Going back to PMDD for my 110 gallon start up tank
This will be my second attempt in redoing my 110 gallon. My first attempt was with EI and I ended up being an algae farmer instead of a plant grower - It was mostly my fault because I had very low plant density with 3wpg, strong CO2, and 1/3 EI. This time around, I would like to try things a little differently and go back to PMDD for my initial start up stage (mainly to prevent algae) and then switch over to EI once I have everything stabilized and have enough plant mass.
For me personally, I donít like the idea of planting very heavily in the beginning with plants that I donít want eventually. Not to mention that itís very costly to densely plant a 110 gallon if you buy from LFS. This time around, Iím taking the slow and steady approach with emphasis on keeping algae at bay. With that reasoning, I think PMDD would work well for me during the initial start up stage. Here are my tank parameters:
ē Tall 110 gallon
ē Flourite black
ē Pressurized CO2 (30-40ppm)
ē 2x 150watt 6700K Metal Halide
ē Photoperiod 10hours, GH & KH = 1
ē Lightly Planted with 80% swords & crypts and 20% stems
ē 10 SA, 4 black mollies, 5 Amanos, 5 Otoís (I donít feed them)
It has been about three weeks since Iíve reset my tank and things are going pretty well. All of my plants seem to be growing fairly fast with no algae outbreaks beside some GDA on the glass. I keep my nitrates at around 2-5ppm. I donít dose phosphate because itís already 1-2ppm from the tap (New York tap water). I would like to get it lower but I donít have RO. I use Seachem Equilibrium to raise my GH to 3 and bring my potassium level to around 10ppm. Lastly, I use Jobe stick and Seachem root tab for all my plants including stem plants - I think that was the key for good growth since water column fertilization is very lean.
My plan for the next few weeks is to not perform any water changes and let the phosphates level drop even lower. Iíll keep dosing potassium nitrate to keep nitrate at around 2-5ppm and a bit of Flourish for iron and trace. Iíll keep you guys posted, I like to see what effect this will do to my tank and the effect on some of the GDA that I have on my glass.