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edman2012 04-12-2014 11:37 AM

50 Gal Tank
Most of you probably don't remember me as I have never been very active on this site. Almost a year ago I started a thread on a 50 gallon tank I had started and here is an update on where I am now. I'll start off with a picture shortly after I added fish.
...and one from October (sorry about the bad reflections)
...and here's a recent one.
My fish have been largely healthy, although I did lose 3 of the gourami I had brought over from a previous tank but they lasted a good 3 years. Presently, my red-tailed shark is approaching 5 years.
The biggest issue I have had has been with plants. They have grown as you can see, but old leaves always die off. I have tried to get them healthier but failed. First I started dosing Flourish, but no success. Then I tried CO2 on separate occasions, but stopped since I never saw a difference. A month ago I began using Excel, which seemed very promising since most algae died off of the plants but old plant leaves remain deficient. I believe it may simply be nutrient imbalance, possibly with potassium so I have begun dosing it recently so I have my hopes up. Here's some plant pics before trimming.
The plant situation has been frustrating, but thankfully my fish are healthy. If time permits, I shall keep updating. Few more pics!

CaptainMbuna 04-12-2014 03:37 PM

Very nice tank mate!

sandybottom 04-13-2014 08:07 AM

yes,judging from your hygro and swords it looks as though you have some deficiency issues.have you tried root tabs? flourish comprehensive would help also.

what type of lighting are you using?

how long are the lights on daily?

what is your water changing schedule?how much do you change at a time?

edman2012 04-13-2014 08:40 AM

I use two 37W t5 HO, for about 10 hours a day. I normally do 10% weekly, 25% monthly. I have tried root tabs, but not very extensively. I think I still have some, so I'll give it a try. I'm seriously considering changing some of my gravel for eco-complete. If my situation doesn't improve when I get out of school in a month I'll do the messy job. I've heard people say that its inert despite what's advertised, but its CEC should lead to some improvement.

sandybottom 04-13-2014 08:48 AM

have you ever tried to make your own root tabs? i use osmocote and put it in size "00" vegetable gel caps.

aussieJJDude 04-14-2014 05:02 AM

Get pics!
I nice to see the transformation of the tank, it looking really good now!
Sorry to hear about your gourami's, however, your other fish look fab!

edman2012 04-14-2014 09:43 AM

Thank you for the comments and suggestions. When I'm done with this semester of college in about a month I'll really get working on this tank, since I'm quite limited on time presently,
I've seen people make root tabs, and seems to work well. I'll take that into consideration.

edman2012 04-16-2014 09:06 PM

Trimmed off a bunch of leaves today. I could have done more but I'll end up with only stems on a few hygros, no joke!
Today one of my bulbs blew out, although I'm not going to replace it yet just to see what effect it has running half as much light. Unless school and/or work stop me, I don't think I'm going to wait for summer break to change part of my substrate. I need to take action. Once I add eco-complete I'll immediately use root tabs. I just don't see the point in adding any now because of my plans to change the substrate.

edman2012 04-18-2014 09:58 PM

I just managed to add the eco-complete.
The job took 3 hours and it was a messy one, as you'd expect. I replaced the gravel in segments. I scooped out the gravel, and put it in a bucket. I rinsed some of it out and mixed it with eco-complete, which was then added to the tank. About half of the plants were completely replanted, a few were thrown out, and I managed to get around the ones I didn't replant without uprooting thanks to deep roots. I did a water change to vacuum out the gunk that settled, although I may need to do some more tomorrow. I have temporarily added a second filter to get better circulation. Currently the water is cloudy, and all I can do is wait. Tomorrow I will begin making root tabs with osmocote. Hopefully my plants can finally rebound. Here's a pic while shortly after I began of the job, which looked quite worse in person:

edman2012 05-02-2014 11:13 AM

Here's an update. Initially after adding the gravel, within two days the hygrophila actually worsened! Large holes took over on most of them so they became almost bare with leaves after trimming. After increased dosing of potassium with leaf zone I haven't seen new holes. That's not the end of it though, the nutrient imbalance struggle has continued. Shortly after the potassium problem I had new leaf growth with odd shapes near the inner half, which must be a calcium issue although I blame myself for that. Chicago's water has plenty of calcium therefore I think my water changes have been too small (10% weekly). I'll be doubling up on that. Here's a picture (kind of hard to see), look closely at the inner half of the new leaves, especially at the rear plant.

I still have hope though! I also got a new anubias congensis. So far the various anubias are doing better than the hygros so this one should hopefully do well.

Oh and I also bought 4 more otocinclus. They were $1 at petsmart and honestly didn't look healthy but after a week they already look healthier and have been more active than the other 3 or 4 that spend most of they're time during the day hiding in the driftwood and come out at night.

One last picture. The male bolivian ram was just posing nicely for me this morning.

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