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Old 05-30-2007, 03:51 PM   #1
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Low-Medium light(~2wpg) 75 gallon tank. Plant noob - few ?'s

I have a 75 gallon fresh water tank with several rainbows and some Congo+Columbian tetras. I just bought some new lighting and have about 2wpg after a cf light correction. I bought some java ferns and plan on getting some species of vals. My nitrate levels are somewhere in the vicinity of 40-20ppm... i cant tell the difference on my test because all the color look almost identical. So on to the questions...

With some of the lower light species, what kinds of additives would i need? I read that some low light plants don't need CO2 injections and little to no fertilizer. A guy at a lfs recommended me FloraDose. he said it would help replenish trace minerals in the substrate since i have gravel. Being a biology major i know that CO2 can only help a plant grow, but what would you recommend to someone starting out with some of the easier plants to grow like java fern and vals etc.

Also, if you want to know, i have a weird lighting set up. i bought 2 t5 2x28 watt fixtures. i have 3 full spectrum bulbs and 1 actinic bulb. I like the actinic bulb because it makes my rainbow's color almost glow. so i figured 3x28= 84cf watts x 1.75cf correction = 147/75gallons=1.96wpg
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Old 05-30-2007, 04:16 PM   #2
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You probably do not need CO2. Co2 does always help though. You could try anubias, sword plants, crypts and various stem plants. Anacharis, wysteria, asian ambulia and lucens come to mnid. There are others I just can't think of them right now. Almost 2 watts on a 75 gallon tank is almost medium lighting, check out Jchillin's tank. He has a 75 with just about the same amount of light as you have.
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Old 05-30-2007, 04:35 PM   #3
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Re: Low-Medium light(~2wpg) 75 gallon tank. Plant noob - few

Quote:
Originally Posted by Radioheadx14
so i figured 3x28= 84pf watts x 1.75pf correction = 147/75gallons=1.96wpg
What does the "pf" stand for? and where did you come up with the correction?
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Old 05-30-2007, 04:35 PM   #4
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What about ferts and minerals? should i be adding anything else to the tank?

EDIT:
oops i meant cf, i read here:http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewtopic.php?t=72491 that for t5 cf lights you multiply the total wattage by 1.75 to get the stand florescent output wpg ratio.

I have 3 28 watt t5 bulbs so that 84 cf watts... 84 cf watts x 1.75 = 147 NO watts / 75gallons in my tank = 1.96 watts per gallon
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Old 05-30-2007, 06:18 PM   #5
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That number is old the current correction based on a sampling of data is much lower. Check out Wizard Of Ozz's article which is linked in that thread. The number you used was from the very beginning of the thread, before any of the later adjustments that were made.

For traces the generally recommended products are CSM+B, Flourish Comprehensive, or Tropica Plant Nutrition. You probably won't need Nitrate and Phosphates if you've got a descent bioload. The only other thing you would probably need is Potassium.
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Old 05-30-2007, 06:33 PM   #6
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What about iron? also, how much plant biomass would i have to add to need ferts and CO2?
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Old 05-30-2007, 07:56 PM   #7
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A good trace mix like the ones I listed above have plenty of iron in them for basic needs.

There's lots of variables involved that determine how much carbon and other nutrients plants consume. While partially dependant on the number of plants in the aquarium, a much larger part is dependant on how fast you are driving the plants to grow with the amount of light over the aquarium. You need to start supplementing carbon and other nutrients when your plants consume them faster than what is readily available in the water column.

In general once you reach somewhere between medium and medium high light is when you have to start supplementing carbon and other nutrients to avoid massive algae outbreaks. That's not to say that your plants won't benefit from these even with less light, just that it becomes much harder to maintain balance in your aquarium without supplementation at those higher light levels.
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Old 05-30-2007, 08:09 PM   #8
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gotcha... i read through the article you posted and i have about 1.5 wpg... so its a low-moderate light. I have 2 small java ferns now, a few Cabomba which i am optimistic about. I am also getting some jungle val too. other than that I'm going to take it slow.
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Old 05-30-2007, 08:21 PM   #9
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I just happen to have a similar tank in both size and lighting. Although it is considered low-moderate light, I found that because I have collectivitus (an insane propensity to collect various species of plants and crowd them in the tank) and to keep algae at bay (yes, even this size can succumb to the dreaded algaes), I found that dosing some nutrients is very beneficial.

So, while you are taking it slow at this point, start thinking about the future and grab up some Flourish potassium, Flourish nitrogen and some Flourish root tabs. Purrbox mentioned Tropica, which is not a bad idea either for traces.

Good luck with the tank!
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Old 05-31-2007, 04:03 AM   #10
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i have a 75g with eco, many types of plants and fish, if you look at my sig youll see everything at lower than 2.0wpg.
I got greg watson fertz and I dose
three times a week 1/2tsp of potassium sulfate
two times a week of csm+b 1/4tsp
I do not do water changes maybe five gallons at a time through out a week after 2 weeks
total change of 25g to 40g.
I have my lights on for only 8hrs a day.
i feed once a day and sometimes twice.
I dose every other day 2 capfuls of carbon (flourish excel)
every weekend I check the water for nitrate levels and phosphate levels
if needed i dose a pinch of potassium phosphate and a pinch of mono potassium nitrates
I have around 10 to 20 nitrates and 1.0 to 2.0 of phosphate.
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Old 06-02-2007, 07:53 PM   #11
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I have following plants (see link) at shipping cost and they are under less than 2wpg and no CO2, no fert needed.

check here
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