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Thread: Starting new tank - codename Frankenstein - critique wanted

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Bucharest, Romania
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    420
    Today I uprooted a couple of "onions" by mistake. Great news - they grew roots! Also it's obvious they grew quite a lot.



    I also noticed the right half of the tank (where the circulation is better) is healthier than the left. I will have to install a powerhead aimed at the left side, but at the moment I have no clue how to do that and not change the layout in a major way.
    Nothing is simple.

  2. #12
    Looks good so far!

    I enjoyed watching the fiddling of the substrate/hardscape in the setup video.

  3. #13
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    Mar 2011
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    Thanks Doc!

    I replanted the crinums, the outer layer was rotten for some of them, apparently I was supposed to peel it off before the original planting. I changed water 90%, pre-treated with Prime and added water straight from the tap, which killed some shrimp (my first time ).

    I made some Osmocote 15-9-12 gel caps but I didn't place them in the substrate yet. I wish I had those when I replanted the crinums.



    Left side lotuses have leaves, but they stay small for the moment.



    I added some Anubias coffeefolia.





    I also deployed another lazy man's device, a dosing pump.





    My first lazy man's device (the water level pump) broke 3 days after installation... I sent it back for replacement... factor into that that installation/uninstallation is quite complicated and that thing didn't save me any work at all, on the contrary... we have a saying around here - lazy people run more...

    Anyway. The 3 solutions have 500ml volume and are designed to be dosed daily, 4 ml/day.

    Solution 1:
    97,8g KNO3 (dose result: 3.2 ppm NO3)

    Solution 2:
    53,6g micro (dose result: 0,2 ppm Fe)
    15g Fe 13% (dose result: 0,1 ppm Fe)

    Solution 3:
    16,1g KH2PO4 (dose result: 0,6 ppm PO4)
    45g K2SO4 (dose result: 1,08 ppm K)
    Last edited by Florin Ilia; 04-01-2012 at 06:06 PM.
    Nothing is simple.

  4. #14
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    I am curious, what kind of quartz did you use? A branded one with some bacteria already in it? Plain simple generic one? Would it make the osmocote available to the plants in a comparable manner to any 1-4mm inert substrate but without the sorption capabilities? I mean, if CEC was on the list, wasn't the vermiculite, from hidroponica dot ro, a better investment, even though it is also quite light in color? The wood used doesn't seem to be West African either.

    APC plantfinder credits every Nesaea as being from West Africa, though, in some books I have seen some even on Mafia Island (Zanzibar) - 5.7pH 5GH 0.5kH (not hard water).

    Isn't the Congo basin a bit different than the streams of Senegal to Cameroon? There is at least one fancy shoaling tetra that could fit into a (more) stem- friendly environment.

    The pictures aren't showing something bad at all! It's quite lovely.
    But it is quite difficult to get it glued to W. Africa thing.

  5. #15
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    Mar 2011
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    Hi client, thanks for the meaningful input!
    Quote Originally Posted by client View Post
    what kind of quartz did you use? A branded one with some bacteria already in it? Plain simple generic one?
    Plain simple generic (since you seem familiar with Romanian market - bought from a Hornbach store).


    Quote Originally Posted by client View Post
    Would it make the osmocote available to the plants in a comparable manner to any 1-4mm inert substrate but without the sorption capabilities?
    Well, I assume it will, but I admit I didn't research the topic. I know there are people who do grow plants in plain sand, I chose a white one, and that's the extent of my scientific work in this area
    Quote Originally Posted by client View Post
    I mean, if CEC was on the list, wasn't the vermiculite, from hidroponica dot ro, a better investment, even though it is also quite light in color?
    You mean this: http://www.hidroponica.ro/substratur...o-plagron.html ? Link noted
    Quote Originally Posted by client View Post
    The wood used doesn't seem to be West African either.
    Busted It's North American manzanita.
    Quote Originally Posted by client View Post
    APC plantfinder credits every Nesaea as being from West Africa, though, in some books I have seen some even on Mafia Island (Zanzibar) - 5.7pH 5GH 0.5kH (not hard water).
    Yes, and there are also Ammania gracilis and Ammania senegalensis, but I didn't want stems in this aquarium. It's supposed to be low[er] maintenance and those African stems in particular seem quite demanding from what I've read.
    Quote Originally Posted by client View Post
    Isn't the Congo basin a bit different than the streams of Senegal to Cameroon?
    It most likely is, but please read my disclaimer in the first post ("the look will not be authentic I suspect"). I didn't have enough drive to research properly a biotope so the result is just biotope-ish. My main resource was http://fish.mongabay.com/biotope_african_rivers.htm, and even this I didn't follow to the letter. If you have pointers to online resources I'll be happy to continue learning.
    Quote Originally Posted by client View Post
    There is at least one fancy shoaling tetra that could fit into a (more) stem- friendly environment.
    Please name it!
    Quote Originally Posted by client View Post
    The pictures aren't showing something bad at all! It's quite lovely.
    But it is quite difficult to get it glued to W. Africa thing.
    Thanks for the comment, and see above for the authenticity.
    Nothing is simple.

  6. #16
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    I wouldn't name it (the tetra) for a non- stem project. It's nice that you tried to study the thing a bit, though, fish dot mongabay is a nice starting point -especially if you like to consult those fish lists, sorting them by country or by river. There are many resources on the web, however, aquariumphoto dot dk and seriouslyfish dot com are useful enough. On the former one I have seen some activity in early 2012, I guess it's great news. Just look for the african barbs or tetras. Don't get barbs with the fauna you already have, though. I am assuming that you already have your project and that you may want to get something from it -first, but I am warning you that almost any new interesting info would simply change the scape radically. On the latter one, it's easy to search for places like congo, west africa and so on. You will figure. It has a short description of the habitats, though, it is plainly copied from one related article to another once the species gets rare.

    There was also a list of plants on the web, and I guess there is a quite dusty one on the aquaria central -forums. Look for the african biotopic plants topic. Or try to search directly on the web, for west african biotopic/biotope information, though I guess you already tried that. One would be Ranalisma humile (Echinodorus humilis). Search it. I won't send you to rare or demanding ones (although I have seen you do have some resources), due to the theme you have picked and I wouldn't want to try to change it as much as I was willing to, in my previous post. So, no rayon vert aqua -this time. And yeah, that's the vermiculite. Use it for potting emersed ones, -only. If you will turn the project into a high maintenance one, I guess you will use ada (soil, sand, whatever you think might fit - it would not be as light in color as it is now, though, or that's what I think -at least) and mahogany or some other red or darker wood that would mimic it.

    White sugar sand is quite good in the very front of the scape or in the middle as a pathway to the back side, if you have a heating cable under it to support the substrate bacteria -only, and if you are thinking to use it into some other project, with a pair/matriarchate/patriarchate of tilapia/other bottom dweller. The smallest tilapia I know if is Tilapia joka and it comes from the same stream as the tetra I was referring to as being a nice shoaling for a lawn of stem plants setting. I was interested in this tilapia also because of its somewhat different behavior comparing to its genus. The wild caught ones are available from time to time, though -I guess it is on the red list and therefore very rare, but hobbyists from Hungary, Czech Republic, Germany, United Kingdom were known for decades as T. joka keepers and lovers. They should have forums and market places. I won't add more than this and I guess it is pretty off the track already, thinking that you already have your setup on wheels and running.

  7. #17
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    Wood. The last one would fit the (current) project, I guess, but the sand won't. Talking the color.

  8. #18
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    Thanks client! very nice advice. Where were you three months ago?

    I did not have aquariumphoto.dk in my bookmarks, good tip. I do use seriouslyfish.com extensively. For this setup I searched "West Africa" there and I read all the profiles (there's a lot of them). Some fish were too large for this tank, and most barbs/characins need very soft black water which I don't want. That's how I came up with a short list of Phenacogrammus interruptus (Congo tetra) and Alestopetersius caudalis (yellowtail Congo tetra) to accompany my mouthbrooders. The yellowtails are harder to get and I like more how the Congo tetras look.

    All your other tips are great and I don't mind at all going off track. You are right - for this setup it's kind of late, I want to see how it takes off in its current form, but once that's off the list I will start planning the next one. Your info will come quite handy!
    Nothing is simple.

  9. #19
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    Algae and worms(?)

    After one week of traveling abroad I was expecting everything to go wrong in my absence, but it didn't (much).

    Practically no algae on the glass. The CO2 diffuser did fail but I was planning to replace it anyway with a Tunze diffuser - which I did.

    But I did find a long, wavy strand of green/brown algae (see below). Looking at the algae through a handheld microscope at 50x I also saw some worm-like thingies.

    The algae is not widespread at all, there were only 2 spots with it in the entire tank. So it's not a crisis, but I'm curious.










    (go hi res)

    Please help me identify the algae and the worms.

    Thanks!
    Nothing is simple.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Surprise, AZ
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    3,210

    Smile Spring Time!

    Hi Florin,

    What do the algae feel like? Descriptive terms such as soft, rough, slimy, gritty so forth.

    How well anchored.

    I am fairly sure it is a red algae a form of Black Beard Algae, though it could be Rhizoclonium. Probably it will be a CO2 issue.

    First thought on the worm is that it definitely is not a worm,
    initial thought, a nonparasitic flatworm Turbellaria something from the phylum Platyhelminthes, a Planaria. If you can grab one and if it has “crossed eyes” then that is it, they are harmless, but indicate an excess of food, high dissolved and particulate organic material. May be relate to the CO2 problem.

    If there are no “crossed eyes,” it is some sort of Dipteran Larvae, which doesn’t narrow it down much. If you do not find “crossed eyes,” I can probably narrow it down a bit beyond the fact it is obviously aquatic. A picture or two would help, as in out of the water.


    Once again, I must compliment you on your video skills.


    Biollante
    The first sign we don't know what we are doing is an obsession with numbers. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

    Disclaimer: I am not trying to make you mad, it is just what I am, an evil plant monster, 'nuf said.

    • I believe the information I am giving is sound, I am not a veterinarian, professional chemist or particularly bright and certainly not a "Guru.".
    • I assume you are of legal age, competent and it is legal for you to acquire, possess and use any materials or perform any action in your in your jurisdiction.
    • When in doubt "don't."

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