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Medium tech


9 Dec 2009
Hi guys
Need a little input please all comments and suggestions welcome
Info first
I have a 500ltr 5 foot tank running 2xeheim 2075's 3xkoralia 1600's 1x koralia 2800 spray bars fitted to back wall of tank almost full length all koralias also fitted yo back wall just below spay bars 2800 in the middle
Dosing ei 3x kno3 2x kh2ps04 teaspoons 3x a week 1.5 teaspoons trace 3x a week
C02 via 5 kg fe dc always lime at lights on
Problem I'm having is still got bba and staghorn
Next problem I have is that any invert I add soon keels over and dies
So what I have done is turned down the gas started adding half ei and reduced my lighting by removing the reflectors
Sorry forgot to mention I have 2x 54watt t5ho
Do you think that this regime will slow everything down?
Should ei be bad for shrimp?
Could shrimp deaths be down to high co2( dc never read as v high)
Will this help stop algae or just increase it
Should say that I have been following this regime since Sunday I have added 24 amanos and all are still alive and algae hasn't broken out bigtime yet but maybe jut a little early
All comments and suggestions vey welcome
Many thanks

P.s Sam if you read this it was yours cherries that went
Sorry mate
How long has the tank been running? Have you added any new hardscpae recently? Could there be a possibility of copper contamination, as this is lethal to inverts. When doing water changes are you using a suitable de-chlorinator / heavy metal neutraliser? Do you have any other livestock in the tank? Fish behaviour would give a clear indication if CO2 levels were too high. i.e. gasping at the surface.

No new harscape added
No meds added
I use ro water cut with declorinated tap water
I keep discus and all fine not gasping I also have ottos and they just keep eating no darting to the suffice then I have 3 apistos all fine and a good selection of tetras again all fine
However I have alot of crypts and a couple of swords and a fair amount of blyxa
I know that crypts aren't the fastest growers therefor utilise less ferts so maybe overdosing ei?
Sorry tank been running 9 months
Hi mdhardy01

BBA and staghorn are CO2 related so I wouldn't turn down the gas. If anything I would increase it :oops: .
You have a whole heap of flow in that tank so my guess is that distribution could be the problem.
I have cherries in with my fish and the cherries are almost bullet proof when it comes to CO2. My fish show signs of stress long before the cherries.
mdhardy01 said:
Next problem I have is that any invert I add soon keels over and dies
Now this is odd. Mine are kept in tap water and are fine with an 80% water change per week. Something has obviously contaminated something in there.
mdhardy01 said:
Should ei be bad for shrimp?
I'm currently running double EI and shrimp are fine. I've been running like this for about 5 months now. So no need to stress about overdosing EI.
Reducing the lighting is always a good place to start when battling algae so I would shorten the lighting period as well as having removed the reflectors.
I did have a BBA problem once, where the plant in question was getting the full force of the flow from a spraybar. As soon as I moved the plant (and trimmed off the algae), the BBA never came back :? .
I think for now, I would put the gas back up to at least where it was, as your fish are not suffering, reduce the lighting and play around with the direction of the flow.
Just some pointers that I would be trying at this stage.
Hope it helps.
I have turned the gas down a bit but I now have it coming on 4 hours before lights on so lime at lights on but off 3 hours before lights off.
Also twisted spray bar up slightly to give a little more movement on the surface for slightly better oxygenation. shrimp all seem fine so don't think it was any contaminate?
Thanks for your reply I will play with flow and see what happens.
I must say though that since cutting intensity of co2/ei and lighting all my fish are far more active and the discus seem bolder
I'm new to all this and just getting the hang of things myself, but I have a similar size setup to you.
I have shortened the time of one bulb so it's only on for 6 hours and the other for 8, once the 6 hour bulb kicks in to join the other my circulation is increased by the same timer turning an internal pump on. My algae seems to have dropped away to almost nil. But I'm not entirely sure why. I have recently upped my EI and maybe its that. But whatever it is, I personally quite like the gradual increase in lighting coupled with the temporary increase in flow.

Hope you find the balance.


Is there enough Ca/Mg for the shrimps - maybe the water is too soft for them?. You say you mix RO/tap water, is your tap water already very soft? If it is a mineral problem you might get a clue from how well snails survive in your tank.
A lack of Ca/Mg may cause ph buffering problems making CO2 stability worse which may have some bearing on your algae problems.
I live in Essex so the water is pretty hard but I do have a problem keeping nerites but no problem with ramshorns( unfortunately )
But since cutting back on ei and co2 amanos are all doing ok ?