My recent high tech tanks have been medium to major failures. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-25-2015, 04:59 AM Thread Starter
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My recent high tech tanks have been medium to major failures.

This is kind of rant but I am also hoping to find some help, didn't know exactly where to put this so I am putting it here. My first tank started low tech, I added CO2, and started adding more light. I had two Coralife T5NO fixtures on it for most of the duration of the tank, then added a 3rd. That would likely be equivalent to a nice 3 bulb T5HO fixture or atleast an insanely nice 2 bulb fixture on a 29 gallon. The tank was super easy, I could grow anything, and never had any serious issues or algae outbreaks. It really got me into high tech because I loved the growth and color. Even though some of my red plants were not ultra red, most were and it was an easy and pleasurable experience, also long term, taking about 3 years.

My tank was pretty standard for a high tech, injected CO2, Flourite substrate, an Eheim 2215, injected CO2, EI dosing.

In my more recent attempts, I have not had so much luck. I have had to deal with algae outbreaks consistently and just not getting the growth or color I want.

Even on my newly setup 60P, I am injecting CO2 but not using high light. Just a Current Sat Plus. I actually feel that this tank has gone down hill since adding CO2, but it may be other factors.

A few things that I am not as on top of. I may skip a dose of ferts to often. I get busy and forget. I don't do a 50% water change every week, likely every two weeks. I am not on top of filter maintenance.

However, with my successful high tech tank, I would have periods of time where I would forget the same types of things for periods of time, I was more on top of it.

The only thing that seemingly is helping a lot is daily dosing of Excel, something I really enjoyed getting away from in my first tank, after adding CO2.

I know my light level is not too high as may use this for a low tech setup on my sized tank. I wonder if it's a dosing issue as CO2 does making things grow faster. I doubt it's a CO2 deficiency because again, many use this tank and this light without injected CO2.

I am just wondering if anyone has advice. The simplest is staying on top of ferts and water changes but I don't know if that is going to be enough. Anyone turned around a chronically problematic high tech to a lush, colorful high tech? What did you change and what was effective?

-Matt

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-25-2015, 05:42 AM
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Every tank has its own sweet spot - we go into the routines like the rest - but fine tuning is directed by the tank itself and we must obey those directions for success and have an ear to listen to what the tank is asking for.

If you have a choice, you have a problem, till you elect your choice. No choice, no problem, only consequences, learn to live with them.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-25-2015, 09:31 AM
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My recent high tech tanks have been medium to major failures.

You'd probably not like my answer. But. Less light. Less intensity, less time, or both.

Light denial is rough. I've been there and I still have to actively stymie my desires to turn it up. I read how to get my plants red and I get "more light!" Almost did it. But I said no! Not for algae. See the Internal conflict? In the darker days of my tank ( no pun intended ), I sort of just gave up and let the tank get overgrown. Life happened and I was pretty erratic with everything. Then I noticed things sort of worked still because the overgrown plants were blocking the light. The same sort of thing happened when I went on vacation. I just turned off the light, no one ferts it and left the co2 running as normal.

To this day, I jump erratically from 1-2 weeks for my water changes. Probably more two weeks than one. I skip my premixed "ei daily" ferts sometimes because like you, I forget or am not around. Or intentionally because I know I haven't changed the water yet and somehow mentally, I'd like to think that the plants haven't taken it up yet. Do I know? Heck no. I just guess. I try to be consistent the first week and if I change the water, I keep consistent. If I don't change, I start skipping. The point I'm trying to make is that I even embrace erratic schedules. The tank takes it in stride because I lowered my light and got algae eating critters to absorb my mistakes. Oh, on an aside, I find it also helped for my fertilizing consistency after I got dosing bottles. When it's easier to do it, I tend to remember better or more like not dread it as much. Also, my solutions are premixed with excel so it's all in one dose. Made it part of my morning ritual. Get dressed, drop a little ferts, leave the house. This is all fine for not getting algae, but if you really want those reds, I'm still working on that. I suspect I might have to stay consistent with my iron and somehow just keep slowly tweaking that light. Been reading recently from a post by PT member, Socielo, that you need some red leds to trigger that red pigmentation reaction. But u know. One battle at a time.

So, use that satellite remote to your advantage and drop that light level for a bit. What does it hurt except to save you some energy?

Oh. Did I mention my tank sits right at a window? I'm sure it contributed more than its fair share to my BBA frustrations.


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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-25-2015, 03:37 PM
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Is there less plant mass in the problem tanks? Less flow? Slower growing plants? When we get more experienced we generally set our sights higher in terms of scaping which generally means less plant mass. Flow is important when you are pushing a tank with more light/CO2/NPK+M.

Are you using EI and hardness boosters? I don't know if the water source changed but now I need to add GH booster for healthy snails and plants.

I had a different set of algae before going CO2. Were you algae free or tolerant of the sorts the old low tech tank had?

I'd put floaters in or screen the tank and cut back lighting to 6-7 hours and continue the Excel for the time being.


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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-25-2015, 04:29 PM
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Every tank will be different.

What ferts are you dosing and under what regime?
How much plant mass is in those tanks?
Water testing to target specific levels of ferts?

Some post pictures of heavily planted tanks which in reality are not heavily planted IMO.
Members here have rated a heavily planted tank would have 15% or less of visible substrate.

Light will always be the top driving factor.

BTW I have BBA that pearls.


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Growing is not that difficult.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-25-2015, 04:41 PM
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My recent high tech tanks have been medium to major failures.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maryland Guppy



BTW I have BBA that pearls.

Yeah. Insult to injury. Like its "laffing" at us. Be like. Thanks for the great growing environment!


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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-26-2015, 02:56 AM Thread Starter
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As for what I am doing, I am dosing EI. This particular tank isn't that bad but just gets random algae. I don't think light intensity is the problem but duration may be.

I kind of had my "ah ha" moment, however. I was thinking back on my tanks that have and have not been successful and all my high tech tanks that came out great were when I worked at home, and the tanks were in my office. I was thinking of the questions and though I can answer them for almost all my tanks, on those tanks, I could give a much more thorough answer as even when I didn't have time to deal with them, I still was able to catch things a bit earlier and tweak things. Another issue I have is that my lighting schedule is after work and since I get up much earlier than my wife at the moment, I can't even do simple things like dose the tank in the morning like I used to. This tank is in the bedroom as my wife likes a tank in there for some reason and in the past, I have done low maintenance, low tech nano's that really didn't need much work at all, probably the reason I still am in the hobby.

-Matt

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-28-2015, 03:09 AM Thread Starter
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Well, I don't know how interesting this is, especially without pictures because I trimmed and my tank doesn't look photographically good but I did my usual "complete" maintenance and my tank looks so much better. Instead of piecemealing things as I get to them, I did what would usually be my monthly maintenance in about an hour an half last night. 50% water change, filter cleaning, cleaning the entire glass thoroughly, trimming, removing the small amounts of algae that still were unsightly, cleaning my lily pipes and exposed tubing, etc. What a change.

Now I think I may have too much organic matter as a few plants have melted. I think it's a combination of super fast growers continually shading the plants, and lack of ferts. Hard to get rid of it all at once, since I don't vacuum my substrate, hard to do with AS and a carpet that isn't strongly rooted but removed what I could by hand, then the water change to care of a lot.

I don't want to act like all the sudden my tank took a huge turn around but getting a lot of the nasty stuff out, even though not a lot, with a good cleaning reminds me just how much work I used to do.

-Matt

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