Help!! Planted tank noobie with pressurized C02. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-12-2014, 01:13 AM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Help!! Planted tank noobie with pressurized C02.

Hello I have a few questions and problems I need desperate help with. I have been reading around forums and such lately trying to find answers I have picked up a good amount of info but I am still kinda stuck on some things that would be greatly appreciated if someone could help me out.

I am looking for some help to create maybe a general regimen for dosing and such and some tips. I know all tank are different and stuff but it would be very helpful if i had a general guide line for what I am currently running. I also heard consistency is key so that is why I need help.

I know all the basics on how to keep fish and my tank has been fully cycled for almost half a year. Just a rookie with the pressurized c02 and high tech for planted tanks.

I am open to all advice. Links to other related posts helps too.

Ill List my setup to maybe help out.

Hard Setup:
- 10G Tank
- Aquaclear 20 (Foam, 2 bags of bio balls, Filter floss). Also has a prefilter.
- Fluval C02 20 Kit (with bubble counter, bubble checker, and ceramic c02 diffuser).
- 20 lbs of Eco Complete substrate. (planning on getting some more).
- Air pump and air stone.
- Versa Top

Dosing Supplies: (I work at a pet place so I just got them cheap).
- Seachem Iron
- Seachem Potassium
- Seachem Floruish
- Seachem Nitrogen
- Prime for water changes (currently done every 1 - 2 weeks).

Current Fish: (I am pretty sure i have too many fish but the tetras i got a few extra for free so I took them).
- Gold Fish (My baby AKA my hobby stater, I know he's not were he belongs).
- 7 Diamond Neon Tetra
- Dwarf Bristle nose Pleco (one of the smaller plecos I forget exactly which one).
- 2 Cory Cats (Getting rid of them because my gold fish bullied them, yet he is fine with my tetras).

Current Plants: (Looking for lots of plants and ideas).
Looking for a carpet plant also cant pick what I want.
4 Amazon Swords (Got them for really cheap).

Current Regimen (Sloppy)
Water Change - 30% Every 1-2 weeks (Gravel Vac, Glass Scrubber, Prime).
Dosing - Dose the recommended amount for my tank on each product after every water change.
Feeding - Once at night (Pinch of each New Life Spectrum Community, and New Life Spectrum Small Fish).
Lighting - All 4 lights on for around 10 hours which I just cut back to about 8 due to having some algae bloom. (Hooked up to a timer).
C02 Rate - I am currently running about 1 bps at about 9 hours i shut it off an hour before my lights go off. (the ceramic diffuser is all the way at the bottom) I was reading that maybe I should up my c02 dosing to help combat the algae? bubble checker is usually about a solid green.

Water Test:
No3 - 40 ppm
NO2 - 0 ppm
PH - 6.0
KH - 40 ppm
GH - 60 ppm

So I read up about excess nutrients create algae and high lighting basically. Also that plants help against algae by using the extra nutrients first and that I should probably up my c02 dosing to help combat the algae and lower the amount of time with lights.

1. How much lighting and how long?
2. How much c02 and how long?
3. How much of each nutrient I should put in and/or how to test to find a good way to figure it out. Also how often.
4. How often should I do a water change for a planted tank.
5. Should I take the plants out of the pots or it doesn't really matter?
6. Hints, Tricks, Advice.

All I can think of ATM. Thank you so much <3
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-12-2014, 01:44 AM
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1. If your getting algae at 10 hours reduce the photoperiod by a few hours you could also raise the light.
2. Co2 25-30ppm is what to aim for. I push mine even farther as long as the fish aren't stressed. Turn it on one hour before lights and keep it running one hour after lights.
3. I recommend dry ferts, its cheaper in the long run, seachem is mostly water, EI dosing is a good way to go. You really don't have to test just make sure your supplying enough of everything. There are a bunch of fert calculators online you can use as guidelines. If you want You can test your water supply to see what's already in there, it will help with dosing. Excess nutrients does not cause algae, improper lighting and co2 do. If you are using seachem your probably not overdosing.
4. If you do EI dosing 50% change once a week is recommended. If you continue seachem dosing 25% is fine but you can do more if the tank needs it.
5. Take the plants out of the pots!!!!!!!
6. Hints and tricks: algae is usually always caused by lighting and co2 first so start there. Dosing excel or api co2 booster along with pressurized co2 will help kill algae.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-12-2014, 02:34 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you!!! I was planning on taking the rest out of the pots But was kinda scared of ruining them lol.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-12-2014, 09:43 AM
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thought I'd share my experience with you. I have also only been in the hobby myself for a short time (about 2 months), but I am pretty happy with my tank and I was also daunted by all the co2 options. by all means please take my answers with a grain of salt because I am a noob

1. How much lighting and how long?
My light (a fugeray planted+) is on a timer for 6 hours a day. I first had it at 8, but I really didn't see the need. At 6 hours, I haven't had any outbreaks of algae except a big diatom bloom when I first started.
2. How much c02 and how long?
I bought a aquatek mini paintball regulator that has a solenoid also on a timer, so I have it on 6 hours as well (on 1 hr before lights go on, off 1 hr before lights go off)
3. How much of each nutrient I should put in and/or how to test to find a good way to figure it out. Also how often.
I may still go the route of daily or semi-regular dosing one day. But for what I have growing, I found that I simply did not need to dose. All I do is add some Seachem Comprehensive and API Leaf Zone whenever I do a water change. I've been able to grow Jungle val, dwarf sag, amazon sword, Bacopa Australis, Limnophilia Aromatica, Staurogyne sp Porto Velho, Rotala sp Colorata, Heteranthera Zosterfolia, Staurogyne Repens , Lobelia Cardinalis, and Helanthium Tenellum. In fact, aside from the jungle val, I can't believe how fast they grow. Some of them grow literally 2-3 inches a day. Seeing my plants propagate and send out runners for the first time has been my favorite experience aside from just seeing happy and healthy fish in this world I created for them.
4. How often should I do a water change for a planted tank.
I do about a 20% water change once a week. I know some people don't like it because it uses the 1 inch of fish/gallon rule, but AqAdvisor is a pretty useful site that will tell you how much and how often you should do water changes based on your bioload and filtration. But since you're looking to go daily dosing, I'm not sure what the recommended wc is..
5. Should I take the plants out of the pots or it doesn't really matter?
Sorry not sure about this one.
6. Hints, Tricks, Advice.
Honestly before starting my tank, I did a LOT of research and lurking on forums and on the internet. It got to the point where I was afraid if I didn't set up my tank with established protocols, that my plants wouldn't grow or my fish wouldn't strive. But once I took the plunge from a DIY co2 to the paintball setup, I couldn't believe how fast the plants started growing. Maybe I've been very lucky, but I've seen that the very nature of plants is to grow and will do so in spite of some deficiencies, instead of the other way around where plants won't grow unless certain requirements are met. I'm also super pleased that it looks like a 24 ounce paintball tank will last me for at least 2 months (still going strong at full pressure), but I only have it set to about 1 or 2 bubbles per second. I guess my best advice is to use the Planted Tank community when in doubt. Joining this community has been a must for me, because it seems someone always has an answer to my questions. Oh also the user nilocg here seems to sell a popular variety of dosing options for fair prices. Good Luck!
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-12-2014, 03:04 PM
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Less lighting or raised so it does the same. If you want the lights on so you can see/enjoy the tank, raising or reducing it is the way to get both. For the ferts, I do agree that dry ferts are cheaper and just as handy. However, I did find that doing EI, let my levels get really high. I found 50% weekly still let the nitrate and phosphate work it's way to off the charts. Feeding fish can provide lots of the nutrients so I recommend testing as you go for those two. I find the test strips good enough and certainly quicker/easier than liquid so I use 5-in-1 for most tests and API liquid for phosphate. Each tank will vary so be willing to adjust if you are getting too much of either phosphate or nitrate. EI is an ESTIMATE so I would expect to adjust as needed.
Pots from stores are often beginning to get root bound and often need to come out but I also put a fair number of plants in small containers like bathroom cups. This lets me move and change them easily until I find where they belong. Often I never find that answer so they live in cups. The cups may restrict the roots and reduce the growth but that is not always a bad thing. I use lots of wood and rocks and find it easy to hide the cup. Your water is somewhat soft and acidic so you will have to be a bit more careful with what you add to avoid upsetting the PH/GH/KH. I generally would try to avoid getting into the game of changing your water. Until you really have a good handle on things fighting nature is done at your own risk. Mother Nature has a way of winning that battle!
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