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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well I have my light upgraded to a 55 W AH supply power compact. I have 3 bags of flourite washed and down in the aquarium, that was messy stuff. I ordered a plant assortment from Aquariumplants.com and they are in the tank. I wasn't sure what plants to get so I just ordered a package to see what I might like and what will work for me. I have my ferts (macros/micros) from Green Leaf and I started dosing by the EI method. I started my DIY CO2 generator and it is working pretty well, with a powerhead/phython tube reactor.

So what to I look for next? I have quite a few stems so should I expect some quick growth from them? Right now I am struggling to aquascape them so that they do look like a tank at the LFS.....lol. Are there any good links for pruning and maintaining a planted aquarium?
 

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Did you separate the bunches of stem plants and plant each one separately? You need to do that, spacing them about an inch or less apart. That lets light reach all leaves on all plants, and they will grow much better as a result.

At this point you shouldn't be concerned about aquascaping, but just concentrating on learning how to get the plants to grow and algae not to grow. What size tank is this? If you only have the lights on for about 8 hours a day that will help prevent algae from starting up.

Depending on the size of the tank, you might want to use two DIY CO2 bottles, with their start days staggered, to try to get a more constant amount of CO2 in the water.
 

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Do a search for pruning. This question is asked a lot and many threads should come up for you to read.

Sounds like your on your way. Sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labors! :D
 

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If you don't have at least 5 degrees carbonate hardness, make sure you add some seachem carbonate hardness to you water, or the CO2 could kill your fish. DIY CO2 will cause acidify your water without hardness to buffer your water. Get it checked out though first. You water may already be fine the way it is.

You didn't mention any fish. Are you cycling the tank without fish?
 

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Some carbonate hardness may be beneficial to the fish, or at least that seems to be the latest information. But, adding CO2 with almost no carbonate hardness isn't going to kill the fish by reducing the pH. A lot of us do that now, and we have no problems with the fish. DIY CO2 is rarely effective enough to even reach 30 ppm in the water. CO2 in general doesn't seem to be able to drop the pH below about 5. And, that isn't low enough to harm the fish, unless the pH is suddenly dropped to that, which isn't possible with DIY CO2.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The tank was up and running for 6 weeks with my cleaning crew so it was cycled before I added fish. The filter came from an existing tank so that it didn't really cycle much anyways. I do have some fish 6 danio's 3 cory cats and 4 ottos. I would eventualy like to remove the danios and add a small school of rainbow fish and perhaps a bushy nose pleco. The news right now is that I am growing plants and some string algae. The stems are growing like weeds. I have cut back on the amount of KNO3 that I am adding since my tap water for water changes is 20 ppm of Nitrates. Other than that everything seems very stable. Should or could I add some shrimp or something like that?

PS. I have pretty hard water to begin with, I live in Central Illinois.
 

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I would recommend American-Flag Fish. They devour that string algae quickly. The ones I have won't eat flake food, but I found recently they like sinking algae pellets, and live mosquito larvae. If you don't feed them, that string algae will be gone in no time.

http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/...n Flagfish&ref=3665&subref=AA&GCID=C12188x007

There were some good post on the krib about them: http://www.thekrib.com/Fish/J-floridae.html

They are the best algae eaters I have ever had for most thread-like algae.

I've never seen them for sale, and purchased them online only.

The males may be better looking than a rainbow fish anyway, IMHO. :).

They also are very hardy, and I have kept them in hard and soft water.
 

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Yes. I have four adult females right now and they are together most of the time.

They do not eat flakes, but I've fed them live mosquito larvae, and frozen blood worms. They are also good at scavanging frozen food off the bottom of the tank so things don't go uneaten. They just don't like flakes.

They do seem to like sinking tetra pellets or hikari algae wafers.
 
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