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Big AL's 20 gallon scape

Discussion in 'Aquascaping Journals' started by BigAL777, Aug 9, 2016.

  1. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    Good spot for some. The riccia does look a bit ragged.

    If it makes you feel better about the diatoms...my buddies tank is about the same age as yours and going through the same thing. Lots of filamentous diatoms. I helped him clean it out thoroughly last week. We cleaned the filter which was pretty clogged up with the gunk. He has more slow growers, so yours should emerge from it before his. Has the glosso started sending runners along the substrate yet? If it grows vertically you need more light ot make it run. This is how it goes sometimes, adjust based upon your observations with your plants.
     

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  2. BigAL777

    BigAL777 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    The glosso is "bushing" a bit more, in the first few weeks it grew vertically mostly, but after a couple trimmings it is filling in much better. I'm off to work now, so the AR mini will have to wait until later. I want to add some more anubias Nana, but since it grows so slowly the diatoms might damage it, the little bit I have in there now has green and brown spots on it.
     
  3. Supercoley1

    Supercoley1 Moderator Staff Member

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    This scape is already looking accomplished :) I like the natural colourings in there.
     
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  4. BigAL777

    BigAL777 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Thanks for the kind words, at this point I pretty much take a photo of my tank daily to monitor progress. The AR mini isn't looking so good, it's turning brown and the diatoms are always on it, more than any other plant. I'll take some close up shots so you can see what I mean.
    I'm awaiting ball valves to come in so I can clean my filter much easier by connecting them to the hoses. I have 3 layers in my filter, and I have them layered 2 bio filtration on top, then mechanical on the bottom. When I clean out my filter media, will the diatoms get worse before they go away?
     
  5. Supercoley1

    Supercoley1 Moderator Staff Member

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    Close ups would be good to see if what you are describing as diatoms actually are diatoms. TBH I don't ever worry about diatoms because I stick Otos in there early and they keep things clean.

    As for other schooling fish think about what you want to do with the tank.

    Are you stocking your aquascapes or aquascaping your fish tank? If the latter and the fish will move from scape to scape then pick something that will work in many styles.

    Are you going to want shrimp in the future? If so then you are limited down to the tiniest Boraras.

    I think the Orange Neons you mean might be Glowlight Tetras with the clearish body and the orange line theough the middle. They are excellent "subtle" colourations for scapes and do school well. If you really like Orange then Espei Rasbora are a good option. 20 of each would be fine in your tank along with 6 Otos.

    You don't mention fertiliser at all in the previous posts. What are you adding and how much of it?
     
  6. BigAL777

    BigAL777 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I want to pick up Otos but I want to clean the filter first, which will happen as soon as the ball valves get in. 24 hours after cleaning the filter I will add a few Otos. I'm nervous since I don't run a heater in my tank and it stays about 70-72° F.
    Right now I'm not really dosing, I'll sprinkle in some kno3 and 1ml of flourish twice a week or so. I just finished making up my fert bottle, so after I clean the filter I'll start dosing. During my research I've read, from multiple sources, that you don't really need to add ferts for the first 2-3 months
     
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  7. BigAL777

    BigAL777 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Close ups of diatoms:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Supercoley1

    Supercoley1 Moderator Staff Member

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    Yep Otos should clear that up. Just to clarify on the ferts with AS I have heard that you don't need to dose for the start up so if it is AS then we can see the plants are OK. What are you going to add for phosphate? KNO3 doesn't have any and I'm not sure flourish has that much if any in it.

    I should also clarify above when I said 20 of each I didn't mean both in their, just that you could add a school of 20 fish in either or.
     
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  9. BigAL777

    BigAL777 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I do EI dry ferts from green leaf, I have some iron chelate on its way to help with the red plants too. AR mini doesn't need additional iron (from what I've researched) but I'm going to add a small amount to keep it nice and red.
    I moved two AR mini plants over, unfortunately it's not the best planting job since I did it in the dark. The plants I moved over have developed more green leaves than their submerged versions:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Here's an above shot of the back wall, the plant circled in red is all that's left of my 3 stems of blyxa, the other two have Wilted to death:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2016
  10. BigAL777

    BigAL777 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Ok, ball valves came in, giant mess is cleaned up, filter is cleaned and I can already notice a big difference in flow. I'll probably pick up 6 Otos tomorrow or sunday.
     
  11. BigAL777

    BigAL777 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I have another question, to get my red plants really red, should I turn up the red LED? I keep looking for info on the Web, all I can find is that there's no LED capable of making red plants super red....then it's dated for 2012. Is that still accurate? Or have we made strides in LED technology?
     
  12. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    The more red light you put into the tank the more red things will look, they won't grow redder however. I think right now you should focus on getting good healthy growth consistently, then you can play around with getting your plants to do different things. There is a nice video done by ADU Aquascaping on youtube about red plants. For some plants there are ways to drive the pigmentation, for most there isn't much you can do. Coloration can be a pigmentation used to protect the plant from intense light or it can be the primary color of the plant.

    The red plants you have will be red under any level of light or any type of light. Get things grown in well before you go all crazy trying things.
     
  13. BigAL777

    BigAL777 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Yes, I agree. I'm getting ahead of myself.
    I was away all weekend so I didn't clean out any diatoms before this picture:
    [​IMG]
    Here's a close up of the glosso, it is growing vertically, but sprouting lots of little leaves:
    [​IMG]
     
  14. BigAL777

    BigAL777 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I trimmed the glosso and riccia:
    [​IMG]
    I also turned up the lights a tiny bit a few days ago, I'm monitoring the glosso growth to see if it grows laterally instead of vertically.
     
  15. BigAL777

    BigAL777 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Also the riccia is Pearling, but I don't think the riccia itself is pearling. I think there's algae growing in and on it, I snapped a few photos:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    It could be the diatoms, but I haven't seen them pearl like that
     
  16. BigAL777

    BigAL777 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Added fish:
    [​IMG]
    They were gulping for air when they were first put in, so I added an air stone and now they are happy. Do I need to feed my Otos? I know they eat algae, but should I supplement their food source like once a week?
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2016
  17. BigAL777

    BigAL777 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I'm getting an algae invasion, after researching I found it to be beard algae. My best solution is to add siamese algae eaters, which kind of sucks since I put the Otos in to take care of algae. Here's some photos:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    There's one site that said low co2 levels causes it too, which can't be true since I usually have to unplug my co2 like 2 hours before the lights shut off. I then have to put an air stone in to not kill my fish from o2 deprivation.
    There's one more kind of algae I haven't been able to identify yet, it grows on my riccia, here's a shot of it:
    [​IMG]
    Close up:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2016
  18. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    It very well could be CO2. Your rate might be too fast so that you exceed safe levels...but not enough when you need it. High organics or poor biofiltration can also be a problem. What type of filter are you running? I think I remember sometime ago suggesting you add a pump to the aquarium. You could also have low flow. The algae is a brush algae and its gotten some time to grow. You can spot dose hardscape with excel to get rid of it.

    Personally, I wouldn't have added fish until you got the growth thing down. It adds another element to try and balance while also increasing the waste in the tank the system has to process, sometimes this can lead to a second cycling period.
     
  19. BigAL777

    BigAL777 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Everything is growing really well, I'm due for a trim. This seems to be the only algae I see, the diatoms are all gone, and this brush algae is on the glass and lily pipes as well.
    My filter is a 265gph cannister and I took off the up inline atomizer in place of a diffuser to keep my water flow unobstructed.
     
  20. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    can you upload a video of the tank in operation. Full tank view. You have a yellow drop checker and if you are causing fish distress with the CO2, there has to be another reason for the brush algae. It can still be CO2, but a timing issue rather than a bubble rate issue. Slower rate bigger lead time maybe. Have you done the periodic tests throughout the day? That would be helpful in determining what may be going on.

    The other possibility is a build up of organics...essentially the biofilter isn't getting the job done. Lack of flow or more likely a lack of O2. 265 gph rated filter..what brand specifically. They really overestimate the flow of filters generally. Once you pack some media in there and other muck it slows WAY down. Add to that head pressure and you can see a 60% reduction. Trust your observations over the numbers on a box. The inline atomizer was likely not obstructing flow at all. They are basically a tube extension. Head pressure is 90 degree elbows and tube distance from filter to tank, horizontal is less pressure, vertical length greater.

    Working on improving both of these factors is likely to help. Dosing seachem excel daily can inhibit its growth as well. Spot dosing will kill it.

    A close up of the plant from the seeds really makes me wonder if it is in fact glossostigma elatinoides...doesn't look much like it. The leaves are supposed to be rounder and a darker green. These look elongated and a light green. Does it propagate through runners or does it behave more like a stem plant and grow from shoots off of the stem?

    picture of glosso runners
    [​IMG]
     

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