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[APD] RE: Jack's 100 gal

> I can't find the location of his "complete instructions", just bits and
pieces of related info. I am a voracious reader and would refrain from
asking this question if I could 
>find the info elsewhere.

You can find some here:

The premise is simple. Complicated advice seldom last. You can further
tweak and hone things to your taste but this takes time and experience.
You dose frequently to prevent plant deficiencies and you do large weekly
water changes to prevent excess build up and provide more available forms
of (inorganic) nutrients. This removes the need for test a host of
parameters. It takes less time to water the water with a decent water
change set up than to do a NO3 test in many cases. The other big issue is
that most test kits are crap. Testing the kit against a known standard and
calibrating is a common procedure in research. Many assume their 4$ test
kit is accurate and the word of God.   

Basically you make a reference solution each week and estimate your way
through till you can re set the tank. Having trouble? Re set the tank over
again. Alage? Re set the tank etc. 

>So, what is the regimen for success with plants? I have LaMotte test kits
for most parameters with fresh reagents so I am looking for appropriate
ratios of CO2, 
>Nitrate, Phosphate, Potassium, Trace elements and light. My tank setup
will be:

Well you'll be able to see trends in nutrients with those test kits which
are very good IME. 

> 100 gallon (60"x18"x22" high).
> wet/dry filter
> automated CO2
> 220 watts of new AHS light (4x55), mix of 5500K and 6300K
> quartz gravel and flourite mixture
> my tap water is soft and free of chloramines
>My goal is to enter the 2005 AGA Aquascaping contest!
>Thanks for any and all advice.
>Jack Olinger

Have you mixed the geravel and the fourite already? You might want to add
more flourite, then you can make slopes etc. Otherwise I greatly prefer one
gravel type in a tank. 
If the tank is already set up let us know.
If not, add ground peat(eg Scott's brand from a local nursery) and mulm
from an established tank. This is the vacuumed dirt that settles on the
bottom of a bucket during a water change. Save this soupy mix and add to
the very bottom along with pre wetted peat about 1/4-1/2" deep. Cap with
the flourite etc.

CO2- shoot for 20-30ppm range all the time, error on higher CO2 than lower.
55w lights are not that good at covering the 60" length, consider java fern
and other low light tolerate in the darker regions. 
Or you can go open top with 3x150 w HQI European low profile MH's.these run
150$ ea with bulbs

50-70% weekly water changes-make these easy on your self. Set up and fast
drain and refill system that is easy for you or do the slow float valve
automatic change system etc with timers. 

GH 5 or so, KH 3 or so. Higher is fine. 

As far as dosing: 

Add: KH2PO4 for PO4
Add: KNO3 for noth the K and NO
Add: traces, eg TMG or Flourish

You can get these from www.gregwatson.com KNO3/KH2PO4 etc

10lbs of KNO3 and 1 lb of KH2POP4 will last a few years and is cheap.
TMG or Flourish from Big Al's on line.

As long as your CO2 is in the 30ppm range, you can dose the following:
After water change:
Day one
3/4 teaspoon of KNO3, 1/8 th teaspoon of KH2PO4, maybe baking soda/SeaCem
Equilibrium for GH/KH
Day 2
20 mls of trace
Day 3: dose KNO3/KH2PO4 again same amount
Day 5 dose Traces
Day 6: dose KNO3/KH2PO4
Day 7 traces

50-70% Water change and repeat.

Plant the tank as __heavy as you can__ from day one, add the peat and mulm
also. This will get the tank off to a good start.
I add algae eaters of fish after a couple of days. 

You will want to raise the over level in the prefilter so that the water
does not splash much, this will help you keep a good CO2 level in the tank.
Many folks remove the wet/dry section and use a bag filter. This is similar
to a Berlin SW version of a sump. The skimmer is replaced by a CO2 reactor
and the bag filter provides for excellent mechanical filtration and will
over flow if clogged and drain into the sump without issue. 

This will get you going.

Tom Barr

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