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parrdog

My First Planted Tank

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G'day Guys,

Here's some info on my first planted tank I've set up. I set it up for my wife Kristy. She thinks it's tops smile.gif .

Thanks to everyone who helped out with my questions along the way thumb.gif .

Tank: 108 litre octagonal with cabinet and hood (got a great deal off G-1000, thanks Grant!).

Filtration: Eheim Pro 2224.

Heating: Hydor inline.

First pics.

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Rocks: Sandstone

Substrate: Layer of fertiliser stuff with black gravel on top. I forget the name of the fert, the company was one I hadn't heard of.

Plants go in Saturday 11th February. Tank is cloudy in the following pics since I took the pics just after planting.

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Lighting: 2 x 36 watt compact fluorescents, 50/50 6500K, 10000K.

CO2- Sera start tablets.

Fertiliser- Seachem Flourish, Iron and Potassium (1ml each once a day).

Plants: Back- Milfoil and Pogostemon.

Front- Chain sword, Tiger Lotus and Dwarf Blyxia.

Progress- Saturday 18th February.

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We are just stoked with the amount of beautiful growth we have got in just a week thumb.gif . We are just lovin' our little green tank smile.gif .

Next step, fish thumb.gif .

Thanks for havin' a squizz,

Jamie.

Edited by parrdog

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Man!! I love how the fertilizer has made a big difference in growth!!!

Great green on the plants. Im impressed.

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Thanks guys smile.gif . We plan on getting a group of Cardinals, a group of Rummy- Noses and a few other little fish that we haven't decided on yet.

Jamie.

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Hi MAte!

Amazing looking planted tank!!!! I guess the light does reach the bottom of the tank! Must have cost u a bundle to get all those plants.

Now all u need to do is put in some MOOPS!!!! clap.gifshock.gif

Keep the pics coming!

I have to come visit u soon!

Dave

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Thanks Dave smile.gif ,

I'd hate to think what The Moops would do to all those plants. They would have a field day bigsmile.gif .

Jamie.

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Very nice set up. (But I'll love any set up with milfoil in it - it's just a great looking plant.) smile.gif

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Nice effort Jamie...will be keen to see how it holds/progresses over time clap.gif

Andrea smile.gif

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G'day Guys,

I've run into a bit of trouble and I could use your advice. Since I posted my pics I have had an outbreak of brown algae. It is mainly on the Milfoil, but is also on the other plants and decor.

I checked my parameters this arvo.

kH- 4

pH- 7.2

Nitrate- 35-40 (Sera kit).

I then did a 50% water change and added sufficient kH up to take the kH from 3-4. My first mistake was that I hadn't done a water change since the tank cycled hence the high Nitrate which probably led to the brown algae.

My water parameters 1 hour after the change were:

kH- 4

pH- 7.2

Nitrate- 5

I don't have a phosphate test kit, should I get one?

What should I do from here? Should I leave the lights off for a couple of days, keep up water changes and get some algae eaters?

It's really disappointing seeing the difference between the pic I took on Saturday compared to what it looks like now. I did expect to have problems though, so patience and knowledge is the key I think.

On a side note, the Sera Start co2 isn't really doing anything, could this be a factor in my problem?

Thanks heaps for helping me and my little green tank out smile.gif .

Jamie.

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Hi Jamie,

Brown algea is often a phase that newly set up tanks go through. I am sure that the high nitrates didn't help.

Give your tank some time and let it settle in, now that you have rectified the nitrates. an effective brown algea eater is Otocinclus. These are great for planted tanks and stay small. One will probably clean up your tank in a few days.

My only concern about Oto's are feeding them once all the algea is gone. Many seem to starve to death in small tanks.

Cheers

Brett

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Thanks for that Brett thumb.gif . I was just wondering if you could tell me how you know when a planted tank is settled in? Thanks mate, I've heard Black Mollies are good to have when your tank is new to control algae. What do you reckon?

Thanks again,

Jamie.

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Id probably go with the oto's. Dont get as big or as obtrusive as the black mollies and i reckon a black molly would just look wrong in that tank.

Once the algae is gone they are similar to the Bn's in terms of feeding. Just drop in a couple of algae wafers and they suck on them.

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Hi Jamie,

You have a great looking planted tank.Plenty of light i would say.

The brown algea problem you are having could be caused by a number of things.

In a newly set up tank like yours with a Ph of 7.2 i would try to get it down to 6.0-6.8.This can be done by adding peat blocks to your substrate or filter.Using Co2 to control ph is fine only if you have the right equipment i,e controllers to do so.Also the sandstone you are using looks freshly cut & could in fact be leaching minerals or chemicals which is feeding the algea.

You could also increase the flow in the tank so the plants are swaying slightly in the current.

Another thing is don't add water column ferts for at least a month or 2 after setting up as this will force the plants to use all the nutrients in the water there fore competing with the algea.

Don't do any water changes for a month,only do top ups with de ionized water [2 liters bottles from coles,franklins,woolies ]

Regarding light in a new tank ,first week only have them on for 6 hours per day then every week add a hour per day until you reach 10-12 hours per day.

I have done the above many times in the last 30 years & very seldom do i have problems with algeas, brown or green taking over a tank.

Hope it all works out for you!

Cheers

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Thanks Gizmo and Luckfish smile.gif .

Luckfish- Thankyou once again for your detailed response. I will definately take on board what you have said.

Jamie.

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Thanks Grant and thanks for link to the article smile.gif .

By the way, I got a couple of Otocinclus today. Here's hoping they get to work.

Thanks agin,

Jamie.

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Hey parrdog, your tank looks fantastic. I seriously would not be too worried about the brown algae, it always seems to happen when you start a new planted tank. It just seems to be an inital thing, once it goes away, you will never see it again, even if you neglect your tank.

Don't bother with Black Mollies, i put some in my tank, they looked fantastic actually, but they did not seem to do much in terms of algae control. wink2.gif

I would leave the tank it to settle in, just keep your lights <12 a day, and dont go heavy on the fertilisers for a while. Adjusting the light duration each day does sound interesting though, I may try that yes.gif

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I'll be doing a similar tank one day if I ever pull my finger out and organise things here.

I'm interested in the compact fluoro's. Any chance of a pic showing the lights and how they are mounted or where they sit?

Tank looks great!!

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G'day Guys,

Thanks again for your help smile.gif . Here's an update with some pics. I've also got pics of the lighting that a few people were interested in.

Since my last post I have added Otocinclus and Siamese Algae Eaters. I have also stopped co2 and liquid ferts, added a small powerhead, decreased my light duration to 8 hours a day, added Phosguard to my filter, and have begun to slowly decrease my pH to a desired level of 6.8.

Our Algae problem is alot better. In the pics you can't really notice it. I have been advised and intend to hold off on other fish for a few weeks, hold off on longer light duration and hold off on liquid ferts and co2 for another month or so.

Oh yeah, I have trimmed the Milfoil, it was going nuts.

Thanks a million for all the advice once again, our little green tank thanks you for it.

Enjoy the pics,

Jamie.

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Edited by parrdog

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Lookin Good Jamie,

Those Milfoils will reach the top very quickly.I like your light setup,where did you purchase them from?

Planted tanks done right [like yours] look fantastic i.m.h.o.

Cheers

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Thanks mate, very kind smile.gif . The Milfoil was all over the surface and blocking light so I had to trim it. I got the light from Ben at Age of Aquariums and got a top deal on it too thumb.gif .

Seeya,

Jamie.

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Thanks for the light pics smile.gif

I wasnt aware you could buy them pre-made like that. Am off to AOA's site now to look further.

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