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Enigma - My 20 gallon madness

NotoriousENG

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Just a quick pick or Anubias Frazeri putting up three new leaves at the same time. I haven't had any of my anubias put up so many at once before.
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NotoriousENG

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Did a very aggressive trim on the hydrocoytle today and I can finally see my crypts and java fern again! The hydrocotyle growing wrapped along the full length of the wood is a nice look but it's very hard to control due to its quick growth! As a result, I am suspicious that it has been choking out the other plants for both light and flow. I am also picking up some more plants this week and needed to clear some room for the aroids (bet no one will be able to guess all three genus correctly ;))



fts-10-10-21-jpg.jpg

In other news, I turned up my pump to increase overall flow through the tank and slightly bumped CO2. I also added a chunk of 30 ppi poret foam over the central outlet tube in the cerges reactor. I've been having issues with gas build-up in the cerges during the photoperiod which makes me think I am getting poor dissolution of the co2. However, increasing flow through the cerges just lead to it spitting bubbles that were large enough to quickly reach the surface. With the poret now installed I am able to push a higher flow rate through the reactor as the foam is acting as a bubble trap. I am still getting some microbubbles but I don't mind them.
As always any feedback, comments, or thoughts are welcome.
 

NotoriousENG

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Hi all,

Go on, I like a challenge.
  • Aridarum
  • Schismatoglottis
  • Bucephalandra
cheers Darrel

Close! It's anubias, bucephalandra, and aridarium. I didn't think anyone would guess the aridarium since I've found little information on their cultivation in aquaria. So if anyone has any tips I'm all all ears!

Now that I think about it again, I'm also getting a Crypt. which I believe is an aroid as well. Starting to look like I have a thing for aroids .

I had not heard of Schismatoglottis before. Looks like a pretty neat genus. Might have to try and get some.

I'm supposed to get the plants tommorow and will post pics once I do.

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NotoriousENG

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Another week another update!
First up a low-quality full tank shot



fts-jpg.jpg

Featured in this full tank shot are some new aroids I got from a local hobbyist this week. The new aroids consist of:
Aridarum Montanum
Anubias nana
A variety of unidentified buce
Crypt. Nurii
You may also notice significantly less hydrocoytle growing wrapped along the wood than previously. This stuff grows so fast it was getting to be a pain to keep it under control and it seemed to be blocking the stems from getting enough light and flow.
Other than the new plants, the only other change is an increase in my iron and micros dosing levels. I am still seeing some pale new leaves and decided to try running heavier traces for a few weeks to see if it makes a difference.
New dosing.JPG


Also, have some closeup pics of the new plants
Aridarum Montanum



aridarum-montanum-jpg.jpg

A. Nana



anubias-nana-jpg.jpg

Buce mix. If anyone recognizes any of these buce species please let me know!



buce-jpg.jpg




buce-2-jpg.jpg

C. Nurii



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c-nurii-2-jpg.jpg




c-nurii-3-jpg.jpg

This is my first time keeping C. Nurii so I am very excited. I have to say that it does look a bit different then some of the pictures I've seen online. The leaves are narrower and more upright and the pattern is a bit different. Nonetheless, it is a very pretty crypt with a pink and green tiger-like pattern on the leaves. These low-quality pictures really do not do it justice
 
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NotoriousENG

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Just wanted to share a picture of my anubias frazeri flowering submerged. Also featured is an unknown buce putting up a bud.

More detailed updates coming later this week.
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NotoriousENG

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Life has been busy so long overdue for an update!

First some FTS pictures. The first one is from a couple of weeks ago and when I think I was the happiest with the look.
20211120_155110.jpg

I eventually got annoyed with having to weed whack the hydrocotyle pretty much constantly to keep it from engulfing my other plants. So hacked it pretty much back to roots only. Its slowly recovering so the weed whacking will commence shortly I suspect.

This next picture is from today after I cut back all the stems. I decided to just cut and discard the tops in an effort to get bushier, branched growth out of the stems. I've included two veriosn of the picture as I was experimenting with some of the picture settings on my phone.
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Plant growth and health have been good recently aside from black algae that appeared on the leaf edges of some of my aroids and also started covering blades of the hair grass in a very thin layer. I've started treating with H2O2 this past week and have seen some improvement. I suspect the algae may have appeared to do the tank receiving more ambient light in the early morning. To address this, I also set my CO2 to come on earlier in the day. I've also noticed some of the old leaves on my buces aren't looking great. I'm hoping this is just older leaves (from before I got them) dying off since the new growth seems to healthy.
20211205_173241.jpg


In other plant health news, the melting and necrosis of the stem plants seem to have been resolved. I am still seeing the white veins on the broader leaved ludwigia. Since the plant seems to be otherwise healthy I wonder if it is just how this species looks?

I'm also hoping for an ID on this plant. I collected it a few months back from a flooded ditch. I honestly thought it was a terrestrial plant and didn't expect it to survive. However, it has grown significantly since I got and I've trimmed off branches multiple times since then. This past week I got off one of the main stems and replanted it to see if the stem would root and start growing and if new growth would occur where the original plant was cut. So far the cut stem seems to be growing and I can see some small new growth forming on the original plant at the site of the cut. Also of note is that the plant is quite aromatic when cut or crushed, almost a little sweet and peppery.
20211205_173333.jpg


The only other thing of note is that I made some root tabs with 4-6 balls of osmocote plus rolled in red clay and added about six during last week's water change. I also picked up a pinpoint marine pH monitor on sale and have been tracking my pH profile. I would really appreciate some feedback on the profile since it seems to be suggesting I am injecting a lot of CO2!

My degassed pH was 7.4 after a day and half. I intended to check it again after another day or so but forgot and left the sample out uncovered for another four days. Upon checking it today (five ish days since it was collected from the tank) I measured a pH of 7.7. I'm not sure if the rise to 7.7 was due to further degassing or the effects of evaporation? I set aside another sample after my water change and will check it more frequently this time.

pH profile:
9:30 am (CO2 turns on): 7.30
10:10 am: 6.76
11:02 am: 6.52
11:30 am: 6.45
12:33 pm: 6.35
1:43 pm: 6.32
2:30 pm: 6.27
3:00 pm (lights turn on): 6.25
8:50 pm: 6.22
Steady at 6.2 till CO2 off at 10:00 pm
Lights off at 10:30 pm
 
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dw1305

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Hi all,
I'm also hoping for an ID on this plant. I collected it a few months back from a flooded ditch. I honestly thought it was a terrestrial plant and didn't expect it to survive. However, it has grown significantly since I got and I've trimmed off branches multiple times since then. This past week I got off one of the main stems and replanted it to see if the stem would root and start growing and if new growth would occur where the original plant was cut. So far the cut stem seems to be growing and I can see some small new growth forming on the original plant at the site of the cut. Also of note is that the plant is quite aromatic when cut or crushed, almost a little sweet and peppery.
It is either <"Cardamine pratensis"> (Cuckoo-flower) or <"Nasturtium (Rorippa) spp. "> (Water cress).

cheers Darrel
 

NotoriousENG

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Hi all,

It is either <"Cardamine pratensis"> (Cuckoo-flower) or <"Nasturtium (Rorippa) spp. "> (Water cress).

cheers Darrel
Thanks Darrel, I looked up both and it looks very similar to Water cress to me. All of the information I could find about it said that it does not grow fully submerged which gives me some pause. I will try to get some clearer pictures of it.
 

NotoriousENG

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Good news! The tank successfully survived an 8 day vacation which I am very happy about. Since this was my first longer time away from the tank I did have a freind stop by twice to dose and check the drains weren't plugged.

The plant that may or may not be water cress decided to hog wild while I was gone. It's filling pretty much the full back right corner and root systems is massive.

Pictures are before and after and some close ups of the pottential water cress.

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dw1305

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NotoriousENG

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Thanks for the kind words everyone! I will be sure to post a more detailed update soon since I've added some new plants and made some changes since my last in-depth post. I will say that I started front-loading all of my macros last week and so far haven't noticed any strong effects good or bad.

I was thinking about it today, and this tank really has become a bit of an enigma. I don't think I've seen any other high-tech shrimp only tanks of this size that also have a sump that 50% of the display tank volume. It has me thinking about biting the bullet and stocking regular white clouds if I can't find Tanichthys micagemmae soon.

Nice to see aquarium looking so good on a return. Because its loaded with healthy plants definetly helped
I'm sure the large plant mass helped! I also suspect having the extra water volume from the sump helped to prevent the fertilizer levels from dropping as quickly as they usually would. That and easy maintenance are definitely things I really like about having the sump. Still haven't decided if those benefits outweigh the stress from worrying about the drains clogging and if the thin glass will hold up long term with the drilled overflow.

Hi all,

Could be, although I believe it is quite a rare plant in the wild.

<"Widely naturalised in N. America">. In the winter, in the UK, the Watercress would be fully submerged, but I don't know if it can grow like that permanently.
View attachment 179358
cheers Darrel
I took a look at some pictures of Rorippa Aquatica and I think what I have looks more like water cress. I don't remember exactly when I added it to the tank, probably about 4 months or so. The leaves are getting very close to breaking the surface so it will be interesting to see how it behaves once its leaves emerge.
 

NotoriousENG

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The tech bug has bitten me again and I got myself a late Christmas present. I won't be setting up right away as I need to figure out aestheticly pleasing bottles and mounting since it will likely be external to the stand.

I just started front loading my macros so for the time being I will probably only use it to dose micros and Fe-DTPA. However, I have given some thought to trying a daily low dose of urea or adding iron gluconate into the mix.

If anyone has any tips on auto doser or specific dosing plans using them I would love to hear them!
1a22f073694b60bc99e7294b64ed4c4f.jpg


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NotoriousENG

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Time for a much-needed update and a request for some advice on some algae and plant growth issues. I'll warn y'all in advice this post is quite hefty.
First thing first is a current full tank shot.
20220205_132506-jpg.jpg

If you look closely you'll notice a few new plants that I haven't mentioned before. These include:
Crypt. Wendtii 'Bronze
Bolbitis heudelotii
Süsswassertang
Lagarosiphon madagascariensis
Christmas moss
Some sort of dwarf lily/lotus

I got all of them except the lilly these from another hobbyist about two months ago. So far they've all been doing pretty well for except the Süsswassertang which hasn't really grown much. Currently, the Lagarosiphon is looking a little shabby as I almost killed off with hydrogen peroxide and excel dosing.
Looking closely you might also notice that I finally, after six months, have fish! There is now a school of White Clouds calling my tank home. Supposedly I bought 13 from the store this Tuesday, however, I've only managed to count 12 so far. They are very quick so I'm not particularly confident in my count. So far I've managed to avoid a mini cycle and testing has not shown any ammonia or nitrite spike. I was worried since previously the tank's only inhabitants were neo shrimp and snails. I think the lack of mining cycle is due to a combination of the large plant mass, extra water volume from the sump, and adding a bottle of Tetra Safe Start to give the bacteria a boost.
I had a surprisingly difficult time finding these regular, wild-type White Clouds. All of the stores local to me stock only the gold and longfin variety so I had to special order these. I am a little suspicious that some of the fish might be one of the other related species or color morphs as there is a number of different fin colorations. Some of the fish have red fins with white tips, red fins with yellow tips, or mostly yellow fins. Nonetheless, I am loving having them and starting to think ahead about either increasing their numbers or adding another species that can handle room temperature water.

I've made some other changes since my last detailed update. I don't remember when I made them so I will just list them:
  • The sponge over the central tube in the cerges has been removed due to constant clogging
  • To get a better flow in the tank, the cerges was retuned, the outflow was modified with spray bar-like holes, and the pump power was adjusted.
  • I made some modifications to the 3D printed shrimp/leaf guard and started using it full time. The leaf guard is less prone to clogging than the screen I previously used so there is less variation in the water level. This made it much easier to dial in the amount of surface ripple.
  • I've been slowly working the CO2 up to higher levels, currently running with a drop checker just shy of yellow.
  • I switched to front-loading all of my macros a few weeks ago with a good response in plant growth rate. However, I have been having some health and algae issues recently, not sure if it is related.
  • Reduced my FE-DTPA dosing by a third last week.
Now the issues. In the past few weeks, I've seen an increase in algae of almost variety, green spot/dust, BBA, staghorn, and brown algae. It's been mostly minor, and I think I managed to kill off most of the staghorn and BBA with excel and peroxide spot treatments. The green spot/dust and brown algae on older leaves of the anubias, crypts, and hydrocoytle are my main concern now. I've also seen a significant amount of twisting in the leaves of my ludwigia this week. I've always had some twisting, but this is much more than usual. I also have some general concerns about plant health since some still don't look great.
The ludwigia is probably the worst-looking plant. Aside from the heavy twisting it just doesn't look quite right to me. I've always seen ludwigia with nice compact growth, and dark green leaves with red undersides. When I first got this plant (~six months ago) it looked how I would expect. Pretty quickly it started stretching into leggier growth with these massive thumb-sized leaves. The leaves always have this yellowy-orange color with essentially no red on the underside. Once it gets close to the surface it does start to get more distinct orange coloration.
20220205_132524-jpg.jpg
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Buce Green Wavy is another problem plant. I got this one from tissue culture a few months ago. It consistently doesn't look as healthy as the other buce I got from a local hobbyist. The leaves come in very pale then darken somewhat in uneven patches. The leaves all look much paler than the pictures I see online.
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20220205_132546-jpg.jpg

This Buce also seems to have some issues. The new leaves look pretty healthy to me. However, the older leaves will occasionally start turning a bleached whitish color. The central leave on the bottom of the picture is currently affected. The central right-pointing leave is also showing some early signs. Its hard to see in the picture with the glare
20220205_132607-jpg.jpg

Here are some pictures of the green spot algae that starting to cover some leaves. I also see dark black algae (probably BBA) edging older leaves of some of the slow growers. It's hairy or fluffy, just a dark black coloration on the leaf edges.
20220205_132659-jpg.jpg
20220205_132813-jpg.jpg

Other none algae issues. A few weeks ago I started seeing both planaria and hydra. This was before I had the fish so it was only shrimp in the tank. From what I see online, these usually seem to be tied to overfeeding. Before I had the fish, I feed the shrimp some veggie once a week at most. Sometimes I would skip a week or two since the shrimp never seemed very interested in the veggies.

Relevant tank parameters:
Temp: Unheated, 67-72
Light duration: 8 hours, on at 3 pm, off at 11 pm
Water changes: 60% weekly with surface vacuuming of carpet and accessible substrate. 2 out 3 filter sponges rinsed in tank water, filter fleece replaced.
Dosing:
dosing-jpg.jpg

CO2: on at 10 am, off at 10:30 pm, drop checker is light green edging to yellow.
I do have pH monitor that I've been trying to use to track the pH drop due to CO2. At light on the tank pH is around 6.08 and it stays stable within 0.1 through the photoperiod. The problem is I am having a heck of time figuring out my degassed pH. In the morning before CO2 on, the tank pH is usually around 7.2 so I have at least a 1.1 pH drop. However, I don't think my tank fully degasses overnight so I usually pull out a water sample early in the week and let it sit for a few days. The issue is, the pH reading for that sample is all over the place depending on long I leave the probe in. For example, today I recorded readings at various time intervals from a sample I have degassing since Tuesday.
5 min: 7.44
10 min: 7.44
15 min: 7.49
20 min: 7.53
25 min: 7.55
45 min: 7.45
1 hr 35 min: 7.68
2 hr 20 min: 7.53
Even more confusing is that if I leave the probe in the sample overnight the pH reading usually drops to 7.1 ish. If I stir it around the readings jump back up. Using the API liquid tests I usually get around 7.6 as best as I can tell.

Currently, I am thinking about reducing my Nitrate and Potassium levels and increasing Phosphate to see if it has any effect. Possibly 20-10-20? Let me know any thoughts and suggestions, they are always much appreciated!

P.S. Let me know if you have any criticism of my writing style. I starting to study for the GRE and I haven't done much non-technical writing in the past few years.
 
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