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Johnny's Plant Build

This is a discussion on Johnny's Plant Build within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> Originally Posted by Byron I apologize for not having paid careful enough attention to this thread. I just noticed a couple of issues that ...

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Old 03-03-2010, 09:23 PM   #141
 
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
I apologize for not having paid careful enough attention to this thread. I just noticed a couple of issues that need some more thought.

First, the fertilization schedule you mention Johnny, I would start with once a week, on the day following the partial water change, and observe the plant growth for a couple of weeks. If yellowing leaves begin to appear [and I mean, new yellowing after this schedule is started] then go to twice a week. Especially if you have root tabs for the swords, once a week should be adequate. It takes a bit of experimenting. Over the past year, I was using Flourish twice weekly; three times I went to once and after 2 weeks noticed yellowing sword leaves, so back to twice. Recently I learned [we never stop learning] that the water conditioner that detoxifies heavy metals was probably detoxifying the micro-nutrient minerals in Flourish when used simultaneously; I changed to dosing Flourish the day following the pwc, and at the same time I went back to once a week from twice. So far, my logic seems to be correct--the plants are thriving, suggesting to me that the water conditioner was in fact nullifying some or all of the first dose of Flourish. There is no need to dump more nutrients in a tank than will balance the light and CO2, plus it wastes money. I would try once a week and monitor.

Second, the siesta. Erik or anyone, do you have evidence from a reliable source that this works to increase CO2 and benefit plants? I'm not saying it doesn't, but I've never read anyone who says it does. The siesta can sometimes help to reduce an algae excess, which we all know is caused solely by excess light beyond what plants can use in balance with the nutrients. But beyond this, I've no evidence that CO2 is improved nor the plants. And Johnny, I would also caution that a siesta of 4+ hours mid-day may be detrimental long-term. This also I have yet to ascertain, but it does seem a bit questionable. Just a caution at this juncture.

Byron.
Byron,
I based my statement solely on this post by Diana Walstad. It had been some time since I read it last and was going by memory. You can find it here: http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...iesta-co2.html
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Old 03-03-2010, 09:57 PM   #142
 
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Byron,
I based my statement solely on this post by Diana Walstad. It had been some time since I read it last and was going by memory. You can find it here: http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...iesta-co2.html
Excellent, thanks Erik. I am about to go offline but will certainly read that thread tomorrow morning and comment afterwards. I highly respect Diana, so I know this will have scientific substance. Thanks again, B.
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Old 03-04-2010, 04:41 PM   #143
 
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Well, I've read carefully through that thread and am not convinced. There are some questions unanswered; they were partially raised in the discussion but not answered by anyone.

First issue is the effect on the fish, my prime concern in all matters aquatic. One poster mentioned spawning activity ending under the siesta method, then starting up again as soon as it went back to regular daily light period. This needs exploring, as most of us know that spawning is the prime test in all issues; light and water parameters have a very significant impact on whether fish will or won't spawn in aquaria, and eggs and fry are highly susceptible to all this. Biologically, this tells us a lot. I am wondering if the fish's physiology is being affected in some way by what must to the fish seem to be many shorter days rather than normal length days. Just a thought, but a valid one.

Second, what exactly is achieved by this method? CO2 levels when measured did not fall as much during the afternoon, but what of that? Unless your plants are not thriving, there is no issue in the first place. I am prepared to accept that CO2 levels in my aquaria will be very low in the late afternoon. But I have never had plant problems as a result, and algae is not a concern. Plus, I have more fish in my tanks than Ms. Walstad, who has noted elsewhere that her planted aquaria have moderate fish stocking, and this has an impact; my aquaria clearly have higher CO2 levels than her tanks to begin with. And this must balance the light, and I use lower light than she recommends, which means less CO2 is needed during photosynthesis to balance. I think when putting all this together, one might find that the siesta method achieves very little if anything by comparison with my setup, given my fish and light levels.

Third, the idea of clouds coming over for 4 hours every day is not scientifically proven, from my research into Amazonia. And even if it were true, to what extent is photosynthesis affected? It is scientific fact that minimal light during the night can affect a plant's growth because it throws off the internal "clock" for lack of better words. I think there is more to all this that needs resolving before one should jump onto the bandwagon.

As a related point, within that thread was a question about lighting over a 55g tank, and one poster said two 40w tubes was totally inadequate. Well, Natalie recently went from two to one 40w tube over her 55g, and I haven't heard that all the plants died, quite the opposite. What this tells us is that there are many successful methods, and this or that one is not wrong. Some may be better than others, and all should be taken in context to determine this. I intend to continue to explore that method directly with Diana, when I have time. I may come to embrace it as preferable; but I am definitely not at this stage yet.

Byron.

Last edited by Byron; 03-04-2010 at 04:47 PM..
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Old 03-04-2010, 08:40 PM   #144
 
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I am fully aware I am not a scientist so I am unsure reading back a few posts if my simple plain observation on my fish tank count any at all here but I will air my NON scientific observation regardless for other members as well that are reading this thread; as I said pure observation on my personal hobbyist fish tank set up
1) Since I dialed down the lights and left it with siesta my plants have exploded in growth, my Vallis are somewhere's past the 3ft line now along with the pennywort my Ludwigia is about 2" from the top of a standard 55g
2) I can absolutely NOT say that my fish, nor the Tigers nor the Cory's have even attemtped to reduce their spawning, I have very rare days throughout the week (morning hrs) that I can come to my tank and they don't snack on eggs as always; matter of fact I reduced their food due to the amount eggs they consume.
3) If the "cloud afternoon" is compared that a rain storm does not last that long naturally then I'd also have to question the approach to have water changes done like clockwork each week 50% on time - Not natural this way neither as you have hard rain falls and period with very little rain fall.
4) Last but not least on a neat side affect on my tank I have zip zero algae issues, even the lil BB alage I used to have on my DW which you all know is VERY common in planted tanks (if not always present) has even turned into lil white clouds, vacuumed up and gone since.


So all in all (not being a scientist, just a truthful hobbyist) would I recommend this sort of set up to my enemy or rather to my friends? Clearly I'd encourage all my friends to go this route! My fish are more active since I took all the named changes; breed like *you know what*; my plants are exploding and I have no algae issues at all - So what's not to go for here!? I am actually in the process finding me all needed light sizes to amend my other tanks the same way (incl turning off my sponge filter as lights are on & vise versa).

Sometimes in the tank world there's just simply more then one single soul approach to good fish keeping and healthy plants
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Old 03-04-2010, 08:42 PM   #145
 
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Thanks Byron. I think I'm going to forgo the siesta method and run the lights straight. My plants seem healthy(they're only a week old) but seem to be doing well. I can't really say one way or another because I've never had them before, but I can tell some of them are getting bigger and some are sprouting new leaves....

I'm picking up some more corrydora catfish tomorrow at my LFS, probably pick up about 6 more (total of ten).
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Old 03-04-2010, 09:43 PM   #146
 
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Originally Posted by Angel079 View Post
I am fully aware I am not a scientist so I am unsure reading back a few posts if my simple plain observation on my fish tank count any at all here but I will air my NON scientific observation regardless for other members as well that are reading this thread; as I said pure observation on my personal hobbyist fish tank set up
1) Since I dialed down the lights and left it with siesta my plants have exploded in growth, my Vallis are somewhere's past the 3ft line now along with the pennywort my Ludwigia is about 2" from the top of a standard 55g
2) I can absolutely NOT say that my fish, nor the Tigers nor the Cory's have even attemtped to reduce their spawning, I have very rare days throughout the week (morning hrs) that I can come to my tank and they don't snack on eggs as always; matter of fact I reduced their food due to the amount eggs they consume.
3) If the "cloud afternoon" is compared that a rain storm does not last that long naturally then I'd also have to question the approach to have water changes done like clockwork each week 50% on time - Not natural this way neither as you have hard rain falls and period with very little rain fall.
4) Last but not least on a neat side affect on my tank I have zip zero algae issues, even the lil BB alage I used to have on my DW which you all know is VERY common in planted tanks (if not always present) has even turned into lil white clouds, vacuumed up and gone since.


So all in all (not being a scientist, just a truthful hobbyist) would I recommend this sort of set up to my enemy or rather to my friends? Clearly I'd encourage all my friends to go this route! My fish are more active since I took all the named changes; breed like *you know what*; my plants are exploding and I have no algae issues at all - So what's not to go for here!? I am actually in the process finding me all needed light sizes to amend my other tanks the same way (incl turning off my sponge filter as lights are on & vise versa).

Sometimes in the tank world there's just simply more then one single soul approach to good fish keeping and healthy plants
Not going to argue what you say, as I have not delved into this enough to form any opinion. I just think there are issues that need answering before this becomes some preferable method. But I will point out Natalie that your plants are growing more solely because you reduced the light, not because of any siesta period. It is a botanical fact that many plants (I am most familiar with Echinodorus) will grow taller in lower light, because they are reaching for the light. I feel quite certain this is why I have such phenomenal growth in my tanks, the light is low, and I have sufficient nutrients including CO2 from the fish to balance it. You have I suspect reached a better balance.

As for the effect on the fish, none of us knows this. I merely reported one observation from that thread. Ms. Walstad when asked about the effect on fish said she couldn't see anything detrimental. Which of us can? How far down the road would something caused by this eventually show itself? We don't know, yet. Aquarists keep cardinal tetras in hard water and they live for a couple years and the aquarist says, see, no problem in hard water. But the fish dies, due to calcium blockages of the kidney tubes, from hard water; it should live more than 10 years. Outward appearance is not always the best evidence. But don't get me wrong, I am not saying these things are definite; they are simply unanswered issues, and I prefer to not risk my fish just to maybe increase CO2 and when that is not going to make any difference anyway, there is even less reason to take the risk. Even if your plants grew a bit faster due to the siesta, which they well might, why is that important if they are growing well anyway? This gets very close to pumping the plants and fish with growth hormones in order to have faster maturity; I prefer not.

On the water changes, they have little to do with rainstorms; we do regular weekly water changes solely to remove pollution. There is no relation with rain. The fact that fish may be motivated to spawn after a water change because it creates the same effect of a rainstorm at the start of the spawning season is not why we do the regular water changes.
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Old 03-04-2010, 10:16 PM   #147
 
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Even if your plants grew a bit faster due to the siesta, which they well might, why is that important if they are growing well anyway? This gets very close to pumping the plants and fish with growth hormones in order to have faster maturity; I prefer not.
I am not even going to get started down a Rd like this. I know you have read most of my ~3,000 posts here since I joined and I am a VERY critical fish keeper and not a person dumping fish in a 1g bucket asking why they die. In non of any of my posts would I EVER suggest anything that puts any animal in any harms way! And yes the siesta does a number on my plants meanwhile its perfect for algae control - You grow algae in your tank and say you don't mind. I have a different taste there and believe one can indeed achieve a proper home for fish alongside a wonderful planted tank w/out algae and if that's what I perf over another method then please allow me to do so.

Personally I believe a forum and any given thread, question, post within it is here to:
- Share experiences
- Discuss and allow other opinions then my own
- And learn from one another
Are different experiences or opinions when the topic allows for it not allowed by this forum Admin!? You like your low light alage tank - I like it w/out algae and happy fish; you prop like eating meat, I don't ...
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Old 03-05-2010, 04:07 PM   #148
 
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OOHHHHHHH dear look what I did....didn't mean to cause an arguement on here!!!!

I think for now....seeing as it's my first planted tank, I"m going to let them run for straight ten hours...maybe a few months down the road, i"ll try a siesta method to see how it differs....

UPDATE---

I'm not a huge fan of my vals...I don't know why....maybe I just have to give them time to grow....or order more of them....they just seem very sporaticlly placed in corner, even though they're all in the same spot......ugh.....
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Old 03-05-2010, 04:12 PM   #149
 
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Which Vals did you get? I got Corkscrew Vals and I love them. I didn't bunch them in a corner though. I sort of centered them in the back to form a wall, only in the center on my aquarium. Check out my pics if you'd like an idea.
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Old 03-05-2010, 07:15 PM   #150
 
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I've seen yours lisa and I love em! maybe I just need to wait and let them develop. I have leopard valls
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