New low-tech tank, seeking advice (56k warning )
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Old 08-28-2006, 10:55 PM   #1
beznsarah
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New low-tech tank, seeking advice (56k warning )


I converted my fish only tank to a low-tech tank. I wanted to get some input to make sure I'm off to a great start. My goal was to follow a low-tech approach similar to some write-ups by Tom Barr re low-tech tanks. I want to have a low-tech plant with low maintenance, minimal water changes, etc.

Some info on my setup:
  • My tank is 75 gal.
  • My lights are 2x54w ho t5 bulbs with tek reflectors and I run those 12hrs a day.
  • My substrate is Turface MVP, I have about 6 in in the back and sloped to 3in in the front before laying the gravel down I sprinkled peat moss on the bottom.

Livestock:
  • 12 ottos
  • 20 amano shrimp (added yesterday)
  • 7 misc barbs/tetras
  • 5 skunk cory's
  • Removed 2 paradise gouramis today to save the small amano's

Plants:
  • About 8 large clumps of Java fern
  • a few Chain sword (Echinodorus tenellus)
  • 2 stems of Cabomba caroliniana var. caroliniana
  • 3 stems of Bacopa
  • A few stems of Wisteria (Hygrophila difformis)
  • About 15 Cyrpts green and brown leaves
  • A couple of Anacharis strands (Egeria densa)
  • 3 large clumps of hornwort (CERATOPHYLLYM DEMERSUM)
  • 2 anubias nana


The tank was previously established as a fish only. I changed the substrate and started adding plants around 2 weeks ago on Aug 10. The tank is fully cycled already because I already had fish in it Nitrites=0, ammonia=0, Nitrates~40ppm, ph ~ 7.8. I have not done any dosing yet but was planning on doing minimal dosing probably starting in a few weeks.

So far the plants are looking good, however I am seeing hair algae begin to form on some of the plants. Looks like over the last week is when it started on a bacopa and is spreading. I can see small strands on almost all the plants now. I've also noticed the brown diatoms begin to start forming on various plants.

I'm thinking part of what I need is to replace some of my Java fern with faster growing stem plants to out-compete algae like more Hygro's, Limnophila sessiliflora, ludwigia repens, etc I was also considering getting 4-5 SAE's but not sure about that yet and I know that's not a solution to the algae.

Any guidance would be appreciated. I'm enjoying this but I'm a little concerned that I may need to make some adjustments here.

Here's a couple of pics. Don't let the tank background fool you, I need to replace/remove it. It makes it look like I have more plants than I really do.


One pic is the left side one is the right side:



Thanks!
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Old 08-29-2006, 11:49 PM   #2
cornhusker
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Default new low tech tank

starting a new tank out on a diet of EXCELL has proved to me to be the best way to keep your algae at bay.on a 75 gal 7 capfuls at water change and 3 caps every other day.you can cut back at about six weeks.you don't have to overdose when using on a new tank setup.i have 7 tanks setup this way and don't regret it.low maintenence way to go. regards,cornhusker
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Old 08-30-2006, 12:21 AM   #3
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DO NOT add SAE add a group of Albino Bushy Nose Plecos they are AWSOME algea eaters. they are also usually good priced. check swap n shop and aquabid for them.

- fish newb -

algea in low tech is normal.. you just need to find out how to controll it.....
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Old 08-30-2006, 03:19 AM   #4
beznsarah
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cornhusker View Post
starting a new tank out on a diet of EXCELL has proved to me to be the best way to keep your algae at bay.on a 75 gal 7 capfuls at water change and 3 caps every other day.you can cut back at about six weeks.you don't have to overdose when using on a new tank setup.i have 7 tanks setup this way and don't regret it.low maintenence way to go. regards,cornhusker
How often do you change your water? Going low-tech low maint, I wasn't planning on changing my water for months. At least that's what I'd read based on Walstad & Barr info i've seen.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Fish Newb View Post
DO NOT add SAE add a group of Albino Bushy Nose Plecos they are AWSOME algea eaters. they are also usually good priced. check swap n shop and aquabid for them.

- fish newb -

algea in low tech is normal.. you just need to find out how to controll it.....
Just curious as to why you recommend against SAE. I've heard mixed reviews. Most say they're good when small then they get lazy as they get bigger. I'll need to do some research on bristlenose.

I'm sure there are things you can do to minimize algae in low-tech, maybe I'm wrong as I can't say from experience. Articles I've read make it sound possible. The control via algae eaters, etc. is necessary but it should not be the primary mode of attack IMO.
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Old 08-30-2006, 03:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beznsarah View Post
Just curious as to why you recommend against SAE. I've heard mixed reviews. Most say they're good when small then they get lazy as they get bigger. I'll need to do some research on bristlenose.
i had very bad experiences with true SAEs they ate all the tips of my vals.. lots of other plants. dont get them

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