Just getting a 90 set up -been reading and looking as much as i can on the site about substrate-I plan on hi tec co2 and have 2 floramax t-8 32 watt light bulbs in my hood -Eheim ultra G160 canister filter.
My biggest fear is the brown algae that is growing on the leaves of the plants in my 30 gal will happen in my 90- the algae started as soon as i potted the plants in dirt topped with florite -as a test run.
Is 2 floramax 32 watt bulbs enough light to grow Amazon Swords in a 90 tall?
Just got a good link from GSP about nutrient dosing that looks to be very helpful.
64 watts in a 90 gallon tall? I'm not even sure the red spectrum will reach the bottom of your tank. And this lack of light is probably the cause of your brown algae. Sunlight will solve all your problems but if that's not possible add anything that brings you up to 20-40 lumens p/sq/inch of surface area and a 6000K color spectrum. The source of the light doesn't matter. An overhead florescent strip for $30 works just as well as a $500 LED set-up with the same specs.
Fish respiration is almost as good a source of Co2 as the pumps. And the water movement created by filters dissipates the Co2 in the water. Technology often works at cross purposes. I put my fish in a backyard pond for the summer and they do so much better than in the tanks. I do nothing to the pond - nothing. - no feeding, filters, or cleaning out the leaves, etc. The only thing I do is introduce the fish and plants and net them in September.
Experimenting with hi-tec stuff is fun, but beware: mother nature has a way of getting even.
I agree light is light. I have put my 90 gallon in front of a big window, it gets 4 or 5 hours of direct sun and my plants have exploded! Yes I have some algae but I also have a scrub pad along with water changes and its quite managable. Before I had 2 t8's and its ok but I'll use sun as much as possible from now on!
I forgot to mention the substrate. I prefer Dustin's recommendation of garden soil and clay. I get clay soil from my backyard and add earthworm castings mixed with Miracle Grow Organic Choice. You can top it with whatever you want. I use the same clay pellets sold as non-clumping kitty litter.
I don't think GSP is a dirt guy and I think I got the same link from him (James' Planted...?) GSP knows his stuff and I'm going to take his recommendation when my soil is exhausted in a year or two. The good thing about clay and organic soil is that they have a high CEC (Cation Exchange Capacity) which means, even after they're exhausted, they're great at sucking up nutrients in the water (fish waste, detritus, etc) and holding it until the plants' roots can access them.
Still formulating my decision about substrate.Thank-You for your input about lighting.Yea,the link was James planted...So many different ways to put it all togeather. Kind of a science experiment for me.I can enjoy it along the way as long as my fish are happy.
Sounds like yours go on vacation into the natural inviorment during the summer. Nice!
The brown algae are most likely diatoms. Look up how to deal with them.
2 T8 bulbs on a 90 gallon tank are going to do nothing for your plants. They'll be around 2 feet from the bottom of the tank and give you the very least amount of light possible. You need to drive the plants with light for them to use the available nutrients and co2.
OK- going to up my lighting and my lighting knowledge-I did look up diatoms on line-Got some good input - Thanks.Think i am headed in the right directrion now.
u dont need to cap flourite it would be better alone, would go with dirt you dont have to fert the tank with drt but you do with flourite
That's one more vote for " Dirt" Thanks for the no cap advice also.