Help With Some Issue On First Tank

psycho91-1

New Member
Sep 19, 2018
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Italy
Hello everyone!

Sorry for the long post to come, but I need help.
I’m writing this for a friend, who doesn’t speak English. We’re from Italy.

We need help for some issues with his tank.
The tank (his very first) is running from last February 15th. It’s (sorry for cm dimensions, I don’t know otherwise) 80x40x31h cm. ADA Amazonia, both normal and Powder, with Power Sand Special and Tourmaline BC, all bought in 2018 (I’m reading on the web that quality control on new Amazonia is bad… it melts and has too much PO4 absorption). Light ADA Solar RGB and superjet filter ES-600 right now running on bamboo charcoal after carbon and bio rio. CO2 with external in-line glass diffuser.
Fertilization is ADA, it started with just Brighty K, Mineral, Nitrogen and Iron (following the protocol), recently my friend bought also Phyton Git Green Gain and Green bacter.
RO water with salts DRAK Duradrakon KH and Duradrakon GH, bioconditioner (not using for some months now) DRAK Blackdrakon.
He has 20 Danio Margaritatus and 15 Amano shrimps.
Twinstar, but off for some months after the first months.
Curiosity, he doses with an external timer pump (don’t know how to call it).

It started with Rotala Green, Alternanthera reineckii mini, Rotala indica (ex bonsai) and Eleocharis parvula.
Eleocharis never spread, Rotala indica and green always had good growth, Alternanthera had nice growth initially, but was finally attacked by algae. We honestly don’t know where they came from, the shop where he took plants (most of it in cups anyway) is really good, and specialised, the best in Italy and I never had any issue with them, so I’d exclude algae were from the plants.

It ended up in being infested with filamentous algae. Probably for some direct solar light, Solar RGB too much close (he was using it at 25cm) and too much soil used in the tank. Helped by someone, he used Protalon (I don’t know much more, never used this product), cut and cleaned all plants, and trough some process he did get rid of filamentous algae. He fixed something on fertilization etc. and all went fine.

He replaced Rotala Green with some species of others Rotala rotundifolia, like normal one, Orange, Colorata. Removed Alternanthera reineckii mini and cut all the Eleocharis (just few spots remained, growing back).
Leaving only Rotala indica, adding Lobelia cardinalis first, some Pogostemon heiferi. And lately, two weeks ago, he added tropica cups of Micranthemum Montecarlo, after initial melting it’s now doing better. And on a rock he has Vesicularia ferriei (weeping moss).

Running right now on Bright K Mineral and Nitrogen at 4ml per day. Iron is on 1-2ml. He’s using now (two weeks) Phyton Git and Green bacter, on protocol. And Solar RGB is right now at 45cm from water.
KH is 2 and GH is 7, pH at 6.7-6.9. CO2 is like 140 bubble per minute during 8h of light.
NO3 2.5, PO4 0.1. Fe is never more than 0. Sometime found at 0.1.
Pearling is good but not great. A bit on Rotalas, better on Lobelia. But not massive pearling, and it occurs only after 6-7 hours of photoperiod.

On Monday, he found some new algae on plants again, especially on Montecarlo and a bit on moss.
So he’s now worried about it, fearing a new infestation.
So what to do? He’s been really careful last months, so he’s really “sad” to see algae again.
Is it the soil? Honestly he used too much soil, we know that. But what to do? How to improve pearling?
All is growing fine, but the foreground plants never grew well, Montecarlo is doing better but not that great (it seems very much of it but he bought 12 cups, so mostly that’s why the high quantity) but Eleocharis and even Hemianthus in the summer, never grew and finally even Hemianthus melted without growing.

Here’s pictures (if I post right).

Sorry for my English, hope you can help, and anyway thank you very much!

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Phishless

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Tank does not look horrible by any means.
What is pH drop from degassed to middle of photo-period?
Most of us target a 1.0 pH drop assuming that will equal 30ppm of CO2.
 

psycho91-1

New Member
Sep 19, 2018
8
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30
Italy
So, first of all thanks for the reply!
The pH drop is 0.3 from 7.2 to 6.9.
Searching around the web and this forum, I was reading about the 1 point drop to assume it will equal 30ppm of CO2, so I asked my friend just yesterday to begin a pH profile, just to be sure about the 0.3 drop.

About ferts, yeah he's pretty much dosing lightly because he fears algae again, you can only imagine what he thought and said when he sent me the picture in post #2. He was more than afraid :D
 

Phishless

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Algae can thrive where plants won't grow.
Strong light and CO2 with little "food" for plants?

I would concentrate on giving the plants everything they need.
 

psycho91-1

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Sep 19, 2018
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The pH drop is not even 0.3, but 0.1 at best. He measured 6.9 30 minutes before lights go on, and 6.8 in the middle of the photo-period

How is that possible? He's dosing very much CO2, more than 2 bubbles per second. I use to dose 3 bubbles per second in double his liters and I have 0.9 drop!
I'm suspecting his CO2 is dispersed someway, maybe the inline diffuser isn't that good. It micronises really well, but I suspect that going out in the flow of the outline it goes on the surface and disperse really fast

Otherwise I can't understand it really!
 

Cyprus Dragon

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Jul 31, 2016
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You have a very poor fertilizing strategy . While you keep a good lighting system you limit CO2 and nutriets . Limiting these factors will not protect you from the Alqae issues you but opposite . Keeping NO3 2.5ppm and Fe 0 and the other nutriets you write on these low levels is the reason why your plants are weak . Weak plants will give the upper hand on Alqae . Give your plants enought to get strong and Alqae will desaper
 

psycho91-1

New Member
Sep 19, 2018
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Italy
Of course. I'll tell him to raise. He was in full ferts when algae occurred last time so now he's very afraid.

What values do you suggest to raise NO3 and other nutrients? Fe 0.1?
Thank you!
 

psycho91-1

New Member
Sep 19, 2018
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30
Italy
Yeah the only problem is that ADA ferts don't provide PO4, so it's hard for him to raise PO4.
I'll try to make him use other products for PO4 at least.

NO3 are already at suggested rate, and they stay at 2.5 with 4ml
I can't understand why so, to raise 5-10 times would mean many more pumps per day but will see
 

Phishless

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Better to front load to a desired level than starve plants.

If there is great "fear" about dosing I can't help on that end.
This fear can be algae related or phish related with many.
A fear of dumping chemicals in the water maybe?
Compounds that we use are not administered @ toxic levels.
The levels I have suggested are minimums, many aquarists use much more.

Ratio of NO3/PO4 is also important, one without the other could also be an issue.
 

Cyprus Dragon

Junior Poster
Jul 31, 2016
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Numbers and levels of fertilizers ( in this word i include CO2 also ) are different in every Tank . There is not a rule to follow . Every system is different . The numbers are subject more or less from your lighting systen . There is the key to start building your dosage .
But sure strenght your plants in the way you are the only one to find in your system Alqae will not be an issue anymore .
 

psycho91-1

New Member
Sep 19, 2018
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Italy
Degassed pH is 7.5, lowers to 6.6 with CO2. It's a 0.9 drop

Starting tomorrow, CO2 will be on 2 hours before lights (and will go off 2 hours before lights will do).
 
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rajkm

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Ada does absorb a lot of PO4 along with K and Ca but those are made available to plantsbat roots so it’s not like its lost.
The algae looks like hair algae, which is not uncommon but appears in tanks with improper CO2 and flow to spread that CO2.
If you do t have shrimp or s ails, algae fix can take care of it, else H2O2 followed by some excel will also work.
 

skija

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Do water changes , 50% each 2 days , for 2 weeks (dose ferts after water change) , if this fixes your issue (algae and poor growth ) then you have a co2 issue and or poor flow .

I believe that can be bad flow because you have only one filter and your water doesn't go round and round in the tank so the co2 doesn't reaches all sides of the tank .

Also MC growing up is clear co2 issue
 
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