30gal JBJ - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-27-2018, 02:26 AM Thread Starter
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30gal JBJ

Thanks for viewing my journal! I've had a couple (rather unsuccessful) planted tanks in the past and originally bought this JBJ cube to set up as a reef tank. After a couple of years and a move to the new house, the reef tank went down hill and this aquarium sat empty. We recently renovated our basement and decided to try another planted tank. Specs on the tank are as follows:

-JBJ 30 Gallon Rimless Cube 23.6" x 19.7" x 16.5" (60 cm x 50 cm x 42cm )
-Filtration is a built in over flow with dual pumps (2 x 265GPH). Added larger media baskets with filter floss, ClearFX pro, Eheim bioMECH and Substrat.
-Also in the over flow is a heater and a Aquatop SP5-UV Submersible UV filter
-Substrate is ADA Power Sand Special Small, ADA Amazonia Normal (9L) and topped with Amazonia Powder Type (3L)
-Pressurized CO2 with a older GLA dual regulator w/ bubble counter to a Jardli Pollen glass Diffuser.

-Hardscape is a large piece of driftwood with some stone the LFS had (I'm blanking on the name of the rock)

-Plants so far (as I know of) are some HC, Monte Carlo, Cryptocoryne Lutea , Val and Amazons.

The kicker (IMO ) is my light: Ecotech marine xr30x pro g3. This is obviously a Reef light at heart, but it does have a Planted Tank setting for a light spectrum more suitable for plants.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-27-2018, 02:43 AM Thread Starter
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Here is a pic dump of the progress so far and my light set up in ecosmart live. Sorry, this is the only way I can post pics while at work!
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-27-2018, 03:04 AM Thread Starter
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I started dosing ferts last week. For ease of use I'm doing Thrive+ per the instructions (3 pumps 3x/week with a 50% w/c weekly). Ive used dry ferts before and realize they are easy to use as well. I'm trying to keep this this easy so my wife will enjoy the hobby as well. After the first few days my algae increased dramatically! I understand this is due to a few things

1. This being a new setup/water imbalance
2. High light??? (see the ecosmart live screenshot) FYI, my Co2 is at 3-4bps with a drop checker in the green while the lights are on.
3. Probably going too heavy on the ferts out of the gate as I'm using the whole ADA substrate system. I don't have enough plants (IMHO) and really have very few plants needing high light in general.

Here are the result of my last test using API liquid tests for Ammonia, GH, KH and a hand held ph tester:
NO2= 3, NO3= 20, dkh=2, dgh=4, Ammo=0.25 to 0.5, Ph= 6.44 2hrs after lights, 4 hours after the CO2 comes on.

The only product I'm using that I'm not entirely sold on is StressZyme. My LFS suggested it to aid in cycling my tank, breaking down bacteria... so they say. Any suggestions would be appreciated but I'm searching an leaning a lot as well!

-Cheers

Last edited by B.Lace; 10-28-2018 at 07:59 AM.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-27-2018, 02:37 PM
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30gal JBJ

I can't see the photos but I can wait for pics! I have a JBJ nano cube 6 set up as a freshwater tank too and I'm really liking it. I find that a good amount of surface film can collect in the back so I've been thinking of a slimmer. Now this might just be my tank so just a word of caution. You don't need to dose in the beginning because you don't have a lotta plants yet and there's plenty nutrients from the aquasoil. I wouldn't dose for a while, maybe 3-4 months in. Also with the co2, you might want to turn it down a bit if the pH swing is 2. That's a big difference and some of the plants may not like it and that lets algae get the upper hand. At the same time, if it's diatoms or dust algae on the glass, I wouldn't worry as it's normal to have a lot of that in the beginning. I'll be following this journal as I don't see many other people with freshwater nano cube set ups!


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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-27-2018, 02:50 PM
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If the stress zyme is anything like Tetra Safestart or it’s clones it should cycle the tank pretty much instantly.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-28-2018, 07:52 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrysonZheng View Post
I can't see the photos but I can wait for pics! I have a JBJ nano cube 6 set up as a freshwater tank too and I'm really liking it. I find that a good amount of surface film can collect in the back so I've been thinking of a slimmer. Now this might just be my tank so just a word of caution. You don't need to dose in the beginning because you don't have a lotta plants yet and there's plenty nutrients from the aquasoil. I wouldn't dose for a while, maybe 3-4 months in. Also with the co2, you might want to turn it down a bit if the pH swing is 2. That's a big difference and some of the plants may not like it and that lets algae get the upper hand. At the same time, if it's diatoms or dust algae on the glass, I wouldn't worry as it's normal to have a lot of that in the beginning. I'll be following this journal as I don't see many other people with freshwater nano cube set ups!


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I really like the JBJ cube... How is yours going? I haven't noticed any surface film with this tank since converting it to freshwater. I kinda figured with the Ada substrates Id be good on ferts for a while... But 3-4 months? Wow, longer than I thought! I've stopped dosing the tank, removed a lot of the algae and I'm leaving the lights off for a few days. Hopefully the algae dies off. I've also programmed the light to run at 42% intensity instead of 85% after the blackout. My Co2 drop isn't nearly 2, maybe 0.2-0.5. I have the co2 on two hours before the lights come on and off two hours before the lights turn off. Hopefully I can post some better pics this weekend.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-28-2018, 08:10 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Little Soprano View Post
If the stress zyme is anything like Tetra Safestart or it’s clones it should cycle the tank pretty much instantly.
My LFS said stress zyme was full of bacteria to aid the cycle. I did use Dr. Tim's as well which I've had success with in the past.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-28-2018, 05:35 PM
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30gal JBJ

Here's mine I was talking about.
Quick pic before I had to run today. I think protein scum happens to all keepers sooner or later but I'm not exactly worried about it as I'll probably add a skimmer to the internal sump. I'm planning on a rescape soon, swapping my sand for ada aquasoil, pull out some plants (the needle leaf java fern takes away from the wood and the crypt spiralis gets too big, shades everything and send runners everywhere) and adding some rocks. This tank was set up on a whim as a blackwater tank so I never really had the time to acquire supplies. I also realized I read your pH readings wrong so my bad there.


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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-29-2018, 12:18 AM Thread Starter
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Looks great! I think I'm going to continue with smaller tanks until I REALLY understand water chemistry. Its nice that a 10 gallon w/c is considered BIG! I also have a ADA 60-P that I've had for years and never filled. I think that one will be next, once I get the JBJ to balance out.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-29-2018, 12:21 AM
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Yeah I love that things are so easy with the all in one tanks. You can hide equipment and I like them better than rimless ones. I'm super excited for the rescape too! It'll be a south East Asian themed tank with mainly crypts and buce! Any pics yet?


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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-03-2018, 06:29 AM Thread Starter
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Here's some pics:








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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-03-2018, 06:32 AM Thread Starter
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Here's some pics of the algae bloom before manually removing a lot and the 4 day blackout.





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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-09-2018, 06:35 AM Thread Starter
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So after the 4 day black out, most of the hair algae died off and has not returned. Now I have leftover BBA (my best guess) on a lot of leaves of Crypts and the stem plants I purchased from my LFS. After a bunch of reading and searching i really believe a have an abundance of nutrients due to a few things: Not having enough plants, having plants that don't require a ton a nutrients and dosing liquid ferts in a new tank with Aquasoil.

I ordered some plants from Aqua Forest Aquarium this week. Tissue Cultures of - Lilaeopsis brasiliensis, Hemianthus Micranthemoides, Ludwigia Arcuata, Nesaea Pedicellata and 2 bunches of Rotala sp. "Ceylon". Before planting the new stuff I did a massive W/C and manually removed a bunch of algae and almost all of my existing algae covered plants. The old crypts and stem plants will be getting a bleach wash to kill this algae and replanted.

I wont be dosing the tank for a good while to see if the algae growth retards a bit. If i see the plants struggling then i'll try to reintroduce ferts slowly this time. Wish me luck!
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-09-2018, 12:37 PM
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Sounds like you are on the right path to correcting your earlier mistakes.

I've set up multiple tanks with AS, tanks were heavily planted from the start with stem plants. I did not add any No3 for over four weeks since the AS provided the majority of what the plants need.

You probably will only need to add a small amount micro nutrients weekly and Po4 since AS sucks up large amounts of Po4, for the first 4 weeks or so.

Truthfully, I added very very little of anything (micros, N, P, K) to my newly planted AS tanks. Have never experience any major algae issues and didn't really see the plants struggling during this time. A little goes a long way in these early stages.

Following along.


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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-10-2018, 06:44 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by slipfinger View Post
Sounds like you are on the right path to correcting your earlier mistakes.

I've set up multiple tanks with AS, tanks were heavily planted from the start with stem plants. I did not add any No3 for over four weeks since the AS provided the majority of what the plants need.

You probably will only need to add a small amount micro nutrients weekly and Po4 since AS sucks up large amounts of Po4, for the first 4 weeks or so.

Truthfully, I added very very little of anything (micros, N, P, K) to my newly planted AS tanks. Have never experience any major algae issues and didn't really see the plants struggling during this time. A little goes a long way in these early stages.

Following along.
Thanks for they info! I'm struggling a bit to really understand the chemistry of balancing a new "high tech" planted aquarium. I had an older Salifert PO4 test kit that I used after reading your post yesterday. Knowing that the test had expired in 2017, im not putting complete faith in the results. But, the PO4 test read 0. Assuming that's correct, I see what you're saying about the AS and that could possibly be part of my ongoing issue. I'm going to get a new PO4 test and try it again.
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