Hi Guys - High Nitrates Issue

rjugas

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Jan 15, 2018
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Hi,
I am Robin, I had an aquarium a few years back (60 litres) and now I am coming back with smaller 30 litres cube (8 gallons).
Already have all technical stuff and plants will be delivered at Wednesday...
Later I will make a presentation.
I will start with silent cycling, I have soil similar to ADA amazonia, ferts will be PMDD and at the beginning I will be adding Seachem Stability. So....
I really apreciate the high level of this forum and articles.
 
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Allwissend

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Hi Robin, welcome to the forum. The 30L cubes are really versatile. Looks to me like you have everything planned out.
 

rjugas

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Thank for replies. The third day after the launch:
6TJrISv.jpg

From left to right:
Limnophila sessiflora
Ludwigia repens Rubin
Bacopa caroliniana
Eleocharis acicularis (second row)
Eleocharis parvula (front row)

Hang-on filter with Seachem matrix
50W heater
CO2 citric acid+soda
15W LED 1450lm light
and Platinum Soil
 
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rjugas

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So, today is 19th day after establishment. Everything growed up, except Bacopa caroliniana and Eleocharis acicularis. E. accicularis looks good but hasnt started to grow, compared to E. parvula which looked horrible but its leafes started growing. Bacopa is growing very slowly. I already cropped Limnophilla.

But I had some algae in aqua. Its green and formates something like cotton wool. I googled and it could be Rhizoclonium or Cladophora or some Filamentous Algae. I added liquid carbon I have but not using since I have gas CO2.
Pictures: https://imgur.com/a/tFJ7u

Some possible advices?
 

Allwissend

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Looks like a good start. After week 2 you are likely to see some algae grow, but don't worry part of the experience of having a planted tank.

Bacopa caroliniana is know n to grow somehwhat slower than more invasive stems. Many of your plants may also be adapting to submersed growth from the emersed state: that is what is happening with the Eleocharis. It also seems to me like the clumps are a little bit too large but they may still grow.

The algae is mainly caused by too strong lights for the CO2 or nutrients available in the water. If you can lower the light levels and increase CO2 as a starting point.

A tooth brush works very well in removing the hair algae. Put it where the algae are more dense and spin it slowly. You will notice that th treads start to spin around the tooth brush. Pull without breaking small bits and remove from the toothbrush. Without addressing the root cause this will be just a technique to keep things in check.
 
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rjugas

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Thank for response. I am using toothbrush for removing, its pretty soft and soggy, hard to catch.
I changed my water today, after a week. Also I finally got my CO2 dropchecker from China so currently I'm waiting for color change.
And I also moved my HOB filter to the left side of the tank, the inlet is still hidden but the waterflow spreads the CO2 from the diffuser. Much better than previous setup.
 

rjugas

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Me again. The tank has already a month or so. Still have an algae, but this algae attacks only substrate surface, walls of the tank and dead leafs. So, no reason to panic.
I was adding the CO2 from citric acid+soda bottles for a month and it became very quickly a mistake. The filling lasts only a weak, so I already have made 4 fillings. Estimating one filling as something over a 1.7 $, multiplying with 56 weeks get me a huge amount of money - 95 bucks. That's one problem, the another one is that regulation on those cheap sets sucks. Its almost impossible to set stable count of bubbles. The regulation at these low amount of gas sucks and is oscillating about nothing and the right amount, depends on the pressure etc. So I often have set the right amount and later I find the diffuser doing nothing.
So I ordered profi solution - classical CO2 set with steel bottle 2 liters, regulation valve, needle valve, steel reverse valve (better than cheap plastic I got, it can leak) and EMF to turning off gas in nights. Well, it costed me something ( 160 $) but its build from quality Camozzi components. Also, the filling will be probably many times cheaper, the filling of this bottle should be around 4 bucks / per 3 months maybe.

And because of that, I will be also able to add some fish into tank. I wouldn't risk that with previous technique of CO2 enrichment.
 
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rajkm

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Green algae on substrate on soil is not unknown in new tanks. Concentrate on good CO2 levels, plants will grow in and algae will subside.
Any DGH or It’s varieties takes time to get started and even while you dont see it, I will be sending runners under the substrate level. Leave it alone and you will see some tiny ones prounting here or there.
 

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Yeah, inconsistent CO2 can sometimes be worse than no CO2 at all. I know it's weird to buy the whole CO2 setup for a 30L, but you will enjoy greater success with your plants. After you dial it in, consider adding algae eaters to your setup. Ottos and amanos are a great way to reduce already existing algae. Remember to feed them after they do their job :)
 

rjugas

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Yes, I plan to add Amano shrimps,as they eat algae more than other species and as they are not usually reproducing. Because I only want a few of them, not to have later tank full of shrimps. :)
I already got the CO2 set delivered, but I will set it up after the weekend cause I won't be at home during weekend and I have still almost newly filled older CO2 setup.
 

rjugas

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So, still doesn't have any fish. I am dependent on a local retail shop and what it offers. Currently, the candidates are Boraras brigitae, Microrasbora galaxy, Boraras maculatus, Hyphessobrycon amandae and the smallest Boraras urophthalmoides. The galaxy is probably out of choice - too shy and would suit better in larger tanks, Boraras brigitae is favourite, yet not at shop, Boraras urophthalmoides I had years ago, but is not visually atractive. No need to rush the choice and buying.

Algae is now controlled as I equipped pro CO2 set. Grow less for sure, the unstable CO2 was making a mess.

3Birhgm.jpg

PxlgLwt.jpg

 
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rjugas

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Well, I came to visit hobby market (Hornbach), they have aquarist equipment, plants and fish. I originally came to check the Boraras, but I left with brand new Eheim 2213. The price was pretty good, 63 USD after conversion, and it's the Plus version with complete sponges and double valves/taps. It was cheaper than maybe more proprietary 2211 which is without accessories. I was thinking about canister from the start, I have never had till today any. Before the byuing I spent some time googling and found some topics where its recommended even for such a small tanks like mine:
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/9-equipment/86211-help-canister-filter-10-gallon-planted-tank.html
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/9-equipment/1209050-canister-filter-10-gallon.html
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/9-equipment/490777-eheim-filter-5-gallon.html
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/8...es/270186-what-canister-filter-10-gallon.html
https://barrreport.com/threads/10-gallon-dragonstone-tank.14817/
https://barrreport.com/threads/10-gallon-dragonstone-tank.14817/
I put my Seachem Matrix 250ml into the new filter and added a dose of Seachem Stability.
So guys, need to ask you. After the addition of used filtration medium, got I a newly started tank? And is it better to regulate the flow on the output or input taps?
 

Allwissend

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Yes, from the sp. listed, B. brigitae would also be my choice.
I find a 2213 on a 10g a good fit that allows heavy planted groups. After you fit in an inline reactor the flow would be reduced. Add a glass lily pipe and you will have a further reduction. If you need to limit further, always limit on the filter outlet.
 

rjugas

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Just a small update. Technique is going well, as the grass Eleocharis in the front, but the back of tank is weaker and I am not satisfied with it. So, replanted the back of tank with:
Elechoaris vivipara
Rotala rotinfundila
Ludwigia repens (I got it as present with rest of package), maybe it is stupid idea to plant it, but throw it away :(

So I will see. Photo will be soon. I also ordered Tropica Premium Fertiliser. I am not into experimenting with PMDD, and I also think that it degrades pretty quickly.
 
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rjugas

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So, I got the Rhizoclonium. I was having issues with it since the beginning but it gets worse now.
I analyzed the possible reasons and maybe: only once a week maintenance, and not trimming so often (plants then stop grow and the ferts are not consumed by them). And yes, it is summer and sun is shining so excessive light can be also an issues.

I stopped CO2 and lights right now, I did maintenance yesterday and started dosing liquid Co2 aka Excel.
Tomorrow, I will change the water again and trim the plants.
 
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Allwissend

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I think you have pretty much identified the reasons why you are starting to see this algae. I would definately focus on water changes, substrate cleaning, filter cleaning and trimming. Just trimming the plants changes the dynamics of a planted tank a lot.

Keep the Co2 especially if you do not have any fish. Personally, I don't find blackouts a great tool for algae control. Focus on growing healthy plants (CO2, light) and the algae will be removed in time.
 

rjugas

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Well, I think I have failed and I have to create new scape aka establish new tank. I will use the the same filter media.
  1. I will change the substrate, that's the fist question aka I need help please - I have something like ADA Amazonia, just nutrients rich clay, there is even smaller powder version in the shop which according to seller is much better at planting. Well, it really sucks to plant something into it because it is like polystyrene. I guess the powder version will be better. But what about other substrates? There is also much cheaper burned clay, also porous but without ferts. Since, only a few plants have fully grown roots, isn't that actually better?
  2. I have high nitrates. Changing the water will not help actually since the tap water should be 35mg/L. This is what my tap water is:
Fe 0,03 mg/l
pH 7,44
Hardness 2,94 2-3,5 mmol/l
NH4+ ionts < 0,01 mg/l
NO3- 35,78 mg/l
NO2− < 0,00 mg/l
Chlorides 19,77 mg/l
Organic carbon 2,31 mg/l
Free Cl 0,04 mg/l

("While there are several ways of expressing two units of ppm and ppb, we will treat them as mg or μg of solutes per L solution, respectively.") So I guess I have 35 ppm NO3, pretty high, isn't it?

What method should I use to get it out of my aquarium? Does something like Seachem de*Nitrate works? Seachem claims what it works under 200L/h water flow, when anaerobic decomposition overtakes but my Eheim claims 440 L/h. I found SZAT ClearWater which removes nitrates too - https://www.monsterfishkeepers.com/forums/threads/szat-clear-water.693226/
Its cheaper, I will try it maybe. Other methods? RO? I dont want to do RO since it is so much agenda.

3. Stem plants - I hate them, they never grow esthetically good. I will try more grass looking plants next time.
4. Eleocharis - it was dense, very dense and good looking but then is started to disappear and it gets out of substrate. Sad, I really like how good it looked. It was only plant since beginning which was always growing and looking good.

Some disaster photos:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/Zw9RvvTCatGtnMLYA

Can you advice me guys? Thanks
 
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