Allen's 75 galllon Tank Journal
Iíve have always been around aquariums. My Dad always had one. I started to do maintenance on them in the early 80ís, then we slowly grew the hobby to a total of 6 aquariums. We had fresh and saltwater aquariums. 10-gallon, 15, 20H, 20L, 55-gallon salt and a 10-gallon salt coral tank, (they were messy, salt all over the place (and SPENDY, never again I said)) Added plants in some and they never grew well or lasted long, I wonder why??? Writing this, I am thinking back, there sure was a lot of BBA in those tanks, on everything, decor, live plants, and plastic plants. But hey, you could say they were live plants. Back then I never knew why, now I do.
Then in the mid 80ís my parents wanted to keep Koi. That meant we needed a 1000 gallon kidney bean shaped pond in the backyard, Right? And a filter of some sort, Right? The pond was 4í deep at one end, at the middle it stepped up to 2í and had a 1 1/2í deep shelf all the way around with a deck over 3í of it to give shade and a hiding place for the koi. Then we made a 4 - 55-gallon step down trickle filter system, (leaked all the time). (those were good times though), the koi wintered in the basement, the 1st year they were in a 6í kids pool, (donít do this), the 2nd year they were in a 125 gallon aquarium, the 3rd year we made a Pond for them in the basement, it was 4í x 8í x 3í made out of landscape timbers and a liner, this worked really well for about 15 years.
So, after that 2nd year, I now had a 125-gallon aquarium that I paid half for, to use how I saw fit. It was made from ĹĒ thick glass, so it didnít have center support, it came with a full glass top and 2 single T12 single bulb hoods complete with Glo-lux bulbs. Oh the fish I had in there over the years, some plants too because of those bulbs you know.
Around 11 years ago I wanted to really get into plants after looking at the journals on this website. Well, needless to say, the 125 got a makeover, I built a canopy for a 6 bulb highly reflective T8 fixture that I bought, then modified it so that 1 bulb from each side were combined together and on a timer. I bought a RO unit, I bought a Co2 regulator with a CHEAP needle valve and a bubble counter and put it on a timer, I bought a 20lb Co2 tank, built a Rex Grigg diffuser, it had 2 Rena XP canister filters, 2 300-watt ebo jagger heaters. Then I bought some dry Ferts. Kno3, kh2po4, k2so4 and csm+b. next I printed off the first page or 2 of Craigís _Dosing Regimes_ and followed that. I added a lot of plants (should have been more) added a bunch of fish over time (120 Tetras) shouldnít be that hard right? WRONG, so very wrong.
What was I doing wrong, Ferts everyday of one flavor. 50% water change on the 7th day of every week. The lights were coming on and going off when they were scheduled to. Co2 was coming on when programmed to and the drop checker was greenish ((sometimes, sometimes NOT) tell tail sign that something is WRONG). Donít get me wrong, the plants grew. So did the algae, I think I had most of them, but not clado though. (yet). if your Co2 is low and your PAR is high, LOOK OUT.
I added more of this and that, used less of this and that. Gassed a bunch of fish there and there, added new ones and repeated the same process. (very heart breaking and frustrating times).
Let me tell you something, donít use CHEAP needle valves, buy a metering valve, you can find them ďcheaplyĒ occasionally, donít fight the fluctuating Co2 levels.
Get a PH meter (Cheap oneís work) and get the PH to drop 1.x but not .7 or higher and not change much from day to day or week to week.
So after the BIG mess, I was told to tear down that 125, try a smaller tank. Just so happens that a couple of months later, a 47-gallon bowfront was given to me. Got new lights, CFLís (3 of them) and new plants, the plants grew very well, guess what? So did the algae, but not too bad, less kno3 or more Po4 and it would go away. I was still using that CHEAP needle valve though. Shame, shame, shame on me, will I never learn. I did.
It was 6 years ago that I got rid of the 125, I miss the size now, not the weight. Still having a hard time keeping BBA out of my tanks, there is a lot less of it, but it is still around, here and there, mostly hardscape and filter tubes. Someday, someday soon.
I donít post much, maybe this will change that. I have learned a lot from a good amount of you. THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
So here we are, 2019, almost 11 years after I joined PlantedTank.net, 11 years! Where does the time go, youíre thinking, why start a journal now?
Iíll tell you. I WANT to get to the next level of plant care. I was reading a journal other day, and this struck a chord in me.
In your case, if you are seeing algae in your tank something is not balanced. Could be a multitude of reasons, not enough Co2, too much or too little nutrients, too much bioload, too little flow, dirty conditions, not enough light and of course too much light for your tanks conditions.
I'd start a journal and post all your tanks details. Post some full tank shots so we can get an idea of what plants you are growing, list all your equipment and any parameters you can about your water. This will better help others give you advice, some good some bad.........
So here I go.
I like the look of the Dutch style tanks, so that is what my setup looks like.
My guess is that the algae I have is from a lack of filter maintenance. I do 50% WC almost every week. Using RO has helped my tanks but it does make for more work. Adding Ca, Mg and k2co3 or thinking you did but didnít.
Tank pics are the newest I have, they are from the middle of Aug, 2018 ďoutdated I know. I ďplayĒ in the tanks and peruse the internet almost every night, but to take pics and right things down, are far and few between. Maybe this will help change that, and to bring my tanks to the next level. My other tank is a non-Co2 40B ďfor nowĒ. And a 20L and a 5, both non-Co2.
Tank: 75 Gallon - 48" x 21" x 18"
Substrate: Pool Filter Sand (100 lbs)
Lights: 2 Ė 2 bulb 48" T5HO DIY fixture ( 1 red, 1 - 5k, 1 Ė 2.7k, 1 Ė forgot)
Filtration: 2 Rena XP 3ís
Co2: Yes, with Hoke metering valve going to a Cerges reactor and controlled by a Milwaukee PH controller.
Fert Schedule: My tap water is fairly hard, like 30, so I use RO, KH=2, GH=10.
Ludwigia sp red (super red mini)
Ludwigia peruensis / Glandulosa
Ludwigia Sp. Rubin
Spiky moss / Peacock Moss
Lobelia Cardinalis 'mini'
Lindernia Rotundifolia 'Variegated'
Cryptocoryne Wendtii "Green"
Cryptocoryne Wendtii `Brown`
Angel/Scalare (Rio Manacapuru) best guess, sold as vail angelfish
Silver Tip Tetra
Rummy Nose Tetra
Green Neon Tetra