I wanted more to my planted tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-28-2007, 05:04 PM Thread Starter
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I wanted more to my planted tank

I wanted more to my planted tank. My plants seem to grow at first and then slow down.

I want to run this by you members on plantedtank.net to see how I can improve my plant growth. I have been into this for about 6 months.

My setup and parameters:

20 Gallon tank
Coralife 65 Watt light
Red Sea CO2 Bio-Generator
Daily dosage of Seachem Flourish Excel
Weekly dosage of Tropica Plant Nutrition Liquid

pH: 7.8
GH: 80 mg/L CaCO3 (4 drops multiplied by 20)
KH: 140 mg/L (14 drops multiplied by 10)

What do you think? I think my pH is too high and the water too hard. I have a water softener and have been using 75% soft and 25% hard.

I measured my soft water from the tap and the GH is 40 mg/L CaCO3 and KH is the same as the tank.

Any advice would be great!
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-28-2007, 08:44 PM
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Are you doing weekly water changes? Most folks on this board prescribe to the "EI" method (it stands for "estimative index", do a search, you'll probably get links to Tom Barr's site, and is used for "hi tech" tanks that use pressurized CO2 and weekly water changes and daily MACRO fertilizers).

You look like you are doing a mix of med/high-light and low-tech tank. Ie, 3wpg which is a little high for a low tech tank, and no pressurized Co2. Its fine to do low-tech (no pressurized co2, no weekly water changes), I have a low tech and a hi tech tank (see sigs)

It does not look like you are doing any macro fertilizers (phosphate, nitrites, potassium, etc). Most folks here do 3x/week macro dry fertilizers, and then change the water 50% weekly to prevent excess fertilizer build-up (EI). Most folks here just do 50% water changes weekly and don't bother measuring kh/gh/no3/etc etc as most people have CHEAP & UNRELIABLE test kits. That's the jist of the EI method, test kits are cheap and unreliable, so why bother, we just prevent excess nutrient build up w/ weekly water changes on our high tech tanks...however, you can't do weekly water changes on a low-tech tank w/o causing CO2 instability and causing algae problems!

You need to probably add in a pinch of MACRO fertilizers (dry ferts they are called if you want to do a search, you can get them from REX for pretty cheap, and you will probably just do a pinch of dry ferts once per week same as you are doing Micro ferts once per week) Its quite possible that you have a No3 deficiency, or Po4 etc. So adding macro ferts a SMALL amount weekly would be good. Its good you are using TMG which has Ca and Mg which you need, especially if you have high water (ex: my tap water comes from a limestone aquifer, which is VERY high, like 9gh and 15kh...but, apparently this is mostly from Ca, not Mg, which you wouldn't of thought of normally)

You are doing low-tech, ie, no pressurized Co2. Your lights are a little high for this but, if you aren't having algae problems then so be it....Weekly water changes is the WORST thing you could do for your tank! Low tech tanks should get water changes every few months, or year.

You should come to realize that low-tech tanks *DO* grow plants slower than tanks with pressurized Co2. This is a "value" that some people like, I personally like not having to weed out plants every week on my low tech tank. Perhaps you can just look at the "swap-n-shop" area here on the board and keep your eye out for some larger plants, so you don't have to wait months for yours to grow up. Be patient w/ low-tech, or if you can't be patient add some other bigger plants already (like someone w/ some needle java fern that's huge already)

Remember, plant growth is dependent on what is *LIMITING* their growth. Here you are limiting growth with 2 factors: 1) low CO2 2) No Macro ferts (your lighting is fine, and you are adding "MICRO" fertilizers, so those we are assuming are not limiting growth. The Excel does add "some" Co2, but it is nowhere near what a pressurized Co2 system would deliver, so we can assume that this is limiting plant growth as well, Co2 being one of the most important elements in plants photosynthesis process)

Just realize that you have basically a low-tech setup, and don't take advice here from folks pushing "hi tech" answers on you. You should go spend a bunch of time reading thru the LOW TECH sub-forum on this board.

Here, I'll post two very relevant threads for you:
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/lo...h-planted.html
and
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/ph...75-update.html

Also, you might want to choose plants that are low-tech friendly
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/lo...-low-tech.html and there are other threads for like "Low tech Carpet" that you can search for.

Or of course your other option is to buy a pressurized CO2 system, and do the EI method of adding macro ferts and weekly WC's.

I edited this...might want to re-read if you were reading at same time of edit...

NOTE: To do a *SEARCH* and get the answer you want, its often best to go to "Advanced Search" and search in the title only.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-28-2007, 08:48 PM
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Seems like the OP wants to improve their plant growth...in the order of importance:
1) Get macro fertilizers (N, P, and K) and macro trace fertilizers.
2) Get pressurized Co2.
3) Forget about dosing for gH and kH. You won't need it.

Your pH is fine. Instead of buffering gH and kH, worry about fertilizers first.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-28-2007, 09:11 PM
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Epic...Tom Barr suggests in several places that TMG (with Mg & Ca) is important for low-tech tanks...I think him using the TMF (liquid plant) is good.

But agreed, macros first. If he doesn't want to go high-tech (pressurized Co2) then he doesn't need to, just needs to realize if he's not going to pressurize the co2 to be patient and keep questions related to low-tech answers.

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-28-2007, 10:36 PM Thread Starter
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Oh.

I'm pretty new to all this.

I do weekly 25% - 50% water change. I guess by the sound of it, thats bad. ok, I can change this.

Macro ferts? hmmmmm, I do not recall seeing this at bigal's.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-28-2007, 10:57 PM
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READ the links I gave you...SEARCH for the items I was talking about (dry ferts) etc, spend a few hours reading, you'll get all learned up and talking like a pro in no time

NOTE: To do a *SEARCH* and get the answer you want, its often best to go to "Advanced Search" and search in the title only.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-29-2007, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nbot View Post
READ the links I gave you...SEARCH for the items I was talking about (dry ferts) etc, spend a few hours reading, you'll get all learned up and talking like a pro in no time
When I start with the MACRO ferts, how often should I do a water change?
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-29-2007, 10:23 PM
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I take it you didn't find Tom's article on what EI is. (estimative index)

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-29-2007, 10:33 PM
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here
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/ge...ans-terms.html
and here
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/wa...ei-method.html

NOTE: To do a *SEARCH* and get the answer you want, its often best to go to "Advanced Search" and search in the title only.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-29-2007, 10:38 PM Thread Starter
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thanks so much
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-29-2007, 10:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nbot View Post
...and is used for "hi tech" tanks that use pressurized CO2 and weekly water changes and daily MACRO fertilizers).

High-tech does not equal "pressurized" C02. It just equals C02--pressurized, DIY, whatever.


OP is running ~3.25wpg--that's high-tech enough to be "High-tech". Light is the driving force.

They have DIY C02--again: "High-tech".

Just need some Macros from Rex and a dosing plan. EI works well:

Rex's Stuff

The "Combo Pack" is all you need. Under $20 shipped.

Dosing Regime's

This tank is not "low-tech", so water changes (especially with EI) will be a Good thing.


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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-29-2007, 10:47 PM
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oh wait

are you going to get a pressurized CO2 (edit: or DIY Co2) system? If not, then you CAN NOT do the EI method.

If you are sticking w/ low tech (no Co2) then you need to read the thread the two threads I already posted above about water changes and just a pinch of macro ferts weekly.

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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-29-2007, 10:53 PM
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I didn't realize that
Quote:
Red Sea CO2 Bio-Generator
Daily dosage of Seachem Flourish Excel
was high-tech CO2 delivery, I'd imagine that its not 30ppm CO2 levels. I don't see where he said he had DIY co2...

Your right his lighting is too high for low tech

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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-29-2007, 10:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nbot View Post
oh wait

are you going to get a pressurized CO2 system? If not, then you CAN NOT do the EI method.
What? Where are you getting this stuff from.....???


Pay no attention to the eyeball behind the glasses......


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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-29-2007, 10:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nbot View Post
I didn't realize that

was high-tech CO2 delivery, I'd imagine that its not 30ppm CO2 levels. I don't see where he said he had DIY co2...

Your right his lighting is too high for low tech
What do You think the "Red Sea Bio Generator" is generating?

High-tech is C02--source doesn't matter.

The difference between "DIY" and the "Bio-Generator" is merely the container. The Bio-generator is just an expensive DIY route.

Not everybody runs 30ppm. Not everybody needs 30ppm. Lots of variables. Lots of reasons for them.....each tank is different.


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