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EI and high fish loads

Discussion in 'Fish for Planted Tanks' started by Tom Barr, Apr 11, 2007.

  1. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Well, seems all anyone cares about are photo's so here's a tank I've done for a client that's been up and running about 2.5 years now using plain old EI, high fish load and relatively slow growers. Fish health is impeccable and Cardinals, Rummy noses, Emperor tetras, 10 different rare plecos species/3 other cats, otto cats, Corys, Rose line barbs, Large Silver hatchets, Noemacilius botia, gold dojo have been gowing and eating well for some time now.

    This tank had a dosing fertilizer unit on it, but the folks there dose 2x a week and feed well, I feed and dose once a week, works pretty well.

    The glass has never had any algae issues, some BBA appeared initially, adding more CO2 addressed that. There are about 900 fish in here. 500 Cards and 250 Rummy noses, 50 Emperor tetras, 5 newly added Rose line barbs(look like the rummy's for now till they grow). Plain flourite substrate. I used the green geko crypts in the front because on the larger plecos knocking most other plants loose there(it';s the only things that's survived their onslaught). There are 4 A. adonis black satan plecos in here that do extremely well as well as several awesome species of pleco(4 mango, 2 vampire, 4 P leopardus, 2 S aureum, 3 peppermint, 5 S multipunctatus, 2 long fin bushy nose, 4 Gold nugget, 4 gold spot, 4 P pulcher, several others that escape me). There are 40 Cory Panda and 6 C. adlofi. 3 Large SAE's I cannot catch or kill (yet).


    The wood is alder and mazanita, the rock is the grey suiko rock from China. Wet dry filter, 1 large Ehiem canister filter, 2xCO2 reactors fed directly into the return pump. One intake in an overflow, one at about gravel level.
    Water change:50-70% weekly. GH: 8, KH 5.
    CO2 about 8 bubbles a second.

    NO3: about 25ppm before water change. PO4 about 2ppm before water change , K+ about 30ppm before water change.

    redobne40820073.jpg

    sideview350redone408.jpg

    resizedcards4082007.jpg

    redonesideview4082007.jpg
    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
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  2. sherry

    sherry Guru Class Expert

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    I do have to admit to loving the photos, but I read the non-illustrated posts as well!. The tank is amazing. I wish I had a larger apartment, I'd tackle at least a 180.

    Beautiful job Tom.
     
  3. MTechnik

    MTechnik Junior Poster

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    So, you dose it just as you would a lightly stocked tank of the same size? Or do you make adjustments to the plan?

    -MT

    EDIT: And it's damned gorgeous!
     
  4. AquaticJim

    AquaticJim Guru Class Expert

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    Out of interest what are the dimensions of this tank ?
     
  5. dantra

    dantra Lifetime Charter Member
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    Now that’s an enclosed eco system. I also read the non-illustrated post as well :D but love the pictures. Feeding has to get expensive after a while, especially if they’re being feed live foods. Interestingly enough, that tank doesn’t have ada as. Kudos, everything looks great.
     
  6. AquaticJim

    AquaticJim Guru Class Expert

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    Can someone link me to the non-illustrated post please ?
     
  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Getting the caretakers to dose is a challenge. They canned one guy because he stopped dosing for 3 weeks(I can tell as I have maked labels on the containers to make sure! Lesson's learned the hard way, hehe, you are not going to lie your way out of this one and blame me for it! Out think the weasel and let them hang themselves when things go bad), so the tank just got a once a week dosing.
    Bga and a little hair algae popped up, then the CO2 tank ran out about a day or so after I left:rolleyes:

    Such is life.
    But 3 weeks later it's whipped back into shape even with 3 nasty algae species and some aggressive pruning, Excel, and good dosing for the plants.

    I swapped some species around and changed the layout more so things are looking nicer scape wise, those giant 8" long A adonis black statan plecos uproot and destroy any finer rooted foreground plants. Even the Anaubias nana have a tough time.
    I like them though and so does the client, so we have to work around some things and have trade offs.

    Some idiots make scape comments about the tank without having to deal with the trade offs here such as the fish load or the destruction that some fish do weekly.
    It's worth it and the tank still looks awesome.

    The client has been very pleased for years now.


    The tank is 26" Tall, 24"Deep, 96 Long, but you have a 2ft block due to the wood cab built in, which is unfortunate.

    the client had talked about doing a 36" tall tank and removing it.

    I'd use ADa As then.

    But the tank works well and is easy to care for as is, so there's little change in the future except perhaps going to all Flourite Black.

    Dosing Standard EI, 3x a week
    Heavier on the traces/PO4 the day or the water change.

    Food: all frozen and dry.

    There's 4 larger and fast grow Rose lines, I might get 3-4 more.
    They blend well.

    I'd like to get some more pencil fish, they add to this community very well.

    BTW, I have my own tank in the plan coming up here.:eek:
    Yay!

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  8. AquaticJim

    AquaticJim Guru Class Expert

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    Thanks for the info, the pics are awesome. I'd love to see more.
     
  9. AquaticJim

    AquaticJim Guru Class Expert

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    Tom, why would you like to harpoon the SAE's for? What are they doing?
     
  10. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    The tank is now looking better after a few weeks of abuse.
    Takes several weeks sometimes to get it back to normal.

    Due to the folks not touching the CO2 or other things, if you happen to run out of CO2 say the day after you leave, then 6 days later, you come back to a mess.

    So such tanks can be a challenge.

    But lately, the tank is looking very good and an investor might be interested in getting a tank like this one.

    I let the L aromatica grow out and fill in nice and let the Myrio and the R indica fill in more, the scape is finally coming together, the foreground gets mauled and raped by the plecos. Hard to keep anything there, so the open "dutch" approach works best.

    regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  11. Sintei

    Sintei Lifetime Charter Member
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    1000 words by Barr= 500 "more" and 500 "CO2".
    A picture says more than 1000 words. ;)
     
  12. kresearch

    kresearch Junior Poster

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    Speaking about leaving your tank out of CO2 supply for 6 days... reminded me that I've just purchased Aquacontroller III from Neptune Systems. They say this piece of h/w can be configured to send e-mail alerts and also has a built-in web server. There is another one called LightHouse which is cheaper and does similar work. I hope something like this can solve your problem (and help your clients from firing their staff for not fertilizing the tank ;) )
     
  13. Crazy Loaches

    Crazy Loaches Guru Class Expert

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    Tom, if you dont mind me asking, could you elaborate on the amounts dosed (weekly total is fine)? I ask because the dimension of that tank are only 1" taller than mine (GC 240) and there was some debate about dosing trying to correlate EI to the larger tanks.
     
  14. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Actually the tank is 29X29X96 with a large sump and maybe another 50-60 gallons.
    So about 400 Gallons really.

    Typical dose:

    1 table spoon KNO3
    1.5 Tsp KH2PO4
    200mls of TMG

    GH booster 1.5 table spoons on water change day

    Also, less is dosed due to large well fed bioload.
    I'll post some of the critters later.

    I had a mishap in the past where the autodoser dumped in 3 week's worth of KNO3 in 24 hours. So the NO3 was well over 160ppm for several days(6).
    I did not lose a single fish.
    A similar thing happened with SeaChem flourish and I added 2.5 liters of straight flourish to this same tank without issue.

    All the automation is fine etc, but it can still fail, you must have back ups to prevent such things.

    Still, as the tank was fine to begin with, eg, a good control tank for comparison purposes....something few whiners who claim EI levels are bad for fish ever seem to be able to do and seem to omit curiously............you casn easily realize that such high levels are not bad over relative short time frames with rather sensitive species.

    While it does not say why the whiner's fish died, it does not have to, there could be many reasons for fish deaths that have absolutely nothing to do with planted tanks in the first place..........
    All it says, it cannot be due to short term high spikes of nutrients, nor long term EI range levels, even with high bioloading.

    Who knows why the whiner's kill their fish? I do not have that issue :cool:
    They do. I have good filtration, good maintenance, good weekly water changes, well fed fish, basically a good environment for the fish and really fun tank to gaze at all day.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  15. Crazy Loaches

    Crazy Loaches Guru Class Expert

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    Ok, your original dimensions you gave for the tank were a tad smaller... I take it was a typo and the 29x29 is correct?

    And 200mls of TMG :eek: wow thats a lot! So thats 600ml weekly? So a 5L bottle last the tank 8 weeks?

    My 240 will also be heavily stocked so I was going to use yours as a template being that it was only 1" taller, but if its 29*29 then I'll probably cut down the amounts slightly.
     
  16. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Yes, cut down some from this template, also, I dose a little differently here and there to see responses.

    Then settle in on one, but many other issues come into play that I can not account for every post.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  17. Crazy Loaches

    Crazy Loaches Guru Class Expert

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    Ok, inlcuding sump I am using a 280g figure to compare my tank to this one which is a ratio of 0.7:
    2.1 tsp KNO3 x3 weekly
    1.05 tsp KH2PO4 x3 weekly
    140ml TMG x3 weekly (same for flourish???)

    I multiplied by 3 and divided by 7 to get daily amounts (dosing all ferts daily), then multiplied by 30 to get what I need to put in my 2.5g monthly jug my dosers will use. (9tbsp KNO3, 4.5tbsp KH2PO4, and 1.8L TMG). if you have any further input please let me know.

    Back to the topic though... One last big detail you havent mentioned about the tank... I'm very curious to know what the light setup is, as this tank is also similar to what I am trying as far as plant species.
     
  18. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    The light is 4x150 W and 8x55W PC's.
    This is 12" above the water's surface.

    About 450 [at the water's surface] micromols.
    It's also packed with fish, plants and a huge filter(large W/d and two huge sponges, 2x Ehiem 2260's. 500lbs of black flourite (2 hours after a replacement of the normal flourite)

    Redonebckflourite.gif

    fish2607.gif

    replanted26.gif

    Out of about 1000 fish, ,looks like I lost one cory and one rummy nose, not bad for all the moving and removal of a 3 year old sediment, they where likely crushed, hit when adding, removing gravel, rock or wood.

    The fish where left in the tank.

    EI is pretty much run in this tank however and the dosing have been done for long time frames with no ill effects on behavior or growth.

    In most cases, since the client's feed the fish often and lot, the growth exceeds that of many so called lean tanks that some folks hover over.

    Fish have higher growth rates, so that + no behavioral issues, nice schooling etc.....sort of makes the case that the clowns that make claims that high EI nutrients are bad, either on the short of long term.....are full .....of fish chowder.

    I do not need to prove why they kill their fish, there's no way to show cause for everyone's tank and all the reason's why they kill their fish, that's not a practical method nor possible, I do not even try.............however, when someone says something specific, like 30ppm of NO3 is bad for fish, shrimp or plants, or induces algae, I can clearly prove otherwise............

    They have no control to compare their results with, thus their results as well as their conclusions are serious and fatally flawed in the logic.

    You have to be able to produce a control to test and experiment.
    If not, or if all you have is to barely get a method to work and teeter tot with a balance, then you really are not able to experiment.

    Love it or hate it, that is the reality when it comes to figuring out and solving real issues in a meaningful manner. Folks will argue about testing, doing all this work and monitoring till the cows come home, then are too lazy to set up a rather simple test.

    I explain my methods, my results and my conclusions rather straight forward and tell folks how to repeat the same experiments to rule things out step by step.

    You can tell very well if you have done an experiment and done it a few times, where and how if someone else has or not, they are willing to talk/explain the methods and results, they know how to set up the experiment.

    It's very much like the PO4 experiment.
    Everyone, and I mean everyone thought 10 years ago that excess PO4 = algae in all cases.

    You add it to test and see with an otherwise non limited tank (except for PO4), wait and see.

    No algae after several months, dramatic plant growth, the conclusion is pretty straight forward there.

    Exact same logic here, the claim is that high NO3, PO4, Fe whatever the parameter of interest may be to an otherwise stable non limited tank and see what happens as you add more/less over a wide range of interest.

    The logic is no different.
    What's weird is that some aquarist will argue with me and fully understand the PO4 test, yet fail to see and do/test the other parameters and believe that NO3 at 20-30ppm is bad for fish, or that 30ppm of CO2 is bad etc. They mess something up, then blame me and EI. Many things are like this in life :D

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
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  19. Crazy Loaches

    Crazy Loaches Guru Class Expert

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    Wow that must have been some chore changing out that substrate... especially with water and fish and all still in. I really think I'd like the flourite black and probably better for some of the root feeders in my tank than the PFS I used. I do have to do a complete re-scape once I get enough plants anyway... but it just seems to be that would take an incredible amount of work and I'd hate to waste the sand I bought, but I suppose I could buy some rubbermade totes or something to store it for another tank. I wonder what kind of nasty mess it would be though stored long term if not completely clean/dry.

    Oh, and please do get a couple more shots if you can, since the first ones look great but water is still cloudy. I'd love to see it sparkling clean :)

    And I assume you think this flourite black sand is decent for tanks with active bottom dwellers (since this tank still has all those plecos right?) I remember you saying AS was a bad choice with such fish - does the flourite black seem to stay down well and is heavier, like regular flourite?
     
  20. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    This is the tank 3 weeks later:
    resized3rdweek4.jpg

    resized3rdweek5.gif

    resized3rdweekafterredo1.jpg

    It still has about 8 weeks to go before things really settle down.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
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