What Does It Mean By "balanced" Aquarium And How Can I Achieve It?

knives00005

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Apr 17, 2018
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Philippines
Hey all -

I'm dabbling with planted tanks.
I've "reset" one of my tanks since I now have good light and co2 (yay).

In the beginning, everything seems great. No algae, no melts (aside from MC, which is transitioning from immersed to submerged).
On the past couple of weeks, I started getting some algae on the glass. No worries, I scrape them off and do some water changes.
A few days now, they are back. A mix of brown and green. I noticed also that some of my plants (Hygrophilla Corymbosa, S. Repens, A.R. Mini) have green spot algae. My Myriophyllum mattogrossense, half is turning brown. The top part is still beautiful green.. My Tripartita seems to be doing just fine, but it's not that vibrant green (I have the same Tripartita on another 5g tank and that was beautiful).
My Sunset, Bacopa carolina and Cabomba are growing fast though.

So I read some sites, watched some videos and most are saying that I need to find the "balance" between lights, nutrients and co2.

So here's my current setup:

-Co2 turns on 2 hrs before lights come on, and turns off 1hr before lights go out. (It's a pressurized co2, if it matters)
-Light stays on for 7 hours. I have a full spectrum LED lights (HEPO brand, not sure if it's available elsewhere). It originally was open for 8hrs but since I got algae issues, I reduced to 7.
-I'm dosing with Seachem Flourish Comp, Seachem Trace and once a week, Excel. (I'm waiting for my NilocG Thrive).
-I'm not vacuuming the substrate to I "swoosh" the plants to dislodge the detritus and suck it up on siphon when doing water changes.
-I do 50% water changes once a week.
-ADA aquasoil
-DIY osmocote root tabs

As for the flora, I have Guppies, Harlequin Rasboras and Panda Cories - if it matters.

With that, anything I should change/add/remove?

Thanks in advance :)
 

Phishless

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Jul 13, 2017
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I'm dosing with Seachem Flourish Comp, Seachem Trace and once a week,
Excel. (I'm waiting for my NilocG Thrive).

@knives00005 I have to ask what led you to Comp & Trace?
On many forums I find the 3 Seachem products that you list are all that is dosed.
All micros and an algaecide, since you are already using a method of CO2(carbon) injection.

I have watched a LFS constantly prescribe the same to many people and no mention of macros from the staff.

Colin's product "Thrive" is an excellent product if a low phish load is involved.
Otherwise NO3 can be on the rise.
 
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knives00005

New Member
Apr 17, 2018
19
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Philippines
@knives00005 I have to ask what led you to Comp & Trace?
On many forums I find the 3 Seachem products that you list are all that is dosed.
All micros and an algaecide, since you are already using a method of CO2(carbon) injection.

I have watched a LFS constantly prescribe the same to many people and no mention of macros from the staff.

Colin's product "Thrive" is an excellent product if a low phish load is involved.
Otherwise NO3 can be on the rise.

I tried doing some research before (on my lowtech, prior to it being restarted and prior to me having co2) on plant issues and I really didn't have much besides being infested with Cladophora Sp.
So I didn't bother buying the 3 macros (NPK). I figured dosing Flourish Comp and Trace would add sufficient nutrients along with ADA Aquasoil.
Also back then I have easier plants (Cabomba, Hygrophilla Corymbosa and Pearlweed).

Now that you mentioned Thrive is for low fauna, I have quite a huge bio-load (5 cories, 7 guppies, 6 rasboras). I am more than willing to do 2x partial water changes in a week, would that be enough?

Also, when you say "Concentrate on growing premium plants" - what do you mean? :)
 

Phishless

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Now that you mentioned Thrive is for low fauna, I have quite a huge bio-load (5 cories, 7 guppies, 6 rasboras). I am more than willing to do 2x partial water changes in a week, would that be enough?

Also, when you say "Concentrate on growing premium plants" - what do you mean?

Since Thrive is an all in one product you just can't dose less or more of any single compound.

Concentrate on growing healthy plants then algae etc.. tends to go away.
 

knives00005

New Member
Apr 17, 2018
19
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Philippines
Since Thrive is an all in one product you just can't dose less or more of any single compound.

Concentrate on growing healthy plants then algae etc.. tends to go away.

Thanks!
So you think I lack the macros?
How about 7hrs of light? Is it too much, too little or just average?

I'm so sorry I have too many questions to ask.
 

knives00005

New Member
Apr 17, 2018
19
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Philippines
6.5 hours of full light for me on all tanks.

Thanks!
I go home from work around 5pm. Would it be ok if the tank is under natural light (it's not on the window plus my room is a bit dark) until 3pm?
My lights turn on from 3pm to 10pm. Do you think it'll count as an extension of the "natural light"?
 

Phishless

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Some people will defend 8 hours of light, some want a mid day siesta for some odd reason.
Regarding natural light I couldn't say, every situation will be different.

My latest thoughts have been could two photoperiods of growth occur in a 24 hour span.
Trick the plants into "12" hours days?
I'll never try it, I trim too often now.
 

Wobblebonk

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Jul 3, 2018
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It should be okay to get some indirect light from a window a bunch of my tanks get a dim lighting from windows and they are mostly on at night so I can mess with them after work. Direct sunlight is bad though (or hard to manage anyhow I've never seen someone defeat it...)

I also only do like 5-6 hours of "high" light with some goofiness on either end for me to mess with the tank at much lower light levels.

My buces flower all the time with this like "9" hours of light with 5-6 intense hours in the middle, I wonder if some of that is triggered by the light cycle like uhh TOMATOES.