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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well here I am again no more successful than I was 6 months ago when I first attempted to make my tank a high tech tank with injected co2. Even after spending more money on things to make it work it is a failure and I would give up if I hadn't already dumped so much money into the tank. Here are my isues. My plants won't grow especially my stem plants, and some algae is on the plants. I have a everything I need to be successful and have been following the EI dosing religiously.
I am thinking the problem is a combination of two things the first is my lighting I have a dual t5 ho fixture combined wattage of 108. I think the back is mirrored and it is on legs. I thought maybe the lights may be too strong or something, not sure. Solution? No idea but I am not spending any more money.
The second issue is the co2 concentration I can not get it to be high enough.....that is probably the ph monitors fault. I have been trying to turn up the bubble count so at least when it is on it can release more co2 for awhile. I can't get it anywhere near the light green range usually. So should I ditch it? It was expensive and I would rather not. I am afraid I will gas the fish without the ph monitor. Anyway around using it but making it so I can control the co2 levels easier? My ph is already low because I use a reverse osmosis system so turning down the ph on the monitor drops my ph towards 6.0 which is lower than I would like it to be. I think it is closer to 6.5 or 6.8 from the unit. I am going to start using seachem equilibrium to raise gh I was using kent r.o right before. I assume I should add some baking soda for the kh but how much should I add to a 50 Gallon? Not sure what the kh should ideally be for a planted tank...
So I need some professional help in more than one way because this tank is driving me crazy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I use a ceramic disc for diffusion I think that works pretty well it is at the bottom of the tank and it is fairly new. It is just the monitor shutting it off way too often I guess. I am not sure if I could run one bulb int he fixture I have it is an aquatic life dual lamp t5 ho fixture and like I said it is on legs so it isnt right against the glass canopy. Would 1 54 watt bulb be enough? I will have to check if I can take the one bulb out or not.
 

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I'm finding 1.6 wpg of T5HO light to be perfect for my tank, which is 18 inches high and the canopy sits about 5 inches off the surface. Photo period is 8 hours and I have great growth and very controllable algae.

I started with 3 wpg before Members here made me realize how ridiculously high that was, and hence nothing but problems when I started.

I also started with a ceramic diffuser and it was really lousy - had to pump a dump load of co2 to get anywhere with it. Ditched it in a jiffy and not being much of a diyer bought a nice motorized one. much, much better.
 

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first of all get a gh and kh test kit
and see if you need minerals and how much baking soda to add
the bi carbonates will push up your ph so you can add more co2 without lowering your ph as much
theres noting wrong with useing a ph controller i use them all the time
in fact im very happy with the results
if its shutting off too soon then lower settings and maybe calibrate it
use a ph test to see how accurate it is at monitoring ph swing from co2 , also a drop checker is a good referance
too much light wont stop your plants from growing
they may look spindly if there lacking other things and promote algae
especially if your plants arnt healthy
ceramic diffusers work ok especially if there at opposite end of tank then filter output
and the out put from filter is drawing the fine bubble down
not the most efficient but works fairly well
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Willknowitall, I have a gh and kh test kit....but it is reverse osmosis water so it is pretty bare of everything. I need to ad both gh and kh booster in some amounts I am sure. I would know how much baking soda to ad if I knew what the kh should be, but I am not sure.
Reignoffred, 18 inches from where? Sorry don't know what you mean exactly. I don't think I can suspend the light from the ceiling if that is what you are saying to do.
 

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Ph changes due to co2 don't really matter as it's not truly changing the ph any, you just need to get enough co2 so that drop checker is close to yellow on the opposite side of the tank. I run an airstone 24/7 along with co2 but that's because I have a paintball setup with no regulator/solenoid. Also depending on the algea, an ethromycin treatment works well, sometimes it's bacteria related and the algea feeds off the imbalance from them, once they're gone and the ferts/co2 are still good, the algea goes poof!
You could also try raising the light a bit. I'm down to 1 24w t5ho on my 29 and loving it. Good luck!
 

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Willknowitall, I have a gh and kh test kit....but it is reverse osmosis water so it is pretty bare of everything. I need to ad both gh and kh booster in some amounts I am sure. I would know how much baking soda to ad if I knew what the kh should be, but I am not sure.
Reignoffred, 18 inches from where? Sorry don't know what you mean exactly. I don't think I can suspend the light from the ceiling if that is what you are saying to do.
gh and kh should be around 4 dkh
3 to 6 is good for most plants and fish
 

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you can use the ro water you just have to add minerals and carbonates or bi carbonates
to know the answer to the question of why your low tech tank is doing well
you need to provide more information
whats your nitrate phosphate potassium in high tech tank
are you adding enough micro
where are the plants getting calcium and magnesium from
could be that your high tech tank is suffering because with increase use of light and carbon the lack of minerals and who knows what else is having a negative effect
in other words when you up the light and co2 the demands for other nutrient
is much higher so the plants suffer more then in low tech where their demand is less
first make sure your gh and kh is ok
ei dosing only works if you plants are utilizing the nutrients
if there not growing they may not be useing the nutrients up and your simply over dosing
i test for nitrate phosphate and iron every once in awhile to see if dosing is in ballpark
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yes I have been adding minerals back to the tank. I believe kent r.o right adds gh and kh. But I just received seachem equilibrium in the mail and I think that only works for gh so I will need to ad baking soda.
I have no idea what my nitrate phosphate or potassium level is in the tank. I use the EI dosing regimen ad have green leaf aquarium ferts. I even use Iron. I used an old test strip to test the nitrate last week and it said it was 20 ppm but who knows if that is right or not. I think the problem is the lack of carbon and too much light...That makes the most sense to me.
 

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if you up your kh which could be very low. then you can use more co2 without major ph swings
make sure your gh ok
high light doesnt stop plants from growing
test your kh and up it if need be, add more co2 till drop checker lime green and then lower light if its needed, if your plants growing too fast lol
and make changes in light gradual so plants can adapt
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hmm ok well my plan of action for now is to add baking soda and see if I can remove one of the lights from the light fixture. Hopefully that helps somewhat. If not I guess I could find window screening to block some of it out.
 

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I don't have too much experience with high tech, but I think if you are doing ok with low tech, you can start from something between first.

Try to cut everything by half, especially the CO2(don't worry about the PPM, set it at 2 bubble per second), set temp at 75 degree, avoid water parameters frutuation, slowly increase the dosing, co2 once plant start healthy grow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Well, today I did my 50% water change and took out one of the 54 watt bulbs. I hope this helps. I also measured my gh and kh my kh was like 1 dkh or less so I put in 4 teaspoons of it in my tank and will ad 2 teaspoons with every water change. I also used my kh booster equilibrium for the first time since receiving it. My gh is way higher than my kh though so I don't need to add extra.
 
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