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Old 07-29-2021, 01:31 PM   #1
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Planted Tank Advice

Hello

I am a total newbie and I apologize for the long post but I feel the more information I give, the better my answers will be. I currently successfully keep a 10g horribly over stocked tank and decided to upgrade.

I purchased a used heavily planted, high tech 92g RR corner tank. Yep, go big or go home!!

The tank came with 5year old Aquasoil, dozens of mature plants (don’t ask what kind, I have no idea yet), a sponge prefilter system on the drilled discharge side (sponges are mush), a 600gph pump, Red Sed OFC 375 UV, the cartridge is the color of coffee and approx 10 years old (I was told it is a rinse and reuse), the UV bulb is approx 10years old and was only used occasionally. The light system is home made HO (the small tubes) 24” x 4 bulbs and 36” x 5 bulbs. CO2 system is running through a regulator without working solenoid into a homemade reactor and then to the discharge fitting of the tank.

This system was up and running with over 100 fish in it when I picked it up. The only issue I saw was a ton of black beard algae, which I scrubbed out with vinegar before I set it back up. I also trimmed all damaged leaves off of the plants.

After 3.5 weeks of fighting water quality with it not cycling despite reusing everything and never letting anything dry out, I am still getting bright gold water between water changes that have been made daily.

That led me to research which led me to believe that the tank is about the only salvageable part of this system.

I am planning on stripping the system and starting over and need opinions on my plan and a little advice when it comes to the filtration. Starting from the top this is what I have purchased.
Current LED Satellite Pro 36”x2 and 24”x1
Seachem Prime water conditioner
All new prefilter sponges
Ada Aquasoil Amazonia v.2 9L
ADA power sand advanced M x1
ADA Bacter 100
ADA Tourmaline
Sera CO2 reactor 500
I’m going to try to repair the solenoid on the regulator
New bubble counter for co2
CO2 indicator for in tank
All new lines and fittings (there was a leak in a bulkhead fitting that I patched with aquarium sealant, might as well replace it too)

Up to that point, what am I missing?

Filtration is where I’m stuck. I have an OASE Biomaster Thermo 850 coming but not sure I shouldn’t have ordered the FX6 since it has higher flow rate. I know the biggest plus to the oase is the prefilter system but I have that in my tank before the water ever gets to the filter. I also know the built in heater is a big selling point but I don’t need heat at this time. I want the best filtration I can put on it. For media I have ordered the seachem matrix, some various density pads, carbon, purigen and filter bags.

The original plan was to stock the tank with the plants and my 4 goldfish that are outgrowing my 10g. Then I found out gold fish will eat my plants so that might change. I also have 6 large shiner minnows (left over bait, don’t ask), two bristle nose pleco, two albino bristle nose pleco (plecos came with the tank) and a Cory cat.

So in a nut shell,
Do I have enough light? I do know he said they were high light plants. Is there a better light system in that general price range (Finnex?)?
What am I lacking for the substrate system? What would you add?
Anything I should replace on the CO2 system providing I can repair the regulator?
Which way should I go with the filter?

Nothing has been installed yet and all can be returned. If I am way off base, don’t hesitate to tell me to send it all back and start over.

I have enough money invested at this point that I want to over do it and do it right so I don’t have to mess with it again. The frustration is draining my enjoyment of my fish.

Thank you for any and all input
Tracy

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Old 07-30-2021, 04:39 AM   #2
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The bright gold water is probably tannic acid released by the disturbed soil. Put some activated charcoal or some carbon filtration in to the water and it will remove the golden colour.

I strongly recommend not starting this tank again. You are in a fantastic position regarding the stability and microbial colonies that exist in this tank that can take years to achieve.

Remove the black beard algae and take it from there. The light will be bright enough Iím sure.

Iím not sure on the filter but use the sponge that came with the tank and start planting the new plants, hook the co2 system up and youíre away.
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Old 07-30-2021, 08:01 AM   #3
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Thank you for taking the time to respond.

The plants have been in since day 4. I had no choice because I was worried I would lose them. The tank has been running 3.5 weeks now.

The reading I have done is that the Aquasoil is well past its life expectancy. Is this not the case? Is it still usable?

I had narrowed down the gold to the soil which led me to decisions to redo it. The substrate system I ordered was a large part of the expense and if I can still keep the plants happy by returning it, I’m all for that.

I never saw a cycle work through. Is that a concern?

Thanks again,
Tracy
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Old 07-30-2021, 11:49 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TracyH View Post
Thank you for taking the time to respond.

The plants have been in since day 4. I had no choice because I was worried I would lose them. The tank has been running 3.5 weeks now.

The reading I have done is that the Aquasoil is well past its life expectancy. Is this not the case? Is it still usable?

I had narrowed down the gold to the soil which led me to decisions to redo it. The substrate system I ordered was a large part of the expense and if I can still keep the plants happy by returning it, Iím all for that.

I never saw a cycle work through. Is that a concern?

Thanks again,
Tracy

Hi Tracy.

The soil may no longer provide the plants with the nutrients they need but it will contain beneficial microbes that take a long time to establish. All sorts of necessary functions exist because of these microbes which is why I recommended you keep it. The soil will also provide some decent cation exchange capacity which means that it will hold on to any nutrients that you add and make them more easily available to plant roots.

Itís really tough to say what nutrients the soil is providing now but it really isnít critical in terms of plants because you can just dose fertiliser salts in to the water column which the plants will readily take up or place nutrients capsules at the base of the plants under your soil.

You will likely get an abundance of fertiliser salts and/or capsules that will last a very very long time for what you spent on an expensive commercial substrate

There really isnít anything wrong with starting again if you have spent the money though tank instability particularly with respect to toxic nitrogen compounds such as ammonia and aggressive algae blooms will likely ensue. This will mean you need to be more vigilant for the first 4 months or so.

The question is what is really necessary. Adding some activated charcoal to the filter will solve the water colouration issue and adding fertiliser salts in conjunction with the co2 system will easily grow plants.
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