Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Essex, United Kingdom
Struggling to balance my 33Gal low tech tank
Right then here's a quick over view of my situation. I have this 33 us gal tank built by Hagen, it's the tropiquarium 88 which has the two 20w T8 tubes built into the hood along with a Bio life filter and heater. I have had this tank setup with pressurised CO2 and a third light strapped to the back of the tank for oh must be a couple of years and trying to create a higher light tank, i suppose a medium light setup. I was feeding the plants with KNo3, K2So4 etc etc, i had mixed results, the cyprts didnt grow much and the hygrophila seemed to grow really well then suddenly stop, algae again seemed to be erratic, basically what ever i did i couldnt get a balance, i'm putting that down to the fact that i really didnt have enough light and really need 4 tubes or 80w light to really pull off the ferts and Co2 plan.
Anyway I have now stripped that tank down, replaced the subrate with pure eco complete and done away with the third light, hence 40w over 33gal. I have chosen to do away with water changes and use a Tetra product called Easy Balance which is supposed to add back in trace elements and refresh the water. A guy at my local fish shop uses it and his low light planted tank looks amazing. Well once again the tank went yo yoing for a few weeks but now seems to be setteling down, alage is starting to become minimal. I have lots of BBA but i have decided to hook up the CO2 again and keep it low just to try and stop the BBA from getting a hold. However my Hygrophila is looking weak, new growth is very slow and small, the stems are thin and brittle. I have the lights on for 8 hours as at 9 or 10 i was getting algae? Because this is supposed to be low tech and the fact i had a nightmare trying to balance the ferts with the higher and longer light i really didnt want to add additional ferts over the Easy Balance.
Can anyone point me in the right direction here. The cyrpts are pushing out new growth and the java moss looks like its spreading. The vallis has stopped growing though as has the Hygrophila.
Now that i've added a little CO2 should i be keeping the lights at 8 hours or push it back up? can you still add a little Flourish or similar if i feel the plants need it or should my hygrophila be doing well but slower growth anyway.
I would say the tank is moderately stocked, i only have small fish like Cardinals, rummy noses etc.
sorry for the long post.