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Let's get this tank on the right track

Discussion in 'Talk to Tom Barr' started by kaaikop, Mar 21, 2007.

  1. kaaikop

    kaaikop Junior Poster

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    To make a long story short, this tank has been running for 2 years. The first 6 months were great, then I lost it completely to algae
    (lack of knowledge/experience), and then sort of gave up and let go of high-light, co2 method, etc.
    Since about 2 months now, I am working hard at getting it back in good shape, reading/studying, cleaning, planting, water change, etc.
    and I seem to be on the right track, it's getting much better.

    Tank specs: 150G (72x18x27), Filter 2 x Eheim 2128 thermo, Pres. CO2 through Aquamedic 1000 reactor connected to 2128 output,
    Aquaclear 70 powerhead (24 hrs), 25w UV sterilizer (night), lighting is 4 x 96w CF (6-7 hrs), 2 x 30w T12 (12 hrs), 4 x 21w T5 (10 hrs).
    I have a splitter & second 1000 reactor on order, to get Co2 coming out at both ends of the tank.

    Firstly, let's talk about CO2, it seems to be the number one issue.
    I recently installed a drop checker, and if I did everything right (5 DKh) it looks like my pH controller and KH testing was right on the number.
    This is fine however I still have some doubts... I should have over 40ppm of CO2 in my tank, my fish are doing fine, no pearling, and still a bit of algea
    (green stuff on the glass, and the brownish stuff on the leaves of slow growing plants) but compared to what I had before, it's manageable...
    So, should I try to push it up a little further? Or should I rather address photoperiod, or water circulation?
    As I said, I have another CO2 reactor on the way, that should help, but I do realize I have a filter/circulation issue here (perhaps just add a canister filter?)
     
  2. Frolicsome_Flora

    Frolicsome_Flora Guru Class Expert

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    What are you dosing in the way of ferts?

    If you dont already know about it, read the Estimative Index threads.. between that and good CO2, you will probably cure most if not all of your issues.

    Apologies if you already know about fert dosing, but you make no mention of it in your post.
     
  3. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator Social Group Admin

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    You can also take a pic of the tank, that can be helpful.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  4. kaaikop

    kaaikop Junior Poster

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    Here is the tank (2 weeks ago): tank120307.jpg - Image - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    Looks a little better now, but still cloudy. I have just installed another Aquaclear 70 bulkhead with quickfilter, I am sure this will help the circulation and clear the water.

    Now for dosing, well... I am still experimenting (yes, testing everyday, I think I am addicted, LOL) trying to figure out what's going on exactly.
    Here is what I have been dosing lately:

    CSM+B (iron): about 150ml per 2 days (dissolved 2 tbs./500ml)
    Phosphates (kh2po4): about 30ml per 2 days (dissolved 1 tbs./500ml)
    Nitrates KN03: this is funny here... after WC, I will dose 100ml (dissolved 2 tbs./500ml), this will bring it back up, but then (according to my shitty test kits)
    it does not seem to go down (actually the opposite...) So maybe I have a dead fish somewhere.
    Excel: 25ml per day. Baking soda, I/2 tbs. (dissolved) every water change (weekly).

    I know I should just dump the test kits and dose the powders directly in the tank and save myself a lot work,
    but I am not exactly sure what I should do.
    I will get a better (high-res.), more recent picture when I have a chance.
     
  5. Frolicsome_Flora

    Frolicsome_Flora Guru Class Expert

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    I would just dump the test kits and dose the powders directly in the tank and save yourself alot of work ;)

    Tom can work you out an EI schedule if you ask him nicely, or, follow the link in my sig to the nutri calculator which will work out what you need. If youve calibrated your test kits then its possible that you have an idea of whats going on, but you really dont need to do that much work.. EI simplifies things perfectly, then all you have to do is focus on matching your CO2 to your lighting, eg. making sure your drop checker stays happy colours, make sure its in good flow and you change out the contents regularly.

    Bear in mind if your limiting by a nutrient in any way, once you balance that back out, and the plants begin to grow properly again their need for CO2 will increase a whole lot.

    It does look though that your dosing a fair amount anyway, so you might want to check, recheck and check again your CO2.

    Also, Id consider doing a 3 day blackout.. itll shift all the algae in one sweep, the plants wont mind at all.. and then when you uncover everything, your starting with the tank strongly in your favour, rather than continually fighting the algae.
     
  6. kaaikop

    kaaikop Junior Poster

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    Well... I would love to have a "personalized" dosing schedule (please!:eek: ) that would help a lot, since I now have a fairly well planted tank,
    just moving things around at this point. And... Am I forgetting something? Should I add some K... or MG?

    And yes, I am starting to understand why Tom hates those testkits...
    I have just made a comparison with 3 different NO3 test kits, from the same brand (Hagen), I get 3 different results... LOL.
    Plus, it's very hard to interpret the shade correctly... it goes from nothing, to light pink, to a vibrant purple, LOL
    Right now, I have a "dark pink" or purple if you prefer... what does that mean? you tell me, LOL :D
     
  7. kaaikop

    kaaikop Junior Poster

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    Now that I think of it...
    I have recently added some Seachem Flourish tabs (10 pcs.) in & around the tank...
    Could that be why I have a lot of Nitrates?
     
  8. sw00n

    sw00n Junior Poster

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    Hi kaaikop,

    To answer your request for a "personalized" dosing regime, you can use an existing one already out there with great success, like me :) Here is an old post by Greg Watson which you may find very handy. It pretty much outlines all you need to do for EI, and even includes a timetable. The guideline presented is for a well planted and high light tank, which fits yours exactly. All you need to do is adjust it according to your tank volume.

    Regards,
    Steve
     
  9. Frolicsome_Flora

    Frolicsome_Flora Guru Class Expert

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    or, follow the link in my sig for the EI dosing calculator. Thatll work it out exactly for you, its very good.
     

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