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I've 'rebooted' my tank... what next?

Discussion in 'Advanced Strategies and Fertilization' started by aronson, Aug 19, 2007.

  1. aronson

    aronson Prolific Poster

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    Hello everyone!

    I've gone and replaced my 29 with a 37. The 29 had a lot of algae growing in bubbles that had developed in the silicon in the corners and I was fearing that one day we might spring a leak. Plus... the tank was 16 years old. It was time.

    So, given the following parameters I am curious what dosing regimen I should embark on.

    37 Gallon AGA
    120W CF (1 @ 6700K, 1 @ 5500K) for 11 hours/day
    CO2 injection
    Town water (normally through a softener - I turn the bypass on for water changes)
    Low fish load (4 tetras, one platy) soon to add 8 more tetras and a pleco
    Flourite substrate

    Previously with the 29 I've been dosing as follows:

    At water change:
    1/4 + 1/8 tsp KNO3
    1/8 tsp KH2PO4
    1/2 tsp Seachem EQ

    Every other day:
    7ml Flourish

    Every other other day: ;)
    1/4 + 1/8 tsp KNO3
    1/8 tsp KH2PO4

    I replanted all my Anubias, C. retrospiralis and 1/3 of my C wendtii.

    What, if anything should I change? I tried using Plantex CSM+B but algae (especially GDA) went nuts when I did. I'd like to use an alternative to Flourish -- it is a bit pricey for the long haul.

    Prior to the switch I was battling GDA (bad) and BBA (not so bad). The GDA was insane... 2 days after water change and thorough scraping the stuff would re-appear. And before you ask, yes Tom, I had my CO2 cranking (6.4pH and just at the point of comfort for the fishes) :D. It runs 24/7... should I consider turning it off at night and turning it on 1/2 hour before lights come on?

    So, I'd like to use this opportunity to get on a solid footing. What should I change here? anything stand out...? Glaringly obvious mistakes? Is the light too high?

    Please, any suggestions... I'd like an algae free tank for once.

    Thanks in advance!
    Adam
     
  2. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Based on my experience judging the discomfort of my fish, I suggest you get a drop checker and use it with 4 dKH distilled or DI water in it, to be sure you are running about 30 ppm of CO2. If you think that is too much for the fish, use 3.5 dKH instead, which would drop the CO2 to about 25 ppm. Then use a solenoid on the CO2 line to shut off the CO2 about a half hour before the lights go off at night, and turn it back on about an hour before the lights come on in the morning. That will reduce the stress on the fish.

    If you buy some known 4 dKH water, you can mix it with distilled water you can buy at a grocery store in the ratio of 7 parts of 4 dKH water to 1 part distilled water, and you will have 3.5 dKH water.
     
  3. aronson

    aronson Prolific Poster

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    Thanks for the reply, Vaughn!

    What exactly is a drop checker and where do I get one? And... where do I find 4dkH water?

    Other than checking CO2 does anything stand out from my specs? Are my lights running too long? Ferts ok? What was causing the algae outbreak in the 29?

    Thanks again!

    Adam
     
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Drop checker will help, it has a time delay of about 2 hours.
    But it's still a good way to check things within a 5ppm or so accuracy.

    As far as your routine, you do have a lot of light, 120-130w on a 29 gal is a lot.
    I'd suggest using less, if that is not possible, try using less hours, say 8-9 hours.

    Try adding CO2, 30 min before the lights come on, and shut it off about 30 min prior to the lights going off.

    GDA is a phase, it's relatiuvely harmless to plants, making it a bit like GW.
    Have I figured out GDA entirely?
    No.

    But I know I've done a few things that have mauled it.
    Successive(daily for 5 days) cleanings seemed to beat it back, it still came back though.
    That alone is not enough.
    Less light helped in most every case(slowed, but did not stop).
    Just letting the plants get really full and overgrown seemed to help the most.
    Allowing the alga to complete it's life cycle also seemed to work the best(leave it be for 14-21 days or so), it'll slough off and then you can wipe and clean well.
    UV and micro filtration can help remove the floating propagules.
    Excel is really not that effective for some reason.
    I know Copper is but I do not like using copper in many tanks, it's not selective enough for the non target plants.

    Same with Excel because I have some rare liverworts and it's not that effective for the types of algae that are more problematic for folks GDA, Hair algae etc.

    3 day blackout is yet another method with daily 50-80% water changes + Excel, + cleaning etc.

    That beats back most species of algae I know of.

    So you have many things to try and many tools to work with. Using several along with labor can help.

    IME, good tank conditions, thick growing planted tanks, good balanced filter, decent fish load etc seems to work well.

    Every case of GDA I've induced has just gone away on it's own after several weeks or was beaten with the above methods.

    Leave it be, BO+ Excel+ water change+ cleaning really good, decent plant biomass/good fish load, etc.

    Tropica is a good alternative to Flourish I've been partial to for years.
    I have a nice dry mix coming out myself, but due to a move, other issues, I've had to out a few things off for a month or so now. I also test what I sell, so it's still being added as high levels to see the effects.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  5. aronson

    aronson Prolific Poster

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    Thanks, Tom! Where do I get one?

    The 29 is gone... I have a 37 now. Still too much light? ~3WPG...?

    Adam
     
  6. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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