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Old 10-11-2014, 02:50 AM   #1
James`
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60g Planted Community


Hello everyone! I am new to the forum and am excited to track my planted tanks journey as it continues. I have a few fish in my 60g tank.. including: 11 Adult Neon Tetra, 7 Very young Clown Loaches, 7 Otos, 6 Rasbora, 2 Platy, 2 Purple Passion Danios, 1 Opaline Gourami, 1 Adult Zigzag Eel, and a Clown Peckoltia. These fish call home to a slightly planted tank with Hygrophila Angustifolia, Chilensis , Anacharis, Cyperus, Anubias, Red Melons Swords, Java Moss, Java Ferns, Onion Plant, Hairgrass, Cabomba, and soon more...

I inject CO2 for a period of 8 hours a day with T5 lighting overhead. There are 3 54watt 6500k spectrum and 1 54watt purple bulb with reds and blues. No greens in my spectrum unfortunately. I have it planned for soon. I have decent PAR levels reaching down to the plants and lights on an hour before and after CO2 kicks on. I hope to have dimming features via LED in the near future for sunrise and sunset.

I fertilize 5 days a week with Aquavitro Propel Fe (Iron) and Envy (Bunch of Cammino Acids). In addition I dose Nitrogen and Phosphorus 3 times a week. In my water changes I dose Seachem's Acid Buffer and Alkaline buffer to RODI water for pH stability. I also feel my plants benefit from the CO2 produced from the Acid buffer converting Alkalinity to CO2. I also use Equilibrium to get my GH in place and the minerals for my plants. I also use Flourish Tabs every few months. In addition to that, I use Flourish twice a week to supplement observed nutrients from the water supply. During water changes I use Flourish Excel to put in Organic Carbon ideally to replace the Co2 taken from the water change.

I have driftwood in the tank and lots of rock placed around the aquarium and small elevation changes to add in perspective. I have a ranging 1-4inch Seachem Flourite/Eco Caribbean for my substrate in addition to a half inch gravel bed of Iron Rich rock..

I would love to hear any suggestions to my setup as I am always seeking advise.
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Old 10-11-2014, 05:54 PM   #2
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I forgot to mention I also have 1 angel ram and 2 yoyo loaches

I run two canister filters packed with ceramic rings, bio balls, matrix, Purigan, and little foam.


Here's a pic:
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Old 10-19-2014, 08:55 PM   #3
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I've done some redecorating and planting
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Old 11-05-2014, 04:47 PM   #4
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Got annoyed with my tank at 11 at night couple nights ago and redid the whole left side and uprooted most plants. I wish I could start this tank over but I like the new look. It's time to get some more exotic carpeting plants. Any suggestions ?
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Last edited by James`; 11-05-2014 at 04:48 PM..
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Old 11-05-2014, 05:51 PM   #5
ChemGuyEthan
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Oh man, no one every commented on this... Welcome to TPT!

I will say I like the hardscape and there is a pleasant "V" shape that the plants impart. Maybe some more plants though, looks a little sparsely planted. Probably plant the hygro on the left a little more compactly, the very thing leaf shape makes it look quite scraggly. With your setup, you could do some red plants like some ludwigia red or rubin? Not only will it be a different color, but also a different leaf shape to spruce things up. Some rotala indica or rotundifolia would look nice too, make a clump of some yellow/pink color. Also might help cover up the filter intake which is a bit distracting. On that note, might as well move the heater a little further down so it's not so visible.

And also, I don't think using the seachem buffers is good in a CO2 injected, planted tank. Those are phosphate buffers that work by precipitating the Ca/Mg carbonates from the solution, which when you are injecting CO2 can cause big pH swings since the buffer that normally is in the water is the carbonate which actively cooperates with CO2. Phosphate and CO2 are not able to interact with one another, so when you're removing vast quantities of you carbonates (KH), I think you could run into trouble. And in a planted tank, the plants will consume the phosphate buffer, causing more changes to the system pH. I suppose you are dosing on top of that...have you ever tested your phosphate levels? Probably really high...

I think the less complicated you make the water chemistry, the better off you'll be. Trying to balance phosphates and carbonates and CO2 and the pH together is quite complicated. Do you have a drop checker or a way to monitor your CO2 concentration?

Let's see, carpet plant... For such a big tank, staurogyne repens could look nice. They're a more substantial carpet plant. Maybe glosso as well. Given your substrate, I wouldn't say HC, probably won't hold in very well. Dwarf hair grass is another option, but the maintenance is a little higher.

Keep up the good work!
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Old 11-05-2014, 06:20 PM   #6
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Yay a reply!

I seriously appreciate your plant recommendations. That's exactly what I'm looking for. I don't know enough of the species of plants.

I actually do not use the phosphate based Seachem buffers. I used the acid and akaline buffer which contain no phosphates like Seachem nuetral regulator.

I actually experienced that problem and switched buffers a long while ago. I used Seachem Phosguad for 4 days in a spare HOB to remove the excess phoephates, which were high at the time.

In last two weeks I am now slowly adjusting to Aquavitro GH and KH supplements and relying more heavily on my co2 for the "acid buffer". Like you suggested, I figured left chemistry changes would be good so I am going for a lower pH tank now and just dosing kH instead of targeting pH.

I actually just planted some dhg it's hard to see yet. All my plants are single stems I cultivated from other tanks. Once they grow I will create nice buddies of plants. I Added some Money Wort from my girlfriends cube I am very excited to have on the tank.

I am looking for some very low carpeting plants maybe 1cm but enjoy carpeting through mixed soft subtrade and Seachem Flourite. I also have a .5-1inch rock gravel bed under the visible glass line

I adjust co2 depending on recent planting and growth rates. I battled hair algae during fluctuations but I have found a good balance now. I have a co2 reactor with bio balls under the tank next to the 10gallon QT, uv, and 2 canisters. There's fluval bubble counters for each system. And 2 fluval diffusers. I need to upgrade these but they're cheap and fine for now.

I want to add in a refugium for my night time co2 increase to get pH stability. It is my goal to ultimately incorporate a pH Probe to monitor pH constantly and regulate co2 injection. As for now the 90% of day time is not creating dramatic pH swifts. No more than .2 observed.

Last edited by James`; 11-05-2014 at 06:37 PM..
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Old 11-05-2014, 10:19 PM   #7
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Ah, you're right. The Seachem "regulator" series is the phosphate one. Gotcha, yeah, it's tough figuring out all the factors that go into the water chemistry and how they affect one another. Sounds like you're pretty well aware of the water chemistry already, which is good, haha.

Carpetting plant lower than 1cm... you could try "monte carlo". It's a little larger than HC, but much easier and faster growing. Can be a little hard to find though.

I'd recommend getting a drop counter for CO2 monitoring. It'll lag behind about an hour or so, but nice to have the "at a glance" while looking at the tank. pH probe is ok, but not perfect. It will at least keep consistent levels.

Oh, there's also marsilea minuta or quadrifolia. Easy to grow as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by James` View Post
Yay a reply!

I seriously appreciate your plant recommendations. That's exactly what I'm looking for. I don't know enough of the species of plants.

I actually do not use the phosphate based Seachem buffers. I used the acid and akaline buffer which contain no phosphates like Seachem nuetral regulator.

I actually experienced that problem and switched buffers a long while ago. I used Seachem Phosguad for 4 days in a spare HOB to remove the excess phoephates, which were high at the time.

In last two weeks I am now slowly adjusting to Aquavitro GH and KH supplements and relying more heavily on my co2 for the "acid buffer". Like you suggested, I figured left chemistry changes would be good so I am going for a lower pH tank now and just dosing kH instead of targeting pH.

I actually just planted some dhg it's hard to see yet. All my plants are single stems I cultivated from other tanks. Once they grow I will create nice buddies of plants. I Added some Money Wort from my girlfriends cube I am very excited to have on the tank.

I am looking for some very low carpeting plants maybe 1cm but enjoy carpeting through mixed soft subtrade and Seachem Flourite. I also have a .5-1inch rock gravel bed under the visible glass line

I adjust co2 depending on recent planting and growth rates. I battled hair algae during fluctuations but I have found a good balance now. I have a co2 reactor with bio balls under the tank next to the 10gallon QT, uv, and 2 canisters. There's fluval bubble counters for each system. And 2 fluval diffusers. I need to upgrade these but they're cheap and fine for now.

I want to add in a refugium for my night time co2 increase to get pH stability. It is my goal to ultimately incorporate a pH Probe to monitor pH constantly and regulate co2 injection. As for now the 90% of day time is not creating dramatic pH swifts. No more than .2 observed.
__________________
Corner tank
25L Fluval Chi: Buce and Shrimp
12 gallon long
Wabi Kusa Attempts
You can never have too many tanks...just too little time.
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Old 11-06-2014, 06:18 AM   #8
James`
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I also do not like the idea of it getting seriously calibrated incorrectly or for it to eventually break and inject my tank with tremendous co2... But I guess ultimately as long as it doesn't pump co2 at night my fish will be fine. I may see grass slgae if the probe got miss calibrated but no loss of plsnt or fish... Hmmm lots to consider ..I need to toss out some cash for a good probe and controller haha...

I always like the idea of adding a chiller to this tank and seeing if I can add in hill stream loaches at 73 degree with sufficient rock for algae growth. I'd soak rocks outside in the sun under water to grow algae for them and keep roasting them out on some schedule... Possible?

Edit: here's a loach pic!
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Last edited by James`; 11-06-2014 at 04:43 PM..
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Old 11-09-2014, 08:00 PM   #9
James`
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I've been doing some serious consideration to putting a sma refugium under the tank with a night time light. These plants will take in th co2 from plants above and fish gills and provide pH stability as well as additional co2 for the plants above when it's night time for the refugium. I choose to run the night refugium instead of all day because it's not my goal to have the refugium plants take all nutrients from the water collum

Any recommendations on freshwster refugium plants

I am doing to do a DIY pvc overflow to the refugium. Any input on design would be helpful. I have read many posts on various quiet and efficient designs.
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