Restarting, the right way. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-25-2011, 02:46 AM Thread Starter
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Restarting, the right way.

I bought all my equipment and all for my mini s and it came out to be nothing but trouble and algae because I didn't know much. I have some questions that I'm pretty sure most could easily answer I just don't have experience with these things. Heres my setup first and water parameters- should cover any questions your guys/gals have

Ada mini-s
mini solar-s
aquasoil amazonia
Ada pressurized co2 with a pollen diffuser
eheim 2211 with ada intake and out flow
rootmedic root caps and micro/macro liquid
tap water has a kh of around 12 and gh 0, ph of 7.6-7.8, tds of 440( I do have a ro unit that I use for my wild discus tank)

I also have a nano drop checker coming in the mail with a new diffuser.
Anything that I have missing?

My biggest problem with the tank was that everything was well for around a month and then nothing but algae grew, so much that it seemed to be slowing my carpeting plants growth.

I know since my tank isn't setup yet you guys can't tell me much of what I'm doing wrong but I do have the substrate layed out in a simple valley and I will add rocks for hardscape tomorrow. I hope to only have some hc covering the substrate and something like ug or the such in the very back.

First off, how do I keep my hoses clean.. I always had and still have lots of brown gunk inside them and even if I clean filter pipes the hoses are still all brown and its almost pointless. How do you keep the glass right along substrate clean? I would always try to use napkin and hand and it would just disturb the substrate and make a mess.

If anyone has any "beginner advice" I would love to hear it... Ive read things here and there like " no ferts need to be added for some time after startup" and what not and I don't know whats right and/or wrong.
Thanks guys and sorry for the article.
Also Ive read the beginners section but its hard to find specific things so please don't suggest I read the beginners section lol I most certainly have already given myself headaches reading it already
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post #2 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-25-2011, 01:59 PM
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Hey Zach,

Here's the exact formula you should follow for your aquarium for dosing:

Don't dose anything for the first week except Brighty K - just one squirt per day is enough for a Mini S. After the first week, start dosing Step 1 every day. Again just one squirt per day. You can slowly up the dosage to 2 squirts per day after about a month or two, and then eventually three. Dosing Green Bacter once a day for the first week and after water changes helps the aquarium reach stability and grow better.

To clean the hoses - run a spring washer through them when you clean the lily pipes, it'll make them sparkle like new again. I typically clean the lily pipes and hoses every two weeks. Once a week if needed. To safely remove lily pipes from hoses - when you turn off the filter and remove the pipe from the aquarium, push up on the pipe (like you are trying to put the tubing on), this will break the air tight seal (you should hear a slight sound), and will allow the tube to safely slide off without risk of breaking glass.

To keep the glass around the substrate clean, use Bacter 100. The most common algae that forms between substrate and glass is cyanobacteria, which Bacter 100, sprinkled lightly over the substrate around the edges, will eat and devour and the problem shouldn't come back. After that you shouldn't get any algae between substrate and glass pane, but if you do, and it's GDA, GSA, etc, a tall razor blade can get between the substrate and the glass without disturbing it.

When cleaning algae off the glass it's easiest to spot it by looking at the back of the pane of glass (or the inside pane) by looking at it at an angle from the sides. Take an algae pad and use straight up and down or left to right motions across the whole glass. Once you've gone all the way to the bottom (stopping at the substrate) return the pad to the top rim and start 50% over to the right (so you hit spots effectively twice) and repeat. If going left to right, drop the algae pad 50% down, and go right to left, then left to right.

Check for algae again by looking through the side of the aquarium at the back of the front pane of glass, and clean any algae spots missed by going in diagonal patterns across it. You can also use a razor blade to effectively clean the algae as well, or effectively as touch ups.

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post #3 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-25-2011, 02:02 PM
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Additionally, if your water quality is inconsistent out of the tap or unreasonably hard - making a switch to RO/DI water will vastly increase your plant quality, health and growing rates. Our formula is RODI and Seachem Equilibrium to reconstitute the DI water. Never had greater results (considering our tap is considerably bad) in a planted tank.

That being said, a daily dosage (half - 1/4 capful for you) of seachem excel after the first week has proven to help with plant growth quite substantially for us. I'd definitely recommend it.

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post #4 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-25-2011, 03:21 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Francis appreciate everything. Pretty much answered my questions now I'm just waiting for my new diffuser and I will set it back up. How about water changes? 50% a week or more often when first setting it up, and I've never heard anyone talk about how to cycle a planted tank. I use ammonia to cycle my discus tanks but not sure about planted. Is it the same principle? Also what length should my photo period be??

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post #5 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-25-2011, 08:12 PM
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You will not need to add ammonia to a planted tank using aqua soil because AS leeches ammonia (a natural by product of nutrient rich substrate), which allows for cycling of the aquarium. Plants also uptake ammonia as food, which helps as well.

For the first week, do a 50% water change every day.
For the second week do a 50% water change every second day (every other day, 4 times that week).

For the third week, do it every third day or twice a week.

From the fourth week on you should be able to go once a week at 50% no problem. Even just 35%.

The first two weeks are kind of the 'hell week' periods.

Your photo period should be precisely 10 hours, this allows for a full photosynthesis cycle.

Also - never dose all of your fertilizers for the week on one day, with the theory that "if I dose a weeks worth of nutrients, then I don't have to dose every day!" this typically just leads to an algae break out and wasted nutrients. It's like leaving an overly full bowl of dog/cat food when going on vacation for a week. Typically it just gets eaten within the first day, the dog gets sick from being overly full and pukes on your carpet, then goes without food for 6 days, creating a royal mess.

Stick to daily dosing.

Basically everything about the planted tank revolves around achieving balance - balance between microorganisms, nutrient dosing, plant & fish needs and water quality. Once you've achieved balance the planted tank is extremely easy to care for, barely even requiring an algae wipe off the glass every week.

It's hard to describe, but you know that your planted tank is at the peak of health when the plants and water seem to "sparkle," it's something you can't really tell someone precisely to look for, but you'll know it when you see it. Eventually you'll be able to detect what a planted tank needs just by looking at it quickly.

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post #6 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-25-2011, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the info, I was told that with 27w of light over only 3.5g it was way to much and what not. For a tank of this size with only hc what should or do you normally see in bps of co2. I'm just trying to get a starting point instead of pissing in the wind again... This is what I have as of now. I broke my diffuser yesterday and just waiting to hear back from to get another.



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post #7 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-25-2011, 08:40 PM
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The 27w ADA bulb / fixture is perfectly suited for the Mini S - as it's designed specifically for that aquarium. Amano himself uses them over that tank, so I'm going to go with there's no problems on that end!

I would start at 1 bps and slowly increase to 3 bps in the Mini S. Begin with 1 for the first week, then as the plants start to root and grow, increase to 2.

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post #8 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-25-2011, 08:52 PM
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That looks really nice.

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post #9 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-25-2011, 10:36 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Francis for the help and shrimpnmoss, thanks for the compliment. I think from the start I tried to do way to much with stems, carpeting ect.. and I had no experience. Ill try to just use hc this time around with possible one other carpeting type plant between some of the rocks.. do you see anyway that I could improve this?
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post #10 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-25-2011, 11:51 PM
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It looks so clean, I'd keep 2-3 species of plants and keep it clean. A carpet, a nice erio and something else that won't clutter.

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post #11 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-25-2011, 11:58 PM Thread Starter
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Thats what I was thinking. I have hc, ug, and one other thing in mind.. idk what the name of it is but if you care to look its the foreground plant in James findleys "riverbank" I believe. I'll try and find the name if I can.

Elatine triandra

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post #12 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-26-2011, 12:04 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shrimpnmoss View Post
It looks so clean, I'd keep 2-3 species of plants and keep it clean. A carpet, a nice erio and something else that won't clutter.
Whats erio? Sorry if its a well known plant, Im sure you know I'm new lol
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post #13 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-26-2011, 05:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zchauvin View Post
Whats erio? Sorry if its a well known plant, Im sure you know I'm new lol
search Erio Ben Ba Wah, Erio Japan, Erio Australia, Erio Cinereum, on this site. They require CO2 and Aquasoil and high light and RO water. There are lots of different ones. Pretty expensive as far as plants goes. Most grow slow. Really nice looking when grown right IMO.

The nicer ones gets snatched up instantly when people sell them on the SnS and not that many people sell them. So keep your eye out if you want one. Here's a pic of Speedy's Erio.


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Last edited by shrimpnmoss; 06-21-2012 at 05:04 PM.
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post #14 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-26-2011, 05:46 AM
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I'd keep the foregrond plants to one species... IE. just HC, or just UG, or just belem.

Looks nicer and don't have to worry about them competing with eachother
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post #15 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-26-2011, 06:46 AM
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Maybe I am way off base here but shouldn't someone have pointed out by now that carpet-only Iwagumi tanks are very hard to balance and keep algae free especially during the early stages of the tank's life?

Personally, I would toss in frogbit (but not so much that it blocks so much light that the carpet plant won't grow properly) or some other sort of fast growing floating plant. Once the tank had aged a bit and I felt that I had things balanced out I would begin removing the floating plant in increments and see how the tank reacts.

I understand that you want that Iwagumi look but if it is so hard to balance that you give up (which has already happened once if I read your post correctly) then what good does it do to have a 'valid' Iwagumi tank for a couple of painful months?

As fun as it sounds to chase water parameters with a box full of chemicals (and a box full of mystical non-sense that may or may not chase away bad omens and ill spirits and magically fix all of my algae problems) I have had good luck so far fighting algae with the simple solutions that deprive algae of its fuel - adding plant mass, increasing CO2 and decreasing light.
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