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The Cookie Crew

Author Topic: The Cookie Crew  (Read 5249 times)

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Offline Helen

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #150 on: May 05, 2018, 12:04:04 AM »
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I think it is worth cross referencing the CC against this website:
http://aqadvisor.com
I'd not used it until my last round of stocking calculations and I realised that there are two elements to calculating stock capacity. Size of the tank and filtration capacity. The cc kind of combines the two when you select the type of filter.

There is quite a lot of debate about whether filtration capacity should affect stock numbers, so this seems to be the point on which the Cc is considered weak.

Because I have a heavily planted tank, and no-one puts this into their calculations, my tank always looks overstocked on the filtration side. But by comparing the Cc and aqadvisor I have been able to put a bit of science behind the numbers that I've learned over the years 'fits' my tank. Aqadvisor has my tank currently at 94% tank capacity. And that feels right to me - busy but not too crowded. I also haven't used any of the juvenile sizes, even though a lot of my fish are still not fully grown. I'm stocking my tank for the long term.

Although my preference is the CC, because that's what I've used for so long, I think aqadvisor handles larger shoals a bit better. Eg. 12 espeii rasboras do not have twice the bioload of 6 espeii rasbora.

Anyway, I think comparisons of the information from the 2 calculations makes for interesting reading.

Offline TopCookie

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #151 on: May 05, 2018, 12:07:15 AM »
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That's been mentioned before, I guess by you H...?  I did have a quick look but didn't fill details in...  Perhaps I should, eh...?  :)

Offline Helen

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #152 on: May 05, 2018, 12:16:25 AM »
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I think it was someone else that mentioned it. I picked up the link from someone else's post. But since using it, I have also mentioned it. Though possibly without the link.

I visited about half a dozen times before I could be bothered inputting all my data - it's not the most user friendly from a phone. But you can bookmark it with all your information and return at a later date.

It then took me several visits to 'translate' the information I was seeing. But once the penny dropped, I suddenly had answers for a lot of my previous questions.

Offline TopCookie

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #153 on: May 05, 2018, 12:20:14 AM »
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Here is a quick "drive by" selection: 




My external filter is 850 l/h not the 750 l/h I chose as the nearest thing here... 

The lone Platy will go before I get the Espei, although both are included above... 

Offline TopCookie

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #154 on: May 05, 2018, 12:36:55 AM »
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When I remove the Platy, it goes to: Filtration 105% & Stocking 101%

Offline Sue

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #155 on: May 05, 2018, 10:13:48 AM »
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Pierre, what is the plant almost in the middle of the tank that looks a bit like miniature underwater rhubarb?


According to the CC my main tank is 92% stocked, though I've had to substitute a lot of my fish for species in the database.
What the CC doesn't take into account is that with small shoaling fish (neon tetra sized) adding more does not necessarily increase the bioload. Increasing a shoal from 6 to 12 will not double the bioload because a shoal of 12 will be less stressed than a shoal of 6 so the impact on the tank is less per fish. My 92% stocking includes 12 espe's rasboras and about 18 daisy's rice fish - they won't keep still to count them.

Offline TopCookie

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #156 on: May 05, 2018, 04:03:43 PM »
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This one I think you mean:  http://tropica.com/en/plants/plantdetails/Nymphoideshydrophylla'Taiwan'(041BTC)/4463

Fast'ish grower, not too fast though and actually very easy to trim back, which does need doing periodically... 

That lone Platy is an Olympic standard pooh machine, I kid you not...!!!  I am personally convinced that a dozen Espei would actually create less waste than one greedy pig Platy...!!!   :rotfl:

Offline Sue

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #157 on: May 05, 2018, 04:11:16 PM »
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Platies do eat a lot of veg matter and unfortunately veg matter = lots of poo whether its fish or cows  ;D

Thank you for the link, I shall investigate.


Offline Helen

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #158 on: May 05, 2018, 09:50:46 PM »
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The nymphoides hydrophylla'Taiwan' that I bought relatively recently is growing well (after seeing it in @TopCookie 's tank photos). Not quite as well as the "30cm in a month" that was promised on the label. Thank goodness, but it did have me worried at the beginning that it was managing to grow 1cm a day. I got about 9 clumps / plants from the single pot of tissue culture. So at the moment it is looking like the best value aquatic plant I've ever bought!

And I really like the contrast of the light green against my dark olive / rust coloured crypts.

Offline TopCookie

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #159 on: May 05, 2018, 11:23:21 PM »
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It is a good one, eh...  Grows fast enough to be helpful in terms of nutrient uptake but not so fast as to be invasive or some kinda nuisance...  and I definitely agree, they do look kinda funky, in a good way...   :D

Offline Matt

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #160 on: May 06, 2018, 08:15:26 AM »
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Those tissue culture pots give a lot of bang for buck (is that the right phrase??) and no risk of sneaky snails!

Offline Sue

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #161 on: May 06, 2018, 08:54:17 AM »
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I think it would be too big for the betta's tank, unfortunately. I need something a bit taller in there, but something that would not outgrow a 26 litre tank. Since I already have some in the big tank I think I'll try planting a piece of water sprite.

Offline Helen

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #162 on: May 06, 2018, 04:46:38 PM »
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I got them because I like the look of them and they are undemanding. I'm hoping they don't take too many nutrients from my tank.  :o

Offline TopCookie

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #163 on: May 06, 2018, 11:16:57 PM »
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When I say about the Nymphoides hydrophylla 'Taiwan' being helpful with the uptake of "nutrients", I really mean in terms of any excess ammonia and nitrates etc...  :)

Offline Helen

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #164 on: May 06, 2018, 11:38:45 PM »
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I know.  ;) I struggle with insufficient nitrates in my tank for all the plants I have.

Offline TopCookie

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #165 on: May 07, 2018, 12:03:58 AM »
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Ditto that...!!!  Although in my case, I'm thinking that Amazon Frogbit is perhaps the biggest nitrate munching culprit...   :vcross:

Offline TopCookie

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #166 on: May 07, 2018, 09:34:58 AM »
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Platies do eat a lot of veg matter and unfortunately veg matter = lots of poo whether its fish or cows  ;D

Thank you for the link, I shall investigate.

That confirms it - he'll have to go before the Espei arrive... 

Offline fcmf

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #167 on: May 07, 2018, 06:59:37 PM »
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Platies do eat a lot of veg matter and unfortunately veg matter = lots of poo whether its fish or cows  ;D
That confirms it - he'll have to go before the Espei arrive...
I doubt if he'd produce more than the nerite snail, though, who is a herbivore.

Offline TopCookie

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #168 on: May 07, 2018, 10:44:42 PM »
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lolol, Mr Pointless he is...!!!  Has found his favourite spot, somewhere out of view but on the bogwood, and I almost never see him...!!!   :vcross:

Offline TopCookie

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #169 on: May 08, 2018, 05:12:52 PM »
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Big water change today (I believe @Matt 's advice to me on this subject to be spot on) and more general maintenance, including the removal of the last of the largest Echinodorus leaves plus some H.Costata that looked miserable and had hair algae on there...  Also removed more Amazon Frogbit, and lastly several nibbled N.H.Taiwan leaves, which the Amanos eat when they're hungry (I am beginning to think this might be a good barometer for how well fed the tank is, at least in terms of under feeding, which is when the shrimp then eat the N.H.Taiwan)...  Tank looking brighter all round now...

After the large'ish WC today, I have now begun to fertilise with the TNC Complete @ the TNC recommended levels and have cut down from 3ml per day to 2ml per day...  Will stick with this for at least two weeks, then may well even reduce a fraction further...  I now realise that I do need to fertilise more than I used to, but part of me wonders if the recommended dose is perhaps actually still a bit higher than needed by some small margin...?

Offline Matt

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #170 on: May 08, 2018, 11:23:33 PM »
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You may be right regarding the dosing levels. Especially in your tank with a dirted substrate which will be keeping all the root feeding plants happy, and so you just need to satisfy the others.  :cheers:

I've actually been working up a theory around all this stuff recently and doing a lot of research to confirm my thinking so I'm glad it's working for you. Im hoping to be able to write up my theories soon for you all to peruse...

Offline TopCookie

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #171 on: May 09, 2018, 08:59:03 AM »
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Looking forward to reading that @Matt ...  :)

With my story, I get the impression that with the "dirt" layer in my set up (John Innes #3) may hold nutrients on different levels...  By that I mean that there was the initial period when all plants were blissfully happy & tickety boo for the first couple of months or so and this makes me think that a proportion of the nutrients were readily and easily available...  I can't imagine that all the soil's nutrients are exhausted already as it's far too soon for that imho, so leading me to thinking that there must be plenty more left but that's less readily available, or you might consider as "slow release" when compared to that initial gush of easy to access nutrients... 

Offline daveyng

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #172 on: May 09, 2018, 10:44:22 PM »
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I am also looking forward to @Matts take on this. I think the importance of the initial planting substrate is crucial to to successful growth. I also think that the substrate you choose in the long term and itís ability to Ďlock iní dosed nutrients to prolong growth is also important.

Offline Helen

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #173 on: May 09, 2018, 10:51:59 PM »
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Ditto on Matt's theory.

I think my tank is a bit different in that my substrate starts with low nutrients, but holds onto them. So I should start with dosing, but the need to do so reduces as the substrate 'grabs onto' more nutrients. I have mostly sieved Seachem Eco complete. (ie the smaller, <2mm granules).

Offline TopCookie

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #174 on: May 11, 2018, 03:01:25 PM »
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Less "lush" looking at the mo, but this is because of the hard pruning to get on top of the hair algae etc... 


Offline TopCookie

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #175 on: May 11, 2018, 07:12:27 PM »
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More maintenance today...  Completely removed Hottonia Palustris plant, which was very weak and I'd say was in a bad way due to the malnourishment but beyond saving since boosting the fertilisers...  Trimmed off a few more weak H.Costata leaves plus one or two that were looking under hair algae attack... 

Reluctantly going to try the TNC Carbon again in the hope that it will do two things:  supplement the additional fertilisers and help combat the hair algae - I can't just keep cutting off any leaves affected by the algae as the tank will finish up bare and barren...  Only added 0.5ml and will do 0.5ml per day for a trial period, keeping a major eye on the Amano shrimp...!!!

Hope the health of the plants turns around soon as there's no doubt that this is a stressful time with the tank - or the plants to be more specific... 

The little Ramshorn hitch-hiker snail numbers are up and I suspect this is down to the plants which haven't survived well, giving them a plentiful supply of dead/rotting plant matter...  They're so small that I'd bet it wouldn't take much in the way of such plant matter to represent an open buffet to the little tinkers...!!!

Offline Littlefish

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #176 on: May 11, 2018, 07:27:11 PM »
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I hope that the pruning, maintenance and regime kick start your plants on to a new growth spurt.
Your tank is still looking good though.  :)

Offline TopCookie

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #177 on: May 12, 2018, 08:32:32 AM »
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Thanks Donna...    :)

Offline TopCookie

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #178 on: May 15, 2018, 09:52:34 AM »
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It's now a few days in after going back to trying the TNC Carbon in the tank...  I'm only dosing @ 0.5ml per day (may be a tad more, but definitely less than 1ml) but somehow the tank "looks" happier... 

My primary concern was always with the Amano shrimp, as they really did not like the liquid carbon when tried briefly once before - but that was at 1ml per day plus was totally new to them...  This time though, they appear unaffected so far, which is a fantastic bonus and means that I can continue, maybe even increase the dose at some point...  Really hoping that the carbon will help in the fight against the hair algae...

Offline TopCookie

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #179 on: May 24, 2018, 03:41:53 PM »
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New update: 

Majority of the plants looking healthier, but it has to be said that it's not by much when all things considered... 

Current fertiliser dosing is TNC Complete @ recommended level, but part dosed daily rather than full dosed weekly...  Have also progressively built up the TNC Carbon to 2ml per day, which is a two thirds daily dose level... 

In the meantime, the one thing that I had managed to avoid so far looks to have struck: the dreaded BBA...!!!  There's little sign of the hair algae abating either... 

So, the notion of super dosing the plants to get them growing faster and out-competing the algae is currently looking like not only being a fail, but also that all the added nutrients appear to have encouraged BBA...!!!


I'm at my wits end now and growing increasingly fed up with the whole thing to be honest... 

On the plus side, at least all of the tank occupants are doing well and still not a single fish fatality to date...  All the shrimp seem to now be coping with the carbon, after building it up slowly, and the snail collection also seems un-phased by it too...  But this issue of constant battling with one issue or another is getting tired real fast now...

Offline Matt

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #180 on: May 26, 2018, 08:12:42 AM »
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Are you doing big water changes each week to reset the nutrient levels? Sorry, I can't remember if I've asked you this before...

Keen to get this fixed for you!  Also whats the BBA growing on? Can it be removed and boiled?

Offline TopCookie

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #181 on: May 26, 2018, 11:30:28 AM »
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Do you know what Matt, I think you might have already once given the advice that I should have paid closer attention to:  when you said about going back to what I used to do...  (I think it was you...  and others agreed too)

I've been trying to swat up as much as possible on the whole algae issue and am starting to think that I've gone about trying to deal with it with over enthusiastic haste, leading to actually going further off track instead of getting back on track... 

I'm sure this is all about balance...  balance between photoperiod and nutrients...  What I suspect is that I have been giving the tank too much light...  I did increase the photoperiod to 8 hours at one point, while over dosing with fertiliser but perhaps significantly not adding carbon at that point - rightly or wrongly, I think the plants simply weren't "ready" for all this extra stuff, especially without the carbon, and this is likely to be the root cause (pardon the pun there)... 

Because the bulk of the plants I have fall into the "easy" or "medium" category, I'd wager that the 8 hours of tank lights combined with being in a fairly bright room has just been plain too much and this is where that original advice of going back to what I used to do is starting to look golden now...  My current plan is to reduce the nutrients back to around half recommended daily dose, keep up with a small amount of carbon and finally work those tank lights back down to the six hours per day that I used to do when the tank looked healthier...  In the meantime, I am going to start having a go at the black algae with some hydrogen peroxide... 

The algae looks like miniature BBA almost, either because it is just starting and isn't out of control yet, or possibly because it's not actually BBA at all, just looks somewhat like it...?  It appears on the slow growing Bucephalandra and Anubias, plus on some Echinodorus leaves - but not on the bogwood, which is somewhat odd...?


Offline Matt

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Re: The Cookie Crew
« Reply #182 on: May 26, 2018, 12:39:21 PM »
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That all sounds quite logical to me  ;)

Like you say balance is important. If one factor is limiting growth it is easy for others to be in excess. Light an nutrients especially are easy for us to increase. CO2 less so.

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