Vishaquatics' October 2020 Update

Vishaquatics

October 2020 News:
October has been a bit of a slow month, but I've been able to make good progress toward larger projects/goals.

LED Tub:
For the longest time, I wasn't able to grow certain species of plants in my LED tub. I'd sometimes get stunted growth and weird coloration on plants such as Ludwigia rubin, Bacopa monnieri, and sometimes even Rotala. Of course, I never sold these plants and would have to routinely discard them. I always thought the issue was with my CO2 diffusion, but it didn't seem to help no matter how much I cranked it up.

Through experimentation that I did this month, I realized that there were two major issues: stunted root growth and overcrowding. I used to use small plastic pots that were approximately 4" in diameter and 3" deep to grow all of my plants. Yet larger plants seemed to take issue growing in such a small area. I have since transitioned to using shoebox sized plastic containers to grow the plants in. The extra depth of the substrate, along with the extra room to grow has eliminated overcrowding and allows the roots to penetrate further into the substrate. As a result, all stunting has gone away and the plants are looking better than before.

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New Species:
I am now growing Italian vallisneria and leopard vallisneria. I'm not sure when I'll have enough plants for sale, but I'm happy to finally be able to offer vallisneria again and other plants that are not stem plants

Greenhouse:
The greenhouse is finally complete! Plants are growing nicely and the greenhouse should stay nice and toasty throughout the winter season.

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Nano Tank:
In September's update, I had created a nano tank that used only dirt to fuel plant growth, with no added fertilizers to the water column. In mid-October, issues started to appear in the form of a potassium deficiency. Plants started to get holes in the lower leaves, and older leaves started to become yellow due to a lack of potassium. I can't say I'm exactly surprised that this was the first deficiency to show up, considering that most ADA style tanks that use the rich soil/lean dosing approach always supplement the water column with potassium. To alleviate the need to dose in the water column, I should've enriched the soil with some muriate of potash and some other fertilizers for maximum benefit. If I ever make another dirted tank in the future, I will need to add more fertilizers to the soil.

I'm now dosing APT Complete for an ADA-style approach to this nano tank. I'm still using a rich substrate with aquasoil and mineralized topsoil, but now with lean water column dosing around 3x a week. The colors of the plants are fantastic, though they appear a bit washed out in the pictures.

I did two large trims during the month of October. The trims sculpted the rotala bush and chopped down the S. Repens to encourage denser growth. I ended up removing the Rotala macrandra since I got bored of it. I replaced it with Rotala h'ra.

1st trim:

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2nd trim:

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Floater Tubs:
I often don't show my floater tubs, but I grow my floaters out in full sunlight. The tubs have endler-guppy hybrids, bristlenose plecos, and cherry shrimp to keep the ecosystem in these tubs functioning and to prevent any sort of insect/pest from living in the floaters or in the water itself.

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Jon Crosby

What is the floating plant?
 

Jon Crosby

Azolla filiculoides

Looks so nice, reminds me of some sort of fern if it wasn't floating if that makes sense
 

Vishaquatics

Looks so nice, reminds me of some sort of fern if it wasn't floating if that makes sense
You're spot on! Azolla is a type of fern
 

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