Regimen Adjustments - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-26-2011, 02:26 AM Thread Starter
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Regimen Adjustments

Its been almost 20 days since I re-did my tank. The tank was planted before that and has always had fish, so while it is newly planted, the biological bacteria are well established.

The following two shots were taken with two different cameras, but you can get a sense for how it has changed in those 20 days.

Full Tank Shot, 7/7/11 (post replant)


Full Tank Shot, 7/25/11


The wisteria has taken off like a bat outta hell, but my ludwigia and rotala have lost their reds and I lost basically all my bacopa australis within a few days. I can deal with that for now.

What I'm getting nervous about is the brown algae I'm getting on the glass and my narrow leaf micro swords and what appears to be bba starting to grow on them.

Also, the stems of some of my rotalas are not looking so good:


Here's my regimen now:
96w 6700K PC 8 hrs a day w/ a 3 hour 10000K 96w burst.
Pressurized co2
Drop checker: greenish yellow
Rootmedic Liquid micro and macro ferts, dosed 4x/week.

I moved the drop checker to the other end of the tank tonight, perhaps it was off a lit because it was on the side closest to the diffuser and filter. I'm also planning to increase the co2 by 1bps to see if that does anything.

Just wondering if anyone has any suggestions as to anything they would change with my setup.


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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-26-2011, 03:49 AM
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This is the 30 Gal?

Less light= less growth, less competition for CO2.

No wonder you have issues with this much light.

I use 1/2 this amount and that does not include any noon time burst with even more light.

Light drives ALL growth.

So light=> CO2 demand= > nutrient demand.

Less light = ?? => ???

You get the picture.

The H difformis is a weed, it'll out compete the other species in this tank for CO2 and for light some also. You can trim weekly or you can reduce the intensity of the light. You can also switch out with a slower growing species, but most will grow faster than sin and be PITA. Too much light: you have HLD. High light disease.

Hard to cure since you already have the nuke powered lighting and will not get rid of it, but it is the source of your woes.

I'd maybe use 2x 39 w t5's max on such a tank, and that would be HIGH light to me.

Never 2x 96W for 3 and then one for 8

That's asking for trouble.




Regards,
Tom Barr
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-26-2011, 05:09 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much for the reply Tom. The more time I spend on this forum the more I realize how much mis-information there is out there and how many different opinions there are (which add to the mis-information I suppose).

Based on reading other threads, I was under the impression that the 'leggy' growth I was getting from my ludwigia was due to not enough light. Here's a photo showing the leggy growth on 7/19/11:



It was based on this leggy growth, thin bottomed plants, and that my bacopa australis quickly rotten from the substrate, that I had come to the conclusion that my light was not bright enough (and also not penetrating deep enough in the tank). I was also told this by a few members on the forum.

Based on your advice, I'm going to cut back on the lighting and get rid of the noon burst. I'll go back to running the 96w 6700K for 8 hours a day for now.

Am I correct in assuming that since longer photo periods do not make up for lack of intensity that a shorter photo period would not make up for too much intensity?

Any other suggestions regarding changes in what I'm doing in regards to the brown algae and bba?


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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-17-2011, 08:28 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plantbrain View Post
I'd maybe use 2x 39 w t5's max on such a tank, and that would be HIGH light to me.
Tom - I've been doing some reading on the forum regarding lighting and have a further question regarding your comment above.

According to the following chart from Hoppy's PAR vs Distance thread, 1xPC light 16" above the substrate = ~38 PAR (medium/low light). 2xPC light 16" above the substrate = ~76 PAR (medium/high light).

A 2xT5NO at the same distance would be about the same PAR as 1xPC light. 1xT5HO at the same distance would be ~90 PAR.

Perhaps I am missing something because I don't see how you'd consider 2x39W T5's high light but my 1xPC light is considered medium/low when the PAR values are similar.


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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-17-2011, 09:51 PM
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2 T5HO is 2x90=180 PAR definitely high light. 39W T5 are HO bulbs, NO T5 bulbs are about 20W for the same length if I remember right.


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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-17-2011, 11:10 PM Thread Starter
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2 T5HO is 2x90=180 PAR definitely high light. 39W T5 are HO bulbs, NO T5 bulbs are about 20W for the same length if I remember right.
It seems you are correct that 39w T5's are HO.

This furthers my questioning on why Tom stated my lighting was absurdly high. Perhaps he thought I had AH Supply PC bulbs? 2x of those over my tank would be ridiculous, though so would 2x T5HOs.


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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-17-2011, 11:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRMott View Post
It seems you are correct that 39w T5's are HO.

This furthers my questioning on why Tom stated my lighting was absurdly high. Perhaps he thought I had AH Supply PC bulbs? 2x of those over my tank would be ridiculous, though so would 2x T5HOs.
I think you are right about the AH fixture and bulbs. I would just mount the T5HO about 8 to 12" above the tank. You would realize some energy savings and heat savings by using the T5HO not to mention that the bulbs last longer and run the same as one PC bulb for 2 T5HO if you buy an aquarium companies bulb less if you get GE bulbs.


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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-17-2011, 11:30 PM
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If you have a Coralife PC light, one bulb, 96 watts, I doubt that you have more than low light, but if that light is a DIY installation of a AH Supply light kit, I'm pretty sure you have high medium light, high enough to experience most of the HLD symptoms.

It looks to me like you may have too dense a planting for the CO2 to be able to get to all of the plants, due to inadequate water circulation in the tank. And, just because the drop checker is yellow-green is no guarantee that you have enough CO2. You have to use that as a starting point for small increases in bubble rate, while watching for fish distress. You need to have good water surface rippling too, to get as much oxygen into the water as you can, so the fish can live with the CO2 better.

I would remove the H. difformis entirely, since it is much too likely to dominate the tank, then suddenly just quit growing and die back. It is a good plant to start a tank with, but I don't like it at all for anything else.

The brown diatom algae isn't unusual, and it should go away by itself soon, but otocinclus catfish and Amano shrimp will help get rid of it.

Hoppy
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-18-2011, 02:53 AM Thread Starter
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Hoppy - You are correct, I am running 1x 96W Coralife fixture, unmodified. According to your PAR Value chart, this equates to approximately 38 PAR at the substrate, which is right on the cusp of medium/low light. The fixture has another 96W bulb which I am not utilizing at the time but could. Based on your chart, the PAR values of 2x PC bulbs w/ poor/no reflector is similar to 1xPC AH Supply.

From what I'm reading though, it seems I don't need to (less is more). Specifically, there's an previous thread by Tom stating how he measured PAR values of several tanks and that by his conclusion 30-50 PAR will grow just about anything.

Honestly though...I'm very confused at this point about my tank. From all that I've read (and believe me it is a lot), I've read to plant densely. Many of the photos I see of tank I like are also densely planted. My filter is 220 GPH on a 30 gal (I know manufacturers overstate flow rates). I definitely have good surface rippling and have tried bringing the CO2 even higher but my tiger barbs end up gasping shortly after raising it by even a slight amount. I definitely have a 'soda water' tank...with CO2 bubbles floating all through the water column.

I don't quite understand the concept of using plants to start a tank with, and then changing to other plants. It's not like the beneficial bacteria which take time to establish. If I'm running my lighting 8 hours a day, my CO2 is set, and dosing 3-4x/week, wouldn't I have to adjust everything if I replaced the wisteria?

It's been almost 6 weeks since I replanted my tank. I'm not sure what direction I should be headed in now...


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