Help with Fertilization in 75g - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-21-2014, 12:15 AM Thread Starter
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Help with Fertilization in 75g

In my 75 gallon I've recently run into some problems with algae growing on the glass as well as some bba. I'm running 2 T5HO's over it sitting 19 inches over the substrate.

I used to dose flourish comp bi weekly and excel 3x a week and all of a sudden I'm getting a ton of bba. I've recently run out of excel just last week. To my understanding algae is caused by an imbalance of light/co2/nutrients. My lighting to my knowledge is at the high end of medium light, I think?

I've heard of the low tech EI method but I cannot do more than 20% water changes a week. Generally each week I do a 5 gallon water change. Where I live our well water is rather limited. Our house was built on a particularly low level of groundwater. Apparently when they build your house you aren't guarantied water. It refills very slowly and we have two 150 gallon totes of water as safety if we ever run out. Large water changes are out of the question. Probably not the best hobby to have in my situation.

Liquid ferts are getting way to expensive, so I'll have to order dry ferts sometime soon. But, first I'd like to have a plan on how to dose the tank.

What can I do with small water changes and getting my plants healthy?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-21-2014, 12:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlecFish View Post
In my 75 gallon I've recently run into some problems with algae growing on the glass as well as some bba. I'm running 2 T5HO's over it sitting 19 inches over the substrate.

I used to dose flourish comp bi weekly and excel 3x a week and all of a sudden I'm getting a ton of bba. I've recently run out of excel just last week. To my understanding algae is caused by an imbalance of light/co2/nutrients. My lighting to my knowledge is at the high end of medium light, I think?

I've heard of the low tech EI method but I cannot do more than 20% water changes a week. Generally each week I do a 5 gallon water change. Where I live our well water is rather limited. Our house was built on a particularly low level of groundwater. Apparently when they build your house you aren't guarantied water. It refills very slowly and we have two 150 gallon totes of water as safety if we ever run out. Large water changes are out of the question. Probably not the best hobby to have in my situation.

Liquid ferts are getting way to expensive, so I'll have to order dry ferts sometime soon. But, first I'd like to have a plan on how to dose the tank.

What can I do with small water changes and getting my plants healthy?
I am far from any kind of expert, but Green Leaf Aquarium says the PPS method will work without water changes. You may want to look into that.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-21-2014, 02:36 AM
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While classic EI requires 50% water changes every week, it can be modified such that you are only doing (say) 20% water changes.

There are several threads on how to adjust EI so that this can be achieved.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-25-2014, 01:20 AM Thread Starter
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Hmm. I should reword this. I do a 5g water change a week maybe a 15g if I have time but that rarely happens. I live in an area that doesn't have city/town water so I have a well. Not many people have problems with their well but our's refills VERY slowly. Me being in a family of 5 we all use a pretty good amount of water a day and if I use 15g+ for a fish tank we could be out of water for a little while. So what I've done is bought two brute 32 gallon trash cans and used them as my source of water for water changes. I have other tanks that need water so I try to keep my water usage at a minimal.

Should I start doing larger water changes? 5 gallons may not be enough per week. That could be the cause of bba that being to much organics in the water.

Also I should say I'm a senior this year in high school so after this year I don't know how my brothers are going to take care of this. I'd like to keep it running as I go through college but that seems to be a little far fetched. I'd like to keep this tank as low maintenance as possible is what I'm getting at. I'm open to suggestions.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-25-2014, 01:59 PM
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From what you describe you're looking for a low tech approach. However, I suggest you lower your lighting level for this method.

You still dose fertilizers but at a much lower rate. I think initially water testing is a wise choice so you have an idea of plant uptake and the amount of nutrients your feeding provides. Sure you can calculate how much nutrients you're adding with feeding but most people aren't interested in trying.

Tom Barr gives a nice explanation of non CO2 methods is this article. This is essentially what I think you're looking for.

I would order a full compliment of dry fertilizers rather than what you think you'll need. The shipping cost is a large portion of the cost so get everything at once.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-29-2014, 02:15 AM Thread Starter
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This is kind of urgent but I've been away from my fish tank for a few days now. I start school at 7 in the morning and get out of football at 8pm and I get no time to look at my tank. But just today I got a chance to look at it and I HAVE A TON OF BBA. It's everywhere, all over my manzanita and most of my rotala.

It's pretty bad.... I have a Dual T8 diamond plate fixture that I previously upgraded from. Should I use that and maybe the less amount of light will balance out my nutrient/co2 needs??
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-31-2014, 02:29 AM Thread Starter
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Just thought that I'd give this a bump.

More information if not mentioned before.
Lighting- Nova extreme dual t5ho or HD dual t8 diamond plate
Dosing regimen- Not yet figured out
Substrate- 2-3 inches of eco complete
Fauna- 8 dwarf neon rainbows
Filtration- Aquatop cf500

The BBA was almost instantaneous, it came out of nowhere, but I guess I sorta had it coming not using ferts or running co2 in a 2x T5HO over a 75. There are no mounts on the fixture I currently have to raise it higher off the ceiling so that's out of the question.

As I said in my previous post I have a HD diamond plate dual T8 fixture. I recently upgraded from that to a dual T5HO Nova extreme. I wasn't getting good light spread with the T8's and the growth wasn't much at all. So I thought it would be best to upgrade. At first the growth was great but as time went on nothing grew. Especially plants like dwarf sag or sunset hygro. As the weeks past I would get nothing. It lead me to where I am now suffering a horrible bba outbreak.

I understand that there needs to be a balance between light levels, CO2 and nutrients available to the plant mass but from what I've read, correct me if I'm wrong but he suggests using a soil based substrate and without that would I have to dose ferts regularly to make up for the lack of nutrients?


To get 'better' light spread i.e. would a 3 bulb T8 be a better option?


I'm still learning to understand this so pardon my ignorance.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-31-2014, 03:11 AM
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Hi I have a question? What is the ph of the water out of the faucet and the ph after you have aerated it for 48hrs? I to am on a well and my water is 8.4 from the faucet and after I have aerated it for the 48hrs. I use a 72'' ho t5 from aquatraders.com and I also have algae. I have to fine that place where the ferts , light, and the co2 really hits the spot where the algae is little to none. I added 8 octocinclus catfish. They help a lot.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-31-2014, 03:43 PM Thread Starter
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pH is about 7.8 out of the faucet and settles down to 7.5 in my tank.

How are your otos in a pH so high, I've been skeptical of getting some because my pH is higher than what it's supposed to be.


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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-07-2014, 01:54 PM Thread Starter
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Anybody have ideas for a light that would put me into low tech?

T5HO's are out of the question and the light spread of the diamond plate is lacking, even if I raise it off the surface there's a ton of light splatter.

Would a triple T8 fixture work?

75 gallon
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