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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
would it be better to not use ferts on a newer setup? I am doing co2, have drop checker, DIY co2, tank is mostly planted with carpeting plants that are still pretty small, lighting is quite high, dual 24 inch t5ho on a 20 long and substrate is top soil capped with blasting sand.

The small plants, Glosso and hair grass had some green hair algae on them when planted and the new growth is algae free so not too worried about that. But I have an anubias nana that is pretty furry and so is the driftwood. I do have almost a dozen ghost shrimp to help clean things up but not doing the trick.

should I remove a bulb maybe or something? The light on time is about 8 or 9 hours, its a very visible display tank so don't want to cut down the time.

It's a little risky dosing excel with the DIY co2 I think.

Main concern is the anubias and driftwood.
 

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From my research the main focus should be on light and co2 balance to avoid algae.

If you can make this ratio work efficiently you will avoid/prevent algae. this may be difficult for you to adjust Co2 with DIY method but you can adjust light intesity and duration. Ie raise light, use less bulbs etc. (Be careful most fluorescents are made to run a certain number of bulbs or wattage and by taking out a bulb may seem an easy fix may make the ballast work harder and may not last as long).


This is a difficult task, balancing Co2 and Light and will take some time to adjust until you get the proper balance.



Did you use Mineralized Top Soil?/ Or just straight Top Soil in substrate. The reason I ask is that people Mineralize the Topsoil to get rid of organic compounds that will break down too quickly on their own in the tank and add to the algae growth with nutrient swings ie too much nutrients all at once that your plants cant use etc... So algae may fluorish.

If this is the case MAybe more and bigger water changes until the soil settles and breaks down on its own.

I also like the idea of using floating plants as they are very fast growers use alot of excess nutrients and will add less light to the plants below by creating shade but you can scoop out excess floaters when the time comes, create more light when and where needed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
a little bit mineralized, soak it for a day or so and removed the lighting stuff, siphoned out the excess water and then moved it to a spare 125 long and spread it out to dry which took well over a week. Didn't repeat the process, but its partly mineralized.

So avoid ferts for a bit and do larger wc more often
 

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With your setup, I would check your initial numbers to see if there was any leaching of nutrients from the mineralized soil. It comes down to your npk levels. I would just check nitrates and maybe phosphates to save you money (if one leaked, others probably leaked). Just make sure your tank has about 10ppm of nitrates and .5-1 ppm of phophate. At some point you will hit a nitrate spike as your tank cycles, just do a 60-80 percent water change at that point, and watch your numbers again. In regards to micros , you can use as suggested for ei/pmdd or regular dosing as you see fit for your plants.


I always fert during cycle, as my plants will require it. I usually use ADA or netlea so I get less leaching, so im not as affraid to dose. It gives them a good start to root, flourish, and when the tank cycles, they will be ready to sucks up the nitrates.

Your anub will require water column fertilization, so dose as required
Leave the lights on for 8-10 hours unless you see a algae bloom
if you check your water paramters and your numbers are high, then water change until their in the normal limits. If it wont come down bc of the mineralized soil leeching then you will need a bunch of frog bits to suck it up.
Excel is totally fine with your setup. I always syringe it into spots that I want to spot treat with the recommended dose for my tank. this way I get spot treatments and regular dosing.
 

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With your setup, I would check your initial numbers to see if there was any leaching of nutrients from the mineralized soil. It comes down to your npk levels. I would just check nitrates and maybe phosphates to save you money (if one leaked, others probably leaked). Just make sure your tank has about 10ppm of nitrates and .5-1 ppm of phophate. At some point you will hit a nitrate spike as your tank cycles, just do a 60-80 percent water change at that point, and watch your numbers again. In regards to micros , you can use as suggested for ei/pmdd or regular dosing as you see fit for your plants.

I always fert during cycle, as my plants will require it. I usually use ADA or netlea so I get less leaching, so im not as affraid to dose. It gives them a good start to root, flourish, and when the tank cycles, they will be ready to sucks up the nitrates.

Your anub will require water column fertilization, so dose as required
Leave the lights on for 8-10 hours unless you see a algae bloom
if you check your water paramters and your numbers are high, then water change until their in the normal limits. If it wont come down bc of the mineralized soil leeching then you will need a bunch of frog bits to suck it up.
Excel is totally fine with your setup. I always syringe it into spots that I want to spot treat with the recommended dose for my tank. this way I get spot treatments and regular dosing.
+1
I also use aqua soil and I usually start dosing the next day, however my tanks are usually heavily planted with lots of cleaners.
Only thing I would disagree with is the lighting duration, perhaps start at a smaller number like 6-7 hours, and slowly crank it up depending on growth, and stop increasing when you see algae growth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
cycle is not an issue, seeded the hell out of it and cycled it in a day or so.

I'll check the phosphates for sure
 

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You cycled it in a day??? I've started over 100 tanks with old filters and substrate with Ada bacter additives in some and have never done it under a week. What are you ammonia nitrite and nitrate levels ?

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
ammonia 0, nitrite 0 and today I happened to test nitrates and it was about 10 to 20. Tank has been going for a few weeks now.

I have cycled in 1 day a few times. I have multiple tanks so I have the material to seed the hell out of new tanks. Just take some bio media from another filter, squeeze out a couple sponge filters and instant cycle. It took me about 24 hours because I didn't want to seed too much and did it lightly at first but had to seed more, I was checking levels every couple hours. After a week, I moved over more fish.

cycled is simply enough BB to keep ammonia and nitrites at 0, and it is just a matter of adding enough BB to a new tank to achieve this.
 
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