HELP with Struggling 40B - Page 2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #16 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-07-2019, 12:21 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
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I like the idea of using the larger gravel as a design feature. Based on all feedback my current plan is to save around 50% of pea gravel and replace the rest with BDBS (can actually get it locally plus the price is great). I will let more gravel sit in the tank during the transition to let bacteria establish in new substrate if needed.

I think all the Osmocote I have in the gravel (probably have like 7-8 gel caps in there, some are several months old) may be contributing to my nitrate issue. Reading is at 30 ppm after not adding anything to the tank since Sat and doing a partial 25% water change yesterday. What I'd like to do is try to remove all that Osmocote from the substrate to "reset" the tank, then start slowly building ferts back up as the plants use them. Plan on doing another 50% water change on Sat. and perhaps adding another sponge to the filter to help until I can deal with the substrate.

Since I'm not a huge fan of the scape at the moment I'll probably play with driftwood placement as well, add some hills/valleys as suggested and possibly throw some larger lava rock in the tank.
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post #17 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-07-2019, 12:31 AM
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Try dosing way less (Easy Green 1x per week with root tabs only), lights on for 4-5 hours a day, cut the excel, small water changes (about 20%) and light feeding of the fish. Agressively trim any leaves not doing well and only spot dose with hydrogen peroxide.

Generally, the "speed limit" of your tank is being currently controlled by the amount of CO2 in there. Pushing lights and ferts without CO2 will only cause algae. They are fun to mess around with but nothing will change since your limiting factor (see Liebig's law of the minimum) is the lack of CO2 in the tank.

If you want the tank to balance, you need to dial back ferts and light until they match the amount of CO2 in the tank.
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