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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey guys, this is my first high tech planted tank. I'm sure I'll encounter plenty of problems so please offer suggestions. They're definitely appreciated.
I keep this post updated with the most current setup details.

Tank:
- 55 Gallon TruView Acrylic
- Custom Stand

Lighting:
- Sunlight Supply Tek Light (6 Bulb - ~30" from Substrate) (8.5 Hours On)
- 1 ATI Blue Plus
- 1 ATI Purple Plus
- 1 Philips F54T5/865/HO
- 1 Philips F54T5/830/HO
- 1 DD Giesemann Aquaflora
- 1 DD Geisemann Aquapink

Substrate:
- Aqua Soil New Amazonia (Normal) (4 - 9 Liter Bags)

Filtration:
- Marineland C360 Canister Filter
- Coralife TurboTwist 6x 18 watt UV Filter

CO2:
- Carbondoser Regulater
- Carbondoser EXT5000 Reactor
- Milwaukee MC122 Controller
- 10LB Tank

Flora:
- Elocharis acicularis (Dwarf Hairgrass)
- Hemianthus callitrichoides (Dwarf Baby Tears)
- Lilaeopsis brasiliensis (Micro Sword)

Fauna:
- 10 Amano Shrimp
- CRS
- 5 Boraras urophthalmoides
- 2 Orange Bee Shrimp

Dosing Schedule:
50% WC once a week (Sunday)
3x a Week:
(Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday)
1/4 tsp KNO3
1/8 tsp KH2PO4
1/8 tsp K2SO4
1/2 tsp CaSO4
1/8 tsp MgSO4
(Monday, Wednesday, Friday)
1/8 tsp Plantex CSM+B
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
The HC is melting in the front of the tank. Not really sure why. Hopefully it will recover. If anyone has any ideas as to why this is happening I would be very grateful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Update

HC still doesn't look very healthy. I turned off the two outer bulbs to reduce the light a little, maybe that will help. Dwarf hair grass and microsword seem fine. Humidity in the tank is high. I mist the plants once a day.
 

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I find it is a bit hard in Colorado to adjust emersed set ups due to the low humidity. I did find that HC takes some time to get adjusted after being moved. I would just give it time. You have to keep an eye out for new growth then you’ll know it is fine. I have a little 2.5 g with Lilaeopsis and HC and a few other plants in it and at first I had too little humidity so I had to cover it and raise the water level a bit.

Sounds like you have a great set up. I have an old 40g Tru View in the basement I use to grow-out plants. I recently cut down a piece of plastic I got at Home Depot to cover the top.

Good Luck.
 

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55 gallon High Tech I wagumi

Where did you buy the HC? Were they already submerged when you bought them? It's hard to dry start submerged HC. You have to get the ones that were grown emerged to do dry start.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
55 gallon High Tech I wagumi

I got my plants from aquariumplants.com. I think they grow everything submerged so maybe that's why they weren't doing great. Although I did put a small amount in a Tupperware container with a light over it and that HC has exploded with new growth so I don't know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Its been about 2 weeks since I filled the tank with water. I did daily 50% WCs for the first week to get my pH up. The Aquasoil brought my pH down to 6.2, it's 7.3 out of the faucet. It's now at 7.2, 6.2 with CO2 which seems reasonable. The dwarf hairgrass and microsword are thriving while the HC seems to be recovering, finally sending out new growth. I've been dosing nutrients following the EI regiment and started weekly WCs. Dropped the lighting period to 8 on with 4 bulbs. I added a few tiger Nerite snails and an Amano shrimp to help combat algae. The only problem I'm experiencing is hair algae. I've been manually removing as much as I can but its hard to keep up. I was considering raising the light some more. Right now its about 25" above the substrate, which according to Hoppy's par chart should give me about 40 par per bulb or 160 par total. Seems like a lot. Raising it 10" would half the total par. Might help with the algae. I don't know. Suggestions?
 

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I had the same experience with DSM as you have. My HC never quite grew in, browning more than growing, and when I flooded the tank I had the same kind of cotton candy like algae growing on it.

Seems like you are doing everything correct, so it's unfortunate the algae has had its chance to grow in. Keep up with the manual removal and it should be defeated soon enough, tooth brush has always been my favorite tool. good luck!
 

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I was having a similar problem with hair algae in my 40b. I started running 4 bulbs and cut back to 2, I've since noticed much less algae growth. I would try cutting back to 2 bulbs and see how things react. I have the same tek fixture and you can run your outermost two bulbs on one ballast, seems to spread the light pretty decently. Also check your nitrogen levels, if you have low levels that could be causing hair algae. Hope this is helpful!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Yeah the toothbrush is a great tool. I've been using it pretty often. Especially for the rocks. I've been considering switching to the two bulbs on that outer ballast for a few days now. It would put me around 80 par which is still quite a bit of light. I'll try it and see what the results are. As for the nitrogen, I haven't gotten the water tested yet but I've been dosing 1/2tsp KNO3 3x a week as dictated by the EI so that should provide all the nitrogen the plants need. Thanks for the comments.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
My pH has been dropping over the last few days and I don't know why. The only way I've been keeping it in the low 6's is with daily 50% WC's, without those it drops down to the mid to high 5's. Plus the co2 hasn't been pumping because its controlled by the pH meter. This has lead to an overgrowth of hair algae. There have been no changes to the tank. The only thing I can think of is its something to do with the Aquasoil, but I thought I had raised the pH permanently with the week long of daily WC's I did when I started. I really wish someone could give me a solution to the problem. I don't know what to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
55 gallon High Tech Iwagumi

I tested the water from the tap after I let it sit for a day and its still at a pH of 7.3. I live next to the Rockies so all my water comes from snow melt. It's a good suggestion though. It must be something in the tank. Since its not the plants the only two things left are AS or the rocks and I've never heard of granite decreasing pH. If anything it would raise the pH. In my mind it has to be the AS but it amazes me that it would still be decreasing the pH so quickly after I've done so many 50% WC's.
 

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What is your dKH? Are you adding baking soda? i would imagine your water is really soft. When was the last time you cleaned your filter? Decaying organics can drop your PH if your dKH is low. HTH.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
I haven't had my kH tested yet. The LFS does it for free. I've been meaning to take a water sample to them but haven't gotten around to it. I don't add baking soda. Not sure if my water is soft or not, although it seems like it would pick up some minerals running through the mountains. I clean the canister pretty often, usually every week and a half so I don't think that's the problem. I have a little time so I think I'll take a water sample to the LFS. I really appreciate the response. I can use all the suggestions I can get at this point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Went to the LFS and got my water tested. My kH is really low, 1.5, so that's probably why my pH has been fluctuating so much. All other parameters are within acceptable levels. The store manager recommended Aquavitro Carbonate. He said it was more stable than baking soda because it's potassium based and not sodium based, more stable bond I guess. Hopefully this, along with a few more WC's will fix the problem. I also asked about water parameters from the tap and he said it's medium soft with a kH between 3 and 4.
 

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Good to hear, your PH will likely come up with your KH I doubt you need to do any more water changes. You should get a test kit so you will know how much KH to add in the future. Amazonia lowers KH and is eating up your buffer.
 
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