a new young planted tank update - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 8 Old 02-26-2008, 10:01 AM Thread Starter
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jaybyrd's Avatar
a new young planted tank update

So i have lowered the bioload of the tank and have removed the aggressive personalities from the tank all seems well. Also the tank is easily growing plants with eco-complete without algae ( using SeaChem's phosguard and not activated carbon - PO4 at 0.5 ppm ) with infused CO2 at 30 to 42 ppm in DIY style. The plants are growing fast - example Cambia and ludwigia is growing at over 1" per day.

4 dwarf gouramis
3 gouramis
2 koi angelfish
3 bosemani rainbows
4 schwartzi cories
1 siamese fighting fish

Tank 55 gallon
Ph 6.2
Kh 5
PO4 0.5 ppm
nitrates 20ppm
nitrite 0
temp 79 degrees F
ammonia 0

Lighting @ 5 hours with siesta @ 6 hours and lighting @ 6 hours to prevent algae.

All input is welcome.

At this point I am trying to have the plants reach the surface pretty much wild and wooly. By the end of march I should have the vals at the back center of the tank to the top of the tank as well as the cambia and ludwigia. Cambia already is taller than the tank - the current bends the plant over.

one of the new koi angelfish

another koi angelfish

The driftwood side of the tank with juvenile bosemani top left center.

The complete tank:

Have a great time

The soul is the same in all living creatures, although the body of each is different. Hippocrates.
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post #2 of 8 Old 02-26-2008, 12:19 PM
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It sounds like the plants are coming along nicely. Make sure you have a trace fertilizer for the plants.

As for the fish, they look healthy. Just watch for aggression as they get older.
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post #3 of 8 Old 02-26-2008, 03:40 PM
Amphitrite's Avatar
Good job jaybyrd. The plants are looking incredibly healthy... how long have you had it planted for now?
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post #4 of 8 Old 02-26-2008, 04:18 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys

Well as you, kateyoup and fish_4_all, both know I have had plants since the inception of this tropical tank but with the same problems as most beginners. Poor lighting, no CO2, poor substrate, and to top it all off - non aquatic plants sold as aquatics. Hence algae and other small related problems like rotting plants.

I would say only 15% of plants I have now are from the beginning - like the java lace moss and some of the ludwigia and the vals.
I changed the whole substrate over at the beginning of february only after upgrading the lights. That change was a great decision as it appears that eco-complete is a wicked product and worth every dollar if you want a healthy tank.

The lights are excellent as I have a row of planted tropical plants lined on the floor in front of the tank and the are growing stupidly too.
By the way fish_4_all I am using SeaChem's flourish iron and SeaChem's comprehensive supplement also for the plant growth.

Growth, for example, in the beginning of February the vals were only 1 inch tall max ( from the original die - off algae riddled tank ) and on runners. Now they are anywhere from 5" to 8" tall!

Now all I wish for is the plants balance the tank out with fast growers and overwhelm any of the algae spores and triggers when it comes to tank nutrients.

And I am hoping that some of the research I have done that has led me to deduct that PO4 is a strong trigger for the majority of algae will allow for a stronger planted tank by removing as much PO4 as possible. That also means removing active carbon from the filtration!

In short - my aim is for and underwater "natural" garden with peaceful inhabitants. So far the inhabitants I have are really cool.

For example the betta is a great guy - he has not flared at any of the dwarf gouramis. I believe the fish now have a lot of hiding places and things to investigate. And I let the tiger barbs go - beautiful fish - because of their mild aggresion and dominace. The Dwarf gouramis were hiding all the time as well as the betta. The betta is now swimming all over the tank as well as all the other guys and well - they are really happy and peaceful.

You two guys have been great to contact through this forum - and well - I could not have done this without a lot of help!

My wife and I are also going to apply what I have learned from this tank and it's expense ( worth every penny and minute! ) and we are taking a 15 gallon long tank and doing a planted dwarf puffer and snail tank! Bought the tank for 30 dollars and have lights etc waiting in the wings...

The next tank will be an african ciclid tank.

Why not -- we have 3 cats and 4 parrots too! Now we have a zoo in 1000 square foot of home!

The soul is the same in all living creatures, although the body of each is different. Hippocrates.
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post #5 of 8 Old 02-26-2008, 04:31 PM
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I'm really glad to hear the tank is coming along so well - that's fantastic news! I think you've made a very wise decision in removing the tiger barbs - and it's amazing the difference a well planted tank can make to the fish.

I changed to eco- complete a few weeks ago, and so far I'm really pleased with the progress, it definitely does make a huge difference!

Good luck with the african cichlid setup - it would be really good to see a thread on the progress if that when you get started! :)
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post #6 of 8 Old 02-27-2008, 09:36 AM
willow's Avatar
well done you. :)
your tanks looking lovely. :)
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post #7 of 8 Old 02-27-2008, 12:44 PM
fish_4_all's Avatar
Great job, it is nice to see plant growth and see the tnak changing all the time. You have done a lot of research and it has really paid off.

On thing though, you are right about excess PO4 causing some algae problems but too little can also cause Green spot algae and other "hard" spot algaes. You do need a little.

Eco is an awesome product from what I have heard. I have never actually used it nor any other "plant specific" substrate. It takes my tanks a little longer to get to a point where they can support awesome plant growth but I am patient. Just make sure you keep giving it some root tabs once in a while and dosing properly.
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post #8 of 8 Old 02-28-2008, 09:20 AM Thread Starter
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thanks again

Actually you are absolutely correct about the green spot algae ( BSA ) propagating when there is a low PO4.

The tap water I have and have tested many times shows 0.0 PO4 and a Ph of 7.8 and a Kh of less than 1.0

My tank has show a PO4 count of 2.0 before adding SeaChem's Phosguard and now the water shows 0.5 ppm PO4

I suppose I made the decision that BSA is a more acceptable algae than black beard algae or cladophora or blue green algae. And I seem to have a bit of BSA in the tank - but not really on the plants as much as on the back glass, the rock, or the driftwood.

Am I to understand some algae is considered a marker of a good, healthy tank?

If so - I have decided I would accept the type of algae that does little damage to the fauna of the fish. And prevent the more damaging algae altogether.

What do you guys think?

Buy the way the vals are now 12" long in just 2 days... I suppose they are happy plants

If you like I can provide another photo of the vals to show the grand progress I have been able to make. I will definitely post again within a few weeks.

Believe it or not I have clipped the cambia 4 times in month and propagated the other plants from just two of them.

And for those out there that want an excellent resource from planted tanks take a look at Rex's planted aquarium site. This guy is a mad man genius character. I like his tell it like it is style and he seems dead on with his advice.

The soul is the same in all living creatures, although the body of each is different. Hippocrates.
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