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How long does it take for a tank to get established. I am going on my sixth week and I am still having problems. I did so much better when I first started out in this hobbie. Now that I am actually trying, I fail.

My routine should be right,
50% wc on Sat
4mL flourish on sun
5ppm NO3, .5ppm P04 on monday
4mL flourish on wed
5ppm NO3, .5ppm P04 on thursday
70 watt metal halide over 20 gallon
Co2 injection at 30ppm

I'm thinking it might be the Metal Halide and was thinking of using my old PC setup (2x36W) to see if there is any improvement. If you look at the algae picture on my website you can see how the algae grows on the left and right and not in the middle. I'm wondering if the spot effect of the Metal Halide is not providing enough light for the plants on the edges. I probably should not have experimented on Metal Halide lighting for a small tank until it was established. This is a standard tank and should be easier than this. I've got HC I want to spread!!!

http://www.aquascapingjournals.com/journals/20_gallon.htm
 

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Did someone say that Hemianthus callitrichoides is an algae magnet?

This is too non specific to be of any use to a pro like you, but I would say, don't drive the tank quite so hard in the first few months. I would think the Flourite might be able to sustain the plants along with NO3 alone until things stabilize, then start as need be with PO4 and etc. Add some bio-helpers like shrimp if need be - if nothing else they will cheer you up...

It might be that the MH light is reflecting off the sides and re-striking the stems plants from the side. I would have thought that excess light is more likely to blame than too little for the algae issue. As you say, try the power compact lights and drive the tank a little more gently. Then switch back later to MH.

I am still pondering the various glimpses of detail about Amano, Oliver Knott and other expert tank set up with regard to substrate. I wonder about the use of charcoal in the lower level or even in the filter for the set up period. I also feel Flourite as a texture needs some adjustment with finer silica sand of suitable colour. Finer texture can help in the rooting process.

I recently set up a 20g high with Flourite which was soaked with 'mud' from a long active filter on another tank. I let the Flourite dry out - what a smell - and then used it. First, I did not rinse the Flourite - I never do - but there was no cloud and second I have not had an algae problem (except recently some BBA which has come about because of a slip in CO2 from DIY to cylinder supplied.) I have 76watt above it and am increasing that to 2 GE9325s 100 watt next week (if the following issue does not cause a problem).

(Tonight I was cleaning the Eheim 2224 out and broke the ceramic impeller shaft... and it is going to take two days to get a replacement. I have the filter materials in a large tub of dechrolinated water with an air pump running and an air pump running in the tank. This is a bit of an unwelcome event... another bit of tuition...)

I would pick out the HC and plant it emersed, until you get the tank stablized. Put in some other fast grower in the foreground and then re-establish the HC with suitable mass... It is difficult to get algae out of HC.

Andrew Cribb
 

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Judging by the looks of your tank on the first day of planting, you probably should have started with a larger number of healthy stems.

If the aquarium still looks like that, I would hack away at all the algae ridden plants, give the tank a good scrub down, and reintroduce some healthy new bunches of fast growing plants (Rotala rotundifolia, Rotala rotundifolia 'Green', Hygrophila difformis, Hydrocotyle leucocephala, etc). Get a more densely planted environment in there.

I start with NO3, PO4, K, iron/trace dosing on the first week at half strength. I increase progressively as the number of plants increases.

It doesn't seem like you are overdosing anything (I would dose double of everything on your list), you're actually being pretty conservative. Since this is a new tank, I think it is a good move (which somehow didn't work). I would consider trying to get some NO3 and PO4 test kits to ball park some of your nutrient values. I know most don't trust test kits at all, but I find them to actually be quite useful when something goes amiss. Try it and report back.

You'll need to baby the tank after the initial clean up for a couple of weeks, until the plants start growing at full speed and the tank "takes off."

Carlos
 

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IMO, that's too much Flourish dosing for a fairly new tank. I would only dose that much after the tank is half year old. I would stop the Flourish totally for a couple of weeks and start with 1ml/dosing and increase the dosing from there.
 

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I've already talk to Inknown off list here.

One thing folks want to do that is VERY VERY often neglected and seldom discussed and really thought asbout: plant heavy from day!.

This will remove much more NH4 than a piddly planting as you all can figure out.

Adding mulm and peat/leonardite will also round out the new tank issue.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 
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