Help With 75 Gallon Planted Tank - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-09-2011, 08:44 AM Thread Starter
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Help With 75 Gallon Planted Tank

Hey Everyone,

I'm becoming frustrated with my planted tank. I have only been into this hobby for a little over a year but have pretty much spent hours daily for a good period of this doing a ton of reading to learn how to successfully have a beautiful planted tank. I'm now just lost as to what my problem is with my tank. Plants are very difficult to get here (and costly) and after having lost many to algae, lack of growth, etc, I almost feel like giving up.

This is my current setup :

75 Gallon (48" x 21" x 18")
Odyssea T5HO x2 bulbs (54 watts) 6 inches above tank
Fluval FX5 Cannister Filter
200 watt heater (not plugged in for summer, not needed) - stays between 77-80 degrees
10lbs CO2 Tank with milwaukee regulator and atomic diffuser
Mixed Gravel/Flourite substrate

I am dosing EI ferts, co2 is started up approx. 2 hours before lights go on, lights remain on for 6-9 hours. drop checker on each side of the tank, both showing green (right side almost looks yellow by the end of the day). I am unsure of the names of all my plants but these are what I know I have...


Eleocharis parvulus
Eleocharis vivipara
Limnophila huppuroides
Rotala indica
Sagittaria subulata
Proserpinaaca palustris
Anubias barteri var. barteri
HC
Java Fern
Vals
Hygro. Polysperma
Mayaca Fluviatilis
Swords
Cryptocoryne aponogetifolia


as well as some others too.

I have found that only a few plants are doing well (Limnophila huppuroides/Hygro Polysmema), and most of those aren't showing fast growth. A lot of the plants also seem to be melting on me (i am not dosing excel). In my low light setup, my vals use to grow like crazy, now they don't seem to grow at all and just slowly grow algae at the top of them. When i trim them, they don't seem to grow back much at all. I have BBA on my driftwood and noticed some on the swords, and crypts.

I've read that the stem plants grow faster and therefore eat up all the nutrients before the slower plants can get them. How can this be fixed? Also based off what i've read by Tom Barr it seems that CO2 is the magic to plant growth, but I feel i can't raise my bubble rate higher without stressing my fish, i already see increased breathing by them come the end of the photo period.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to what i may be doing wrong? I'm in such awe of people on here with beautiful flourishing planted tanks, while no matter how hard I try I can't seem to get results.

Here is a picture of my tank (the plants look fine in this but they have gone downhill since this picture, i just did a new scape) :




Thanks in advance
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-09-2011, 11:49 AM
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I also have a Odyssea light on my 75g, but I'm using the 4 bulb version, just out of curiosity have you changed the bulbs yet?
I found that my unit had T5NO bulbs in it from the factory, I would try changing them to a wider spectrum T5HO bulb if you haven't yet done so.


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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-09-2011, 03:24 PM
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Add a power head to increase flow? Might get the nutrients to the plants that aren't such gluttons before the nutrient hogs get them. Increase the water surface's ripple, the problem with the fish may not be high CO2 as much as low O2. [I wish my water had more ripple than it does at the moment. Dead powerhead and a nuisance to pull and put in the other one!] Your water level isn't always so high, is it? With the center brace in the water you are losing a lot air exchange, not a good thing!

Twitch the CO2 up a bit every few days watching the fish very closely, green may not be enough CO2. Mine is nearly yellow by the time the CO2 clicks off a couple hours before light go out.

That is wrong if you are sold HO bulbs and receive NO! I think the ballast pushes the bulbs so they do produce more light though, you are overdriving if using an HO ballast with NO bulbs.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-09-2011, 07:00 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies

I believe the bulbs do say HO on them, that's what they're suppose to be and I only bought this light in May so shouldn't be any need to replace them yet.

As for water level, yes, i always keep it high as I hate having seeing the water line, however, I can lower it slightly so it's not actually touching the glass in the center.



Should I really need a powerhead? The cannister filter is rated for up to a 400 gallon tank but this is only 75, there seems to be a lot of flow and I can at least a bit of movement amongst the plants. I assume I want a ripple effect with the water, but no actual splashing correct? my water does move around a fair bit as I had the filter output aiming upwards towards the surface a bit.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-09-2011, 07:17 PM Thread Starter
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i just lowered my water level so that the center brace is no touching the water, there is definitely a lot more rippling at the surface now, i'll try slowly increasing the bubble rate for my co2 and watch the fish for stress, hopefully this will help some
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-09-2011, 07:39 PM
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Up to you whether you get a power head or not. Filtration and water movement are two different things. Your filter is great but it doesn't put out 10x the volume of your tank an hour.

Great, that makes sense that the brace would block the ripple.

I haven't ever used a diffuser, perhaps a different spot might get the mist around the tank faster. Both drop checkers should look the same by the time lights go out, if they don't you might replace the indicator just in case that is it, if they are still different your circulation needs improving. The classic Amano circulation is both in and out flows on one end of the tank which is supposed to create a circular flow. I don't know where the CO2 diffuser is placed but down is best, want to keep the CO2 down by the plants.

Keep at it, there is a lot of trial and error and waiting for plants to respond. When you get it just right it is wonderful and even better if you know why it is finally right.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-09-2011, 08:10 PM Thread Starter
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I was thinking maybe i should take my powerhead, and put it above the diffuser (where you see the line running down the middle) and push it towards the front of the glass, so it could hit the glass and spread across it (hopefully both left and right) to help distribute it. Does this sound like a good idea or can you recommend a better technique?

Thanks a lot for the help
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