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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-06-2010, 10:14 PM Thread Starter
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New to planted tanks

Hello everyone!

I am fairly new to planted tanks and have had mine for about 5 months. Unfortuantely, I have run into a few problems. First off, here is my set-up:

55 Gallon
Lighting: Nova Extreme 108W T5HO (10,000k bulb and Freshwater (pink) bulb) 8 hours a day.
Nutrients: Dosing 5ml of macros and micros per day using PPS-Pro method
Co2: 5m of Seachem Excel each day
Plants: 1 large bunch of rotala, 2 Echinodorous swords, 1 medium-large amazon sword, 1 red tiget lotus (8 leaves), 1 medium anubias, Dwarf sag (Many)

Since starting, I have tun into problems will all sorts of algaes, coming and going (bba and hair algae). I have had brown and green algae on the glass ever since starting.

Basically, I was wondering: Should I add more plants? Add some ottos? Both? What kinds of plants would be best for my set-up? How can I find the right balance of nutrients, co2, and lighting?

thank you so much for all the help!
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-06-2010, 10:36 PM
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welcome to the site!

does the brown algae come off like dust? if so its dust algae, if not probably diatoms otos wouldnt hurt
is it green spot algae?

bba is co2 issue. i dont know if 5ml of excel is enough but i cant remember how much they tell you to dose.

to get a better balance you could try ei dosing
http://www.barrreport.com/showthread...ss-techy-folks
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-06-2010, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
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The brown algae comes off fairly easily, and seems to be more like dust algae. I also forgot to mention that the brown agae is on the leaves of some of my plants. The green algae also looks like dust algae but is a little harder to remove.

seachem recomends dosing 1ml per 10 gallons which is the same amount needed with the PPS-Pro system. I recently lowered my lights from about 10-12 hours a day to 8, and the bba seemed to come back....odd.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-06-2010, 10:51 PM
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when you wipe it does it float away like dust? the fact that its on the leaves makes me think of diatoms. otos love'em

sounds like greenspot algae. usually low po4. if you have access to po4 try to raise it to over 2ppm

how large water changes do you do and how often?
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-06-2010, 10:56 PM Thread Starter
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The algae on the glass is definately dust algae (it floats away). The algae on the leaves may be diatoms.

I have the following dry ferts:
K2SO4 (Potassium Sulfate)
KNO3 (Potassium Nitrate)
KH2PO4 (Mono Potassium Phosphate)
MgSO4 (Magnesium Sulfate)
CSM+B

I try to do at least a 40% water change once a week.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-06-2010, 10:57 PM Thread Starter
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I'll go ahead and get some ottos.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-07-2010, 01:04 AM
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i would drop the pps method and move over to the ei side. you have everything you need
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-07-2010, 01:12 AM
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I'm not sure Excel will be able to provide enough carbon on a 55gal with 108 watts of T5HO over it. At the very least, it's going to get very expensive very quickly. I'd start saving up for a pressurized CO2 setup if you want to stay with this much light over the tank.





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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-07-2010, 02:21 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lauraleellbp View Post
I'm not sure Excel will be able to provide enough carbon on a 55gal with 108 watts of T5HO over it. At the very least, it's going to get very expensive very quickly. I'd start saving up for a pressurized CO2 setup if you want to stay with this much light over the tank.
Thank you for the input! Originally I was thinking that I would be able to dose as recommended. Based on that, I calculated that a $30.00 2l bottle would last approximately 400 days. A pressurized CO2 setup would be at least $200, which would mean that I would have to use Excel for about 7 years before it matched the price of the CO2 setup.

However, if I do need more than recommended, such as twice as much, it would still take 3.5 years, by which I will be out of school.

How much would you recommend? And I understand that owning a CO2 setup is kind of like owning a house where using Excel is like renting; its better to own in the long run.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-07-2010, 02:21 AM Thread Starter
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Timwag2001, I think I will switch over to EI.
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-07-2010, 02:25 AM
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I think the issue is that Excel is designed to dose once a day, but on a high light tank, the plants might actually need to be dosed with it 2-3x a day in order to maintain a stable carbon supply- which probably wouldn't be safe for the livestock.

You can always just stick with the Excel dosing and see if it works out OK for you- or do some things to moderate your light levels, like raising your fixture up higher off the tank or incorporating some floating plants.





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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-07-2010, 02:35 AM Thread Starter
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I see....

I'll probably try to play with it a little bit and see what happens. So at the moment, I think there are many variables tha will be changed/adjusted...
  • Switch over to EI dosing
  • Play around with Excel (Nothing drastic)
  • Add more plants (Would like to add some background plants and maybe a carpeting one)
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-07-2010, 02:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llamas View Post
Thank you for the input! Originally I was thinking that I would be able to dose as recommended. Based on that, I calculated that a $30.00 2l bottle would last approximately 400 days. A pressurized CO2 setup would be at least $200, which would mean that I would have to use Excel for about 7 years before it matched the price of the CO2 setup.

However, if I do need more than recommended, such as twice as much, it would still take 3.5 years, by which I will be out of school.

How much would you recommend? And I understand that owning a CO2 setup is kind of like owning a house where using Excel is like renting; its better to own in the long run.
Pressurized Co2 is more consistent on the amount that is in the tank.
Excel may work for a while but eventually will run out before you dose again causing a chemistry imbalance which in turn causes the algae.

I have gone through the same thing, I tried to find a way around Pressurized co2 but the truth is you cannot get around it in a high tech setup it's equally as important as a filter, Lights, and a heater. You just cannot have a smooth running setup without any of those pieces of equipment same goes for Pressurized Co2.
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-07-2010, 02:45 AM Thread Starter
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Alright, so that's two people for pressurized CO2, and with good reasons

When you say "high tech", I wonder..... Is two watts per gallon (108), really high tech?
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-07-2010, 02:47 AM
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t5ho is a very strong light. about the only thing not high tech about your tank is the lack of pressurized co2
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