75g Tall High Tech Help - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-22-2012, 11:36 PM Thread Starter
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75g Tall High Tech Help

I am having difficulty getting good growth and even getting pearling to occur and this has been an ongoing battle since I finally upgraded to a full high tech tank in October 2011.

I keep adjusting parameters (higher co2, lower co2, increase and decrease micro/macro fret, bulb changes to different spectrums and combinations, temperature changes, lighting height above water), all to try and figure out what will start getting solid growth. But each time nothing great happens and I start getting algae all over my leaves and dying plants.

Current Stats

Hardware:
75g Tall
2x 54w T5HO 6,500K bulbs 4 inches above water (8.5 hours a day)
Hydor Koralia for water movement and slight surface agitation
369gph canister filter (3 baskets of filter floss)
Hydor Inline heater
EXT5000 reactor
5lb co2 cylinder w/ aquariumplants.com reg

Substrate/Ferts/CO2
aquariumplants.com substrate (3-4 inches deep)
home made osmocote substrate capsules
aquariumfertilizers.com micro/macro mix ~10ml/day
Pressurized CO2 (BPS not sure, I use ph/kh chart to gauge)

Plants
2 Melon swords
1 amazon sword
loads of saggitaria to make a carpet (eventually....)
Attempting Taiwan moss
Large driftwood piece

Inhabitants
3 x 4 inch discus
6 x GBRs
9 x Corydoras (3 julii 6 bronze)
2 x cherry barb
1 x Clown Pleco
(going to invest in a school of Ottos as soon as my LFS gets them in, I requested some to help with algae)

Tank Water Paramters
WC = ~40-50% weekly
Temp = ~81
GH = 12-13
KH = 6-7 (color started changing on drop 6, full color change after 7th)
pH = ~6.6 (tap is ~7.8-8.0)
Ammonia = 0
Nitrite = 0
Nitrate = ~40-50ppm (tap water comes with about ~10-20ppm already, i don't like that amount from the tap.. but i haven't seen stress signs from my fish and even have raised angelfish fry in the tap water, and my discus spawn in it also)




Again I am attempting to increase my CO2 slightly to see if that will help, but I am running out of ideas. So if there is someone who has another direction for me to attempt, I'm all ears. My 20g shrimp tank thrown together with left over plants, driftwood, substrate, sponge filters, DIY co2, and lighting looks WAY better.. while my tank with all my money in it looks like a turd... lol.. funny but sad. Every plant seems to just stay alive in my tank, but not thrive..
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-23-2012, 04:37 PM
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I very rarely EVER say this, but I dont think you have enough light.

75 Tall, 108 watts 4inches above puts you slightly med lighting.

Now if you have 2 2x 54w T5HO (spread accordingly) that would put you in the high light area. Look into what causes pearling, and try to achieve that.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-23-2012, 05:46 PM Thread Starter
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Wow! ya I never thought of that or even mentioning it, I've seen people getting politely scolded when they say "I need more light I'm getting this new fixture, etc." lol.

I will try bumping up to 3x54 watt bulbs, my fixture fits 4 bulbs. Then if that doesn't work I'll try 4.

Thanks for the idea!

Click image to check out my 40g Shrimp Tank

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-24-2012, 05:11 AM
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I also have a 75g tall. It used to be my planted discus tank forever. It has 4x65w CFL with junk reflectors. I do not remember anything ever pearling in that tank, ever, even with fertz and pressurized CO2. So, I have to agree that you do not have enough light for that tank.

Also, the plants that you have listed are not 'high o2 producers' - they rarely pearl in my very high light tank (>300w of t5ho over 65g tank). One of the fastest pearling plants is Ceratopteris thalictroides (Water Sprite) - if it does not pearl, nothing else will. You might want to add one or two to your tank as a 'live indicator'.

All my tanks are on 12/12 light cycle.
I have no way of quickly finding what's in your aquariumfertilizers.com micro/macro mix ~10ml/day. You might want to double-check how much of what you are dosing, so, no idea if that's good or not.

Another note is that the famous pH/kH chart is famously inaccurate. Invest $10 in a drop checker.

There is something to be said about you fish population, but I bet you know that already.

This picture is >7 years old:


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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-24-2012, 05:31 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OVT View Post
I also have a 75g tall. It used to be my planted discus tank forever. It has 4x65w CFL with junk reflectors. I do not remember anything ever pearling in that tank, ever, even with fertz and pressurized CO2. So, I have to agree that you do not have enough light for that tank.

Also, the plants that you have listed are not 'high o2 producers' - they rarely pearl in my very high light tank (>300w of t5ho over 65g tank). One of the fastest pearling plants is Ceratopteris thalictroides (Water Sprite) - if it does not pearl, nothing else will. You might want to add one or two to your tank as a 'live indicator'.

All my tanks are on 12/12 light cycle.
I have no way of quickly finding what's in your aquariumfertilizers.com micro/macro mix ~10ml/day . You might want to double-check how much of what you are dosing, so, no idea if that's good or not.

Another note is that the famous pH/kH chart is famously inaccurate. Invest $10 in a drop checker.

There is something to be said about you fish population, but I bet you know that already.

This picture is >7 years old:

OMG I WANT MY TANK TO LOOK LIKE THAT! Excuse my excitement.

Wow.. Wow.. that is what I have been trying to accomplish.

But to answer some questions, the micro/macro mix contains 1 equal part each of Potassium Nitrate, Potassium Sulfate, Magnesium Sulfate, Plantex CSM+B. So that is for the water column, and I use osmocote for the substrate fertilizer. I am not sure exactly how much the dosing requires for my tank, but all they say is "start with 1 drop per gallon daily, and you can increase up to 4 drops per gallon". So Ive just been eyeballing different doses (10ml is about 2 drops per gallon).

I will pick up some other plants as soon as my current ones can start taking off, and also I was going to get a drop checker back in october.. but the sales representative (from where i will not say) told me "drop checkers are not accurate, it doesn't give you an actual number just a ballpark, which is pointless.. instead you should use this graph to calculate it". But I could still invest in one. And yes I know about the fish population, working on it lol

Also, I will increase the time from ~8 hours to 9,10,11,12 once my lighting issue/growth problem is solved.

Thanks again for the input. I hope to reach your tank's amazingness.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-24-2012, 09:42 AM
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TY. I would use as many plants from the start as you can/want. You can get enough plants to fill your tank from SnS section of the forum for the cost of shipping from AquariumPlants.

I would try Water Sprite, Water Wisteria, Hygrophila corymbosa, L. repens, Java Moss, tiger lotus, and some crypts. The plants will become part of your natural filter, helping you to balance the environment. Over time, by watching specific plants you can tell what's going on with your tank: like not enough co2, too little or too much light, too much of this macro or too little of that micro. Better then any test kit you can buy. And yes, it does take time and practice.

Drop checker indeed is just an indicator, but do you really care if you have 30ppm or 35ppm of co2? It does not tell you anything that is useful, but plants and fish will. I tried to be scientific about this hobby and just drove myself crazy - there is really no formula for success that can be used for each and every tank. You want to achieve stability and balance. In 95%, your pH, your kH, your dH, your Fe etc etc etc do not matter, within reason.

So, take a deep breath and dump more plants in
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-25-2012, 08:53 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OVT View Post
TY. I would use as many plants from the start as you can/want. You can get enough plants to fill your tank from SnS section of the forum for the cost of shipping from AquariumPlants.

I would try Water Sprite, Water Wisteria, Hygrophila corymbosa, L. repens, Java Moss, tiger lotus, and some crypts. The plants will become part of your natural filter, helping you to balance the environment. Over time, by watching specific plants you can tell what's going on with your tank: like not enough co2, too little or too much light, too much of this macro or too little of that micro. Better then any test kit you can buy. And yes, it does take time and practice.

Drop checker indeed is just an indicator, but do you really care if you have 30ppm or 35ppm of co2? It does not tell you anything that is useful, but plants and fish will. I tried to be scientific about this hobby and just drove myself crazy - there is really no formula for success that can be used for each and every tank. You want to achieve stability and balance. In 95%, your pH, your kH, your dH, your Fe etc etc etc do not matter, within reason.

So, take a deep breath and dump more plants in
Ill try picking up plants when I can, I always buy things on SNS. Members are much better to buy from than companies for me since money is tight living on your own and being a undergrad senior not being able to work much (7 classes this semester! FML!.. actually taking a break from my Bio 470 studying right now haha).

I think my science and math studies have drilled into my head that I have to analyze everything as variables and get the most accurate and precise measurements/calculations I can. It is enjoyable, as long as the effort starts paying off at some points lol.

Oh ya, I'm from NorCal also. Im originally from Palo Alto.



BUT besides all this.. I actually bumped up the lighting today, and WOW. I was getting massive streams of O2 from my saggitaria today. I did attempt 3 x 54 watt bulbs, but it looked much brighter with 4x bulbs. So i decided to give the 4 bulbs a shot.

I like the brightness and color of the tank right now, the bulbs are
2x 6500k
1x 10000k
1x 5000k


So I have a pretty good range of spectrums going on there.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-25-2012, 04:22 PM
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A plant that consistanly peals is Riccia fluitans, is a floating bladderwort.

You can use some round river rock, use a hairnet and this stuff peals great.

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