75 gallon blackwater tank feels like it's missing something

SandNukka15

Potamotrygon
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Nov 18, 2010
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What I see missing is the right light. It appears you use DIY spot lights and flexible strip lights that are low in K value and lacking red and blue.. Fish and plants look washed out under 6000K, but vivid in high K and rich in red and blue spectrum. Also, you have to find a way to hide the cluster of overhead light fixtures.

Here is a pic of my 125 g set up similar to yours, and I do 75% WC weekly. I do not use substrate plants, but all Java ferns (broad leaf and narrow leaf Trident) attached to rock. I don’t think you necessarily need colored stem plants as all green is fine, allowing fish to bring out the color. All you need is more lush growth that takes time to establish. Don’t add frogbit as they will shade the plants below from getting lush.

Scattering the pebbles in the sea of sand is unnatural. It will look better if you can place them contiguous with the drift wood as an island

The big difference between yours and mine is lighting. In addition to strip LEDs sit on the glass top, I tied submersible LEDs inside the tank rims to optimize the footprint for light coverage.

View attachment 1364794
I dont think you read the thread. I'm using planted LEDs. Beamswork DA 6500k with other red spectrum LEDs with different night time modes. Those led strips you saw in the first pic were extra lights I had for night time viewing.

Yes there was a lot of lights but that's bc I had to use my 6500k flood lights until the beamswork came. They are flood lights not spot lights and yes they do make flood lights with 6500k suitable for plants. The problem was they were too powerful for my set up. Par value was at like 60 and I knew I was going to get algae with low light plants and no co2. They have been removed since my beamswork arrived
 
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tiger15

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Look better with Beamwork light. I only saw the temporary flood lights in my first post. There is a yellow tint that appears from low k value. Is it tannin leaching from the drift wood? 60 PAR at the substrate level is only medium light, not excessive for low light plants. You can always reduce the photo period.
 

SandNukka15

Potamotrygon
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Look better with Beamwork light. I only saw the temporary flood lights in my first post. There is a yellow tint that appears from low k value. Is it tannin leaching from the drift wood? 60 PAR at the substrate level is only medium light, not excessive for low light plants. You can always reduce the photo period.
Those flood lights were around 60 par but heavy on the watts. Got the beamswork to also be half the wattage. I wont need par levels that high for java fern, anubias, vals, and dwarf sag. Photo period now is 8 hrs will adjust if needed.

The tannins arent from the driftwood. I boil almond leaves per water change that's why the lighting might look yellowish to you but it's just the tannins
 

SandNukka15

Potamotrygon
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All plants added except for anubias. I'll be growing them out in my 15 gallon with my 15 long fin white cloud minnows.

Now the wait for the carpet and vals to bounce back after melting....

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SandNukka15

Potamotrygon
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Update plants doing well except for jungle vals. They melted due to the excel I was using even tho I slowly increased dosage over several weeks. They are starting to bounce back. I'll be adding root tabs again on Friday during a wc. Pothos roots have been trimmed, they were getting out of hand haha. I also stopped using almond leaves.
The angel was rehomed. I am going to try my luck with some more baby angels.

I haven't updated this thread in over 2 months this picture was taken over 3 weeks ago. I'll post one up to date later today

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Ulu

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The tank is coming along very well.

As for vals, my fish always trash them. I have swords and java fern and anubias, and they eventually trash them too, but they last much longer..

EDIT...it's mostly my plecos and cories trashing plants. But they are healthy and need the fresh vitamins anyhow. ;)
 
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