I have been intending to start this journal for many months and finally get this going today. I hope that I will be able to learn from all the inputs that fellow hobbyists share and also share my own inputs, progress, etc.
To start with, let me tell a bit about my experience with fish keeping - I have been fascinated with fish keeping as early as being a 5 year old. I should thank my elder brother for introducing me to this hobby at that young age
Back in those days, we had the typical fishes that most kids would have - Guppies, Platys and Gold fishes. We used to breed them and sell/give away the frys. Some where along the schooling years I got out of this hobby, but always knew that I will get back into it some day.
Early last year, my wife gifted me a 10 gallon tank thinking that I will be happy with a couple of small fishes in it. But she never thought that it would drive me back into fish keeping in a big way. She is still mad at herself for gifting me the 10 gallon
Here I am a year and a half later with my 75 gallon high tech tank. This time though the passion has broadened to include growing healthy live plants and trying my hand at scaping.
Going through the journals of some of the successful hobbyists, watching endless YouTube videos and reading on the internet for many hours, I figured that starting off with a good setup to cover all the bases (filtration, CO2, plant mass, lights) is critical in a high tech setup. My equipment setup is as follows:
75 Gallon Marineland tank (4 feet in length) with Marinland stand
2 Fluval FX 6 filters with additional biomax media
Rex Grigg style CO2 reactor
10 lb CO2 tank
GLA CO2 regulator
2 Fluval 2.0 LEDs with Fluval WiFi controller
2 Aqueon Pro 250W heaters
2 Hydor Koralia nano powerheads
Eheim surface skimmer
Some of this might be a overkill for the tank’s size, but I still went for it.
Substrate is black diamond blasting sand and I use regular tap water. The tap water hardness measures 3 kh and 3 gh based on API test kit. Local water test did now show anything out of the ordinary for the various elements. pH is normally between 7.8 to 8.
The initial setup was done in July last year and the layout has undergone 2 changes since then. A couple of things that have not worked well for me are having driftwood and having low light and high light plants together.
I do a 70% water change every week. Macros are dosed at 25 ppm N, 30 ppm K and anywhere between 2.5 to 8 ppm P per week. I have been trying out varying P level dosing over the past 12 weeks and have been dosing 5 ppm P for the last 2 weeks. All these are front loaded right after the weekly water change. Tap water has around 12 ppm Ca and 2 ppm Mg. I add an additional 17 ppm Ca and 8 ppm Mg after the water change.
Micros are custom (bought from burr740):
Fe - Fe DTPA 11% - 0.2 ppm
Mn - MnSO4.H2O - 0.05 ppm
B - H3BO3 - 0.06 ppm
Zn - ZnSO4.H2O - 0.05 ppm
Mo - NaMoO4.2H2O - 0.00175 ppm
Cu - CuSO4.5H2O - 0.002 ppm
Ni - NiSO4.6H2O - 0.0005 ppm
I dose Micros at 0.4 ppm right after the weekly water change and then three 0.2 ppm doses on alternate days (total 1 ppm Fe for the week).
I have tried varying PAR levels over the past year. Current PAR level at the substrate is anywhere between 75 to 105 PAR.
The main algae issue I have run into right from the initial days is getting GDA on lower leaves and old leaves. I simply cannot keep the older leaves happy and am still fighting this problem. It is frustrating some times to not being able to get rid of it even after a year, but I am not ready to give up either
Tank walls, filter intake/outlet fittings and surface skimmer also get GDA, but I wipe them down every week to not let it become unsightly. There is a bit of BBA growth on the powerheads, but again I wipe clean them with every water change.
Current Plants list:
Hygro Siamensis 53b
Ludwigia Repens Rubin
8 Harlequin Rasboras
7 Roseline Sharks
A pair of Golden Rams
1 German Blue Ram
4 Siamese Algae eaters
A few of the plants are new to the tank. Mermaid weed was grown emersed when I bought it 2 weeks ago and is transitioning pretty well to being a submerged form. I also have some Myrio stems that will be delivered this week.
Thanks for reading patiently. I will appreciate any feedback or inputs you might have towards keeping the lower and old leaves algae free.
Pics of the tank:
Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk