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Old 08-25-2010, 03:46 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default New aquarium - some advice needed

Hi there,
I'm new here and fairly new to planted aquariums in general. I would appreciate some expert advice about my next step.

I had a fairly simple set-up with a variety of plants but having left my aquarium in the charge of my flatmate whilst I was on vacation, my return yielded multiple dead plants and a massive BBA problem. The algae had covered all the plants left alive and had firmly attached itself to all my rocks, wood and hardware.

This has prompted an overhaul of the aquarium and I want your advice on what I can do better this time given my equipment and conditions. Any tips on how I can do some interesting aquascaping will be welcome.

Here is what I have:
125 litre glass tank
ex700 tetratec canister filter
6 fantails ( i know these fish are really not ideal for a planted tank but I brought them when I had less of a clue about what I was doing then now!) - They eat delicate plants and hair grass etc
High pH hard water (South-west of England, so standard)
Home made yeast-based CO2 system (im cheap)

I want a more natural look save just throwing all the plants in randomly. I suppose a good start would be to find some decent driftwood?
Shall I also change the substrate and the gravel that is already in the tank? The last thing I want is the BBA to return and massacre everything again.


Many thanks
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Old 08-25-2010, 06:39 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: New aquarium - some advice needed

What type of lighting, and how much of it?
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Old 08-25-2010, 06:41 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: New aquarium - some advice needed

Oh yeah sorry, I have x2 T8 24W floraglo bulbs and 2x 21W T5s.
It's difficult to get more powerful bulbs to fit within the canopy.
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Old 08-25-2010, 07:10 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: New aquarium - some advice needed

Well that is A LOT of light for your tank. I think you've found the culprit to your BBA issues. (Did your flatmate forget to fertilize?) Your T5's alone would be enough. Do you use all the bulbs or have a noon day sunburst? I would only use the T5s and if I wanted more light for a couple of hours I'd then turn on the T8s.

You could try dwarf sag. and some echinodorus, wisteria. There are also many types of java, which like hard water. In Houston they have really hard water there. Look at some of their tanks and see if you like any of their layouts. Check the plant finder for hardwater plants as well.

You don't have to change the gravel to rid your tank of the bba. You can dose with excel with a medicine dropper (spot dosing). Do a different area each day. It will kill it. Others have had good success with peroxide (hasn't worked well for me on bba). Just kill the bba and plant again. I'd stick some fast growers in there quickly to absorb the ammonia that you will get from the bba dieing. Bba is always at the door even if you don't think it's in the tank. Somehow it always finds it's way to every tank, if the conditions are right. It's not like you have a contaminate and once you're rid of it it won't be in your house again.

Good luck! You will win this battle. Just be vigilant!



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Old 08-25-2010, 09:11 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: New aquarium - some advice needed

Thank you so much for your response. I will take your advice and adjust the light settings and apply the excel

I would like to say that I am happy to be a part of this community - I think I am going to learn a lot here.

Regards
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Old 08-25-2010, 12:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: New aquarium - some advice needed

Hey,

Also (if you don't have it) I would get a light timer. they really help a lot. Especially when you go on vacations and you don't want to leave everything in your friends hands. Because no matter how much you tell them how to do things they will still mess up somewhere.

As for the fish. I bet you could go to your pet store and ask if you can just exchange for something else.
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