My first real attempt at a planted tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-24-2008, 02:48 AM Thread Starter
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My first real attempt at a planted tank

Ok I'm going to start out with saying that I searched high and low to find the answers on here to no avail. I had a 10 gallon that I thought some real plants would look really great in and had some fun with it. I got some simple plants from a local store and was loving it until my water started turning green. Well at this point a friend offered me an awesome deal on a 55 gal w/ just about everything for a killer deal so I upgraded. I have 2 hanging filters, a Current 48" 4x65w (2 dual daylights and 2 10k) lights, a DIY CO2 system, flourite substrate.

My 55 has been going really well for a little over a month now. I've successfully added all my fish over this period and have been really enjoying adding new plants. One problem that I encountered early on was with the substrate, I didn't wash the Flourite enough which has been the most unbelievably annoying thing everytime I plant something.

First of all, I'm having the beginning stages of green water again. I've seen that some recommend adding more plants....I've read that more CO2 is needed. I just started my CO2 this week, will it help over time with just a bubble every 3-4 seconds going through the diffuser (not in picture)?

Secondly, over the past couple of days I've noticed an alarming rate of leaves falling off the plants. I have new growth on some of them but (and I wish I knew the name of it) some are loosing their mature leaves.

My last test which I did yesterday turned out 0 ppm Ammonia, 8.0 pH, not quite 0 but low NO2, and under 5ppm NO3.

any help and advice is appreciated!

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-24-2008, 03:27 AM
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For starters, there's a great link to algae causes and treatment.

Second, it looks gerat! I love the slate cave formation.

I'd recommend getting some anubias or java fern or some such to tie to the driftwood, that's a really nice setup you've got there on the left.

The foreground plants on the right will likely get much taller and block out the view. It's already beginning to do that. I'd move them to mid-ground to back-ground. I'd recommend some small crypts or anubias nana petite to go where they are now.

Maybe some dwarf riccia attached on the slate?

It's looking good! Keep us updated.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-24-2008, 04:24 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info, thats a great link! There is a lot of discussion regarding nutrients and fertilizers...any links on that cause I have no idea what I need to test for and add and when to do it.

I'm still moving around some of the plants. I agree that the right side will get over grown, I just hate moving them cause the Flourite makes it so darn cloudy. I really like the look of dwarf hair grass and dward baby tears but its really hard to find around here.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-24-2008, 06:29 AM
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I personally don't like dwarf hairgrass, but that's just me. I prefer mid light requirements and I haven't had much luck with it in anything but my small high-light nano.

Did you wash the flourite before you put it in? I don't use it personally, but many people have reported that it does cloud up a bit when you move it around.

I actually could send you a small clump of dwarf hairgrass, but I would check out the Swap and Shop forum! The Continuous RAOK thread is great for picking up plants and stuff that you can't find in your area!
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-24-2008, 04:19 PM
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Honestly, if the tank isn't heavily stocked I'd start over. Throw all the fish and plants into a bucket or big plastic bin for a day. Keep the filter running on the bucket both for the fish and to keep the filter established with the N-bacteria colony. Don't change out any filter media.

Rinse the Fluorite thoroughly and then let it dry in the sun (or use a hairdryer or bake it in the oven) before putting it back in the tank. You will be AMAZED at the difference!

I also have a 10gal tank with unrinsed red Fluorite and even after 4 years I can't do anything in it without raising so much mud that it settles on the plant leaves and kills them. I've only left it for so long b/c the only rooted plants have been a nice carpet of pygmy chain sword. I'm finally about to take it down and start over.

It will be much easier to do this sooner rather than later, trust me!

Also, once you set the tank back up, you will need much more CO2 in there than 1 bubble every 3-4 seconds; I'd say 3-4 bubbles per second is more what you'll be looking for- something may be off with your yeast mixture recipe?

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-24-2008, 04:27 PM
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55 gallons with 4x65 is 4.7 wpg. IMO diy Co2 just won't cut it!! I tried and failed. Have 2 55's both have 4x65 CFL's. I tried reducing the photo period, running one bank of light for the full photo period and the other bank for half. Even was using 2 1 gallon containers of diy Co2 on each tank. Never could get the Co2 consistent enough to stay out of algae trouble. Finally swithced both tanks over to pressurized Co2 about a month ago. All the difference in the world!!

Larry Bugg
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-29-2008, 04:07 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks to all for the help...I got some Excel and started treating the water and remarkably, the green water is almost gone! I still have some other issues to work out, but the tank is a lot easier to look at.

As for the flourite and taking the whole tank down to clean it again...properly...well, I should. What I'm trying is to clean it with the gravel vac and its working pretty well. I had to move some plants around in a spot I cleaned and I didn't have much dirt stir up.
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