Newbie (low tech maybe) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-20-2007, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Boston
Posts: 12
Newbie (low tech maybe)

Hi guys, I just posted this in the Equipment Section, but I realize that this section may be better. Any Help appreciated!

Hi all.
Great forum! I'm new to the hobby and I love planted tanks. I got my first tank last January and had a roller coaster ride learning all the tricks and figuring out what I wanted. I bought a new setup in may and tried my luck with setting up a planted tank. I did a lot of research and I think got some pretty good equipment. I set up my tank in June and had to move in July, so I left it to my roomate to take care of. Safe to say it died. Well I just set it up in my new place three weeks a go (End of November) from scratch and am excited. I just want to know what you guys think about how I'm doing.

I have a standard 55 gallon tank (48")

I have a Coralife 48" 2x65 watt compact which is just over 2 watts per gallon.

I have about 3-4" of Eco-complete substrate on the bottom.

An Eheim 2236(? the one that handles 60 gallons) canister

Right now I have no CO2 set-up.

I am nervous about setting up CO2 and have reservations about a DIY: I'm not that handy and have a busy schedule so I know I will have trouble changing it.

Right now I have two crypt wendtiis (red and bronze) a water sprite, a bacopa, ozelot sword and another sword, and 3 anubias that were left over from the first set up. The leaves on them are hurting but the root structure is very healthy. (The swords and cryots are doing well but the bacopa and sprite haven't grown in three weeks)

I have been using a cap full of "Flourish" fertilizer a week.

So my questions: As the plant load is still low, how many hours do you reccomend having the light on (I have it at about 6.5 hours a day)?

Can I make this tank do well with no CO2? If not, is there a relatively cheap set up that is not as crazy as all the DIY setups I have researched?

The anubias were pretty shocked put into the new tank as my old roomate had the light and heater off, but their roots are growing and look very healthy. Should I prune off most of the leaves and have them grow back?

Any plant reccomendation for foreground that can survive at this light level and lack of CO2.

I'll try to get some photos up and plan on reading a bunch on this site. Any help is much appreciated and sorry for writing a book.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-20-2007, 03:13 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
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Location: Boston
Posts: 12
Oh yeah,
I plan on stepping it up to 8 hours (thanks jaidxl).
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-20-2007, 04:52 PM
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What about fish? How much are you feeding?

The Flourish that you are using is a micro fertilizer. If you aren't feeding fish then you are getting any macros; N,P,K.

I know a lot of people here still dose Macros once a week in their low tech tanks just to make sure there isn't a shortage. I do and when I started I notice better growth and decrease algae. Something to consider
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-20-2007, 05:02 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
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Location: Boston
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Just added 7 1" rainbows last week and am waiting to cycle.

Is the flourish still OK?
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-20-2007, 05:23 PM
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The Flourish is ok for Micros. Feed the fish so they can produce Macros like Nitrate and there is phosphates in the food.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-21-2007, 02:29 AM
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Try dosing a 1/2 cap a day of flourish excel an see how it works out for you.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-24-2007, 08:41 PM
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I agree with adding Flourish Excel in place of C02. That's what I use in two of my tanks and it seems to work just fine. Have you considered adding trace elements as well?

Your setup sounds good. 2wpg+ is enough to grow plenty of low-to-moderate light plants.

As for the lighting...mine stays on 10 hours a day without problems and my lighting is similar to yours (2.25wpg in 1 tank and 1.5wpg-3.3wpg in the other).

See my planted tank progress on the DSM Fish Gal blog!
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-24-2007, 11:51 PM
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My set up is similar to yours. I have a 50 gallon tank with a Custom SeaLife Brite Lite 2 x 65 PC that has been running for about 6 years now. I agree with the Excel recommendations if you are not going to use CO2. I don't use CO2 and my tank suffered during the periods that I stopped adding Excel. It gives me a nice growth rate on a lot of plants and seems to help inhibit certain types of algae. After many years of trial and error, algae outbreaks etc. I finally did some solid research here and on some other sites and 3 months later my tank is in the best shape it has ever been in. I have been using the EI dosing method for macros (including potassium), Flourish for micros, Flourish Iron and also dosing 5ml Excel daily. 50% water changes each week. Lights are on 11 hours and I may cut that back to 10 though since starting my current maintenance routine I have not had problems with algae. I agree with saint27 that you should at least dose macros once a week too (and about the feeding your fish part to also generate macros) but you should also do some research on the forums here about EI dosing and consider that in conjunction with Excel if you don't want to invest in a CO2 setup. Buy Excel in the 2 or 4 liter bottles from Big Al's, the small bottles are too expensive. A $40 4 liter bottle lasts 80 weeks for my tank dosing 5ml every day plus the recommended "overdose" after my weekly 50% water change. You may want to add a second filter once the tank has filled in. I have an Ecco 2233 it is like yours but rated for 55 gals. Been working well for years but I realized recently the tank is under filtered and added an Eheim 2026 much better water circulation and filtration. Sounds like you are off to a great start though... good luck with the tank!
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