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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I currently have a 29g Bolivan ram tank that is "planted". I have a pressurised system(that I basically had laying around, since it was on my old college kegerator...) and I have 70 watts of lighting.

My substrate is silica sand.

My questions start here. I am currently using my magnum 350 as my co2 reactor. I'm seeing a huge change from day to night in ph levels. Is there a cheap way to manage this...


Also, what would be a better alternative for my substrate? I have fertilizer tabs in there, but I know it could be better, I'm just lost. I've read so much that has contradicted itself that I'm completely lost.

Also, I know 70 watts isn't great, but what should I go for with my co2 levels concerning this lighting.

Sadly, and basically, I need someone to tell me what to do. I've kinda just added plants, don't know what most are, some water sprite, some anacharis, some of those cheap bulbs, but I want to take the time to make this a good looking, stable, happy tank.

Also, how about dosing? basic? cheap? complex? anything.

\
i know, you all get a lot of these questions, but in every forum I've attempted to get help, they've given me shotty advice then pointed me here, so I finally stopped just looking around here and sucked it up and decided to ask...


Thank you so much in advance.
 

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Just have the CO2 run 24/7. Start at 1 bubble per second and bump it up slowly. You can use a drop checker and aim for 30 ppm.

70 watts over 29 gallons is 2.4 WPG which isn't that bad, actually....with pressurized CO2 at a constant level, you'll be fine.

What kind of substrate are you using now? ADA AquaSoil would be the "best" substrate to use, but you can also use Flourite, Eco-Complete, etc..
 

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I currently have a 29g Bolivan ram tank that is "planted". I have a pressurised system(that I basically had laying around, since it was on my old college kegerator...) and I have 70 watts of lighting.

My substrate is silica sand.

My questions start here. I am currently using my magnum 350 as my co2 reactor. I'm seeing a huge change from day to night in ph levels. Is there a cheap way to manage this...


Also, what would be a better alternative for my substrate? I have fertilizer tabs in there, but I know it could be better, I'm just lost. I've read so much that has contradicted itself that I'm completely lost.

Also, I know 70 watts isn't great, but what should I go for with my co2 levels concerning this lighting.

Sadly, and basically, I need someone to tell me what to do. I've kinda just added plants, don't know what most are, some water sprite, some anacharis, some of those cheap bulbs, but I want to take the time to make this a good looking, stable, happy tank.

Also, how about dosing? basic? cheap? complex? anything.

\
i know, you all get a lot of these questions, but in every forum I've attempted to get help, they've given me shotty advice then pointed me here, so I finally stopped just looking around here and sucked it up and decided to ask...


Thank you so much in advance.
Your lighting is good. 2-3 wpg will allow you to grow most anything, when you go higher than that things can go off-balance more quickly.

The pH will fluctuate a bit from day to night. What is the kH of your tap water?

Are you fertilizing the water column?

Plant heavily.

Take a look at this guide: http://rexgrigg.com/index.html and start form there. Read the forum and keep posting!:proud:

Welcome to Planted Tank
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
All I have right now is pure silica sand, nothing "beneficial" to plants. By running the co2 constantly, don't I have to worry about it lowering my ph when the plants aren't using it? Or no... Where can I get a drop checker? What exactly is it?

What is the most economical substrate? Where can I get the aquasoil. Locally all I have are big box stores and some pretty junky LFS.
 

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All I have right now is pure silica sand, nothing "beneficial" to plants. By running the co2 constantly, don't I have to worry about it lowering my ph when the plants aren't using it? Or no... Where can I get a drop checker? What exactly is it?

What is the most economical substrate? Where can I get the aquasoil. Locally all I have are big box stores and some pretty junky LFS.
It's fine to run it 24/7. Get a kH test kit and test the kH of your tap water. The only concern is if your kH is really low, then you want to ensure you don't have a pH crash.

You can get an inexpensive drop checker here:http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/swap-n-shop/44423-fs-co2-drop-checkers.html.

This thread explains the principle: http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/...aquarium-projects/32100-diy-drop-checker.html

How many inches of sand substrate do you have in there? You don't need to totally switch it out, you can mix it. You don't want to use Aquasoil if you already have fish in there. You would also be ok leaving the substrate as is. A lot of people use sand. The plant will have to get it's nutrients primarily from the water column.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It's fine to run it 24/7. Get a kH test kit and test the kH of your tap water. The only concern is if your kH is really low, then you want to ensure you don't have a pH crash.

You can get an inexpensive drop checker here:http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/swap-n-shop/44423-fs-co2-drop-checkers.html.

This thread explains the principle: http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/...aquarium-projects/32100-diy-drop-checker.html

How many inches of sand substrate do you have in there? You don't need to totally switch it out, you can mix it. You don't want to use Aquasoil if you already have fish in there. You would also be ok leaving the substrate as is. A lot of people use sand. The plant will have to get it's nutrients primarily from the water column.
If this is the case, where is a good place to start on learning about dosing, that isn't in increadibly technical jargon... Where should my gh/kh be, also trying to maintain a ph of around 6.8 to 7.
 

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If this is the case, where is a good place to start on learning about dosing, that isn't in increadibly technical jargon... Where should my gh/kh be, also trying to maintain a ph of around 6.8 to 7.
Do you know if your water is really soft? If the kH is over 3, I wouldn't worry. Did you check out this site?: http://rexgrigg.com/index.html
Look under nutrients. Is this helpful?

Do you have a kH and pH test kit? Check out the CO2 chart in the sticky under Water Parameters.

HTH
 

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If this is the case, where is a good place to start on learning about dosing, that isn't in increadibly technical jargon...
Since you have CO2 running now and a decent amount of light, it's imperative that you start fertilizing. You should probably for now buy Seachem ferts and follow their guidelines. You can get away with just buying Flourish and Potassium for now.

Fertilizing can be confusing at first because there are a lot of different dosing strategies. Which strategy you choose will depend on your tank, your objectives and your lifestyle. Spend time getting familiar with the different strategies so you can pick one that will work for you. You can learn about them on the forum.
 

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Sorry, meant that I was using seachem flourish. Is that not dosing the water column?
That's great! That's dosing the water column. Use their guidelines and closely watch your plants for signs of deficiencies; you can add more or less by those signs.

Flourish contains micro elements. It doesn't contain the macro elements: nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. You are fine with providing nitrogen and phosphorous by way of your fish and fish food but potassium needs to be supplied. You can supply this with Seachem's potassium (easiest and more expensive) or by buying K2SO4 dry fert, which you can get from Rex Grigg. In the long run, you'll want to buy all your ferts as dry in bulk; it'll be a lot cheaper.
 

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Ok. So when I'm ready in the future, what dry fertilizers will I need to buy? Was it rex's site that had the combo of all of them that I would need?
You will need:

Plantex CSM+B That will take care of your trace minerals + iron
K2SO4 That will provide potassium

KNO3 supplies nitrate
KH2PO4 supplies phosphate

The first two are absolutely essential.

Nitrate and phoshate, on the other hand, are already being supplied in limited fashion to your plants by way of fish poop and fish food respectively. You should buy KNO3 and KH2PO4 but tailor it to fit the requirements of your aquarium. Unless, of course, if you are planning to use the EI method of dosing, then they are essential.

Yes, the ferts are on Rex's site.
 

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