Planted tank recovering from algae, what next?? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-06-2002, 05:23 PM Thread Starter
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Hey everyone, I would like to say that I am new here and that I look forward to receiving/giving advice on this forum!!

OK, I have a 55 gallon planted tank. I have plain gravel as a substrate, add Natural Gold Fertalizer, DIY yeast CO2, and have 150 watts of 5500 K light. I do water changes everyother day about 20%.

This is my "problem #1". When I started the tank, I put the sword plants in pots with a nutrient substrate. I want to add flourite since it is $10 a bag at Bigalsonline.com. I have small (1-3mm) gravel in already, but was thinking of adding 3 bags flourite and removing some of the regular gravel, though not all because I don't want to uproot the plants. I have maybe 1 inch of gravel in it already, will the substrate with flourite be rich enough for the plants?

"Problem #2". I am pretty sure I need another filter. I turned my emperor 400 flow down and attached sponge to the outake. The surface moves, but there aren't any bubbles or ripples, just smoothly moving. I did this so CO2 wouldn't dissipate. I was thinking another Emperor 400 setup same way as the one now or a HOT Magnum 250 since the water is released below the water level, no agitation. Or maybe another type of power filter, what will help the water move more with least amount of surface agitaiton?

I think this is it, ALL help even if it says that my setup is all wrong is fine, thankyou soooo much!!!

-Tim
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-06-2002, 10:45 PM
 
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Welcome to the planted tank board. Since you only have 1 in. of substrate, just leave it there and mix in the 3 bags of flourite. Hey, your plants are probably growing without the flourite , adding flourite can only help. As a matter of fact I don't have any flourite in my tank and my plants are thriving but I do use Flourish and Flourish Iron plus fertilizer spikes.

As far as the filter goes, you have plenty of filtration if you turn it back up to full capacity and remove the foam. Some people have cut out the bottom lip of the output chutes so the water drops straight into the tank. I did that and attached a piece of plastic to the front of the chutes with a hot glue gun so that the water shoots down below the surface without disturbing the surface. You can use a piece of plexiglass for that purpose.

I admire your water change discipline but thats probably overkill. A 20% water change once a week is plenty. I don't even do that much. I usually do 20% every 2 weeks but I'm lazy. Other than that your well on your way to having a beautiful tank. This is definitely the place to get some good info. Check in often ,you'll get some great feedback here. Pictures and description of my 75 gal are below.
https://www.plantedtank.net/m.lemay75.html
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-07-2002, 12:45 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply, after seeing the before and after pictures of your tank, I am definitely going to get a pressurized CO2 system within a couple months or so (got to save up!)!

As far as my water changes, I do not plan on keeping up with this scedule. If I gave everyone the _long_ story you would find out that I only started with two plants and the wrong type of light...the tank was headed towards algae disaster!

The reason I was interested in the flourite was because I wanted to provide a good environment for all the plants, and made sure that the plants that needed a nutritious substrate had one in pots. I found out that this seriously limited my choices of plants, and after I found bigalsonline.com with the price of $10 a bag, there is nothing stopping me now!!

For the filter, I have it at a 3 setting (4 is the most powerful, 1 is the least) because I have angelfish. The angelfish would not be in the half of the tank with the filter, so when I turned the current down, they started exploring the "new" area. I understand the part about cutting the end of the filter off, but I didn't understand the second part, but if it would minimize the current and I could turn the filter back up, maybe I don't need another one.

As far as fertalizer goes, my fertalizer mainly has iron, but I looked at your website (which is great by the way) and do you have any suggestions for a secondary fertalizer that especially has pottasium? Thanks again for the reply!!

-Tim
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-07-2002, 03:10 PM
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Amazon Swords primarily obtain their nutrition from their roots rather than leaves as stem plants do (Hygro., Rotala, Anacharis, etc). That 1 inch substrate will not allow those Amazons to grow the kind of root structure they need to feed properly. 2-3" is the minimum for root plants, so adding another bag or even two of Flourite will go a long way towards helping those plants flourish.
Even then, it will take some time for those roots to develop, but the efforts will be worthwhile, I promise.

- Sam P -
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-07-2002, 09:09 PM
 
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Absolutely go with the flourite. It's good stuff from what I've heard. I forgot to mention in the last post that I am planning to add a few bags to my tank as well. I'm just gonna add it and mix it into the gravel I have now. I'm not sure but you may have to pay extra shipping for the flourite. I was planning on getting mine from BigAls also. So lets check into it.

The nice thing about Flourite is that it can store nutrients for when the plants need them. It acts as sort of a nutrient buffer.

And by the way ,I'm no expert, I'm just a guy who loves his planted tank. I learn something new everyday.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-07-2002, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
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The only question about the flourite I have is is it ok to vacuum it, or will it cloud the water? My friend said that the flourite will cloud the water a lot and has to be under the regular gravel...I don't think this is true.

The amazon swords aren't in the 1 inch substrate. They are in pots with natural gold mixed in, but I think it will look nicer without the pots.

About the filter thing... I'm confused about what I do besides cut off the lip of the filter outake so it doesn't agitate the surface. You said something about attaching a piece of plasitc so it doesn't disturb the surface???? I'm lost, if a picture is possible, that would work, but if not it would be great if you could help explain it.

This filter thing is about the last thing I need to get fixed after the flourite comes in and I get a pressurized CO2 system and make my reactor. Thanks for all the replies!

-Tim
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-07-2002, 09:48 PM
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Here's a diagram (sorry so crude).

First pic shows system as designed from factory. Encourages surface agitation and gaseous exchange.

Second system eliminates bottom lip and allows water to fall relatively straight into aquarium. I've had great success with this method.

m.lemay suggested also adding a plate to the front of the lip, preventing horizontal movement of water across the surface altogether. This would help retain CO2 as well as a canister return.

I generally like to have some gaseous exchange, though. Unless you have only a few fish, they'll still need O2 exchange, and won't get it at night, when plants aren't respiring.

- Sam P -
plantedtanker in limbo - all tanks currently in storage
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-07-2002, 09:49 PM
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Guess I should attach the picture...

- Sam P -
plantedtanker in limbo - all tanks currently in storage
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-07-2002, 10:04 PM
 
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As far as the filter goes, after you cut off the bottom lips of the 2 chutes, you'll be left with 2 side lips on either side of each chute. These lips protrude out from the back of the chute about1/4" to 3/8". Cut a piece of plastic/plexi about 15 1/2"long( the length of the front of the filter) X 2-3" wide and glue it horizontally to the 4 side lips with a hot glue gun or some super glue or silicone, being sure that the bottom edge of the plastic edge goes below the water surface about an inch or so. Or you can cut a wider strip (4-5") and glue it or screw it directly to the front of the cover to attain the same effect. The idea is to keep the water coming down the chute from disturbing the waters surface directly in front of the chutes. If you do this, you'll be able to crank up the filter without so much as a ripple on the water surface. Is that a little clearer?

As far as the flourite goes, again I don't have any in my tank, but I've heard that it doesn't cloud the water like laterite and it doesn't break-up like laterite will. Some people use 100% flourite in thier tanks. If your tank is heavily planted, you wont have to vacuum at all. The plants use the detritus as food.

As soon as I posted this I noticed That Gulf coast had already made the drawing and posted it. cool:hehe:
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-08-2002, 02:36 AM
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I have 100% flourite in my tank. It doesn't cloud the water after everthing settles. Just remember to give it a good washing before adding it to your tank, and it is normal for it to cloud the first couple of days....just keep changing out your filter untill it filters all the dust out. I would recomend some filter floss, it went a lot faster. The stuff is great!

Kit :hehe:
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-08-2002, 03:37 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies! That diagram really helps! Also, in my filter, I don't use the carbon inserts, I just stuff filter floss into the "media" containers, and it seems to work. I'll just get some more foam and replace it daily until the clouding stops, should that work??

I am also going to hook up a reactor some time... I got the air pump and flourite on the way from bigalsonline.com, and now I just need another gravel vac and some more foam. Things are on their way to improving!! I might not be getting a pressurized CO2 system as soon as I think...I'll have to stick with the yeast method for now.

Thanks again...when my tank is all "fixed" I might post some pictures!

-Tim
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