20L first planted tank advice/critique
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Old 03-22-2013, 12:50 AM   #1
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20L first planted tank advice/critique

Hello all
I've been lurking on here finding lots and lots of helpful information concerning my first planted tank. A little background info

Substrate: Fluorite topped with gravel
Filter: Penguin 200
Lighting: Current USA Nova 2x24 watt (Raised 3in off tank) 6hrs/day
Paintball CO2 on 24/7 2-3 bubbles per second, Fluval diffuser
API Master Test Kit(I do not currently have my water parameters)

After doing some research and a lot of searching on here Im trying to develop a cost effective but reliable low-med light, low tech tank.

Ive recently started battling BBA and GSA in my tank. I am starting by doing 10-15% water changes every 3 days and cutting my lights to 4-6hrs/day. After a few weeks I will try to make weekly 20% water changes. Also I recently purchase some dry ferts, both macro and plantex and will start off using the EI method until I can dial in my CO2 and fert schedule.

When I do get everything in check I will begin to start infesting in more plants. Currently I am just housing some Java Fern, crypts and swords. Most plants arent doing so well. Honestly prior to this week I have not kept up on proper maint which is probably part of my problem. I am just looking for some more expertise and critique of my set up and plans to combat algae and if or what else may help me that I may have missed. I tried to be as thorough as possible but if any other info is needed please let me know and thank you for any help!
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Old 03-22-2013, 03:45 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum! You will find lots of helpful info.

Definitely start those ferts as soon as possible, because you can't have high light and CO2 without any ferts, so I would think that is the source of your algae issues. And at this point you are running a pretty high tech tank lol. To achieve low-medium light you may have to raise to fixture a few more inches.
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Old 03-22-2013, 05:04 AM   #3
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Lots of good info on this site.

If you can't start with a fairly heavily planted tank, see if you can put in some floaters, or even house plant cuttings (not submerged, just dipped into the tank). Plants that are exposed to the atmosphere (cuttings, floaters, emergent growth, etc.) has much more access to light and CO2, and can do a better job of taking up excess nitrogen and such. It's better if you can get the tank full of plants from the start, that way there are less niches for algae to exploit.

For future tanks, there isn't really any need to cap flourite, it works fine by itself as a substrate, or it can be used as a cap for dirt/MTS.
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