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[APD] My iron additions -LONG-
I have successfully revitalized my ailing
125 gal hi tech plant tank after it was on auto
pilot for about 16 months (no money to spend and
little time). This tank use to be a reef tank
before we moved 4 yrs ago. The original planted
tank at the old house was a low tech 60 gal set
up. When we moved, I sold all of the reef stuff
but kept the equipment and moved up from a 60 gal
planted tank to a 125 gal planted tank.
I went hi tech with this tank because I knew I
might not have the time to spend with it. I have
a 125 gal tank with surface overflow to a sump
under the stand. The substrate is 3-4" of oil dry
(kitty liter) with 1-2" of aquarium gravel on top
Under the stand is a homemade control centre that
controls the return pump should the down pipe
clog possibly overflowing the upper tank.
Integrated in the control centre is a temperature
controller that I built from a Radio Shack
temperature control module. It keeps the tank
temp within the temperature range that I set up.
If it gets too hot a fan turns on to blow across
the water. When the tank gets too cool the
controller turns on the heater. To finish out the
controller I built a sump refill system that uses
RO water to top up the sump when it runs low. All
of this is done automatically.
I use UV sterilizer in the sump too. I use light
timers to turn on and off my 2 VHO 10000ºK 6'
florescent lamps (330 watts reef light) and
another timer to turn on 3 little 20 watt lamps
for a nice evening effect when the VHOs are off.
I also use high pressure CO2 injection. So all I
really ever need to do is add food.
Last month I started the revitalization
procedure. After 16 months of just feeding the
fish, the tank had a very bad case of cyno
bacteria (bluegreen algae and slimy. It lays down
in sheets). I started with 20 gal. water changes
every other day for a week and added a power head
for more circulation. The green slimy stuff never
really yielded any ground as it showed up every
other day. While battling this stuff I got my CO2
up and running. By the end of the second week the
green slime was winning. My CO2 level was holding
the pH to 6.9 (130 bubbles per min)
Test kits showed...
PO4 > 0
NO3 > 0
Fe < 0
GH moderate (11 drops)
KH 6 dkh
CO2 by chart 18ppm
During week 3, I started to add nutrients. I
added KH2PO4, KNO3, KSO4, Epsom Salt, and trace
elements (all from a hydroponics store). All
tests showed levels were up. The O2 bubbles that
were being created made the tank look like a
glass of gingerale. The tank still had the green
slime though! I thought that bringing up the
conditions for the macro plants to grow well
would make the conditions not so good for the
slime. Maybe a more patient hobbyist would have
waited a little longer before bringing out the
big guns for this slimy presence but I had 3
weeks of trying to rid myself of this stuff and I
was getting impatient... I doused the tank with
erythromycin (Maracin). 3 doses of 6 tablets with
20 gal. water changes in between did the trick.
It is the 4th week now and I have managed to fill
almost every square inch of the tank with plants.
I can see no hair algae yet. The original plants
that survived the 16 months on auto pilot are all
doing well. As are all of the new plant
additions. Most of the nutrient levels are
excellent except for the Fe levels. I have been
dosing with Flourish Iron Supplement as well as
the trace elements. When dosing with these 2
things the Fe level rises shortly after its
addition but 6 hrs later the levels are 0 again.
Finally my question...
I am curious about the Fe levels. I read from a
Collins and Sears paper on PMDD that the Fe level
will eventually stabilize.
Do you think that with such a saturation of light
and CO2 at 15-18ppm that the Fe level will ever
I also saw a reference to a UV sterilizer. It was
suggested by Mr. Collins or Mr. Sears that they
used less PMDD when the UV was turned off.
Is it possible that the UV light is putting some
energy into the trace elements and turning them
into a less available form of trace element? I am
a little hesitant at shutting off my UV light.
The clown loaches and amano shrimp have been with
me for at least 6 years and 4 of those years with
I welcome your comments.
wamartin at sympatico_ca
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