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Newbie with his 700 litre tank

Discussion in 'Are you new to aquatic plants? Start here' started by rafel, Jan 26, 2009.

  1. rafel

    rafel Junior Poster

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    A friend sold me this used 700 litre tank (about 180 gallon). This is 5' in length, 2.5' wide and 2' high. I am going to run this tank with a high tech, low light setup. I have 2x150 MH. That is about 1.6Watt per gallon.

    I wish I could add another unit of 150W MH, but no, that is not possible due to financial contraints. I have bought sufficient amount of ADA soil to create my scape. Now the question part.

    1) What sort of carpet plant (other than Gloss and HC) that is suited for that amount of light?

    2) Would this dosing regime be okay for this low light tank?
    Sunday
    4 tsp CaSO4 and 2 tsp MgSO4 (I dont have GH Booster here) . Do I also need to add baking soda? If yes, how many tsp ?
    1/2 tsp KNO3
    1/8 tsp KH2PO4

    Monday:
    1/4 tsp CSM+B

    Tuesday:
    1/2 tsp KNO3
    1/8 tsp KH2PO4

    Wednesday
    1/4 tsp CSM+B

    Thursday:
    1/2 tsp KNO3
    1/8 tsp KH2PO4

    Friday
    1/4 tsp CSM+B

    Saturday
    Rest

    I thank you in advance.


    --
    Rafel
     
  2. rthomas

    rthomas Guru Class Expert

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    Off the top of my head, Marsilea Hirsuta is a good choice.

    About the dosing regime, I think you can go with 2x weekly for a low light setup. On the recommend amount in teaspoon measurement, I leave it to the pros here, who I am confident will chime in to assist.

    Guys ?
     
  3. abcemorse

    abcemorse Prolific Poster

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    Sounds reasonable, you'll be dosing about 7.5ppm KNO3/wk, so the max you should ever see is 15ppm b4 50% WC; that assumes 0 uptake, (and 0 input from food/waste) so you should be fine there. PO4 dosages look good to me too. Depending on fish load and plant types you may even be able to go lighter, although the extra shouldn't hurt. I'm also no expert but just crunching numbers looks good to me.....
     
  4. rafel

    rafel Junior Poster

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    Thanks for the reply abcemorse. Like Roger commented, I am actually more inclined to go 2x a week. But that would leave me with lesser K.

    I'll wait for more feedbacks. TIA.
     
  5. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    If you add a pressurized CO2 system everything about this tank will work better. I'm not sure you will have a low light intensity with those lights, and while the average intensity may be relatively low, directly under the lights could be pretty high. With a good level of CO2 in the water you can grow several different carpet type plants, but without it you may have trouble growing any of them except perhaps Marsilea minuta.

    You have already spent more for your substrate than a good CO2 system would cost, and the benefits of the CO2 will be at least as great as that of the ADA soil.
     
  6. rafel

    rafel Junior Poster

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    Okay I failed to mention that I have pressurized CO2 system. I hang the two MH units 14 inches above the water line. Light intensity looks pretty even.

    I would love to grow Marsilea using the Dry Start Method. I would also want to add in Bolbitis as the main plant, perhaps with some Nana and Crypts in the mid ground.

    I don't mind them growing slowly as long as I am not plague with the algae problem. For that reason I am pretty worried about the dosing regime.

    Tom/Hoppy, any recommendation on that? TIA.
     
  7. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    You need to work to get good CO2 distribution all over the tank, with a concentration approaching 30 ppm or higher. Then, by fertilizing so none of the nutrients is limiting, you should be able to grow plants healthy enough and growing fast enough to prevent algae from ever getting started.

    I'm not sure that your dosing is high enough, but without knowing what light intensity you will get from those lights I don't know for sure. Can you borrow a PAR meter from someone? Is there an aquatic plant group near you where you could join and be able to borrow one?
     
  8. rafel

    rafel Junior Poster

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    Yes I have read that CO2 is the root of all evil. I have set my bps high enough that it's difficult for me to guess the bubble count. And I do make sure its got distributed to all corners by making use of Koralia.

    We do have that sort of group but no, we don't have a PAR meter :(
     
  9. rafel

    rafel Junior Poster

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    I understood that EI is not a method that is rigid, it is very flexible depending on situation.

    That said, I am just looking for the norms here, or the general method to follow TO START WITH. Then I will adjust that according to my tank.

    So do you NORMALLY half the EI amount or do you quarter the amount in teaspoon for a low light tank with pressurized CO2?

    Appreciate all thoughts. TIA.
     
  10. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    I'm not sure of the answer to that question. My tank has relatively low light, but good CO2 concentration, and has only slow growing plants. I use, as best I recall, about half of the EI dosages in the charts. I don't recall because I dose daily, 1/7 of the total weeks dose every day, and I calculated what that was, and have it written on my fertilizer bottles - X tsp of KNO3, Y tsp of KH2PO4 in 16 ounces of water, to be dosed one ounce per day, etc. I have to work backwards to find out how I arrived at those numbers. In any case, it seems to work well.
     
  11. rthomas

    rthomas Guru Class Expert

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    I am into that too. Apart from Java Ferns, Bolbitis, what other STEM plants that grow slow? I would prefer the more exotic type.

    Yes, I think that is the best way to go, dose daily. Thanks Hoppy.
     
  12. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    I have a couple of cuttings of Ludwigia repens and one of Sunset Hygro in my tank, just to see how they will grow there. The Ludwigia is doing fine, and growing slow, but the Hygro is growing faster, with a thinner stem, growing horizontal to get nearer the center of the tank. I will be removing that cutting shortly. And, I suspect I will remove the Ludwigia later. But, I'm now convinced that Ludwigia repens is a good low light plant.
     
  13. rthomas

    rthomas Guru Class Expert

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    Just curios. When a tank is plagued by some sort of algae, do we
    1) shorten photo period and skip dosing fertilizer (probably a week or two) OR

    2) maintain length of photo period and cut the fertilizer by half?

    :confused:
     
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