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New Planted setup

Discussion in 'Advanced Strategies and Fertilization' started by elemkar, May 12, 2005.

  1. elemkar

    elemkar Junior Poster

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    An aquarist friend is moving from a freshwater planted setup to saltwater and asked if I would like the aged water, plants, filter media and fish from his 75g freshwater setup, no gravel or equipment included. I have seen the setup and it is nice, all plants and fish look healthy with no visable algea. I am going to accept the offer so here is what I have and would appreciate comments or suggestions, espescially related to implementing the EI on this new setup.

    75g drilled tank with a Tidepool II and Fluval 404 setup and ready to go.
    Injected CO2 setup on a timer with lights.
    AH Supply CF 4x55 bright kit = 220w.
    Flourite substrate

    City Water Quality Report:
    NO3 - .721 ppm
    NO2 - ?
    GH - 120 to 150 ppm, up to 170 ppm in winter months
    KH - calcium Carbonate, 35 ppm
    pH - 9.1 to 9.3
    NH3 - .5
    PO4 - Not tested
    K - 9.5 to 12 ppm
    Fe - .01 ppm
    Cu - 1.3 ppm

    My tap water test with Jungle Quick Dip test kits:
    Water temp - 80 degrees
    NO3 - 20 ppm
    NO2 - 0 ppm
    GH - 150 ppm
    KH - 80 ppm
    pH - 7.8
    NH3 - .25 ppm

    Any recommendations on the brand of KNO3, KH2PO4 and traces to dose?
    Thanks
    Elwin
     
  2. Cornhusker

    Cornhusker Guru Class Expert

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    Re: New Planted setup

    :) elemkar, i have identical setup as you. tom suggested i start at 1/2 tsp kno3,1/8 tsp po4, and 10mm trace.water change,50% and add kno3,next day trace,third day nothing,then start over again with kno3 and so on.ease in on co2 till you get max.greg watson has all your fert. needs.be consistant and it will pay dividends. it's worked great for me.i also have a lot of livestock in my tank. :) :) regards,cornhusker
     
  3. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

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    Re: New Planted setup

    Hi elemkar,
    My first recommendation would be to dump your Jungle Test Kit seeing as how it's telling you that your NO3 levels are 20ppm when the city report shows it's less than 1ppm. You're only asking for trouble. Get dedicated quality pH and kH kits so you can calculate CO2 concentrations properly. Dose according to EI and forget the other tests for a while.

    Check out the www.gregwatson.com and order your ferts there - no brands, just lab grade chemicals.

    Cheers,
     
  4. elemkar

    elemkar Junior Poster

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    Re: New Planted setup

    Ok, the aquarist friend now has about four different types of algea covering everthing in his tank. I have to find some polite way of telling him I do not really want his water, plants and fish anymore. Now for my question: I am really new to the planted setup and EI and I want to start the right way. What would you purchase - plants and fish to start a 75g setup? Oh, I purchased the needed ferts from Greg already.
    Thanks
    Elwin
     
  5. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: New Planted setup

    Hi elemkar,
    I must be missing something here. Why would you reject this fellow's fish? Do you not like them? That would be the only reason to reject them. There's never a point in carrying 75 gallons of someone elses water to your house when presumably you have plenty of water in your tap so why was that ever an option? And why would you reject the tank just because he has algae? Take the tank home, pull the gravel out, bleach the living daylights out of it and then replace the gravel.

    I always find it shocking when someone asks "what kind of fish should I get?" I mean, get the type of fish you like to look at (primarily), that you can afford and that won't outgrow the tank. Isn't that the whole point of the hobby? Why would you go out and buy fish that someone who you don't even know tells you he likes? If you like electric eels read up on them, learn about them and then go get some. If you like guppys go get those. The only caveat obviously is if you plan to keep both plants and fish perhaps avoid fish that eat or destroy plants. Many African Rift Lake cichlids and large South/Latin American cichlids fall into this category but some clever people have managed to pull this off by careful arrangement of rocks and other obstacles.

    The same goes for plants really. Browse the plant sale internet site listed to the left and look at the pictures to see what you like. Here is another site with plant info: http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/plantfinder/index.php? and this one is a pretty good reference site: http://www.tropica.com/default.asp

    A bit of thought is necessary here if you want to have a nicely laid out aquascape. You need to take into account plant growth speeds, ultimate heights, colors etc. Whetever plants you get, make sure you get lots and lots of them. You may also want to get a lot of fast growing stem plants like any of the Hygrophilla species in the beginning because they are easy to grow and are relatively undemanding. Any of the anubias species do well as a foreground plants and they are also very tough. Of course Amzon swords are a staple and there are tons of varieties as well as Vals. These are slower growing but are fairly dependable. In any case, study the pictures and care requirements on the sites and get 5-10 each of all the ones you think you'd like looking at.

    Cheers,
     
  6. elemkar

    elemkar Junior Poster

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    Re: New Planted setup

    Ceg4048 - Thank you very much for your straight forward reply. I guess I was mostly concerned with the plants. I have read many posts here about folks spending alot of time dealing with algea issues and I did not want to start with algea issues. I have seen many planted tanks with fish and I am just awe struck at the beauty of the plants, fish and aquascapes. The initial decision about what plants and fish to get seems hard when it all looks so awesome. I guess that is what has drawn me to this hobby and a few tid bits from seasoned folks about starting out seemed like a good question.
    Thanks for your advise!
     
  7. elemkar

    elemkar Junior Poster

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    Re: New Planted setup

    Would anyone here on the forum take plants with algea issues and use them to start a new planted tank?

    Would anyone here on the forum take fish from a tank with algea issues and use them to start a new planted tank?

    Would anyone here on the forum take driftwood or filter media from a tank with algea issues and use them to start a new planted tank?

    I can save much $$$ by taking all the above and place it my new setup but is it worth it?
    Please read my original post within this thread for background info. I think I hear Tom saying something like this: "It is a good opportunity to be willing to take a tank and trash it to learn, most people are not willing to do so."
     
  8. andrewmcleod

    andrewmcleod Junior Poster

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    Re: New Planted setup

    Driftwood etc. can be bleached.
    So can plants, although this may damage them/hinder their growth.
    Fish are obviously more problematic but while they may be carrying algae spores, they won't be carrying significant populations of algae.
    Filter media should also be free of algae if the filter is in the dark (except possibly for algae which has been recently been sucked in).
    So personally, I'd bleach the driftwood/other decor, clean the plants thoroughly, add some new plants as well, and just move over the fish. But then I'm skint :)

    While you will always potentially have algae spores then in your water, they shouldn't grow if you follow in the 'way of the Barr'. Some people go to great lengths to prevent certain species of algae entering the tank (some species are airborne and cannot be prevented), others just don't care, and don't have any algae problems.

    Preventing algae spores from entering your aquarium is also unlikely to prevent an algae outbreak if the conditions are better for algae - you will just get a different algae.
     
  9. matpat

    matpat Prolific Poster

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    Re: New Planted setup

    I would have to say yes to all of your above questions. I am traveling 10 hours to pick up two tanks tomorrow both with algae issues. I am taking the plants fish, and anything else the owner will throw in for me.

    Algae is really not an issue. It can be easily beaten with a little bit of manual removal, proper fertilization, time and patience! It may take a while but the money savings will be worth it in the end. Take all that you can get and either use it as is or bleach, boil, whatever you want to do to remove the algae.

    Good luck and keep us informed as to what you decide to do!
     
  10. Greg Watson

    Greg Watson Administrator
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    Re: New Planted setup

    Yes ... send them to me ...

    Greg
     
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