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Old 04-25-2012, 05:13 AM   #31
xenxes
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Pics are worth a thousand words, I kept thinking your bulbs were dim and about to burn out. I will echo what others have said. Even for 3 year old bulbs, they are too much light for what you currently have. Your anubias and crypts are both fairly slow growing, thus susceptible to algae growth. The tank is too sparsely planted, thus providing algae with an environment to thrive.

Kala is right, plant some stems (high growth plants). I don't know how good that substrate is, but I would prefer soil (miracle grow organic potting) + a sand & gravel cap.

For that much light, you should plant about this much:


(My low-tech no maintenance tank under 1 single T5HO 54w, 3.5 months in)

You can go low tech and have rapid growth, in place of a CO2 tank you can have fish respiration, you'll probably want some shrimp and a couple more fish in there.

Solution: stem plants + floaters + fauna.
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Old 04-25-2012, 07:41 AM   #32
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Thanks for all the support chaps. I am getting option....which is great.

I have an FE sitting in the garage which I just need a regulator for, but its the maintenance on anything other than a lowtech that gets me.

I simply do not have the time to do gardening and water changes weekly.

SO, just to clarify.

I have problems because:

1. I have to much light.
2. I have to few plants.
3. I have to few fish.
4. I have no CO2
5. I have no dosing.

?????

I love the tank, and it sits in a great spot.... and my little one (only 2 1/4) loves helping me feed the fish, but I will not have time to dose or do weekly gardening (along with out outdoor garden )

At the risk of alienating some of you that have been very patient with me (and taught me lots), what about my original idea? Plants in pots hidden by the driftwood with a simple sand/gravel base?

If (and its a big IF), I were to re-setup on CO2. Could I avoid dosing?

..... and Xenxes........ that tank is stunning....... the kind of thing I dream of. Gonna have to find the link to that somewhere. Out of interest, do you have fish/shrimp in there (how many) and how much gardening do you have to do?

Regards

Lee
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Old 04-25-2012, 08:03 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xenxes View Post
(miracle grow organic potting) + a sand & gravel cap.
Can you confirm if this is what you mean: http://www.greenfingers.com/supersto...s&siteid=47683

I ask as in the UK we add 'compost' to a lot of things..... highly organified (if that is a word).

Quote:
Originally Posted by xenxes View Post
You can go low tech and have rapid growth, in place of a CO2 tank you can have fish respiration, you'll probably want some shrimp and a couple more fish in there.
I had lots of fish previously, but I had quite a bad infection from some Tetra's (stupidly did not use my usual supplying of fish and use the LFS)

Though, I have four of these bad boys and me and the little one really love them.




Quote:
Originally Posted by xenxes View Post
Solution: stem plants + floaters + fauna.
I'm not sure what you mean by Fauna. Please advise.

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Old 04-25-2012, 08:44 AM   #34
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Out of curiosity, how do I manage floating plants with the pump that I have?

I generally turn the nozel of the filter pump up towards the top of the tank so that it 'disturbs' the water and aerates it better. Would I simply turn this sideways or downwards?

I also have another fan in there, would the same be done with this too?

Regards

*edit*

This is interesting with you chaps in the US and me here in the UK. I post and then get some nice presents in the morning
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Old 04-25-2012, 11:24 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leemonk View Post
SO, just to clarify.

I have problems because:
You have problems because you have:
1. Significantly too much light
OR
2. Not enough ferts and CO2.

Fix one of the above (maybe add some cheap root tabs, not required) and you should be good to go.
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Old 04-25-2012, 12:31 PM   #36
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Hello and welcome. I love anubias and crypts too. I have a 75g with both plus some floaters and love the look.

I've had some pretty low-tech tanks (filterless, just water, fish, and plants and plain gravel grown in liquid rock) successfully and here's what I did and still do to get things off to a successful start.

1. Buy lots of plants at first, especially easy quick-growing varieties like guppy grass and floaters. You'll hate spending the money but it'll be worth it. You can always sell them later. Really pack them in. The guppy grass and floaters especially will take over and you'll spend months getting rid of it but it'll also starve out that algae.

2. Use Excel or Co2 for your start-up. This gets everything growing fast so it'll outgrow that algae. I currently only dose with Excel about 3 times a week just to maintain things but always start tanks out with daily dosing.

3. Be patient. Do water changes. You may get some algae at first. Do a water change, don't panic, and it'll all balance out eventually.

Good luck! Buy plants. Don't panic. Be patient.
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Old 04-25-2012, 01:08 PM   #37
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Leemonk

Dont give up yet it just takes time and a little research.
the guys and gals on here are the best source of info out there (believe me i have looked)

For an easy pre mixed fert in the UK have a look at the link below

http://www.plantedtanks.co.uk/pre-mi...sers-125-c.asp
just get the 500 ml dosing bottle as well

And if you decided to go with dry dosing ferts (cheeper in the long run) you can get everything from here

http://www.fluidsensoronline.com/ind...ndex&cPath=146

Get a regulator from Ebay that you can adjust the output pressure they are around 40-50
it will do its job and connect directly to the FE you have (which is a DIN 477 fitting by the way) in the US they use a different one (CG 320 i think)
you can also pick up a spare FE from Ebay for around 25.
also Wholesale Tropical in Bethnal green can refill FE if you ask them. it is also an awsome shop as well.
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Old 04-25-2012, 05:32 PM   #38
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Fauna meaning more shrimp & fish.

Floating plants should be fine w/ water flow - unless you have a rapid in the tank!!

If you want to do the plants in pots go ahead.

Putting them pots makes them easier to move around & it's not like you can't plant them at a later date.

Since you don't want to mess w/ the Co2 (I'm with you on that one!):

1. put some screen over the light
2. pot up some plants
3. get more shrimp & fish (do the research to make sure whatever you get won't eat all the shrimp)
4. get some ferts
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Old 04-26-2012, 06:53 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leemonk View Post
Thanks for all the support chaps. I am getting option....which is great.
That's what TPT is here for

Quote:
I have problems because:

1. I have to much light.
2. I have to few plants.
3. I have to few fish.
4. I have no CO2
5. I have no dosing.

?????
Everyone here gave you good and sound advice, but it's based on a few separate routes, each route has its own balance of light, fert, and CO2. Let me break it down:

(1) High-tech: high light, dose ferts regularly, dose CO2 via gas. What this means is you can grow the most demanding of plants, and grow them fast; you'll have no algae issues, but this requires high maintenance (careful balance and high upkeep of all 3: light, ferts, and co2). But let's not go this route since you want a low maintenance tank / or maintenance free.

(2) Low-tech: with low tech you can go low-light or high-light routes:

(a) Low-tech low-light: people suggested you to go low light if you wanted to keep only anubias, crypt, easy growing low light low growth plants. If you go this route, too much light means the algae will outcompete the low light plants; also since you have fewer plants, you should stock less fish, otherwise too much fish poo (nutrients) may lead to an algae bloom.

(b) Low-tech high-light: if you want a high-light low-tech tank, you'll want to plant very heavily, remember that both nutrients (fert) and CO2 have to keep up with the lighting. This means you'll have to stock adequately (but not overstock), to provide sufficient natural CO2 and fish poo (fertilizer) for the plants. You will also want high-growth stem plants, and to plant densely to support your high fish/shrimp population, and to outcompete any algae growth.

The pic of my tank is the 20g Long in my signature, it's much smaller compared to your 48g (only have space for nano tanks) but might give you some ideas on stocking or plants (maybe double what I have?).

I think you should go route 2(b) low-tech but high-light, if I had your tank this is an approximate step-by-step of I would do:

1. Leave the substrate I'm sure it's fine, buy some osmocote tablets at your local nursery / garden / retail store, insert them into your current substrate, one of those tiny balls every other square inch or so

2. Buy a healthy variety of different stem plants, plant the taller varieties in the back, shorter growth ones in middle, and carpet plants in front. Just insert the stems into the substrate; some stem species I can think of off the top of my head:

- Ludwigia sp.
- Barcopa sp.
- Rotala sp.
- Green Cabomba (grows like a weed)

Try marsilea minuta for foreground, you probably can't sustain a good HC growth given the depth & light.

Also buy / find some floating plants, water lettuce will probably be the easiest to manage for a big tank and has the highest buoyancy (red root floaters tend to have trouble remain floating in high flows), avoid the smaller ones (duckweed, salvinia minima) since they get everywhere and it's difficult to maintain/remove.

3. Crank up the light to 10-12 hour cycles, wait for a week for plants to root, buy some Seachem Excel and dose the half recommended dose if you see visible algae growth

4. Introduce more fish and shrimp slowly, few at a time. Since it's a large community tank I would make sure all the inhabitants get along, I would probably do something like:

- 10+ malaysian trumpet snails - substrate aerator / cleaner
- 10 nerites - gsa, bba algae cleaner
- 10 amano shrimp - other algae cleaner
- 20 cherry shrimp - extra fish food / waste cleaner (starter colony, they will breed fast)
- 10 otocinclus - diatom algae cleaner
- 20 pygmy corydoras species (pygmaeus, habrosus, or hastatus) - bottom cleaner
- 10 rasboras species or tetras (I like galaxy) or 10 neon tetras or both - midwater feeder
- 5-10 fancy guppies - surface feeder

Give or take.

These are all pretty shy / docile community nano fish, I prefer to have lots of smaller fish as opposed to a few larger ones, gives the tank more depth and sense of scale.

If you have larger predatory fish you'll want to wait until your plants grow out (lots of cover).

5. Clip the stems as they begin to grow taller, and plant more densely, aim to cover all of the substrate (except for your negative space in the front where you want to view the fish)

*Whew* feel like I just wrote a book :/

Don't give up!

Last edited by xenxes; 04-27-2012 at 06:50 AM..
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Old 04-27-2012, 11:38 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xenxes View Post
That's what TPT is here for



Everyone here gave you good and sound advice, but it's based on a few separate routes, each route has its own balance of light, fert, and CO2. Let me break it down:

(1) High-tech: high light, dose ferts regularly, dose CO2 via gas. What this means is you can grow the most demanding of plants, and grow them fast; you'll have no algae issues, but this requires high maintenance (careful balance and high upkeep of all 3: light, ferts, and co2). But let's not go this route since you want a low maintenance tank / or maintenance free.

(2) Low-tech: with low tech you can go low-light or high-light routes:

(a) Low-tech low-light: people suggested you to go low light if you wanted to keep only anubias, crypt, easy growing low light low growth plants. If you go this route, too much light means the algae will outcompete the low light plants; also since you have fewer plants, you should stock less fish, otherwise too much fish poo (nutrients) may lead to an algae bloom.

(b) Low-tech high-light: if you want a high-light low-tech tank, you'll want to plant very heavily, remember that both nutrients (fert) and CO2 have to keep up with the lighting. This means you'll have to stock adequately (but not overstock), to provide sufficient natural CO2 and fish poo (fertilizer) for the plants. You will also want high-growth stem plants, and to plant densely to support your high fish/shrimp population, and to outcompete any algae growth.

The pic of my tank is the 20g Long in my signature, it's much smaller compared to your 48g (only have space for nano tanks) but might give you some ideas on stocking or plants (maybe double what I have?).

I think you should go route 2(b) low-tech but high-light, if I had your tank this is an approximate step-by-step of I would do:

1. Leave the substrate I'm sure it's fine, buy some osmocote tablets at your local nursery / garden / retail store, insert them into your current substrate, one of those tiny balls every other square inch or so

2. Buy a healthy variety of different stem plants, plant the taller varieties in the back, shorter growth ones in middle, and carpet plants in front. Just insert the stems into the substrate; some stem species I can think of off the top of my head:

- Ludwigia sp.
- Barcopa sp.
- Rotala sp.
- Green Cabomba (grows like a weed)

Try marsilea minuta for foreground, you probably can't sustain a good HC growth given the depth & light.

Also buy / find some floating plants, water lettuce will probably be the easiest to manage for a big tank and has the highest buoyancy (red root floaters tend to have trouble remain floating in high flows), avoid the smaller ones (duckweed, salvinia minima) since they get everywhere and it's difficult to maintain/remove.

3. Crank up the light to 10-12 hour cycles, wait for a week for plants to root, buy some Seachem Excel and dose the half recommended dose if you see visible algae growth

4. Introduce more fish and shrimp slowly, few at a time. Since it's a large community tank I would make sure all the inhabitants get along, I would probably do something like:

- 10+ malaysian trumpet snails - substrate aerator / cleaner
- 10 nerites - gsa, bba algae cleaner
- 10 amano shrimp - other algae cleaner
- 20 cherry shrimp - extra fish food / waste cleaner (starter colony, they will breed fast)
- 10 otocinclus - diatom algae cleaner
- 20 pygmy corydoras species (pygmaeus, habrosus, or hastatus) - bottom cleaner
- 10 rasboras species or tetras (I like galaxy) or 10 neon tetras or both - midwater feeder
- 5-10 fancy guppies - surface feeder

Give or take.

These are all pretty shy / docile community nano fish, I prefer to have lots of smaller fish as opposed to a few larger ones, gives the tank more depth and sense of scale.

If you have larger predatory fish you'll want to wait until your plants grow out (lots of cover).

5. Clip the stems as they begin to grow taller, and plant more densely, aim to cover all of the substrate (except for your negative space in the front where you want to view the fish)

*Whew* feel like I just wrote a book :/

Don't give up!
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Old 04-28-2012, 08:33 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xenxes View Post
*Whew* feel like I just wrote a book :/

It was a bl00dy good read

Thanks guys! Especially you Xenxes!!!

I am going away for a little while so I'll crack on with this when I am back, else my father is going to have to manage it whilst he house sits......

I think option 2B sounds good. That way I don't have to mess with anything, apart from planting a ton more.

Out of curiosity, if I plant very densely, which from what I understand will consume all of the nutrients so that the algae can't then what happens if there are not enough nutrients? Do the plants simply grow slower or does this create more problems?

I am really pleased I have posted here

Regards

Lee
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Old 04-28-2012, 01:52 PM   #42
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Hey,

Just been youtubing.....

Can anyone please tell me what this plant is and will it grow in option 2B?



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Old 04-29-2012, 09:47 PM   #43
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Looks like Hygrophilia Polysperma? A must for any low light/low tech tank. Grows like crazy and is hardy as hell.

Low tech, high light is a silly option if you're already struggling. Stick with low light and you'll begin to find everything 100 times easier. In fact if you're not injecting pressurised co2 and dosing I don't know why anyone would go for high light.
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Old 04-30-2012, 05:53 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leemonk View Post
It was a bl00dy good read

Thanks guys! Especially you Xenxes!!!

I am going away for a little while so I'll crack on with this when I am back, else my father is going to have to manage it whilst he house sits......

I think option 2B sounds good. That way I don't have to mess with anything, apart from planting a ton more.

Out of curiosity, if I plant very densely, which from what I understand will consume all of the nutrients so that the algae can't then what happens if there are not enough nutrients? Do the plants simply grow slower or does this create more problems?

I am really pleased I have posted here

Regards

Lee
Plants can get nutrients from the water column through the leaves and stems, but also from the roots. This is why you have slowly dissolving osmocote tabs in the substrate, and replenish them when you see growth begin to slow or leaves turning yellow/melting, etc.

If you're interested in specific macro/micro nutrients, this pdf is a good read -- http://www.cals.uidaho.edu/edComm/pdf/CIS/CIS1124.pdf

Fish is mainly for respiration (CO2) and macronutrients (ammonia/nitrates). The fertilizer tabs have both macro and micro. Just be sure to get one with no or low copper <0.001 content, else your shrimp will die

Also I don't think your light is high enough to require CO2 given the depth, but if you do still have algae problems with the suggested planting density & stocking, you can always just add more floating plants to block out light.
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Old 05-16-2012, 10:00 AM   #45
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Okay, back from vacation now and time to get serious

Quote:
Originally Posted by xenxes View Post
(b) Low-tech high-light: if you want a high-light low-tech tank, you'll want to plant very heavily, remember that both nutrients (fert) and CO2 have to keep up with the lighting. This means you'll have to stock adequately (but not overstock), to provide sufficient natural CO2 and fish poo (fertilizer) for the plants. You will also want high-growth stem plants, and to plant densely to support your high fish/shrimp population, and to outcompete any algae growth.
With this route would there ever be a problem with a lack of maintenance? I've just started a new job that might see me working away for a few weekends, which is when I strictly do any maintenance on my tank.

Would large amount of growth affect light levels and cause problems for the lower level plants?

Quote:
Originally Posted by xenxes View Post
I think you should go route 2(b) low-tech but high-light, if I had your tank this is an approximate step-by-step of I would do:
I'm going to do this. At least it means I don't have to mess with anything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xenxes View Post
1. Leave the substrate I'm sure it's fine, buy some osmocote tablets at your local nursery / garden / retail store, insert them into your current substrate, one of those tiny balls every other square inch or so
I'm going to go with your suggestion of the compost, sand and gravel. My substrate, whilst I was away, now is half blanketed in a solid dark green mass of algae.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xenxes View Post
2. Buy a healthy variety of different stem plants, plant the taller varieties in the back, shorter growth ones in middle, and carpet plants in front. Just insert the stems into the substrate; some stem species I can think of off the top of my head:

- Ludwigia sp.
- Barcopa sp.
- Rotala sp.
- Green Cabomba (grows like a weed)

Try marsilea minuta for foreground, you probably can't sustain a good HC growth given the depth & light.
Anyone in the UK have any ideas on a good place to get these from? Half the stuff I buy from any UK place just dies (assume it's not aquatic plants).

Quote:
Originally Posted by xenxes View Post
Also buy / find some floating plants, water lettuce will probably be the easiest to manage for a big tank......
An 'aesthetic' question here: My tank is banded (black plastic) at the top and bottom of the tank with the max waterline above the upper banding,t thus, any 'floaters' that I plant will not be visable. Should I just accept a lower water line so that I can see some of these plants?

Quote:
Originally Posted by xenxes View Post
3. Crank up the light to 10-12 hour cycles, wait for a week for plants to root, buy some Seachem Excel and dose the half recommended dose if you see visible algae growth
I assume I am doing this the day I put the plants in?

Quote:
Originally Posted by xenxes View Post
4. Introduce more fish and shrimp slowly, few at a time. Since it's a large community tank I would make sure all the inhabitants get along, I would probably do something like:

- 10+ malaysian trumpet snails - substrate aerator / cleaner
- 10 nerites - gsa, bba algae cleaner
- 10 amano shrimp - other algae cleaner
- 20 cherry shrimp - extra fish food / waste cleaner (starter colony, they will breed fast)
- 10 otocinclus - diatom algae cleaner
- 20 pygmy corydoras species (pygmaeus, habrosus, or hastatus) - bottom cleaner
- 10 rasboras species or tetras (I like galaxy) or 10 neon tetras or both - midwater feeder
- 5-10 fancy guppies - surface feeder
Not to be to exact, but you say slowly, do you mean a few of each at a time or a catagory of each? Are there any key things I should look for before introducing more fish? Also, assuming I plant heavy, won't the plants need the fish in pretty quick?


Quote:
Originally Posted by xenxes View Post
5. Clip the stems as they begin to grow taller, and plant more densely, aim to cover all of the substrate (except for your negative space in the front where you want to view the fish)
I found that with stem plants, when you clip then, they grow back like normal plants, ie two branches? Assuming this is the case for all plants, should I clip low, thus providing denser cover long term, or clip high, to maintain a decent level of density initially (might have got this completely wrong).

Quote:
Originally Posted by xenxes View Post
*Whew* feel like I just wrote a book :/
You did, but if it's any consolation, I have read it about 5 times

Last question..... at least for now.

Based on your replies here and elsewhere, What sort of level thickness should I be looking for in teh compost, sand and gravel?

I assume that it goes in that order too? Compost at bottom, interspersed with tabs, sand covering and then gravel?

Regards

Lee
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