Clare's 60L Restart

Discussion in 'Aquascaping and Member's Setups' started by Clare, Feb 4, 2016.

  1. Clare
    Offline

    Clare Aquascaper

    • APSA Member
    23%
    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    Messages:
    1,498
    Likes Received:
    651
    Trophy Points:
    123
    Location:
    Mooiriver, KZN
    I decided to restart my tank after a break spanning over a year or so. Saw some new triandra growing in the river and a miniature lotus-like plant as well, which spurred me on to restart my tank again.

    I noticed that the algae issue increased when I had my custom yeast-based CO2 setup so I got rid of that and the algae issue went away so that's out and I added CaCO3 (calcium carbonate - lime grit) to the river sand substrate. I'm thinking of adding more plants to it, seeing it's doing quite well now after 2 months. Plus I have my LED lights on for less time as well, so far no issues. Water changes every week 50%, ferts once a week, filters cleaned every week as well and as usual, I have baby nerite snails in my tank - must have transplanted them with the triandra when I uprooted them from the river :angel4:

    I cycled the water for 4 weeks and then got the triandra and the lotus plant. Then the 2nd week I had to trim the triandra as it grew so quickly. Now it's been 2 weeks since I trimmed it - it's doing quite well so far since then.

    040220161277.jpg

    040220161278.jpg

    040220161279.jpg

    040220161280.jpg

    040220161281.jpg

    PS. Sorry for some of the bad quality photos, blame the Nokia camera on the phone :p
     
  2. f-fish+plants
    Offline

    f-fish+plants Aquascaper

    • APSA Member
    73%
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,922
    Likes Received:
    1,041
    Trophy Points:
    173
    Location:
    JHB - West
  3. Clare
    Offline

    Clare Aquascaper

    • APSA Member
    23%
    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    Messages:
    1,498
    Likes Received:
    651
    Trophy Points:
    123
    Location:
    Mooiriver, KZN
    Aye, that's right. Still got plenty in the river, I might consider going down this weekend and see if there is any left and look for other plants too but I doubt there will be anything else at this time of the year really. Except for shaggy parasol mushrooms which are popping up everywhere now, 4 more months before winter sets in. I might check the LFS in town next week and see what plants they have...
     
  4. f-fish+plants
    Offline

    f-fish+plants Aquascaper

    • APSA Member
    73%
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,922
    Likes Received:
    1,041
    Trophy Points:
    173
    Location:
    JHB - West
    I am sure if you can pot some and figure out a way to ship it you will get plenty of guys here that will be willing to trade. Might give that some thought.
     
  5. Clare
    Offline

    Clare Aquascaper

    • APSA Member
    23%
    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    Messages:
    1,498
    Likes Received:
    651
    Trophy Points:
    123
    Location:
    Mooiriver, KZN
    Yeah true, I know the LFS in town don't really have any decent plants, the last time I went there to look for fish and I also had a look at the plants - really dismal as there was only like 2 or 3 potted ones and they weren't in good shape either. Shihr has some stunning plants and so does the classifieds section but most of you guys are in Cape Town and Shihr, if he is still in JHB from the last time I spoke to him which was more than a year ago. I"m in an area which takes a courier a long time to come to this side. so kind of not feasible for couriers to deliver to me.

    So I gotta admit I've been really lucky to get the triandra and a variety of river plants. Maybe I should go back and look at the rest of the river upstream as I have not been there before and look at the other sections of the other rivers too, see if there is anything else I may have missed, before the winter sets in.
     
  6. Clare
    Offline

    Clare Aquascaper

    • APSA Member
    23%
    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    Messages:
    1,498
    Likes Received:
    651
    Trophy Points:
    123
    Location:
    Mooiriver, KZN
    Interesting. There is always a huge risk of bringing home leeches and nematodes when foraging rivers for wild plants. Seems like I brought home some parasites - wasn't totally sure if it was leeches or nematodes but I think it's both. I took a risk in nuking my tank - wasn't totally worried about the baby nerites as they don't usually do a good job of keeping my tank clean anyway and I do a weekly water change and keep it clean myself. I used Cyperin for good measure to kill the worms and leeches last night.

    Turns out the snails were fine this morning - I found one worm dead and I don't see any leech activity, they were active last night and they weren't very happy with the poison. Some of the smaller snails weren't happy either so I fished them out as soon as they reached the top of my tank and kept them in clean water overnight. The rest of the snails that weren't bothered stayed in so obviously they were the stronger ones who could withstand the poisoning.

    It was a small amount of dilated Cyperin that I had from my previous dosing so I'm keeping the poisoned water in for a week until the next water change and hoping I got all the parasites before they can get to my triandra. Last time the worms and leeches chowed all the triandra.
     
  7. Clare
    Offline

    Clare Aquascaper

    • APSA Member
    23%
    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    Messages:
    1,498
    Likes Received:
    651
    Trophy Points:
    123
    Location:
    Mooiriver, KZN
    I went back to the river today to see how the river levels were and to see if I could source some more triandra as I know some guys on here have been asking me for some and I've left it off because I was told the river was overflowing and I've been waiting for the right time to go back, knowing the risks of slipping into the river and I don't want leeches and nematodes crawling into my gumboots.

    It was good timing - plenty of nice fat leafed triandra on the shallows near the banks. I collected quite a bit as there is so much triandra growing everywhere!!!

    I also managed to find a small lily which is planted in my tank. There wasn't much else as the river was blooming with top cover - no idea it is called, looks similar to rotala but grows like weed, most of it covering the top of the river and it looks disgusting. If anyone can point me in the right direction, I would appreciate it. It makes a lovely decoration in my tank if kept under control.

    river.jpg
     
  8. Clare
    Offline

    Clare Aquascaper

    • APSA Member
    23%
    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    Messages:
    1,498
    Likes Received:
    651
    Trophy Points:
    123
    Location:
    Mooiriver, KZN
    So this is what my tank currently looks like @GDT78 @wudze @shihr :D

    As a precaution with the last infestation of nematodes and leeches and whatever else was lurking the last time I brought plants home from the river, I bleached the rocks and washed them - got a few wigglies off them in the bucket.

    Snails seem pretty happy with the new plants at the back and upon close inspection, I still have several babies on the glass.

    I'm going to need to dose with iron and liquid carbon as I am no longer using the CO2 (apparently causing the algae issue to get out of hand and ever since I took it offline, I have not had any sporadic algae issues except for brown diatoms on the glass which I clean every two to three weeks). I really need to do better lights too but eish not cheap those LED strips and neither are those other options too.

    I am still looking for other wild aquatic plants - I couldn't even find parrot's leaf or immersed pennywort anywhere. There was just too many overgrown weeds everywhere, I nearly tripped a few times into the river. :p

    06032016002.jpg

    Oh by the way, I found a nice PDF on invasive aquatic plants - I know it's based on Australia but it's pretty much covers on what we mostly have here locally in our rivers and dams so quite informative and interesting to read what they really are called and how bad it gets in our waterways.

    Linky - http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/329308/041209-DPI-RWW-PLANT-GUIDE.pdf
     
    wudze likes this.
  9. Clare
    Offline

    Clare Aquascaper

    • APSA Member
    23%
    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    Messages:
    1,498
    Likes Received:
    651
    Trophy Points:
    123
    Location:
    Mooiriver, KZN
    Well I got lucky today. I found a small patch of Hydrocotyle verticillata (shield pennywort) when I went a different route - something told me to go this way, even though it was a lot riskier. Dug it out of a small hollow that it hiding out with some ferns but no luck with anything else. it was just too bushy with weeds everywhere - next time I should just go late spring where everything's just settled after growing back (after the frost has killed everything in the winter).
     
  10. Clare
    Offline

    Clare Aquascaper

    • APSA Member
    23%
    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    Messages:
    1,498
    Likes Received:
    651
    Trophy Points:
    123
    Location:
    Mooiriver, KZN
    So here is a side view of the tank and I have more baby snails :angel4:

    [​IMG]
     
  11. f-fish+plants
    Offline

    f-fish+plants Aquascaper

    • APSA Member
    73%
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,922
    Likes Received:
    1,041
    Trophy Points:
    173
    Location:
    JHB - West
    Nice - now it just needs to grow in a bit.
     
    Clare likes this.
  12. Clare
    Offline

    Clare Aquascaper

    • APSA Member
    23%
    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    Messages:
    1,498
    Likes Received:
    651
    Trophy Points:
    123
    Location:
    Mooiriver, KZN
    Thanks. I need to actually have better lighting and more plants. Maybe add some ottos since I can't find any SAE near my area.
     
  13. Clare
    Offline

    Clare Aquascaper

    • APSA Member
    23%
    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    Messages:
    1,498
    Likes Received:
    651
    Trophy Points:
    123
    Location:
    Mooiriver, KZN
    Full overhaul and rescape in progress. Watch this space.
     
    GDT78 likes this.
  14. Clare
    Offline

    Clare Aquascaper

    • APSA Member
    23%
    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    Messages:
    1,498
    Likes Received:
    651
    Trophy Points:
    123
    Location:
    Mooiriver, KZN
    A wee update for now. It's a bit late and I'm not 100% done with filling up the tank and to start cycling the water.

    Took me the whole day to get it done - forgot how back-breaking it was planting tiny-ass plants!!! I am so finished now :p

    Changed the river sand for clean plain brown river sand as the previous one was mixed with compost from my year long hiatus and I didn't bother to clean it up so decided this was a good time to do it properly.

    04042016044.jpg
    04042016045.jpg
    Empty tank, all cleaned up and ready to add the sieved river sand.

    04042016046.jpg

    Added river sand

    04042016047.jpg

    Then added the fossilised tree chunks but that was not the final decision, forgot to take a photo of when I decided to stop changing it around and start planting the triandra.

    04042016048.jpg
    04042016050.jpg
    04042016052.jpg

    I also decided to add a "path" of bigger gravel stones from the sieved river sand in between the finer sand to add some contrast. Hmmmm

    Fill-tank.jpg

    Decided to stop here as it's quite late - water pressure pump makes a noise and there are people sleeping upstairs so going to continue filling up the tank in the morning...

    So will take photos once I've filled up and that the water has cleared up sufficiently.
     
  15. f-fish+plants
    Offline

    f-fish+plants Aquascaper

    • APSA Member
    73%
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,922
    Likes Received:
    1,041
    Trophy Points:
    173
    Location:
    JHB - West
    Is that a rock river in the middle ... think that is going to look super. Like the river sand, you planing on doing just water column fertz or some root tabs at some point?

    Later Ferdie
     
  16. Clare
    Offline

    Clare Aquascaper

    • APSA Member
    23%
    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    Messages:
    1,498
    Likes Received:
    651
    Trophy Points:
    123
    Location:
    Mooiriver, KZN
    @f-fish+plants: I placed all 5 fossilized tree chunks in formation. I am going with EI for Dummies (the one provided by APSA) - the NPK route. I have Nature's NoSalt already, just waiting for Lenolax and Saltpetre as my mom has gone to town today (I really hope Dischem has Saltpetre) since I am getting shrimp from one of the members here so I have to totally change my EI stuff to exclude copper. The reason for getting shrimp is to control the miniscule algae that appears on the glass and on my plants. I used to use plant food, which was more than sufficient - been using it for quite a long time as I never had livestock. Now that I am getting shrimp, I got to change it because the plant food contains a lot of copper. I can easily get CaCO3 from limeflour - we use it for our fruit trees here so not that expensive. Around R70 for a large bag (I think about 25kg) from TWK, a farming supplies store here.

    Busy filling up the tank now - it's looking really nice with all the triandra that's been sorted - the ones with the nice new long roots after a couple of months in the tank to allow them to recover and grow after being transferred from the river to the tank. Some of the roots were like 5cm long so I am doing something right. Not using CO2 even though these plants do need CO2 and they are doing fine without it at this stage. Maybe it is the CaCO3 grit that I added before I planted the first batch?
     
    Nathanael likes this.
  17. Clare
    Offline

    Clare Aquascaper

    • APSA Member
    23%
    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    Messages:
    1,498
    Likes Received:
    651
    Trophy Points:
    123
    Location:
    Mooiriver, KZN
    Filling the tank up and running the filter. Give it a few days for the water to clear up... Then I'll take a photo of it when it's cleared up.

    Tank-almost-full.jpg
    Side-view.jpg
    05042016057.jpg

    Pssst can one of the mods change the 40L to 60L in the title thread please? I thought it was 40L and after checking the tank size with an aquarium calculator, turns out it is indeed a 60L, after doing a slow fill up with a 5L water bottle to double-check against the calculations (calculator says 63L, that's not accurate though).
     
  18. LightSaltLove
    Offline

    LightSaltLove Noob

    • APSA Member
    40%
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2016
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    21
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    Yoh, Clare! You go can even go to the river?? I don't think I trust Jozi rivers haha, and with my eye for plants, I'll probably bring back lots of weeds and not anything of use!

    I really like your current set up! I can't wait until it's where you want it to be. It'll look stunning :)
     
  19. Clare
    Offline

    Clare Aquascaper

    • APSA Member
    23%
    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    Messages:
    1,498
    Likes Received:
    651
    Trophy Points:
    123
    Location:
    Mooiriver, KZN
    Thanks, I forgot to upload some new photos of what it looks like now - the water has cleared up somewhat. This time of the year where everything is going down to winter, it's not a good time of the year - so the best time of the year is late spring to be looking for plants in the river, hence I looked a bit too late. Everything has gone to seed so most of the weeds have either gone to seed or very mushy which is a bit yukky. Even there is a large number of green algae bloom - it's gross, having to try to get all the stuff out of your fingers and plants from the bottom of the river (specially with the triandra growing so nicely and then pulling them out, only for the algae to swim in between or on top of it, you gotta wash it out before putting the plants in containers). There is also the risk of bringing home parasites such as leeches, nematodes and dragonfly larvae so sometimes you have to quarantine and dose for those before you plant them into the tank, specially if you keep fish or shrimp.

    So here are some new photos as I promised. I know it's looking a bit bare now - looking to add some background plants...

    06042016059.jpg
    06042016060.jpg

    Also fixing to fix my lights too - @GDT78, can't find the 4010 LEDS locally that you suggested, I just can't seem to find any online shops that sell them. I guess I'm stuck with the 5050's then. Or go over to LED chips - do the same as what @Joachim Bates is doing, just similar to the idea. I need to sleep on it and decide on it...
     
  20. Chongkie
    Offline

    Chongkie Aquascaper

    • APSA Member
    23%
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2013
    Messages:
    1,495
    Likes Received:
    712
    Trophy Points:
    123
    Location:
    Pietermaritzburg
    Hey @Clare ,

    I'm just "down" the road from you, Hilton, so if you need plants, just let me know. I know it is difficult to get plants in the LFS, even here in PMB. I just did a big trim 2 days ago, and have lots of plants that you can take if you want. just need to arrange someone to pick them up. Have L.Bevipes & Tonina belem cuttings.

    Really like the sieved river sand that you have. Is it actual River sand?
     
    RoGe and Clare like this.

Share This Page