Stan's freshwater 240 gallon extravaganza. Trials and tribulations of a sunlit aquarium

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Stan510

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I have Anubias barteri, Anubias b. coffeefolia.A. frazeri ( I think- it might have died) and Anubias nana that I got cheap at petsmart. They've survived some major mistakes but now all seem to be in normal but slow growth. For the longest time,black algae that looked like pain splatter was threatening to totally cover the plants. Hydrogen Peroxide would help...but HP usually killed some Java moss,set back other plants and a fish here and there.
The new "Don't change that water!" and maybe the super aerating venturi with cloud of fine bubbles seem to have turned the tide. I see out of the that group of Anubias a new leaf somewhere all the time now.
I've only seen ONE single video of a guy using a powerhead like mine in his plant tank that's only low tech in not using Co2,but otherwise high lighting and packed with plants and Swordtail fish. He gives the venturi credit for making a healthier aquarium for the plants and fish.
btw,I really like A. coffeefolia look with pleated leaves and Anubias nana because its a great contrast to the other aquarium plants with its small scale foliage. Just that when you see if for sale at LFS? Buy all they have and then glue to a branch or longish rock. I find rocks with rough texture make much better holdfasts for epiphytes, and that extra rooting does speed up growth as you would think.
 

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wow coffeefolia really does look like my lil coffee plant... probably just slower growing
I have Anubias barteri, Anubias b. coffeefolia.A. frazeri ( I think- it might have died) and Anubias nana that I got cheap at petsmart. They've survived some major mistakes but now all seem to be in normal but slow growth. For the longest time,black algae that looked like pain splatter was threatening to totally cover the plants. Hydrogen Peroxide would help...but HP usually killed some Java moss,set back other plants and a fish here and there.
The new "Don't change that water!" and maybe the super aerating venturi with cloud of fine bubbles seem to have turned the tide. I see out of the that group of Anubias a new leaf somewhere all the time now.
I've only seen ONE single video of a guy using a powerhead like mine in his plant tank that's only low tech in not using Co2,but otherwise high lighting and packed with plants and Swordtail fish. He gives the venturi credit for making a healthier aquarium for the plants and fish.
btw,I really like A. coffeefolia look with pleated leaves and Anubias nana because its a great contrast to the other aquarium plants with its small scale foliage. Just that when you see if for sale at LFS? Buy all they have and then glue to a branch or longish rock. I find rocks with rough texture make much better holdfasts for epiphytes, and that extra rooting does speed up growth as you would think.
 
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Stan510

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I have Coffee arabica growing in my backyard. About 5' tall it bloomed for the first time this year. I made the mistake of not watering enough and never saw any berries form. Outdoors,they like more sun than you might think..but plenty of water too.
 
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I removed all the bio media and washed it out. Unlike what you are thinking,it's just a minor setback for the bacteria. Because that media ( old,old,course floss and 15 gallons of it or more) gets dirty it can make the rinse become a deep ink black. I wash it to coffee with cream color. Nope,never toss it out or wash until it's got no tint. A cream is a good color.
The floss? Lasts for years.When its new,you don't need as much..its fluffy. As time goes by? It's not so fluffy and then I just add more to the filter..as more time goes by? Its set. Since it never rots,I imagine what breaks down into gas is a slow process.
I had to top off with about 10 gallons of water from the evaporation since last week,dosed potassium and two shots of Seachem Iron. When all is clear,I think I will use a sock full of carbon,and remove the slight tint without removing ( I think) the good stuff for the plants.
I've NEVER done this..try the no water change plant aquarium but as the weeks go by and most everything is looking better?...cant say when I will make a water change.
 
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Stan510

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Update on "tree of life" Tiger Lotus thriving on no water changes. I'm not seeing any mineral salt problems. Something is keeping that under control. I notice when you expand the photo,its not nearly as dark.
 

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The carbon has worked great. The water is bright clear and the fish are showing breeding colors and behavior without my changing any water. I guess to them,the sudden higher level of water quality is like a water change?
So there you are. If water is getting expensive or its hard to make water changes ...carbon works.
 
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Ok more of "i had no idea". All the last three years scraping hard algae off the acrylic was work. Muscle building work. Even with the edge of a credit card removing some kind of a gray smear algae was very hard.
FF to now. I used the credit card and all the algaes sloughed off the glass. Easy..all of the few smears ( not nearly as many post changes in water care) just came off..no hard push by me.
What are the changes? 1. I still have not made a water change since October. 2. I bought an air pump and it feeds into the venturi of a 350-400 gph powerhead creating a real swirl of bubbles and those are in the same direction as the outlet of the 1,200 gph filter pump. 3. Carbon. Its like being a great fighter and wearing down the opponent with constant jabs.
It kind of blows my mind. I BEFORE, would have told you "always make water changes". Did that for 49.99 years I think its been. Now in 2021, I only top off..add Iron and potassium about once a week and the carbon? My first time. Lets see how long it absorbs.
Always learning with nature. Always.
Forgot to add- some plants are just exploding..Crypts wendtii type plants have gone from 4" leaves to near 8" I think it is. Bolbitis? wow..not a huge explosion of fern fronds,but what new ones its sending out are huge compared to what was before. It looks more like a houseplant fern than the small aquarium fern it had been. Tiger Lotus? beautiful red leaves. A must have I tell you.
 
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I washed the media out- my own floss filter of 15 gallons worth - and since its course from being washed out 50 or 60 times now,I reuse that forever. Seems like the coarser it gets,the better it filters.up to a point. Lightly rinsed the carbon. Water looks tanin free ( so much nicer to say then no urine color) added the potassium and iron. Algae thanks to winters short cloudy days along with the plants and carbon has taken the biggest dive ever in there ever. Plants? Growing better than ever.
If you watch my post on the 17,000 gallon marine aquarium I added, a post of an old timer about getting giant home aquariums. I agree.
Let me tell you an Acrylic aquarium thats 24" deep also add 8" since top only has three 16" openings. On a stepladder my arms and fingers just barely can touch the last inch of glass at the bottom of the front,back,sides.
Now that I only have "soft algae" it comes right off the glass with a scrubber or old credit card. No muscle biceps building like the previous three years.
Always learning!
 
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I picked up a Ozelot Sword and I think a Cardamine. It wasn't labeled,resembles Cardamine and seemed to be doing well on the stores one light over the aquarium- with Hornwort blocking half that light. I planted it and left two stems of it in a bag. I am hedging bets the Rainbow fish wont eat it. But if they do,I have the two stems I can grow emersed in the meantime.
Like I said,it resembles Cardamine but its not ..the leaves are not as heavily scalloped. I can post photos later of the new additions.
This also is the first time in my career with fish I don't add any more. I'm happy with the bioload at what it is and everything gets along.
 
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Tiger lotus on no water change.
 

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Stan510

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It's a cloudy day so colors not as bright. But its been since October on no water changes. I do dose as before the iron and potassium. A big difference between new Bolbitis leaves- the tall ones and old Bolbitis leaves when I was making weekly water changes. Look at how large also the Crypts have gotten. Go over my old photos when I thought 3" leaves were par. Now,its 10"..,for some. Left half of aquarium is "done" for new plants. Its the right end where more thought and new plants will go in the future.
 

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Stan510

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When I returned to the hobby in 2018 I got all in to youtube and the Lisbon natural aquarium. After that,I spent hours watching plant vids,some money ordering plants. Four years ago,choice water plants were not seen for sale. Today? Its really changed- but that's another story.
I began to have favorites on hosts for fish talks. Slowly adding more and more...sometimes deleting the obnoxious personality on occasion. Well,today I was going down that list again because some of the channels I hadn't looked at in months..their topics of "For beginners"..lol..wasn't catching my interest. Some over the years turned out not to be so accurate with the advice on plants or fish.
I've really whittled it down to like ten channels and almost none of them are big channels. Too many big channels set up tanks for content..generating income more than teaching or even being interesting. You've seen their aquariums, stuffed with fish that are underfed and in style of the day.
Its actually hard to find somebody who combines aquarium fish keeping with at least trying for a natural looking tank after tank fish room. I've met some very knowledgeable fish keepers who are blank on plants and vice versa.
Anyways you learn and move on.
 

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When I returned to the hobby in 2018 I got all in to youtube and the Lisbon natural aquarium. After that,I spent hours watching plant vids,some money ordering plants. Four years ago,choice water plants were not seen for sale. Today? Its really changed- but that's another story.
I began to have favorites on hosts for fish talks. Slowly adding more and more...sometimes deleting the obnoxious personality on occasion. Well,today I was going down that list again because some of the channels I hadn't looked at in months..their topics of "For beginners"..lol..wasn't catching my interest. Some over the years turned out not to be so accurate with the advice on plants or fish.
I've really whittled it down to like ten channels and almost none of them are big channels. Too many big channels set up tanks for content..generating income more than teaching or even being interesting. You've seen their aquariums, stuffed with fish that are underfed and in style of the day.
Its actually hard to find somebody who combines aquarium fish keeping with at least trying for a natural looking tank after tank fish room. I've met some very knowledgeable fish keepers who are blank on plants and vice versa.
Anyways you learn and move on.
ive found that myself now, though some are really good. I do like my high tech as well as low tech
 

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