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post #1 of 46 (permalink) Old 03-15-2005, 04:37 PM Thread Starter
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need alot of advice

basically.. my tank sux. i dunno what else to try.

it is a 75 gallon tank, with a 2026 eheim canister filter. it has 2 110 watt power compact strip lights on it .. (total of 220 watts, or almost 3 watts per gallon)

i recently added a automatic CO2 system .. co2 bottle, milwaukee soleniod and PH meter. it is set for a PH of 7.

i have ordered a few plant packages, and within a month or two almost all the plants are dead. stem plants quickly turn into just sticks, despite using root tabs and putting in some additives once a week (floursh excel). the fish are fine, and i dont have any ick problems or anything. the last package i ordered.. back in july.. was the asian habitat from azgardens.. asian habitat

with exception of the plants that are on the right side, nothing survived out of it.. the crypts, java fern, vals, onions.. etc..

the base is 100% red sea florabase.. was quite expensive when i put it in about 18 months ago. im sure the nutrients in it arnt what they initially where.. but it should still act as a nice substrate.

any ideas of what i should check or what i can do ? i am going to replace the bulbs in the strip lights, for starters.. then maybe change the substrate... not sure what else to try.

help!





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post #2 of 46 (permalink) Old 03-15-2005, 05:17 PM
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It looks to me like the only thing you are missing is the right blend of fertilizers. Get a PO4 and NO3 test kit. I am betting that one of your macros is very low (I would bet on NO3). Buy a source of N-P-K and some micro's. N can be found as KNO3 in common items like stump remover, P comes in KHPO4(?) and commonly in fleet enema (drugstore). K comes as KCL in no-salt or K2S04. Flourish makes a line of products as well as kent's. Or you can buy the bulk chemicals at Gregg Watson's site or use off the shelf products like No-Salt, Fleet Enema, and Stump remover.

As far as your CO2 goes you need to know the KH of your tank. Grab a GH/KH kit too and test that. Then you will know to set your PH controller properly.

You have enough light, Automated CO2, good substrate. Now just get that water chemistry down and it will start growing.
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post #3 of 46 (permalink) Old 03-15-2005, 06:27 PM
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With CO2 added and decent lighting, the only answer can be ferts, as ThatNewGuy mentioned. I only add 3 ferts to my tank to keep the complexity down and it works great.
Kent Grow - Micros
Kent Nitro+ - Nitrate
Kent K+ - Potassium
For the K+ and the Grow, I just follow the directions on the bottle. For the nitro+ I just add it after water changes, or if it gets too low in between changes. Ideally, I keep my nitrates at 10PPM, though anything between 5 and 15 is fine.
Many people have very complex ways of calculating how much ferts they need to use and adding many different ferts separately, which is fine. It's not necessary to go that complex though, especially when you are just starting out.
-Aphyosemion

Two 1 GA desktops, a 5 gallon, a 2.5 gallon, a 10 gallon, a 20 gallon, a 25 gallon, and two 75 gallon tanks, all planted.
I am an expert on algae, so ask me if you have questions. I know how to grow it, just not how to get rid of it.
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post #4 of 46 (permalink) Old 03-16-2005, 02:25 AM
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Flourish Excel is not a major plant nutrient. It's a replacement for CO2. Your plants are starving. Root tabs normally have very low amounts of nitrates and phosphates in them. Some are even low in potassium. One brand is mainly calcium and sulfur.

Read up on fertilization. Get some test kits and some sources of potassium, nitrates and phosphates and iron and traces.
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post #5 of 46 (permalink) Old 03-16-2005, 03:43 AM
 
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How much fauna do you have? Is that snails I see in one of the pictures? If so, what kind? Also, you may need to reduce the filter flowrate.

Your best bet is to start with some easy plants just to see if you can keep plants alive. I had the same problem when i started out. Start with anacharis. When it grows out of control, your water is about right for other plants. Then try the java fern, anubias, and crypts. When those start doing well, try some swords. I've had good luck with ozelot swords.

It's easier to take baby steps. I'd recommend a school of at least ten black skirt tetras to up your bio load. You may want to consider a school of giant danios for such a big tank as well. Start slow with some anacharis. Don't worry about fertilizers until you get more plants.
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post #6 of 46 (permalink) Old 03-16-2005, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
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well, there are:

2 gouramis (blue and orange)
3 shrimp
3 cardinals
4 clown loaches
1 hatchetfish
2 marble mollies
1 red barb
1 black ruby barb
1 siamese alage eater
2 otos

i think thats about it.. the snails are assorted ramshorn and malayisan trumpet snails. i put a cuttlebone for birds in my canister filter to add some calcium to help them out.

ive never been able to get neon tetras to stay alive. dunno how well black skirts would do. i thought the above load is pretty high for a 75 gallon?

i am also not happy with that little glass diffuser.. i think i am going to get a CO2 reactor like this one.

co2 reactor


one of the things i never liked about anachris is how the thing sprouts roots in the middle of the stalk and stuff.. doesnt look good.

i will post the PO4 and NO3 and KH numbers once i get the test kits, then perhaps we can solve the mystery
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post #7 of 46 (permalink) Old 03-16-2005, 02:47 PM
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Hey Jibbitty,
Do you have some test kits? You will need to get a good idea of your water params. If you PH is set at 7 but your KH is low. That may mean you have barely any CO2 in your tank at all. Its hard to say what you need without the correct params and an overall goal. Post your PH, GH, KH, Nitrate, Nitrite, and Po4. this will give us a good idea what you need to adjust. next decide what you want your tank to look like. Then we can start to guide you.
jB
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post #8 of 46 (permalink) Old 03-16-2005, 02:50 PM
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If you have a cannister filter why would you drop something like that in your tank? Just do an inline reactor. It will do what you need and it looks a lot better. Just my two cents.
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post #9 of 46 (permalink) Old 03-16-2005, 03:08 PM
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Agree with the inline on the 2026 (ir any canister) - I built mine from plans at I found at:
http://www.hoftiezer.net/personal/aq...co2reactor.htm

Thread with a pic of my version of it is here:
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...ad.php?t=15463


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post #10 of 46 (permalink) Old 03-16-2005, 03:34 PM
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Unless your KH is higher than 10, otherwise you don't have sufficient CO2 for your plants at pH of 7.0
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post #11 of 46 (permalink) Old 03-16-2005, 03:39 PM
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I have a feeling your KH may be pretty high. If you water is like mine.....its uber high. Unless 20 miles really makes that much of a difference. However, I still think it is a suspect in your issue.
jB
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post #12 of 46 (permalink) Old 03-16-2005, 04:13 PM
 
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Agrees, you need to post your params, these hold the key!!!

How long do you have your lights on for per day? And what type of tube is it i.e. daylight, beauty light, blue moonlight?
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post #13 of 46 (permalink) Old 03-16-2005, 05:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jibbittyflibbitt
well, there are:

2 gouramis (blue and orange)
3 shrimp
3 cardinals
4 clown loaches
1 hatchetfish
2 marble mollies
1 red barb
1 black ruby barb
1 siamese alage eater
2 otos

i think thats about it.. the snails are assorted ramshorn and malayisan trumpet snails. i put a cuttlebone for birds in my canister filter to add some calcium to help them out.
Remove the ramshorn. They may be eating your plants. The barbs may nip at foliage as well.

Quote:
ive never been able to get neon tetras to stay alive. dunno how well black skirts would do. i thought the above load is pretty high for a 75 gallon?
Black skirts are probably the easiest tetras to keep alive. You have enough room; get a big school. When the tank settles, get more cardinals.

Quote:
i am also not happy with that little glass diffuser.. i think i am going to get a CO2 reactor like this one.
Turn off your CO2 for now.

Quote:
one of the things i never liked about anachris is how the thing sprouts roots in the middle of the stalk and stuff.. doesnt look good.
You can honestly look at your tank in its current state and say you don't like anacharis because it sprouts roots? Isn't that like cutting off your nose to spite your own face? Doesn't sprouting roots sound like a good sign? Try to get anacharis to grow first. You can always remove it later.

Quote:
i will post the PO4 and NO3 and KH numbers once i get the test kits, then perhaps we can solve the mystery
Not to discount the importance of these parameters, but for a beginner, it doesn't matter. Your fauna should produce nitrates and phospates. The only macro you may be missing is potassium, which the easy plants won't care as much about.
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post #14 of 46 (permalink) Old 03-16-2005, 05:49 PM Thread Starter
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wow.. thanks for all the replies.. when i get home i will test as much as possible and post the results.
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post #15 of 46 (permalink) Old 03-17-2005, 12:05 PM Thread Starter
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ok, some quick tests i did before leaving for work this morning..

using aqaurium pharmaceuticals drop tests..

nitrite (NO2) = 0 ppm
nitrate (NO3) = 0 ppm

using a aqualab dip test..

hardness =425 (very hard)
buffering capacity = 120 ( in ideal range)
shows PH of 8.4, the furthest on the scale it measures.. my PH controller reads the PH at 7.0

i have salifert KH and PO4 tests i will run later today.
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