Help with high tech tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-14-2018, 08:51 AM Thread Starter
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Help with high tech tank

Hi all!

I've browsed these forums over the past few years getting the odd bit of advise (thank you) and have finally decided to start my own post to see if I can get some more specific help with getting my tank into a better state.
I've owned a low tech tank for many years and mid last year I decided to switch to using the EI method and injected co2. Once getting the co2 dialled in this seemed to work fairly well and plant growth definitely increased but I'm still struggling with some green spot algae and just recently BBA has started to appear as well. I recently lost my 7 year old SAE which I'm gutted about and have noticed the hair algae appearing after he was gone so perhaps it has always been present and he kept it in check? Anyway plant health in general looks less than ideal so I'm hoping you guys can point out what I seem to be overlooking.

Tank Details:

- Juwel Vision 260 Litre
- Standard Juwel lighting unit 2x 54 watt T5 lighting (Lights on for 9 hours/day)
- 2x Canister filters, AquaOne 1000 & AquaOne 1200
- Drop checker with 4dKH water (usually a lime green when co2 is on, closer to yellow at the end of the photoperiod)
- Pressurised co2 with solenoid regulator and inline co2 diffuser (co2 comes on 1 hour before lights and off 1 hour before lights turn off)
- Temp between 25 - 30 degrees celsius (summer has been hot here in NZ and water temps increasing on hot days)
- Tank is not in direct sunlight/near a window
- I have 2-4cm of aquatic soil capped with filter sand for substrate.

EI Details:

Macro: KNO3 1/2tsp, KH2PO4 1/2tsp, K2SO4 1/2tsp. I had increased KH2PO4 & K2SO4 from recommended doses previously due to pinholes in Lotus leaves and have just continued with this ever since. I dose the dry ferts directly into the tank.
Micro:5ml Seachem Flourish

- Monday: Macros
- Tuesday: Micros
- Wednesday: Macros
- Thursday: Micros
- Friday: Macros
- Saturday: Micros
- Sunday: 50% water change

Only this week have I realised that I should really be dosing Seachem Equilibrium on water change days, it seems like I completely missed that when researching the EI method?!?! The LFS didn't have any in stock but I did grab a bag of MgSO4 and added 1tsp to see if that makes any difference but I think I'll just go get some Seachem Equilibrium this weekend and start dosing that on water change day to make sure I am covered.

Observations with plants:

- Some Java fern leaves are deformed or stunted.
- Older growth on lotus showing pin holes.
- I had a patch of dwarf sag melt but seems to be growing back now.
- Crypt looks a bit sad with occasional leaf melting.
- Sword flowered a few weeks ago.
- Plants still pearling near the end of the photoperiod.
- Of all things I was never able to grow java moss successfully and it eventually all died away?

Reading through all of this now I think I'm seeing my own mistakes...

- I should reduce lighting down to 8 hours/day
- I should have increased my KNO3 dosing when I increased KH2PO4 & K2SO4 doses. To 1tsp? Just seems like so much but I guess the tank is reasonably planted now.
- I should be dosing Equilibrium after each water change.
- I'm wondering if I should also increase Seachem Flourish dose to 10ml? I seem to have trouble finding the right info on this as most people seem to use CSM+B dry ferts but I can't find that here.

I have also wondered if my canister filters are producing enough circulation in my tank and have considered getting a power head. Would this be worthwhile?

Please let me know if I'm on the right path or if there is anything else I should consider. I'll get the test kit out tomorrow and post results if needed.

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Last edited by Kyrowire; 03-20-2018 at 07:22 PM. Reason: Mistyped word.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-14-2018, 12:31 PM
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I like your scape. Sounds like your plants are melting. Melting is caused by insufficient CO2 for the given lighting level. If I were in your shoes i would adjust the co2 up. I would lower the lighting either by dimming or raising the lights up further away from aquarium. I would also look at my flow in the tank. Is it enough? You don't have a nurtient problem, you have a co2 lighting issue. Good luck.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-15-2018, 08:39 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Bryce!

I hadn't really thought of having too much light! I didn't think 2x 54watt T5's would be too much. I have reduced my lighting down to 8 hours/day and I'm considering removing the reflectors I have in place as well to reduce intensity.
I could look at increasing co2 a bit more as well but I already feel like I'm dumping a lot into the tank, it looks like a bottle of soda water when I get home in the evenings. Drop checker usually looks good though.
I did run out of co2 a few weeks back and went without for 3 or 4 days until I could get it filled so possibly the tank took a turn for the worst at that point.

I checked water params tonight and all looking good there, maybe a little low on GH and KH so I think the equilibrium on water changes will help me out as well.

Thanks again.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-15-2018, 11:30 AM
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Try changing one thing at a time. I would start by maybe raising the lights a little since that sill lessen the plants desire for co2 and ferts while giving you more breathing room.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-20-2018, 07:26 PM Thread Starter
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I already reduced the photoperiod to 8 hours, removed the reflective material in my reflectors and now dosing equilibrium on water change day and it's looking good so far so we will see how that goes. I thought I would start there before trying to raise the lights up as it's a Juwel tank and will look ugly If I try raising the lights above the rim of the tank.
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