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RE: [AGA-Member] Low-light tanks & CO2

Heather, I've heard from an experienced source that as long as you have
strong lighting to begin with, like you do (I run two 96W 6700K PCs on
my 55G and they're strong!), a 24" depth shouldn't be any different than
an 18" depth. I know a lot of people say otherwise, but the source
assured me that depth only becomes an issue when it much deeper; he
exaggerated and said "30 feet."
	Because my lights are 36" and my tank is 48" I place plants like
Hygrophila, Bacopa caroliniana, Rotala repens, Mayaca, Anubias,
Aponogetons, Sagittaria etc. in areas like the corners where the light
is less intense. I place my light-demanding plants directly under the
lighting, where it is most intense. You probably don't need more
lighting, unless you want it. It's like with reef tanks; you can get
away with keeping more light-demanding corals by keeping them closer to
the lights. The bunch plants will grow upward and then the 24" depth
will be more like 6" to their tips. Plant the shade-loving or
less-demanding plants in the corners. I know making the tank look well
designed is important but making the plants strong and healthy comes
first, right? My tank could definitely use a woman's touch; what a

-----Original Message-----
From: aga-member-bounces@thekrib.com
[mailto:aga-member-bounces@thekrib.com] On Behalf Of Heather J Gladney
Sent: Thursday, September 29, 2005 7:10 PM
To: Aquatic Gardeners Association Member Chat
Subject: Re: [AGA-Member] Low-light tanks & CO2

S. Hieber wrote:

>--- Heather J Gladney <hgladney@comcast.net> wrote:
>>>I'd like to hear more about how to keep them, too. 
>>Currently got BGA in 
>>my tank (bleahh!) and yet fairly high N going, so I
>>suspect that I let 
>>my tank's TDS get too high, not enough water changes, for
>How high is high? Also, what are the phoshpate levels?
At the risk of hijacking the thread here--file it in a new category?
I've been meaning to ask about this for awhile anyway...with your 
indulgence, please...
I think this one's called, "not enough water changes", in spite of the 
fact there's folks out there who insist you don't have to.
Last testing batch I did:
 pH 6.7 (down from 7.0 over a month, using solenoid on pressurized CO2 
KH 5 (up from 3 over the month)
GH 13- 16 (down from 15-18--I think this was Mg, it shot way up when I 
added Epsom + Seachem Equilibrium.)
nitrate about .3 mg/l steadily,
nitrate about 50-60 mg/l (this is down from prior 100 mg/l--when I added

no ferts, it ran about 12 mg/l routinely).
phosphate 1.5 - 2.0 mg/l, probably closer to 2 (up from prior .5 - .67
iron test showed over 1 mg/l, more like 2 mg/l, which I understand is
I found tap was running GH 4-5, generally around pH 7.0 -7.2.
Before this test, as I saw the BGA, I had been adding some extra 
nitrates +  traces, and stopped when I got these results.
In the last month, at water changes I just added some dolomitic lime to 
tapwater to maintain CO2/hardness, and stopped adding anything in the 
last couple of weeks.
Also had to drop the light levels, as one of my fixtures ground-faulted 
So now I'm running two 92 watt CF 36" bulbs, on estimated 78 gallons 
actual (at a guess, as it's both deep and a corner-diamond shape, and I 
didn't measure on first fill, dummy me--90 gallons nominal) so that puts

it in that awkward 2 watts per gallon range,  I find the high-light 
plants don't like it.
I'm debating about how to punch more light down into the 24" depth with 
some sort of fixture in less than 24" width.

As always, thanks for everybody's help!!

>If the nitrates are high but the phosphates are remaining
>at about 1 ppm, continue dosing the phosphates but let lay
>off on the nitrates until the level gets down closer to
>about 10 ppm. Each 50% water change should cut the nitrate
>level in half. It might then build or decline between water
>changes depending on feeding and dosing.
>Some have said bga occurs due to nitrate limitation. I've
>seen it when the nitrates are very high. This could be due
>to a combination of related factors, such as not enough
>other nutrients for the plants to be able to use up the
>Anyhow, try to aim for the targets and see if things don't
>clear up that way. OF course, physcally remove what bga or
>algae you can before a water change is always a big help.
>good luck, good fun,
>* * * * * * * * * * *
>Coming Soon in November, the winners and all the other beautiful
entries in the 6th Annual International Aquascaping Contest. Every
continent is represented -- except Antarctica. Maybe next year
Antarctica, too ;-)
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