Help with 120g lightly planted tank please? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-09-2006, 04:19 AM Thread Starter
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Help with 120g lightly planted tank please?

I have a 120g tank (48lx24wx28h), lightly planted with Amazon Sword, Anubias Nana, Java Fern and Blue Stricta. Lighting is 1.4 WPG T5, (1.95 WPG T12). Using 3mm aquarium gravel for substrate.

Water specs as are:
With out DIY CO2.
PH. 7.6
With DIY CO2.
PH. 6.75
GH. 6
KH. 3
Amonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 7.5 ppm (fish load keep it close, but I dose it if required)
Phosphate: .75 ppm (fish load keep it close, but I dose it if required)
Potasium: (I can't test for it, but I dose it to 20ppm)

I also dose at each water change (twice a week).
10ml Seacham Flourish Iron
10ml Seacham Flourish
And use Seacham Root Tabs at the base of the plants.

After doing battle with green water for the last week or two, I think it's time to ask for some help.
Could some one please suggest a "rough" dosing regiment based on the lighting/water parrameters above?
Also, with the lighting I have, do I actually require the CO2, should I be lowering the ferts, as the suggested levels I've found around the forums seem to be for high light/plant load tanks?
Unfortunatly, adding more light is not an option (I don't have any room left in the hood). Please keep in mind, I'm not after a jungle, just would like to keep the plants alive, and see a little new growth every now and then.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
Dave.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-14-2006, 09:01 PM
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Why not try ditching the CO2 and ferts altogether and see if it helps the algae problem? If you don't have many plants in the tank, and the ones you do grow are fairly slow growers, adding fertilizer and CO2 just makes your algae happy.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-14-2006, 09:59 PM
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CO2 definitely helps plants to grow, which suppresses algae, so I wouldn't suggest to ditch it. Going lighter on the fertilizers might help some, if you don't have very many plants in there.

I had good luck fighting GW with just letting it run its course, not doing water changes for 10 days or so, letting it get really thick, then it might disappear all on its own.


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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-14-2006, 10:25 PM
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Actually CO2 doesn't always help plants grow (unless you're counting algae as a plant). I'm speaking from personal experience; my 55 gallon tank (which was running several bottles of DIY CO2, is more heavily planted than Dave's tank, and with similar lighting) experienced a terrible bloom of green hair algae about 3-4 months after setup, which came close to smothering all the plants in the tank. I trimmed off the infested plant leaves, I threw in more fast-growing stem plants and hornwort, I tried dosing with all kind of ferts, I tried water changes, but nothing helped. On another board, someone suggested dropping the DIY CO2, and I decided to try that, although I was certainly skeptical. Once I discontinued the DIY CO2 the hair algae melted away completely and it's never come back. Counterintuitive, I know, but that's what worked. I think the problem is that under truly low-light conditions the plants simply CAN'T grow any faster no matter how much fertilizer and CO2 you add to boost them because it's the light level which is limiting their growth, and adding additional doses of either just serves to feed the algae.

I agree that cutting the water changes and seeing if the green water will fade on its own is a good first step, though. But if it doesn't work, ditch the CO2 and the ferts for now, stop water changes (just top off for evaporation), and see what happens. You might be surprised.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-15-2006, 11:21 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies.

I cleaned up the green water really easily, just grabed a 5 micron water filter cartridge from the local hardware, plumbed it up to a power head, and threw it in the tank. Two days, and two filter cartridges later, the tank was crystal clear.

I've since removed the DIY CO2, and droped the ferts back a bit, only dosing 10ppm of Potassium, leaving the fish to take care of Nitrates and Phosphates, I also droped back to 5mls of Flourish, and 5mls of Flourish Iron the day after each water change.

I'll post back in a couple of weeks, and let you's know how it's all going.

Thanks again,
Dave
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-16-2006, 04:09 PM
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Glad to hear you discovered an effective way to battle the problem! I'll look forward to your update.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-29-2006, 12:10 PM Thread Starter
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Quick Update.

Everything seems to be going fine so far, plants are looking good, and showing signs of new growth.

One thing I have noticed is, the plants don't pearl any more, with the CO2, they used to pearl all the time.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-29-2006, 04:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave001
I have a 120g tank (48lx24wx28h), lightly planted with Amazon Sword, Anubias Nana, Java Fern and Blue Stricta. Lighting is 1.4 WPG T5, (1.95 WPG T12). Using 3mm aquarium gravel for substrate..
Thanks,
Dave.
That sounds like a lot of light to me. I think you need to turn some off or start back up with the CO2 and ferts. If you keep the light I would suggest getting a buch of cheap plants. Lightly planted is a recipe for algae with high light. Check the swap and shop you can find some really good deals there.

Rick
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