A year of Chaos! Trying to reset my Planted tank brain! - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-12-2011, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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A year of Chaos! Trying to reset my Planted tank brain!

I got out of Reefing about a year ago and went back to what has always been one of my favorite tank types, Planted tanks! Since I already had alot of gear I tried to adapt my existing equipment to this new task.

Some history and specs....

I am Running a 210 gallon aquarium (7 * 2 * 2) with T5HO lights with great reflectors and a 55 gallon sump, I changed out the substrate to Flourite and bought lots of ferts. After 6-7 months I was dealing with nasty ol BBA, my loaches had their faces rubbed raw and my plants where in very poor shape.

I decided to change gears a bit, started dosing excel to combat the BBA, turned off half my T5's and cut my photoperiod way back, dumped the Flourite for playsand and crossed my fingers. The BBA seemed to die back pretty well but my plants where still not doing well, I had placed seachem plant tabs in the sand for ferts, was still dosing excel and some ferts. Plants where growing but very poorly only thing doing well where crypts, stem plants showing dark green veins with very pale leaves.

Decided to make one last change, my best planted tank I ever owned was a 55 with a 4 foot two bulb shoplight from homedepot, never dosed and just used root tabs for great plants. So I stripped out the T5's and put in 4 3ft dual bulb T8 fixtures in the canopy, running half ultrasun and half floragrow by zoomed. I completed this change about 2 weeks ago, since I did that my plants have all seemed to make a huge recovery, lots of new leaves and the leaves that showed dark veins with pale leave darkened in over a week to look much more their normal color.

Now that I have explained this here is where I need my brain reset, I plan to still go with root tabs as they have given me great success but I am REALLY hesitant to add any sort of liqued ferts to the water, I have Flourish and Flourish Iron at my disposal. BBA has not show any signs of growth in months on any of my plants but I continue to dose 1 Tablespoon of Excel daily.

Should I hold off on liqued fert dosing until my plants show signs of needing it?

Should I continue to dose Excel? or am I pouring money down the drain? I still see what look like little fuzz balls of BBA floating on the sand but no growth anywhere for months. I keep vacuming them out and they are diminishing.

I have a 10 hour photoperiod, should I expand that?

Help me out here with any advice you have, I am trying to really reset my brain from the high needs of my old saltwater setup to the much more laidback needs of my planted tank.


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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-13-2011, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-13-2011, 08:48 PM
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just saw you're thread and it has a bunch to be answered so start with the easy part.
Spend an evening reading another site for general fert info.

Starting out new to this stuff I recommend another site for basic fert introduction.
Rex Grigg's website is a little dated (mainly lighting) but the fert information is valid and his presentation style suites me.
Without spending a dime or having to search topic by topic the best place to get the basics is on Rex Grigg's site. http://www.rexgrigg.com/
Fantastic people here on the TPT and very helpful do not misunderstand my posting this. This is my favorite site on the web. But when learning or needing advice too many voices can create fog. Topic by topic with enough detail Rex explains all the aspects step by step. Your foundation will be solid after reading through his site then log in here and bang the membership with detailed questions. Save yourself some time really by gaining the fundamentals reading a formatted how to guide written by a hobbyist.

Rex is off grid at the moment so don't order anything from his site store without current contact being made first. FYI He was one big time poster here for a long time and one of the first regarding dry fert use. The information provided on his site is rock solid. Really a well put together starting point on planted tank keeping.

I refuse to think bad things about Rex just some kind of really bad voodoo has him off the grid so remember do not use the site fert store without direct contact first!
GLA is a site sponsor with a VG rep. I've been buying from Orlando (GLA) since Rex fell off the planet. There are a couple of other fert suppliers but GLA is quick to ship and all of them are within pennies on price.
Dime one way on NO3 and a dime the other on K2SO4 so it's a wash really.
Buying Seachem liquid fertilizers is spending a great deal of money over time to receive water with a tiny chemical or mineral content. This is covered on the site I recommended also in detail.

HTH


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If at first you don't succeed,,, keep kicking it
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2-75g planted, 3-55g planted, 110g w/30g sump, 2018 update returning to sanity (Nutz)
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-13-2011, 09:16 PM
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Good you went back to what worked! On my 10 gallon Excel dosed tank I used a very unscientific pinch of all the dry salts I put in the big tank but weekly, not every other day like in the big bright CO2 enriched tank. I used them because I had them already. If I hadn't I probably would have used one of the traces+potassium as directed and if my reading led me to conclude that a bit more nitrate and phosphate would help grow healthy plants I would then go to complete fertilizing. My first tank was set up before Excel was on the market and was full of beautifully green fuzz algae, the 10 gallon was as clean as a whistle when dosed with Excel. I would be keeping the Excel around and dosing as directed myself but phase it out and see what happens. If your tank is good and properly cycled it may not need Excel anymore.


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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-13-2011, 09:45 PM
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You are working with your 210g tank, right?? For the lighting issue, you maybe using the wrong light spectrum before (from a reef setup to the fresh water plant). That may explain why your plants are doing better with T8 lighting with a lower light spectrum.

You NEED to dose the water column unless all you stock are root feeders. Majority of aquatic plants feed off from the water column. Look for EI dosing. Well, 210g tank is sure a huge undertaking. Are you planting to add CO2 also? You have a big tank. I don't believe it is financially viable to use commercially available liquid fert or CO2 with the tank size you have.
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