First heavily planted tank setup - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-07-2018, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
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First heavily planted tank setup

Hey guys, I've read this forum extensively and the amount of knowledge this community has is awesome. I am however, need some advice or help in steering me in the right direction, before I invest heavily in a bunch of plants and not have them blow up on me. Any help or comments of how bad I suck are welcomed


I have kept fish for many years, and have a 125 discus tank, but now want to go into a new heavily planted tank that I've had up for 2 months.


75g regular- 4 Angels, 2 German Rams, BN Pleco, 5 Kuhli loaches. Everyone is going great. I have 1 Anubias, 2 Java Ferns (several babies), 2 swords (melted, but are growing back) 1 crypt (melted, but coming back slowly) right now.

2 x 6500k 48" Beamsworks DA FSPEC LED. I have no clue on what category of low/medium/high light this is. I want to go med/high setup. Do I need any additional lighting?
I have a pressurized c02 setup coming, with an inline diffuser for my canister. I'm waiting on that before I buy a ton of plants.
Temp: 79 degrees. GH 4. KH 5. pH 7.3. TDS: 400 No ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate (Its never been past 0 ppm, probably because my bioload is small at the moment). I use inert sand, and root tabs for swords. I dose with Thrive 2x a week, and do 20% water changes weekly with RO/DI water that I use Equilibrium for a GH booster.


Is there anything I need to change/add/remove from this setup?



Thanks to anyone who takes the time to help a newbie out.

Last edited by Rhavinity; 06-07-2018 at 02:01 PM. Reason: Adding more info
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-07-2018, 01:55 PM
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Dosing thrive plus bioload means there must be NO3 present... Especially with tiny 20% water changes.....

I would bump gH up to 7 or 8 just to be on the safe side.

2 x beamsworks is plenty for a 75 gal, CO2 will help dramatically.

TDS seems slightly on the high side for kH - 5 and gH - 4. My tank runs a kH of 4 and gH of 8 plus front load EI macros and daily micros and my TDS hovers around 250 - 300 ppm.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-07-2018, 02:06 PM Thread Starter
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If there is Nitrate, reading it on the color chart has to be between 0-5. Its pretty yellow from the API kit. I use Matrix. Wouldn't the plants absorb the nitrogen in thrive pretty quickly?
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-07-2018, 02:20 PM
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How much thrive are you dosing? How are you performing the NO3 test? (specifics are important.... exactly how are you performing the test?)

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-07-2018, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
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According to the dosage, 8 pumps (says 1 pump/10g) sometimes 2x a week, sometimes 3x. I am using the API test kit that has 10 drops of 2 solutions. That's why I'm only doing 20% water change. There isn't a huge need to do more, if my NO3 is barely getting registered.

These 2 lights I'm using. Is this considered medium? High?
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-07-2018, 03:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhavinity View Post
According to the dosage, 8 pumps (says 1 pump/10g) sometimes 2x a week, sometimes 3x. I am using the API test kit that has 10 drops of 2 solutions. That's why I'm only doing 20% water change. There isn't a huge need to do more, if my NO3 is barely getting registered.

These 2 lights I'm using. Is this considered medium? High?
So, 8 pumps x 2 times per week x 2mL per pump = 36 mL per week. Assuming the tanks water volume is closer to 65 actual gallons, you would be adding roughly 20ppm per week of NO3.

The 2 lights would probably put you in the high light category.

How EXACTLY are you performing the test? Very very very important with the API kit you follow the directions absolutely perfect. Assuming you are dosing 16 pumps per week of Thrive and there are fish present means you must have a faulty kit or you are performing the test wrong.

Even if there is low NO3 levels, larger water changes (40/50/60/70 % per week) are very important and are 99.9% beneficial in planted tanks.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-07-2018, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
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I must have a faulty solution. I use a separate test kit (still API) on my other tank. The thought didn't even cross my mind that it was a bad solution. Just for knowledge sake, what is the purpose of doing such large water changes on a planted tank? I will definitely change my maintenance on it, just want to learn on why.

Everything else is ok as far as tank parameters?
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-07-2018, 07:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhavinity View Post
I must have a faulty solution. I use a separate test kit (still API) on my other tank. The thought didn't even cross my mind that it was a bad solution. Just for knowledge sake, what is the purpose of doing such large water changes on a planted tank? I will definitely change my maintenance on it, just want to learn on why.

Everything else is ok as far as tank parameters?
Larger, frequent water changes are important in maintaining stability in the tank. The more water changes you do, the more waste you remove. So by constantly keeping fresh, clean water in the system, you maintain close parameters. Water changes also replace vital nutrients such as calcium and magnesium that plant require in somewhat larger amounts.

Boosting Ca and Mg (gH) is a good practice to get into, usually the new water during a water change is dosed with Ca and Mg a boost gH a few points, ensuring plants have enough.

The large water changes also help reset nutrients that we dose. Over time, we dose more than the plants can consume resulting in fertilizer soup. So large water changes reset the tank water, and we simply dose fertilizers up to the levels we want.

Check out Rotalabutterfly nutrient calculator. Punch in your tank size + fertilizer and select a dosing regime that suits you.

Like I said before, I would gH boost up to 8 dgH or so. You can use the rotalabutterfly calculator to determine how much of what to dose to how much water to achieve that level.

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