Great forum you have going here. Lots of useful information and gurus who all willing to help out the new guys. I've been lurking around for a while and sponging up a lot of information to get my tank back on track and pointed towards my goals. I'll start with a little history
I have had my 140g 48wx24dx30h tank for a while and it has gone through many changes in it's time with me. It was first purchased to house some pacu's, knife fish and spotted gar, any plants I bought from the LFS turned into a tasty treat for those monsters. Soon the Pacu's were too big even for this tank and had to go. I also had a 33g lo tech planted tank running and I decided to consolidate my efforts and make my 140g tank into a planted tank and take down the 33g. Getting some "good" advice from the LFS the first thing I needed was more light. So in came the 8 bulb T5HO fixture running all 10K bulbs for 12hrs a day. Well guess what happened? Algae. So then I did some research and found that CO2 is required for high light levels and I invested in a pressurized system which helped but I still was scrubbing algae on the regular. I did a lot of scrubbing and frankly was losing interest in keeping up with the tank. I had heard of dry ferts but the LFS told me that adding the any more than the liquid off the shelf stuff was enough and too much would cause more algae issue. The liquids have given me some growth over the years but nothing spectacular and always with an algae problem present, just one type to the next, mostly BGA, GDA, Hair and GSA. I had just about had enough and was contemplating taking the tank down when I stumbled upon a few forums (including this one) that have really opened my eyes into the real art of keeping health and algae free plants. I've done lots of researching and put together a system and have been implementing the change/new methods for about a month now.
Goal -- I like the current state of the tank but I have always wanted to turn it into an iwagumi aquascape, so that would be my ultimate goal, but for the mean time I would like to have a nice health growth of the current setup so I wont get the eye roll from my wife when I say how I have the tank "figured out" this time. I also would like not to have a 30" deep aquarium or 8" longer arms would be nice.
Any comments and/or suggestions would be great.
Specs are as follows:
I do 50-70% water changes every week or two 50% per week if I'm feeling like it.
Water Parameters: (Water Plant Analysis) -
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) - 173 mg/l
Calcium (Ca++) - 45.8 mg/l
Magnesium (Mg++) - 9.86 mg/l
Sodium (Na+) - 7.4 mg/l
Potassium (K+) - 1.32 mg/l
Bicarbonate (HCO3-) - 162 mg/l
Chloride (Cl-) - 13.4 mg/l
Sulphate (SO4--) - 21.5 mg/l
Fluoride (F-) - 0.83 mg/l
Nitrate (NO3-) - <0.05 mg/l
Iron (Fe++) - <0.003 mg/l
Dosing per Chucks planted aquarium calc and yet another nutrient calc - I add the dry ferts directly to the aquarium in the morning
KNO3 - 2-3tsp 3/week MWF (pending test kit results)
KH2PO4 - 1/4tsp 3/week MWF
K2SO4 - 2tsp 3/week MWF
MGSO4 - 4tsp 3/week MWF
CSM+B - 3tsp 3/week TTS
Flourish Excel - Rec dose
Yamoto Fe - Rec Dose
Flourish Root Tabs - Every other month (added one round so far)
CO2: Aquarium Plants.com Solenoid/pH monitor contolled injecting (timer controlled during the day only) into an inline reactor which feed through the output into another in tank reactor, GLA Dual drop checker, lime green 2hrs after lights on
Lighting: 8x T5HO 6-6700k, 2-10,000k bulbs... Running only the middle four bulbs usually for 8hr/day
Filtration: Fluval FX5 with all Bio and 2 bags Purgen, Fluval 305 all Bio, Fluval 405 all Bio output to an inline CO2 Reactor
Subsrate: Seachem Black Flourite with some extra Pure Laterite mixed in (was layered down but has gotten stirred in) not very deep anymore 2-3" in most areas
Misc: 25C temps, Aeration night and day, filter outlets aimed at surface to give a slight ripple, circulation pump to keep things moving
Aqauscape: Large Malaysian drift wood, river rocks
-Large amazon sword Echinodorus bleheri (first plant I ever bought! was in the 33g over 10years ago)
- Cryptocoryne, Wendtii, Green (Cryptocoryne wendtii)
- Java Fern (Microsorium pteropus)
- Cryptocoryne, parva
- Micro Sword "Narrow Leaf" (Lilaeopsis Mauritiana)
- Taxiphyllum barbieri Java Moss
- Pogostemon helferi
- Tonina sp. 'Belem'
- 20+ African Cichilids (started with 2)
- 3 Firemouth Cichilids
- 3 SAE
- 2 Clow Pleco
- 3 Raindow Shark
- 4 Otto
- 2 Corys
Pics (just before water change, trying the wait it out GDA battle)
Helferi keeps losing it's leaves
Java Ferm Pearling
My other little project, 5g cube that Im trying a DSM on.
Thanks for reading!
After a nice water change
The seond reactor, funny how the cleanest, most CO2 enriched water is the only place that consitently has algae
Pearling on the sword
Nice green on the drop checker
The moss that wont grow..