Putting The Brakes on A Planted Tank - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-18-2005, 06:16 PM Thread Starter
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Putting The Brakes on A Planted Tank

My plants are growing too fast! I am pretty good with 50% water changes and trimming every week. But, by the end of the week, some plants cover most of the surface, press up against the glass, and shade bottom plants to the point of harming some of them. As much as I love the tank, I don't want to spend 4-5 hours every weekend pruning.

"Okay, dummy, so remove some of your plants, especially most of that Water Sprite."

Aside from the obvious pruning and removal of some of my fast growers, I just thought I would ask some advice on how to slow down a tank -- you know, make it a bit more manageable and not such a time hog.

50g, 192 watts, 40+ppm CO2, 12hrs light period
Weekly 50% water change
1/2 TSP NO3 3x a week, 1/8 TSP PO4 3 x week
10ml CSM+B 3x a week (1TSP to 250ml H20 Mix)
3ml Flourish Fe 3x a week

Not sure if I should be adding K (Potassium)

Any thoughts? Reduce the photoperiod -- if so, how much? If you reduce the photoperiod, do you reduce the ferts? Or, keep lighting as is, and try reducing ferts?

PS - What might be a nice tall plant to fill in the background of my tank but won't be a space hog like my Sprite? I have a few Balansae, but they haven't gained any height beyond their 4-5 inches.

GOAL: Not having to spend as much time pruning. And, maybe, doing water changes every 2 weeks instead of every week.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-18-2005, 06:19 PM
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I would reduce the light intensity ... that would affect the growth of plant the most
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-18-2005, 06:36 PM
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Yeah, you could probably cut the light in half. One strategy might be to phase them in and thus emulate dawn and dusk, with full power only lasting a few hours during mid day.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-18-2005, 07:05 PM
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Agree with above, cut the light in half. Put the most light demanding plants in prime position directly under the lights. Then sit back and enjoy the long break from tank maintanance.


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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-18-2005, 07:15 PM
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Putting The Brakes on a Planted Tank

Good luck slowing down the growth in your tank... Ingrate... Stinky-poo... (grumblemumblegrumble...)

Kathy
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-18-2005, 07:29 PM
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Quote:
Any thoughts? Reduce the photoperiod -- if so, how much? If you reduce the photoperiod, do you reduce the ferts? Or, keep lighting as is, and try reducing ferts?
Don't reduce the photoperiod. You need to reduce the amount of light to about 2.5 WPG+-. This will slow the growth. Your ferts will also need to be reduced to keep it inline with the reduced hunger.

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-18-2005, 08:04 PM Thread Starter
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Haha, Kathy.

Makes sense -- reduce the wattage, not the duration.

Reduce ferts appropriately. I'll experiment with this. I'll need to prune first, adjust the aquascape, and then adjust accordingly.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-18-2005, 09:16 PM
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CO2 levels are pretty directly related to speed of growth. Bring them down to 15-20 ppm along with the light and plant growth will be less crazy and fishies will breath easier.


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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-18-2005, 09:39 PM
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with low CO2 level and high lighting won't you end up with algae?
how about giving some of the plants to me

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-19-2005, 02:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigpow
with low CO2 level and high lighting won't you end up with algae?
It was recomended to reduce light and co2.

150 g heavy planted
Discus, cardinals, bristle nose, cherrys amano's
6.6 ph with ph controller and glass diffuser.
.5ppm p, 2t k added along with 80ml csm(weak solution) per week
300 watts cf
3.5-4 kh
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-20-2005, 04:14 AM
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I'd reduce the light, do the high power for 3-4 hours ansd low light the rest of the time.

Do a 10 hour(total) low light and full power for 3-4 hours in the middle.
This will save on electric, bulb life, nutrient demand.

I'd highly suggest keeping the CO2 high in low light tank.
Both Claus and myself have suggested low light tanks greatly benefit from this independently.

I would suggest adding more hardscape, take your time and see what you like. That will anchor the tank's design more. Replace the fast growers with ferns, moss, Crypts etc.

The C balansae will get 24-30" long leaves.
Give it time.

Many of Amano's designs have sand in the front and stem plants in the back 1/3 of the tank and hardscape separating them.

While the nutrient routine you have is rich, you can down scale it if you reduce the light.

If 2 week water changes and pruning is your goal, try less light, plant choice changes and about 1/2 the dosing you are now doing.

You can and may perhaps want to try this also:
Reduce the amount you are now dosing till you get a negative plant response.
Then that's the min amount you need for that light level.

You can repeat this when you use less light, I'd say you would only need about 1/2 this amount and iof you fed the fish well, you 'll be okay I'd imagine.

You can watch the plants and you know what they should look like when optimal growth is occuring.

You'll see a slower growth rate, but the health should be the same if not improved.

At 1/2 the dosing, I think you'll be okay for 2 weeks, the weekly method is guessing for one week, there's no reason you cannot get away with longer time peroids as you gain experience and there is no issue with the tank(algae, poor plant growth etc).

If you screw it up, go back to doing what you did before with a water change and try again this time adding a bit more or less.

I use the plants, Mic umbrosum for NO3 and Riccia for CO2, green spot algae and pearling for PO4 etc.

Trace excesses, K+, PO4 excesses do not cause issues.
Only CO2 and NO3 at very high levels will cause issues.

Most fish waste is NO3/NH4.
So high PO4 with good CO2 is not going to cause any problems.

Regards,
Tom Barr



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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-21-2005, 06:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plantbrain
I use the plants, Mic umbrosum for NO3 and Riccia for CO2, green spot algae and pearling for PO4 etc.

Trace excesses, K+, PO4 excesses do not cause issues.
Only CO2 and NO3 at very high levels will cause issues.

Regards,
Tom Barr
Tom, I don't understand what "Mic... for NO3 and Riccia for CO2, green spot algae and pearling for PO4 etc". means. Do you mean pearling as in fast metabolism by plants to use up extra PO4 etc? Thanks, bob





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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-21-2005, 08:07 AM
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These plants are responsive to the the CO2, PO4, and NO3.
They will show signs fiorst before most other plants.
Better than test kits.


Regards,
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-21-2005, 06:20 PM
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No clue if it works or not, but another recent thread talked about raising the temps from the mid 70s up to around 80 to slow down plant growth. That was an idea I was thinking of filing away for a later date. Might that be another potential piece to the puzzle?

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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-21-2005, 09:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BSS
No clue if it works or not, but another recent thread talked about raising the temps from the mid 70s up to around 80 to slow down plant growth. That was an idea I was thinking of filing away for a later date. Might that be another potential piece to the puzzle?
The plant actually tries to grow faster at higher temp and nutrient deficiency also shows up faster. If there is a slow down at higher temp, it is usually due to nutrient problem.


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---------------------
I will do aquascapes after I collect all the plant species and grow them to perfection.
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