View Full Version : several questions - lighting, and co2 addition amount of bubbles, and fertilizer

11-15-2011, 02:03 PM
Ok so im gonna really work on the tank this winter. i am ordering a 10lb cylinder and solonoid/regulator etc....

i have the 90gallon tank - like 75 but 24" deep already set up, and looking good, but ii think the growth on my crypts and the ludwigia is slow, and the java fern adn bolbitis is fine....also - i tried some micro sword and its dying back....

i have a 4x54 t5 strip on the tank, with new lights. its on about 13 hours a day.
i use flourish as a fertilizer.
lots of fish in the tank, but no major plant biters.
I use diy yeast co2 periodically, but its not working all that well right now...thus the new upgraded co2 unit

Ive kept fish for 20 years, and plant tanks about as long, and ive never had as much trouble growing the plants as i do now...i breed fish a lot too, so i have a lot of knowledge with all this stuff, but im stumped right now

so any suggestions as to what i may do differently..??

thx guys


11-15-2011, 10:53 PM
A 4 bulb HO t5 light with good bulbs in it will be way too bright to use all four bulbs without injected CO2, even in a 24" deep tank. I would recommend that you cut back to two bulbs until you have the CO2 levels set using a drop checker. Also, cut the hours of light back to about 8-10 per day. If the ludwegia is showing reds and oranges on the upper leaves, you have at least medium to medium high light situation and need to be adding nutrients.

Flourish just supplies trace elements if I remember correctly, with the high light levels that even two bulbs provide you need to be dosing fertilizers as the higher rate of plant growth allowed by the higher light levels will quickly use up all the available nitrogen and potassium in the water column, even with a heavily stocked tank. I have to dose my heavily planted medium light tanks weekly, even though they do not have added CO2. You may want to look at EI dosing. I buy my fertilizers from greenleafaquariums.com and dose dry ferts twice a week and try to do 50% water changes twice a month.

There are a number of approaches to dosing ferts, but I suspect your problems with plant growth stem from low N and P levels. Most ludwegias will grow steadily even without CO2 at medium light levels.
Generally you need good water circulation at high light levels, once the plant growth gets thick. I have about 1500 gph on my 135 gal for exam

11-16-2011, 04:14 PM
So now thats helpful advice. as ive said ive kept fish for really almost 30 years, and usually had 2 40 double stip lights - 160 watts - on a 75 and had much better results, so i figured this with more light should be doing better.

so its too much you say...well that makes sence to me.

ill try some more fertilizers and do the co2 wtith a regulator and 10 botttle from greenleaf....the fretilizer im not sure about, but ill get some of the dry stuff - im sure they will let me know how to dose it. cant belive im about to spend 350$ on a co2 tank....
fyi i have 750GPH or so on the tank, and im going to upgrade that sometime, but its really doing ok like it is...

thanks Man. ill have to let you have som Bolbitis next meeting i make it too....ive been to 2, plus a couple auctions. Sundays are not a good day for me, just dont want t leave the family behind...
thanks a lot

11-16-2011, 08:19 PM
Depending on the spectrum of the T12 bulbs on your 75, and plant density, you may have been running lean on nutrients for that setup as well. The reason I say this is I have a 30 long with two 30 watt lights on it, warm white/cool white. I used mineralized topsoil for substrate and the nutrients ran out after a year, so now I have to dose that tank biweekly as well. It is heavily planted with some fast growing stems, and, based on the rotala and ludwegia colorations is on the upper side of medium light level.

Just in case you aren't aware of it, spectrums of 12k and higher as wells as atinic bulbs aren't usable by fresh water plants, so their wattage doesn't count. What make are the HOT5 bulbs? Are they less than a year old?

If you are placing an order from greenleaf, I would get a couple of pounds of KNO3, a pound of KSO4, and a pound of CSM+B dry fertilizers. Dry fertilizers are the cheapest way to fertilize your 75 gal aquarium. I would dose 16 g KNO3, 8g KSO4, and 4 g CSM+B weekly and see if there is any improvement. I use pennywort or amazon frogbit as indicator plants because the paleness between the leaf veins is easy to spot so I know the tank is running low on nitrates and I need to up my dosing frequency. I am sure there are club members that make up dosing solutions, but I just weigh out dry ferts and dump them in.

Sure we can trade plants some time, I generally have extras. (Dwarf sag, pennywort, ambulia, hornwort, salvinia, amazon frogbit, wide and narrow leaf Java ferns, marble queen swords, Crypt, ciliata, ect.)

11-16-2011, 09:06 PM
Thanks again Geo.

i got the co2 set up from them today, the cheapest with a 10lb bottle.
i also got one order of the general fertilizer from them....ill dose as they say/your suggestions.

i only ever use gravel, and its been set up for about 10 years, so i may need to rip out everything and do a massive stir up, and add some substarte fert.....the thing is i am planning on converting it to a river tank with a powerhead, and reconficgure the plumbing.

its got an overflow, that i took out and i have just the suction and return at the bottom of the tank....i plan on piping the suction to the far side of the tank, and rerouting the return to make directional flow towards the other side of the tank.....if it works i may even lower the wate level and get some cork bark and attatch it to the sides and do a paludarium/terrerium thingy.....all filtered thru the pump and ocean clear filter under the tank. really its a nice set up becaue its basically self enclosed - i dont have much in the tank like pipes etc....all there really is is the heater.

so because of that i may not get too excited about the plants just yet.......but i want to get a lush tank like i used to have in college years ago....

thanks again....also - i have some firemouth fry and Aequidens gayei i need to get rid of....so if you want some of that i can send it to you...along with some java and some bolbitis..


12-06-2011, 02:04 AM
Ferts are easy, adding the right amount of C02 even with a good setup can be difficult. Having too much light is a good thing as
long as you can very the height (distance to bottom) of the light. How do you plan to add CO2 to the aquarium?

01-23-2012, 07:20 PM
First thing: Go to Plantedtank.net, and start reading everything about lights, ferts (EI dosing) and CO2
Second thing: go to ebay and buy a Aquatech regulator for 60 something dollar and Beverage control ( http://www.beveragecontrol.net/Contact-Us.asp) for co2 cylinders (20lb for $100 filled)
Third thing; ebay again and buy a glass drop checker and a bubble counter.