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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey forum, I am new to this site, but am very active on a local Vancover page called bcaquaria.com

My name is Mike and I live in Vancouver BC, Canada. I have been keeping aquariums since I was very young but I have never really learned very much about plant life. I have on multiple occasions purchased plants only to see them wilt away and eventually become dust on the bottom of my tank. I love the look of a lively, heavily planted tank and I have always been against plastic plants.

About 2 years ago I made the decision to really reasearch the planted tank and learn how to maintain a healthy environment for both my fish and my plants alike.

I'd like to share some pictures and the story of the progression of my 77 gallon Planted community tank.

I started low tech, the only upgrade I made was the light. I purchased a Hagen GLO HO 48" T5 39Wx2 fixture from my LFS.
I was using some Eco-complete for the substrate and dosing with seachem products for the water table fertilization and carbon supply.
I bought the tank with an Eheim 2028 filter as well.

Here is the early picture. Basic plants like crypts and limnophilia.

As I read more and more about planted tanks, I learned about E.I. dosing or "dry" dosing, which I have started doing. Playing slowly with the dosages I am still searching for the best level to promote healthy plants and avoid algae but it is a long process of trial and error and observation before you get that completely dialed in. I have also gone the route of pressurized CO2. I purchased a 5lbs tank with a Milwaukee regulator, complete with solenoid (wired to my lights of course) and a needle valve with bubble counter.
I moved into some more high maintenance plants and here are some more pics.






Time keeps passing by, plants start to grow in, and the Red Lotus blows up! Then i decided to try some duckweed to add to the surface plants





The duckweed quickly got out of control! It looked amazing, but left my other plants starving for light

I removed the duckweed and this is when I moved into pressurized CO2




And this is how it looks today. 3 weeks on pressurized CO2. There is amazing growth out of my wisteria and the vals as well.


The current plant list is:
Wisteria
Red Tiger Lotus
Crypt Wendtil
Java Fern
Java Moss
Jungle Val
as well as a number of plants that are not yet identified

The fauna list is:
Angel Fish Pair (breeding)
Zebra Danios
Cardinal Tetras
Gold Barbs
Cherry Barbs
Male Crown-Tail Betta
SAE's
Clown Loaches
Giant Khulie Loaches
L226 Tiger Panaque
Clown Plecos
Silvertip Bristlenose Plecos


Thank you very much for looking! Any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Just an FYI that wasn't "duckweed" you removed it was Water Spangles. :) WOW did you lilly ever explode I have never seen them with sure big leaves. Maybe in a pond but never in a tank.
tank you very much for the heads up, it was always referred to as duckweed when i posted pictures in other forums.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
IT looks great, the only thing I would suggest is buying 2$ worth of poster board and fill the back.
haha ya i think you're right! I was really hoping just to grow those vals thick across the back but some cover would definitely help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Weekly update! - 3 weeks on CO2

I've changed the scape up a little this week by adding a pile of polished stone around the base of a large piece of driftwood. I've also added more stone around the entire tank to make a sort of natural look and not have it all concentrated in one place. I'm still on the fence whether i really like the look of it or not but it's int here for now!

The plants have really taken off now, as expected but i have had an outbreak of a new type of algae i haven't seen before. Is it hair algae or black beard i don't know. Please check out a few of the following pictures and let me know how to get rid of this stuff. I guess its a matter of proper dosage of CO2 and fertz but I just cant' figure it out.

Here's some new pics!

First off I got a really cool pic of my royal pleco clowning around with a couple clowns on a piece of driftwood


Here's a full tank shot - before i started some renovating


A couple shots of my surface growth situation - i'm trying to keep it all manageable



Ok here's some plant shots - take note of the algae growth









And now an after shot of the new look




As always thanks for looking!
 

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Very nice look on the rework. The algae looks like BBA. Excel is a good solution to kill it off. Just apply it directly to the algae with your circulation off. Hopefully the folks with more experience will chime it to help you on your fert situation so you can get to the core of the problem.
 

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Love the light through the red lily leaves! So do your angels apparently. If you leave floating leaves on you might get a flower out of the lily soon! What about sticking some Anubias nana in the pebbles at the base of your wood and letting them climb up it?

My BNP never hang out together like that, nice photo of your plecos together.

If you only have the one filter it might not be enough flow, that tangled algae looks like staghorn to me and I got rid of it with Excel and repositioning my powerhead to blow across the area. The other looks like black fur algae but I don't know if that exists!

My GW just vanished this week - I vacuumed the substrate lightly, kept the shade over the window down in the morning on the east facing window and rinsed out ALL the sponges in my tank's system. Getting excessive organics out seems to help with nuisance algae. If I had any unhealthy leaves removing them would have been a good idea as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Very nice look on the rework. The algae looks like BBA. Excel is a good solution to kill it off. Just apply it directly to the algae with your circulation off. Hopefully the folks with more experience will chime it to help you on your fert situation so you can get to the core of the problem.
Thanks bud, i appreciate the advice... i've been hitting it with metricide but it just keeps coming back
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Love the light through the red lily leaves! So do your angels apparently. If you leave floating leaves on you might get a flower out of the lily soon! What about sticking some Anubias nana in the pebbles at the base of your wood and letting them climb up it?

My BNP never hang out together like that, nice photo of your plecos together.

If you only have the one filter it might not be enough flow, that tangled algae looks like staghorn to me and I got rid of it with Excel and repositioning my powerhead to blow across the area. The other looks like black fur algae but I don't know if that exists!

My GW just vanished this week - I vacuumed the substrate lightly, kept the shade over the window down in the morning on the east facing window and rinsed out ALL the sponges in my tank's system. Getting excessive organics out seems to help with nuisance algae. If I had any unhealthy leaves removing them would have been a good idea as well.
Thanks! The Angels definitely love those Lotus leaves! THey look amazing with all the veins when you look up from underneath. I haven't seen any flowers yet but we'll see, and great idea with the annubias, ill have to look into that.
Maybe i'll put a powerhead in there and try that, but that filter is an Eheim 2028 and it pumps out pretty good... i'll pull the filter apart too and look into cleaning the media and maybe that will help...definitely a little overdue anyway! :)
 

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Tank looks great man! Great re-model! To get ride of black beard algae excel work (as others have mentioned) as well as a few Siamese algae eaters. They will have the black beard taken care of withing a week or 2. Make true you get the true SAE's as there are false SAE' s on the market. Check out pictures and read about them first. Very cool and active fish as well
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Tank looks great man! Great re-model! To get ride of black beard algae excel work (as others have mentioned) as well as a few Siamese algae eaters. They will have the black beard taken care of withing a week or 2. Make true you get the true SAE's as there are false SAE' s on the market. Check out pictures and read about them first. Very cool and active fish as well
Thanks for the kind words man! I appreciate the advice. I do infact have two true SAE's in the tank but I think they've become spoiled by the bottom feeder wafers and zucchini that i put in for the plecos and clown loaches, so they don't seem to give a crap about the algae!
I've cut away all the effected leaves and i've also added a powerhead to up the flow in the tank and so we'll see how it goes
 
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