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Old 08-18-2006, 12:02 AM   #1
keitone
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Newb with questions


Ok so I started this planted tank about a month ago, or I should say I converted a 3o gal tank to a planted tank.

I have 2 watts per gallon( 38 from t-5 fixture and 20 from a regular flourescent).

Substrate was what I had in there before it was planted, which is a mix of fine/coarse sand. Im not sure but I think it is getting a little to compacted and I was considering switching to eco complete, and its deffinatly not providing anything for my plants. It was cheap though and is a nice natural color.

As far as plants go I have; jungle val, crypts, aponogeton, dwarf sag, anubius, java moss, and a oriental sword.

Water parameters are
NH3 - 0
Nitrates - 10 ppm (water from tap)
KH -18 deg
GH - 6 deg
Ph ~ 8.0

I have a couple rasboras a pair of Neolamprologus brevis, a couple guppies, there were 4 small albino bristle nose in there but I havent seen the but I do find poo. I think.

I know that the tank is relatively new, but growth has been slow to non existant. The cryps have spread a little a few new leaves on the sword, and new leaf on one of my anubius. I havent seen any growth on the vals the dwarf sag, and everything is getting covered in brown algae, especially the java moss. I had the vals in another tank before this one and they grew like mad.

I havent been dosing anything consistantly. I have flourish but with the algae I am kinda hesitant to add it. I bought some excel and used it three times before I read that vals are sensative to it. So, I havent used it since. I did just put some jobes fert sticks in the sand last week.

Now that I have given the background on the tank. Here are my questions.

I have always had cichlid tanks and the general rule is to overfilter. What kind of effect does overfiltering have on a planted tank. Do the nitrobacter or whatever use up ammonia and nitrates that the plants could be using instead?

I was also considering a diy CO2 setup with a hagen ladder diffuser. With this setup is it really nessisary?

The substrate is leveling sand that I bought from home depot. While it does have some smaller pebbles in it it is mostly fine sand and might be getting a little to compact. I did get some mts snails hoping they would keep it loose enough, but they are usually out and about. I hear everyone raving about aqua soil but I dont know of anywhere localy that sells it. I really dont want to pay for shipping. I work at a mom and pop lfs and get a decent discount. Although we dont carry eco complete we should beable to get it. Would I really notice that much of a difference between eco/AS/flourite/onyx?
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Old 08-18-2006, 02:41 AM   #2
Hoppy
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I don't now do low tech tanks, but I do know that plants need nutrients to grow well. That can be from the substrate or from the water column. Since you are using only sand as a substrate, and don't mention using plant tabs in the substrate, I assume you aren't providing the NPK needed by the plants. So, I suggest either getting some plant tabs or some water column fertilizers, such as potassium nitrate, mono potassium phosphate and Flourish for traces and dosing them in some routine schedule.
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Old 08-18-2006, 03:29 AM   #3
keitone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy
I don't now do low tech tanks, but I do know that plants need nutrients to grow well. That can be from the substrate or from the water column. Since you are using only sand as a substrate, and don't mention using plant tabs in the substrate, I assume you aren't providing the NPK needed by the plants. So, I suggest either getting some plant tabs or some water column fertilizers, such as potassium nitrate, mono potassium phosphate and Flourish for traces and dosing them in some routine schedule.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keitone
I did just put some jobes fert sticks in the sand last week.
I was dosing flourish but have quit because of the algae and was assuming that it was excess nutrients. I suppose that it could be silicates in the sand as well, but im really not sure.
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