Phosphate Levels... - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-24-2011, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
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Phosphate Levels...

Hello everyone! New to this site.. must say I've learned a bunch just from reading the posts, haven't had to post anything until now haha.

I am setting up a 10g tank, and I plan to have about 3.5wpg (6700k), I have injected co2 diffused via a glass ceramic diffuser, with flourite for a substrate.

In my previous attempts at planted tanks, (a 125 and a 75) I never dished out the money for proper lighting, I tried to make T12 daylight bulbs work...but.. they didn't seem to work very well. Anyway I've always dealt with this brownish redish algae that would grow on the substrate and plants like myrio/cabomba... I could never get rid of the algae no matter what, which is why on this new tank I decided to run all new completely different equipment.

But now I'm thinking it's been my water supply.. here's some parameters..

PH 7.4
GH/KH...soft, low kh, 1 or 2 degrees
No discernable Nitrate
Now heres my issue

PHOSPHATE... .5ppm - I know planted tanks needs some, but is this too much? should I try to remove it? or should the increased lighting maybe help the plants utilize it more readily? I'm panicked because I don't want that SAME algae turning up in this new tank lol.. any help would be really appreciated guys, sorry for the long winded post.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-24-2011, 03:28 PM
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Don't forget plants need CO2 and nutrient as well. Too much light isn't always a good thing either. If the 3.5wpg is from t-8 bulbs, it might be ok.

Check out our articles on planted tanks. It'll tell you what you need.
https://www.plantedtank.net/articles.php?d
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/PlantedTankGuide.html


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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-24-2011, 03:37 PM Thread Starter
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it is t5HO... I did mention in the post I am using injected co2.. but I failed to mention I will also be dosing with some ferts (flourish comp,trace and nitrogren)
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-24-2011, 03:51 PM
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plants need phosphate, as well as nitrates, potassium, and micros, if you limit the nutrients, the plants won't properly be able to use the Co2 and the more light you have, the more co2 and nutrients you'll need, otherwise algae will thrive

FISH:
75G - 1 Leopard Bushfish, 8 Giant Danios, 9 Black Skirt Tetras, 2 Albino Bristlenose Plecos, 3 Bolivian Rams
10G - 1 Male Betta Fish, 2 Peppered Corys, 2 African Dwarf Frogs
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-24-2011, 03:56 PM Thread Starter
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This was my original train of thought, lol... I always considered the phosphate in the water supply a blessing as I wouldn't have to add it myself.. but then the algae issues just never stopped and I'm just trying to look into every avenue before I get the tank up and running


So in review, I will have 3.5wpg of t5HO lighting, pressurized co2, and flourite substrate topped with fine gravel to help the water column stay clean... and I will be adding seachem flourish line of ferts.. sound resonable? or should I change anything to this approach?

A few more questions...

How long should I let the tank run before it has "matured" enough to be ready for plants?

I only plan to stock it with 5 pristella tetras.. possibly some corys but not likely. and the tank will be cycled fishless.

When the plants arrive via next day shipping- are they adequate to just place in the tank? or should they be rinsed? if so.. how? lol
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-24-2011, 04:42 PM
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Plants can be in the tank immediately.

3.5wpg of t5ho is too much because the t-5s are so efficient. One t5ho bulb is good enough. Or you can hang the lights 1 foot or 2 above the tank.


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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-24-2011, 04:43 PM
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I'm not sure what T5HO bulbs will add up to 35 watts, but it will be more than one for sure. And, even one T5HO bulb is way, way too much light for a 12 inch high tank, unless it is hanging 10 inches or so above the top of the tank.

When you first start the tank, plant it heavily as soon as you have enough water in the tank to let you plant. And, start your fertilizing routine right away too. Then, you can wait a couple of weeks and add a couple of fish. After another week or so you can add a few more fish. The plants will be removing any ammonia the fish produce, until a bacteria colony builds up.

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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-24-2011, 05:23 PM Thread Starter
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http://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.co...3&pcatid=13823

these are the bulbs I will be using... and the fixture I ordered will run 2 of them.. so thats.. 36watts.. close enough to 3.5

So you would suggest I only run one bulb?

Thanks for the advice on when to add fish/plants/ferts!!! I was totally going to do it the wrong way haha, I was going to add fish first then plants.. then wait a few weeks to add ferts as I've only ever heard to wait until the plant shows signs of needed them, otherwise I could just cause an algae outbreak.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-24-2011, 05:29 PM
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It is the other way around with high light plants. You will want phosphate in the 1ppm to 2ppm range, nitrate and potassium in the 10ppm to 20ppm range. You can definitely use the Seachem line of fertilizers. Also add iron.

If you are on public water it can have up to 4ppm phosphate and 40ppm nitrate per EPA regulations.


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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-24-2011, 05:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaineAquatics View Post
http://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.co...3&pcatid=13823

these are the bulbs I will be using... and the fixture I ordered will run 2 of them.. so thats.. 36watts.. close enough to 3.5

So you would suggest I only run one bulb?

Thanks for the advice on when to add fish/plants/ferts!!! I was totally going to do it the wrong way haha, I was going to add fish first then plants.. then wait a few weeks to add ferts as I've only ever heard to wait until the plant shows signs of needed them, otherwise I could just cause an algae outbreak.
Most T5HO light fixtures won't work with only one bulb installed. If that is the case with your fixture you will need to raise it quite a bit. What specific light fixture is it? Some of those have very poor reflectors - good for this problem - so they don't produce so much light.

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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-24-2011, 06:54 PM Thread Starter
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oh i can raise it no problem.. I'll figure out a way to hang it from the ceiling if I need to lol I'm not too worried about it.. here is the fixture

http://www.marinedepot.com/Current_U...FIT5T5-vi.html

upon further research I have found some much better light fixtures but.. this one is already en route and I'm a bit impatient lol

by the way I started a journal for the tank, heres the link:
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/ta...high-tech.html
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-24-2011, 07:36 PM
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That light has a very poor reflector, so it should give about the right amount of light if it is only a foot above the top of the tank. Or, if you want it right at the top of the tank, put one layer of fiberglass window screen (insect screen) over the light to filter it. That will reduce the PAR by about 40%.

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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-24-2011, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
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great thanks!
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-25-2011, 02:36 AM Thread Starter
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Is 2.5" of fluorite enough for the substrate in this tank?

I was going to top it off with about an inch of regular aquarium gravel but was wondering if I should layer anything else in there?
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-25-2011, 03:28 AM
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.5ppm phosphate is not high at all. I think you are safe up to 5 ppm. I believe too much phosphate can be a problem. It can lock out some nutrients for your plants. I am talking about in excess of 20ppm.

http://www.freshwateraquariumplants....um_plants.html

Interesting article. However, I don't think it is ideal or even possible to get down your phosphate to 1.5ppm if your tank is heavily stocked with fish, plants, and other bio-loads.
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