pleco pumps out in day. :wideyed:

I think he's growing pretty quickly too. He keeps on knocking off that driftwood with the phillipine java fern these days.
Re: 17 US gallons excel supplemented tank.

Hey Faizal, just read back through this as think i must have missed this journal. Going back a bit but your rotala melt you said you suffered.. if it was the leaves dropping off then that is quite normal, stem melting not so much, the round leaves of rotala are the emersed form. the immersed leaf shape is like this mate.

i will be trimming mine over the bank holiday if you would like to try it again for a couple of quid donation to the forum.
Stauro is a bit of a pain as a bit of algae magnet as the leaves age, manually removing it by twizzling a toothbrush round and reducing you lighting period will help a lot.
Its coming along nicely though mate, just remember the more problems you encounter the quicker you learn :)
Re: 17 US gallons excel supplemented tank.

Tank looking very fresh and healthy mate.
Slightly off topic but definitely worth a mention..... the big 40, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
Re: 17 US gallons excel supplemented tank.

Thanks Iain,.. :D Your rotalas are the stuff of my dreams mate. Even your lower leaves are looking great there. I had just paid for some staurogynes, mini bolibitis and some fully immersed forms of rotalas. I am getting it from a shop online called Aquashop (in malaysia). As for the forum contribution,...you are right mate,... :thumbup: I think it's time to give something back to UKAPS. Will do that very soon.

I had stem melts too on my rotalas & just like you had mentioned there, mine were fully emmersed forms,...so i guess my tank's conditions were probably too much for them to take during their transformation phase. I am thinking of going down the pressurized route coz despite my excel dosing being slightly higher than the tank's recommended value,..I am starting to see some co2 deficiency signs on some plants as I had previously mentioned.

Thanks again for your most generous gesture mate.

Ady34 said:
Tank looking very fresh and healthy mate.
Slightly off topic but definitely worth a mention..... the big 40, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
Cheerio, Ady.

Thank you so much Ady !! :D Yeah,....funny no signs of mid life crisis :lol: :lol: Looking forward to age gracefully,...My dream is to have a tank as nice as yours someday, mate.
It's going be 3 months now. :D

The tank has undergone a few minor changes,..I've removed the watersprite completely because it wasn't exactly doing too well,...it was looking kind of lanky a bit too. So I thought it had to go. I had the driftwood with the small phillipine java fern removed as the wood kept on crashing onto the hygrophila polyspermas everytime my pleco swam by it,... :lol: I also transferred the pleco to Shoeb's ( my son ) new low tech tank. I am not sure if i am imagining this but the pleco seems very happy in the low tech tank. He's more bold,...swims around here & there more ??confidently ( Like I said,..i don't know but he seems to have taken a liking to my son's tank :D )

The new immersed forms of the rotala rotundifolias had come in on the 7th of June & I had dropped the lighting levels to just 2 tubes T5 15 watts each and continued with the excel ( I increased it to 2.5 ml 2 weeks ago)
Initially there were a lot of leaf melts but their stems remained green. By the end of their first week in the tank I noticed small new shoots. :D ,..so I uprooted the whole lot removed all the dead old leaves , cut the stems to 1/3rd their initial height, discarded the lower stem portion (lower 2/3rds) and replanted them back in their space.

Excel only supplemented tanks require a lot of patience,...this i have come to accept but the advantage of this is that the slower growth rates give you plenty of margin for errors. I had left for outstation visits on 2 separate occasions for a period of 3-4 days at a time. All i did was I switched off the lights, opened the curtains in such a way that there was enough indirect light just to lightly illuminate the aquarium,..no automated fertilization or excel supplementation on these days,...and when I returened home ,..I did a large water change & restarted the whole thing ( but mind you my light levels are very low as previously mentioned).

So,...here's how the rotalas are looking as of 2 days ago


The stauros have settled in nicely I think because there are no hair algae around after I had reduced the lights from 3 tubes to 2 tubes about 2 weeks ago. 2 stems melted but this i presume is probably more due to the lower light intensities at that region than due to co2 stress because the PAR around this area is just between 15-20

The moss on the driftwood has grown a lot too.

Here's an FTS

All in all I am happy that I have finally been able to maintain a tank for this long without any issues. I would not have lasted this long if it wasn't for the kindness & support shown to me by all the UKAPS members. And a heart felt thank you to Clive who taught me the basics of freshwater planted tanks.

As a side note though,....I am just trying my hand with the rotalas to see if I can grow them with only Excel. Unless they end up looking utterly gorgeous,..I intend to replace them with a nice broad leafed plant on the right middle ground side of the tank. Can anyone suggest a nice plant please? The height from the substrate to the water surface is around 13 cm only.
Thank you wazuck :D . Yes I am.

It's 1/4 teaspoon KNO3 3 times a week
1/16 KH2PO4 3 times a week
1/4 teaspoon seachem equilibrium once a week after 50% Water change
1 ml Flourish Iron & 2.5 ml flourish comprehensive 3 times a week
Seachem Excel 2.5ml daily & 9 ml once a week after the once a week large water change.

I also do daily small water changes (15-20%) before the daily dosing.
First time I've spotted your journal, and I enjoyed readin it. Tanks coming on nicely, though I have to say, the white background gave it a much more fresh look compared to the black. :thumbup:
Thanks Johnski,...I am sorry for the late reply. I coudn't agree with you more,..I had it removed shortly after taking those shots. I am glad that you found it an enjoyable read. :D
Sorry :oops: but a pictureless update here. I have been thinking of a minor rescape,...I have taken a real liking towards big leafed plants of late (especially after noticing how well my son Shoy's non co2 tank is coming along)

I am thinking of removing those egerias and replacing them with some Hygrophila stricta (Corymbosa). Also planning on adding some echinodorus quadricostatus at the right midground. Some new wood placements too. :D

I just received the new plants,...so I will be posting some new pics shortly. ;)
Cheers Fiona :D .Thank you for reading my journal. I just planted them last night,...i still have to place in the new wood so i don't think the tank is very presentable right now. :oops: . I will post the pictures as soon as possible. :)
I wanted to try out some new plants especially the nice big leafed ones.

So here's how it's looking now.



The right side is looking painfully bare but I don't know what to do here. :oops: Any ideas please?

I have also been thinking of injecting co2 into this tank for a long time now. I might give it a go.

The PAR readings are ridiculously low.

The Par ranges around the staurogynes are around 14-16
The PAR at the right midground are around 10-12
The PAR at the left foreground (e.tenellus) are 10-12

Yet,..the plants grow albeit very slowly. Filter maintanence was around 2 months ago. I know,...i shouldn't be pushing it. I am getting it done this weekend.The flow is still good (i.e. water jet from the spraybars are still hitting the front glass with force & I can still appreciate leaf movements on most of the background plants.)

Maintanence wise I top off daily evaporated water, feed fish,add the daily nutrients & remove as many baby snails as I can ( had an explosion of snails some week back & I think they came in when I added the egeria densa from a local LFS here. A compulsive move which turned out to be very bad idea)

All in all it takes about 15 mins of my time in the evening.

It will be really interesting for me at least, to see how fast they could grow with co2 under such low light levels. :D
hey faizal really nice clean looking tank have you thought of maybe adding some cryptocorynes for colour and texture to the right adding co2 always looks like an attractive option but generally will give you more headaches :lol: i spent a year using co2 following the advice of my lfs before i stumbled across ukaps and it really didnt solve any problems if any thing accelerated them this is a really nice setup :thumbup:
tim said:
hey faizal really nice clean looking tank have you thought of maybe adding some cryptocorynes for colour and texture to the right

This is why i LOVE ukaps man !!! :D :D Cheers tim!! Yeah that's a great idea. Why didn't I think of that?!! That would do the job of hiding those pipes & intake tubes wouldn't it? ;) Cheers mate :)
tim said:
...... adding co2 always looks like an attractive option but generally will give you more headaches :lol: i spent a year using co2 following the advice of my lfs before i stumbled across ukaps

tim believe me,...i hear you & i absolutely agree. I am currently looking at this as a test tank to see if I can grow lush plants with just excel combined with low light. I love non co2 tanks ,...that's for sure. When I get tired of this scape i am planning on adding co2 to see if I can be good at it. What better way than to try it on a small 2 footer. :) IMHO co2 tanks had been so much more of a challenge to manage for me, than excel/ non co2 ones for reasons i am sure you are well aware of.

First off,...I just need the fix. :shifty: I have been itching to give it ago since i started this tank.It's been like four months,... :sick: . I need to know if I can run a co2 tank effortlessly like most of the pros here. Well ,...ummm,..let's take that down a notch a little,..."I need to know if I can grow healthy plants with co2 " :shifty: :geek:

If it works out great. If it bombs,...well at least I will come out of it wiser than before.

Currently I feel like a theorist when it comes to co2 management. Me wanna get me hands dirty,... :D

Have you ever come across a bigger nerd? :lol:
Looking great Faizal. Love that mini bolbitis. Crypts sound like a great idea for the right side of this tank and will compliment the one left of centre. Everything is looking clean, crisp and healthy and i think the secret to this liquid carbon tank success has been your low lighting.
Get your hands dirty, if you want to give the gas a go then do it :thumbup:
Ady34 said:
Looking great Faizal. Love that mini bolbitis. Crypts sound like a great idea for the right side of this tank and will compliment the one left of centre.

Cheers Ady. :D Yeah I got the mini bolbitis from an online shop called aquashop here in malaysia. You really have a very sharp eye my friend. :D I didn't think anyone would be able to recognise the mini bolbitis from my grainy pictures. I just had the cryptocoryne planted in that spot last night as suggested. It looks better now. I think it should look much better as soon as the crypts fill out the area. I will post a picture soon. Thank you for following my journal. :D

tim said:
.... i'm in the dog house with the other half just bought a fluval edge 46ltr with jbl co2 kit from one of the guys at my lfs dunno how ill talk my way out of it :lol: .

:lol: :lol: I'm sure you'll find a way mate !! You are absolutely right about co2 being addictive despite all the problems associated with its management,... :) . I just don't know what to say about that,... :D