Help/Advice on a new setup

Kronnie

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19 Jun 2020
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Location
norwich
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IMG_0529.JPGIMG_0528.JPGIMG_0527.JPGIMG_0527.JPGIMG_0526.JPGIMG_0528.JPGIMG_0529.JPGIMG_0525.JPGHi,

its been a while since I have attempted a new tank and my first at a planted aquarium. I have spent a lot of time researching and reading various articles on websites as well as most videos on YouTube. With all of the information gathered to say I am a bit confused is an understatement I think I understand the basics.
My set up is as follows,
300ltr
Oase 350 thermos external filter
CO2 with inline diffuser( set 3hr before light on and off 1hr before lights off)
1 x 120cm tropic glow led (Blue/White led)
1 x 120cm aquarienEco RGB full spectrum
lights on 10hrs per day
EcoComplete substrate
Temperature 76c
Currently 3 x 40/50% water changes per week(Seachem Prime used)
Seachem flourish 1.8ml daily
Seachem Iron 5ml weekly
Seachem Nitrogen 5ml twice weekly
Seachem Pottasium 10ml weekly
Seachem Matrix filter media

The aquarium has been up and running for 22 days, I have quite a lot of plants(all plants described as easy) and no live stock as of yet. My main problems that I have encountered so far are as follows,
1, A lot of my plants have/are melting or dying. (My stem plant on the other hand are thriving)
2, Brown algae (Diatoms) I expected this but its pretty much everywhere.
3, Fine white thread like algae starting to grow on what I was hoping to be my carpet of eleocharis parvula, looks like it spreading to my hardscape as well.(Some signs though of new runners though)
4, Slightly cloudy water!!!

I am pretty sure that the tank has not finished cycling yet, below are my water parameters
PH = 7.5
Ammonia = 0
Nitrite = 1ppm
Nitrate = 5ppm
KH = 11
GH = 21
My water is mega hard , constantly having to remove a hard water line from the tank when doing water changes.
I know I have mistakes somewhere but am not sure where, my main thoughts were to either up my C02 and/or reduce my lighting to 6hrs per day. Should i remove the plants that have melted/dying? Attached are some pics so you can see where I am with this tank,
Any and all advice would be welcomed

Thanks






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Siege

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11 Aug 2017
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Location
Cambridgeshire, UK
A few thoughts -


- Lighting, 10 hours is way too much for a new tank (and most established tanks, more so without using co2).
Best to reduce it to 6-8 hours max.

- you are not using co2. The mini hair grass will not do much without it. You may be better to try tenelum green as a non co2 carpet.

- you will want to plant the carpet thickly, with each tc pot covering 10-15 cm circle. This is more important without co2. In fact plant heavily everywhere. The soil should be covered in plantlets. Long term you do not want to see any soil.

- floating plants will help dapple the light and eat nutrients.

- you are massively under filtered. On your size tank 2 X the 600 Thermo will be more like it. prefilters swapped to the courser orange foams.

- reduce temp to 22-23 will help massively.

- remove melting leaves.

- blast the substrate with a turkey baster cable tied to syphon tube at water change time. Remove waste organics.



I wouldn’t worry about anything else! :)
 

Siege

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Location
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Ps. Will be Worth visiting Aquarium Gardens in Huntingdon and scaped nature in Norwich for inspiration and buying products. It’ll save you money in the long run 👍😃
 

Siege

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Location
Cambridgeshire, UK
Another post, just seen you are using co2!

The stem plants donot look like co2 plants as they are rather leggy. what colour is your drop checker at lights on?
Move this around the tank. It could be a flow issue with the underpowered filtration.
 

Kronnie

New Member
Joined
19 Jun 2020
Messages
24
Location
norwich
thanks for the help.
I will reduce my lights down to 6 hrs a day (thought 10hrs was to much). My drop checker is still a blue at lights on but does go green eventually, there is a good haze of c02 bubbles throughout the tank which suggests its getting around and circulating well. The drop checker is the opposite end to the inlet pipe.
The stem plants are directly in the flow and moving all the time, they have grown about 6inchs in the past week and a bit.

I will purchase more plants especially for the carpet, I am seeing some new shoots but would have expected a few more at this stage.

What are your thoughts on my ferts, too much or not enough?
Also the algae should this recede with my reduction in lighting and temperature. I also appreciate that this is a new tank going through the stages of maturing.

Much appreciating the guidence

P.S - Didn't realise there was a dedicated shop "scaped nature" in Norwich, looks very good.
 

Siege

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Location
Cambridgeshire, UK
I think you are dosing on the lean side at the Moment but donot worry about that.

Your co2 should be a light green colour when the lights go on. Bang it up and start even earlier before the lights come on.

I turn my 200L tank on 4 hours before the lights. This is run on a 1,250Lph filter plus an eheim 350 skim. This is not high flow.

You want to be aiming for 5-10 X tank water turnover on what it says on the filter box. The more the better.

The max tank size I’d put the 350 filter on is a c. 100L tank. Anything above this the 600.
Anything above 200L 2 X 600.

You could add a further filter (600). This would work ok. Just change the prefilter foams.



On a new tank to help the plants get used to being underwater we aim for a yellow drop checker. Not an issue with no livestock.

Your stem plants are bolting to get to the surface to get co2, hence the large gaps between the leaves on the stem. This growth is not good. They should be compact and bushy whilst growing upwards. This issue is increased by the huge lighting period. That’s why, having not read your post properly I assumed it was a no co2 tank!

Have you got a full tank picture?


Check out @Geoffrey Rea journal for a set up of a similar size to yours. Note the 2 x filters. 1,750 l/ph, the other 1,250 l/ph Plus his new super cheap skim :)

S.
 
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Kronnie

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Location
norwich
Its defo not light green when lights come on, I will crank it up.
Thanks for the advice.
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Siege

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Thanks for the pic.

Id suggest -

move the rocks and hardscape forward allowing a lot more room for stems. It’ll also make your tank look deeper also.

more midground plants to help the transgression to the taller stems.

add more stems to thicken them out and floating plants.

Once you get on top of the co2 (loads more) - light (loads less) - defo another filter - balance whilst it adding more plant mass then look at ferts etc.

Itll be good. 😃
 

Siege

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A link to video of the kind of thing you should be expecting at 5 weeks of decent co2 and flow combined with high plant mass . You will see how tight the green stem plants are.

 
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Kronnie

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Amazing results in such a short space of time. Biggest thing I am seeing is a need for mass planting and massive flow rate. I am unsure at the minute if I have made the right decision going for an inline c02 diffuse as opposed to an in tank diffuser, reason being my water looks cloudy with bubbles. Although I am seeing good distribution of c02.
I will ramp up my co2 tomorrow, lights have been adjusted to 6hrs per day and temp taken down to 22c. I will add a lot of extra Parvula to the carpet in the next couple of days, I am guessing that its a case of the plants outcompeting against the algae, hence the need for mass planting.

I will have a bit of a play around with the rocks next week and plant heavily with midground plants, unsure atm what I will go for.

much appreciate the guidance
 

sparkyweasel

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What are your thoughts on my ferts, too much or not enough?
"Seachem flourish 1.8ml daily
Seachem Iron 5ml weekly
Seachem Nitrogen 5ml twice weekly
Seachem Pottasium 10ml weekly "

No Phosphorus?
You might be better off with a complete fertiliser. Or get dry salts and mix your own, which will save you quite a bit of cash with a big tank.
 

Kronnie

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19 Jun 2020
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Location
norwich
Thanks.
I've looked into this and the reviews all seem very positive with good results. If I were to change over from my current fertilizers to this will it have any adverse affect on the plants in the short term? It seems a lot easier and simpler that what I am attempting with doseing several different elements daily or on separate days.
Also a lot cheaper which is a bonus
 

rubadudbdub

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27 Oct 2015
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I stared with TNC complete and moved to the aquarium plant food starter kit, as its cheaper in the long run.

You get EI salts and a macro and micro dosing bottle. Mix the salts up with some boiled tap water and the dose to add for full EI is on the bottle. It's very easy.
 

Kronnie

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19 Jun 2020
Messages
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Location
norwich
I wanted to giva an updated as to where my tank is at 42 days and how the advice has helped. Below are some of the changes I have made.
1, added another external filter (1400ltr p/h) cheap brand but does a job atm.
2, Planted my carpet more densly
3,Reduced my lighting period down to 6 hrs
4, C02 comes on 4 hrs before lights ( previously 2 hrs)
5, Reduced temp down to 22c
6, Added more plants.
7, Changed over to TNC complete, dosing 25ml daily.

I have seen a reduction in diatoms but am still seeing some (not to the extent previously, is this normal?). The water quality seems to have improved a lot, much clearer although the c02 gives it a cloudy appearance. I haven't had anymore plants melting so far, which is a bonus.
I understand that my tank is still in its early days but feel over the past 20 days there has been a lot of changes all for the better. Two areas I am still struggling with are , the growth of my carpet. It has gone through a die of (browning/opaque appearance then settled back down with green patches) but still not showing much signs of growing/spreading and secondly general growth of plants(Still early days I know).
I have changed over fertilizers which I think has helped but may have been grossly under dosing. Since Friday I have upped the dose to 25 ml per day(Double, triple dose), hoping this will have a positive affect., I will move over to DIY ferts once I see growth also I have over 1ltr of TNC to use up first. My stem plants look to be filling out a bit but still not where I want them to be (I am trimming and replanting the tops)

I have slowly added some live stock over the past week or so, all have settled in well with no issues
6 x SAE
15 x Copper Harlequins
15 x RCS
1 X Ramshorn snail ( free in the shrimp packaging, absolutely tearing through the brown algae).
I will be adding a lot more shrimp in the next week and be looking at one more group of small shoaling fish (undecided yet at to what)

Still along way to go and want to achieve that full planted tank look, I may eventually if my carpet doesn't take look at alternatives, any advice on this would be most welcome. I wouldn't even mind filling the foreground with low growing bushy type plants to give that full look.

Thanks.
 

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