Tuesday, 18 May 2021

Amano shrimp vs. Black beard algae (BBA)

If you wonder how efficient Amano shrimps are against BBA, here is my story. This aquarium I have used as an experimental tank; fertilizer testing, CO2, photoperiod, water flow... Like the most of my experiments, it resulted in disaster. First there was a problem with green algae (Hair algae, GSA) which I managed to fix, but then BBA appeared. We all know how stubborn this algae is and it is difficult to eradicate it even when the cause is removed. Well, it can be done with some chemicals like direct spraying with H2O2 or Excel / Easy Carbo, but these chemicals can very easily kill some sensitive plants and especially mosses. I decided for a more natural approach and give Amano shrimps a chance. This is the result;

ADA Mini M tank (20 liters or 5.5 gallon). 16 young (about 2-3cm) Amano shrimps were introduced.

The photo was taken about 2 hours after that. You can notice the filter intake mesh was already cloged by BBA that Amano shrimps "trimmed". I had to clean it every day.

At this point 90% of BBA has been eliminated. I believe in next 5-7 days this tank will be algae free!

I will post an update, stay tuned. ;)

Tuesday, 27 April 2021

Nano aquascape - "By the Sea"

Dimensions: 59x20x15cm - 17 liters or 4.5 gallons
Lighting: Chihiros RGB60
Filtration: Eden 501 (sponge, ceramic rings) 
Substrate: Pool filter sand, gravel 1-3mm, peat
Hardscape: Seiryu stones, Lava rocks
Plants: Fissidens sp. 'Khao Sok', Utricularia graminifolia

Setting up the hardscape

Egg crate is placed to the bottom. This helps to rearange the stones easily without troubles with sliding on the bare glass bottom:

Sand is placed in front and gravel at the back, just to cover holes of the egg crate. Then stones are arranged. Lava rocks act as barrier and they will be covered with Fissidens sp. 'Khao Sok':

All rock sctructure is connected to one piece. I have used super glue (cyanoacrylate) and powder made of topsoil and sodium bicarbonate. First apply gel type super glue to the joint, pour some powder and drop some liquid super glue over it. This makes junctions super strong:  


At the background where Utricularia will be planted I put some peat, to make ideal growing conditions for this plant:

Peat is capped with gravel. Utricularia graminifolia doesn't like nutrient rich supstrates so this should be ideal for it as it likes slightly acidic enviroment:


Fissidens sp. 'Khao Sok' is applied on lava rocks by yogurt method

After 3 weeks of dry start for Fissidens, Utricularia graminifolia (from invitro) was planted and the tank is now flooded:

Monday, 9 March 2020

Cryptocoryne nurii var. raubensis 'Rosen Maiden'

This beautiful Crypt originates from the Malay Peninsula (Bt. Perah, Raub). In their natural habitat they grow on the stream banks in limestone soil. This is smaller Crypt and has tendency to grow very low, leaves growing horizontally. It is very easy Crypt to grow (both emersed and submerged).

Closed spathe of C. nurii var. raubensis 'Rosen Maiden':

Beautiful pattern on the leaves:

A great article about C. nurii var. raubensis can be found here.

Monday, 18 March 2019

Nano aquascape - "Fire Garden"

Dimensions: 20x15x15cm - 4 liters or 1 gallon
Lighting: LED 9W
Filtration: Azoo Mignon 60l/h (sponge, Purolite) 
CO2: Pressurised 1 bubble every 2 seconds
Substrate: ADA Aquasoil Amazonia (regular and powder)
Hardscape: Lava rocks
Fertilization: PPS pro, Easy carbo
Plants: Eriocaulon sp. 'Sulawesi', Fissidens sp. 'Khao Sok', Rotala mexicana 'Goias'
Fish/shrimps/snails: Crystal Red shrimps, Leopard ramshorn snails

In this tank I wanted to create a carpet with one of the smallest Eriocaulon, E. sp. 'Sulawesi'.
Hardscape was made of lava rock pieces glued together to act as a barrier dividing front and background. In the foreground I have used powder type and at the back is regular ADA Amazonia:

Eriocaulon sp. 'Sulawesi':

Fissidens sp. 'Khao Sok' is applied on the rocks by yogurt method and at the back is planted Rotala mexicana 'Goias'. Dry start for 2 weeks.
Front of the tank is elevated as there is a slope - this way I have leveled soil and water level:

Day 1:

Day 21:

Fissidens sp. 'Khao Sok' 4 weeks after flooding:

Day 37:

Day 48 - Introduced 7 CRS. Plants growing great:

Day 50:

Day 63 - Still without trimming!

Day 73:

First trimming! Rotala mexicana 'Goias' growing in all directions, need to shape it. With spring scissors it is one minute job in such a small tank:

I am changing only 1/2 liters of water (RO + minerals) once a week. Now testing my own all in one fertilizer blend.
After trimming:

Fissidens sp. 'Khao Sok':

Day 90:

Fissidens sp. 'Philippines' - appeared unexpectedly, most likely came over the brush during application of 'Khao Sok':

Day 100:

Rotala mexicana 'Goias':

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Cryptocoryne nurii 'Platinum'

Cryptocoryne nurii 'Platinum' is found on Lingga island in the Riau Archipellago province of Sumatra. It was discovered in 2009 by Mr. Nakamoto.
This beautiful new Cryptocoryne he named Cryptocoryne sp. 'Lingga 19 – Platinum Line' based on its distinct platin-colored leaf nerves. Recently this plant got the status of a cultivar: C. nurii 'Platinum'.

The cultivar ‘Platinum’ differs from the normal form by its bright nerves of the leaf; the name ‘Platinum’ comes from the word for the rare noble metal platinum and its color refers to the nerves. The C. nurii plants from Lingga island have wider leaves compared to these from the mainland (Malay peninsula).

A still closed spathe of C. nurii 'Platinum' showing the typical nurii bulge:

From above:

This crypt growing very well in my High-tech setup. 

Friday, 16 November 2018

Cryptocoryne bangkaensis

A new species from the island of Bangka and Belitung near Sumatra. For a long time C. bangkaensis was considered as C. scurillis. C. bangkaensis is characterized by its limb with a more or less bumped surface with only protuberances on the margin of the limb, a narrow throat and a pronounced collar. The limb is mostly recurved and not fully flattened and is finely dotted.

This crypt growing very well in my High-tech setup. 

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Cryptocoryne x timahensis

Cryptocoryne x timahensis is an unusual and very rare crypt. Found only in a small pool in Bukit Timah national park in Singapore. C. x timahensis grows near the top of the hill in a very tiny stream in an artificial pond which is formed by damming the stream. There are no other localities known, so this plant is extremely vulnerable for any changes in the hydrological situation. Fortunately, this area is protected by a small forest growing on and around the hill. Plants grow in a shallow stream (about 25 cm deep) and water is slightly acidic.

Cryptocoryne x timahensis is believed to be a natural hybrid between Cryptocoryne nurii and Cryptocoryne cordata.

I am growing this crypt in my High-tech setup.