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My 240l Planted Tank, Again.

Author Topic: My 240l planted tank, again.  (Read 8499 times)

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Offline Skittler

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Re: My 240l planted tank, again.
« Reply #50 on: April 11, 2018, 09:30:46 AM »
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@Matt, I agree regarding liquid carbon/vallis. Half a dose almost destroyed my thriving v. spiralis. When I stopped using it, it eventually recovered.

                Skittler

Offline Helen

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Re: My 240l planted tank, again.
« Reply #51 on: April 11, 2018, 03:47:10 PM »
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In reality I have too many plants and not enough fish in my tank to have the right amount of CO2. I should use injected gas CO2, but I'm trying to find a lower tech solution. But I have heard lots of bad things about liquid carbon, so having bought I'm hesitating actually adding it. I was going to only add a half dose, but now I'm thinking I might add even less to start with.

I'd rather just buy more fish! But I've set myself quite a specific shopping list and I've got a bit of a stumbling block getting more kuhlis. Because I don't have a quarantine tank at the moment and I've had a bad experience with kuhlis in the past (and white spot), I'm only getting my fish from one shop. So I need to wait for them to get more kuhlis in.

Offline TopCookie

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Re: My 240l planted tank, again.
« Reply #52 on: April 11, 2018, 04:59:48 PM »
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On the liquid carbon front, I have a virtually full bottle of TNC Carbon that I will gladly give to anybody that might want it...  Never again shall I put that stuff in my tank after how it nearly fatally anaesthetised all of my Amano shrimp...!!!  Certainly made the plants go on an explosive growing spurt though...!!! 

In a high tech set up, then I guess folks would normally inject their CO2 and likely have several plants that are hard/tricky to grow...  I can't imagine liquid carbon being used in such a set up...  In a low tech or just plain regular tropical tank, which likely has plants from the easy & medium categories, should you need liquid carbon...? 

Finally, in the case of all but a high tech set up, then the question is;  do you actually want your plants growing super fast...?

Seems to fall in a funny no man's land sorta spot, this liquid carbon...  Not good enough for the top tier, yet too good for almost everything else...   :o

Offline Helen

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Re: My 240l planted tank, again.
« Reply #53 on: April 11, 2018, 06:04:20 PM »
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My plan wasn't to continuously use the liquid carbon, but a couple of my plants could do with a boost. Interestingly, one of those plants is the Vallis, so I'm wondering how much of a good idea it is.

Offline TopCookie

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Re: My 240l planted tank, again.
« Reply #54 on: April 11, 2018, 10:34:52 PM »
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I recall reading somewhere that inconsistent CO2 levels can encourage algae growth Helen...  Can't remember for the life of me where though, but worth investigating... 

This was a secondary factor that put me off the use of liquid carbon - that whole notion of having to dose a measured amount every day... 

Offline Helen

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Re: My 240l planted tank, again.
« Reply #55 on: June 04, 2018, 09:24:32 PM »
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So here's a photo of the tank, taken a couple days ago.

Plus, in the following post, a photo (that i think is really exciting) of a new leaf on my lotus that is literally twice as tall as any other and looking like it is still going up. Please excuse the state of the front of the tank, I'm sorting through some algae issues at the moment.

Offline Helen

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Re: My 240l planted tank, again.
« Reply #56 on: June 04, 2018, 09:26:30 PM »
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Lotus leaf. Still curled. It is a bit challenging to see with the mess on the front of the tank.

Offline fcmf

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Re: My 240l planted tank, again.
« Reply #57 on: June 04, 2018, 09:57:59 PM »
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Tank generally, fish and lotus leaf all look fantastic - well done!  :cheers:

Offline Helen

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Re: My 240l planted tank, again.
« Reply #58 on: June 04, 2018, 10:09:13 PM »
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Thank you. It is in its basic, zero supplements state at the moment. But some of the plants are looking noticeably sad for it. So I am trying to sort myself out to work out what i need to supplement with. I think it is the macro nutrients (definitely nitrate) and carbon. I'm just being a wuss on the carbon, because I have some TNC carbon (liquid). I just need to figure out how much and how often to dose. I've been reading @TopCookie 's thread with interest. And I'm not reliableon my daily routine.

Offline TopCookie

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Re: My 240l planted tank, again.
« Reply #59 on: June 04, 2018, 10:40:35 PM »
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Tank's looking great Helen...  plants all looking suitably lush to me lass...  :)

I've had, virtually forced upon me, a bit of a re-think about the liquid carbon and just where it sits in that whole balanced nutrition scheme of things...  My current stand point is that a little bit is definitely better than none if you are adding fertilisers...  I'm just keeping the amount down to around one third of the recommended dose at the moment, and the fertilisers down to around half the recommended dose...  Too soon to be objective on how effective this regime is, but will stick to it for the time being and report back again at some point down the line...  Ideally, I'd love to have a situation where no fertilisers and no carbon are necessary, but that hasn't panned out well in my tank and so just that little bit of nutrition now along with a reduced tank lights period...   

EDIT:  I dose the TNC Carbon daily and one hour before the lights come on...

Offline daveyng

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Re: My 240l planted tank, again.
« Reply #60 on: June 04, 2018, 11:00:04 PM »
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Tank planting looks great. The Crypts look good in the foreground. I also like the plant just above the Java Fern. Donít recognise it though.

Offline Matt

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Re: My 240l planted tank, again.
« Reply #61 on: June 04, 2018, 11:00:51 PM »
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Looking good Helen! Why not just does something like the aquascape completed liquid plant food so you know that you have all bases covered?

I believe it's an anubias @daveyng   I agreed those crypts look fab... great to have some colour like this in your planting!...

Offline Littlefish

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Re: My 240l planted tank, again.
« Reply #62 on: June 05, 2018, 08:45:43 AM »
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Great looking tank.  :cheers:

Offline Helen

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Re: My 240l planted tank, again.
« Reply #63 on: June 05, 2018, 04:50:26 PM »
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Thank you everyone.

Do you mean the floating plant above the java fern? Then yes it is a pair of anubias. I couldn't bring myself to bin them, then let them float as I'd over pruned the tall plants and there was no surface cover for my new fish. They are destined for the bin unless anyone wants them. (They will need thorough washing and quarantining if you don't like snails as I'm not fussed by my snails. I consider them kuhli food)

I've actually made a concerted effort to increase the number of green plants as I realised that my tank looked rather brown after years of trying not to have a tank that was all green! There are some cypts wendtii green slowly growing through the olive and bronze crypts.

I probably will go the way of a single complete fertiliser, but wanted to have a go at working out what I'm actually missing. Last time I added micro nutrients (without adiing any macro) I had a major algae outbreak. So think I need to get my NPK sorted first.

Offline Helen

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Re: My 240l planted tank, again.
« Reply #64 on: June 05, 2018, 08:13:28 PM »
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Look how much the lotus leaf has grown since yesterday! It looks like it is making a bid for the surface.  ;D

Sorry if you're not as excited about my leaf as I am! It certainly doesn't seem bothered by the lack of NPK!

Edited to actually add the photo!

Offline Matt

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Re: My 240l planted tank, again.
« Reply #65 on: June 05, 2018, 09:34:51 PM »
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Just wondering @Helen and reflecting on Pierre's recent experiences... if you sort the NPK problem out the demand for micros will go up as the plants grow faster... one to watch out for deficiencies with or go complete ferts I would suggest.

The lotus leaf growth is cool - I love watching the flow spike from my aponogetum grow like an inch a day!

Offline TopCookie

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Re: My 240l planted tank, again.
« Reply #66 on: June 05, 2018, 10:17:33 PM »
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I'm inclined to agree with you and Matt on the ferts thing Helen, albeit you must allow for my still being very much an apprentice...  :)   But in hindsight, I was for a good while fertilising with TNC Lite (micros only) in a bid to avoid adding more phosphates, and I bet this is a major part of the opportunity that the algae issues took to become gradually established... 

Offline Helen

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Re: My 240l planted tank, again.
« Reply #67 on: June 05, 2018, 10:46:49 PM »
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That's a good point about not forgetting the micro nutrients as the demand for them will increase. Really I'm looking for the minimum supplementation that I can get away with (and still have a nice looking tank), so a complete fert is probably the way to do that.

I had hoped that by stocking it comprehensively with fish, I could avoid adding nitrogen. But I had fewer plants last time I managed to get a balance. Now the tank has been fully stocked for a couple months, it's clear that I am going to have to dose NPK.

I started with the TNC carbon today. The recommended dose for my tank would be 4ml per day. But I've only added 0.5ml. So I will see what effect that has over the next couple of weeks.

I also added 5ml (powdered) potassium nitrate (dissolved in a jar of tank water) yesterday. Interestingly my Seneye measured an increase in ammonia. From 0.014 to 0.022, so not a worrying increase.

Offline Helen

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Re: My 240l planted tank, again.
« Reply #68 on: June 09, 2018, 09:02:24 PM »
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I've not managed to get very good photos of the fiveband barbs, but I just noticed that they're all hanging out at the front waiting to be fed. So I snapped a pic.

Offline Littlefish

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Re: My 240l planted tank, again.
« Reply #69 on: June 09, 2018, 09:23:48 PM »
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Great picture of lovely fish.  8)

Offline Matt

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Re: My 240l planted tank, again.
« Reply #70 on: June 09, 2018, 10:12:35 PM »
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Super shot... a lot of green going on there  :D

Offline TopCookie

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Re: My 240l planted tank, again.
« Reply #71 on: June 09, 2018, 11:30:59 PM »
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Lush, lush, lush...!!!  Fish looking fab too...!!!

Offline daveyng

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Re: My 240l planted tank, again.
« Reply #72 on: June 09, 2018, 11:52:39 PM »
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Great looking fish. Five bands look stunning against the backdrop of the Crypts.

Offline fcmf

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Re: My 240l planted tank, again.
« Reply #73 on: June 10, 2018, 11:59:27 AM »
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Wow - lovely.  8) Lucky fish, having such a lovely home.

Offline Helen

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Re: My 240l planted tank, again.
« Reply #74 on: June 17, 2018, 11:15:04 PM »
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Ok, so I've created a YouTube channel and uploaded a couple videos of my tank. It has taken me a while to find the videos I uploaded so I can put the link here! So you might have to bear with me while I work out how to get the link to work.

https://youtu.be/yHIB4dS_x6s

Ok, so I can get it to work as a url, but I can't work out how to get the long url, so can't embed the video.

Here's another couple:
https://youtu.be/WuFu0RUymwo
https://youtu.be/yuPEASW3pi4

Offline Helen

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Re: My 240l planted tank, again.
« Reply #75 on: June 17, 2018, 11:20:42 PM »
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And here's the photo of my tank from the end, a different perspective.

Offline TopCookie

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Re: My 240l planted tank, again.
« Reply #76 on: June 17, 2018, 11:46:05 PM »
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Love that pic...  Just looks like Pingu is saying: "ta da...  look what I have done..."   :D

Offline TopCookie

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Re: My 240l planted tank, again.
« Reply #77 on: June 17, 2018, 11:50:22 PM »
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Bertie is a big old campaigner, eh...  :)

Offline Helen

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Re: My 240l planted tank, again.
« Reply #78 on: June 17, 2018, 11:58:51 PM »
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Well the penguin was holding down the annubias after I replanted it. I'm guessing it has secured itself again as it's not floated off since he let go!

Offline Littlefish

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Re: My 240l planted tank, again.
« Reply #79 on: June 18, 2018, 09:02:13 AM »
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Love that pic...  Just looks like Pingu is saying: "ta da...  look what I have done..."   :D

 :rotfl: yes he does.

Great tank, and lovely to see Bertie.  ;D

Offline Helen

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Re: My 240l planted tank, again.
« Reply #80 on: September 17, 2018, 08:35:28 PM »
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A couple videos of my tank. The first long one is just a general "watching the fish", nothing particularly exciting happening.

https://youtu.be/zqKL6bf8mrQ

The next one is a terrible quality video, but it is of one of my Kuhlis sifting the sand (most likely reason the sand never stays where I put it!) If you are sufficiently sharp eyed, you can see where he looks like he has wings either side of his head. That is the sand being ejected out through the gill flaps. Seeing it makes me so pleased that I put sand into my tank, even if I struggle to maintain it.

https://youtu.be/xvi_LDoSCpM

Offline fcmf

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Re: My 240l planted tank, again.
« Reply #81 on: September 17, 2018, 08:46:52 PM »
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Loved the first one - your tank looks so professional and relaxing to watch... I might just show it to my fish to show them how they ought to behave. Hmmm - I do wonder if the extra swimming space calms them down... (good excuse for a tank upgrade for me ;)).

Second one is also interesting, partly because I've never kept loaches. It looks as though he's kicking up sand at the very end to mark his territory.  :D

Offline Helen

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Re: My 240l planted tank, again.
« Reply #82 on: September 17, 2018, 09:16:07 PM »
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I don't think the kuhlis are territorial. They have certainly never reacted to anyone in their personal space. I have seen a 'pile' of bn plec, kuhli and rasboras all trying to get to the same wafer. What usually happens is the Bertie eventually runs out of patience and flicks his tail, which has everone else running swimming for cover. But seeing as I put the wafer in the tank for him anyway, it just provides entertainment.

I think the flick of sand at the end is because he moves so quick, his tail kicks up a cloud of sand.

Offline Littlefish

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Re: My 240l planted tank, again.
« Reply #83 on: September 17, 2018, 09:32:16 PM »
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Kuhilis are great. Such lovely faces and adorable antics.  :)

Offline Helen

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Re: My 240l planted tank, again.
« Reply #84 on: September 17, 2018, 09:46:39 PM »
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I absolutely love my kuhlis. I really want to get more but my usual lfs hasn't had them in all year (and wasn't expecting to when I last asked)  I know that they have a reputation for being nocturnal, but my two come out a lot. Especially since the planting in my tank has increased. So I suspect that they just don't like bright light. When out and about mine are either under crypts (which to be fair cover nearly 50% of my tank) or under the bolbitus / small lotus that provide shade over most of the sand. They also seem completely un concerned that there are only 2 of them.

Offline Helen

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Re: My 240l planted tank, again.
« Reply #85 on: September 18, 2018, 07:59:44 PM »
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@fcmf  my tank isn't as calm today. I think that one of the fivebands might be gravid. There is a lot of chasing going on - mostly males chasing females (i can't tell if it's the same female)

Offline Matt

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Re: My 240l planted tank, again.
« Reply #86 on: September 21, 2018, 06:44:21 AM »
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Im playing forum catchup!  Just seen your videos... the first one is great. You should set it to relaxing music! I too feel like I could sit and what that tank with a brew for a totally unacceptable amount of time lol.

You have inspired me to give filming my tank another go... watch this space  :cheers:

Offline Helen

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Re: My 240l planted tank, again.
« Reply #87 on: September 22, 2018, 09:54:01 AM »
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I realised that I'd spent 2 hours just sat infront of the tank watching the fish! Not terribly productive.  ::)

Offline Littlefish

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Re: My 240l planted tank, again.
« Reply #88 on: September 22, 2018, 11:05:41 AM »
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Though very relaxing, so good for your health.  :)

Offline Helen

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Re: My 240l planted tank, again.
« Reply #89 on: November 26, 2018, 10:31:24 PM »
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So, inspired by the exploits of @Littlefish and @Matt, I bought some extra bits of wood for my tank. They ahve spent a week soaking and I've spent the last two evenings meddling with my aquascaping. I'm not entirely sure you can see many changes to the aquascape and I hope that changes when the bolbitus and java fern grow a bit more.

If I've attached them successfully the 3 photos are:
Before
After usual pruning
After rearranging

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Re: My 240l planted tank, again.
« Reply #90 on: November 26, 2018, 10:50:28 PM »
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Im assuming that's a rotala in the back middle - what a trim that had (and needed!!).  The tank looks fab, well done :)  I can see your mods to the RHS too :) looking good  8) I hope your crew leave the sand well alone for you this time round!!


Offline Helen

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Re: My 240l planted tank, again.
« Reply #91 on: November 26, 2018, 11:04:24 PM »
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The middle of the tank also got a bit of a revamp too, though unfortunately that's not as easy to see because the crypts in front are a bit too tall and the same colour!

A large u-shaped bit of wood went in (I bought it to be an arch but found it was more stable as an U) with another new wood arch (again bought to be the otber way up!  ::))
 I have attached bolbitus and java fern to both these pieces of wood so hopefully when they grow in, the middle of the tank will have more variation than just crypts and rotala. I also moved the bit of wood that previously had all the java fern on from the back where it was hidden because it's not grown quite as tall as I'd hoped, to between the new wood and the crypts. Hopefully this brings some green in amongst the dark olive / brown crypts.

I've not done a particularly good job of spreading out the sand as I'm fairly confident the kuhlis will have rearranged it by tomorrow anyway!

And annoyingly, I forgot to scrub the from of the glass!

The rotala grows well in my tank. Stopping it from blocking the water flow can be quite challenging. So this time instead of just shortening the stems, I thinned it as well, taking out the extra long stems all together.

Offline Matt

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Re: My 240l planted tank, again.
« Reply #92 on: November 26, 2018, 11:21:30 PM »
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Ahh yes I can see now, such lush plants you have there hiding things :)

The contrast in leaf colour and texture will look great, especially when the jave ferns grows a bit taller  :cheers:

At risk of sounding like a crypt killer(!) it might be worth removing the crypt on the LHS of the sand patch to bring out the wood a bit more... what do you think?

Offline Helen

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Re: My 240l planted tank, again.
« Reply #93 on: November 26, 2018, 11:38:47 PM »
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I did think about taking that crypt out. A few reasons I didn't.

Mainly because it is huge and I'm pretty sure the root system is huge (based on its babies that I took out from the front of the tank) and taking it out would actually be pretty disruptive to the substrate!

Also, it got quite late last night and I was losing the plot taking out so many plants, that I thought I should pause in my destruction!

And then I noticed that it actually lines up quite nicely with the side of the arch, so I've planted another couple, hopefully much smaller and actually green, crypts behind it in an attempt to create a kind of tunnel leading to the arch.

But, yes, if that doesn't work, it'll have to come out!

Offline Helen

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Re: My 240l planted tank, again.
« Reply #94 on: November 26, 2018, 11:40:26 PM »
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You sure you're not just after such a fine specimen for your own tank?  :raspberries :o

Offline Matt

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Re: My 240l planted tank, again.
« Reply #95 on: November 27, 2018, 06:53:06 AM »
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 :rotfl:

Offline Helen

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Re: My 240l planted tank, again.
« Reply #96 on: November 27, 2018, 10:40:23 PM »
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It is interesting to see the pH slowly dropping. I wonder how far it'll go before it completely stabilises. It's dropped about 0.2 over the last couple days.

Offline Helen

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Re: My 240l planted tank, again.
« Reply #97 on: November 28, 2018, 10:14:00 PM »
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Another video of my fish. Be warned, it is actually 5 minutes long and nothing particularly spectacular happens, it's just my fish doing their thing after feeding. But there is an appearance from every species in the tank, including one of the kuhlis.

https://youtu.be/8_V8ieFg6hw

Offline TopCookie

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Re: My 240l planted tank, again.
« Reply #98 on: November 28, 2018, 11:03:05 PM »
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Looking really good there H...  Especially the cool as you like Kuhli and handsome BN Pleco...!!!  All of 'em in fact...!!!  Cant take my eyes off the Raspberries either...   :D

Offline fcmf

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Re: My 240l planted tank, again.
« Reply #99 on: November 28, 2018, 11:05:02 PM »
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Wow - the photos and that video are fantastic. What a wonderful and enviable habitat you have for your lovely fish - no wonder they look so content pootling around as they go about their business in their own underwater world.

 :fishy1:.

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