need help fine tuning tank ferts and lights! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-20-2015, 10:47 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
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need help fine tuning tank ferts and lights!

So I need some help from the experts. 55 gallon moderately planted tank needs some love. Tank parameters are:
Substrate:dirt with 2.5 pounds of clay mixed in and capped with fluorite
Lighting:current satellite plus led 4 on/4 off/4 on/12 off
Penn plax 1200 canister filter
Temp:78 F
Ammonia/nitrite 0
Nitrates 20
Ferts: once a week (dry) 1/16 KNO3, 1/16 KH2PO4, 1/16 K2SO4, micro not on same day 1/16 CMSplus ..B
Excel 3 ml 2-3 Times a week
Water changes:50%every two weeks
Plants:jungle Val, giant hygro,wisteria,Sagittarius platyphila,crypt wendetii red and green, java fern,bacopa moneri,enchinodorus bleheri,tiger lotus,rotala,brazillian penneywort,anubius,ludwiga oval leaf, pearl weed and a couple other swords unsure if name
So my goal is to have a lush low tech moderatly growing scape. I cut way back on KNO3 due to my high stock of fish, and started dosing both potassiums because I had lots of pinpoint holes in leaves. I figured I will start low in ferts and increase as weeks go by if deficiencies occur by looking at my plants. So I really need direction on my lights,is the current satellite enough or change? ( I also have a fixture that I can put 4 fluorescents in) and is excel enough?Any comments or recommendations would be great. Thank you!
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Last edited by osbora; 07-20-2015 at 10:52 PM. Reason: picture
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-21-2015, 12:05 AM
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I have a similar 55g setup. Dirt capped with echo complete. I found my Ray2 wasn't enough light. I built my own 350 watt led and use the ray2 as a backup. I ramp it up starting at dawn and back down to dusk with a 2 hour break at solar noon, 1hr before and 1hr after. I don't use my ferts with the dirt. Hope that helps some.

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From the depths of my substrate!
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-21-2015, 05:10 AM
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You should be getting about 25 PAR with that light, which is at the low end of low light. (See ) You don't need more than Excel as a source of carbon, but it will be much more effective if you dose about 10 ml every day. If you use Excel the plants don't need the 4 on, 4 off, 4 on timing, since they are not totally dependent on CO2 from the substrate. You shouldn't need to dose any NPK or trace elements, but the small dosages you are using won't hurt anything. Unless you have hard water with a significant magnesium contribution, you should dose about half a tsp of GH Booster after every water change. These are my opinions, not the absolute sure recommendations.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-21-2015, 07:57 AM
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If the four bulb fixture you have (not the satellite) is T8 fixture,I might try it with eight hour photo period.
I use current satellite plus on my own 55 gallon but plant's are all anubia which does not need much light.
If the four bulb fixture is T5,then you would want to hang this light at least 8 inches above the surface of the water IMHO
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excel, fertilizer, lighting

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