Help me establish a base line for my 260lt - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-18-2012, 09:07 AM Thread Starter
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Question Help me establish a base line for my 260lt

Hi folks.

Looks like there are some very knowledgeable folks on here wrt ferts etc. Hopefully you can help me establish a dosing regime.

I know there is the EI method that's favoured but I can't deal with weekly WC due to working away for 14 days at a time and SWMBO is busy enough with two kids.

I'll set out my basics.

Juwel Vision 260ltr tank
Twin 54W T5 lighting - No reflectors at present but considering.
Standard Juwel Internal filter.
Eheim Ecco Pro 2036 canister filter.
Inert gravel substrate at present.
Big slate rock.

Flora so far -
3 pots - Eleocharis parvula
3 pots - Cryptocoryne beckettii 'petchii'
3 pots - Lilaeopsis brasiliensis
3 bunches - Rotala wallichii
Lots more plants required.

Fauna so far -
2 - Golden Barbs
6 - Neon Tetra
2 - Small Danio
3 - Panda Corydoras
3 - Sterei Corydoras
4 - Otocinclus
4 - Swordtail (2M+2F)
4 - Amano Shrimp
2 - Golden Apple Snail
2 - Zebra Nerite Snail
I'd like more shrimps and hopefully a matched pair of Kribensis Pulcher

Fauna all appear to be doing fine.
Plants don't seem to be doing much.

My dillema-
I work away for 2 weeks at a time so am looking for monthly WC's. (EI dosing is out)
I will not be using CO2 but will dose liquid carbon. (I am using easycarbo at the moment)
I intend dosing liquid ferts.
I have 2 peristalic pumps that I intend setting up for auto dosing of ferts and easycarbo.

I have 4 bags of Akadama sustrate that I intend replacing the inert gravel with. This will give me a store for dosed ferts etc as they are absorbed by the Akadama.

I am thinking at most my lighting would be classed as low-medium. Photoperiod 13:00 to 20:00hrs.

I am dosing 5mls of easycarbo daily
I am dosing 1 squirt of Brighty K daily
I am dosing 25 mls of TNC Complete weekly

Plants look weak.

Also want to ensure stable conditions for shrimp and snails eg hardness etc for shell/exoskeleton.

I will do another full round of testing including tapwater for reference and update soon.

Sorry for the long post by the way.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-18-2012, 04:17 PM
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Are you using regular aquarium gravel? Or something like eco-complete type gravel that holds in nutrients to later release back to plants?

Are you using root tabs for the plants?

It sounds to me like the plants aren't getting the nutrients they need, and there's simple ways to correct the issues. 1) Adding root tabs to the substrate under the plants. 2) Going with a better planted substrate thats made for planted aquariums.

Eco-complete and Flourite are inert planted substrates that are capable of storing nutrients from the water column, and slowly releasing them back to the plants over a period of time.

As for liquid carbon supplement, most of them are active for 24 hours and then needs to be added to the water again. Your best bet would be a co2 injection system since your work causes you to be away for periods at a time.

As for the lighting I suggest getting some sort of reflectors for it.

As for EI dosing, you can go with a regime to fit your needs as well as the plants needs, I'm sure someone here knows more about that I do lol

15g Fluval Flex - Will be a planted shrimp tank
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-19-2012, 01:10 AM Thread Starter
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The gravel is the coated stuff that is truly inert.
I do have a few Seachem Flourish tabs at the roots of all plants.
The Akadama substrate is a baked clay type substrate used for bonsai that should allow good absorbtion of nutrients and release as necessary.

I don't mind dosing liquid carbon daily instead of CO2. I really don't relish the thought of a pressurised bottle of gas in my living room.

Update with my current water parameters.

Testing took place at 00:30hrs (4.5hrs after the end of the lighting period)
Easycarbo and Brighty K dosed at 22:00hrs.

Temp - 25.5 C / 78 F
pH - 7.1
KH - 30 mg/l (1.7 dKH)
GH - 80 mg/l (4.5 dGH)
NO3 - 5 mg/l
PO4 - 1 to 2.5 mg/l
TDS - 160 ppm
O2 - 5 mg/l

Rotala Wallichii is looking pretty sorry for itself. See through leaves and dying off.

Ideas welcome

I was thinking reflectors and double the easy carbo dosing.

What other deficiencies would cause this leaf thinning?


Last edited by GAZ_XB9R; 09-19-2012 at 09:14 AM. Reason: Update
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-25-2012, 08:43 AM Thread Starter
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Ok, quick update.

Testing late evening before dosing Easycarbo + Brighty K.
Weekly TNC Complete last dose was Friday 21st (4 days ago)

Tank Parameters
GH 80
KH 30
pH 7.2
TDS 160
NITRATE 5 mg/l
PHOSPHATE 3 - 4 mg/l
IRON (free) NIL
IRON (chelated) NIL

Tap Water Parameters
GH 40
KH 20
pH 7.1
TDS 44
NITRATE 8 mg/l
IRON (free) NIL
IRON (chelated) NIL

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Looks like I could definitely do with some extra iron. (Its on order just awaiting delivery along with the rest of my plants)

What about Calcium and Magnesium? What would be the signs of deficiencies?

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