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  • #61
    I'm Peter.

    (This is starting to sound like the start of one of those very dodgy, very low budget TV gameshows ;-)

    I live in North East Dorset and have been managing a tank for my 5 year old since her birthday in February.

    Basic plants and probably too many fish in a Juwel Rekord 800. Gravel substrate, standard (2 x 18W) T8 lights, pressurised CO2 and my own take on EI (to account for high nitrate tap water).

    All was growing well for the first few months (without CO2 or EI), then I went on a two week business trip and it all went to rot. Lots of staghorn algae and things just stopped growing. I've replaced a lot of the plants, but am still fighting that bl**dy aglae and the plants just aren't shifting at the moment. CO2 went in at the end of July and the EI has started this week. I have components for a DIY LED light array on order and will post on how I get on with this as and when I get on with it ;-)

    My big problem is that when I decide to do something new (like grow a well planted tank), I get obsessed with it - I have to learn how to do it perfectly. If I can't do it perfectly I get both annoyed with myself and even more obsessed with working out what's wrong. Combine the aforesaid, my scientific/engineering background and an interest that includes things like 'ppm of KH2NO3' and I'm headed for a train-crash!

    Currently looking to improve the range of plants (including looking for that elusive low-light foreground carpet plant), but the stockists around here are rather poor at labelling, stocking or maintaining plants :-(

    Last edited by Whitebeam; 08-14-2010, 10:57 PM.


    • #62
      Welcome at the BarrReport Peter,

      For the staghorn, remove as much as you can by hand, use Excel or Easycarbo and do big waterchanges. Always do a big waterchange when you disturb the substrate, since Stgahorn can be triggered by a temporary
      NH4 spike.

      You could use Staurogyne repens as a low light foreground carpet plant, if you can't get it, maybe you can order it online or get it from people here, Tom has some good offers from time to time.


      My 2011, 2012 and 2013 AGA aquascaping contest entries:


      • #63
        Thanks. I was going to give Riccia a go, when I can find some to buy, but now I'll add that Staurogyne to the list too.

        I'd just settle for getting back to the growth rate I had before that algae outbreak - everything seems to have just stopped at the moment.

        Last edited by Whitebeam; 08-16-2010, 08:23 PM. Reason: Typo


        • #64
          riccia is all over ebay. Don't pay too much. You can just let it sit in a little tupperware pot on the water surface and double it very quickly!!!



          • #65

            Hi all, I am 36 and live in Cardiff. I previously had a 150 litre tank from about 1997 to 2000. It was reasonably successful for fish but I failed numerous times to grow plants properly. I gave the tank away when I went to Africa for half a year and didnít get back into it until recently due to unsuitable tank accommodation.

            I started again in July of this year with a 200 litre tank and have been determined to make it a planted one. My journey so far has encountered all manner of algae problems and I am finally getting somewhere after having read lots on the subject. I have particularly benefited from what Iíve read on the Barr Report and have recently started using EI.

            My biggest fascination at the moment is how algae doesnít necessarily thrive on macros when they are excessively present in the planted tank.

            One of the opinions Iíve respected the most have been Tomís because he uses sound logic and testable hypotheses.

            I donít know anyone who understands planted tanks. To make up for this, I thought it would be a good idea to join up if I could please?

            Regards, Graham

            PS: I below are some pictures of my tank at the moment.

            tank loach.jpg


            black phantom.jpg


            • #66
              Hi Graham and welcome on the Barr Report.

              You'll find here lots of information, based on no nonsense and good research, which you can find in numerous posts and articles.

              If your tank has algae, always ask yourself what is missing, not what is there in excess. Algae grows when plants don't, unfortunately plants stop growing sooner than algae. algae can thrive on very low nutritional values, where plants can't.

              So if you concentrate on plant growth, and not just fighting algae, you will hit two strikes with one throw. If you have specific questions which you can't find, just ask.

              My 2011, 2012 and 2013 AGA aquascaping contest entries:


              • #67
                Hi Dutchy, thanks for the welcome.

                I agree with what you say about what is missing. Since I started using the Estimative Index about a week ago, my plants have been growing better than ever. Iím hoping that the algae will decline soon if I manage to resist disturbing my tank too much with cleaning lol.

                Regards, Graham

                PS: Iím loving your tank ďTouch of NatureĒ


                • #68
                  I think many make some bad assumptions about EI, you can reduce the dosing if you chose............and do so slow and methodically.

                  Then you often fine less need to dose more and p[erhaps fewer water changes are needed etc, or you can keep doing the water change and just dose less also.

                  By going slow and reducing, you can see the signs where the plants are not liking too little ferts.
                  Every tank is different, but the signs will help regardless of the type of tank.

                  Ferts are pretty easy overall, the light/CO2......not so easy to get right.
                  Ferts are also quite forgiving, if I miss a day or two, it's never something that makes or breaks a tank.


                  • #69
                    Hi Tom, when the algae goes down, I will do as you say and start reducing the dosing. I like the thought of tweaking and observing the results.

                    Regards, Graham


                    • #70
                      Observing what the plants do when things are right..........that's the key.
                      Then keep doing that.

                      If you have not gone to, please do so, they have many resources for local UK folks there.


                      • #71
                        I have just joined and like the look of it. Hopefully I can hook up with people locally