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co2 Installed, lighting or dosing next?

Discussion in 'Are you new to aquatic plants? Start here' started by Turketo, Aug 9, 2008.

  1. Turketo

    Turketo Junior Poster

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    As this is my first post I'd like to offer as much background as I can.

    I run a 65g mid-tech setup that intially had a lowlight DIY setup, then a mixture of CBF and irritation with yeast activation provoked me to buying a proflora 2kg co2 cylinder with JBL regulator and bubble counter.

    At the same time I upgraded my substrate from 4-5mm gravel to a 2 inch layer of light peat and dolomite under boiled Earthworm Castings, topped with a inch of gravel mixed with EC (This was a mixture of a techniques suggested by Mr Barr and another poster Niman)

    I also upgraded my lighting to the dual fluro dalbarb fixture (60w) and opted for a mix of aqua-glo and power-glo bulbs.

    [​IMG]

    My tank is a community tank filtered with a established fluval 305. Unfortunately during all the transition I lost the vast majority of my water column (on my carpet) As I had no algae outbreak I made the mistake of blindly dosing with Nutrafin Plant Gro, which I blame for the yellowing and burning of my Java fern.

    I was advised by my LFS to change out my java fern for Blue Stricta, Val and Dwarf Pongol.

    I understand that 60w to my 65g is still a lowlight setup, but as I am still feeling the sting of co2 on my wallet am curious as to whether I should run with dosing until I can afford a T5 setup.

    If you could offer some advice or guidance on where to from here, I'd be most appreciative. And if there is further information I should layout or have overlooked let me know.

    *Edit: Is should add that I am not "like a child who wanders into the middle of a movie..." I have read up on both the EI and PPMD and all the other fun stuff that makes my brain hurt to read.

    *Further Edit: Upon conducting a rigourous call around it has become evident that finding KNO3 in Australia will be an uphill battle, furthermore compounded by our new states anti terrorist measures. boo!

    Regards,

    D Turketo
     
  2. Carissa

    Carissa Guru Class Expert

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    If you are running co2 you would do well to dose, even at lower lighting levels. Depending on plant mass, you could do 1/2 EI or something like that.

    Is mail order an option for you? I'm not sure if Rex Grigg will ship to Australia, he at least did ship to Canada for me. It cost me $20 shipping and all so very economical.

    Welcome to Rex's Guide to Planted Tanks
     
  3. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Wow! That is a beautiful aquascape! Why do anything any different from the method you used to produce that?
     
  4. ccLansman

    ccLansman Guru Class Expert

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    i agree with vaughH, why change a good thing? :)
     
  5. Turketo

    Turketo Junior Poster

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    Thank you both. The reason I am asking is because the new vegetation yellowing or coming in pale. In the case of the dwarf grass it is yellowing at the tips, and in the stricta's regard new vegetation is clumped up and quite pale compared to the old foliage. Which by my reading suggests a deficiency.

    Whilst calling around I have managed to make contact with a produce suppiler who would be willing to sell me a few kilos of KNO3, so it looks like EI might be the ticket, failing that I will try PPMD which is available in crystals.

    By injecting co2 and making my own substrate I have entered new territory and appreciate any advice offered. Has anyone had any experience with the following t5 fluro lights? and is the 8x too excessive for a 65g?

    3ft 4 x39w

    3ft 8 x39w

    Also, I have had a recently conversation with LFS guy who advised me to include some low kelvin (6500k) bulbs in the new lighting to promote growth, which is interesting because he sold me hagen "glow" series bulbs (10,000k and 16,000k) less than 6 months ago. It is wise to attempt to cover as much of the spectrum as possible? stopping at say 16,000k?
     
  6. ccLansman

    ccLansman Guru Class Expert

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    8x 39 = 312, 312/65 = 4.8wpg, this is on the very high side of wpg. If your nutrient and co2 levels are not up to par you may run into some issues. I wonder if the lights are burning the plants, anyone else want to chime in on that note? i know my java fern used to turn black when the lights were too high and the ferns were too near the surface. What are you currently dosing to keep things in check? Sounds like a nutrient deficiency. 16000k is to high for the plants as its too much in the blue spectrum, bulbs for plants are typically 6500k-1000k max. Also just kno3 is not going to do it for EI, and a few kilos? For 1lb lasted me over a year on a 60gal. Also there are plenty of good online fertilizer sellers, a few of which are named on this forum.
     
  7. Turketo

    Turketo Junior Poster

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    I have ordered the 8x39 and requested it only be half loaded with bulbs, and the 4 extra posted as spares. I went with a 2 x 6500k 1x 10000k 1x14000k. Which in theory should provide enough coverage for both my plants to grow, and fish to look their most vibrant.

    Regarding the KNO3, I was talking to a lad who runs a Victorian Based fish supply store. He advised me that there is currently a world wide shortage in potassium, this is due to the Chinese Government closing mining sites around Olympic areas as to lower pollution. The way he explained it suggests that there is shortage of ALL subisiduary metals rendered from Chinese Mining until late in Sept, he can still get some stock but on items and materials is seeing mark-ups of up to 500%!

    And, I have also looked into getting KNO3 off some of the sellers suggested by other forum users, but post Oklahoma Bombing Australia really stepped up it's licensing and monitoring of Potassium Nitrate, and I'd assume ordering it through the mail could potentially wind up in men in black uniforms taking you away and putting you in orange PJ's.

    Also, should I be in the new to aquatic plants section? or Co2 and fertilization section?

    So, I am dosing with Aqua-Pic's plant grow. It's going reasonably well, but I am only on day 2. I will keep you posted.
     
  8. Turketo

    Turketo Junior Poster

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    Results so far have been mixed in success. The aqua-pics has prompted a boom in the blue stricta, which has slowly pined out and new vegetation has dark tips, and pale green foliage yet the nerves have stayed a darker tone. Val and dwarf grass has begun to yellow at tips too.

    Please correct me if I am wrong, but this is indicative of iron deficiency?

    Edit: I took a photo of the issue as my explanations lack somewhat.

    [​IMG]

    EI is off plans for a while due to the lack of KNO3 availability, would PPMD be adviseable in the mean time?

    Also, Java fern is slowly regaining colour, but I am pruning dieing vegetation heavily.
    But, new light hasn't arrived so far so no news on that point.

    Any advice welcome.

    Regards,
    D Turketo
     
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