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new to planted tank

Discussion in 'Are you new to aquatic plants? Start here' started by bikerdude, Jan 2, 2010.

  1. bikerdude

    bikerdude Junior Poster

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    I've done alot of reading over the last month and a half. A lot of infor, some saying this is the way to go, then someone saying something totally different. So here is some infor on my tank. Tank is 6' long 28" tall and 18" wide, 2 oceanclear filters powered bt 580 gph pump. 2 marineland 350's one with uv and one with co2 reactor 500. ph controller set a a ph of 6.9. kh is 5.9 to 6.1.
    fish population is of medium denisty, community fish, about 20 plants right to try out. Lighting is 12 t5 for about 9 hours. Ro water using kent ro right.plants, sustrate and ferts are from aquarium plants.com. Ammonia 0, nitrites 0, nitrates 5 ppm po4 about .5 ppm. c02 is on 24/7 water changes about every 3 rd day of 25 gal. dosing of fert. twice a week 2 drops per gal. plants seem to be doing good, pearling alot, new growth on most.. BUT have green algae growing mostly on the glass, kind of a dusty look to it. Been told this is the best place for advice, please help
     
  2. Left C

    Left C Lifetime Members
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    Hi bikerdude

    Check out Green Dust Algae, GDA in: http://www.theplantedtank.co.uk/algae.htm

    Description: Forms on the glass creating a dusty appearance across the glass. Sometimes so bad you can't see into the tank.
    Cause: Low CO2. Low nutrients. Quite common on new setups.
    Removal: Easily removed with a magnetic glass scraper or similar. Often reappears very quickly. Allow the algae to run its full cycle by leaving it well alone for 3 weeks. It may become unsightly but just bear with it. Then scrape it all off and do a large water change. Sometimes requires a second treatment to fully clear and leaving it for 4 weeks. Recommended to slightly reduce dosing during treatment.

    Good luck!!
    Left C
     
  3. BigFlusher

    BigFlusher Prolific Poster

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    Hi,

    Usually this is low nutrients (for purposes here that includes co2).

    I recommend you start reading http://www.barrreport.com/forumdisplay.php/38-Estimative-Index here then as Tom Barr says "pick a method and stick to it" (or something like that).

    Joe
     
  4. DaBub

    DaBub Guru Class Expert

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    Left C and even BigFlusher are correct (I know old "Uncle Joe" needs my approval ;)).

    You chose not to share the wattage information, but I am going to make a wild girl guess that those t-5's are putting out a lot of energy, almost certainly the lighting needs to be reduced by at least 1/3 and maybe more like 1/2. .

    Also most folks after their first tanks realize that 18" is too narrow. Not anything to do about that now, but understand that there may be circulation issues as well.

    It does sound like a nice tank! :) Once you get the CO2/nutrient/lighting thing stable it will be a joy. :cool:

    You can confuse the heck out of yourself as my favorite evil plant monster says,"it really is less complicated than folks want to make it, plants want to grow."

    Since you didn't share your dosing strategy, can't really comment beyond, increase it, the nitrates should be 5 to 10 times higher, the PO4 needs to be much higher.
     
  5. bikerdude

    bikerdude Junior Poster

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    DaBub, I was told that because my tank was 28" tall that I would need 12 lights, t5 @ 39 watts each, co2 is at 22-25 ppm using the formula on chucks planted aqurium page. dosing is with a total complete, that is what it says on the bottle, from aquriumplants.com 1-2 drops per gal.the circulation is by the 2 magnum 350's and the main pump on the 2 ocean clears that is rated at 580, I'm sure it is less than that .Also a hydro koralia pump #1. If you can suggest a better fert, I would appreciate it, not really sure what the other one has in it, it doesn't say. Thanks for your help, and anymore is helpful. I,m reaching high frustration levels. Tried to read and talk on as many forums as I could find, many saying differtent thing, it was hard to know who was right. I,m new to planted tanks, but have had fish only tanks for 30 years.
     
  6. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    A lot of info to toss at you, but you did ask a lot....

    Not sure how you tell that this info/site is better than any other....but here goes.

    I have a 180 so I have an idea or two of the challenges with your size tank..

    Lighting

    You do not NEED that much light despite the depth. Most plants will do fine with much less than we think or is recommended
    generally. I would remove 2-4 bulbs doing what you can to keep a good spread across the tank. Or you can use netting to cover the tank
    or floating plants to help absorb the light.

    Light is what drives plant growth and subsequent nutrient demand. The more light, the more nutrient demand. Less light requires less
    demand which is usually easier to meet. You can always ADD more light if the growth is too slow.

    Co2

    Are you using a drop checker or two at all? How do you calculate 25-30 ppm of c02? If you are going by KH/PH that is not accurate
    as many things may affect kh, not just carbon.

    C02 is the most important plant nutrient. It must be supplied in sufficient quantities for the LIGHT LEVEL!!!!

    IT DOES NOT/SHOULD NOT BE ON 24/7. Plants do not need c02 at night and they produce c02 at night and consume 02. This could lead
    to a dangerous scenario, so please be careful!!!!

    More to come on c02......

    Nutrients

    An easy way to dose is to use dry fertilizers like kn03 and such. Use teaspoons etc and mix with water and dump in the tank
    several times a week. Do a 50% water change to reset your nutrient level. That is basic EI but please read the sticky on this...
    I bet the ferts you are using are mostly water and your plants are undernourished.

    Filters.

    Please give the models of the OC canisters you are using and how they are plumbed/configured? Also the pump model..

    Most pumps are overrated and the OC can block flow if they are clogged. Are you cleaning/bleaching the cartridges regularly? if they are plumbed in sequence, than the first will clog and limit what the second filter can do...

    I have both a Koralia II and IV model on my 180. The smaller pointing at the surface 24/7 to add oxygen. The larger to provide more flow to the tank.....I have two Nu-clear canisters in parallel along with my c02 setup all powered by one pump as well. Outlet goes to 6 outlets...

    Please provide any links to products you are using. This will help others easily lookup your products if they are unfamiliar.....saves time as well :)

    I would do the following:

    1. Reduce the light by at least 2 bulbs and 4 max.
    2. Reduce the DURATION to 6-7 hours max (for now).
    3. Read the EI sticky and get on that dosing program.
    4. Do a couple 50% water changes. They never hurt.

    After you reply with pump/filter plumbing specs I can make more recommendations.

    Please note that I am less interested in you battling algae than growing healthy plants. If conditions are good for growth, you will usually have little algae issues. Concentrate more on growing plants and providing for their needs than worrying about algae. It will be better for you and your tank :)

    Hope this helps.
     
    #6 Gerryd, Jan 4, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 4, 2010
  7. bikerdude

    bikerdude Junior Poster

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    gerryd: Thank you for you quick and informative reply. the pump model # Quietone 2200, the first ocean clear right after the pump is model 325 pleated then model 320 with activated carbon and ammonia chips then returned to the tank about 1" below water line. I have ordered a red sea co2 drop checker. I have ordered another hydro. One thing I have been told and now finding incorrect is there was to be no aggatation at the water surface, I would loss co2. I know now this is not true. I clean the filters weeking by rinsing them in water taken from the tank. The pleated filter is washed with pessure and then bleached. where can I buy the dry fert. I have removed 4 t5's, changed timer on co2 and lighting to 8 hours. I was told this was the best site by the guys at aquarium plants.com. I also bought the dosing guide by greg on this site. I will be happy to provide any other infor or pics. thanks
     
  8. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    #8 Gerryd, Jan 4, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 4, 2010
  9. bikerdude

    bikerdude Junior Poster

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    I use one 350 plus a 500 co2 reactor for my co2. one 350 plus uv. so are you saying use a pump for each ocean clear filter. 3/4 all around on plumbing. I did change the timer on both lights and co2. you do not use activacted carbon or ammonia chips, just bacteria to remove fish waste.
     
  10. Left C

    Left C Lifetime Members
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    I suppose that you know to not follow Red Sea's directions for their drop checker. They suggest using aquarium water which is wrong along with the indicator solution. You actually use a lab certified (or similar) carbonate based 4 dKH solution with the indicator solution.

    You can either make your own or purchase it. I recently purchased some from ebaY at a decent price. Item number: 230411668529

    billionzz has some easy to follow directions if you want to make your own: http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/general-planted-tank-discussion/42429-kh-standard-how.html
     
  11. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    No. one pump for BOTH OC filters.. It just needs to be bigger IMO....Just don't put the OC in series one after the other. SPLIT the flow from the pump into EACH OC. Use a ball valve PRIOR to control the flow to each one...

    I would increase pipe to 1". A larger diameter pipe will flow MORE water which is better for your larger tank....

    What about my other questions????
     
  12. bikerdude

    bikerdude Junior Poster

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    which ones did I not reply do, not sure
     
  13. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Are you pre-drilled? Do you have overflows or a trickle filter????
     
  14. bikerdude

    bikerdude Junior Poster

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    sorry not predilled just hoses up the back of the tank into the water
     
  15. bikerdude

    bikerdude Junior Poster

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    Gerryd, I ordered the dry fert, and read Greg Watsons article on dosing. Do you have a recommendation on a iron test kit and where to get it. A couple of questions, you said you had two filters one pleated and one filled with bioballs, do you not use activated carbon or other media.
     
  16. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi.

    Great news! Which dry ferts did you get? Have you read the EI threads I linked to??

    I don't use test kits and have NEVER tested for iron, so cannot help you there.....

    No activated carbon or other media. Just swap the cartridge every N weeks with a fresh one and that's it. The canister with bio-balls is left alone, but will most likely rinse it out soon, as it has been several months since installation.

    Crystal clear water, healthy plants and fish...........

    Pic shows the surface ripple I have 24/7....wastes a bit of c02, but you add a bit more to compensate. fish getting 02 is pretty vital :)
     
    #16 Gerryd, Jan 6, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 6, 2010
  17. BigFlusher

    BigFlusher Prolific Poster

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    Hi Gerry,

    That is a very nice, fairly young, I think, tank.

    That is significantly more surface agitation then I would be comfortable with, yet the results are hard to argue .

    Do you mind sharing camera information?

    Not meaning to hijack the thread.:eek:

    bikerdude: I think Gerry's advice is right on, even if I might do some small things differently.

    Joe
    (Note1: I am employed by B. Evilplantmonster:gw, this should not be seen as an effort to make either of us look smarter by agreeing with Gerry.) :p
    (Note2: Agreeing with Gerry is a great way to appear smarter.) :cool:
     
  18. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi Joe,

    Tank is several years old at least :)

    NP, I just bought a Canon Powershot SD780 IS. Set it to manual/fish setting and away I went.

    Am a photo newbie and am trying to learn so this camera has auto and manual settings while I learn. Then maybe a digital SLR.... The camera produces great video, but am having trouble (time outs) when uploading even a short one to YouTube so I can post the link.

    I tend to add extra 02 as I have a large armada (>250) of cardinals and I have seen them affected by too much c02 already...
     
  19. bikerdude

    bikerdude Junior Poster

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    I ordered from Aquarium Fert. got potassium nitrate, potassium sulfate, mono potassium phosphate, iron chelate, and CSM+B plantex. ordered some more plants and a bigger hydro pump #3 to move water around
     
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