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New Tank Need Help

Discussion in 'Are you new to aquatic plants? Start here' started by jamesm029, Jan 23, 2009.

  1. jamesm029

    jamesm029 Junior Poster

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    I am new to the forums and would like to say I find this site very informative, professional and well run.

    I need some help I have had aquariums for many years but this is my first attempt at a planted tank. I need to get some advice before things get out of hand and would like to get off to a good start and be successfull.
    I am only trying to grow some plants and have not tried to do any aquascaping.
    All I did was add a piece of wood a rock and wanted to start small.

    Here is what I have for equipment and what I have done so far:

    33 gallon (36x 12x 18) posted a photo of the tank not real clear
    36" light fixture with two 39 watt T-5 HO(so about 2.4 watts per gallon)
    Eheim 2028 filter with the flow set to slow and intake is in the left corner the spray bar is on the back wall flowing towrds the front under the surface, not much surface movement.
    Hagen yeast CO2 attached to the air intake of a small powerhead this spits out Tiny bubbles that then get sent for a ride by the spraybar. Producing well at the moment.
    PH is 7.2 and temperature is 75 degrees
    Flourite Red about 90% mixed with very little sand about 1 inch at the front closer to two at the back.
    Tank has been set up for a week or so! i have been adding Excel daily small doses and Florish Comprehensive 2x per week


    I have about 12 small Harlequin Rasboras, One Dwarf Gourami, 2 Otos.
    I have had a terrible time getting plants here the weather is supercold and no shipments are coming in.. So far Here is what I have: 3 bunches of Crypotcoryne 5-6 stems each bunch, 4-5 bunches of another plant in front of that (unidentified)
    1 bunch of moneywort and one of a plant that from research looks like Brazilian Pennywort. 4 Anubias nana, about 3 stems of what looks like Ludwigia its starting to get red at the top and was all green when i got it.

    These plants are already starting to grow and look way better than when i got them they were half dead. I found a person locally who will sell me some other plants they will be planted early next week here is what I could find:ELEOCHARIS PARVULA(4) wanted these for the foreground
    > DIDIPLIS DIANDRA (2)
    > LUDWIGIA REPENS(1)
    > ECHINODORUS TENELLUS (1)
    >HETERANTHERA ZOSTER FOLIA (1)



    Here are my questions:

    Do I have too much light or not enough?
    Can the yeast CO2 keep up with the amount of light?
    How much should I plant to get the system stable?
    Should I just add more light and buy a proper high end pressurized Co2 , I have another 36 inch T-5 with one 39 watt this would be 117 watts total or 3.5 watts per gallon. This seems like overkill!
    Is the filter intake output set up okay or should I reposition them for another flow pattern?
    Is it worthwhile considering placing a UV sterilizer on the output of the Eheim, I have one that is not in use.

    I would like to know what my strenghts and weaknesses are and where trouble might brew. I would really appreciate your help and advise.



    Thanks

    james
     
  2. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    You have plenty of light, too much to do without CO2. And, you are not dosing macro fertilizers, nitrates, phosphates and potassium. Flourish comprehensive is basically a trace element mix. I suggest you buy some potassium nitrate (KNO3) and mono potassium phosphate (KH2PO4), and dose them, plus the Flourish as a trace mix, per the EI method.

    DIY, yeast, CO2 is unlikely to give you either enough or consistent enough concentration of CO2 in the water, but if you use 3-2L bottles, with staggered start times, it might work reasonably well. If you get a drop checker and use it right you will be able to see how well you are doing with CO2.

    The plants you have don't require high light intensity, so I suggest using only one of those T5 light bulbs, or you can raise the fixture several inches above the top of the tank to reduce the intensity. The latter has the added benefit of evening out the distribution of intensity across the substrate.
     
  3. jamesm029

    jamesm029 Junior Poster

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    Thanks very much for your advise, I raised the light up so it is 3 inches off the water I have it on a timer for about 9 hours per day. I will pick up some of the
    macro elements you suggest but just want to be clear on what to buy:
    where I live Seachem is the best source for plant supplements so Flourish Phosphorus, Flourish Potassium, would match what you suggest correct?
    what about Flourish Nitrogen is this also required.

    I hear what you say about the yeast method of CO2 it does seem inconsistent. I also think it is actually fairly labor intense for what you get from it. I cannot see running 3 bottles of this stuff I would sooner buy a good regulator and solonoid and use medium light.

    I think I will do away with it for now and just dose excel in small amounts. Then I will study up on the CO2 systems more. My goal is just to have a nice clean tank with lots of plants and some fish , I want it to eventually look really natural.

    Thanks again

    James

    Picture 3555.jpg
     
  4. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Yes, Flourish Nitrogen is needed too. If you keep the light down as suggested, you can dose those per the Seachem recommendations, but for higher light you need to increase that dosage schedule quite a bit.
     
  5. jamesm029

    jamesm029 Junior Poster

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    New Tank need Help

    I picked up a few more plants, but the pickings are slim around here, from everything I have read here it seems its always better to plant as much as you from the get go and thin out later or algae could take over. I also got the fertilizers you suggested. Would you stick with the two bulbs(78 watts of 6700K t-5) raised up 3 inches like I have it now or should I still try to reduce . I could take one bulb out as you suggested or I do have a spare 21 watt T-5 colormax its a pink color this would reduce to 60 watts total or 2 watts per gallon.

    Picture 040.jpg
     
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