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Old 07-20-2020, 01:10 PM   #1
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High Tech Planted Tank Set up

Hi All,

First post here. I've recently entered into the high tech planted tank world and currently having trouble balancing light, CO2 and fertilizer. My current equipment on my 75 gallon is as follows:

1. Lights - Finnex Planted Plus 24/7 & Finnex Ray 2. Right now I have the lights on for 6 hours. The finnex planted plus 24/7 is set on max setting only. I added the Ray 2 since I didnt think I was getting enough light in the front of the tank where I want to grow a monte carlo carpet. I'm assuming the combination of these lights puts me in the med-high light range.

2. CO2 - pressurized C02 coming from a reactor hooked up to my cannister filter. Its getting dispersed through a spray bar. I am pretty sure I am getting enough C02 into the water as I had to dial it back as my fish were gasping for air at the surface. I turn it on about an hour before the lights go on and shuts off 30 mins before the lights go off. I also have a HOB aquaclear filter running to help with aeration.

3. Fertilizer - My current regimen is to dose Flourish on my weekly 25% water change day. I then alternate dosing potassium and iron every other day.


With this current setup that I tried for a week, I had green spot algae covering my glass pretty rapidly. I think I have maybe too much light? or my dosing regimen is off. Any advice would be much appreciated as my previous experience has been with low-tech setups. Thanks!
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Old 07-20-2020, 02:17 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by NeonLights150 View Post
Hi All,
My current equipment on my 75 gallon is as follows:

1. Lights - Finnex Planted Plus 24/7 & Finnex Ray 2. Right now I have the lights on for 6 hours. The finnex planted plus 24/7 is set on max setting only. I added the Ray 2 since I didnt think I was getting enough light in the front of the tank where I want to grow a monte carlo carpet. I'm assuming the combination of these lights puts me in the med-high light range.
6 hours is a good start, if you are having trouble with algae, drop it down to 5 hours.

Consider running the Planted Plus 24/7 at 50% + the Ray 2 until you are ahead of the algae.

You are correct, high end of medium light, not quite into the high range just yet. but you've got enough for carpeting plants.



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2. CO2 - pressurized C02 coming from a reactor hooked up to my cannister filter. Its getting dispersed through a spray bar. I am pretty sure I am getting enough C02 into the water as I had to dial it back as my fish were gasping for air at the surface. I turn it on about an hour before the lights go on and shuts off 30 mins before the lights go off. I also have a HOB aquaclear filter running to help with aeration.
Ensure CO2 is dropping the pH of the tank water a full 1.0 Ė 1.2.

To do this, measure the pH of tank water with no CO2 dissolved in it, and then measure again 2-3 hours after CO2 has been running. Ensure the drop in pH is a full 1.0-1.2. If the drop is not there yet, slowly up CO2 over a few weeks until at least a 1.0 drop is achieved, and watch fish / livestock carefully.

Adjust CO2 down if you notice fish gasping at the surface and consider running an airstone at night when pushing a 1.2 or greater drop.

For example, a tank water pH of 7.5 with no CO2 dissolved in it, should reach a pH of 6.5 Ė 6.3 for CO2 to really shine, and for maximum plant health.

Consistency in CO2 levels is key to plant health. Keep CO2 levels as stable as possible once a desirable level has been reached during the entirety of the photoperiod.


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3. Fertilizer - My current regimen is to dose Flourish on my weekly 25% water change day. I then alternate dosing potassium and iron every other day.
I would ditch the Flourish line, you are missing some trace elements and 2 of the 3 macro nutrients that plant need in larger quantities.

Instead, I would go with a Thrive product, or go with dry fertilizers (dry fertilizers are the cheapest option for the long term).

KNO3 - for nitrate
KH2PO4 - for phosphate
K2SO4 - for potassium
CSM+B - for micro nutrients
DTPA 11% Iron or Flourish Iron - for Iron at pH's above 7.0

CaSO4 (optional) - for calcium
MgSO4 (optional) - for magnesium




Quote:
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With this current setup that I tried for a week, I had green spot algae covering my glass pretty rapidly. I think I have maybe too much light? or my dosing regimen is off. Any advice would be much appreciated as my previous experience has been with low-tech setups. Thanks!
Is the tank brand new? Probably too much light too soon coupled with an incomplete dosing regime. Larger water changed are preferred but I understand that's always not convenient.
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Old 07-20-2020, 02:51 PM   #3
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Thanks this was very helpful. Tank is not new at all. Been running for about 6 years.
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Old 07-20-2020, 07:40 PM   #4
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Same as above really. Is the tank fully planted out now and getting growth? Newly planted out tanks I find can be hit and miss until they take off / I find plants that like the tank.

Dialling back light intensity and / or duration. And increase macro ferts, especially potassium. Iím slack on testing but I test to keep nitrates around 30ppm and a few ppm of phosphate. I light dose micro-ferts. Catfish mainly for bit of algae cleanup. Occasional dose of carbonates. Bit of glut dosing for algae control.
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Old 07-21-2020, 10:17 AM   #5
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Thanks this was very helpful. Tank is not new at all. Been running for about 6 years.
You're probably fine at 6 hours for now, just keep an eye on how algae progresses (or lack there of) once you get your fertilizing regime in check.

I would leave the lighting as is (possible reduce the 24/7 unit's intensity) and then focus on tank maintenance / CO2 levels / getting some macro and micro fertilizing in check.

What are your NO3 levels at prior and post weekly water change?
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Old 07-21-2020, 11:58 AM   #6
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You're probably fine at 6 hours for now, just keep an eye on how algae progresses (or lack there of) once you get your fertilizing regime in check.

I would leave the lighting as is (possible reduce the 24/7 unit's intensity) and then focus on tank maintenance / CO2 levels / getting some macro and micro fertilizing in check.

What are your NO3 levels at prior and post weekly water change?
Read my mind. I was just going to ask about this when I looked up the Thrive product. It seems my tap water is supplying about 10-20 ppm in Nitrates. I did a water change on Sunday and my nitrates are 40 ppm. I recently moved in March so I think the different tap water is atleast part of the increase. My tank use to be a steady 10 ppm. I've read Thrive can really boost your nitrates. Would this product be safe for me if I up my weekly water changes to 50%?
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Old 07-21-2020, 01:44 PM   #7
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Read my mind. I was just going to ask about this when I looked up the Thrive product. It seems my tap water is supplying about 10-20 ppm in Nitrates. I did a water change on Sunday and my nitrates are 40 ppm. I recently moved in March so I think the different tap water is atleast part of the increase. My tank use to be a steady 10 ppm. I've read Thrive can really boost your nitrates. Would this product be safe for me if I up my weekly water changes to 50%?
50% is preferred, if possible larger 60-70% changes are miles ahead of a 50%.
But, again, performing water changes that large isn't always convenient.

50% is a much better option than a 25%, and you'll be more flexible with fertilizer dosing (large water changes can easily "reset" the nutrient load of the tank).

If you've already got 10-15ppm of NO3 in the source water, I would say go with a dry fertilizer package from GLA: https://greenleafaquariums.com/produ...kage-bags.html

That way, you can modify each macro and determine you own micro amounts. Simply mix them up into 2 solutions (I can help out) and dose as you would with Thrive.

Or go with the Thrive product that contains less NO3 (Thrive S maybe? I'm not sure I don't use any Thrive products).
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Old 07-21-2020, 02:56 PM   #8
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50% is preferred, if possible larger 60-70% changes are miles ahead of a 50%.
But, again, performing water changes that large isn't always convenient.

50% is a much better option than a 25%, and you'll be more flexible with fertilizer dosing (large water changes can easily "reset" the nutrient load of the tank).

If you've already got 10-15ppm of NO3 in the source water, I would say go with a dry fertilizer package from GLA: https://greenleafaquariums.com/produ...kage-bags.html

That way, you can modify each macro and determine you own micro amounts. Simply mix them up into 2 solutions (I can help out) and dose as you would with Thrive.

Or go with the Thrive product that contains less NO3 (Thrive S maybe? I'm not sure I don't use any Thrive products).
Thanks. For now, I am going to go with the Thrive C product (contains less N03) and increase my water change percentage and see what happens. Do you typically dose right after your water change? Day after?
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Old 07-21-2020, 04:04 PM   #9
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Thanks. For now, I am going to go with the Thrive C product (contains less N03) and increase my water change percentage and see what happens. Do you typically dose right after your water change? Day after?

It should come with directions, I personally front load all my macros (my weekly total amounts) after a water change and then dose my micros 3 x per week to achieve my weekly totals.

For an all-in-one like Thrive, I would break it into 3 or 4 doses per week, 1 after a water change and then 2 or 3 spread equally throughout the rest of the week.

Again, it should have directions but you can always experiment.
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