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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello, this is my first tank and my first post:D. after reading what i can on this site this is where am at right now. Please feel free to add any tips or comments, questions....

-40 gallon tank= 36"x15"x16" with wet and dry.(w/d was not my choice but is there so...)
-300 gph return pump and 150 gph powerhead on the opposite end pointing to the surface.

no heater atm. temp swings from 76F @ 6am to 79F @ 6pm. I do have a 200w heater but not using it.

odysea 2011 model.36" t5ho 78w= sitting 23" from substrate. on for 9hrs

seachem flourite/eco complete= 50:50 about 2" deep

19 neon tetra, 4 otos, 9 guppies...

Plants are...
Rotata Indica (2-3 stem)
Ludwigia ovalis (2-3 stem)
Frogbit (2-3 stems)
Liindernia Dubia (2-3 stem)
Java Moss- Large Marble Size
X-mas Moss- Large Marble Size
Cryptocoryne wendtii Red- 2 Stem with at least 4 leaves on each
Hygrophilia corymbosa- 2 stems
Anacharis -4 stems
Moneywort- 2 stems



Anyway, i'm now at the point of "try and find" what lives and what dies under this tank set up. Some of the listed plants have die and some are not listed. from what i read its good to start out with lots of plants from the get go. Tank have beening running for months but plants are added anywhere 1-6 weeks. Did have some brown algea but that went away with otos and times...

Here are some questions.

1-How do i know if i need to lower the light? any longer the 9hrs a day will do me no good right?
2-Do i need the powerhead? does it needed to be on 24/7?
3-Plant Supplement?? do i need it? what's best for beginer?

So now is time to wait and see what will live and working with those plant to build some scape. I'll love to have a x-moss carpet but hear mixed review about it with lighting/co2 requirements.







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Well, I am new too and new in plant aquarium. Here is my 2 cents. You and I have the same tank size and light output. I am using DIY CO2. Now, upgraded to 2 2L bottles. Before, it was one. My lights are on 10 hours a day. I add fert pellets whenever I put in new plants, even though I have a plant substrate. Your tank, I believe, is considered in the middle light intensity (2 to 3 watts per gallon). Hence, you need CO2.
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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With your light that high up off the tank, I think you may be OK without needing CO2. I'd get a bottle of Excel to keep on hand in case, though. It's also pretty handy for those pesky "initial algae" outbreaks most new tanks go through.

I'd also get a bottle of Flourish Comprehensive to dose after water changes and some root tabs. You may or may not need to also dose macros (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) but you can always wait and watch your plants to see if they need it or not.

Whether or not you need to boost your flow with powerheads is also one of those "wait and see" type of things.

Sounds like a pretty good start to me! :thumbsup:
 

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EI dosing? I thought this was the low tech forum...

to the OP, you need to plant like 7-8 times as many plants...

This is years of Tom Barr's condensed...low tech is not EI. You should have 70+ of the ground covered in plants from the start, as it is you have maybe 10%

http://www.sudeepmandal.com/hobbies/planted-aquarium/low-tech-planted-tank-guide/
Low tech can mean many different things depending on who you ask. For most people it means no injected CO2 and can include EI dosing and Excel.

Some people consider low tech to include DIY CO2.

Others say low light, no added ferts aside from substrate and fish poop.

I went back and read the OP and noticed your lights is a dual T5HO.
According to this Chart that Hoppy made your current setup would put you in the medium to high light category. A source of CO2 is very important with medium and high light.

If you want to try to avoid CO2 then you need to reduce your light intensity. You can do this by running only one bulb or put a screen of the tank. Floating plants may work as well.

Nbot is right about the amount of plants, I'd recommend more as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the tips and suggestions...

1-I'm still looking for more plant.....
2-I'm ok with dosing excel/Flourish if needed , but how do i know if i needed?
3-Can this Odysea be operated with just 1 bulb in place? will it mess up the ballast or anything, because if i could then the fixture will be on top of the tank.

I did have brown algea cover the ground and leaves in the first couple weeks but that was with 40 watts of high power leds (10wx4) sitting on top of the tank 12hrs/day.

Right now there are now more sign of brown algea, most of melted plants are show sign of new growth, new runners, new leaves... and they are not getting cover in brown algea like before.

So work in progress for now would be add morrrrrreee plants and wait correct?

Thank you
 

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Thanks for the tips and suggestions...

1-I'm still looking for more plant.....
2-I'm ok with dosing excel/Flourish if needed , but how do i know if i needed?
3-Can this Odysea be operated with just 1 bulb in place? will it mess up the ballast or anything, because if i could then the fixture will be on top of the tank.

I did have brown algea cover the ground and leaves in the first couple weeks but that was with 40 watts of high power leds (10wx4) sitting on top of the tank 12hrs/day.

Right now there are now more sign of brown algea, most of melted plants are show sign of new growth, new runners, new leaves... and they are not getting cover in brown algea like before.

So work in progress for now would be add morrrrrreee plants and wait correct?

Thank you
Wait for your plants to grow in maybe add a few more.

I don't know if the light can be run with just one bulb....but if you aren't having algae problems I wouldnt change what you are doing at all. Just wait for things to grow and perhaps add more plants.

If you want faster/more plant growth, then consider EI dosing and Excel or CO2 injection. But honestly, like I said, if you are happy with your growth and you don't have algae I wouldn't mess with it.
 

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With this tank having inert substrate the plants depend on fert additions for everything.
I KNOW all the 'ad gab' on Flourite original and EcoComplete and I've read user posts stating one is high in iron and the other supplies everything plants need. Well,,, both have a high CEC which is useful but that's about it. I got over the rest of the blah, blah, blah on the crushed brick and volcanic gravel wishing others would too. Worth buying? If you have the spare funds yes. I've bought a pallet of Flourite and a wheel barrow full of EcoComp but I realize it's inert and use it mostly as a capping material now.

Without having to search topic by topic the best place to get the basics of plant demands is on Rex Grigg's site. http://www.rexgrigg.com/
Fantastic people here on the TPT and very helpful don't misunderstand my posting this please. This is my favorite site on the web.

Topic by topic with enough detail Rex explains all the aspects step by step. Your foundation will be solid after reading through his site then log in here and bang the membership with detailed questions. Save yourself some time really by gaining the fundamentals reading a formatted how to guide written by a hobbyist.

Rex is off grid at the moment so don't order anything from his site store without current contact being made first. FYI He was one big time poster here for a long time and one of the first regarding dry fert use. The information provided on his site is rock solid. Really a well put together starting point on planted tank keeping.

Dry ferts will be a years worth for what you spend on a single ready made order which is mostly a pretty bottle and a LOT of water.
Not as hard to understand as most think starting out.
Hope This Helps

UGH! almost forgot!!!! Welcome to the site
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hello, after reading the above link about low tech tank, it seem that fit my goal which is no water change, low maintance, no co2 , dry fert.

Currently , i'm lookin at this
Macro Micro Nutrient Mix

Macro Micro Nutrient Mix 1 lb contains 1 part each of Potassium Nitrate, Potassium Sulfate, Magnesium Sulfate, Plantex CSM+B. See mixing and dosing instructions in the FAQ's.

This is the right stuff for my set up?

thank you for all the support, great site with good info.
 

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Low tech can mean many different things depending on who you ask. For most people it means no injected CO2 and can include EI dosing and Excel.

Some people consider low tech to include DIY CO2.

Others say low light, no added ferts aside from substrate and fish poop.
A low tech tank, without co2, you would NOT want to be doing weekly water changes (which the EI method requires to prevent nutrient build-up). Plants need the stability of no water changes in a non-co2 tank to out-compete algae, since algae adapts much quicker to changes in the water column while plants take weeks to adapt to changes.

This is what I mean by "low tech" tank (no wc's, low dose ferts, lower light, etc): Tom Barrs low-tech method

05black6mtc, I'd order from REX GRIGG's site to get the dry ferts (macros) like wkndracer suggested, very inexpensive, if you are doing the Tom Barr low tank method, get the Seachem Equilibrium somewhere online for your micros, easy enough.
 

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A low tech tank, without co2, you would NOT want to be doing weekly water changes (which the EI method requires to prevent nutrient build-up). Plants need the stability of no water changes in a non-co2 tank to out-compete algae, since algae adapts much quicker to changes in the water column while plants take weeks to adapt to changes.
Thats why I suggested the EI method with Excel. Excel provides the CO2 source and stability. Tom Barr lays out several different methods including the no WC, low dose fert method Here As soon as I kill BGA I have in my tank I will be starting the EI Less techy folks method with the addition of Excel as my CO2 source.

Unless the OP reduces his lighting to be in the low light category the no WC, lose dose fert method won't work because he has too much light.
 

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05black6mtc, I'd order from REX GRIGG's site to get the dry ferts (macros) like wkndracer suggested.

DO NOT QUOTE ME UNLESS YOU CAN READ AND UNDERSTAND WHAT I POST!!!

bold text in my original post
"Rex is off grid at the moment so don't order anything from his site store without current contact being made first."

I can't believe my eyes sometimes
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
About the lighting..Odysea
78w t5ho 23-24" off from substrate to bulbs.(15" tank - 2" substrate + 11" hanger for light fixture)

According to this chart i'm at medium light, but this chart is measured with a GOOD reflector. from what i read, odysea reflector are not that good so that will make my lighting @high/low or low/med im corrected?

Can anyone confirm if i could take out one bulb or not on this particular fixture?

Again, about the dry fert. as im a newby. i would like the KISS style approach(keep it simple st685d)

Will this mix works for my set up in the long run.

Currently , i'm lookin at this
Macro Micro Nutrient Mix

Macro Micro Nutrient Mix 1 lb contains 1 part each of Potassium Nitrate, Potassium Sulfate, Magnesium Sulfate, Plantex CSM+B. See mixing and dosing instructions in the FAQ's.
 

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enjoy the advice of our well meaning membership but try not to let anyone push you into the deep end of the swimming pool to fast LOL

GLA is a good place to trade with and most dry ferts are priced about the same site to site. What I do is listed below.
With this substrate I would add new root tablet supplements ever 3 months or the rooted plants will suffer.

I dose a CSM+B plus Fe solution (do forget from time to time)
500ml bottle (I double everything but the Glut for the 1000ml bottles)
14.4g CSM+B
35g GLA Fe 11% DPTA
30ml Excel (actually Glut) this eliminates fungus growth in the bottles.
Mixing a new bottle of soup it takes about two days for everything to stay in solution.
I shake the bottle a couple of times a day and turn it upside down to see if anything settles.

I'd say dose about 15ml twice a week starting out as your tank is non injected.
All other ferts go based on tested levels. WC's as needed NOT scheduled.
2-5ppm PO4 and 15-30ppm NO3 target. K2SO4 weekly for 15ppm if I don't do a WC.

WC is done based on rising TDS readings or the parameters getting hosed up.

Leave the light alone and see how things go, raise it or cut back on the time if algae is a PITA.

Look at Barrs low tech dosing after understanding whats written on Rex'x site.
I'll post back what would be on my shopping list with an empty fert cabinet.
 

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My trace has a TON of Fe in it as an FYI but it works for me.
Following the ratio I use you'll run out of CSM+B years after you run out of Fe based on the ordering options on that site.

Shopping list:
CSM+B Plantex 1 lb
Potassium Sulfate 1 lb. K2SO4
Potassium Nitrate 1 lb. KNO3
Iron Chelate 13% 8 ounces (EDTA as chelator) *** see comment above ***
KH2PO4 ?? Didn't see this on the preferred site you linked but I keep it and dose it more than NO3

Excel starting out look for it on sale and later when you feel OK messing with chemicals look into finding some 'Glut', bunch of folks post about mixing ratios and source's of supply.

The dosing part of Rex's site including the mixing for solutions is very helpful,,,
but don't buy anything until he is responding to emails and PM's which hasn't been in over a year.
 

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This is basically what I will be shooting for with my 29 gallon tank, which I would call medium lit. Its 18" tall tank with a dual T5NO about 1-2" above the tank.

If I were starting this tank from scratch I would first not be using the T5NO and I would be setting up the tank as low light/low tech using the method you first mentioned.
 

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Duh...not sure how I missed that Kamikaze...same thing as you said earlier (excel + wc's). I just don't have the time for weekly wc's anymore, but still want a healthy planted tank. I'm okay with slow plant growth. I use one of these AquaticLife T5HO, but I run only one side of the lights at a time for lower watts, for 3 hours each side (total 6 hours ). (2 of the 4 bulbs are on for 3 hours each, 1 10K and 1 6.7k). Sounds like your light setup won't let you run just 2 of the bulbs at a time or you could go lower light/tech.

Sorry to hijack your thread as well OP
 

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Duh...not sure how I missed that Kamikaze...same thing as you said earlier (excel + wc's). I just don't have the time for weekly wc's anymore, but still want a healthy planted tank. I'm okay with slow plant growth. I use one of these AquaticLife T5HO, but I run only one side of the lights at a time for lower watts, for 3 hours each side (total 6 hours ). (2 of the 4 bulbs are on for 3 hours each, 1 10K and 1 6.7k).
I just a took a few moments to read most of both of Sudeeps articles we have been referring to and they are written very well and do organize things probably in the best way I have seen so far. Makes it pretty easy for the newbie to understand.

I especially like how he talks about how many watts per gallon to shoot when using CFLs b/c they are my preferred lighting method now.

Thanks for sharing these and I will definitely be sending people to them depending on the setup they are looking to have.
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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Thanks for the tips and suggestions...

1-I'm still looking for more plant.....
2-I'm ok with dosing excel/Flourish if needed , but how do i know if i needed?
3-Can this Odysea be operated with just 1 bulb in place? will it mess up the ballast or anything, because if i could then the fixture will be on top of the tank.

I did have brown algea cover the ground and leaves in the first couple weeks but that was with 40 watts of high power leds (10wx4) sitting on top of the tank 12hrs/day.

Right now there are now more sign of brown algea, most of melted plants are show sign of new growth, new runners, new leaves... and they are not getting cover in brown algea like before.

So work in progress for now would be add morrrrrreee plants and wait correct?

Thank you
1- Have you checked the sticky at the top of this forum for plant suggestions?

2- Excel is useful with stringy types of algae (BBA, staghorn, hair...). Warped leaves, pinholes in leaves, discolorations are things to look out for in terms of nutrient deficiencies.

3- IDK about your fixture, try it and see. If it lights up, it works. :hihi:

A few Nerite snails and/or Otocinclus catfish are fantastic at dealing with brown algae.
 
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