20g "somewhat" planted - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-06-2018, 01:18 PM Thread Starter
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20g "somewhat" planted

Hi,
Today I will show you my planted tank. I have been watching all those interesting journals, such as burr's, Greggz's etc. and I learned many things from all you guys. Thanks for that!

Some infos...

Tank dimensions:
22" x 14" x 16" 20 gallons

Co2:
2kg pressurized

Diffuser:
A cheap plastic inline (like UpAqua).
Tried many. Reactor blocks if there isn't powerful canister filter, glass diffuser needs cleaning every so and replacement again every so. With this I'm fine. Been using it about a year now.

Filtration:
One canister, Astro dophin 2208 with 700l/h nominal flow and a small dophin kf150 internal filter with just a sponge in it just for surface aggitation.

Substrate: seachem flourite black

Ferts:

Macros 3x week:
5ppm kno3
6.6ppm k2so4
.80ppm po4

Gh: 5 (19ppm from CaSO4.2H2O, 5ppm from CaCl2.2H2O and 6ppm from MgSO4.7H2O)
Kh: 3

Micros (was 3x week but started with burr's recipesince the past week):
Before:
.08ppm fe gluc from flourish iron
.02 fe from flourish comprehensive
Was not happy with the results. Pale colours and whenever I tried to increase the dosage, I had a breakout of hair and dust algae.

Now (3x week for now, will change to every day when plants get used to it):
Mn: .025
B: .0225
Zn: .025
Ni: .00025
Cu: .001
Mo: .00075

Will use Greggz's spreadsheet in the future, it's easier.

Lighting:

4x24w T5HO.

Bulbs from front to back:

Juwel day 8000k
Sylvania grolux
Juwel nature 4000k
Sylvania grolux

110par max at substrate. I will change a bulb with a blue one (juwel hilite blue) but I don't know which one



Livestock:

3 cardinal tetra
6 glowlight tetra
2 amano shrimps
Some physa fontinalis and ramshorn snails

Well, here is my little 20g tank as it is now. Many changes since I initially started it, many mistakes (till now), but still trying.



A photo from my cabinet with the barrel where I prepare the water for the water change (60% every week 100% r/o) and all this stuff:



The only algae I'm currently battling, dust algae. Here is in the substrate. In this place I have the max par and there are no plants. Maybe if monte carlo reach this place, will be ok .
Forgive pogostemon erectus. This guy doesn't love uprooting, needs time to recover.



Limnophila aromatica with some sort of deficiency, Fe I think:



Rotala rotundifolia going nice:



Rotala sp. green trying to recover from hell (was completely stunted because of many changes I had done in once):



And here is my helper, iAqua controller:

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post #2 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-06-2018, 05:09 PM
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Nice post!

And a very nice start to the tank. Lot's going right there.

Look forward to seeing where it goes from here.

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post #3 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-06-2018, 06:32 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greggz View Post
Nice post!

And a very nice start to the tank. Lot's going right there.

Look forward to seeing where it goes from here.

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Thanks!
Couldn't wait more, you know, collectoritis .
Bought the blue bulb. Really hard to balance it though, it was making everything looks blue, despite the fact that I had three really warm bulbs (1 x 4000k and two grolux).
This is the only spot where doesn't make it looks like a coral tank. The other option was to leave it without reflector.



An overall of the tank with all the bulbs on:



And here with just the blue and 4000k bulb (notice how much blue there is in there):



I will leave it for now and see how it goes. Strange is that the par meter shows very high par for this bulb. Somewhere I saw @burr740 saying that par meters start to measure wrong in a particular spectrum, but I don't remember if that was the blue or the red.
This is my diy par meter with apogee sq-120 sensor, connected to a multimeter. To find par, you multiply the reading by 5.
It's quite difficult to read it, I noticed that when I transfered the photo from camera to pc and got bored to take another photo . Shows 10.5:



So it is ~53par . Can't be right.
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Last edited by AgMa; 10-06-2018 at 06:59 PM. Reason: Type error
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post #4 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-06-2018, 09:57 PM
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Looking good!

I believe PAR meters lose the ability to pick up around 660 and below, not sure about the blue end.

Seems like you should have more than 53, those gro lux may be pretty dim though. Color looks pretty good, yeah its a little too blue, might try a 6500K in place of one grolux. Or a 3000K, those go really well with extreme blue.

Edit: Actually I think the original combo looked pretty good, be hard to improve on that
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post #5 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-07-2018, 07:29 AM Thread Starter
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I can only fit 18" bulbs and I couldn't find 3000k bulb in this dimension.
The original combo is good but I want something to reduce par in substrate and have better colors, that's why I bought the blue one.
But I'm also not convinced that I like this result.

Quote:
Originally Posted by burr740 View Post
Looking good!

Seems like you should have more than 53, those gro lux may be pretty dim though.
53 par is just the blue bulb. Nothing else is on.

Ok, time for a comparison. I need your help as I can't decide.
Which one do you like more?




Last edited by AgMa; 10-07-2018 at 10:09 AM. Reason: Photos
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post #6 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-07-2018, 01:28 PM
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Top one looks more natural to me.

And if that 53 PAR is with one bulb, what is the PAR with ALL the bulbs.

Must be pretty high.

As you are finding, the mix of bulbs can significantly affect PAR values.


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post #7 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-07-2018, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greggz View Post
Top one looks more natural to me.

And if that 53 PAR is with one bulb, what is the PAR with ALL the bulbs.

Must be pretty high.

As you are finding, the mix of bulbs can significantly affect PAR values.
Yeah, I also noticed that colours are better but if you look the tank from a distance, it has a blue-purple hue all over.
With all bulbs I had 110 par, that's why I changed a white bulb with a blue one.
I wanted to be lower in par but with better colours. I just don't understand why the blue bulb is so much high in par.
Here is a photo from distance. It's more blue in real actually:

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Last edited by AgMa; 10-07-2018 at 01:38 PM. Reason: edit
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post #8 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-07-2018, 04:44 PM
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Oh that 53 is only one bulb, haha, I didnt realize that

I think the top is too "cool" but only slightly. The bottom is too green.

Changing the order can make a big difference in what the camera sees. Maybe try it front to back - blue, 4000K, flora flora.


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post #9 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-07-2018, 05:05 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burr740 View Post
Oh that 53 is only one bulb, haha, I didnt realize that

I think the top is too "cool" but only slightly. The bottom is too green.

Changing the order can make a big difference in what the camera sees. Maybe try it front to back - blue, 4000K, flora flora.
I tried it but was too blue. I will try flora-blue-4000k-flora and see how it goes.
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post #10 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-07-2018, 05:42 PM
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An ati purple might do better than the actinic, still be a lot of blue just not so overpowering


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post #11 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-07-2018, 06:21 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burr740 View Post
An ati purple might do better than the actinic, still be a lot of blue just not so overpowering
I can fit only 18" bulbs. There isn't ati purple in this dimension.

Trimmed nesaea crassicaulis and change bulbs order. Other plants left as they were to reach surface for better colours.
Now is (front to back) :
Grolux
Blue
4000k
Grolux

I think it's a little better. Before there was too blue in front of the tank and too yellow rear. Still finetuning...

Before:




Now:



Some more photos. I love when plants pearling.



Looks like someone loved the heavier micro dosing

Before:



Now:


Last edited by AgMa; 10-08-2018 at 10:02 AM. Reason: More photos
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post #12 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-08-2018, 10:30 AM Thread Starter
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Any tips on how I will get rid of this s****y green dust algae?
It covers the plant leaves and if I leave it, becomes green hair algae.



And as I had free time, here is my routine spreadsheet from @Greggz:

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Last edited by AgMa; 10-08-2018 at 02:45 PM. Reason: Spreadsheet
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post #13 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-10-2018, 10:52 AM Thread Starter
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Time for update!

The reflector from the blue bulb was removed. The tank had ~140par at substrate due to this bulb. And now I know that my readings 4 days before about high par readings from just this blue bulb were right.
This is from ATI's website regarding their blue plus bulb, which is exactly the same as mine:

Blue Plus combines the properties of a blue bulb (approximately 460nm) with an actinic bulb (approximately 420nm). This produces an intense blue light with high PAR numbers.

So now I am at ~105par which seems more manageable.
Also I noticed some gsa on glass and on some plant leaves. I am currently dosing 2.4ppm po4 weekly, so I believe it couldn't be from low phosphates (but I also increased my dosage to 3ppm weekly). The next suspect was high light, that's why I removed the reflector. I don't want to remove this bulb because it makes colours really pop and I like this.

Here is the tank BEFORE this bulb:



And here is now with the reflector removed:



Huge difference, heh?

Now time for algae update:

I still have the same algae, but I noticed that now covers the plants leaves faster. I have to clean them with my finger every day, or else they will be full covered with algae and this will be the end of photosynthesis .
I believe iron plays an important role here. I am using Seachem's iron (gluc) 0.10ppm x 7 days.
Either there is something wrong with this product (as I have read many reports from other users too), or there is already enough iron from my substrate that gets in the water column, so I make it worst whenever I dose extra iron. Just don't know
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post #14 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-14-2018, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
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I read everywhere that the situation that makes green hair algae to bloom, is usually excessive iron.
I'm not sure what's the algae I have at this time.
Starts like green dust on leaves and if I leave it becomes like hair algae. Moves with the water flow, but it's attached on leaves.
Whenever I try to remove it, pulls the plants leaves.
Can anyone help to find what is it finally? FYI algaefix kills it.

Some photos:






Last edited by AgMa; 10-14-2018 at 05:09 PM. Reason: Photos
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post #15 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-14-2018, 07:48 PM
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Ive seen a repeatable correlation with high Fe and hair algae, but not the kind you have. There are many types though and if Algaefix kills it then its some kind of hair algae.

It takes about 1.5 ppm per week or higher in mine to bring it on (dtpa) but of course all set ups are different.

.1 daily isnt all that much, but since your other nutrients are fairly low it may be too high for your particular set up. So you could try going down to say .08 daily and see what happens.

It's a nutrient imbalance one way or the other - in spite of the fact that most plants look pretty good. Personally I think your macros are to low. I'd start by raising NO3 and K 5 ppm per week, PO4 another 1.5 or so.

While you're at it raise Mo 50% or even double. Might wanna try just doing that first and see what happens

That Ammania looks so freakin sweet I hate to suggest any changes. It is known to thrive with low nutrients. So that one might start looking worse if you raise macros very much, but you'll just have to try something and and see what happens.
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