I finally have water in my tank...
I have recently completed my initial planting on my new 75g tank. I've
been working on this thing for 3 months. I want to thank everyone on
the list for their input and assistance.
Anyway, it's a high tech Dupla style tank. I'm using pH controlled CO2
fertilization, laterite substrate enrichment and 100w Dupla substrate
heating coils. It has 380w of VHO flourescent lighting using URI
AquaSun bulbs. Filtration comes from a Mandrin II trickle and Iwaki
My local water supply is hard (200+ppm) with a very high alkalinity
(250+ppm) so I'm using a mix of RO/DI water and tap water to get the
desired alkalinity (90ppm). I suppliment that with Kent R/O Right to
achieve the desired hardness. I added the recommended amount of
Duplaplant tabs and a few drops of Duplaplant24. I have not added
anymore of the daily fertilizer because the iron test still shows plenty
of iron in the water and I don't want to risk overdosing.
My initial planting is a hodgepodge of whatever I could find locally at
the time. I tried to find some of the fast growing plants that people
have recommended. I have several Echinodorus plants (Cordifolius &
Paniculatus) all quite large, a couple Hygrophila species, 'Bernard' and
H. polysperma. Also planted are some Acorus pusillus, Ophiopogon
Japonica, and some Anubias for me. I also planted some large
Alteranthera that was labeled as 'Elmie'. It's a tall stem plant with
reddish lance shaped leaves. I'm not totally happy with all of these
plants but I realize I've got to start somewhere. I'll be mail ordering
some more decorative plants later.
Although I have a pretty heavy planting, I still wouldn't call it dense
so I'm planning on putting some fast growning H. difformis from a
friend's tank to fill in some of the void.
Since I have not been able to convince any of my local shops to order
SAEs for me (yet), I have 4 Black Mollys, 3 Ottos and a dozen ghost
shrimp. I'm looking for a few more Ottos but the 4 Mollys seem to be
active enough to do the job.
The tank has been planted for about a week. I noticed yesterday that I
was getting my first bit of Algae on the walls of the tank. I cleaned
it off since I didn't want to look at it.
Even after this short time many of the plants are growing like mad. The
largest E. paniculatus has 4 new leaves already, the E. cordifolius
plants have also been busy. The Alteranthera has grown 3" in height
already. The plants are producing lots of O2 bubbles and even one of
the Anubias has a constant stream of bubbles coming from its flower.
My water stats are pH=6.9, KH=4, GH=4, Temp=80. I've confirmed my CO2
concentrations against a Lamotte Kit and it matches "The KH/PH/CO2
table" pretty closely at around 17ppm CO2.
After a week there is no measurable amount of Ammonia, Nitrite or
Nitrate in the water. I need to add more fish. I have very little load
on the tank at this point and I want to eventually accomodate four adult
Finally some questions:
Q: The new E. cordifolius leaves are a reddish color. Is this normal?
They look perfectly healthy otherwise, they just aren't the same bright
green as the other leaves are. The plants were raised emersed, would
this have anything to do with it?
Q: Should I limit the lighting period at all on a new tank to help
prevent algae until the plants have grown and filled in a bit? I know
Dennerle suggests a darker rest period although I'm not clear if this is
expressely for algae control.
Q: How is my plant selection? I don't know anything about some of these
plants and some aren't listed in any of my books. I suspect a few of
them may not be true aquarium plants. Are there any recommendations or
Q: Algae eaters. My Ottos don't seem to mess with the green algae
growing on the glass. They spend a lot of time hanging on the glass but
that's all they do during most of the day is hang there. When they are
active they shimmy around on plant leaves. The Molly's also spend 99%
of their time picking at the surfaces of the leaves. This is great but
what type of fish is good for keeping the glass free from algae? My
tank is acrylic so I don't want a fish with hard rasping teeth that
could scratch the walls.