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Discussion in 'Freshwater Journals' started by seangee, Sep 19, 2019.

  1. seangee

    seangee Member

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    As far as taking off goes...
    this is what I chucked out last night - just out of this tank. And I haven't trimmed the roots yet for what is left.
    20190921_001712.jpg
    Its a 10 litre bucket
     
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  2. PheonixKingZ

    PheonixKingZ Fish Herder
    Pet of the Month Winner!

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    Wow! Send some to me!

    (I’m jk...;))
     
  3. Linda N

    Linda N New Member

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    I wish mine would grow like that. Do you have lighting different than what the tank came with? I would love to have it grow like what your photo shows.
     
  4. seangee

    seangee Member

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    The tank is an Aqua One AquaVogue and the lights are the standard LEDs that came with it. Both of the other tanks also have the standard LEDs they came with. Lights are on for different periods in each tank and get ferts slightly differently depending on what the tank needs - which is established by trial and error.
     
  5. seangee

    seangee Member

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    Well the substrate refresh is under way. Definitely no in progress pics as the tank looks awful :p
    Going fairly slowly cos the new job has me splitting my time between Farnborough, London and Brussels. Also got some final exams later this week (no I have no idea what possessed me to take on another degree at this stage of my life).

    Moved out around 20 litres of sand so far. The dust only takes 10-15 minutes to settle after each round, but I definitely will be going shallower next time as there is still a lot more to go. Oh well less sand -> more water -> more fish :whistle:. I have a sponge pre-filter so no need to turn the filter off. I thinned the frogbit a lot before I started. It has now been joined at the surface by the vals. Assume they will be ok floating for a while. The swords are in a plastic tub on the bottom. The anubias just get moved to wherever I am not working at the time.

    I was pleasantly surprised not to encounter any smelly bits along the way. The sand has been in there about 5 years and I am one of those who does not vacuum or stir the sand. The biggest challenge has been to avoid fishing out a handful of corys with every jug of sand I scoop out. Hopefully I can get most of the rest of the sand out by the end of the weekend.

    In other news I have got rid of loads of MTS. Someone suggested recently that those guys could survive being boiled. I suspect this was tongue in cheek but it turns out they were not far from the truth. I do usually boil them when I thin them out to avoid them ending up in local water courses or my pond. The first bucket I removed I ran water from the hot tap into it for around 10 minutes. The water was way too hot to put my hand in. I left the bucket over night and the next morning there were snail tracks all over the sand. So I emptied the water and re-filled the bucket, this time using a newly boiled kettle. Gave everything a good stir and waited an hour. More snail tracks :dunno: I never found any live snails but to be on the safe side I am bagging up the sand and throwing it into the bin.
     
  6. seangee

    seangee Member

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    Almost all of the sand is gone. I found a far more effective scoop today. Tonights furniture re shuffle meant that I lost the barriers that create calm patches when the powerhead comes on so I have turned that off for now. I have also made 2 substrate planters using Colin's idea of coating some plastic containers with silicone and then dipping them in the sand which will camoflage them. I also found a stick on the side glass planter which I previously abandoned because the hole in the bottom leaked sand. Not sure if I will use it (or what for), but since the silicone was out it no longer has a hole in the bottom :cool:

    Looks like we are set for the weekend :good:
     
  7. seangee

    seangee Member

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    Got there with about half an hour to spare before the lights came on. It did take a long time but was fairly painless in the end.Its currently a bit cloudy but not nearly as bad as I expected. Some of that is down to the fact that I did go with the matrix in the HOB in the end. I ended up not even turning the filter off at all. The plan was always to do all the cleaning and vaccuuming old sand out as part 1 of the weekly water change. In the end it was only a 25% change. I left it at that because by then the fish (and I) were fed up with all my fiddling in the tank.

    Here it is at the bare tank stage.
    20190928_133652.jpg
    I'll take an after pic later tonight so I don't get as many reflections when the rest of the room is dark and the tank lights are on :)
     
  8. seangee

    seangee Member

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    Pic will be here in a minute :)

    Still to do (definitely)
    1. Cut out a piece of the rear lid flap so it closes around the HOB rather than balancing on top.
    2. Tape over those hideous baby blue bits on the HOB
    Still to do (maybe)
    1. Turn off and remove the canister. If so will need to transfer some media to the HOB as all I have done to that is turn it on
    2. Remove the internal heater and put my external back. (Depends on the answer to 1)
    3. Stick some Java ferns onto the heater cover. (Depends on 2)
     
  9. seangee

    seangee Member

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    et voila
    20190928_185131.jpg
    I wanted a light (unshaded) area in the tank as the vals have been struggling with the heavy cover. The nymphaea lotus has just come out of a dormant spell and also seemed to be struggling. The location of the HOB seems to give me that as long as I keep the top thinned out enough.

    I have left the powerhead turned off for now. Will give it a few days before deciding if it can come out or if I should just turn it on for a short period every day.

    Edit: For anyone concerned that I have caused the untimely extiction of my MTS colony (est. June 2004) I can confirm they will survive :lol:
     
    #24 seangee, Sep 28, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2019
  10. seangee

    seangee Member

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    My first positive observation. This morning I came down and opened the curtains. Its an overcast day so I also turned the room lights on. I could not really see what was going on in the tank, despite the fact that the floating plants have been dramatically thinned out. The buff sand reflected a lot more light than the dark. I always used to be able to see the night time colouration on the pencilfish first thing in the morning but there simply wasn't enough light to see their patterns this morning.

    I recently stopped adding tannin and thought the tank was beginning to look a bit garish under lights - now it looks great.

    Oh and the bristlenose uprooted the lotus plant last night. I saw him do it. I am already concerned about its survival as the bulb appeared very small, but it has recently started with new growth ... oh well :whistle:
     
  11. seangee

    seangee Member

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    24 hours later and the lights are on again. All the cloudiness has gone. It really is remarkable how different the tank looks even though it is the same tank with the same plants and decorations, albeit slightly rearranged. The corys (peppers) are really well camouflaged against the substrate. Not great if you are a spectator viewing them sleeping from a distance - but I bet it makes them feel a lot more secure.

    I'm reasonably certain the powerhead can go. Technically I don't need the bubblers - I added them in the heat of summer to ensure adequate oxygenation, but the corys spend so much time playing in the bubbles they can stay :)
     
  12. seangee

    seangee Member

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    Quick update:
    The powerhead is gone - I definitley won't need it.

    I have turned the flow on the HOB down to minimum. Its doing a great job of clearing the water. It also makes feeding much easier. With all the surface plants I always had to clear a path before feeding and a lot of food still got caught up in the roots. Now the filter keeps a clear path in front of itself and I drop the food into the water outlet. This spreads it and pushes it down a lot quicker so the roots stay clean. The fish have already learnt the new routine and head towards the filter when they see me :).

    I have added a third coconut shell to the corys' housing estate. I removed my resin rum keg complex and felt a bit bad about that ;)

    I am still re-planting at least one val per day. I suspect this will continue until the roots re-establish. I'm hoping they do better in the mini planter because I do have a couple of root tabs in there and its in the "light zone". The lotus is still hanging in there. At least one of the anubias needs to be split again. I thought those guys were supposed to be slow growing :rolleyes:. As you can see the frogbit roots have already shown good growth since Saturday's pic. They don't seem to have suffered from spending Saturday in a bucket.

    SMG_6564.jpg
     
  13. Linda N

    Linda N New Member

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    Do you know what the name of the plant is that you have in the right corner on the wood? I have some too and it's really the only plant that has done well for me. I would like to get some more but it helps to know the name - LOL. I have it growing in Cholla wood and it seems to like it there. I poke the stem through one of the holes in the cholla. You can find dead cholla just laying around here in NM so I have quite a bit. It works great for a place for fry to hide - they just dart in and out of the holes. I am so envious of your frogbit (but in a nice way). I am going to try a different source for frogbit and see if it does better than what I have bought on Amazon.
     
  14. seangee

    seangee Member

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    That's anubias nana. It does seem to do well in all my tanks with very little attention. I actually split the plant furthest to the right this evening so now there is a new plant about where the fat glowlight is hovering above the wood.
     
  15. seangee

    seangee Member

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    11 Days after the refresh so here's a mini update SMG_6567.jpg

    The roots on the frogbit have started filling in nicely. It is staying on one side as I hoped so I have the dark and light areas I was trying for.

    The anubias has done surprisingly well in the dark and grown noticeably. It really is dark on that side. The leaves look lush and green - so I may even do another split at the weekend. The swords behind the anubias (not visible) are also doing well. The swords in the middle of the tank may need to move further into the dark side - they are growing nicely but the leaves are browning a little, so I suspect too much light for them. This may also be down to the fact that I have (at least) 2 different types in there. The ones with the solid green leaves are solidly green, while the ones with striated leaves are the ones turning brown.

    There is no noticeable difference in the vals, but they are green and healthy. They have also taken root so I am no longer having to retrieve them from the surface. I'm hoping being in the light helps when they take off as they were always a collection point for hair algae. No signs of it yet but the plants are still recovering from the severe pruning (of both plants and roots) and haven't really started growing yet. If they don't work out I'll soon have enough anubias to add a few more bits of wood and just abandon vals altogether. Being in the bright side has certainly helped the lotus. When I pulled it up it split into 2 tiny plants. These are both actively growing now and the new growth is bright red. While they were under the frogbit the leaves were decidedly wishy washy. I am still being careful not to feed pellets on that side of the tank to minimise the chance of the bristlenose uprooting them again.

    There is a little green algae on the front wall where it is lightest but I haven't had to clean it yet. I can live with cleaning the glass every 2 weeks. I never touch the side or back walls because those belong to the fish ;). I will need to sponge down the front wall at the weekend because the biofilm is making the glass look slightly hazy. I assume that this is because when I threw out the old sand I was also throwing out most of the BB in the tank. I wasn't expecting this to cause any water quality issues with all that frogbit - and it hasn't. The film may also be influenced by the fact that along with the sand and BB I also threw out 99% of the MTS so the poor old bristlenose is not getting nearly as much help as he used to :p
     

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