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First non-CO2 tank: my experience

Discussion in 'Non-CO2 Methods' started by GillesF, Nov 6, 2012.

  1. GillesF

    GillesF Member

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    Hi

    I set up my father's non-CO2 tank (500l) about 3 months ago. It has a lot of crypts, java ferns and vallisneria in it, so easy plants. Some things that I have noticed though:

    1) The water at my parent's home has a VERY high GH (+25/30). I've noticed that the sand soil is covered with what looks like "calcium flakes". What causes this? Is it the calcium in the water that breaks down and forms a clump?

    2) I have two species of java ferns in the tank: the "normal" one and the "narrow". The normal version does much better than the narrow. The latter has a lot of browning and black spots (CO2). Is this becaue the "narrow" is a more sensitive species?

    3) I have some algae: thread algae and beard algae on the leaves that are near the surface, brown algae on the glass near the bottom/halfway up. I know the first two are CO2 related because they have a higher compensation point at the surface (due to PAR increase). I could add some floating plants to counter this, but wouldn't this increase the brown dust algae which is sometimes correlated to low light?

    Cheers
    Gilles
     
  2. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    #1 sounds like biogenic calcification...
     
  3. jerrybforl

    jerrybforl Lifetime Members
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    The brown spots on the normal JF is where the plantlets come from.

    Brown algae may be diatoms. Just keep the filters clean, and get a cleaning crew...otos, shirmp, etc. It usually comes from new setups. Large WCs also help a lot. I would suggest 2-3 times a week 50>. Use purigen or a micron if you can. This will help catch the diatoms.

    Hope this helps...
     
  4. GillesF

    GillesF Member

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    I thought large WC's are a no-go for non-CO2 tanks?

    And shouldn't the diatoms have disappeared already if they were caused by the new setup? The tank is over 3 months now ...
     
  5. aquabillpers

    aquabillpers Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hi, Gilles,

    Welcome to the NPT (Natural Planted Tank) world. We are in the minority here, but even so we are respected and liked. I think Tom has leanings in this direction, too - he is protective of us as he is to all relatively rare species. :)

    I don't think that a lack of CO2 is causing your algae problem; a nutrient inbalance probably is. Crypts and Java ferns are slow growing; vals can be, Adding more fast growing plants like hygrofilas and hornwort should sop up the extra nutrients on which the green algae are feasting. American flag fish do a great job on removing hair algae.

    How much light and what lind of light do you have?

    Good luck!

    Bill
     
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