So this is my journal, where i will hopefully transform my tank into a dutch style beauty..... It's always been my dream but somewhere along the way i got lost...
The tank is a Juwel Rio 240, with stock internal filter + a fluval 406 canister filter and stock juwel 2x54W T5HO bulbs with reflectors, i used to run both "day" bulbs now i use 1 "nature" and one "day". The substrate is ecocomplete,
I started this tank 2 years ago and it looked like this....... Things weren't perfect but i was getting good growth, there was minimal algae, the rotala wallichii wasn't doing well. Probably since I wasn't running any CO2, I had put a bunch of root tabs in the substrate, which is Caribsea's Eco Complete. I wasn't dosing any ferts at this point and I was probably running WAY to much light.
Because this is what it looked like 2 years later, after battles with every kind of algae, I had literally lost hope in everything. I had added a CO2 Injection system but was using a diffuser that had become clogged with algae and i was barely getting 2ppm. I had sporadically dosed ferts but wasn't regular with it. I had cut down the light to 4 hrs a day. Finally my CO2 regulator solenoid died.... I wasn't keeping up with water changes at all.
Finally i decided to make some changes. I bought a CO2 reactor and a new regulator and a fresh bottle of CO2 and also purchased a pH controller and dialled the pH in to 6.4, giving me ~29ppm of CO2 at a kH of 3. I got rid of the terrible flow restricting spray bar and adjusted my outflows to circulate the water better. I purchased a dosing pump and made some pre-mixed solutions(KNO3, KH2PO4, Rexolin APN) which get dosed automatically(im currently doing 1/2 EI as there is too much accumulation of nitrates and phosphates because i don't have enough plant uptake. I also purchased new bulbs for the lights. I cleaned and manually removed as much algae ridded plants as possible and did a thorough vacuum of the tank. I reduced my feeding down and added Purigen to my filter to reduce organic waste being converted to nitrates. I've been religious with my 50% water changes.
This is the result.
I know its nothing like any of the amazing tanks here, and it honestly breaks my heart to see it like this, I don't want to give up. I know with enough hard work I can achieve something beautiful. I'm making slow progress towards my goals, and that is to have beautifully red plants and NO ALGAE!!!!. I know im going to have to go out and buy some new plants in the future, but i want the existing ones i have to be growing well before i add more. The picture doesn't do it justice but i've significantly reduced algae levels.
Any suggestions and help along the way would be very much appreciated.
pH - 6.4-6.5
NO2 - 0
NH3 - 0
NO3 - 30ppm(working on reducing EI to get it lower)
PO4 - 7ppm(again reducing EI)
KH - 3
gH - 8
CO2 - 29ppm according to the chart
Temp - 28*C
RIO 240 stock internal filter
Fluval 406 canister filter
Sera flora CO2 reactor
Pressurised CO2 tank and regulator
All Blue 5 channel dosing pump which does 1/2 daily EI(KNO3, KH2PO4, Rexolin APN) and 3 mls of Excel + manually dosed trace elements.
Jaebo pH controller
Eco Complete by caribsea substrate