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Help me with a fertilizer routine and more with my 75

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by PRSRocker3390, May 10, 2011.

  1. PRSRocker3390

    PRSRocker3390 Junior Poster

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    I'm going to be re-setting up my old 75 gallon planted to more of a light limited system I would say. The specs will be as follows; Filters are a Rena XP3 and Marineland 350 Magnum, with a Koralia 750 for extra movement. The lights are a triple T8 fixture by Aqueon which has nice reflectors, 3 bulbs @ 32 watts each, thinking all will be just Philips 6700k bulbs I get at home depot, any problems with those? I used only 2-3 of them on my last 75 with decent growth, just algae as well since my system was not balanced i'm guessing. Well then I also will have an extra single aqueon T8 fixture again that houses my DIY moonlights but can still hold that extra 4th T8 for the tank if needed. Should I use a 4th T8, maybe as a noon burst if at that? 6700k spectrum as well? Let me know.

    Since I plan on keeping it on the lower light side for the light limited approach, I will also be injecting pressurized CO2 into the tank. I have a basic regulator setup with a 5lb tank and am deciding which is the best way to diffuse it, through a diffuser under the koralia or through a reactor setup to my Magnum 350? Should I even run the second canister, the magnum 350?

    Side note is that substrate will be flourite black sand with root tabs near the heavy feeders like swords and crypts I want, etc. Last but not least, I need some serious fertilizer help. I've always felt I'm either under dosing or over dosing my tanks and always think I've had imbalances in the past since i've yet to have an algae free tank or even one with just no BBA or nasty algae since being in this hobby for a few years now.
    Okay so what should I do? I have dry ferts on hand. I have KNO3, KH2PO4, K2SO4, CSM+B, and even some Seachem Equilibrium. Also have excel on hand just in case. Please help me figure out a routine for this tank. You now have the specs of the tank and what kind of lighting and co2 I have, I feel I really need to just piece this part together. I like the whole low light approach to tanks for the low maintenance part but my last low light tank, kinda the Tom Barr Low Light method, and I went down in a ball of algae flames! The war with algae was out of control and I only used to T8's. Lol. So I figured maybe co2 was a crucial part in it maybe along with ferts. So now I'm adding the CO2 this time hoping to get better results with a low light limited type of system. So I don't want any kind of 50% weekly water changes cause I really don't want to do that with this tank. I want this to be a lower maintenance, limited light, simple beautiful tank. Let me know how much of each fert I should add to the tank, I have a gram scale on hand too! And how often? Every other day, weekly, bi weekly, etc. And how often water changes if you think I need them and how much should be done when I do them?

    I'm working with tap water here and a KH of less than 1 so my pH tends to go down to a 6. Im going to buffer it I guess with crushed coral in my filter, any ideas on a good amount to try for so I get about a 6.5 with a more stable kH around 3 or so on. I'm just also worried of pH swings with the CO2 in the tank. I have some really valuable angelfish I don't want to lose.

    Also if it helps, my fish load is four 8-month old Angelfish, not huge but all over the half dollar size at these point. I also have 20 Rasbora Hets, 9 Rummynose Tetras, and 6 Cardinals. Right now the are all in the tank but will be taken out once I do the substrate switch and new equipment arrangement. The main Rena XP3 will still be running on a bucket of tank water to keep the bio filter alive.

    Plants will be a couple swords, some java fern on driftwood, some anubias nana, various crypts, some chain sword I have for the foreground. Also plan to get some floaters to help fight algae off. What other plants would you recommend I get or is this enough to start? If not, what are some nice stems that will be fast growers and fit in with those other plants.

    So there is all is, at least what I can think of for now. Please give me any help you can to all these issues! Thanks!

    Bryan
     
    #1 PRSRocker3390, May 10, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: May 14, 2011
  2. PRSRocker3390

    PRSRocker3390 Junior Poster

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    Bump for any insight

    EDIT (5/14): It seems like there was some confusion as to what I meant and I noticed those replies were deleted. I just want to clarify what I mean by my questions. With the fertilizer routine question, I'm sorry if anyone is confused. My questions are about limited light tank fert routines and water changes, that was the main idea of what I am asking. I mentioned the low light no co2 fert routine because my old 75 was like that with only 2 T8s over it but was taken down eventually do to BBA. I figured I might as well redo the tank as a light limited tank. Still low light because I am only using T8s still, about 3 I think unless you all think 4. While using that kind of light I figured I would be aiming for a nice 30 ppm-ish area of co2 (measuring with my drop checker of course with 4dkh solution as the reference) being injected in the tank. A koralia or two for extra circulation and flourite black as the substrate. The last thing now was fertilizers. Now I've had a high tech tank with EI dosing but I don't want this tank to be like that. I don't really want that kind of weekly water change but I'm fine with doing water changes. Maybe smaller like weekly 25% or what not. The main reason is the tank being in the living room and all my faucets in the house cannot be hooked up to any kind of python like system because of the faucet types. They can't even be rigged up to a universal adapter type piece. I'm working on getting a water change system like that to work in my house but I have family that doesn't want me changing faucets so I'm stuck with buckets for now. Also my family seems to be against me using all that extra water and my back can't take too much bucket work. This new 75 I feel is still in the low light to low medium light criteria but with just some solid co2 injection. A low light tank with co2 so to say! That's why I'm calling it a light limited tank cause that's pretty much what I guess its like. With optimal co2 and no crazy lights driving up the plants co2 demand, I figure things should be peachy. Just need to figure out a fertilizer and water change schedule. I didn't think the nutrient demand would be high enough for EI dosing anyway. I figured I would be dosing much lower since its a light limited system, no? I'm just trying to figure out how many ppm of each macro needs to be dosed weekly and how many grams or what not of CSM+B should be dosed during a week. Also when should I change water? 25% a week? Every two weeks? 50% every two weeks? I don't know. I've been playing with fertilizer calculators but I don't really know what the uptake rate of this kind of tank would be. All advice and help is appreciated.

    So please take this post in addition to my first post before this into consideration and feel free to help me out. Thank you all!
     
    #2 PRSRocker3390, May 12, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: May 14, 2011
  3. 1077

    1077 Guru Class Expert

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    I cannot help with CO2 application for I have not used it .
    I do have an 80 gallon low light,non CO2,low maint tank that uses the very same light you have (three 32 watt bulbs).
    Tank is prolly closer to 75 gallons if you subtract water displacement from four inches of substrate(ECO- Complete capped with fine gravel)
    I tried to follow Tom's NON CO2 method and I add dry fertz once a week along with trace minerals.I searched for EI dosing for 60 to 80 gallon tank and rather than add fertz each day with weekly water change,I add recommended daily dose for high tech once each week with trace maybe twice a week.
    I began with plant package for 125 gallon tank, fast growing low light plant's Crypts,anubia,vallisneria,water sprite,sword plant's, and believe the large mass of plant's helped me avoid algae other than diatoms which went away after three or four weeks.
    I run the lighting (Aquaeon Triple tube) for eight hours each day, more than this,, and hair or thread algae begins forming on tips of tall plant's nearest the lighting.
    Tank is filtered with one Eheim 2217 filter and extra circulation is provided from a Korailia II.
    I have approx eighty small fishes. Tetra's,pencilfish,corydoras,otocinclus,LDA25 pleco's,a bristlenose pleco,and a few hundred Malaysian trumpet snails that help keep the substrate aerated.
    Water changes are once a month 50 percent,or once every two months.Prolly could go longer between water changes but I don't.I dose 1/2 Tsp of KNO3,(lot's of fish waste not much needed)) 1/2 Tsp KH2PO4, and 1/2 Tsp CSM+B once each week.
    Once a week or once evry two weeks, I dose 3/4 Tsp Seachems Equillibrium to help maintain GH between monthly water change.(plant's seem to like this)
    If it is low maint you are after ,, I might consider something similar ,Dosing,lighting.
    Someone else I fear would have to help you with proper CO2 application but I should think 30 ppm would not be needed with lighting and plant's mentioned.
     
  4. PRSRocker3390

    PRSRocker3390 Junior Poster

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    Very nice informative post, Your tank does sound very similar to mine. I'm after the same kind of maintenance you have but even a little more wouldn't hurt. I'm just not after a tank needing constant pruning and large water changes every week. The CO2 probably isnt 100% needed but last time I tried this same kind of tank without CO2, BBA and some algae friends moved in quick. So I'm going to add that nice CO2 amount because it gets rid of the possible limiting factor and now I can make the lights the limiting factor which is easier to keep constant and control. So any advice from anyone else is still very welcome! I'm trying to get as much input as possible.
     
  5. PRSRocker3390

    PRSRocker3390 Junior Poster

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    Anyone recommend using a glass diffuser and that under a koralia? Or should I go with a reactor? Or will either diffuse enough in a light limited tank? Also any other suggestions on fertilizing my limited light system would be appreciated too. Thanks
     
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