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still looking great ady sure you will resolve the issue , hopefully them few small changes will get everything in balance , love the Maidenhair fern I have wanted something that grows out the top of the tank for a while think it has a great effect and looks great :)

keep the updates coming let us know how you get along

Thanks for the encouragement Dean. Yeah, I was never too fond of emergent growth but seeing examples such as Alastairs and Bigtoms journals kind of inspired me to have a little, especially once I saw the maidenhair fern, I liked that a lot and it is kind of fitting in this tank.
Yes I agree, it looks great :clap: .... your bound to get a few teething issues mate with the light, I am sure you will tailor it to what the tank needs and crack the magic amount. I have found that Bolbitis can sometimes grow a little that way anyway too - the immersed plants really look nice too :thumbup:
Thanks Gary, yeah ill get there eventually, I seem to know what to do but not put it into practice, always something not quite right. When I received the bolbitis off johnc it was in tip top health....that's what I want back. Ive already adjusted the co2 slightly and have just today raised the light unit about another inch and a half so fingers crossed these have an impact.
Hi Ady,
sorry to hear that it is not going as you wish mate !!!
Did you try to improve C02 distribution ? Maybe you could try an other outlets positioning !?
I know that these day you have "played" with injection timing and rate. What did you end up with ?
Maybe we could look at there ! Maybe all this changes in CO2 timing and injection rate are not yet assimilated, and need a bit more time to stabilize ??!
These are my guess, but as you know I am not at all an expert, just a young padawan lol
Sorry but I have totally forgot how do you diffuse CO2, up atomizer ? reactor ?
Hope that we can find a solution to that, I really like that tank and don't want to see it going on the "brown" side lol (certainly more you than me lol).
This tank is a beauty mate !!!

cheers mate
Hi Zanguli. All good and sound points and all things to consider. I tried various outlet positions and this is the best for the layout, some areas of really good distribution are not thriving so I'm a bit confused, however the glass apfuk spraybars (as seen in Georges Hillside journal) may be an option to try. I may hook up some cheap plastic ones first to see if it improves things before splashing out. The only thing that worries me about the spraybar method is a possible dead spot along the rear behind the prominent hardscape.
The co2 is administered via a boyu inline diffuser on the left hand side lily. This directs it into the front glass and downwards along the front, some of which is then sucked up into the other filter via the inlet on the right side and reintroduced along the back pane via the NA outlet....a nice circular pattern, although perhaps ideally more could reach the substrate which is where spraybars would be an improvement.
Luckily its not so bad as to turn to brown mush, but it could be better :)
Looks to me like you've got normal 'floating' and dark 'sinking' forms of the riccia.

Tank's looking great for having had a trim.
Yeah the trim helped but it needs another really as its lost its shape and looks a bit fat around the middle. Looks more proportionate in real life funnily, but on images it looks shapeless.
Not sure about the riccia, it all looked the same when purchased but the second introduction which had been in the fridge for several weeks and was going slightly bad by the smell of it hasn't thrived. Needs replacing really but think ill just ditch it full stop.
Looking Awesomer by the update...
Cheers Tim, hopefully ill nail it and it will continue that way :)
Ady great looking tank, I have been battling algae with my previous set up - very high CO2 injection rates through atomiser, 2500 L/H flow distribution, different ferts nothing seemed to help. Secret was to decrease lighting and raise the fixture higher above the tank. I know people say that ADA lights are not powerful, but in my experience they produced way too much light then i could handle. I am sure you will work it out!
Thanks Jack. Yeah I definitely think its a light issue, although there are many members who can run successful tanks on high light, maybe its down to a balance with the chosen plants which in this case will be better with lower lighting intensity. I rather foolishly thought I could handle this one with all I've learned and lots of water changes....doh!
If you can't raise the light more and can't put a glass lid on with frosted vinyl on(I tried 8mm acrylic and it curled badly) then how about putting some light diffusing mesh under the light fitting? Something like the stuff they use in conservatories? You could make a wee wire frame to dangle from your light fitting and cover it with the mesh.
Hi Lindy, thanks for the tips :) I have a 10mm acrylic sheet to use as a cover, but it may well look ugly. I'm also making (when i get round to it) a shade for the light to prevent glare, so maybe I could easily incorporate some diffusing material into that...ill have to look into some products as that would be simple and non invasive to the aesthetics :) have you used any you could recommend yourself?
It's looks good Ady even with teething problems. Might to worth putting the skimmer front left to try assist the circular flow??
It's frustrating when plants show low co2 but fauna are flighty and shy which has always been high co2 for me.
Wiggle jiggle.... Sweet spot :)
Don't think the cory behaviour is co2 related, that also meant lethargy and a loss of appetite in my experience. They were flighty in the shop too. They are getting 'slightly' better and are great to watch at feeding time as they go about their business. Because they are so intriguing you want to be able to interact with them I suppose, get them seeing you as a food supplier so they come to greet you with their cheeky little faces :)
With regards the flow I think the biggest way it could be improved is greater distribution to the substrate.....although my plants do say different!
Hope it all works out for you ady, as you said probably co2 & circulation issues.

Your tank was inspiration for my latest scape and inspired me to do an 'island' style scape.

Sure it will work out, looks fantastic despite the small problems you have.

Really nice to hear that Dave, thanks :) a very nice scape you have made too.
Hope I can sort it, I want this to be the lush tank I imagined, like I say its not too far away from being a success which is why I'm reluctant to alter anything too drastically just incase it makes it worse! Ill hope the small adjustments have a big impact before exploring alternative distribution methods.

Thanks everyone for all the advice, confirms what I've been thinking.
Sorry Ady, not used any fabrics. Have put some frosted vinyl on the glass lid of the cube as tmc mini 400 still pretty bright .
Well there seems to be some improvement already from the adjustments made. The light unit was raised probably 1.25" (maximum height now) and c02 slightly increased. 4 more ottos were added to the existing 2, the algae is reducing and there are many more leaves sprouting on the bolbitis which look better than before. I will add more shrimp (sometime in the future :p:couchpotato: ) and a crossocheilus siamensis to complete the cuc. If the light arm was slightly higher i would raise the light unit further, but as im at the maximum height ill see how it goes, if it needs reducing further ill look at diffusing it somehow. I think that the bright white maui sand impacts overall intensity, reflecting light back into the tank, and is probably something i should have considered more on set up regards lighting strength.
I have slightly increased the photoperiod, with the flourescents being on for 51/2 hrs now and will continue to increase it slowly over the next week or two to about a 7hr photoperiod adjusting c02 accordingly. Any issues ill reduce back down until rectified.
Also added some Red Phantom Tetras to accompany the Black Phantoms which add a nice subtle splash of colour :)

Black Phantom female


This shot shows some new bolbitus leaves and on one of the older leaves you can make out the slight algae on the edges

On the plus side the anubias is doing nicely without too much algae



The Riccardia and creeping moss is doing ok here too, i think i may replace the riccia stones with creeping moss stones like the ones at the bottom of this picture to the left and right foreground which will be more inkeeping i think.

And things are progressing nicely at the top too. The Vallis doesnt look great, however there are signs of runners at the base now so hopefully the new leaves will be healthy. The java moss has been a great success and is the best ive had it.

This photo, although not great, shows the c02 distribution to the bottom of the tank being forced down the front glass. Spraybars from the rear would likely be better than the lily pipe, but i dont want to alter things just now if i dont need to.

And finally another fts. As mentioned, the riccia stone to the right and those at the left i think will be replaced with creeping moss stones. Fancying trying some ranunculus inundatus also amongst some of the lower rocks.

Its looking great mate and I am glad to hear the adjustments you have made are starting to pay off, especially after all the hard work you have put into it - the anubias look tip top! :thumbup:
amazing scape!
Agreed, stunning :) congrats mate

Most of the algae issue is CO2 related, just make sure you don't kill the fish in the process ;)
amazing scape!
Jings Ady that is stunning :)

Your a very talented individual im jealous :)

Nice wallpaper btw :D
Thank you guys :)
Glad the changes seem to be making a difference :)

I can see this scape looking amazing in a few months time.

Keep it up.

Hi Ady,

good to hear that there is improvement mate :thumbup:

Yeah, I'm pleased with the improvements hopefully now I can watch it develop.
Stunning Ady that fts is impressive mate.

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Cheers Alastair, seems to lose some depth on images and makes me question the hydrocotle (think it needs a bit of a thin down), but in real life it seems to work, plus you get the fish swimming around and distracting you so your less critical :) I'm happier now the algae seems to be under control and the bolbitis is producing some nicer leaves being as how they were supposed to be a feature plant!
Its looking great mate and I am glad to hear the adjustments you have made are starting to pay off, especially after all the hard work you have put into it - the anubias look tip top! :thumbup:
Thanks Gary.
Your recent images of your under cabinet organisation inspired me to tidy mine up yesterday and sort out the tangle of electrics that was going on! Not as tidy as yours, but certainly an improvement and another job ticked off the list :)
Agreed, stunning :) congrats mate

Most of the algae issue is CO2 related, just make sure you don't kill the fish in the process ;)
Thanks Paulo. Yeah him very careful with co2 now, its important for me to have natural unaffected behaviour so I'm striving to give good co2 without spiking, and matching lighting to that level. Also I'm trying to minimise BOD by keeping things clean to ensure maximum oxygen content, and currently I'm doing 2x water changes per week also, something ill probably continue. I keep the skimmer running 24/7 for a little extra distribution and oxygenation, but also to ensure no differences in off gassing rates and co2 concentrations due to a surface film preventing gas exchange.
Looking great, I am very interested to see how the anubias fair after a few months as that is one plant I have never been able to keep algae free - at least not long term.
Thanks Mart, hopefully the Anubias will stay algae free, especially as its heavily used. Some of it was brought over from my last tank which ran fairly long without too much issue.....fingers crossed a good cuc will help keep it clean :) I do have a lot in my nano shrimp tank also which is spotless and has been running for over a year, perhaps down to the number of shrimp in there alongside the low lighting used?
Glad you got it sorted, it's always the Co2 m8 ;) I was going to suggest that you need to start tying some anubias to sort it out :p
Lol, can no longer tie Anubias due to my rockwool finger ;)
Hopefully it is sorted now though, but won't count my chickens yet! I'd be more confident if I could raise the light just a fraction more.

Ady, what about a nice lace plant instead of the grass in the rear?
Once those ferns and moss mature a bit, the tank will look pretty shape, good hard scape and thicker wood choices.
If the Bolbitus wanes, it's CO2, so that's you indicator plant. Penny wort for NO3.
Oh, once the ferns overshadow the Anubias, they will remain algae free.
Nice new growth on the Java and the Bolbitus, that's what you want to watch.
Ady, what about a nice lace plant instead of the grass in the rear?
Once those ferns and moss mature a bit, the tank will look pretty shape, good hard scape and thicker wood choices.
If the Bolbitus wanes, it's CO2, so that's you indicator plant. Penny wort for NO3.
Oh, once the ferns overshadow the Anubias, they will remain algae free.
Nice new growth on the Java and the Bolbitus, that's what you want to watch.
Much appreciate your input Tom.
I had considered an aponogeton originally, but it was a crispus 'red' variety which may have been at odds with the look colour wise. I can see your point about placing an aponogeton there though as it would still have a similar trailing effect, and maybe be better balanced being thicker than the vallis which maybe too delicate given the chunky ferns and wood. The madagascariensis is thicker but still delicate looking so not too overpowering? Definitely food for thought :)
I'm trying a slightly higher NO3 fert mix currently so hopefully the hydrocotle will be ok, I never had much success with it in the past and most grow it like a weed!
Please gimme a minute while I pick my jaw off the ground. How many of you had to do that too? Amazing!
Lol, thanks flygya, could have done with a hand lifting a couple of the rocks in :)
Pennyworts are all NO3 hogs, this makes them useful as "test kits" for NO3. Mic umbrosum is another plant similar in that regard.
Pennyworts will go pale and yellowish without good NO3. 10-20 ppm etc.

See the 180 Gallon cardinal tank of mine for the lace plant effects, I think you will see the idea will work nicely and everyone loves a lace plant.
I consider them to be a cooler color and mix well with moss and ferns. the leaves will form a fan like pattern in the background.
The right plant for the space is often a matter of experience, hard to teach that.
Great looking tank . Wish mine looked half as good as yours.
Very inspirational and my next scape will be aiming for some like this .

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