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Simon's 1st aquascape

Discussion in 'Aquascaping Journals' started by chiangstar, Sep 9, 2013.

  1. chiangstar

    chiangstar Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Thanks Shawn. After looking at those diagrams that show the symptoms of nutrient deficiency, I couldn't decide whether it was Nitrate, Phosphate, or Potassium so I actually made up a stock solution of Potassium Nitrate and Potassium Phosphate and I have just started dosing this to see if it has any effect. I also considered that it could be my lighting or CO2 but I'm at a point with my lighting where I think if I increase the intensity any further, my brown algae will return. Also my CO2 is being injected at a rate that I think is about on par with the highest (safe) levels that I previously have (after previously making my fish gasp).

    I haven't really dosed ferts in this manner before so hopefully I don't wake up one morning to a tank full of green ugly stuff!

    Hopefully some positive updates to come

    Cheers

    Simon
     
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  2. Ohly

    Ohly Aspiring Aquascaper

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    How exactly did you made your fert "stock solution" ??
    Was that drie fert ? Of liquid you dosed and mixed together?

    Also im interested in your diagrams for symptoms of nutrients deficiency, it would be of super big use to me !!
     
  3. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    Do you use EI? You should really look into EI dosing if not. If you are using EI, you should be able to rule out deficiencies.
     
  4. chiangstar

    chiangstar Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Hey Shawn, I dont dose EI. I've looked at it before and even though I know it would be good for my tank, its not really the place I want to take this hobby. Sometimes I go many days without being able to tend to my tank so I don't think I would be able to commit to an EI schedule. In fact I have never dosed anything in this tank but small amounts of Seachem Flourish once every 2 weeks or so and I would only do small water changes once every fortnight too. I'm hoping that dipping my toe in with this stock solution will produce good results rather than catastrophic. We'll soon see...

    Ohly, I made my stock solution out of Potassium Nitrate (KNO3) powder and Potassium Phosphate powder (KH2PO4) that I bought online. I used these calculators to figure out how much of each to put into 500mL of water (http://www.theplantedtank.co.uk/calculator.htm & http://www.theaquatools.com/fertilization-calculator).

    In my particular case, I think I mixed about 61g KNO3 and 5g KH2PO4 in 500mL and adding 10mL to my tank is meant to give me 7.9ppm Nitrate, 0.7 Phosphate, and 5.3ppm Potassium. I don't know whether these levels are ok, but it is what I have started with.

    As for the nutrient deficiency diagram, I believe this one is from plantedtank.net

    65a7e663.jpg

    Cheers

    Simon
     
  5. greenfinger 2

    greenfinger 2 Active Aquascaper

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    Hi Simon, Handy info there with the Deficiency Diagram (y) Hope all go's well with the new ferts :) Looking forward to the updates ;)
     
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  6. chiangstar

    chiangstar Aspiring Aquascaper

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    A question for those that dose ferts - is it possible that my plants would use everything I dosed in a matter of 24 hours? I injected 10 mls of my stock solution and, according to my calculations, that should give me 7.9ppm nitrate, 0.7ppm phosphate, and 5.3ppm potassium. I tested for nitrate and phosphate today and my readings are basically 0 ppm for each. Have I made a mistake with my stock solution or can the plants absorb that much that quickly? I would say I have a medium to high light tank with lots of CO2, if that makes a difference.

    Cheers

    Simon
     
  7. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Simon

    If you are "Foliar" feeding I would at a guess say about 12hrs but I am far from an expert that is why I use the Seachem liquid ferts ever day.

    I do not know of any water chemist who could give you a simple answer either.

    Keith:):)
     
  8. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    one thing of note, hobbyist test kits are notoriously inaccurate and unreliable.

    Wet's dosing calculator can help estimate usage of nutrients: http://rota.la/
     
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  9. chiangstar

    chiangstar Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Thanks guys,

    Keith, I'm just dosing straight into the water column by injecting 10ml of my solution in front of the filter outflow to help with dispersion. I, too, am using Seachem Flourish but do not use the macro liquid ferts - the bottles were expensive at the LFS :cautious:

    Shawn, That's an interesting calculator. If it is correct, with the way I am dosing / water changing, even with 90% uptake I should still have a level of nutrients in the water column at all times. Very handy. Thank you.

    Cheers

    Simon
     
  10. PNScheese

    PNScheese Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Simon, if you are looking into EI ferts a forum member makes his own packs of macros and micros to sell so its nice and easy and cheap!. (im unsure if he has anymore but he is extremely helpful his name is Glenn. I bought a years supply for when I get my tank planted. If you wanted to know more I can pass you on his details. - He is from Melbourne but he does postage as well.
     
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  11. chiangstar

    chiangstar Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Thanks Cheese,

    I'll trial what I have and come back to you if I want to take it to the next step.

    Just a quick note to update my journal. I THINK the fert dosing is helping... although I'm not sure yet because I didn't cut away the old affected leaves. But the new growth looks good. Also my HC has gone bananas! Its just gone through a big growth spurt with these ferts. I have bright green leaves appearing every day. No pics yet, but some to come after the next trim.

    Cheers

    Simon
     
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  12. chiangstar

    chiangstar Aspiring Aquascaper

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    So... my CO2 regulator died the other day. I heard a hissing noise coming from it and, on inspection, it seemed to be leaking into one of the gauges. The gauge was very cold and foggy. I couldn't figure out if the fix was easy and I really didn't have time to stuff around with it so I ventured off to the LFS to overpay for a new one haha.

    I originally was using a UP twin gauge regulator with solenoid. I saw one in the LFS display cabinet and asked about it. The shop owner told me not to get it and that he would get 50% of those back with faults. He showed me another model that was similarly priced but that he only gets 20% back with faults o_O

    In the end I opted to go with a smaller/simpler regulator with an external solenoid so that if one component failed, I didn't have to replace the whole thing again and could replace the faulty section only.

    Pics of the equipment attached and also the gauge connected to a sodastream bottle for those that are interested.

    IMAG1000 (Medium).jpg IMAG1002 (Medium).jpg IMAG1003 (Medium).jpg

    Upon connection and use, I'm thinking that my old set up had a leak somewhere along the line as I used to be able to hear a small hiss, but interestingly enough, at the same bubble rate, I'm getting a stronger mist of CO2 injected into my tank now. I'm very happy with the new set up so far.

    Cheers

    Simon
     
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  13. greenfinger 2

    greenfinger 2 Active Aquascaper

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    Hi Simon, If you hear a hiss :( Try washing up liquid with some water in a bowl :) Use a paint brush and brush over you piping & bits :sneaky: if you see bubbles there's your leak :) Only 20% with faults :eek: Good idea to separate regulator and solenoid though :cool:
     
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  14. chiangstar

    chiangstar Aspiring Aquascaper

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    A quick update after today's mini trim.

    IMAG1012(small).jpg

    I've found that the HC leaves are no longer yellowing. The S.repens overall looks healthier too - well the new growth does anyway. Apart from that, with the ferts, I am seeing the HC grow really fast. New bright green leaves all the time. I seem to have trimmed some of those off today though.

    I'm also finding that my substrate seems to be 'leveling out' and losing the slopes that I originally made. This is probably normal - but its still annoying.

    Cheers

    Simon
     
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  15. greenfinger 2

    greenfinger 2 Active Aquascaper

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    Hi Simon, Looking good mate :D Nice HC carpet :rolleyes: Think the Blyxa is in need of a trim though :whistle:
     
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  16. chiangstar

    chiangstar Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Thanks Roy. Yeah I know. I'm going to have to do that at the next trim - have been putting it off. I'm a little bit worried about the Blyxa because the substrate seems to be falling away from the base of the pants and it is exposing the roots. So it looks like the plants are trying to float up into the water. Not really sure what to do about that. I'm concerned that when I trim the Blyxa, the whole plants will come out of the ground. Only one way to find out I guess.

    Cheers

    Simon
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2014
  17. greenfinger 2

    greenfinger 2 Active Aquascaper

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    Hi Simon, Just push the Blyxa back down into the substrate :) Or you could try?? Splitting the plant into two then just plant half back and use the other half for something else :sneaky: Don't worry about the HC it will grow back in no time after a good trim :D Ho one thing with my HC i push it down with the back of my hand after trimming:) This seems to help ? :D
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2014
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  18. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Simon

    You might find that regular light trimming (like a good lawn) is always than one heavy cut now and again.

    Substrate slipping can be stopped or slowed down by using rocks or an underground retaining wall using pieces of slate.

    Keith:):)
     
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  19. chiangstar

    chiangstar Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Thanks Keith. I don't think I'll worry about trying to maintain the slopes. The plants will get in the way of things that I try to put in the substrate. I might just keep that in mind for the next scape. Having read about it but never having actually scaped before, I didn't realise how much the slopes would even out.

    Yes. I've adopted the regular trimming approach with the HC but had neglected the Blyxa. I actually trimmed the Blyxa on the right hand side this morning with some success. It's shorter now but after replanting the cuttings, the patch of Blyxa actually takes up more real estate. It's actually not as hard to trim as I imagined. I don't know whether the result is better or worse.

    Cheers

    Simon
     
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  20. chiangstar

    chiangstar Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Hello all,

    I've been inactive for a little while... Life takes you to interesting places and I am currently preparing for the birth of my first child in April, so apologies for my disappearance, and I hope you are all well.

    I also haven't really had much time to devote to my tank so I've let it get a bit overgrown, but thankfully it hasn't really been too high maintenance. The biggest problem I've had is that I'm slowly being overrun by those pesky little snails (photos attached). Interestingly enough, I crush a few of them every now and the most inquisitive of my SAE's hangs around and eats the dead snails as soon as I squash them. I'm fighting a losing battle against them though.

    snails.jpg

    snails2.jpg

    Here is the latest overgrown FTS from this afternoon.

    March-2014.jpg

    I have also included a picture showing the progress from the start of the year.

    11-weeks(2).jpg

    Cheers

    Simon
     
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