Need help with Aquascape etc - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 02:21 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Ft. Lauderdale FL
Posts: 5
Need help with Aquascape etc

Hello, my tank is as follows:

37g (30x12x22)
Aqueon 55/75 hob
96watt PC
Root tabs
Periodic dosing of Excel and normal Flourish

My issue is that I do not like the way this planted tank is turning out. It does not look elegant and does not seem to "flow". What should I change? Do you recommend specific plant additions and subtractions? I'm also having some issue with algae. In the attached pictures are images of some on my swords as well as on the glass. What should I do about these? Im trying to scrape them off with a razor and do a ~50% pwc, but they are coming back. The ones on my swords are unsightly. Ive also ended up slowly dropping my photoperiod from around 10hours a day down to 7 hours a day - my only concern with this is that the dwarf sag wont get enough light and wont take off/send runners. I'm not even sure the amount of light I have is enough. Ive also recently purchased a metal halide fixture (due to it being a great deal, and slightly wanting to switch this tank to a reef) from craigslist, which is a 150watt MH with 130watts additional PC (though the bulbs are actinic so Id have to switch them out if I use it for this). The only issue with the light is that I'm trying to figure out how to use it above my tank (its 24x15, which is a bit iffy to use without mounting due to my tank being 30x12) without hanging it (live in an apartment), but if I figure that out I can use the fixture (or just the metal halide, or just the power compacts). I suppose if I dont use the MH part of the fixture I can just place it directly on my tank without too much evaporation, while if I used the MH portion I would need to raise it due to heat.

I've also been thinking about adding chemipure or some other kind of activated carbon to purify the water even more, though I'm worried that this will just remove trace elements that are needed for the plants.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 04:47 PM
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Location: Newbury Park, CA
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I think it looks nice. A bit of tank keeping and you are going to be happier with its appearance. Knock the mulm off the plants and keep the filter at top performance by rinsing out the media regularly with old tank water so as not to upset the filter bacteria. If you haven't already consider getting a filter sponge instead of using those tiny insets. Hoping that would increase circulation through the tank which helps keep mulm from settling on everything. If you trim the too tall stems below the height of the other stems and replant then the groups will thicken up and look more uniform. Once you have more stems than you can use pull them all up, line up the tops, snip the bottoms even and plant stems a little apart. Use your fingernail to scrape the bunches of algae from the wood and glass and try to remove them. Use an old credit card or algae scraper or original Mr. Clean sponge or even a folded up paper towel to wipe the sides of the tank clean of algae.

Don't do supplements sporadically, do it regularly. Excel can be amazing but that stem in the third photo may not make it if you use it.

If you go for the new fixture then use only the PCs with new bulbs of course. Even so the tank might do better with a steady source of a complete fertilizer and real CO2. You might research the brand to see if the price is really right and if it is a good quality durable piece of equipment.

The only plants that seem out of place are the lily and the water sprite. Not sure what you could do about the lily, move behind the wood? The water sprite looks crowded where it is. I would be tempted to rehome both of them.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 04:53 PM
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Location: Miami, Florida
Posts: 232
Originally Posted by Kathyy View Post
Don't do supplements sporadically, do it regularly. Excel can be amazing but that stem in the third photo may not make it if you use it.


You might want to try a shorter photoperiod, it seems like there isn't enough co2 for the plants to effectively use all that light the fixture is providing.

Jelly Babies?
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-11-2012, 05:38 AM
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Location: Contra Costa CA
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The wood is to far to the side. Do not put it in the middle, though. Divide the tank into 5ths and put the high point of the wood at about 2/5 of the way from one end or the other. Off center, but closer to the center than it is.

Can you tip the wood up one way or another? That can add interest.

The lily is the same color and same height as the wood. It does not show up. Once you have repositioned the wood I would also move the lily away from the wood. Put some very low green plants in front of the wood.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-11-2012, 06:41 AM
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Location: Charlotte
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Do you have some algae eaters in your tank? 3-5 otos might help
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