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low tech planted tank.... how low is too low?
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jsuereth
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Joined: 22 Aug 2010
Location: Pittsburgh, PA USA

PostPosted: 2011.01.24(Mon)18:55    Post subject: low tech planted tank.... how low is too low? Reply with quote

I set up a fluval edge (6g) tank at work. Right now it has plants and shrimp. I lost two or three big shrimp (easy to tell in small tank with 1st generation).

I did some tests and found very high nitrates (40 ppm). I have four varieties of plant:

echnidorus augustofolia: took a clipping from my main tank and this guy spawned like 8 daughter plants.

Red cryptocryne Wendtii: after first melt, this is growing back strong. About 8 leaves and 6" long average.

Hellanthum tellenus. Lost 3 plants but the last appears to have recovered with really slow growth.

Marsilea quadrifolia: great slow growth. I have about 4 "clusters" of this.

My lighting is drastically low, I dose excell maybe twice a week and feed the shrimp a pellet once a week. The plants have rootmedic tabs.

Any ideas on where the nitrates are coming from? Out of the tap the water is 10 ppm. I do 30-40% weekly water change (was hoping to drop to biweekly).

My plan is to up the water changes (temporary) and look for better lighting to help the plant growth, hopefully converting those nitrates into leaves that I can clip once a month or so.

Any advice appreciated!
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DaleJr
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Joined: 16 Feb 2010
Location: Memphis, TN

PostPosted: 2011.01.25(Tue)13:50    Post subject: Reply with quote

Was the tank cycled to begin with?

I like the idea with the Edge and want to see some pics. I wouldn't add any more shrimp until the cycle is complete. You might lose the rest.
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jsuereth
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Joined: 22 Aug 2010
Location: Pittsburgh, PA USA

PostPosted: 2011.01.25(Tue)15:26    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I cycle the tank with a frozen super market shrimp before adding plants/substrate. I checked all levels, only nitrates are high.

Also, the tank cycled about 2-4 months ago ihonestly can't remember how long I ran it at home before moving it). The shrimp loss has been in the past 2 weeks.
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unissuh
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Joined: 29 Mar 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: 2011.01.25(Tue)18:48    Post subject: Reply with quote

Possibly the tabs? If the plants aren't using the nutrients, they'll eventually leach back out into the water column.
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jsuereth
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Joined: 22 Aug 2010
Location: Pittsburgh, PA USA

PostPosted: 2011.01.25(Tue)20:05    Post subject: Reply with quote

That could certainly be the culprit. When the hellanthum died off, I didn't replace it until just recently, but left the root tabs...

Should I still add some light to the tank or just be careful with dosing root tabs?

BTW - The substrate is Flourite Sand.
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unissuh
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Joined: 29 Mar 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: 2011.01.25(Tue)20:58    Post subject: Reply with quote

Little bit more light would probably help, but it depends whether you want to try that or make the tank work as is. One can either tailor the tank to the inhabitants, or the inhabitants to the tank. Very Happy

Definitely ease off on the tabs though. In your situation, I would not use them until you start to notice deficiencies or plant growth stopping. Go light when you do use them too, lower light means less nutrients used.
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