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My first planted tank...taking it to the next level (hopefully)

Discussion in 'Are you new to aquatic plants? Start here' started by Nubster, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. Nubster

    Nubster Junior Poster

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    I am pretty new to planted tanks. My current main tank being my first. It has been up a couple months now I guess...maybe 3. So far it's been fun and has been working out ok. I started low tech with no CO2, ferts, and T8 lighting. Then I made the jump to high-tech with T5HO 54w x 2 lighting, pressurized CO2, and PPS Pro ferts. I had one issue with gassing my shrimp and almost killing my fish but that was caught in time. I was using the fish as a guide for the amount of CO2 I was injecting and I took it up just a bit too high and found out the hard way that shrimp are a lot less tolerant to high CO2 levels. Growth exploded as expected and for the most part algae has been manageable...until now. I had a lot of staghorn growing which was easily taken care of by reducing Fe and increasing circulation. Not sure if one or both changes did the trick, but it worked. It also decreased the hair algae but hasn't eliminated it. I just take care of that now with a tooth brush and manual removal. The issue now is GSA. After the gassing incident I reduced the amount of CO2 drastically. Maybe too much. My drop checker is green, but a dark green. Plants no longer pearl and it seems the growth has slowed. I did turn it up just a touch today and everything started pearling like crazy and the drop checker changed from a dark green to a light green so I am leaving it there. I have a few shrimp in the tank now and some dwarf crayfish and I don't want to kill them off. So...that's where I'm at now...trying to figure out this GSA problem and keep everything alive at the same time. Here is what I am working with...

    75g tank
    Black sand substrate
    T5HO 54w x 2 with bad reflectors
    Pressurized CO2 with DIY Rex reactor
    PPS Pro ferts, alternate macro and micro daily.
    Root tabs

    Plants
    Amazon sword
    Kleiner Bar sword
    Various crypts
    Pygmy Chain Sword
    Needleaf java fern
    Java Windelov
    Sunset hygro
    Wisteria
    Hygrophila Compact
    Christmas moss

    Critters
    6 GlowLight Tetras
    4 dwarf crayfish
    several RCS
    Assassin snails
    MTSnails
    Pond snails
    Ramhorn snails

    Recent tank shots...

    [​IMG]

    After a little trimming and rescape

    [​IMG]
     
    #1 Nubster, Dec 14, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 14, 2011
  2. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    Hi and welcome.

    Basically you answered your own question. Another reason for GSA is low PO4. So you should bump up both. Even then the GSA will still keep growing for some weeks before it finally stops. Old infested leaves don't recover. Watch the new growth if it stays algae free.
     
  3. Nubster

    Nubster Junior Poster

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    Thanks. Now for the million dollar question...how much should I bump it up? Do I add more PO4 to my PPS mix or dose it separate? I was thinking about trying EI. I'll have to see if that has more PO4 than PPS Pro first I guess.
     
  4. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    To prevent GSA you need at least 2 to 3 ppm.
     
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