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
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
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
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
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….