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newbie needs info, advice, suggestions

910 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Seattle_Aquarist
My water from my well runs about 6.4 PH I do not want to fight to try to keep it higher (it runs 6.4 to 6.6 in tank) I realize I will have to stick to fish and plants that like soft water but my question is will this affect the amount of excel (I don't have CO2) I use or any other fertilizers for that matter.
it is a 55 gallon tank with
2-AGA 64 watt 8000 K compact fluorecsent bulbs in Coralife fixtures
undergravel filter with 2 powerheads and Whisper box filter. I know this is not the best for planted tanks but all I can do for now.
Substrata is about 2" of gravel
Right now I have a very light plant load
1-red melon sword? doing well :)
I valisneria (very small) doing fair
Java moss doing ok
Java fern doing great
1- unknown cryptecorn (bad spelling :) )
a few sad swords that I am hoping will recover
All the plants have been struggling and I have been fighting BBA but started using Excel and that seems to have taken care of that
My next trip to town (100miles) I will be buying the other Saechem products, hopefully.
I will want to start following the Saechem dosage schedule but wonder if that will be way too much for my small plant load.
I will try to get some more plants when I go to town but there is not much available at this time of year.
I would really appreciate any advice you can offer!
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my tank water usually ends up around 6.4 due to the co2 that i inject, and most fish will be okay with that pH. the only issue you may have is if you plan on breeding them, as some fish prefer a higher pH before they'll spawn.

for a 55 gallon, you might want to look into DIY co2 if pressurized it not in your budget at this time. because excel does get a little expensive, if you go with the seachem dosing schedule.

for a plant tank, i would look at replacing the UG filter for either a HOB type or canister. especially with the crypts, with their large root system, will get tangle up in the filter base. and could be a hassle when it comes to replanting or removing.

you also may want to look at having at least an extra inch of substrate, because 2" is a little shallow.

but these are all future upgrages when your budget allows. what you have right now, will do the job. just make sure you add a good fertilizing regiment for your plants.

good luck and welcome to APC :D
Thanks freydo! I hope I can do some of the upgrades this coming summer when I am back at work.
What is consider a good fertilizing regiment? Would the Saechem schedule work for what I have now?
Thanks for answering my post I know it gets tiresome answering the same questions from newbies over and over again. I am reading all I can here so I hope i won't be asking too many stupid questions.
Hi brownietrout,

I used Seachem for about the first 6 months when I started my first planted tank. I worked very well, but became expensive when I started my second and third tanks. I eventually went with DIY ferts and started dosing per the PPS-Pro system you can find described in the "Fertilizing Forum".
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