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RE: [APD] Re: 1st Planted Tank questions

Aim for 20 or better 25 ppm on the CO2 to allow for margin
of error in the pH and KH readings. Given your readings,
I'd aim for a pH closer to 7.0 

The KH and GH readings aren't too high for plants nor most
fish except some of the black water fish if you are
breeding them. The nitrites and ammonia are high because
the plants aren't able to absorb them. Grow the plants.
Don't think of this as a fish tank with some plants in it
but a garden with fish. 

Dose phosphate and potassium or dose all three marcos
(potassium, nitrate and phosphate) *and* do water changes. 
Clean up what algae you can as you it shows up -- it's much
easier to keep aahead of if than to catch up. Get some
Siamese Algae Eaters (SAEs) if you can find them:


Your water temp should be fine for most fish and certainly
most plants.

The lighting isn't too much for the plants if they have
everything else they need (direct sunlight yields a
whopping 100 watts per square foot!) but you'll *never*
keep up up with that much energy. Already the algae is
finding a niche where your plants can't use all the light
you are giving them. The more light you have over about
1.5-2 watts per gallon, the tougher it is to keep your tank
running without algae. So don't make things hard on
yourself. Ten hours of 2 wpg is plenty for most situations.
You're using 4 65 watt PCs? If you want to run really
bright, turn on just one or two bulbs for ten hours and the
rest of the of bulbs for only a couple hours per day -- but
not until you get the CO2 up around 25 ppm and load the
tank with plants and are sure the nutrients are at good
levels. So long as you have low to moderate lighting, take
care of everything else before you start ratcheting up the

Forget about the cycling that one has to do with a
fish-only tank. Cycling is a holdover from the fish-only
days and the whole point of that is to grow bacteria to
deal with the stuff that plants can deal with. Not quite
brave enough to trust the plants? I know the feeling. Then
get some tank mulm from a friend or the lfs (the gunk from
a filter or the substrate of an established aquarium) --
then you'll you have a good hit of bacteria right from the

Having lots of nitrogen probalby means you don't have
enough phosphate or potassium for the plants to make use of
the nitrogen. The macro dosing with water changes ensures
the plants have enough of each but not too much. 

And for micronutrient dosiing, personally, I like to use
Tropica Master Grow or SeaChem Flourish for trace mix. In a
heavily planted 55g, I'd use Roughly 10 ml every other day
of either one.

Good luck, good fun,
Scott H.
--- Liz Wilhite <liz_wilhite at hotmail_com> wrote:

> >"It seems that every leaf on every plant is melting
> away."
> >
> >I'll bet. What's the temperature?
> 25.8 - 26C
> >
> >Cut the lights to something closer to 110W. Once the
> tank is stable, maybe 
> >go up to 150W.
> Cut it to 130 this afternoon
> >
> >"I may have done something really stupid -- I have
> plants in there. That 
> >means I am running lights and CO2 and have discovered
> algae."
> >
> >Plants will thrive in the cycling if all other needs are
> met, but the algae 
> >will really thrive under the lights you have especially
> if CO2 is anywhere 
> >near minimal. Pressurized tank or DIY yeast?
> Pressurized, pH meter 7.2, CO2 around 15
> >
> >Dose ferts to get to this:
> >
> >http://www.sfbaaps.com/reference/barr_02_02.shtml
> It should need ferts at 1 week given macros from cycling
> and the new 
> substrate?
> >
> >These two test kits will get you on the right track:
> >
> >
> >
> >Plus a pH and KH test kit.
> Don't have P04 kit, KH = 8.4, nitrate = 15 (5 from tap),
> nitrite = 5, 
> ammonia = 1, GH = 6.2.  Am aware these are high but are
> they high for a tank 
> that is in a reasonably early stage of cycling?

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