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Tank overhaul.

1366 Views 6 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Greenstar
I currently have a 9.6g custom acrylic nano that was originally going to be a reef tank. I move to college life got busy so I decided to make it a FW instead. I set it up with a mix of aragonite, regular sand and pea gravel. I added some Val (dwarf and regular) and some java moss. The fish were originally one Neo. Occelatus and one Julidiochormis transcriptus 'gombi'. Everything was going cherry for a few months, but I had a constant cyano problem which I attribute to the aragonite, poor tap water and improper lighting (I was running a half 10k half actinic 32w PC for a while). Unfortunately I lost my Ocellatus and would like to now turn the tank into a full blown planted which I haven't done in a while.

My current tank specs are:

Lighting: 1x10k 32watt PC ( I have two other 32 watt PCs built into the hood but aren't hooked up)
Substrate: Pea gravel, aragonite and play sand
Filtration: Via sump, floss (changed monthly), Carbon (changed by weekly) powered by a maxijet 1200
Sump: 3 gallons 3chambers
Display: 6.6G
Heater: 25w
Controller: Reek Keeper II
Fish: Julidochormis transcriptus 'Gombi'
Plants: Java moss (growing like a weed), Vals (growing well), new plants; Java fern 'Windelv (sp?)', Rotala indica, Rotala sps, Ludwigia repens, Echinodorus tenellus
Invertebrate: 1x Amano shrimp

First things first, is I am going to be switching over to R/O water that is 2 ppt (trillion) to start controlling the cyano. I will need to buffer this back up to at least 7 to keep the Julidochormis happy. Can anyone recommend a good buffer?

My ultimate goal is to have nice dense plant growth and hopefully a beautiful aquascape with a school of ember tetras or maculata rasbora. Now what do I need to do to get the ball rolling on this. I know my substrate sorely needs to be amended or replaced, any recommendations? I also can bump my lighting up to either 64 or 96watts PC, but don't want to mess with Co2 injection. ould that be overkill? Any other recommendations are welcome.

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First, I would not use aragonite or pea gravel in the substrate. For a tank that size I would buy a bag of black Flourite Sand and use that.

I would use tap water instead of RO water.

I would use Excel as a carbon source, and dose KNO3 and KH2PO4 plus a trace element mix, such as Flourish to feed the plants.

The reason you had problems with blue green algae is the lack of nitrates in the water.

One 32 watt PC, if it has a bulb with color temperature between about 5500K and 10,000K, will be adequate for an Excel tank.
The most effective step in avoiding algae is having healthy growing plants, and a lot of them in the tank. That is one reason for fertilizing - to get healthy growing plants. What heavy metals do you think are in your tap water? I assume you drink the tap water?
For a 6 gallon tank you could probably afford to use RO/DI water, even buying it. Then you could add Equilibrium to the water to bring the GH back up to where it would be good for both fish and plants. I wouldn't worry about the pH, if it were me. Just go for a GH around 6 or so dGH.

You will still need to dose NPK and traces to grow plants better than algae.
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