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Old 04-27-2011, 06:28 AM   #81
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Glosso looks great!

I am concerned about the 2:1 N:P ratio. That could be the algae cause... I would try to get closer to 20 ppm N and 1ppm P.
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Old 04-27-2011, 11:36 PM   #82
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The N:P ratio is a concern. Everything I've read says aim for a 10:1 N:P ratio. I think the plants are actually using less phosphorus since I've cut back on the micros, but the N:P ratio has been off since I started the PPS Pro regimen. I can't imagine who can use the stock PPS Pro formula. I've got a ton of fish in the tank and I still have a nitrogen shortage. I'm nearly finished with my dosing calculator. Once I have that working, I'll start tweaking the fert mix.

On a positive note, I found a $0.97 glass bud vase at Walmart that might work as a drop checker after it meets my Dremel tool and hot glue gun. If I have time tomorrow after sanding drywall and painting trim, I'll give it a shot. I bought two vases in case of manufacturing mishaps.
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Old 04-27-2011, 11:40 PM   #83
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Funny you should say that since I have a nitrogen excess with pps. I believe that any ratios you've got are pretty much thrown out the window when you have excess in nutrients. I don't really test too much or worry about nutrients. If I'm between .5-5 phosphates and 10-60 nitrates I'm alright.
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Old 04-27-2011, 11:44 PM   #84
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I wouldn't be worried either if I didn't have an algae issue. The plants are all growing like weeds, so I know they're happy. I'll get it sorted.
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Old 05-09-2011, 10:11 PM   #85
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Sorry for the long absence. Life's been getting in the way of me posting.

I finally had enough of the hair algae so I tore out the infested plants today, cleaned the leaves I could, removed the leaves that were too far gone, and replanted. The telanthera and nesaea suffered a bit, but the rest of the plants are ok.

Some good news is I think I'm starting to get a handle on my ferts. I added enough KNO3 to nearly double the nitrate per dose. To get it all to dissolve, I had to dilute the macro fert solution a bit. This should work in my favor since it'll reduce the phosphate dose. Before a PWC today, the phosphates were down to ~0.5ppm and the nitrates were 5-10ppm. The plan now is to keep dosing the macros like I was and cut the micros dose in half.

More good news is the plants are growing like weeds. The glosso carpet is nearly covering the entire bottom of the tank, including under the other plants. I think I even saw a few runners going through the crypt lutea. I also added a few new plants. I got didiplis diandra (blood stargrass) and mayaca fluviatilis. Both are doing well. I also added a few sprigs of caradamine lyrata to see how it does.

I'll try to get some pictures tomorrow. The tank was too stirred up from the renovations today.
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Old 05-14-2011, 10:05 PM   #86
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Finally got some pictures.



Here you can see the carnage from my battle with the hair algae. There's still some lurking in spots, but I think I'm winning at the moment. Reconfiguring my ferts seemed to do the trick.



I took a scissors to the glosso today. It was getting too tall so I cut it down to about an inch or so. I'm going to be pulling the cuttings out for the next month. I tried skimming them, but I missed a bunch.



I moved the nesaea up to the front of the tank on the right side. Despite the algae issues, I haven't managed to kill the nesaea yet.



The ambulia is still growing like a weed. I trimmed the tops and replanted them today to fill in where the rotala was before.



Here's a shot of the blood stargrass. It's starting to take off now. You can also see the new growth on the rotala. I think it likes having some more nitrate in the water.

After playing with my mom's camera a few weeks ago, I realize just how terrible mine is. I may have to see if I can do something about it. In the meantime, I apologize for the picture quality.

I've tried twice to make a drop checker and failed miserably. I used a quarter machine egg and a baby bottle nipple for the first attempt. I tried hot gluing a suction cup to the egg and it fell off. Then the nipple started peeling away from the egg. I tried Crepe's method of using an API test tube. I had problems with the cap leaking, so I used some hot glue to seal the leaks. It worked, but today I pulled the cap off to check the solution and I cracked the tube putting the cap back on. I found a small glass jar with a screw lid. I'm leak testing the cap now. If it's sound, I'll have another go at a drop checker tonight.

I've been losing adult guppies like crazy the last few days. I've been having some issues with my CO2 setup and I'm wondering if the pH fluctuations are killing the fish. There's no outward sign of illness, but I've pulled seven dead fish from the tank in as many days.
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Old 05-14-2011, 10:10 PM   #87
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You know you can get 3 drop checkers on ebay right now for $9 with shipping right? I know, I know... the build is half the fun.

It is looking great! I can't believe how much that glosso has filled in. That ambulia looks excellent too!
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Old 05-14-2011, 10:27 PM   #88
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The whole waiting 4-6 weeks for the drop checkers to ship from Asia bugs me. If this last attempt fails, I may be going that route though.
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Old 05-14-2011, 10:33 PM   #89
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Haha, they ship directly from Default, Default, Hong Kong. Must be quite a ways away... I ordered 3 too.

Tank looks great. That glosso looks fantastic. How long did it take to grow that much? And how do you keep BBA off of it?
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Old 05-16-2011, 09:22 PM   #90
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Thanks mfd. Looking back, the glosso has been in the tank since about the beginning of march, so about 10 weeks. I've found the first BBA in the tank just this week and I'm pretty sure it's there because I was screwing with the CO2 because I switched bottles. It's on the mayaca, not the glosso.

The good news is I've got a drop checker that works. I found a little glass bottle with a screw cap in my garage. I drilled a hole and pulled a piece of clear air line through the cap. I had to make a gasket out of a piece of plastic, but it's working well.
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