I started this Journal on a another forum so it will look familiar to a few people but figured I might as well share it here as well.
I've been wanting to start a journal for sometime now, but documenting my progress either on paper or through photos has never been my strong suit and always seems to be an afterthought. I am one of those guys that brings his camera on vacation and doesn't take a single picture. But luck for me and you I did take a few random photos throughout the process.
The tank has been up and running for roughly 9 months. For the first two months I dosed roughly ⅓ EI, then I flipped over to ½ EI for the following three months. Had no clue what I was doing but read that you do not need to dose anywhere near full EI with new AS. From day one I have run Co2 where it’s a steady stream of bubbles through the counter, to hard to even count. At around the five month, life was a little busy and the tank was kinda left to its own accord. Dosing and trimming were very random, Co2 had run out at some point, and water changes pretty much came to a halt. As all this was taking place there was one constant, the lighting. Four of the six bulbs would come on religiously for 8 hours everyday. As you can imagine my algae growing skill far surpassed my plant growing abilities.
I finally had enough and I entered the tank with scissors in hand and clipped and pulled what ended up being over 75% of the plant material in the tank. When all was said and done I had a grocery bag full to the top of clipping. I restarted my Co2 system and set up a steady stream of bubbles as I had in the past. Lighting did not change, basically 4 bulbs, (two being 6400K’s, one ATI Blue Plus and one Zoo Med Flora) came on for 8 hours each day. Co2 came on one hour before lights on, and went off one hour before lights off. I started dosing full EI, dosing 6 days a week, alternating macros and micros and did a 60% to 70% water change on the 7th day. Plant growth was steady. I tried different plants here and there, of course some grow better than others. I had/have issues with AR mini, leaves curl and stunt, R. wallichii stunting after a couple weeks in the tank, but most other things i’ve tried grew ok with this routine, some even grew to good (weeds) and they ended up in the compost bin.
The Basics and Current Set-up
- Tanks been running 9 months.
- I let the tank crash due to lack of care and time around the 5 month mark.
- Cleaned tank up.
- Started dosing full EI about 3 months ago.
- Most things grew well.
- AR mini curls and stunts.
- R. wallichii stunts after a week or so in the tank.
standard 75gal 48” x 21” x 18”
Homemade, 2x4 carcass, skinned with cabinet panels which are all removable giving me full access to equipment.
Carcass built and ready for black paint.
Cabinet with removable panels (skins) installed
Just in case someone is interested I used these little connectors to attach the panels.
6 bulb T5HO Tek light. Has to separate banks of bulbs, two outside bulbs on the first bank and the four middle bulbs on the second bank.
Bulbs: From front to back
- 6400K Sunblaster
- Zoo Med Flora Sun
- 6400K Sunblaster
- 6400K Sunblaster
- ATI Blue Plus ?
- Giesemann AquaFlora
8h total. Currently fixture sits about 8" off the surface.
First 2 hours and last 2 hours, two bulbs come on consisting of bulbs 1 and 6
Middle 4 hours, all 6 bulbs on.
I am trying to get a hold of a Par meter to take some readings. I’ll update when I get my hands on one.
Filtration and Circulation:
Hydro 600, intake and outflow (via a spray bar) setup on left side of tank. Flow is directed across the surface and runs the length of the tank.
On the right side, Ehiem Skimmer 350 that I have plugged into a cheap timer which comes on for half hour runtime multiple times a day.
A Koralia 850 circulating water left to right, aiming downward. This is a balancing act between not disturbing the substrate but keeping the water flowing back across the tank at the plant level.
4 or 5 9L bags (can't remember) of ADA Aqua Soil.
Custom made Harrison dual stage regulator, Clippard solenoid, Fabco needle valve and 20lb tank.
24" x 2" PVC DYI reactor, gate valve on the outflow to control flow and to create a little back pressure to help with dissolving Co2.
Co2 comes on 1.h hours before lights on and goes off 1 hour before lights off.
I think I might need a little cord management
2016 Tap water report for my area.
Tank water according to API Test Kit
- Fe - 0.005 ppm
- Mn - 0.0006 ppm
- Cu - 0.008 ppm
- Mg - 8.99 ppm
- Zn - 0.0028 ppm
- Mo - 0.0013 ppm
- B - 0.023 ppm
- dGH - 122mg/L ~7dGH
- PH - 7.72
- dGH - ~7dGH
- dKH - ~5dKH
- PH - Forgot to replace the cap on my PH pen. Will update when I get a new one.
Macro dosing is based on full EI, I based my calculation on a full 75 gallons of water using Rotala Butterfly.
Macros are dry dosed 3 days a week.
7.5 ppm KNO3
1.3 ppm K2PO4
Micros are currently ½ EI which comes from Dutch Nutrient Formula Micro Mix. I mix these in a 500ml container and dose 10ml 3 days a week.
I dose an extra 5ml/.2 ppm of Flourish Iron on micro days.
Dutch Nutrient Formula Trace Elements
I will add some of my thoughts, concerns and goals, along with more pictures and my current and past plant lists (at least the ones I know the names of) in my next post.
Yes this layout looks very similar to burr's, and there is a reason for that. His journal template is easy read and follow. Also tank information is in one post and easy to find. Full credit goes to Burr740! I hope he doesn't mind because this took a crap load of time to write up.
Thanks for following along, comments, concerns, critiques, suggestions and questions are all welcome and encouraged.