I jumped into this fish hobby about a year ago after a 15 year hiatus. Of course, if you knew me, you'd know that I don't do anything part way, so our house has become quite fishy, with a tank in each kids bedroom, two tanks in our bedroom, four tanks in the living room, and 2 in my office too!
The living area tanks include 2 55 gallon planted tanks of very fancy goldfish, a 125 gallon tank of very fancy goldfish, and a 55 gallon tank of tropicals. The goldfish tanks are planted with wisteria, assorted swords, assorted anubias, and assosrted java moss. These tanks do quite well. We did just recently add compact lighting which I must say REALLY DRAMITICALLY increase the beauty of these fish, and the plants too. The plants are growing incredibly now. The 55 gallon tropical tank is stocked with assorted tetras, barbs, pearl gouramis, and angel fish. This tank is doing nicely too. These four tanks have gravel substrate, with laterite mixed in, and all have undergravel filtration along with a canister filter. All the tanks have CO2 added with DIY system.
OK - So about three months ago, I was intriqued by the ideas of Diane Walsted in her book, using soil substrate, and gravel, in a rather modestly equipped aquarium. I put together a 29 gallon tank, with 130 watts of light, soil substrate from the yard, topped with gravel, a HOB filter for water movement, heater, DIY CO2, lots of plants, and a decent load of fish. I was pleased to have the plants grow beautifully from day one, no apparent cycling occurred, and other than some MINOR cloudiness for the first few weeks, I'd say the "experiment" has been a complete success. Son Charles thinks so too.
So, I decide that I'd love a 20 gallon long in my bedroom, to watch as I attempt to drift off to sleep. What could possibly be more relaxing?
So, I beg my hubby to go dig up some of the now almost frozen tundra in our yard, and put together a very similar tank to the tank above. To my dismay, I have been plagued from the beginning with cloudy water, and this time, the water is a lovely shade of florescent green. OK, I suppose it's only florescent due to the pc lights.
Here are the specific water and tank parameters:
It's a 20 gallon long tank.
110 watts 2700K light - 13 hours daily
1 1/2 inches of soil substrate - basically black dirt with small pieces of clay
1 inch small gravel
Filter is an internal filter with heater combined. No carbon.
Lots of plants - red lotus, water sprite, bacopa carolini, cabomba, pennywort, dwarf sag, corksrew sag, mayaca, and rosefolia, and some others too
Live creatures: striated loach, snails, butterfly loach, 2 dwarf gouramis, 5 black skirt tetras, 4 tetras of some kind (cant remember the name!) 1 catfish, 4 otos. Fish seem to be doing very well, though I lost three of the gouramis this week!
I have not been fertilizing. The plants are growing explosively. No trouble at all with algea ON plants. Slight buildup of algae on glass, which I can manage fine. Water is like pea soup! I've been doing water changes of 75% (I know, that's hard on the fish) Seems tolerably clear after a water change, but you can see the green return within a day.
Water does not smell.
far less than 20 ppm nitrates
PH - 7.0-7.2
KH 120 ppm
GH 150 ppm
Can anyone give me some help?
Thanks in advance!