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Help!!! Plants Melting And Algae Growing!

Discussion in 'Are you new to aquatic plants? Start here' started by Aaron L, Jun 9, 2019.

  1. Aaron L

    Aaron L New Member

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    A quick overiew... I have a 20 gallon high tank that is fully cycled and is stocked with corys, tetras and apistogrammas. I recently changed the substrate to sand (from course gravel) and am trying to go the planted route. Currently there are java ferns, anubias, a small and a large amazon sword, ludwigia repens (that is still surviving but not thriving), a couple of crypts and dwarf water lettuce.

    I have recently had issues with algae growing (I think it's BBA since it was growing in furry clumps and was also settling on marimo moss balls) as well as plants that aren't thriving.

    Fertilization: I am dosing Thrive as per bottle instructions three times a week and have placed root tabs under all of the plants in the sand. I use seachem excel daily as a carbon source and algae control.

    Lighting: Beamswork DA 6500K set to a timer (was 8 hours but lowered to 6 hours and am dimming the light to about 70%)

    Filteration: Aquaclear 50 and I am adding a powerhead to increase flow around the tank to help keep detritus from building up.

    I guess my question is really just to ask for any opinions or advice on my current set up. I have only recently ( within the past two weeks) started dosing thrive and excel. Should I just be waiting to let the dust settle? I have been doing water changes more often (twice in the past few days) and also trimming and pulling dead plants.

    Other than lowering the amount of light, is there anything else I should be doing with this tank?

    Thank you!
     
  2. DesertPupfish

    DesertPupfish New Member

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    Hi there. I'm in the same boat as you with my new 55 gal tank. I've got the same Beamswork lights and also started at 8hrs/day thinking that would get my plants established. So I've also learned the hard way that it's better to start with low lights to avoid algae while your plants are getting acclimated. My problem is green water, not BBA (so far)

    Lots of people report success with spot treating BBA with Excel and/or hydrogen peroxide. There are some current threads on other about this, but this site won't let me post the URLs. So I'd suggest checking those out, and will see if I can post those URLs in a subsequent post for you. In addition to spot treating & cutting back on lighting, try to figure out what else could be causing the BBA. Sounds like you're on top of keeping the tank clean of any dead plant matter. What are your ammonia/nitrite/nitrate levels that could be contributing to algae growth? The root tabs are a good idea, and may be enough until your plants get established and can start utilizing the ferts in the water column. Otherwise you could just be adding fuel to the fire. Another cause could be imbalances in macro & micro ferts--phosphate is often cited as a contributor, both too much and too little. As a planted tank newbie I'm no expert on ferts, so again I'd look on other forums for info & advice. Another great site (not a forum) is Dennis Wong's site. He's got a great section on the various algae types & how to deal with them.

    Looks like this is not a very active site--nobody's responded to your post from last weekend, and a lot of the threads date back 6 yrs or more. But lots of good info here, and elsewhere. Keep googling & asking, and good luck!
     
  3. DesertPupfish

    DesertPupfish New Member

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    Getting an error message that I can't post links until I've made 2 posts. So will try again after this....
     
  4. DesertPupfish

    DesertPupfish New Member

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    theplantedtank.net (Dave Barr is a frequent contributor to his, and it's very current & active)

    Dennis Wong's advancedplantedtank.com
     
  5. Arun

    Arun New Member

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    'The key lies in desertpupfish's answer "until your plants get established and can start utilizing the ferts in the water column..." Even with houseplants, when you repot, it takes a while for the plant to settle down and start stabilizing and growing. During this period, you need to dial down the light and hold off on the fertilizers. This could take a week or so and during this time, any carbon source like flourish excel should be added as per the recommended dosage. Ensure that there is good filtration and flow. Take care of these fundamentals first, and micro/macro ratios etc can come much later into play. Let us know how its going after a week, with pictures of before and after.
     
  6. Aaron L

    Aaron L New Member

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    Thanks guys! Things have settled down a bit and the algae was handled by spot treating/removal using a syringe. I also cleaned out the filter (was a ton of gunk) as well as performed a larger water change.

    Things are starting to look a lot better. Thanks for all of the help!

    On a second not, I recently planted a nano tank and have had a lot of plant melt (including dwarf sag)... is this to be expected?
     
  7. DesertPupfish

    DesertPupfish New Member

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    Yep, melting can happen when plants are transferred to water with different parameters. And commercially grown plants are often grown emersed, so when you submerse them in your tank, the old emersed leaves can melt and new submersed ones emerge. Be sure to thoroughly remove all the melted leaves or they could fuel an algae outbreak--I've been going through this in my new tank.
     
  8. Arun

    Arun New Member

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    Water parameters is what you need to watch for - soft/hard/acidic/alkaline? Get a base line first of how your water is now, and try to normalize it using natural means. You should hit the sweet spot in a few trys.
     
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