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Newly planted low light/excel tank. EI question...

Discussion in 'Talk to Tom Barr' started by Saver, Apr 25, 2007.

  1. Saver

    Saver Junior Poster

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    This is my first planted tank and would appreciate it if someone could make sure I'm headed in the right direction to start.

    I just planted my 46 gallon tank 2 days ago. I'm adding a picture of the tank because I don't know if it's considered heavily planted or not. No fish yet. No CO2, but I will be dosing with Excel every day at 1.5 the recommended amount. 96 watts of light for 8 hours (compact flourescent). Eco-Complete 2.5 inches deep at least.

    My goal is to have a nicely planted tank that doesn't require weekly pruning. The tank will eventually house a school of 10 or so small fish and a few otto's. I'd like to be able to stretch out water changes every 2-4 weeks, though I'll do what I need to have healthy fish and plants.

    I have not dosed the tank yet. Is it better to wait a couple weeks until some roots grow into the substrate? I'm assuming they can get what they need from the Eco-Complete at first.

    I didn't want to add any fish yet as I'm afraid they'll bump out some of the plants that don't have roots at this point.

    My plan is:
    -Excel, daily 7.5 ml (1.5 the rec dosage)
    -KNO3, 1/4 teaspoon, 1x a week
    -KH2PO4, 1/16 teaspoon, 1x a week
    -Traces, 5mls, 1/16 teaspoon, 1x a week
    -50% water change......every other week?

    Does the above schedule seem reasonable to use to start with?

    Most of what Tom writes is over my head but I'm starting to understand some basics at least.

    My one concern is the BBA. I've read that Tom says that low light tanks shouldn't have water changes done often because it encourage algae. Does that not apply if I'm dosing with Excel daily?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator Social Group Admin

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    2x39w T5 light would be better than 96W.
    With a switch to turn each on/off.
    You have too much light really.

    Excel will do however.

    But a non CO2 tank(as well as the CO2 enriched tanks) will do much better with the T5's I think.

    The reason is that you get less watts over the same distance and you can add/ delete bulbs to get the right amount of lighting for each tank and goal.

    A 75 gal 4ft long tank with 54 W x 2 is an ideal tank set up. That is only 1.5 w/gal but does very well with CO2.

    You will need to add nutrients ASAP, adding some SAE's will take care of the Hair and BBA algae.

    Since you are using Excel, you can do frequent water changes to help things along.

    Dose after each water change and you can use about the same routine as EI, but 1/3 the amounts. So you can dose 3x a week, but at 1/3-1/4 the amounts.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  3. Saver

    Saver Junior Poster

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    Thanks for helping Tom. I'll start dosing today. If the light becomes a problem I'll have my husband raise the light up higher. Hopefully that would help. Maybe just coating the plastic cover on the fixture with vaseline would reduce the amount of light getting into the tank.
     

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