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[APD] Heavy bioload is tough on a plant tank!
We often read that a heavy bioload is tough on a plant tank. Here's one
example of why that's true.
My ancistrus bred unexpectedly recently. Their timing was awful because I
didn't have any free tanks to house the fry, and I was just about to
convert the plant tank to a Tom Barr system.
For over two months, I kept the 175 fry in a breeding net in the plant
tank. Those fry ate more than 3x as much food as the rest of the tank
combined. Every day they ate a half teaspoon or more of crushed spirolina
flake food, 10-20 peas, and a thin slice of zucchini. The Barr system
improved plant growth, but blue green algae was persistent.
Finally I cleared a tank for the fry and moved them out. The persistent
blue green algae disappeared from the plant tank on its own, without a
blackout or manual removal, after two weekly 50% water changes. Stem plants
finally took off and started to crowd the top of the tank. The only change
I made was to increase added KNO3 to keep the level at 5-10 ppm.
Now the plant tank is back to 30 tetras, 7 corys, 8 juvenile angels, four
ancistrus, two loaches and some otos, which seems to be an easily
sustainable bioload. At least until the angels grow up and I have to remove
most of them!
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