Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: League City, TX
Feedback on New Planted Tank
I have just started my first high-tech planted tank (125G w/ CO2 injection), and I want to do a sanity check on my CO2 dosing before I overdo it. My tank parameters are below (along with the test used to establish the value). My water is tap water filtered through several carbon & GAC filters (not through an RO membrane):
temp: 82 F
pH: 7.9 (Milwaulkee pH controller)
KH: 5.1 dH (salifert)
Ca: 20 ppm (salifert)
GH: ~5.6 dH (rough conversion from a Mardel test strip)
NO3: 5 ppm (salifert)
PO4: 2 ppm (salifert)
The pH/KH/CO2 chart says my CO2 is 1.9 ppm... I know this is imprecise and is likely skewed if I have non-carbonate alkalinity, but I figure it is a decent starting point (I am ordering a CO2 drop checker to have another method to check). I would like some feedback on whether dropping the pH to 6.8 through CO2 injection (to get ~24 ppm CO2 per the chart) is kosher or overkill for a pH change. Or, should I just wait until I get the drop checker and use that for adjusting the CO2 injection without worrying about pH?
The plants, which I have had for about a week (from aquariumplants.com) seem to be doing ok, although some leaves are brownish or transparent, which may just be from them being shipped. I have used aquariumplants.com's substrate fertilizer tablets, and I am starting to dose KNO3 (Gran'ts) to keep NO3 at 7.5 ppm. I am also dosing Flourish Potassium a couple of times/week. I have several fish (loaches & plecos) in the tank so far, which also helps with the NO3 (and phosphate through feeding).
Other things about my tank: lots of driftwood in it, along with peat granules in the filter. The substrate is SMS and the background is colored concrete. I have attached a picture taken a couple of months ago (during curing, prior to fish or plants... will add an updated pic soon).
Thanks in advance for any advise/comments. -John
Freshwater since 2002. Current tank:
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planted. Fish: 8 clown loaches (several 5-6"), 5 yoyo loaches, 2 B.N. Plecos, 1 rainbow shark, and many rummy-nose tetras.