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Old 07-29-2021, 02:47 PM   #1
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Planted tank nightmare

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 (donít 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) 24Ē x 4 bulbs and 36Ē 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 36Ēx2 and 24Ēx1
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
Iím 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 Iím stuck. I have an OASE Biomaster Thermo 850 coming but not sure I shouldnít 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 donít 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, donít 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, donít 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 donít 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 08-05-2021, 01:00 AM   #2
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Are you familiar with the nitrification system? That is the cycle part of keeping a stable tank and water system. A good place to start is with the basic information and being sure you haven't missed knowing something critical. There is a link in my signature article about getting started.

The lighting is good, but you may need more.

The plants, if you can get a number of snap shots it might help with the IDs.

I love the Fluval FX filters, I have 2 of the FX-5 the older version of the 6. And they have been going around 6 & 8ish years - but both came to me as used. They are a powerhouse of filtering. I am not personally familiar with the other one.

As for the substrate, there is a good amount of BB / beneficial bacteria, in the substrate, as well as the filter pads.

You can gently rinse the pads with dechlorinated water.

Add new pad to the old pad and after about 2 months probably the old pads will have helped seed BB the new ones. You can use a mesh veggie bag from the produce department, ideally from organic foods, or ask the employee for a new bag to hang the old filter pads in the tank for awhile longer just to keep the BB as plentiful as possible.

You can also add the older pad(s) into the new canister filter towards the bottom layer after a gentle rinse.

Having a cool water tank, also referred to as a cold water tank is fine in a heated home with out additional heater.

BUT I always like to have a heater to keep a base level warmth at a particular level. Which will need an adjustable heater. Or 2 of them which are just around equal or slightly more, than the amount needed to heat the tank.

Not sure if I missed it but what is the old substrate in the 92G?
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Old 08-05-2021, 09:30 AM   #3
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The original substrate is ADA Aquasoil and is 5+ years old. I finally have the tank almost cycled while waiting for my parts to arrive that I had ordered. Itís been over a month now. Itís clear and I am seeing the levels and steps that are expected. The diatoms have decreased to almost none visible and I have a bit of algae. Levels look decent so a week ago I popped in some algae eaters (pleco, SAE, catfish, nerite snails) to get to work. My SAE has doubled in size 🤣 they seem to be doing well. Iím still seeing some NH3 but not a lot, also some nitrates and nitrates. So itís getting there.

Iím going to let it ride like this for the most part until itís completely stable before I start upsetting the apple cart again. First change is the filter. Then a couple months, maybe the substrate. I ordered fertilizer to get me by until then.

I am waiting on a call from Current on the lights. They hate me and wonít behave. I am about to box them up and return them. Iím going to give them one more chance.

Bad thing is, in the middle of this I need to leave for a week. This tank needs to be on autopilot by then. I have lights on timers. CO2 on a timer and an auto feeder. Will do a big water change before I go. What am I missing? Wish me luck.
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Old 08-05-2021, 11:42 AM   #4
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Try to do anything like tank/ fert additions /changes all in the days before, not the day you leave ir night before in case of any issues. Refuce light timing some and or split it with a lights out during the day of say an hour or 2 dark between the lights on, sometimes referred to as a siesta.

Anyway a series of water changes in the week or so before you go to get the tank water freshened up but not one huge change, can be too drastic.
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Old 08-05-2021, 11:53 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Autumnsky View Post
Try to do anything like tank/ fert additions /changes all in the days before, not the day you leave ir night before in case of any issues. Refuce light timing some and or split it with a lights out during the day of say an hour or 2 dark between the lights on, sometimes referred to as a siesta.

Anyway a series of water changes in the week or so before you go to get the tank water freshened up but not one huge change, can be too drastic.

Iíve been doing 25% water changes daily while Iím home. I travel for work so gone a week, home a week. Usually I have someone here to watch the lights, co2, and feed. This next trip there will be no one here to watch it for lights or the such. Thatís why the push to get it on a bit of autopilot.

Thanks for all the helpful information!!
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