June 2003

June 2003


June 2003
The ever changing Tank

Hi all :)

As you might remember from the last instalment of the DPH Tank I was having some algae problems of every kind! Green water not going away, reoccurring problems with BGA, and also last but not least the start of some nice nasty dark algae on my Windelov Java Fern!

At first the green water was due to the new setup and also the fact that when the BGA started I was starting to add a bit of PMDD to the tank. With the addition of the PMDD all I was doing was feeding the green water no matter how much water I changed and no matter how many times I tried darkening the tank. My reasoning for adding the PMDD to the tank was twofold. One, after taking readings of the tank water I found that I had no Nitrates and no Iron at all and also was suspecting that I had a low Potassium content. This led me to believe that I had an imbalance in the tank with my nutrient content and which would have a direct correlation to my problems with all the algae I was seeing pop up. I was also noticing a much slower growth then should be usual for my plants. By having faster growth with the plants it was my hope that they would start out competing the algae for nutrients.

So for a couple of days I added my little mix of homemade PMDD. This consisted of Potassium Nitrate by way of stump remover, and also the addition of Tropica’s Master Grow (Iron content plus micronutrients). Every morning I would take readings of the tank and found that my tank gobbles upwards to 2ppm of Nitrates per day. Also my Iron content was getting gobbled up pretty fast also, not sure by how much but was adding it in slowly by about 20ml per day and was not getting any readings at all. Thing was by doing this all I was doing was feeding the green water, mind the BGA at the time was holding steady and not getting any worse or any better, that was one good thing.

I decided to stop the addition of the PMDD since all I was doing was fighting the natural startup of the tank and my nerves. As mentioned in the last instalment I had also gone out and purchased some more plants for the setup to help out with my algae problems.

After many water changes keeping up with my pruning (yes even after only such a short time span I had lots of pruning to do) One day I arrived home and the water was crystal clear! Was an amazing sight to behold. Leave for work and the water is still a neon shade of green and BOOM come home and nothing! Not a speck of green water at all! This was good news at least one battle had been won, now I just needed to get rid of the BGA and the nasty dark green algae on my Windelov.

At each water change I made sure that I removed as much of the BGA as possible and about a week after the green water went so did the BGA! Hooray second battle won! As to the nasty dark green algae well all I did for that was prune off all infected leaves of the Windelov (this almost took the whole plant) and just let nature and new growth of the plant deal with it. With the last battle of the dreaded algae blooms of all kinds I was now able to better appreciate the tank for what it was and of course start fiddling around a bit hahahahah.

The tank looked ok but when I initially planted it all I used were plants that I had left over from my old setup (the ones that survived anyway) and the couple of new ones I had gone out and bought. Not that the tank was too sparse (well maybe a wee bit) but that for a 100 gallon tank and only a couple of species of plants it was looking a little the same all over. So off I went and bought a few more, ripped out a couple and replanted in another spot, bought some more, ripped out even more and replanted a few, propagated some of what I had, did some filling in and overall changed the whole tank a couple of times.

Here are a series of drawings of the stages of what the tank has gone through over the last little bit since initial setup to now. The first diagram is a listing of all the plants to all the drawings by colour code. I know a bit confusing but man I did not realise how many different species of plants I had growing in my tank and or gone through since the initial start up. So yes a few colours very close to each other and may be hard to differentiate between them all.

Below you can see what the tank looked like when first planted:

Here is the next stage of the setup:

As you can see I got rid of the both the Acorus plant types I had. I was finding that they were not doing that well in my setup and also I really actually did not like the look of them. Also this was the stage when I went out and bought the Crypts, Red Ambulia, Bacopa Carolina, Vals, Hygrophila corymbosa and the Didiplis Diandra.

The Didiplis Diandra was planted on top of the left side riverbank were one of the Acorus species was before. The thing was, I did not have as much as I thought I would of the plant and had only enough to plant in the back corner of the plateau. I had hopes of being able to let it grow and propagate so that I could replant the cuttings to fill the plateau up later on.

The Crypts I planted on either side of the tank and also in one spot behind the left side root under the riverbank.

The Red Ambulia I planted in front of this same root replacing the same species of Acorus taken out. Later on this plant propagated enough for me to take the cuttings and plant them in behind the root where it touched down in the middle of the tank, replacing one of the second Acorus species.

The Bacopa was planted in the same spot as the last piece of Acorus of the second type after removing it.

The Vals I planted in the very back near the right side behind the large base of the main root system. These I only wanted in that tank for a short while. In my tanks they go gangbusters, it always ends up that I have to prune the advantageous plantlets almost every other day. Hard to keep up with I must say!

The Hygro was planted in between the Vals and the Zosterifolia in the back of the tank. The Zosterifolia had been uprooted a bit to make room for both the Vals and the Zosterifolia.

In this next stage of growth for the tank I was finding that I had too much Zosterifolia in the tank and also that I did not really like having the Bacopa planted in the front right side of the tank. I removed the Zosterifolia from the back of the tank and filled out the right side riverbank with the cuttings, I removed and replanted the Bacopa in the Zosterifolia’s place.

All the other plants were doing great. The Crypts had not melted on me and were actually growing. The Limnophila Sessiflora I had already had to prune back a couple of times. And the Didiplis Diandra had taken off and I had planted the cuttings in front of the first planting like planned.

The Red Ambulia had also taken off and the new cuttings had been replanted as planned also.

Mmmm…the Zosterifolia on the riverbank was buggin’ me at this stage. It was growing way to fast and I had to prune it back at least once a week. Every time I did this it looked like crap and by the time it started to look good again I had to prune. This was not the right plant for this space. I only had about 6 inches to play with to the top of the waterline in this area. I wanted to find something that would stay short when full grown or at least was a much slower grower. I had also been wanting for a very long time to try out the Amano trick of using Hair Grass planted with Riccia Flutans. I wanted to plant a very large portion of the remaining root with this technique. So off I went to hunt for these plants. No where to be found in my fair city and those LFS’ that I went to said that they either could get some or that some was coming in a couple of months if I wanted to check back with them. FORGET it not my nature to wait hahahahah, I wanted something for that riverbank since it was buggin’ me so much.

I ended up picking up some Hydrocotyle verticillata and another plant I had always wanted to try the Madagascar Lace plant! I cleaned out a very small area of the Zosterifolia on the riverbank and planted the small piece of Hydrocotyle to give it a try. I wasn’t totally sure about this plant but was the only thing that caught my eye at the LFS. I planted the Madagascar Lace plant in front of the Sessiflora since it was a more open area for the plant to get enough light from.

Well this is what the tank looks like right about now…As I though the Vals’ have been trouble and are growing like crazy and hard to keep up with :( Hopefully soon the two Swords that are planted in front of it will take off and I can get rid of the plant! Yes they have their place I know but at this point is not the look I want. Plus due to the way I did my substrate this time round every time I go and uproot a plant it brings up a whole bunch of soil with it threw the sand. Well I did trips back to the LFS’ that said they would be getting in the Hair Grass and the Riccia Flutans…do ya think that they actually got it in? NAH…figures, ah well will have ta keep trying them all until they get it in. The Zosterifolia on the riverbank was still buggin’ me and the Hydrocotyle was super slow in growing so I picked up some Hemianthus micranthemoides to plant in the Zosterifolia’s place.

Well that looks MUCH BETTER! Mmmmmmmm wonder what I can change around now….


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