New tank plan - critics welcome - The Planted Tank Forum
 3Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-09-2017, 08:57 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 37
Looking for any advice/critiques on my tank game plan.

Background - tank has been running for over 4 years with artificial plants. 6 months ago I decided to throw some plants in with a new light and some substrate. I've re-done the tank almost completely and will be doing this the right way (I think).

Tank Specs:
20 gallons
13 neons, 1 bristlenose pleco, 2 otos and 1 betta
Flourite black sand
Fluval C4 HOB
CO2 injection with diffuser
Finnex Fugeray Planted+

Light schedule is 12 hours. CO2 turns on an hour before lights on and off an hour before lights off. The light is low/medium so I am thinking 12 hours will be okay. Ill reduce if algae starts up.

Fertilizing with Seachem products. Flourish, Trace, Phos, Potassium, Nitrogen, Iron and Advance. I'm going this route because I bought bottles of this stuff previously and want to use it up. I know of dry fertilizing and Trace. Will switch if Seachem doesn't do the job. I will be following the Seachem schedule to start and adjust from there.

Currently dialing in the CO2 today and tomorrow. Ive been increasing slowly every hour or two and seeing how the fish react.

Water changes are with RODI water mixed with Equilibrium, Alk and Acid buffer. GH/KH to 6 and PH at 7. Current plan is a 25% WC every week. Top offs are with RODI only.

I really don't want to EI dose because of the 50% water changes every week. 25% is much easier for me to do in my apartment.

Ive been researching the past few weeks to get a good handle on this. My only concern is that the light schedule may be a bit long.

Any thing that I am missing or should change?
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	1512441544589_1512856661379.jpg
Views:	11
Size:	66.2 KB
ID:	810090  

saltybuddha is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-09-2017, 10:04 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Nubster's Avatar
 
PTrader: (17/100%)
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Romney, West Virginia
Posts: 4,377
Well...when you start messing with CO2 you are committing yourself to increased maintenance so you might have to do higher % water change. Is there really that much difference between changing out one bucket of water vs. 2 buckets?

Also, you should have more otos. They are a social schooling fish found in schools consisting of 1000's of fish. You really should have 6-8 of them together.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Nubster is offline  
post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-09-2017, 10:29 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 37
Yeah I've heard they are schooling fish as well but I've seen tanks with less. My tank currently has a nitrate deficiency, but do you think the bioload could handle some more? I could add purigen to help with the extra organics too.

The 50% water changes would just be a hassle. More RODI storage, would need another heater and space in a small apartment is limited. Was hoping I could get away with 25% it I'm doing EI exactly.

Do you vacuum the substrate in a planted tank? Or blast the detritus off the substrate with a baster into the water column?
saltybuddha is offline  
 
post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-09-2017, 10:45 PM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: WA state usa
Posts: 90
I am a newbie so maybe this is not all 100% correct but is what I would do if this were my tank.


One thing that may make water changes easier is to get a 15 gallon trash can with wheels new of course and use that for water changes. You can get one of those 15-20$ chinacom submersible water pumps and it
should only take a few minutes to change water. I do the same thing but have a 32 gallon trash can for my 40gallon tank. Tank maintenance for me is about 1 hour or so during water changes. But the biggest wait I have is filling up 20 gallons of water from the tap here we have all water saving facets so the flow rate is low.

I am confused on your co2 setup. What do you mean by co2 injection by canister? Do you use a canister filter and a hob filter? 12 hours a day of light seems a bit high to me.


If you wanted to reduce water changes and you are using liquid ferts if you keep up on monitoring until you dial in your tanks needs you could probably get away with 25% water changes just have to monitor parameters closely until you get it dialed in. For example if you have a ei ferts in a macro and micro bottle and the does is two pumps each day rotating between micro and macro you could try reducing that to one pump per day and test the parameters. If using your using RO/DI water I would suspect that gives you a bit more room to play with since the water added during water changes will not contain any nitrates/nitrites.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
negen is offline  
post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-09-2017, 10:54 PM
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
Vinster8108's Avatar
 
PTrader: (4/100%)
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Columbus, OH
Posts: 420
I would put a 4 hour light break in the middle of the day, cutting your photo period to 8 hrs a day (4 on, 4 off, 4 on).

You can do 25% water changes just fine, so long as you reduce the total amounts of EI ferts you dose. Use https://rotalabutterfly.com/ to figure out/dial in your fertilizer accumulation. Something around 40ppm NO3, 5ppm PO4 would be good.

Getting your CO2 to be consistent will be key. Work on that first, then dial in the lighting (for now start around 6-8hrs) and then ferts. Some excel might help keep initial algae at bay, but once you get everything balanced you wont need it with CO2.
Deanna and Deanna like this.

75g Tank Journal:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Forest's Edge:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Vinster8108 is offline  
post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-09-2017, 11:10 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: PA
Posts: 1,713
Overall plan looks good, especially your plan to push CO2 to the limit. Try a little more every day until the fish adapt.

Just a couple items jump out at me:

- Itís a high-tech setup. Donít use Seachemís directions, which are targeted at low-tech setups. Use the Rotala Butterfly | Planted Aquarium Nutrient Dosing Calculator calculator to input Seachemís products. I think youíll want to move fully into EI. Youíre going to be approaching 50 PAR at the substrate and Iíd be concerned that your ferts will become limited if you donít. That risks algae, stunting and other deficiency issues. Maybe not, but be on the lookout.

- Make sure you have enough flow so that plants are gently swaying from top to bottom. I usually recommend a minimum of 10x tank size. In your case, thatís 20 gph of flow, combined from all sources. I donít think your filter will generate enough. I use several Hydor Koraliaís on my 29 gal to get flow into the 900 gph area (way more than 10x). I point them at the surface to get max rippling for good gas (O2) exchange. Fish seem to love playing in the heaviest flow areas.
Deanna is offline  
post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-09-2017, 11:22 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 37
CO2 Tank** no canister.

I think I have the CO2 dialed in. I installed it last Sunday. Slowly raised the CO2 up over 3 days until the drop checker went green. Ive spent today slowly moving it up. My neons started hanging out at the surface and the betta was getting air more often. They were not gasping at the surface, but I got a little worried. So, I turned it back down a little bit. That was 2 hours ago and the drop checker is a light greenish/yellow now. Neons are active from bottom to top of the tank. Ill bump it up again tomorrow and see what happens.

Other than that, the only other thing I need to do to dial in the CO2 is the start time, yeah? So when the light comes on the CO2 is at the same point it is right now?

I would go for a bigger trash can for water changes but the wife would kill me. We are in a small apartment (860 ft square) and I dont know how so have 3 tanks already.

I like the lighting break idea. I will have to give that a go.
saltybuddha is offline  
post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-09-2017, 11:31 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deanna View Post
Overall plan looks good, especially your plan to push CO2 to the limit. Try a little more every day until the fish adapt.

Just a couple items jump out at me:

- Itís a high-tech setup. Donít use Seachemís directions, which are targeted at low-tech setups. Use the Rotala Butterfly | Planted Aquarium Nutrient Dosing Calculator calculator to input Seachemís products. I think youíll want to move fully into EI. Youíre going to be approaching 50 PAR at the substrate and Iíd be concerned that your ferts will become limited if you donít. That risks algae, stunting and other deficiency issues. Maybe not, but be on the lookout.

- Make sure you have enough flow so that plants are gently swaying from top to bottom. I usually recommend a minimum of 10x tank size. In your case, thatís 20 gph of flow, combined from all sources. I donít think your filter will generate enough. I use several Hydor Koraliaís on my 29 gal to get flow into the 900 gph area (way more than 10x). I point them at the surface to get max rippling for good gas (O2) exchange. Fish seem to love playing in the heaviest flow areas.
Good to note on the Rotala. I've played with that site a few times. I figured my set up was on the lower side. I guess it seems most people are pushing for a 50% WC every week. I guess if I want to do this right I will have to commit. You all have convinced me. Maybe once I get better and learn to read the tank I can change it up.

I have the C4 turned up all the way. 264 GPH if I recall but I also have a 92 GPH pump on the other side of the tank too. All the plants have a varying degree of movement to them. Good ripples on the surface too. I top off every few days to keep the water line above the HOB return (to keep it quiet).

Thanks for all the suggestions, everyone.
saltybuddha is offline  
post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-09-2017, 11:39 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: PA
Posts: 1,713
Your lights on/off timing is good at an hour before each event. It only takes an hour to hit a CO2 target. No need to change. If you decide to do the siesta period, it would be better to keep the CO2 on throughout that break, if you can without pushing the fish too hard.

The dc going yellow reflects the point where you fish began getting uncomfortable and was probably around 30 ppm of CO2, which is good. Drop checkers are slow to respond to CO2 changes. They run 2-3 hours behind. Your fish can adapt to increasing CO2, up to a point. I run my dc so far into yellow that I added a 5 dKH dc which I keep on the green/yellow edge. My ppm is probably in the 40+ area, hence the benefit of strong surface rippling to move as much oxygen in as possible. I have many fish, 12 of which are neons and they are all fully adapted to this CO2 level.

Looks like you'll have to balance the nutrient-limited possibility against the wife-limiting aspect. Good luck! Just keep an eye out for excessive algae, especially hair algae, and deficiencies.
Deanna is offline  
post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-09-2017, 11:42 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Nubster's Avatar
 
PTrader: (17/100%)
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Romney, West Virginia
Posts: 4,377
Quote:
Originally Posted by saltybuddha View Post
Yeah I've heard they are schooling fish as well but I've seen tanks with less. My tank currently has a nitrate deficiency, but do you think the bioload could handle some more? I could add purigen to help with the extra organics too.
People keep Bettas in cups too but doesn't mean it's right. Oto's have a pretty high mortality rate...many times because there's not enough algae in the tank to support them. It's also the opinion of successful oto keepers that they just do much better in appropriate size groups too. I'm sure some will chime in and say that they've keep one oto alive in their thank for 10 years or something...but more people than not don't have great luck with them.

As far as the tank handling more fish...add them slowly and the bio-filter will adjust to meet the need. Adding 3-4 more oto's won't stress the tank.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Last edited by Nubster; 12-10-2017 at 12:41 AM. Reason: @
Nubster is offline  
post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-09-2017, 11:43 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PlantedRich's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 12,035
I think the plan sounds reasonable but then I'm one who kind of assumes there will be some algae show in one form or another and that means I am always watching for/ prepping for changes that need to be made. I keep in mind the reasons for EI as well as the water changes it requires. Estimative is the first point and it is an estimate so that means it is quite likely to need changes. So if you change the amount estimated to go lower, the amount which collects in the tank will also be lower. That almost assures that you can adjust both those if you are watching and alert. Put in a lot to be sure, you have to take out a lot more if an excess, but if you put in less, there will automatically be less excess. How much? Yet to be determined, perhaps?
A really small point and one you may already have covered is the location of the heater. I tend to like mine farther down in the tank as I tend to get sloppy and forget to power them down. Bad for heaters!
Looks like a good start so about all we can do is stay alert and watch what happens!
PlantedRich is offline  
post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-10-2017, 12:10 AM
Wannabe Guru
 
Triport's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Central Coast of California
Posts: 1,285
Otos are all wild caught and just seem to be small delicate fish that don't always make the transition to captivity well. I am not sure keeping them in higher numbers will make much difference. Though I tend to always buy a big group and just hope to get some long term survivors. They sometimes hang out all together or school when startled (during a water change or cleaning the tank for example) but often they are just as happy off on their own. I have between 4 and 8 in all my tanks. They are so tiny I don't think they contribute too much to the bioload of the tank (even though they poop a lot) so it doesn't hurt to have a bunch.

Personally I think the lights are on too long. Many algae problems are going to be a direct result of light intensity and length of time they are on. I keep mine on for 6.5 to 7 hours and now I prefer lights that have a dimmer feature so you can play with the intensity.

And I use the Seachem products on my high tech tank just going by the bottle directions and have had good results. I know I am not a 50% water change a week type of guy so I prefer the lighter approach to fertilization than EI. For my lower light or low tech tanks I skip the NPK and just use Florish and Florish Trace and it has been fine so far. I will amend it in the future if I think it needs it.
The Dude1 and The Dude1 like this.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Triport is offline  
post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-10-2017, 12:23 AM
Planted Member
 
Rogozhin75's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Triport View Post
Otos are all wild caught and just seem to be small delicate fish that don't always make the transition to captivity well. I am not sure keeping them in higher numbers will make much difference. Though I tend to always buy a big group and just hope to get some long term survivors. They sometimes hang out all together or school when startled (during a water change or cleaning the tank for example) but often they are just as happy off on their own. I have between 4 and 8 in all my tanks. They are so tiny I don't think they contribute too much to the bioload of the tank (even though they poop a lot) so it doesn't hurt to have a bunch.

Personally I think the lights are on too long. Many algae problems are going to be a direct result of light intensity and length of time they are on. I keep mine on for 6.5 to 7 hours and now I prefer lights that have a dimmer feature so you can play with the intensity.

And I use the Seachem products on my high tech tank just going by the bottle directions and have had good results. I know I am not a 50% water change a week type of guy so I prefer the lighter approach to fertilization than EI. For my lower light or low tech tanks I skip the NPK and just use Florish and Florish Trace and it has been fine so far. I will amend it in the future if I think it needs it.
I bought 4, two died immediately, two are still just fine (after a month), I've ordered 4 more, but I'm thinking you should plan on losing at lest one per group.
The Dude1 and The Dude1 like this.

Live to plant!
Rogozhin75 is offline  
post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-10-2017, 12:34 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Nubster's Avatar
 
PTrader: (17/100%)
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Romney, West Virginia
Posts: 4,377


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Nubster is offline  
post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-10-2017, 12:54 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 2,228
Quote:
Originally Posted by Triport View Post
Otos are all wild caught and just seem to be small delicate fish that don't always make the transition to captivity well. I am not sure keeping them in higher numbers will make much difference. Though I tend to always buy a big group and just hope to get some long term survivors. They sometimes hang out all together or school when startled (during a water change or cleaning the tank for example) but often they are just as happy off on their own. I have between 4 and 8 in all my tanks. They are so tiny I don't think they contribute too much to the bioload of the tank (even though they poop a lot) so it doesn't hurt to have a bunch.

Personally I think the lights are on too long. Many algae problems are going to be a direct result of light intensity and length of time they are on. I keep mine on for 6.5 to 7 hours and now I prefer lights that have a dimmer feature so you can play with the intensity.

And I use the Seachem products on my high tech tank just going by the bottle directions and have had good results. I know I am not a 50% water change a week type of guy so I prefer the lighter approach to fertilization than EI. For my lower light or low tech tanks I skip the NPK and just use Florish and Florish Trace and it has been fine so far. I will amend it in the future if I think it needs it.
Exactly what I was going to say. Personally I think actually doing a WEEKLY water change is more important than the 50% thing especially if you limit the ferts. Lots of people (including me) don't care about getting every last cm of growth each week. I do quite a bit less and my tanks are pretty dense. My big thing is cutting off filters when the water drops below the intake level...then having to restart them... I hate that... so now I do about 35% every 6 to 7 days and leave everything running the entire time. I'm very pleased with my regimen now. Other than cutting light to a max of 8 hours I think it looks good. More Oto's?? Sure... if not... I think it's fine. I am up and around checking and enjoying my tanks all day... 8am to 9pm... so I have my light schedule and then I have a very dim Beamswork viewing fixture on each tank. C02 on at 7am. Full lights at 8am to 2pm... C02 turns off at 6pm.. viewing lights turn off at 9pm. It's not totally algae free, but I've got Oto's, nerites, and Amano shrimp that I want to have some natural food. It's been pretty close to perfect. A couple more Amano's and Nerites in each tank and I doubt I'll need to clean the glass more than once a month.

Twin high tech 75's -
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
The Dude1 is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome