Allen's 75 galllon Tank Journal - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-21-2019, 08:45 PM Thread Starter
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Allen's 75 galllon Tank Journal

Hello TPTíers.

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.

Per slipfinger:

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.



Details:

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.






Plants:
Ludwigia sp red (super red mini)
Bacopa Colorata
Java Fern
AR 'Mini'
Ludwigia peruensis / Glandulosa
Ludwigia Sp. Rubin
Staurogyne kerala
Hygrophila pinnatifida
Spiky moss / Peacock Moss
Lobelia Cardinalis 'mini'
Dwarf Hairgrass



Plants:
Mermaid Weed
Staurogyne Repens
Lindernia Rotundifolia 'Variegated'
Parrot feather
Cryptocoryne Wendtii "Green"
Cryptocoryne Wendtii `Brown`
Acmella repens
Blyxa Japonica
vallisneria spiralis


Livestock:
Angel/Scalare (Rio Manacapuru) best guess, sold as vail angelfish
Silver Tip Tetra
Leopard Danio
Rummy Nose Tetra
Green Neon Tetra
Otocinclus
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-21-2019, 09:13 PM
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Nice looking tank Allen, and glad to see you start a TJ! Both you and TPT members will benefit from your TJ, the majority of TPT folks are here to learn(even very experienced hobbyists) and to help others, so it's a great combo. Hope to see more of your TJ posts!


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-21-2019, 09:32 PM
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Very nice start to a journal!

The background information is a good read.

If the tank is still looking like it did in August, then I would say you have a lot going right.

Sounds like you already know what to do. Be more consistent with everything.

Regular water changes (no forgetting!), more filter cleaning, regular dosing, steady CO2, etc.

One of the best things I did early on was to document and keep track of everything. I keep many spreadsheets, and have information going back years. And dated pictures too. It helps to get an idea of what was happening when.......and more importantly, can help you determine why.

Without that data, I would be grasping at straws most of the time (well, kind of still do, but it IS well documented).

Glad to see you started a journal, and look forward to seeing updates. And remember, pics or it didn't happen. So get new pics and let's see where things are at now.


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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 08:28 PM Thread Starter
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Update

So where do I start. Since February, people started changing their dosing quantities, so I jumped in and did the same, have things changed? Yes. Donít know if I like it though, growth has slowed down, still getting GDA on the front, just not as much, Ottos are liking it. It looks like some of my plants have gotten thicker, the corkscrew vals and mermaid for sure. So, it sounds like we can push the growth by adding more No3 then drop back down when things get to our liking. Right? So Iím now dosing macros based off of WC quantity, was I to do that for micros?


Fish are growing, maybe to much.

Iíve moved things around, lost/removed 1 or 2 plants and added a couple of things and then, just let it go.
Ludwigia Atlantis, got really tall and bushy, pulled it out.
Bacopa Colorata and Bacopa caroliniana, my salts got out of whack and they stunted bad, Colorata lost their color (what color they had) and it looks like I tossed all of my Colorata, but I need to cut down on the non-green things anyway. Dutch right!
Hygrophila pinnatifida and Blyxa Japonica are two that were affected also, just not growing like they were, the pinnatifida was sending out runners like mad, Iím down to 1 short stem now, no runners so far. My blyxa was tall and thick before, not now. It looks good, just not growing like before.
Limnophila rugosa must taste REALLY good, my Angels never leave it alone, or the S. repen, L. Cardinalis and the DHG.
Added some:
Hygrophila siamensis 53B
Limnophila chinensis
Penthorum sedoides
Pogosteman helferi 'red' (Red Downoi)
Staurogyne spatulate
And Panda Cory 6 of them.

I want to do something with my Rotala rotundifolia, I donít like how you must pull the stem, cut it and put it back into the same location, or how, if you cut the stem, you now have 3 new stems coming from the old one. I know, I know. Kind of the same complaint with the Myriophyllum Aquaticum red stem, but I really like this plant, SoÖ
I might have to pull the plug on the Limnophila rugosa, maybe get something like Oldenlandia salzmannii or Clinopodium brownie or???

So, what am I adding to my water now. A little less (I was told, I should drop my levels to 20 NO3 per week, 4-5 PO4, 15-20 K), I might be close to that number, It just donít show that in the spreadsheet. Iím going to try and work on those numbers today.

I need to do some trimming next water change.

So for now, thatís it.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 09:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tetra120 View Post
So where do I start. Since February, people started changing their dosing quantities, so I jumped in and did the same, have things changed? Yes. Donít know if I like it though, growth has slowed down, still getting GDA on the front, just not as much, Ottos are liking it. It looks like some of my plants have gotten thicker, the corkscrew vals and mermaid for sure. So, it sounds like we can push the growth by adding more No3 then drop back down when things get to our liking. Right? So Iím now dosing macros based off of WC quantity, was I to do that for micros?


Fish are growing, maybe to much.

Iíve moved things around, lost/removed 1 or 2 plants and added a couple of things and then, just let it go.
Ludwigia Atlantis, got really tall and bushy, pulled it out.
Bacopa Colorata and Bacopa caroliniana, my salts got out of whack and they stunted bad, Colorata lost their color (what color they had) and it looks like I tossed all of my Colorata, but I need to cut down on the non-green things anyway. Dutch right!
Hygrophila pinnatifida and Blyxa Japonica are two that were affected also, just not growing like they were, the pinnatifida was sending out runners like mad, Iím down to 1 short stem now, no runners so far. My blyxa was tall and thick before, not now. It looks good, just not growing like before.
Limnophila rugosa must taste REALLY good, my Angels never leave it alone, or the S. repen, L. Cardinalis and the DHG.
Added some:
Hygrophila siamensis 53B
Limnophila chinensis
Penthorum sedoides
Pogosteman helferi 'red' (Red Downoi)
Staurogyne spatulate
And Panda Cory 6 of them.

I want to do something with my Rotala rotundifolia, I donít like how you must pull the stem, cut it and put it back into the same location, or how, if you cut the stem, you now have 3 new stems coming from the old one. I know, I know. Kind of the same complaint with the Myriophyllum Aquaticum red stem, but I really like this plant, SoÖ
I might have to pull the plug on the Limnophila rugosa, maybe get something like Oldenlandia salzmannii or Clinopodium brownie or???

So, what am I adding to my water now. A little less (I was told, I should drop my levels to 20 NO3 per week, 4-5 PO4, 15-20 K), I might be close to that number, It just donít show that in the spreadsheet. Iím going to try and work on those numbers today.

I need to do some trimming next water change.

So for now, thatís it.

Tank is looking good! I have some similar issues in my 75g tank - the Rugosa taste's good to somebody, just have not figured out who. The SAE's devoured my Rotala Wallichii. And the Pogosteman helferi green that I have also seems to be a fine dining favorite.



Regarding the Rotala rotundifolia specifically, I have found by pulling each stem, cutting off the bottoms, and replanting each stem the leaves at the top get nice and big and you can cram several stems together to get a specific look. The Rotala Sri Lanka Bronze has a much finer stem which seems to favor leaving the bottoms alone and cutting off the tops. I does seem to get nice and bushy this way which gives you a decidedly different look to what is almost the same plant. The Rotala Caterpillar is also very similar to the Sri Lanka Bronze - very fine stems.


Regarding your fert dosing, those numbers don't look bad at all - just depends on a bunch of other variables. In my tank I ma running the KH down to 2 or less. The calculated Mg level is now up to 21ppm from 14ppm (long story). My total weekly K is 14ppm and I likely will go a little higher to 16 or 17 - but will stay below 21. Tank seems to be happy with the K below the Mg level, but not too far.


I have been running 4-5ppm PO4 for as long as I can remember - enough said.


NO3 has been the interesting variable for me. As I said to @Greggz - a year ago I would have called him crazy if he told me to drop in to 5ppm weekly. But that is where I am at. Now granted, my tap water does seem to show some NO3 in it and my excessive level of Rainbow fish do seem to be adding something to the mix. When I use the API NO3 test kit (as directed) just before water change I still get a darker orange to read reading. Plants seem to be happy as well (except for those that become dinner). Guess a lot of the macro dosing ideas tend to be "tank specific" - mine included.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 12:25 AM
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Sometimes we are our worst critic.

I see a very well presented tank that has a lot going right. In fact, one I am sure many would love to have.

Will be interesting to see what happens if you go even lower with macro dosing. Those numbers in the spreadsheet above are very close to mine. For me, I feel like I am bouncing off the low end. And I have a large fish load adding NO3 too.

One thing I really like is the way you are in tune with what your plants are doing. That's the best way to fine tune dosing.

Keep up the good work, and keep the updates coming. I am really liking this tank!
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 03:15 AM
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The tank's looking beautiful, great job!

Bump: The tank's looking beautiful, great job!


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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-24-2019, 03:32 PM Thread Starter
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July 2019 Update

Since June not much changed, so I went back to higher No3 and Po4 levels, hoping to get the plants to grow faster, I see some faster growth in some and no change in others.

Still getting a light coating of GDA on the glass, everything else is going smooth, for the most part.

Changes:
Iíve thinned 2 plant groups back and removed 1 plant.
In the beginning of July, I pulled out the big mass of Cryptocoryne wendtii "Green" but keep the smaller Cryptocoryne wendtii "Brown" that was part of that mass, it grows a lot slower in my tank for some reason.
On the 21st of July, I pulled ĺís of the DHG and mowed the rest down.
I pulled out all the AR mini and thinned them out, kept it in the same spot though.
I pulled out all the Lobelia cardinalis 'mini' thinned them out, and moved them to the front, in between the AR mini and the DHG, (DHG might be the next to go, intrusive as all get out.)
I felt that the Hygrophila pinnatifida needed to stand out more, it got ďlostĒ in front of the Myriophyllum Aquaticum and I was hoping to spread the ďredĒ around.
I moved the Limnophila chinensis next to the Hygrophila siamensis 53B, Not sure about placement now, they seem to have the same leaf shapeÖ. Maybe? Green is different butÖ
Moved the Proserpinaca palustris next to the Acmella repens.
Moved the Myriophyllum aquaticum next to the Limnophila chinensis.
Thatís it for changes.

Issues:
Iím trying to save the Limnophila rugosa, can you use galvanized 1/4" mesh without an issue ???
Snails are out of control, added 2 Dwarf Chain Loaches, so far no changes in snail quantity. I pulled over 30 out on last water change and you can still see them.

I think the snails eating holes in Acmella repens ???


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Still want to do something with the Rotala rotundifolia. What I don't know, maybe nothing, it doesn't "add" anything.

Let the Cryptocoryne Wendtii "Brown" get bigger and go from there. ???



So for now, thatís it.

Thank you for reading. Comments, concerns, critiques, suggestions and questions are all welcomed.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-24-2019, 04:46 PM
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I just started a 75 gallon planted tank journal to. I am interested to see how you do things to.

75 gallon low tech low light no supplemental co2 planted community freshwater tropical tank(Quite the mouthfull!!)about to cycle
10 gallon species tank with 11 neon tetras

"Do not pray for an easy life. Pray for the strength to endure a difficult oneĒ Ė Bruce Lee

See my 75 gallon tank journal!
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