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The Nymph's Spring (EA900)

shangman

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Fame and fortune awaits! That @George Farmer gets everywhere! :D

As for the plant suggestions - not strictly 'orange' but this is one of the most beautiful crypts I've grown - Cryptocoryne Spiralis 'Tiger' - and being a crypt, seems to do well in relatively low light - not my image, it's from @Roland, (as was my plant):

203891833_1408981096167124_1146980344157134292_n-jpg.171149
There's definitely orange in that, and a nice bit of pink too. Seems like I'm destined to become a crypt-keeper!

675249-crypt_keeper_large.png
 

Conort2

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16 Feb 2018
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London
I called up my LFS and asked them about wild cardinals, and he said as we're in London which has such hard water, he orders his cardinals from Asia where they are bred in hard water so they're more likely to do well in London tanks, which is very interesting and makes total sense.
I’m pretty sure the Asian ones are bred in softwater too. Cardinal eggs won’t develop in hard water as far as I’m aware.

most shops order from ruinemans which I’m sure do both Brazilian and Colombian wild cardinals.

As for tall colourful plants the crypt is a great suggestion, some of the echinodorus are nice if you don’t mind a bigger plant. Ludwigia sp super red is also worth a try with decent light.

cheers
 

shangman

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I’m pretty sure the Asian ones are bred in softwater too. Cardinal eggs won’t develop in hard water as far as I’m aware.

most shops order from ruinemans which I’m sure do both Brazilian and Colombian wild cardinals.

As for tall colourful plants the crypt is a great suggestion, some of the echinodorus are nice if you don’t mind a bigger plant. Ludwigia sp super red is also worth a try with decent light.

cheers
I wondered whether it was like those "hardwater" discus (which I only just learnt was a thing apparently) so didn't question it, I wonder if there is a difference in the adaptability or not in hardwater.

I have a few echinodorus which are only just now starting to give me leaves, I just want more lushness nowwwww... I feel like the tank just isn't planted densely enough and that itself is making problems for the plants I do have in the battle against algae and keeping things healthy. Need more new healthy plants note the co2 is doing better like the lotus (which is growing super great, one new big leaf every 4 days). But say some point those echinodorus and gonna really take over!!
 

shangman

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I've been watching my aquarium more this week to really work out what it is that is making the growth not great in many areas. The more I look the more I see problems that I don't fully know how to solve, and don't have the cash to just throw things at it until something sticks.

I think really it's down to my hardscape being so massive and in the middle that the flow has lots of big dead spots. I've noticed in particular in the front bottom right, that hardly any co2 seems to get to the "carpet" area (which is basically just bare soil and lava rock because few things want to grow there, and what is growing there is very slow (at least not dying like the monte carlo tho). I also have the problem that the wood cuts out a lot of light at the back and sides, so stem plants aren't happy either and only do ok in one area.

Plus I have a lot of algae (spirogyra, clado and bba) on the moss and epiphytes on the main wood section, I think because there is too much light there compared to what it needs as it's in the top of the tank directly under the light. This area does get the most CO2, and has good growth but also lots of algae.

Another problem is lots of plants died earlier when my CO2 was very dodgy and tbh I haven't been able to afford many new plants. I could buy some now, and I feel like on the one hand any new plants I have added have done well recently (buce, lotus), but also I'm worried that they'll all just die and I'm just letting money go down the drain. But also I know that having a good plant mass is really important for getting the tank to come into balanced, feels like a catch 22.

IDK I find hightech really frustrating, I went ambitious and should've done something simpler probably but I 100% don't want to completely rescape the tank. I feel like it has so much potential but also feeling really frustrated at the problems right now.

I have a plan to add more lotus (gerfleckt and red tiger), and maybe an echinodorus to behind the wood where the big hole is, instead of attempting stems there again. I jsut relaly want proper bushiness in the back 2 corners but no idea how to achieve. Feels stressful atm, really in a rut. Maybe I need powerheads idk.
 

Wookii

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Nottingham
I've been watching my aquarium more this week to really work out what it is that is making the growth not great in many areas. The more I look the more I see problems that I don't fully know how to solve, and don't have the cash to just throw things at it until something sticks.

I think really it's down to my hardscape being so massive and in the middle that the flow has lots of big dead spots. I've noticed in particular in the front bottom right, that hardly any co2 seems to get to the "carpet" area (which is basically just bare soil and lava rock because few things want to grow there, and what is growing there is very slow (at least not dying like the monte carlo tho). I also have the problem that the wood cuts out a lot of light at the back and sides, so stem plants aren't happy either and only do ok in one area.

Plus I have a lot of algae (spirogyra, clado and bba) on the moss and epiphytes on the main wood section, I think because there is too much light there compared to what it needs as it's in the top of the tank directly under the light. This area does get the most CO2, and has good growth but also lots of algae.

Another problem is lots of plants died earlier when my CO2 was very dodgy and tbh I haven't been able to afford many new plants. I could buy some now, and I feel like on the one hand any new plants I have added have done well recently (buce, lotus), but also I'm worried that they'll all just die and I'm just letting money go down the drain. But also I know that having a good plant mass is really important for getting the tank to come into balanced, feels like a catch 22.

IDK I find hightech really frustrating, I went ambitious and should've done something simpler probably but I 100% don't want to completely rescape the tank. I feel like it has so much potential but also feeling really frustrated at the problems right now.

I have a plan to add more lotus (gerfleckt and red tiger), and maybe an echinodorus to behind the wood where the big hole is, instead of attempting stems there again. I jsut relaly want proper bushiness in the back 2 corners but no idea how to achieve. Feels stressful atm, really in a rut. Maybe I need powerheads idk.

Try not to get too downbeat. I had exactly the same issues on my first come-back (after 20 years hiatus) high tech tank. Very similar to your layout (though on a smaller scale) [Journal] in terms of large arching hardscape, and I encountered similar challenges with flow and distribution. In the end I really struggled with stems because the lower parts were so easily overshadowed, and I couldn't get sufficient CO2 down to them, and I also got regular BBA and staghorn on the plants on top of the wood nearest the light. Stability in the long run, and a high density clean-up crew, were the main solution, but I still had to occasionally apply Excel to kill off any excessive algae growth.

You might be able to improve your flow pattern by moving one of the inlet/outlet pairs - are they both in the rear corners? Maybe the pair on the left would be better right to the front of the glass, and the right hand pair, right to the rear corner. That would help you get CO2 down to the front substrate where you're currently having issues.
 

John q

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6 Jan 2021
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549
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Lancashire
Like wooki says don't get down about it, this high tech malarkey is hard work, especially in comparison to low tech set ups, I'm sure you'll turn the tank around.
Another problem is lots of plants died earlier when my CO2 was very dodgy and tbh I haven't been able to afford many new plants. I could buy some now, and I feel like on the one hand any new plants I have added have done well recently (buce, lotus), but also I'm worried that they'll all just die and I'm just letting money go down the drain.
Not sure if this would be of any use to you but I'll have a variety of trimmings over the weekend, nothing exotic, mainly fast growing stems (sessiliflora, polysperma, hygrophila difformis) and some vallisneria plantlets. You're more than welcome to have them if you temporarily want to increase plant mass, without any cost.
 

shangman

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Try not to get too downbeat. I had exactly the same issues on my first come-back (after 20 years hiatus) high tech tank. Very similar to your layout (though on a smaller scale) [Journal] in terms of large arching hardscape, and I encountered similar challenges with flow and distribution. In the end I really struggled with stems because the lower parts were so easily overshadowed, and I couldn't get sufficient CO2 down to them, and I also got regular BBA and staghorn on the plants on top of the wood nearest the light. Stability in the long run, and a high density clean-up crew, were the main solution, but I still had to occasionally apply Excel to kill off any excessive algae growth.

You might be able to improve your flow pattern by moving one of the inlet/outlet pairs - are they both in the rear corners? Maybe the pair on the left would be better right to the front of the glass, and the right hand pair, right to the rear corner. That would help you get CO2 down to the front substrate where you're currently having issues.
Thank you for the encouragement, it's good to know I'm not alone struggling like this. I read so many journals and watched so many videos on scaping that I thought I'd done everything "right" when setting the tank up, not realising that my giant hardscape would totally screw it!! My desire for a dramatic look was too strong. I have exactly those problems you said with stems - they grow in one area quite well and the rest are tragic looking. I don't need loads of stems in this tank (though it would've been nice), but only a few things are happy and there's so many gaps in between. I just wanted that sweet sweet lushness!! As always fishkeeping is all about learning.

Which cleanup crew did you find useful? I have been thinking of trying to get more amanos again, I have cherries and otos in there but they don't really do much as I'm not sure they eat the algaes I have. Also have read that blue gobies are tough algae monsters but idk, will think about that one.

Sadly I don't think I can improve the flow any more with the filters, because of the wood placement. I have improved it a lot from what it was, but this front deadspot is so annoying.

At first I had the filters both going in the same direction like, and basically the whole back was a deadspot.
----<
----<

But now they're like and a lot more of the tank gets good flow.
----< (this front one isn't completely at the front, it's more like in the middle)

I could fix the front deadspot if I could reverse it like this (the deadspot would just go on the sand)
----<
But the wood is in the way of doing it this way, it would baffle the flow immediately out of the pipe.

PXL_20210906_1741160642.jpg


This is what the flow is doing atm. I'm wondering if a power head would be a possibility in the front left near the bottom? IDK sounds ugly but maybe is required. Alternatively thinking (but hoping to avoid) of swapping over the "carpet" area with the sand area, but I really don't want to do this because it'll be loads and loads of hassle and very messy. Plus the fish seem to like the scape as it is, the sand is right by the dark archway so they feel safe, and that's where the baby kuhlis live amongst the rocks at the edge of the sand and I'd be worried about hurting them moving it. That is one of the reasons why I've put up with the dodgy plant growth, the fish are happy at least lol.

Like wooki says don't get down about it, this high tech malarkey is hard work, especially in comparison to low tech set ups, I'm sure you'll turn the tank around.

Not sure if this would be of any use to you but I'll have a variety of trimmings over the weekend, nothing exotic, mainly fast growing stems (sessiliflora, polysperma, hygrophila difformis) and some vallisneria plantlets. You're more than welcome to have them if you temporarily want to increase plant mass, without any cost.
Thank you for your kind offer, I would love the trimmings! One of my suspicions is that just adding more plant mass would help a lot to change the tide for good, and at the very least cover up that bloody soil. I'll PM you.

Low tech is just sooo much easier. Even when they're unbalanced with algae I found it so much easier to get it right, and even with algae the plants never dropped dead on me the way they have here. I refuse to give up, but I am super pissed off about it right now!!
 

Conort2

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16 Feb 2018
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I’d also give it some time, tanks take some time to mature before they settle down. I had been having algae problems worse than Ive ever had on my new set up but a bit of tweaking of the co2, treatment of the stubborn areas which had bba and a bit of patience and I’m now winning. Hardly no algae left and plant growth is starting to kick on.

You’ll definitely get there, sometimes these things can take a while to get right.

cheers
 

shangman

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I’d also give it some time, tanks take some time to mature before they settle down. I had been having algae problems worse than Ive ever had on my new set up but a bit of tweaking of the co2, treatment of the stubborn areas which had bba and a bit of patience and I’m now winning. Hardly no algae left and plant growth is starting to kick on.

You’ll definitely get there, sometimes these things can take a while to get right.

cheers
This is great to know, thank you! I do know what you mean, one of my lowtechs has taken almost a year to become perfectly balanced (aka v little algae and minimal maintenance while looking good), though 80% of that was due to laziness. I just somehow thought that high-tech was faster to get looking good, maybe that's just not the case.

Have you found that the plant growth is slow at the start? I don't mind battling algae much, I know it can be eventually got at, but the VERY slow growth of a lot of the plants is what has really annoyed me. Am I constantly trimming and replanting stems? NO. A few of the most easy plants grow well but a lot seem to be struggling. I would quite like to do a few blackouts to really kill the spiro, but I think my plants are vigorous enough to recover easily yet.

I have this morning upped the co2 by a tiny tiny bit, it's already at the border of yellow so can't really do much more. Maybe that will help! Been watching the fish and they're all good.

I think I've been looking at Instagram and their perfect tanks from the start too much 😂 I just wanna be fancy with a fancy tank!
 

John q

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6 Jan 2021
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549
Location
Lancashire
Thank you for your kind offer, I would love the trimmings! One of my suspicions is that just adding more plant mass would help a lot to change the tide for good, and at the very least cover up that bloody soil. I'll PM you.
Pm me your address over the weekend, will post out Monday.

On a "I'm intelligent" note... have you done a ph profile yet? I ran my tank for a while thinking I'd sussed co2 out, only to realise I only had a .8 drop, that fluctuated... sacra bleu...
 

shangman

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Pm me your address over the weekend, will post out Monday.

On a "I'm intelligent" note... have you done a ph profile yet? I ran my tank for a while thinking I'd sussed co2 out, only to realise I only had a .8 drop, that fluctuated... sacra bleu...
No... 👀 I wanted to but have been skint for a while, tho actually I have enough atm and I think that is a good thing to try to get back on track. I do really hate how using the bubble counter/drop checker feels like it's not telling me the full picture.

Any suggestions for a good one? my friend has one but said it was rubbish and couldn't be calibrated properly so want to make sure I get one that isn't rubbish (but not too expensive hopefully!)
 

John q

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6 Jan 2021
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I'm sure there are lots of decent ones out there but this is the one I use.
Amazon product
It has three point calibration, not that I've ever calibrated it as it seems fairly accurate out of the box. Very easy to use and fairly robust. Been using it for about 3 months without issue.
 
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