Fubar 55Gal - UK Noob Tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
 
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Fubar 55Gal - UK Noob Tank

This is my first attempt at planting up a tank. This is also my first post here on PT.net. So hello all.

I'll kick off with the vital statistics.
Hardware
Juwel Rio 180 101L x 50H x 41W cm 200l/55Gal
Filter: TetraTec EX700
Lights: 2x24W T5 Arcadia Over-Tank Luminere
Heater: 150W Rena SmartHeater
Substrate: Pool Filter Sand (Approx. 2" depth)
Fish
2 Penguin Tetra
3 Black Neon Tetra
1 Neon Tetra
10 Cherry Shrimp
++ More to be added soon [Cardinals, Blue Rams and Corys to name a few]
Plants
Background:
Indian Fern
Vallis Torta
Hygro Polysperma
Red Amazon
Nymphea Stellata
Midground
Amazon Swords
Vallis Corkscrew lrg
Foreground
Ech Tennellus
Crypt Nevilli
Crypt Wendtii
[Plus some moss ball which i can't remember the name of ]

After the formal introduction here a pic of some of the setup and how it looked straight after setup. (This whole thing took about 7-10 days and the filter was already mature from another tank holding the fish)







I am really happy with the look, but the plants (about 10-14 days in) aren't looking ike they are doing very well. I have had a lot of the leaves wilt and fall off and i am already getting some Algae on the leaves of the Vallis.

I dose:
Easy Carbo 3.6ml per day
Profito 2.5ml per day
Lights are on for 12 Hours
25-30% Water change every 6/7 days with AquaSafe added to tap water.
Ammonia 0 Nitrites 0 Nitrates 5/10 Ph 7.2

Is there any obvious reasons why i am not seeing a good settling in period for the plants?
Is this inital deterioration normal and should i start to see it pick up?
What would you recommend i did that may help my setup?
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
 
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Some of the inmates





Last edited by thefubar; 05-28-2009 at 03:18 PM. Reason: Added some more pics
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 03:37 PM
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why do you have pins stuck in your wood? lol

liughts are on for too long, i think about 7 hours is max

as for alge, get a couple of otos


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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 03:49 PM
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To much light not enough co2. Change those youll see improvements. Otos woill help alot as well.
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timme278 View Post
why do you have pins stuck in your wood? lol

liughts are on for too long, i think about 7 hours is max

as for alge, get a couple of otos
The pins are an exotic plant i am trying to cultivate, they go with the money tree i have in the back garden.

..actually they are hold some very tiny java ferns in place (they are literally about 5mm long )

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Originally Posted by dp12man View Post
To much light not enough co2. Change those youll see improvements. Otos woill help alot as well.
I'll nudge up the CO2 and turn down the lights and if i ever find the time to get to a LFS i will check out some Otos.

Do they pose any conlfict risks to any other fish?
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 05:30 PM
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Otos pose no risk to any other fish. These guys will not even eat any baby shrimp. Only algae. I have even had to add a algea a wafer from time to time. I have 6 in my 55.
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 06:21 PM
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ukaps is where you need to be, promosing start though.
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 06:48 PM
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What is the color spectrum of your bulbs? It's looks pretty blue in one pic, 6700k lamps works very well for plants. I run all mine for 9hrs.

I would look into CO2 injection if you want rapid growth, to replace the EC, but be prepared to dose macro nutrients and traces on a regular basis. Your die off could be normal acclimation or even a nutrient deficiency. Even in very low tech tanks I make it a point to toss in a bit of phosphate, potassium and trace supplement once or twice a month, also nitrate if it doesn't build on it's own. Algae can be attributed to nutrient imbalance as well as low CO2 (or high light, the two are a critical ratio), also common in the early stages of setup. The mature filter will help that stage pass more quickly.


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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 09:25 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaidexl View Post
What is the color spectrum of your bulbs? It's looks pretty blue in one pic, 6700k lamps works very well for plants. I run all mine for 9hrs.
I've got one Arcadia Marine White and one Marine Blue. Should i swap the Blue for another White then?




Quote:
Originally Posted by jaidexl View Post
I would look into CO2 injection if you want rapid growth, to replace the EC, but be prepared to dose macro nutrients and traces on a regular basis. Your die off could be normal acclimation or even a nutrient deficiency. Even in very low tech tanks I make it a point to toss in a bit of phosphate, potassium and trace supplement once or twice a month, also nitrate if it doesn't build on it's own. Algae can be attributed to nutrient imbalance as well as low CO2 (or high light, the two are a critical ratio), also common in the early stages of setup. The mature filter will help that stage pass more quickly.
I am not looking for rapid growth, and CO2 will be something for me to consider in the future (as and when i get tired of carbo dosing!)

I did wonder what the rate of turn over of leaves is for aquatic plants.

Do i buy phosphate, potassium and trace supplement combined in something or are they sold separatly? I'll have a search about to see if i can find the answer too.

We have a natural tap water nitrate level of 15/20, is this so low i should consider nitrate dosing too?

My new dosing is 5.4ml per day for Easy Carbo, (which is equiv to 1.5ml per 50l per day) and i have re-timered the lights for 3hours am and 4 hours pm/eve. The tank doesn't get direct sunlight as it is on a south facing wall of the house.

Pictures of tank, and two example of the plant problems. Maybe it will help ID whether its a fert problem or not. Many thanks for the replies and advice everyone it is very useful.



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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 10:00 PM
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Welcome, your tank is looking great. as far as your lighting, looks like you should change both bulbs. ideally you want bulbs in the 6000k to 10000k range. the white you have is 14000k and the blue does no good whatsoever for a planted tank. even when you get new bulbs it will be low light.
I suggest you read this
the best advise I've found on non co2 tanks.

I know enough to know that I don't know anything
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 10:34 PM
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lamp specs do the best cheap lights in the uk, this guide will help you pick which one you like best.
http://ukaps.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=555
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 11:28 PM
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I would change both out for 6700k, or you can mix in a 10k for less yellow, it depends on the lamp manufacturer, some 67's are fairly white and others are more yellow.

If you're not going to inject CO2, then you could just have some liquid ferts on hand. I don't know of any companies that mix macros, but Seachem has a solution for each. No need for nitrogen in your case, potassium and phosphate would be good to have on hand. Also a trace supplement like Flourish to provide Iron and other traces. High tech folks often go the cheaper rout and use DIY dry ferts from places like aquariumfertilizer.com, but liquid makes it a bit easier and you won't be losing a wad of cash using it to dose low tech every so often.

Leaf turnover depends entirely on plant species, specific tank specs and parameters. Almost impossible to pinpoint or generalize. During acclimation it's not uncommon to see a lot of loss, but if the tank is healthy then new growth should be seen at the center of rosette plants (swords) and at the top of stems or as side shoots. Judging deficiencies on older/ lower leaves only works with established plants. The sword looks healthy but that one leaf suggests a potassium issue. So do the pinholes in the stem plant (H. polysperma?) but that appears to be old, emergent growth from beofre you bought it, the top looks healthy and red, from what I can see.


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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-29-2009, 01:22 PM Thread Starter
 
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So i am searching out a suitable replacment to the bulbs i currently have. If i find them on offer i will probably buy a pair the same. I see what you mean about the 6700 being more yellow though. I am tempted to go with your 10k suggestions instead.

About the ferts
I will grab a pot of flourish and see whether that has some influence on the tank.

Finally i am hoping to get some Otos tomorrow, i have read they have a high risk of quick death so i'll make sure i've got enough food for them to gorge on!

Thanks again for taking the time, it saves me losing a tank full of plants. It also brings out the best. I can't wait to share some improvements that i see.
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-29-2009, 06:22 PM
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Tropica TPN is better stuff, and cheaper here too. Same goes for easy carbo rather than excel.
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-29-2009, 06:58 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garuf View Post
Tropica TPN is better stuff, and cheaper here too. Same goes for easy carbo rather than excel.
If there was a "Thanks" button on this forum i would have just pressed it!

I'll have a poke about some of the stores i use and put together an order. Need a few fish food bits for current shrimps and planned Corys, Otos and Rams.

I am trying to work out if i can do the Otos this weekend or not. Haven't ever done the "drip method" before so i am trying to work out how to do it with stuff i have or can get cheap!
I found one site that says to get an air valve controller but i haven't got a clue what they are.

One nagging issue i have is...should i put a powerhead in the tank to increase the flow? Will the plants or fish appreciate it?

If yes where should i put it and what direction should it point?
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