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Re: Starting again
NOREEN A. MURPHY wrote:
> NOREEN A. MURPHY wrote:
> > I would appreciate any advice on re-starting my tank.
> > 3 months ago, I started a 55 gal. plant tank with few fish. It has
> > pretty much been a disaster, so this weekend (or next, depending on the
> > advice I get) I am going to try again.
> > 1) First some basic info:
> > Old New (projected)
> > 55 gal same
> > substrate: #3 gravel # 1 sand and/or #2 sand
> > fertilizer: none in substrate Sera floredepot - to go under sand
> > filter: Eheim 2113 canister same
> > light: (4) 36" tubes/total 120 watts (4) 48" under hood 10,000K Coralite
> combination of 50/50, full spectrum
> CO2: homebrew Tetra system
> > 2) Water info:
> > Hardness: out of the tap, the water is very soft. In fact it does not
> > register on the hardness scale. I have since raised it to about 4 in the
> > tank
> > Ph: I think I kept it too high: about 7.0 in the tank
> > Phosphates: off the chart
> > Nitrates: very low. This confuses me because the phosphates are so high.
> > 4) Plants: a collection bought locally and mail ordered (Horizon Growers)
> > Some are doing OK, but others I have had to toss because they died.
> > Others were taken from the tank because of excessive algae. (See #7
> > below). One problem is that I did not know to plant heavily at the
> > beginning. I will rectify this on the re-set up.
> > I also mixed up a batch of CO2 last weekend, and it seems to be
> > bubbling like crazy. This may also help the ph remain low.
> > 5) Fish: mostly algae eaters. 10 Otocinclus, 2 Flying Fox, 3 sword
> > tails, 3 mollies, 2 Clown Loach, and 2 cat fish.
> > 6) Maintainance: I have changed at least 30% of the water every weekend.
> > 7) Biggest problems: ALGAE! Everywhere. Turning to hair on the edges of
> > the plants.Just a real yucky situation.
> > My main issues are that since I am starting again, I want to do it
> > correctly this time. Questions are:
> > 1) Should I throw away all my plants and start anew?
> > 2) If so, where can I get decent plants? I was not overly impressed with
> > Horizon. I live in Mass.
> > 3) I have been following the bleach discussion, and am questioning
> > whether or not to bleach the tank.
> > 4) Sould I start with new filter media, or keep the same to help the
> > tank cycle?
> > 5) I bought a water pump to increase movement, and am thinking of using
> > it to help the CO2 dissolve in the tank. Is this a mistake?
> > Basically, I have tons of questions. The local per stores are not too
> > helpful. (e.g., I was told to start with only 5 plants to see what
> > happened. This was at an aquarium store. Another told me to only have my
> > lights on 6 hours per day. Another told me that if I have plants and
> > CO2, I could only have a few very small fish. As I read and surfed the
> > net more, I realized they were wrong)
> > I am ready to go this weekend. I have set up a small tank with gravel
> > and water from the larger tank, to hold the fish. I have washed 60
> > pounds of #1 sand, and 50 pounds of #2 sand. Should I mix these or just stick with one size?
> > Any advice would be appreciated. Also, if anyone knows of a place in
> > this area that sells decent aquatic plants, I would prefer to pick them
> > out myself.
> > Thank you for any suggestions. I will continue to read this site. By looking at the previous months, I have learned more than by talking to aquarium store help.