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Ada 60p High Tech, Just Trying To Grow Plants!

Discussion in 'Journals' started by T.Smith, May 29, 2019.

  1. T.Smith

    T.Smith New Member

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    Hi Barr people T.Smith here, new to the social aspect of the aquarium community, so i thought I would post a journal about where iam in my journey in learning how to grow healthy aquarium plants.

    Been in the aquarium game for about 3 years. and also a little bit of bonsai on the side. About 2 years ago I started messing around with low tech setups, dabbling a little bit with pressurized co2, tried to do a high tech setup 2 years ago with a 30 watt flood light on a 10 gal tank... it was a disaster, but also was a good learning experience at the time. After only being able to grow java fern and algae successfully I was ready to put the work in, the research, the time and effort into learning how to grow healthy aquarium plants in a high tech setup, and also my old 15 gal tank started getting micro cracks in the glass so it was a great excuse to the miss’s to get a new tank :)

    The new and current setup started 3 months ago. I was doing countless hours watching dave from adu aquscaping and researching forums like the Barr report, just taking all suggestions, and bits and pieces of information from peoples experiences and my own experiences to create my own knowledge base in maintaining a healthy thriving high tech planted ecosystem.

    The current setup
    Ada 60p, substrate consist of ada power sand, bacter 100 and, fluval stratum aqua soil and this is where some mistakes were made. I didn’t know putting a dividing layer of mesh in between the power sand and substrate was a good idea, and now I have power sand all mixed together popping up to the surface every time I move something or plant something. Mistake 2 was adding way to much aqua soil because I was so worried about the design, that was mistake 3 the design. I envisioned 2 hills in the back that sloped down to the front after spending hours trying to incorporate drift wood and rocks everything was pushed flat lol so now I have a flat layer of 16lbs of aqua soil in a 17 gal tank. At this time in the setup I realized I was spending so much time and money in the design when in the reality of things I should know how to grow healthy plants right, that’s the whole point right? to grow healthy plants, so I threw the design out the window, I’m just gonna learn how to grow plants then worry about the design later.

    So now I can move on to the bones of the setup,
    Filter is a marineland magaflow 160 canister, 2lbs of biohome for the bio media and also the stock plastic bio balls I took the carbon bags out after 5 weeks.
    Lighting is 1 aquatic life halo fx110. I started the halo at 40% for 5 hours, currently at 50% for 6 hours. The PAR charts showing about 60-80 par at 50% at “18 from substrate to fixture
    Co2 tank with regulator and solenoid hooked to a wall timer, comes on 2 hours before light come on, shuts off 1 hour before lights go off. Co2 at 35-38ppm using a digital ph tester and lemotte kh test kit for testing co2 levels
    Ro/DI water using gla gh booster to set gh at 5.6dGH and nilocg rekharb to set kh to 3.92dKH, PH with co2 on is around 6.35
    Dosing EI
    using gla ferts. Macros every other day kno3 12.25ppm Kh2po4 3ppm K is somewhere between 25-30ppm because rekharb adds about 10ppm of K per dose. Micros at 0.3ppm on the off days of the macros.
    I was dosing pps pro for about 2 months with little results, just started EI 2 weeks ago with much better results.
    W/C every week 50%-60% with the ro/di mixture with gh/kh boosters. Also adding a dose of stilbilty every week. And MgSO4 1:4 of gh booster.
    Plants- Monte Carlo in the foreground, S.repens, AR mini, cryptocoryne undulata mid ground and ludwigia repens SR in the back ground.
    Fish I have 4 danios and pepper Cory cat fish that made little cat fish currently 8 baby’s and 2 adults and 2 Otto catfish. Feeding daily with some flakes and bug bites.

    With everything being said I’ve been dealing with algae, diatoms started a couple weeks ago which I knew was coming and seems to be almost done with but when that went out GDA came in stronger then the diatoms, and there seems to be a mix also a dark almost black but when you wipe it off seems to have a green undertone, seems to be a mix of the 2 but anyway I’ve been just cutting away the Monte Carlo carpet leaving ugly clumps of Carlo here and there. The ludwigia seems to be taking a bit hit on the lower leaves and the AR mini never stands a chance to the green algae, I’ve been just cutting all the leaves that have algae out when I do the wc and through out the week, algae also making its way to the rocks and walls of the tank. I’ve upped the po4 and turned the lights back down a little and upped the co2 in hopes this bloom will make its way out soon enough. I’m thinking with all the changes with going from pps pro to EI only weeks ago I’m dealing with the effects from that now and tweaking the co2 and EI levels doesn’t help. Also I’m thinking with all of the aqua soil, it’s elevated my organic levels which may be causing the algae issues. I’m thinking the Immature bacterial bed cant keep up with the organics, I was thinking about adding more Bacter 100 directly to the biohome? Maybe adding more stability with w/c’s?maybe add 2 more pounds of biohome to filter media?

    I’ve also noticed there hasn’t been much strong plant growth, i know I’ve only been dosing EI for a couple of weeks but I don’t see the S.repens having consistent plant growth or the AR mini, maybe here and there I might notice them having small spurts of growth but not consistent except the ludwigia but that’s a fast grower. I’ve also been asking myself some questions lately, maybe I’ll just rattle them off see if anyone has any answers to them. Algae covered leaves, can this cause major stunting of growth because of the blockage of radiation? Does the ada power sand effect the water column or just the nutrients in the substrate? Has anyone every had a problem with green leaf aquariums Ferts? I wasn’t sure if pretty much all of the different brands of ferts come from the same place? I do know api nh3 test kit will test positive for nh3 in there KNO3 but it’s a false positive, maybe because nh3 is nitrogen and hydrogen?

    That’s pretty much where I am right now with the setup, learning something everyday. My hopes is to have a healthy thriving tank like Barr or these other amazing tanks out there some day. I love the chemistry and the science behind everything and want to learn as much as I can about this hobby. It has became an obsession for me but an obsession I need.I hopefully have a lifetime to prefect the art. I Hope someone might have a suggestion or comment maybe I’m missing a huge factor I’m just not seeing or this is just a normal algae cycle of the tank. Thank you for reading please feel free to comment. Let me know if I’m on the right path from your experiences, I take all suggestions. Sorry if there’s any spelling errors.

    T.Smith out.
     
    Phishless likes this.
  2. Kyalgae

    Kyalgae Lifetime Members
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    Your goals are good, you want to grow healthy plants, that was my wish when starting into this hobby. You have a lot going on right now. The learning curve can be steep but you'll get there if you persist. You have a lot going on right now!

    Healthy plants won't get algae on their leaves. I remember when I first started out the plants would get algae every week. Now that's no the case they can go months. Tom Barr mentions light as a gas pedal, so I'm guessing you have a whack of that. I know you listed par values but if you're experiencing rapid algae growth cutting light a lot can help slow the crazy down until you get your CO2 and ferts in check. How many inches deep is your substrate?

    Post some pictures if you can they always help.
     
  3. T.Smith

    T.Smith New Member

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    Thank you for the reply I really appreciate it.:) here are some pictures, after getting home for work I noticed some new growth from the AR mini and the new leaves are algae free! When I did my wc on Sunday I took all of the S.repens out of the substrate and literally cleaned every leaf off that had dark colored algae, which was most, so they look pretty green and algae free in the picture. Ludwigia still has algae on the bottom leaves, and the green algae on the rocks which seems to be getting worse every day. I did notice my co2 regular does not hold a consistent rate, it seems like as the tank pressure goes down the bps goes down as well, getting a new regular might be something to look into. The substrate is about “2-“2 1/2 Intches in the front and “3-“3 1/2 in the back, I’m not exactly sure if that’s okay or may cause issues?

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  4. T.Smith

    T.Smith New Member

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    Just doing a mini update on my first journal. It’s been about a week since my first entry, after arriving home today from work I noticed some good plant growth, and healthy, algae free leaves, I might even say thriving plant growth :) the green algae on my rocks seems to be persistently getting worse. Could this be the type of rock? Maybe the rocks are sort of breaking down and deteriorating, and the algae is attracted to this? Anyone have any such experience with this? Also posting some pictures of the new growth this week all algae free leaves :) and the algae covered rocks. Thanks, T.Smith

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  5. Kyalgae

    Kyalgae Lifetime Members
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    Looking good. When you look at regulators there are two main kinds single stage and two stage. A single stage regulator can keep a consistent rate when you have a source of gas pressure that doesn't change. A CO2 canister is a source of gas that changes pressure over time (gets lower), so you need a two stage regulator to keep a consistent flow rate.

    Edit: My source https://industry.airliquide.us/single-stage-versustwo-stage-regulators
     
    #5 Kyalgae, Jun 8, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2019
  6. T.Smith

    T.Smith New Member

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    Thanks for the reply and the knowledge bomb much appreciated, I’m guessing mine is single I tried looking on the website but it dosnt indacate single or two stage so I’m guessing it single, it’s a insta B217 co2 controller
     
  7. T.Smith

    T.Smith New Member

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    This is my 2 month update from my last update on my original journal. I’ve came a long way on this tank and my journey into high tech planted aquariums have become a success compared to my last pictures I posted lol algae has become very minimal thanks to increasing co2 and reduction of organics weekly. My higher bio load required more intensive filter cleaning and vacuuming substrate thoroughly weekly. Reduced dosing kno3 and increased kh2po4 1:1 ratio with higher co2 levels and slightly lower light intensity, increased plant load to the tank dramatically gave me very successful results. I would conclude that it’s never just one thing it always seems like when you think you have it figured out, oh it must be dosing that’s causing algae or co2 or lighting it’s usually many small things combined makes a bigger result and mastering co2 is a game changer thanks for reading! Also pictures posted are 5 days after cleaning and w/c :)

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    #7 T.Smith, Aug 3, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2019
    snarkingturtle and Phishless like this.
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