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NA Style ADA 60P

Sid.scapes

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First Draft
 

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Sid.scapes

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The tank is now cycled. It's currently hosting a small molly family until I find a more suitable home for them. I am still not completely decided on the planting plan and I have to take a two-week international trip at the end of the month so I will let this carry on as is for few more weeks.
 

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Sid.scapes

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Since I can't plant anything right now, I am using this time to fiddle around with the tech (hence the gimmicky orange background). I find this Flux Chroma RGB to be quite dim for scaping purposes and the white color setting looks obnoxiously purple so I am planning to replace it with Kruger Auqaristic or ISTA lightscreen (Provided Kruger one comes back in stock in time)

I was also thinking of replacing the skimmer with Vuppa 2 but it seems too extravagant so it may not happen soon. :D

271522524_347173020574366_4500613758090690289_n.jpg
 

Sid.scapes

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I really need to be more consistent with the updates here but nevertheless, here's the latest.

I have swapped out Week Aqua light for Chihiros Vivid2 since I think Chihiros app is a bit more user-friendly. I have also swapped flux lightscreen with ADA to get rid of annoying blue tint.

Plating wise, I have added the background plants now. From left to right in the order - pogostemon erectus, rotala colorata, ludwigia p. super red, pogostemon erectus and staurogyne repens.
I have added a bit of riccardia chemydryfolia on the wood where glue-marks were more prominent. I also found some Microsorum Petite from K2Aqua that is now on the hardscape. I have not glued it because I might move them around for a bit.


Next steps - I will be adding more tiny buces by the end of this week and some F. miroshaki covered rocks. I also need to add some sand in the front. I will be adding more epiphytes and probably a new fern as well but I am not rushing that for now since I don't want the plants to overwhelm the hardscape. Potential candidates are - Microsorum Philippine Mini and/or the good old trident (or trident mini if I can find one)
 

Sid.scapes

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This is going to be a long update - I am running into a few issues with this scape and it looks like the reason is random ammonia spikes.

Some factors which might be relevant here (in the sequence)

Soil - I have used Aquario Neo Plant soil in this scape. I didn't appreciate just how easily it breaks and I ended up crushing a lot of it while playing with hardscape.

Filter - The scape is powered by Oase Bio Master 350 and two chambers are filled with Aquario Neo Pure bio media and two with sponge.

Dark Start - I kicked of this scape with a dark start BUT made one crucial change. For nearly a month or so, I ran it at a significantly warmer temperature (30-31 degree c) with an intent to help nitrifying bacterias settle. I was also dosing extra Seachem Stability at this point to help cycle the tank and in two weeks or so, the nitrites were 0, and ammonia was about 5 ppm and nitrate was about 5ppm. Diatoms bloomed and vanished by the time I started planting.

Root Tabs - After nearly 1.5-2 months of the dark start method, I lowered the temperature to 23 degrees and planted this tank with Starygyne Repens, Pogostemon Erectus (Both Tropica Tissue Culture) plus Rotala Colorata and Ludwigia Sp. Super Red (These two were sent by friends and were held up in the post. When I planted them in the tank, the tips were nearly dried out so I assume they were quite damaged at this point). I started dosing APT Zero (Non-NP fert) at this point but noticed that plants were growing remarkably slower than they ever have in any of my other scapes. Upon checking the parameters, I realised that nitrates are almost zero so I decided to add some Aquario NPK root tabs (1 tab in every 4 square inch area) with an assumption that running the scape at 33 degrees for prolonged periods, exhausted the soil of nutrients.

Fish Meds - With plants, I also added about 4 rescued mollies in the tank and they were suffering from the worm infestation so I decided to treat them with Esha NDX. I did not follow the instructions and left it in the tank at the recommended dosage for 72 hours instead of 24. I noticed the diatoms bloom after a few days. Since then I have dosed seachem stability almost on daily basis and have done 33-50% water changes twice a week.

At this point, it's nearly 3.5 months since I started this scape and the plants are showing severe Nitrate deficiency (stunted and discoloured tips). I have switched to APT Complete (2ml a day) and that has improved the growth to a certain degree but the plants are still very much struggling. I have measured CO2 by ph meter and it shows a full 1-1.5 point pH drop. CO2 is inline but to ensure that distribution is even throughout the tank, I have placed the drop checker at different points and observed that it does turn light green/yellowish-green throughout the different spots in the scape.

I use RODI water and remineralise it with SaltyShrimps GH+. Current Gh/Kh is at 9 and 8 respectively. I suspect the increased Kh is due to seiryu stone in the base.

I am suspecting that the main reason why I keep getting diatom blooms is Ammonia spike and I am trying to find out why is it happening. I can't see any reason why my cycled would crash and remain crashed. It has about 3 litres of bio-media (the same media is working amazingly on my 45p which is stable as a rock) in a fairly powerful bio master 350, it gets a dose of Seachem stability almost on daily basis at this point and I've never skipped a water change.

I am suspecting that one of the root tabs could have come up near the surface and could be causing random spikes in the tank? Or could it be accumulating as a result of extra dosing of APT complete?
Either way, I am super confused and could really use your thoughts.

@CooKieS @Geoffrey Rea @Courtneybst


Diatoms covered S. Repens and P.Errectus in the right most part of the tank (this area has the highest flow and the highest amount of diatoms. The photos are from phone so not the best quality but I have ensured there is no BBA in here, this is diatoms only and comes off when I gently rub the leaves)

SRepens.jpg



PErrectus.jpg



Top view
Top2.jpg
Top1.jpg



P.Errectus on the other side of the tank is doing surprisingly better than the one on right.
PErectus2.jpg
 

Geoffrey Rea

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Hey @Siddy

You use RO but do you use carbon stages to remove chlorine/chloramine?

Did you use dechlorinator with the water change water after the Esha NDX being in tank for 72 hours?

Do you use a titanium oxidising plate like the Twinstar/Chihiros units following treatment?

Esha labs state dechlorinator and oxidisers are problematic with Esha NDX, hence the questions.
 

Geoffrey Rea

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Cool, that puts that potential out of the picture. Also means you haven’t got dechlorinator messing with ammonia testing, if you are testing.

Sticking with the medication bit before moving on (to attempt to rule it out)… do you know what problems you can expect from leaving Esha NDX in for longer than advised? Is there anything specific in the instruction leaflet/data sheet?

Levamisole is likely to remain in the substrate despite water changes and running activated carbon. Just wondering what effect(s) that would have on the bacterial assemblage as it can’t be processed out like it can in a body, via the liver then via urine.

As for the Chihiros Doctors (Oxydator), I use it in 60p but I disabled it while I was treating with Esha NDX.

Does this mean it was potentially put back on with some Esha NDX still in the system?
 

Geoffrey Rea

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Since then I have dosed seachem stability almost on daily basis

I can't see any reason why my cycled would crash and remain crashed.

It's almost as if your scape has restarted the cycling process.

This brings us to the next component… Seachem Stability:


1649437160886.jpeg


Nigh impossible to work out what’s in a Seachem bottle from their data sheet. They could employ some form of carbon dosing to feed denitrifying bacteria to get that result. Either way, IF you were to use Seachem Stability it would be for a fish only setup, rather than a planted tank.

Because:

Upon checking the parameters, I realised that nitrates are almost zero

Unless the testing method is unreliable, impeded by interference of the testing method.
 

Sid.scapes

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Cool, that puts that potential out of the picture. Also means you haven’t got dechlorinator messing with ammonia testing, if you are testing.

Sticking with the medication bit before moving on (to attempt to rule it out)… do you know what problems you can expect from leaving Esha NDX in for longer than advised? Is there anything specific in the instruction leaflet/data sheet?

Levamisole is likely to remain in the substrate despite water changes and running activated carbon. Just wondering what effect(s) that would have on the bacterial assemblage as it can’t be processed out like it can in a body, via the liver then via urine.



Does this mean it was potentially put back on with some Esha NDX still in the system?
I should have probably mentioned that I did leave a carbon pad in the filter after treatment for a week to absorb the extra NDX just in case. Interestingly, they do advise vacuuming the substrate after treatment in some situations. As a final option, if nothing else works, I was thinking of replacing the entire substrate system. It's only the background since the foreground in only sand.
 

Sid.scapes

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I can't help but feel that it is linked to the change in temperature coupled with the medication that has impacted the nitrifying bacteria.

It's almost as if your scape has restarted the cycling process.

Quite possibly, yes. My biggest concern is that there is leftover medication in the substrate causing plant deformities but difficult to confirm this. I will add the carbon back in filter and vacuum the substrate. If that doesn't help, I will probably just do a soft reset with substrate change.
 

Sid.scapes

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This brings us to the next component… Seachem Stability:


View attachment 186227

Nigh impossible to work out what’s in a Seachem bottle from their data sheet. They could employ some form of carbon dosing to feed denitrifying bacteria to get that result. Either way, IF you were to use Seachem Stability it would be for a fish only setup, rather than a planted tank.

Because:



Unless the testing method is unreliable, impeded by interference of the testing method.

This is super useful! I had no idea about this. Guess I need to do more research before adding things randomly in scape from hearsay. Thank you, mate. This helps. :)
 

Geoffrey Rea

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Interestingly, they do advise vacuuming the substrate after treatment in some situations.

Some medications result in flocculation and are able to be removed via activated carbon, floss, other mechanical filtration after a set time. If it’s settled in the substrate, it ain’t going anywhere without intervention.

I will probably just do a soft reset with substrate change.

Personally, the substrate would be suspect and would do as you’re suggesting.

If in doubt, get it out.

This is super useful! I had no idea about this. Guess I need to do more research before adding things randomly in scape from hearsay. Thank you, mate. This helps. :)

👍🏽

It’s easily done. There’s so many products out there now and clarification on what they do and how they do it is hard fought.

Keep on trucking @Siddy and if you need a new round of plants for the restart, just PM. Can send you what you want from the 1200 here.

Looking forward to the revival 😉
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Nigh impossible to work out what’s in a Seachem bottle from their data sheet. They could employ some form of carbon dosing to feed denitrifying bacteria to get that result. Either way, IF you were to use Seachem Stability it would be for a fish only setup, rather than a planted tank.
Call me <"sceptical">, but I'd be amazed if any of these products have <"any use what so ever in a planted tank">. It is back to the question of the <"ammonia loading of the bioreactor"> it was produced in. If I did feel one would help? I'd use <"Tim Hovanec's product">.
Unless the testing method is unreliable, impeded by interference of the testing method.
It is a shame there are <"issues with nitrate (NO3-) testing">. I'd guess that at some point some-one will produce a reliable test for fresh water, but until then a certain amount of caution is called for.

cheers Darrel
 
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