55 Gallon Practice Run for My 150 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-28-2018, 08:21 PM Thread Starter
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55 Gallon Practice Run for My 150

Hey Guys,

I've learned a ton from this forum over the last year and I want to start documenting my progress on my 55 Gallon planted tank. Its been up and running for about a year and a half but I recently made some equipment changes and am looking to get some parameters dialed in to eliminate some algae problems I've been seeing. So lets get started with the specs:

Specifications
55 Gallon

Lights: 1 x 36 Finnex Planted Plus 24/7 (running in 24/7 mode)
2 x T5HO 4' fixture. Runs for 4 hrs starting at 12:00 to 4:00 pm to give a nice mid day boost.
Filter: FX4
CO2: 5 llb cylinder with a new GLA Regulator and a Milwaukee MC122 PH Meter. The controller is set at 6.8 PH (my degassed water is at 7.8).

Fish
15 Tiger Barbs
2 Panda Garras
6 Bronze Cordyas

Plants
2 x Temple Plant
2 x Amazon Sword
Many Crypts
Some smaller needle swords
Java Moss

Some Pics:

IMG_0957 by Ryan Stewart, on Flickr

IMG_0959 by Ryan Stewart, on Flickr

IMG_0958 by Ryan Stewart, on Flickr
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-28-2018, 08:31 PM Thread Starter
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So I've had some GSA and some BGA issues lately and I'm thinking I'm missing something with my ferts. I currently dose the plant guys dry ferts in the EI method in the Following amounts and schedule:

40-60 Gallon Aquariums
+/- 1/2 tsp KN03 3x a week (M,W,F)
+/- 1/8 tsp KH2P04 3x a week (M,W,F)
+/- 1/8 (10ml) Trace Elements 3x a week (Tues, Thurs, Sat)
50% weekly water change + 1 tblspoon of Equilibrium on water change day.

My measurements today (just prior to water change)

PH - 6.9
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 5-10 Mg/l
Phosphate - > 5 mg/l (the test is dark blue)
Ammonia - 0 mg/l
GH - 11 Drops (220 ppm)
KH - 4 Drops (40 PPM)
CA - 2 Drops (40 ppm)
Iron (non-chelated) - Test is reading 0
Iron (Chelated) - Test looks 0

So I obviously need to supplement with some more Iron. I have both Seachem Iron and the Plant Guys Iron powder. I've been reading a number of people add Iron with their micros so I'm going to start doing that as well. I use the Plant Guys root tabs that I replace every 2 months as well.

If there is anything that jumps out that needs to be changed I'm open to suggestions!
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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-28-2018, 08:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rstewart8 View Post
If there is anything that jumps out that needs to be changed I'm open to suggestions!
First of all, nice looking group of plants there.

What jumps out to me is the amount of light in relation to the needs of the low tech/low light plants you have.

May have nothing to do with ferts at all. Might just be too much light. I don't know what PAR that LED produces, but just the 2 x T5HO is high light in a 55G.

Good luck and hope you get it sorted out.


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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-02-2018, 02:19 PM Thread Starter
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Ok an update for everyone, I just got notice that my order of Chemiclean has been delivered and this weekend will be spent having a go at this BGA infestation that I seem to be dealing with. Progress photos will be posted once I get home from work tonight and throughout the weekend.

I have gotten a bunch of good advice on my fertilizer regiment and I've ordered some K2SO4 as well as some different iron to supplement what I currently dose. Again once these arrive I will post an updated dosiging regiment.

My goal with this tank is to produce a some breeding stock of tiger barbs. I would love a giant school of 75-100 in the 150 I am gathering pieces for (have the tank, 2 x FX6's) and I'm slowly getting the other stuff in order, lighting the stand and so on.

I have a 20 gallon long that I am going to set up as my breeder tank for the barbs and will post that progress, my guys are still just juveniles and will need a few months before I can even consider attempting to breed them.
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-03-2018, 01:18 AM Thread Starter
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Well another update. Looks like these rotating Postal Strikes by Canada Post has screwed me and my package isn't being delivered today. Slight chance it shows up tomorrow, but not holding my breath.
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-03-2018, 01:47 AM
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How often are you cleaning your filter?


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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-03-2018, 01:50 AM Thread Starter
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How often are you cleaning your filter?
Every 2 weeks. I rinse the filter pads, change out 1 of the 2 purigen pouches and change the polishing pad.
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-03-2018, 02:58 PM
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My thoughts are you need to increase the CO2 until the the point the fish appear to be distressed, then crank it down a notch. Increase the ferts to EI levels for 60 to 80 gallons, the plants would like the increase. The plants look happy except for the moss(but it's hard to tell by the photo), so I'm thinking more ferts will help. Run the Finnex no more than 6 hours a day.

I would also recommend you add a clean up crew, say 6 Otos and some ramshorn snails. I didn't see any snails in the photos, but maybe their there but they're not in the photos. Amano shrimp would be a great addition, but the tiger barbs would probably eat them quite quickly.

Also, I would add some faster growing stem plants, that will help out with nutrient uptake.


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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-06-2018, 05:44 PM Thread Starter
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Well this postal strike continues to screw me. Package is delayed until tomorrow again.

Did my water change on the weekend and things are nice and clean. Would love to do this treatment, the anticipation is killing me!
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-09-2018, 10:35 PM Thread Starter
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Well my package showed up today so tonight will be day 1 of the attempt at a BGA cleanse. So the plan is to add a couple of air stones and kill my CO2 for the next 48 hours. I'm going to dose the tank right now and will post some before and after pics.

So stay tuned!
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post #11 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-10-2018, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
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BGA Battle update:

So last night I dosed the Chemclean as per the package directions adding 5 spoon fulls for each 10 gallons of water. I shut down my CO2, and added an air stone and have turned off my T5HO fixture. Here are a few pics of what the tank looks like this am:

IMG_0973 by Ryan Stewart, on Flickr

IMG_0975 by Ryan Stewart, on Flickr

I'm excited to see some runners in this pic!

IMG_0974 by Ryan Stewart, on Flickr

IMG_0973 by Ryan Stewart, on Flickr

Will do the water change tomorrow as directed and see what the progress looks like.
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post #12 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-10-2018, 02:02 PM
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It took 2 doses and 2 big water changes to clean my tank right up, yours should clear up after the second dose. I thought the directions were 1 spoonful for each 10 gallons, not 5? Or are you saying you added 5 spoonfuls because the tank is ~50 gallons?

"No Ice? Just Freeze Some Water"
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post #13 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-10-2018, 04:36 PM Thread Starter
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It took 2 doses and 2 big water changes to clean my tank right up, yours should clear up after the second dose. I thought the directions were 1 spoonful for each 10 gallons, not 5? Or are you saying you added 5 spoonfuls because the tank is ~50 gallons?
Hey,

I added 5 spoon fulls for a 55 gallon tank. SO are you saying you did another dose 48 hrs later or did you do it the next day?
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post #14 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-10-2018, 05:54 PM
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Hey,

I added 5 spoon fulls for a 55 gallon tank. SO are you saying you did another dose 48 hrs later or did you do it the next day?
Whatever the box said. I think it was 48 hours after the first dose, and then a big water change 2 days after that. It was a long time ago though, not sure if that's exactly what I did or not.

"No Ice? Just Freeze Some Water"
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post #15 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-13-2018, 01:05 AM Thread Starter
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BGA Battle Update - 1/2 Way Through Second Dose

I did a 70% water change on Sunday after the first 48 hour dose and did a pretty large trim of any leaves that still had signs of BGA or were damaged/Decaying. I also added the second dose of Chemclean and went to bed last night. When I woke up today things are looking much better! Not seeing any signs of BGA out in the open like I was a couple of days ago. So now that the GBA seems to be under control (knock on wood) I'm going to work on dialing in the ferts , lighting and CO2. Still waiting on my package from the plant guy, should be here on the 15th!

And of course some Pics:

IMG_0977 by Ryan Stewart, on Flickr

IMG_0980 by Ryan Stewart, on Flickr

IMG_0979 by Ryan Stewart, on Flickr

IMG_0978 by Ryan Stewart, on Flickr
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