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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alright, this is something I have been combating for a long while now.

A breif input on my setup.

Tanks: 4x 120 gallon and 2x 75 gallon tanks. Each tank has its own 40 gallon sump tank. Sand, silicate and pool filter sand.

Now for the tricky part. The lights. Right now as I sit, my setups for the most part are 4x 40W 6500k CFLs ( the 150w equivalent ) with 10 inch reflective domes. The lights are sitting about 4 inches off the top of the tank.

As for Ferts/CO2: PPS. Using the GLA formulation. As of right now I have cut back the dosing on these to half. So about 7.5ml macro/micro per 120 gallon and 5ml per 75 gallon. I do have DIY root tabs, though I went with the brand of Dynamite select, All purpose indoor/outdoor. Purple bottle. I use glut, the 2.6% formulation, dose 10ml per 75 gallon and 15ml per 120 gallon.

Now with that said, is this amount of light good, not enough, or too much? Personally, I dont care what the outside of the tanks look like, its what is inside is what matters. Now, I did make the mistake a while ago and bought way too many anubias plants, failing to realize these are slower growing plants. I have finally bought online from a shop of more of the stem plants. Cabomba, Bacopa monnierii, Rotala indica...these kind of plants.

I guess what leads me to this question is the fact I need the plants to out compete the algae. Now, its just that dreaded diatoms stuff.... and it covers leaves, glass, just about everything. I realize that light is the driving force behind plant growth to help keep this in check, but on the other hand when the plants get covered its no good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You will need good conditions to support this decent light. Do you use CO2 enrichment? Do you know tap water parameters?
Yes, I use just glut though. The 2.6% solution that you read people using. So no to injection, though that is an area I am willing to explore. I have looked at where I can get the tanks locally, and refilled and price. The only catch right now is figuring out the value for it.... along with if I want one or 2 20LBS tanks and run multiple tanks off one or if I should settle for like a 5lbs tank and set each one up by itself. I think that in the long run getting like the multi regulator from GLA, but that in itself is going to cost 400 bucks or more lol.

As for water here, its liquid rock. I have trace amounts of NH4 from the tap, nothing big, but it does show up as trace. I use Seachem SAFE ( not prime ) which should more or less take care of any trace after water change.

One issue I have seen is that I do get BBA from time to time, but to me that is a sign I need to kick up the water changes a bit and change out the filter padding a lot more. It seems to be clearing up in the tanks that do have it. Its just the diatoms that is the really big issue right now.

So what I have done ( and you more or less confirmed it ) that the 40W CFLs was way too much. I did some reading in the sticky and saw that the PAR on even a basic 23W bulb with good reflector @ 26 inches would be more than enough to grow most plants. I went around with a guy some time ago about this and he swore that 4x23W CFLs was not enough light for a 75 gallon tank and that is why I was getting algae. I mean I had them right on the top of the tank, and was not doing ferts or anything, and now that I think about it, that was most likely due to too much light and not enough.
 

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Hi
You need one 20 lb CO2 tank with one regulator.
Reason is because it costs almost the same to refill small as large CO2 tank. One regulator because you need one low pressure delivery system. Splitting is easy with brass Tees and ¼ fridge freezer hose. The tank and regulator can be bought at hydroponics stores.

Then you have a needle valve and a bubble counter for each aquarium.

You don’t need a second CO2 tank. When the CO2 liquid is at the end then the pressure finally goes down and down for a week until it is totally empty. So you will have several days warning before it is gone.

BBA feeds on unhealthy plant tissue, organics and insufficient biological filtration.

How many hours is the lighting on?

For the fertilizer I would dose solution #1 macros at 1 ml per 10 gallon or 40 L and solution #2 micros at 0.1 ml or 2 drops per 10 gallon or 40 L.

You can do either 50% weekly water changes or get a TDS or Conductivity meter to monitor the water change rates for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
They vary from 6 hours to 8 hours, of course with a timer.

Yeah for the BBA. I figured that much on the filtration and stuff. I finally got my DIY overflows working so that has made a huge improvement in the filtering so to say.

As for the CO2 tanks here.... I know the cost are close, here its like 10 bucks for a 5 LBS refill and 20 bucks for the 20 LBS refill. They dont charge if you got the tank from them to check for leaks, they do that for you.

As in the multiple tanks, that gets tricky for how much line I would need to run. This is a basement, and I have to say its about 35ft from one end to another, plus its on both sides.

Now for the splitter, I have thought about that, and looked at amazon ( sorry if linking is not allowed ) like this:


I would run that right off the regulator, and then run each line to each tank. The only pause I have is if there is an effect not only on the distance of the tubbing to the tank if that would hamper it, and with multiple tanks on one valve, if for whatever reason one tank would get more CO2 because of pressure and all that fun stuff ( if that make sense ). I would assume the later would not matter for each line would have its own valve.

As in for the ferts, so I should instead cut my Micros down and up the macros? I do use the PPS system from GLA.

One more thing, I have cut the lights on 2 tanks for right now. I need to get a few new reflectors because the ones I have had to be modified to fit the larger 40W CFLs and the 23 W ones are much smaller lol. So right now 2 tanks have been downgraded to 4x23W 6500K CFLs. They are still 26 inches up though and did not change that. If I see right on the chart that should still put me in the med/low range I hope.
 

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As in the multiple tanks, that gets tricky for how much line I would need to run. This is a basement, and I have to say its about 35ft from one end to another, plus its on both sides.
No problem at all, you can split it anywhere, aquariums don’t need dedicated lines. You can feed several aquariums and couple of beer kegs on the same line.

Now for the splitter, I have thought about that, and looked at amazon ( sorry if linking is not allowed ) like this:
Amazon.com : AQUATEK SplitPro CO2 Splitter for Solenoid Regulator (6 Way) : Aquarium Treatments : Pet Supplies
I was going to say great! But no, because you need a needle valve close to each aquarium so you can see the bubble counter when adjusting the CO2 flow.

I would run that right off the regulator, and then run each line to each tank. The only pause I have is if there is an effect not only on the distance of the tubbing to the tank if that would hamper it, and with multiple tanks on one valve, if for whatever reason one tank would get more CO2 because of pressure and all that fun stuff ( if that make sense ). I would assume the later would not matter for each line would have its own valve.
You can daisy chain the CO2 hoses any way you like. But, every aquarium must have its own needle valve, a check valve and a bubble counter.

As in for the ferts, so I should instead cut my Micros down and up the macros? I do use the PPS system from GLA.
Trace elements.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So something like that needle valve would be needed near each tank which makes sense. Nothing worse than making it more work than needed.

Yeah I knew I need a bubble counter, the other stuff needed outside of the regulator and valves are the cheap part.

In the long run I know actual CO2 should be much more cost effective along with better for the tank over all as that is something more natural than dumping Glut in there every day. Plus, its as easy as to drop the lights down lower if I am sitting at low level to become higher by 3 inches for sure .


Now that is an interesting read on the Micros you posted. I always figured that it was the other way around, which might be another leading cause in my diatoms issue. So starting tomorrow, which is my water change day, I will start with the 1ml/10 gallons again for the PPS pro macro and .1ml/10 gallon Micro PPS pro.

BTW, while I have your intrest here, I like to touch on WCs. Now, would it be better to do say 2 or 3 smaller WC during the week, instead of the one large one once a week? I find the multiple is easier, for that way I can do my trimming and all that stuff staggered.
 

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On my nano tank I started with too strong CFL. I noticed a few tiny specs of algae pretty soon, and from the pattern could tell it was from too strong light.
Anyway, they didn't look too bad, I swapped to a much smaller bulb and thought all was sorted out now.
Jump forward a few weeks, no new algae spots were forming apart from some green spots on the glass a few inches from the top.
BUUUUT, those original plant leaves covered in the first algae, looked like hobo toilet paper.

I guess what I'm trying to say, is, start with less light than you think you need and observe for a week or 3.

lets do some math in regards to the water change.
Lets say for both situations you measured 6ppm ammonia (death goop) in your tank just before you started.
Lets say you decided to do 2 water changes of 25% per week ( we are going to pretend no new ammonia is formed in the tank, and the substance itself is not important, the math is.
6ppm
-25% =4.5ppm after first water change
-25% =3.375ppm after 2nd/end of week 1
-25% =2.53ppm after 3rd
-25% =1.90 fourth change/ end of week 2
----------------------
VS 50% weekly

6ppm
-50% =3ppm Week 1
-50% =1.5ppm after week 2
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Water change 1 x 50% or 2 x 30% or 3 x 25% does the same 50% clean up. The 30% and 25% is more work but better for aquarium flora and fauna.
What is your tap KH?
That is not something I am 100% sure of but from the city info I got its 20-22 grains of hardness.

Yeah I was thinking the smaller but more often of WC would be better to combat the imbalance that might occur.
 
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