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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,
This is my first post in PT forums! :D
So I have recently started in the aquatic hobby, about 2 months ago, my first fish was a betta from Wal-Mart! lol
So fast forward to today and now I have 3 tanks, one of which is the subject of this thread. My planted tank is currently set up in a 30+ gal bowfront.

The following is a copy and paste of my thread in Aquatic Central starter thread, which was earlier in the beginning of the month. As my tank has progressed from that point, ill just use this to show you what I started with and the next post I will explain what I am going to attempt to do.

"So far
30 gal bow front tank
Eheim 2234 external canister filter
T5 HO dual lights : 6000k and daylight bulb



100% silica play sand
1 bag eco complete

Dwarf Baby Tears, Hemianthus callitrichoides
Dwarf hair grass
Cyprus Helferi
Alternanthera reineckii v. 'roseafolia'
Echinodorus angustifolia Vesuvius
Nesaea pedicellata 'Golden'
Anachris
One other plant I'm not too sure of



Neon Tetras x 7
Dwarf Gouramis x2
Fancy Guppies x5
Brichardi babies x5
julidochromis transcriptus babies x 5
electric yellow babies x3

This is my first attempt at a planted tank and most of my fish and plants are new, less than a week since inception.
The baby non community fish like the cichlids I will be adding to my 40 gal cichlid tank as soon as they are big enough to withstand the existing cichlids or start bullying my community fish


I used a bit more than half (60-70% RODI and rest tap water) for the tank and when I do water changes, I use about 50/50 mixture for it.

As far as water treatment, I use the typical dechlorinator and for the plant nutes, I use Flourish, Flourish Excel ( as I have to CO2 setup as of yet ) and I have flourish root tabs I have yet to use.
I will be moving in about a month and I wanted to reorganize the tank and add the root tabs then.
I plan to monitoring growth and the effectiveness of Excel in my tank and gauge whether or not to purchase a CO2 setup. (student and on a low budget)"
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I forgot to add in the 1st post that I have learned A LOT from this and aquatic plant central as well as fellow hobbyists in my area who have helped me a bunch. THANKS!

Fast forward to tonight and so far in my bowfront planted tank:


Things have changed a bit.


So as far as water changes go, I try to do it about once a week but I should be doing it more often as I believe that there are too many fish in this 30 gal tank.
Also I've added 3 apple snails as well as 3 bamboo shrimp, only 1 of which survived (shrimp).


Guppies had babies and only 4 have survived lol


These plants are doing very well.


The julidochromis transcriptus are doing very well too.
 

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You have way too much light for a low tech planted tank. With that much light you need pressurized CO2, fertilizing with non-limiting amounts of NPK and trace elements, very good water surface ripple, and good in-tank water circulation. That takes you way out of the low tech area.

An appropriate light would be a T5NO 2 bulb light, similar to the Coralife T5NO lights.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I appreciate the input hoppy.
I am planning on going down that route eventually as I am moving the inhabitants of this tank over to my 40 gallon tank and planning on getting a regulator setup on ebay.
I want to more closely inspect the EI dosing method I saw on one of these forums and try that out.

What do you recommend for surface ripple creation?

In my humble opinion the eheim filter I have is enough water circulation?
Please correct me if I am incorrect in my assumption.

I just did a scrubbing of the tank and gravel vac water change of 50%.

When I checked the water parameters all ammonia nitrite and nitrates were at 0.
 

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I like to use a Koralia type powerhead, aimed slightly up at the water surface, to get surface ripple. You can also use the canister filter outlet directed slightly up at the water surface. The advantage of the Koralia is that it also greatly improves the water circulation in the tank. I don't think just the filter outlet is adequate for water circulation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So I've pretty much moved all of my tanks and also acquired a Red Sea CO2 Pro deluxe kit with solenoid valve along with a 10lb co2 tank.
I have had some difficulty actually setting it up because I have never used a pressurized co2 setup before. The kit I bought did not come with instructions but all of the items were new and I just felt my way through the set up and I think I have it right.

My PH is around 6.6 or 6.8, my water test kit is kind of hard to tell the water looks so similar for both. (API freshwater test kit)
My KH is at 4 dkh.
So co2 is around 30ppm or 18ppm depending on variance of the PH.

I want to now add the "fertilizing with non-limiting amounts of NPK and trace elements"
what do you recommend?
I will see about acquiring a powerhead and per your advice, I have directed the eheim canister outlet toward the surface so that the water exiting causes ripples and waves on the surface but no splashes and bubbles (unless thats a good thing)

Would adding a air pump and powerstone or sponge filter help the water circulation?

Thank you for your help in advance sir :D
 
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