Lighting Question - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-04-2009, 02:53 PM Thread Starter
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Lighting Question

I have a 90 gallon tank. I have 3 VHO lights over it. They are rated at 110 watts each for 330 watts total which in turn equals about 3.6 watts per gallon. I am running a pressurized co2 system with about 2 bubbles per second which is diffused in the water with a Red Sea reactor 500. I have two Canister Filters on this tank which are and XP3 Fillstar and a C-360 Marineland. I also have a small power head in a corner of my tank to help out any dead spots. I have a ph controller which turns on my co2 in the morning when my lights come on. My tank values are as follows. Ph which fluctuates from 7.1 in the morning to 6.7 when co2 is on (my controller shuts off at 6.7 about three times a day). My kh is 3 dkh, Nitrate is 5, Phos is .5, Hardness is 3 and I dose seachems plant line. I use the chart they have online as a dosing schedule. Why do my plants just not go crazy and grow. They seem stunted. Oh I also have a seachems root tabs and I have eco complete plant substrate with a hydor heater cables on the bottom of the tank for heat. I am battling black beard algae on my anubias and my amazon sword has a lot of blackish algae that grows on it.(this is not bba). My hygrophilia grows pretty good though. Please help should I cut down on the light or should I replace the bulbs as they are about a year old. I have heard if I cut down the light then co2 would be easier to maintain. I just need peoples advice on what I should do. I also run my lights for 10 hours a day. Please take a look at my tank on view user tanks. I appreciate you taking the time for advice and for looking.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-04-2009, 03:43 PM
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Your light cycle might be a little long. I have a hard time believing though that 2bps is enough. I'm putting more than that into a 29g. What was your ph before you started pressurized co2?

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-04-2009, 03:54 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BottomFeeder View Post
Your light cycle might be a little long. I have a hard time believing though that 2bps is enough. I'm putting more than that into a 29g. What was your ph before you started pressurized co2?
It is 7.1 before co2 starts in the morning. Then once the lights come on my co2 comes on. So my co2 brings my ph down to 6.7 and then my co2 controller shuts off co2. Then about 30 minutes later the ph goes back up to 6.8 and then my co2 comes back on. This does this about 3 times a day when the lights and co2 are on.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-04-2009, 08:25 PM
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You are definitely not getting enough Co2 into the tank. You should experience about a full 1 point drop in ph with the correct Co2 level so you should be down around 6.1 to be a 30ppm Co2. I would get a drop checker to get it in the right range and then you can play with it from there.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-05-2009, 02:09 AM
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CO2 is clearly the biggest problem. For a tank that size I would expect to see about twice that much bubble rate, and the small pH drop also indicates too little CO2. Rather than use the pH controller, which is really doing nothing of value for you right now, I suggest just leaving it off, and controlling the bubble rate to get the rate that maintains the CO2 concentration in the right ballpark. A drop checker will help you to get the nerve to increase the bubble rate as far as it probably needs to be increased. From there you can very slowly increase it a bit every day, watching the fish for signs of distress - they would cluster at the surface like they are gasping for air if the CO2 level is too high. Also, you should get some easy to spot pearling before halfway through the lights-on time, if you have enough CO2. Once you get that zeroed in, and if you stilll want to use the pH controller for something, just set it to control the pH at the level it is when you have the CO2 bubble rate right. But, be aware that if the plants grow a lot, and build up much more plant mass, you will need an even higher bubble rate - probably a lower pH.

Seachem's fertilizers are essentially water, with tiny amounts of powdered fertilizer dissolved in it. It is expensive water. If you buy some powdered fertilizers, KNO3, KH2PO4, and CSM+B from one of the online stores, you will spend a lot less money, and get much the same fertilizers. But, if you want to continue with Seachem fertilizers, at least increase the dosages considerably from what they recommend, which is for a low light aquarium.

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