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 Water changes

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Posts : 6
Location : South east Pennsylvania

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PostSubject: Water changes   Water changes Icon_minitime4/14/2014, 9:02 pm

I have a (currently empty) 55 gal planted tank with T5 6700K in 2 24" standard hoods. Lights are on for 9 hours. I had 2-3" of gravel, and used only distilled water. Had mostly Java ferns (only thing that seemed to survive). Marineland canister filter 350 with double bio-wheel.

I had a very bad algae problem, a thick spider web type that (I think) came in when I purchased some live plants. Never had an issue before that. Initially used some fertilizer pellets, but nothing after that.

Water testing always showed everything normal, even PH. I never had a large number of fish at any one time. I've had this setup for more than 10 years and never had an algae issue til I brought in live plants.

I completely emptied my 55 gal., flushed it, then added 6-8 oz of bleach, let it soak overnight then flushed again. I trashed all the ornaments, gravel and all the plants (still have 3 fish, lost several during the winter power failure!)This is not something I wish to do again.

Here is my question (finally): I would add water when the level went down, I would remove about 10% during filter changes, but never vacuumed the gravel. Can someone define a proper water change? Or do I have light/nutrient imbalance. Or should I go back to plastic plants?

I read some stuff about people putting sand, top soil, etc. Don't think I would mind sand, top soil?....Can someone help?

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Dr. Who
First Lieutenant
First Lieutenant

Posts : 635
Location : Cancun Mexico

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PostSubject: Re: Water changes   Water changes Icon_minitime6/20/2014, 9:31 pm

The key to growing plants is light. Your 55 gal. tank is a little tall for the light to be strong enough to get to the bottom.

Why are you using distilled water?

When you say other plants what are you talking about. What types of plants?

Crypts and hygropholia should grow in a 55 gal. Amazon Swords will require more light.

You should also have some fish in your aquarium to produce fertilizer for plant.

Plants eat the final process of your cycle. Nitrites.

Water changes should be 25 percent every week.

Algae is coming from phosphorus and not enough plants to out compete the algae.
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