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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
72 gallon bow front
260 Watt CF 6,700k/10,000k Coralife (bulbs still pretty damn new)

Flourite/Medium Gravel mix... was used in old setup... was a little dirty when I put it in... still trying to clean it w/ gravel vac. as I go but it's difficult to do without sucking up dwarf hairgrass occasionally...

switched from Magnum 350 (horrible, horrible filter) to XP4!!! THE BEAST!

As you can see I have the spray bar at the top of the tank, it sprays sorta towards front of glass... I had it pointed downward at grass but it seems like the grass picks up more debris which turns into GBA or something like it...

also got a power head to the other side of the tank, it's rated for like a 30 gallon tank I think that I don't even know if I have it turned up all the way... it sprays right above the gravel and dwarf hairgrass... kinda in direction to other side with filter intake/spray bar...

Basically... I dose Dry Fertz NPK and flourish on opposite days... water change every sunday... I think I take Saturdays off dosing?

I've been leaving my air stone on 24/7 because I need to get another timer and the c02 runs around 2-4 bps right by my airstone... the airstone isn't turned up that much at all... theres not very much surface agitation except for the c02 running up with the air bubbles... so I guess some could be lost but it's diffused through a nice glass ceramic diffuser and my drop checker is green whenever I look at it... and I do see photosynthesis in plants with oxygen under leaves... well mainly on the java fern... on the drift wood...

I don't get it... why is my Java fern doing so damn well but my hairgrass usually struggles with algae growing on each individual little grasslet

and my new hygro type stem plant that I added from my 10 gallon that grows like crazy isn't really growing...

ughh... I'm better then this... I'm thinking that my gravel is too dirty form using it before... this in turn with the air stone on 24/7...

and maybe my lighting is very high... so maybe I need to dose double the amount of dry fertz? and flourish!?

maybe it's iron related? but how can that be I've got flourite and I dose flourish iron once in awhile... lately maybe a couple times a week...

i have 3 medium sized angels and around 50 something rummy nose tetra...

3 german blue ram, a bristlenose... andddd... i dunnoo

I'll post a pic of my tank... let me see how long my light is on...

looks like my light is on for 9 hours a day...

oh and there is some build up of algae on front of tank... not like spot... like it comes off very easily. which if I remember is from a lack of phosphate?

ugh how can this be... I dose 3/4 tsp nitrate, 1/4 tsp potassium sulfate, and 3/16 tsp mono potassium phosphate...

what... the... hell... am I doing wrong...
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·




I tried to do HC before this but it just wouldn't spread that well and got covered with BGA all the time... could never gravel vacc that well with it either because i would suck it up
 

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Children Boogie
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it's most likely your CO2. You have low CO2 and it needs to be distributed around the tank. Are you using 4dKH water in the drop checker? or just plain tank water?

Move the drop checker low by the hairgrass and you'll see you don't have enough CO2 down there.
 

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YOu have a picture of how much you feed the fish and how often?

That's a buttload of fish.

My uneducated guess is you don't need to add any phosphate at all if you feed the fish much. Plant tanks are easier without fish. You'll notice most of the really nice tanks you see pictures of here have a light fish load.

Don't they recommend two diffusers like that on a tank that size?
 

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CO2 and the distribution of it throughout the tank. I'm thinking based on my own experiences lately that it is huge thing overlooked. If you want to hear it from an expert just do a search for any of Tom Barr's posts. Just this week I'm looking at the tank thinking "mmmnn... things just aren't growing as well as I'd like and damn, it that BGA I see?" So I get out the magnum 350 and the UV planning to do a real good cleaning of the tank and I'll be damned if after about an hour of the set up running just about every plant is pearling and low and behold the pH controller says we've got 6.6 when it just seemed like it couldn't get down below 6.8 (I have it set to shut off at 6.5). The reason? Circulation. Now mind you I do have a Hydor Nano and some other brand power head for recirculation but adding the Marineland 350 temporarily made a huge difference. This is in 55 BTW. I just ordered another Nano (they are great little power heads at only 3-4 watts). So turn off the air stone get some power heads to move the water around and I think you'll see a big difference. You might want to look into a better way to get more CO2 into the water-you've got a good bit of light.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
moved my stuff around... dunno if it's really helping with c02 distributed a little better...

what the hell is wrong with my tank is driving me nuts, is 265 watts over a 72 not adequate at that depth for dwarf hair grass? why does my java fern do so well but anything more near the ground kind of struggles...? annoying.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
am I not dosing enough fertz? Dry NPK w/ sunday 20-50% water change, then flourish on opposite days a capful of it... i know that's only for 60 gallonish but I thought that would be fine...

maybe my substrate is just too dirty... ugh... I just want to rip all the hairgrass out and suck the crap out of the gravel until it's sparkling like one of Amano's master pieces because I know it would give whatever I planted in there after that a good head start...

anyways I got my powerhead blwoing my ceramic diffused c02 running quick 3-6 bps

almost as low as it can in the tank it kinda blwos away from the canister intake so I dunno if that can suck up a lot of debris... then I got my spray bar from the XP4 blowing straight and it kinda blows a little bit of the bubbles as they float up... ugh...

this 72 has always been a problem... like the java fern looks amazing... it's really bright green like almost glowing at times... pearls really nicely end of day... but ugh....

my dwarf hair grass... I'm looking at it right now on the not as powerful current side...

looks not so green on a lot of the grasslets... some even maybe a little tiny bit of brown... looks like a lot of mulm in substrate could be a possibility as I look at gravel from the side... the hygro stems that are planted on this side almost lack dense leaves... their kind of spread out some maybe not that straight, kinda curling weird directions...

where the current is more powerful the java fern roots pick up debris which turns into a greyish blue green GBA on them very thin coat....

ugh...

just don't know.

I just want to get my plant mass up very high so it doesn't even matter...

like in my 10 gallon.. I have 95 watt CF over it with c02 injection optional... I need to get a 5 lb tank cause my c02 tank for paintball gun isn't consistent... and guess what... no algae 95% of the time... i have a regular fish load for 10 too... it's just that it's SO dense with a rich carpet of dwarf hair grass that I don't think the algae can even grow cause the plants probably eat nutrients so fast... that is what I want to accomplish in this 72.

Plan:

gravel vac crap out of substrate

possibly plant root tabs for dwarf hair grass...

possibly move all hairgrass to left side and then put down sandwich of riccia for
foreground

Question:

Of all the foreground plants.. dwarf hair grass has done ok...

but it's weird. Baby tears have stayed low and grown well but DWARF baby tears have struggled and been covered with GBA way too fast... even when I bought 50-80 dollars worth of it and planted it nicely...


Final Solution if nothing works...

pull all dwarf hairgrass out... probably have to trash it because it'll be so messed up from pulling it out... gravel vacc substrate like CRAZY... (xp4 should have enough nitrifying bacteria) and plant baby tears... which for some reason in my tank do not grow up but spread out like dwarf baby tears... i remember they didn't have that dark of a green too... my guess...

dwarf baby tears aren't as strong as baby tears, maybe they can grow faster, aren't as effected by gba, i dunno... help me out guys...

why was I able to grow baby tears that spread like dwarf baby tears

but baby tears wouldn't grow that well at all... and got covered by gba relatively quickly...

substrate has been used before and probably was dirty which is a cause of GBA.

gravel vacc, higher dosing, maybe something like 1 tbs instead of 3/4 tbs N, and balanced equivalents to P K , m

Thanks for any feedback, sorry it's long but the tank is driving me nuts
 

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Ok, I'm no expert by any stretch of the imagination but I've had a high tech planted tank for many years-the same tank-since the early nineties. I've seen explosive plant growth, beautiful plants, fish grow into stunning specimens, a whole tank wiped out by CO2 poisoning, horrible algae outbreaks-BGA staghorn you name it. For most of those years I didn't really know what I was doing. Oh, I thought I did. Read books, magazines you know. I've learned more here in the 2-3 years on this forum that I ever did from a book. So...here is what I'm learning/learned: 1). You don't need a lot of light. Oh I know those, MH's look great-had a pair for a long time over my 55.But here's the problem-it's difficult to master CO2 with a lot of light. Now I've got a t5 fixture-108 watts-it's PLENTY! 2). You have to get CO2 dissolved in you water efficiently. I have a 24" CO2 DIY reactor that I built 15 years ago but now I power it with mag 3 pump instead of a little wimpy pump. 3) You need to CIRCULATE the water. This is a work in progress for me-I have a nano Koralia pump and a power head circulating water in my 55 gallon-I've ordered ANOTHER nano. Several years ago I would have thought the one nano is too much current let alone TWO! 4) Don't let crap build up in the tank. I know because I HAVE let it build up-nothing good happens when you do. 5) Dose macros and micros regularly. As I said, I'm no expert. This is what I've learned here. Forget second guessing yourself over whether you added enough of this or that. You need more CO2 DISSOLVED and you need to BLOW it around the tank.BTW your fish will love the current.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ok, I think I might just buy another diffusers and run two on either side with two powerheads blowing in each corner blowing diffused c02

how can I divert c02 off one bottle to two diffusers ?

along with xp4 spray bar going
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
wow, I'm really, really dissapointed...

I went to local fish store today...

http://www.wetspottropicalfish.com/

saw their 72 gallon planted... they had c02 running fast like 2-5 bps range and probably about the same amount of light I have... guess what... they had amazing looking dwarf hairgrass growing but they were using ada soil in theres...

and I know they don't even dose fertz that often because I have asked... maybe Flourish twice a week or so...

it just really pisses me off that I probably am having problems because I used dirty flourite from my past setup and now I probably have to drain close to 72 gallons of water, probably rip out my hairgrass that's pretty weak with weak gba on it out and pretty much scoop out a bunch of flourite... wash the crap out of it and then put it back in... probably end up throwing away my hairgrass unless I think it can be replanted but in most cases when I've taken it out it's pretty weak, dying, gba killing it, comes out tangled, etc... you get the picture...

really depressing...

so I guess I'll end up breaking down tank, taking all flourite out, rinse the crap out of it, buy ADA soil...

then lay down flourite/medium size gravel mix, then a good amount of ada soil on top of that where I want the hairgrass to grow around my drift wood...

I could just see that it was much easier for the hairgrass to spread and grow in the ada soil... I just don't understand how I would gravel vacc that ada soil? like what if theres dirt/old flakes/ fish poop that falls onto the ada soil... I cannot gravel vacc that, I'm sorry but I'll most definitely suck up the hairgrass w/ it...

Question: how do I rinse flourite... should I just put it in 5 gallon bucket and let it run in bathtub for an hour or so? (will any of it overflow in the bucket, like the gravel itself?)

if I do use ada soil on top of the flourite... how the hell am I gonna clean it.

do you think my problem has been dirty flourite? I mean I used it with turtles and fish etc... it must be dirty cause i don't think I rinsed it... maybe ever?

but it is really old so the inital rinse probably isn't a big deal... just dirt from the old tank an stuff... that must be why a lot of the plants struggle that are planted in my tank... UGH.

freakin a. Good lesson to everyone... one little mistake can lead to back breaking water changes for big problem fix.
 

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Ok, I think I might just buy another diffusers and run two on either side with two powerheads blowing in each corner blowing diffused c02

how can I divert c02 off one bottle to two diffusers ?

along with xp4 spray bar going
Ok, you need something besides diffusers-they suck. You need a reactor or needle wheel set-up or a mazzei venturi. And you need to circulate the water by adding power heads. Did you add any? Several other forum members have indicated that they feel it's a CO2 problem too. Don't fixate on the flourite! Ok, maybe it's dirty but that could be a good dirty! ADA soils eventually run out of nutrients, then, they are no better than flourite. Be patient.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
ok i understand that I need a powerhead to pump water through reactor... where is cheapest reactor, don't wanna build one and what power head do I need to hook it up/where do I get line... can anyone help w/ link to these products?

Thanks so much
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
basically can you just give me link to the whole setup so I can buy it, best bang for buck... $100 for reactor on foster smith seems expensive but if theres nothing cheaper thats ok... I will place another powerhead in tank on thursday and check lfs for reactor maybe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
and you don't think it's dirty flourite, you think it's definitely diffuser?

So i'm thinking two powerheads on either side of tank against back wall towards top of tank pointed downwards a little, with a reactor and some pump.

gah, miserable.
 
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