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55 Gallon freshwater aquascape
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Flame Angel
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Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: 2012.02.20(Mon)1:42    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I'm not sure if it makes a whole lot of difference, other than longevity, if the background is poster board cut-to-size or glossy paper.


Not too sure either - I can't imagine it would. I guess the glossy paper might give some light reflection, but that's the stuff I've always used and I've never noticed it. They aren't exactly expensive though if you decided to change your mind - might as well try with a few and see which one you like the looks of most?

Quote:
The plants that have been giving me floating problems are the ludwigia renens, lobelia cardinalus, and the anubias barteri var. 'nana'. The ludwigia was a challenge to plant for me because it seemed as though every time I got the ludwigia "deep" into the substrate, one of its neighboring ludwigia would pop out of the substrate! I estimate that they are between 2-4cm deep. The lobelia has randomly popped out of the substrate at times; I planted it deep enough to cover its roots (2-4cm). When planting the anubias, I need to make sure that I am not covering the rhizome, correct? The roots sticking out of the rhizome aren't too long and covering just the roots with gravel doesn't seem to be a sure bet of keeping the plant anchored! I can take a closer picture of the anubias if it would help.


You could always just attach the other anubias to something like the others - I think that's what most people tend to end up doing. With the other two - do they still have the metal strip around their base holding them together or what? Could always try plant anchors (not sure but they might not be great for the plant). Perhaps you need a thicker layer of substrate also. If you can manager to keep them down (anchor them temporarily) until their roots grow to a decent size then they will hold themselves down...always a problem though.
Yeah you're supposedly not meant to cover the rhizome (another reason to attach it). Fairly sure I got fed up in the past trying to plant them with just the roots though and ended up planting them rhizome and all, and they seemed okay (probably restricts growth rate).

Quote:
With the lighting and CO2 on a timer, the hardest part of the next few weeks will be watching the plants (hopefully) grow! I have laugh at how many times I've looked in the aquarium expecting to see miraculous growth this weekend.


Know that feeling! That's where photos come in handy mate Razz
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Arctic
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Joined: 15 Mar 2003
Location: Raleigh, NC

PostPosted: 2012.02.21(Tue)21:05    Post subject: Fixed CO2 and purchased tweezer Reply with quote

Everything in the tank has been going pretty well since the last update. I'm going to wait to post more pictures until at least the weekend so that there is some noticeable growth/change. I also might consider moving this thread to the photo album.

I'm considering the purchase of a second Eheim Jager heater (probably a 200W) so that the one 250W heater doesn't have to work so hard to maintain the water temperature while the thermostat is set to 62F (twice a day: 9am-4pm; 9pm-5:45am). The 250W is rated for a much bigger tank but, as I discovered when I woke up way too early this morning, it is only keeping the water at 72F when it is set for ~76F and the thermostat for the house is set at 62F.

I purchased a pair of 10-inch, stainless steel tweezers the other day. They made dealing with any of the floating ludwigia much easier than with my hands! I was also able to use them to partially uncover the rhizome for one of the anubias plants that I was struggling to keep seated in the gravel.

I discovered this morning that my GLA atomic co2 diffuser hadn't been operating correctly this whole time (2 days). I was concerned that the CO2 output wasn't nearly the rate at which I've seen it in videos so I went over the components before I left for work. It turns out that the drop checker's cap wasn't completely screwed on so CO2 was leaking out of the cap and not going to the diffuser (that or the pressure was lost and the atomic co2 diffuser requires at least 30psi working pressure).

Youtube video of the diffuser (not mine; video made by employee/owner(?) of GLA)

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Arctic
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Joined: 15 Mar 2003
Location: Raleigh, NC

PostPosted: 2012.02.23(Thu)20:38    Post subject: water change Reply with quote

The aquarium has been doing fairly well. I believe that the crypts are beginning to melt which I guess is a good thing. Tonight I performed about a 90% water change in order to get some fresh water into the tank.

These pictures are me using the Aqueon water changer to remove water. It took over an hour to get most of the water out! I knew that I wasn't supposed to let the membrane for the CO2 diffuser dry so I stopped removing water just shy of it.





How often and how much should I be performing water changes while I am waiting for the plants to grow (silent cycling)? In terms of water chemistry, I have consistently found 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, and 0 nitrates. The pH out of the faucet is 7.0. One day in the tank with Flourite, wood, and no CO2. resulted in a 6.8 pH measurement. Today, before the water change, I measured a pH of 6.4 with the CO2 off (this was 3-4 hours after the lights and CO2 were turned off for the day).
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Arctic
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Joined: 15 Mar 2003
Location: Raleigh, NC

PostPosted: 2012.02.25(Sat)23:45    Post subject: Hygrophila gone Reply with quote

For some reason, my Hygrophila corymbosas did not take in my aquarium. The leaves kept disintegrating and the plant stems became like overcooked asparagus. I pulled it out and am in the process of replacing it with Cryptocoryne spiralis and Myriophyllum pinnatum.

The Rotala rotundifloria, Rotala nanjenshan, Ludwigia repens, and java fern appear to be doing very well in the corners of my tanks. One of my Cryptocoryne wendtii[I] melted but I expect it to come back. The [I]lobelia cardinalus and dwarf baby tears are slow growing but aren't rotting away like the hygrophila did.

I originally had my lights and CO2 on a schedule from 8am-3pm. Today was my first day experimenting with my lights on from 8am-6pm. We'll see how the plants respond to the extra light!
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