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C. willisi

Well folks I've had my new 100 g tank up and running for 1 month now.  I
decided to go strictly by Steve P's 3 layer substrate method and so far it
is working very well.  I have 4 watts per g light on a 12 hour timer using 3
vho coralife trichromatic bulbs. Since the tank is only 18" deep, the lights
are raising the temp from 82 to 85 in a matter of 2 hours - so i have put
the heater on a timer to cycle on and off while the lights are on which is
keeping the temp at about 83 during the day. I put the heater outside the
tank in a Lifeguard Heater Module connected to the outflow of my Fluval
canister.  It is really nice not to have to worry about the heater & water
level while doing water changes.  I am using DIY yeast CO2 - 1 bottle was
not enough to bring the PH under 7 so I now have 2 bottles hooked together
on a t-connector with 1 tube run into the intake of my Fluval 403- each
bottle so far seems to last about 2 weeks and I am replacing them on
alternate weeks.  Somewhere I read Karen suggested using juice bottles
instead of soda bottles and they are much better and appear to be strong
enough not to collapse.  I have been doing 30% water changes twice a week &
following Steve's recipe for dosing calcium carbonate and the PMDD (minus
the Trace E which are in the substrate).

Results - at 4 weeks:
PH remaining constant at 6.8 with very little fluctuation between morning
and night
Iron measuring at 1 ppm w/very little fluctuation
I have a jungle of fast growing plants
everything is trying to grow out of the tank - (which is only 18" high) -
but all the bunch plants were purchased very small and I have pruned them
back twice now
The Val has more that doubled the # of original plants(20)
and is covering more than 1/3 of the tank (72") laying on top of the water.
3 medium swords are now huge and are reproducing multiple plantlet stalks.
But most amazing to me is the A. crispus bulbs purchased 3 weeks ago already
have leaves laying on the surface of the water.

So I am happy & having fun tending my new garden - I am even enjoying the
pruning work right now but hoping it will slow down some before long.
Eventually I want to replace
most of the "bunch" stuff with crypts but I am waiting for equilibrium to
occur first.

Which brings me to the question I have - I did purchase some c. willisi bare
root - very pretty stuff - my LFS ordered it for me.  I want a carpet of it
across the front of the tank.  It has been planted for 2 days now and
already each small plant has at least 2 new leaves sprouting - but
on each plant 1 or 2 of the original big leaves are melting
but the new leaves are dark and strong.  I have not had any
experience with crypts - should the old leaves be removed
as soon as I see them beginning to melt?  or just leave them alone? They
look like they were grown emersed and I hoping the melting is an adjustment
to being submerged.

Thanks in advance!
Kevin Reavis
(I'm the "she-not-a-he" Kevin) in warm wonderful Burlington, NC where
spring/summer has finally sprung and I feel like a new person. 1 Peter 1:3-4