150 gallon tank

Kevmo

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Jan 23, 2005
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Hi Tom,

Do you have any special words of warning or things to look out for when setting up and maintaining larger aquariums? I am setting up a planted tank for a friend -- 150 gallons. What is your dosing regimen for a tank of this size?

Wattage is 3.23 -- I haven't set it up yet, but I plan to use mostly slow-growers.

Kevmo
 

Tom Barr

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Re: 150 gallon tank

Good mixing of the CO2. Good substrate set up from day one. Lots and lots of plants from day one.

Regards,

Tom Barr
 

Gill Man

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Feb 10, 2005
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Re: 150 gallon tank

Tom, you mention using a good substrate. I've been using Flora Base for about a year now and I was wondering what you thought of if. The Red Sea website doesn't give a detailed spec. What they give is as follows:

Flora Base is patented, scientifically formulated produced from natural volcanic ash-based soil, sintered with other minerals into a soft, porous, granular structure. It contains all of the nutrients required by plants for proper development, guaranteeing ideal (natural) conditions for lasting plant growth. Its soft, porous, granular structure is easily penetrated by growing roots, positively anchoring plants to the substrate while providing immediate access to all of the nutrients. The porous structure also allows plant nutrients to be released to the surrounding water so that no additional fertilizers need be added for at least 6 months. Flora Base is an excellent filter media when combined with an under-gravel filter.


The unique structure of the Flora Base granule enables it to actively absorb floating substances, removing cloudiness from the aquarium water. Flora Base will also act as a pH buffer, mainaining a stable pH between 6.5 and 7.0, which is ideal for almost all aquatic plants. Each 12 Ibs.bag of Flora Base will provide the right quantity for a 10 gallon aquarium.

So far it seems to work fine, I'm not sure which plant nutrients are being released, but my NO3 and PO4 levels have been fine since I started keeping track about two weeks ago. My KH and GH are stable as well. Just wondering what you thought of this stuff.

Thanks in advance.

Gil
 

Tom Barr

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Re: 150 gallon tank

FB tuned to mush after about 1 year. I don't like it. I'm leery of ADA stuff because they are made by the same company which Hikari owns. It's light weight also.

In a CO2 enriched tank, the CO2/N/P/K are long gone after about 2 months in a substrate. You can enrich a substrate and not dose as much to the column if you so chose, but this gains you no advantage(like less lagae etc).

You might spacey and not be able to dose 2-3x a week, in which case non CO2 tanks might fit your habit better.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

Gill Man

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Re: 150 gallon tank

Mine still looks new after a year and 4 months. I'm sure it's used up, though. I checked Carib-Sea's EcoComplete and Seachem's Fluorite and Onyx substrates and they all have micronutrients in them. I was just wondering if Flora Base was being avoided for some reason I hadn't heard of. I was looking to see if there was a good reason to change my substrate in the immediate future, but from what I've read I can't really find one, other than it's messy as h***. Thanks.

Gil
 

Tom Barr

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Re: 150 gallon tank

As far as plant growth, they are all pretty much equal. But if you matianing the water column and have decent porousity in the grans and micro trace metals, I think there's little differences.

I would not remove it, I'd use it till it turns to junk. Messy is bad for me, but that is not plant growth, these are other aesthetic issues, but are important to me at least.

Traces like Zn, Mn, Fe are important to have in a porous substrate, Beyond this, not much else really helps the plant growth.

MPV turface is 8-12$ for 50lbs, the same color as FB, will grow plants the same and last longer. They both weigh about the same.

You can mix sand with the FB/EC/MPV stuff to get a heavier weight, but that causes aesthetic issues unless a good match is found.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

Tom Barr

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Re: 150 gallon tank

the base material, if this case clay, is the same, the ADa stuff has other things added. Power sand is a porous volcanic substratnce with a general fert added. The method caps this with the clay. This keeps the NH4 down there till bacteria convert it to NO3.

Soil and sand methods do the same thing.
Soil is more reductive and maintains the NH4 longer(too reductive for the bacteria to NH4=> NO3). Those bacteria need O2.

That works in the upper layers in diffusion is relatively slow, but any substrate fert last only a few weeks, except traces..........

I can dose KNO3/KH2PO4 right away also to the water column and get the same result.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

Gill Man

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Re: 150 gallon tank

Tom Barr said:
I would not remove it, I'd use it till it turns to junk. Messy is bad for me, but that is not plant growth, these are other aesthetic issues, but are important to me at least.
Regards,
Tom Barr

Messy is understated. Aesthetics are important to me as well and I am getting tired of it, but I just replanted and things are looking up, so, I'll deal with it bit longer. I was just looking for an excuse to rip it out, but since it's not hurting anything... It does make for a natural, aluvial silt look at times if that's something that appeals to anyone.
 

Tom Barr

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Re: 150 gallon tank

IME/IMO it is a step up from Kitty litter,which BTW is clay.
It does well also, substantially cheaper.

Regards,
Tom Barr