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Weeds growing too fast!
Tank: tall 75 gallon fresh planted, on PPS=Pro dosing schedule, Daily small water change that is equivalent to 50%/week. CO2 injection to hold pH at about 7.0 around the clock.
Fish: Common community, about 25 small fellows.
My tank has been operational for about 3 weeks. Plants were added en mass about 1.5 weeks past.
Issue: Those darn weeds are growing too much. Should I adjust fertilizer dosing, CO2 level, light duration, light brightness, or water changes as priority? So that they do not keep me awake with those crunching growing sounds at night?
Really, I do not want to prune the fast growers twice per week.
LoL wish I could get my plants to grow that fast. If you adjust any part of your setup you will more in likely will have to adjust all of it. Your lighting, fertilizer, and Co2 all supply nutrients to your plants. Messing around with just one part could result in unhappy plants and algae growth.
What kinda setup do you have? What kinda lights, pressurized Co2? How long are the lights on for? Always what kinda of plants do you have. Some plants have to have high lights and Co2 to grow and doing away with either or even adjusting them can cause problems.
The duration of lighting would probably be where I would start though.
From what I understand, CO2 is used by people who want red or fast growing plants. CO2 in most aquariums is the limiting nutrient. Plants require 16 other nutrients and light to grow. People who do not dose CO2 in their tank add a little bit of each of the 16 nutrients and minimal light to keep everything balanced and in proportion to the minimal amount of CO2. The result is slower growing plants. If slower growth is what you are after, then I would suggest switching to a natural setup. This means you would stop dosing CO2 and reduce your light and nutrient dosing. Byron has written several articals about the natural planted tank set up, and they are stickied in the Aquarium plants section. You should give them a read to find out if that is the kind of setup you are after.
Saggitaria Dwarf (subulata, dwarf)
Bunch Clinopodium (C.) Brownei [Mint Charlie]
Cryptocoryne Wendtii "Tropica"
Dwarf Aquarium Lily (Nymphaea stellata)(Stunning!)
Moneywort (Bacopa Monnieri)
Cryptocoryne Wendtii De Witt (Red)
Ruby (Red Melon) Sword (Barthi)
Eusteralis stellata (Limited!
Ludwigia Repens (Broad Leaf)
Pennywort (Brazilian Water Ivy) (Hydrocotyle leucocephala)
Saggitaria Subulata (Narrow Leaf)
Wisteria (Hygrophilia Difformis)
Boredomb and bigfish93 have both provided good advice. I'm just going to offer some general background at this stage.
In any planted tank, the main issue is balance, and the level of balance depends upon the type of system. At the bottom end (least amount of intervention by the aquarist) we have the low-tech or natural method, and at the upper end there is the maximum intervention with CO2 diffusion, mega-light and daily nutrient dosing. In between are many different levels. Any of these will work, though the results and the amount of work the aquarist must provide will vary. But for success, at whichever level, the light and nutrients (all 17 of them) must be balanced for that level.
Plants will photosynthesize (which as you probably know is how they grow) full out provided everything is available; so the more light and nutrients added to the aquarium, the more/faster they grow. As soon as something they need is missing, they will slow and may even stop photosynthesis. At this point, other trouble can occur--mainly algae that takes advantage.
The more natural the setup, the more we let nature do the work and the less intervention by the aquarist. Plants will be healthy, but grow significantly slower. Some high-light stem plants may not manage.
If you like the high tech route, your only bet is to pretty much get rid of the fast-growing plants, or prune them hard every week or so. You could always sell or give away the trimmings.
You have a PH controller... What is your ph WITHOUT co2? I'm curious how much CO2 you actually use...
Sorry to disappoint, but I use manually adjusted CO2 to reduce the pH, no controller. It has been stated frequently on the forum that controllers have a rather "loose" management of pH. this can actually increase the probability of algae by swinging the pH up and down constantly, also to some extent fish discomfort. I have also been looking at the cheap $80 controller I saw on the web.
This is a new setup so I have no measurement of how long my 20 lb. CO2 tank will last. I am guessing 2-3 months. My 75 gallon with a high dKH (probably 16+, beyond range) and pH (8.6+, beyond range of test kit) considerable CO2 is required, more than the 1 or 2 bubbles per second. I use 3-5 bubbles per second, and tweak to keep a drop checker just at the threshold of green. So I guess one could say that I am using 2-4 times CO2 as the typical poster that I read on the forum.
I have ordered a new dKH test kit, but have not used it yet, An accurate one. I will reply again when I get good measurements on water-source pH/KH, and tank with CO2 pH/dKH. (If I forget, poke me). My source well water is off range for all test capability that I now have.
My primary use of CO2 is to get a more acceptable pH for the fish, secondary was plant growth. It seems that I will have to use one of your two suggestions, trim or eliminate the fast growing stem plants. I can tolerate a monthly trim/rearrangement. I just do not want to do it weekly! So eliminate a couple of species may be the ultimate choice.
You know you could just use RO or DI water to bring down you ph and GH/KH. You wouldn't have to use soo much CO2 or none if you like.
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