Tips: Caring for large, deep tanks
So what are your tips for caring for the plants in large, deep tanks?
I have a 125 gallong tank where things have mostly just 'gone wild' which isn't necessarily a bad look, but I have a heck of a time trying to do anything in there.
The size is 72" x 18" x 21" with 21" being the depth.
Bassically, I'm not able to reach in and see what I'm doing... all I can see is from the top down which is very difficult to get any kind of depth perception. Plus, with the surface mostly covered in floating plants... I'm bassically blind!
The fish are happy though, most of the species spawn in there at one time or another. The only ones I haven't caught with eggs are the Harlequin Rasbora and the Bristlenose Plecos. With the plecos though, I don't know if I have a male and female.
Anyways, my jungle could use some trimming. I was a bit lax on my liquid fertalizer schedule so I have a lot of struggling leaves to clear out.
Leaves on the large swords are turning pale/lacy.
I've never had a tank that large; however, I know what you mean. My strategy has been to try to plan and get my bearings from the front and then trust that they work from the top. It is a whole different view and not precise at all, as you have noted. Barring robotics, that's the best we can do. Maybe just take it slowly and do a little at a time...pinch, look, pinch, look. Very helpful, I know.
Geo! I've been wondering how that gorgeous tank of yours is doing! I've never had a tank that big, but it was really helpful when I was setting up my 55 to have my husband watch from the front and help to guide me at the top with planting and placing rocks, etc. Maybe your wife would be willing to be your eyes for a little bit? Hopefully someone will come along that can offer something a bit better - that's all I've got! Glad to hear things are going well for you, though!!! http://i677.photobucket.com/albums/v...ik-d4n40vw.gif
I have a 5-foot tank and a 4-foot too that are 2 feet deep. When it comes to pruning/trimming, I sit in front of the tank as the water change begins (with the Python obviously) and look for any yellowing or failing leaves (mainly on the various swords), then I stand up and reach in with my left hand to break the leavs off at the base, or in the case of the chain swords gently tug them and they come off. I also find that if I stand sideways to the tank, left side against the tank, I can somewhat see through the front glass, albeit at a distorted angle, what my left hand is doing.:lol:
If I intend a major job, as last week I moved a huge sword from the 90g to the 115g, I remove the floating plants into a circular tub with some tank water to prevent drying out.
The "lacy" leaves on swords intrigues me; I have this in one tank and cannot figure out why. Any chance of a photo? And details of nutrients [I know this is not light related, at least not in my case] including GH, pH and ferts.
I can contort myself a bit to see the front, but along the back is pure guesswork :-?
I'm thinking this is an Iron defficiency.
My GH and KH are both ~ 1 degree out of the tap. I have not been keeping up with adding Equalibirum although I have the past two weeks to maintaine ~ 4 dGH.
Same goes with Flourish ... didn't keep up with it well, but have the past two weeks. I do two caps (10 mL) which should be good for 120 gallons. I do this once a week a day after my water change (now).
I do have Flourish root tabs in next to each of the swords and crypts.
EDIT: The pH is ~ 6.4
According to what I could discover, this appearance can be potassium deficiency, which would be a possible issue in very soft water. Equilibrium has potassium, as of course does Flourish. I have also experimented in one of the problem tanks with adding straight potassium, but not much changed. But I think the light in that tank was also wearing out, and last week i replaced the tube. All these things are so inter-related, one has to try this and that.
My swords in the Flourite tank did get better with the potassium, and I have increased the Flourish Comp from once to twice weekly.
Not too sure about this being iron-related. That is usually more yellowing leaves with swords. And when i had calcium deficiencies, the plants took up more iron (as is normal) and I had iron deposits in the leaves, and that was with only one dose of Flourish a week. So I am inclined to think there is sufficient iron present. The fact that my large swords (well over a foot in height) in the 115g and 90g which get the same twice weekly Flourish and once weekly Equilibrium are not showing this is suggestive of something specific in the two tanks.
I'm back to experimenting with potassium to see if that helps. One suggestion, you absolutely must be regular with fertilizers, every week or whenever. Missing a couple weeks is going to set plants back, without question, much more than missing feeding fish will to fish. Same with water changes. Stability is key.
I do have API Leaf Zone, which all it contains is Iron and Potassium. I could attempt to use it in addition to Flourish, but I'm always leary of adding stuff like this.
I'll try upping the dose of Flourish to twice a week first.
I had thought Iron because in my searches I had read that it can show as a yellowing between veins and short stems. My swords all look the same with long slender leaves, like what I pictured. Even the Echinodorus cordifolius which I thought should have long stems with a big fat leaf at the end.
You are correct to be guarded in adding individual nutrients. Excess of some nutrients can cause plants to shut down others, and some--like iron--caqn be highly toxic to all life forms, including fish and bacteria. But in this case, I would myself try the LeafZone at the dose suggested on the label, and monitor over a few weeks.
I have some oddities with plants that are quite inexplicable. In the 70g where this is occurring, the floating Frogbit will be thriving one week, and by the next it will be failing badly. Same with Water Sprite in that tank. The fact that all my tanks with these plants get the same ferts, water changes and lighting really puzzles me.
In this tank I have:
At least, that's what they were sold as.
The one listed as Echinodorus cordifolius still has a couple old leaves (I believe it was grown emersed) even though it has been 6 months. The old ones look that way, long steam with a fat leaf. The new growth though are slender, but very long.
This is a picture:
Of the four species named, that last photo is E. amazonicus, not much doubt of that. Or more correctly--it has long been in the hobby as such.
Here i digress for a moment.;-) More than one botanist has suggested that this is actually the same species as E. grisebachii, and further than our old friend E. bleherae and E. parviflorus are the same species. For obvious reasons, this (first suggested back in 1994) has not been widely accepted--until now. DNA cladistic analysis by the Finnish botanist who is an authority on this genus, Samuli Lehtonen, in 2008 proves that the four "species" are in fact one species. So far there is no explanation for its different growth habit. But that is really not too surprising, given that many species will grow vastly different depending upon light and nutrients. This is in our profile of E. bleherae.
Back to your plant. The photo is the submersed form obviously. The emersed form of this species [whatever we may call it] is very different, with long stems and a rather oval leaf. Which I suspect is what you saw when you first acquired it. Photo attached. But of course, these plants all being the same species, one can expect the emersed form to be very similar, moreso than the submersed, since in the emersed form the plant is "at its best." When I bought my original E. bleherae, they looked identical to this photo too. But n ow they have linear leaves that are up to 8 or 9 inches in length and 2 inches across.
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