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Am I overlooking anything?

Discussion in 'Are you new to aquatic plants? Start here' started by kcharley, Feb 14, 2009.

  1. kcharley

    kcharley Junior Poster

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    I’m about to make a fairly serious run at having a planted tank. Please let me know if you see me about to make a big mistake.

    The goal is to have a fish aquarium with plants such as Water Sprite(both floating and planted), several Crypt. Balansae, some Apon or Rotala, some Java Ferns and some Anubias. My wife would like some Hornwort but it grows so fast now that I suspect it will get out of control with what I am about to do. The fish are a pair of Gold Angel Rams, an Opaline Gourami, 4 Sunset Platies, 9 Blue Tetras and 4 long finned Serpae Tetras.

    The aquarium is a 22 gal, 24 x 12 x22, with an AH Supply 36W pc converted light strip. I have had to mute the light and dose liquid ferts to keep the algae down until I get my act together.

    The plan is to pull everything out and start by building two hills of ADA AS. The first hill will be 2” to 4” deep along the right back 2/3rds. This will be the area for the Balansae and Apon. The second hill will be 3” to 5” deep along most of the left side. This will be the area for the planted water sprite and maybe a java fern. I will then reinstall the current inert natural tone gravel generally about 2” deep but it will be shallower as it covers the hills. The two hills will be “bridged” by an African root so that the fish can swim through a cave and emerge above the hills. It is a tall root and will reach almost to the surface.

    The Java ferns will flank the opening of the tunnel and the Anubias will be scattered about the rest of the lower area.

    This should give a taller planted area to the back and left with an open swimming area in the right front.

    Filtration will be by a Marineland C220 canister. I’m assembling a pressurized CO2 system plumbed into the intake. I plan on following EI dosing and 50% weekly water changes. The light will be un-muted.

    I’ve already started the canister running alongside the current hob. It was seeded with some cycled media. Next weekend, I’ll insert the ADA AS, gravel, root and plants and start the CO2. The fish will stay in another tank until I’m sure there isn’t an ammonia problem from the ADA AS.

    It sure seems simpler now that I’ve put the plan on “paper”.

    Am I missing anything?
     
  2. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Based on my 45 gallon tank, with about the same depth, with a 55 watt AH Supply light, you should have about 35-50 micromols PAR light intensity, about the same as I have. That seems low, but I have to be very careful to keep good CO2 concentration and distribution to avoid serious BBA problems. So, it will be very important that you keep your CO2 concentration up around 30 ppm or so. I suggest you get a drop checker to make it easier for you to judge the CO2 concentration in the water.

    I don't know anything about that canister filter, but some filters run into problems with CO2 injected into their inlet. You might consider making a simple external reactor for the CO2, and put it in the filter return line. It should work very well for that size tank.
     
  3. kcharley

    kcharley Junior Poster

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    Hi Vaughn,

    Thanks for the heads up on injecting into the canister. As I think about it, I can see an issue if for some reason the CO2 accumulates in the canister. I'll use a reactor on the outlet side.

    I have a DC already. I'll be installing it this week so I can get some experience with it before the CO2 is in.

    Thanks for sharing your experience with the BBA. After I upgraded the light (AH Supply makes a nice kit, IMO), I had a bad BGA problem. I did the 3 day blackout to get rid of it. I used that time to frost a piece of glass in an attempt to tone down the light. The frosting didn't help much by my eye, so I started adding strips of white electrical tape to the frosted glass. It took three strips before I was comfortable the BGA wouldn't come back. So far the muting and dosing has been effective, but I am anxious to get the CO2 up and unmute the light.

    Greg
     
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