Need some help tweaking acquarium

martyn87

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hi all, long time reader, first time poster.

Just need a bit of guidance on how to nail my planted tank.

This is my fourth tank and second planted tank. I’m going for a low tech approach and the tank is the centre piece of our dinning room so I’m keen to get it low maintenance and algae free. Tank is about 3.5 months old.

Fish stock: 7 Bosemani Rainbows, 10 guppies, flying fox, 3 swordfish, 3 amano shrimp. Some Nerite snails and Malaysian trumpets are on their way.

Running a 325l 4ft tank with eheim eco pro 3+, and an fx6 on 70% capacity. Lighting is the eheim proLED fresh+ Which is pushed right to the back of the tank. Light on is 6:15-11:15 and another hour 6-7 whilst we have dinner. 6 hrs total.

Susbstrate - ADA Amazonia. With the salts added underneath. Susbstrate is 6inces at back and 3 at the very front.

Dosing 60ml EI macro/micro once a week. With 1ml of iron supplement once a week.

I am not dosing any liquid co2 or injecting CO2, I have a drop checker with 2dkh solution which I’m checking at the start of the day pre lights on. It’s not hitting 15ppm CO2 at the moment. I assume that’s 2dkh would identify some measure of CO2 in the water just from respiration? My thought process being that I could reduce surface disturbance to increase total co2 at lights on?

Water parameters (post water change which is 175l and 50l on alternate weeks.)
Ph 7.2
GH 12
Nitrate 10
Phos 0.5 -1
Fe 0.25

Plant list:
Cryptocyrene usilaria/ Wendi brown/ hobbit/ nevili/Albida brown
Anubias barteri
Anubias petite nana golden
Anubis’s nana pinto
Echidorious ozelot, green/red, rose, barthii, Pearl hadii
Hygrophilia polysperma
Cabomba
Red lotus
Buchaperia various
Lagenandra meeboldii Red
Aponogeton
Java moss
Rotala rotundifolia

So my issue at the moment is with growth and slight issues with green spot and decaying older leaves.

See pics, my Anubis is over 5 years old but I’ve had to cut it right back because of green spot growth over the last 3 weeks. New growth is still ok but its looking a bit brown now which appears to be diatoms? Gold nana is doing ok and is in a better situation than the barthi but not the best. I planted an echidorious barthii to hopefully shade the plants a bit further.

Albadia brown is very slow growing, but no algae.

Buchaperia in spots are struggling. I brought over some huge ones from an old tank but the leaves have shed badly on those older versions. I did buy some new plants too when I set up which are thriving.

The hobbit crypts are fine but I noticed a bit of spot on these now too.

I noticed the hygrophilia had some holes appearing, new growth appeared white so I dosed extra potassium and iron which seemed to clear it up.

Finally the cabomba is shooting well but the old growth is looking brown and is shedding. Vertical growth is fine.

The issues are not noticeable unless you look close. No problems with green spot on the glass or diatoms.
 

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Ady34

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Hi,
firstly happy first post :)

The tank looks not too bad to be honest but I’m sure we can help you achieve your goals.
Can I first confirm wether you inject any co2 or not as the post is a little unclear?
Ady.
 

martyn87

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Stourbridge
No I’m not injecting any CO2 nor am I using liquid CO2.

I have a very busy job and a young family so I was trying to save myself from hours of aqua scraping. I have had very successful high tech tanks before but I was trying to take a more minimalistic approach this time.

Just updated my post for clarity, cheers Ady.
 
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Ady34

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I see, it was the drop checker that confused me and the 2dkh solution. There is probably no need for the drop checker to be honest.
I think the main issue could be the fertiliser. I would look to add fertilisers daily rather than weekly, and up your dosage (which is currently very lean) also perhaps at a half dosage of 5ml per 50l to start to see how you go which would be about 30-35ml per day. One day macro and the next day micro. This will allow the plants access to equal nutrients daily rather than uptake more of one than another then starve at the end of the week. This is particularly important as there are fast and slower growing plants and the faster growing plants will utilise the fertilisers first leaving nothing for the rest (especially if your only adding once per week).
6hrs lighting is fine for start up but I would opt for a 7hour photoperiod now.
I don’t feel the lighting is too bright, however you could also utilise floating plants to diffuse the light and slow down growth.
Cheerio,
 

martyn87

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Stourbridge
The lotus is getting to the surface now so there is some cover for the middle Anubis’s but there isn’t anything for the a.barteri on the left which is where I’m seeing most of my issues.

I had upped the lighting to another hour but I started seeing green spot appear so I dropped back again. Being honest I have been mixing up the ferts too a bit of chopping and changing so I do admit dosing hasn’t been consistent which likely has not helped.

So in summary;

- Regulate the dosing to 30ml per day macro/micro.
- Up the lighting by an hour (is it better to do this by say 30mins per week? I was worried about making the situation worse?

Thanks for your suggestions anyway I’ll give it a whirl.
 

martyn87

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Stourbridge
So a little while has passed. Just thought I would give an update.

I have been progressing as above. However I think my initial dosing of macro is too high, and my phosphate is being reduced to very low levels. I am still seeing a bit of green spot about as well. New picks attached.

I dosed as follows;
SAT : MACRO 30MGL
Sun micro 30mgl + iron 3ml
Mon macro 10mgl
Ties micro 10 mg +iron 3ml
Wed macro 10 mg
Thurs micro 10mgl
Friday off day


Tank parameters pre and post w/c and prior to dosing.

Pre WC
GH 12
Ph 7.3
Nit 40mgl
Phos 0.1mg
Fe 0.3mg
K above 15mgl

Post WC 200l
Gh 11
Ph 7.1
Nit 7.5mg
Phos 0.6mgl
Fe 0.15mgl

So my plants seem to be really growing well apart from the crypt hobbits down the front and the anubis that are being hit with green spot. Ditto for my lagenandra.

I have had to drop my dosing from 30mgl as my nitrate was really spiking it was at 40mgl after first dose and hadn't dropped at all at the point of second dose. I then dropped my macro dosing down to 10mgl.

I take it from the test results I should be looking to increase the phosphate in my macro dose? Any guidance on dosing? @Ady34
 

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Ady34

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I take it from the test results I should be looking to increase the phosphate in my macro dose? Any guidance on dosing? @Ady34
Hi,
if you are mixing your own ferts you could just add a bit more p to the solution. If not I’d just increase the overall dosage. It looks like your dosing regime starts at 30ml on Sunday but then you drop it to 10ml per day for the rest? I’d just add 30ml per day as that is still only half dosage.
To be honest I’ve never really adjusted my fertilisers individually to target feed, I’ve always just adjusted the amount I dose. In my high techs I add a lot more than the recommended dosage and low tech just the suggested dosage.
cheerio,
 

martyn87

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Thanks Ady my issue was that after dosing at 30ml my nitrate was so high I was worried about the livestock. Then I dropped down the dosing to 10ml
 
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