08-04-2014, 06:44 PM
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55g Soil Planted Tank
Hi, I just setup my first planted aquarium and went with soil and small rocks over top. I read the Walstad book and basically taking that approach.
The tank is 55g, 2x 54w hoT5 bulbs and a large cannister filter with Ehiem Mech and some foam pads inside.
I've been running the tank for 3 weeks now and I'm ok with things, however growth is very slow and supposedly I have some fast growing plants.
I have some questions.
- I work nights and want to enjoy the tank then so I have the time set to come on at 2:15pm and go off and 1:45am however at 1:45am the living room light is still on which is fairly bright I like it that way so the tank is always getting light. Most of the time when I shut off the living room light its daylight outside and tank again is lite. It's lucky to get 1-2 hours of total darkness, half the time none. How bad is that?
- Should I get a phosphate, KH + GH and potassium test kit? Thinking because of slow growth.
- Should I take out the moss? It went brown, doesn't look to be much life in it.
- When I test my ammonia the color immediately goes yellow like .25ppm but after sitting 6 hours or so it shows 0ppm?
I've been checking the water every other day with API master test kit and I always have .25ppm of ammonia, nitrites are 5+ppm and nitrates are 20ppm. My tap water does have .25ppm ammonia in it however after days the tank still shows it so I'm thinking maybe the soil is leaking it? I'm using Miracle Grow Organic Potting Soil which I've heard doesn't do that. I've done some water changes to try and bring down the nitrites but even after 75% its still over the chart? No way can I add any fish at this point which is very disappointing, I thought planted tank should be quicker.
Any ideas on what I might try to resolve this?
Does anyone know what this is, it hasn't grown in 3 weeks?