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New to the forum + some problems

Discussion in 'Are you new to aquatic plants? Start here' started by GillesF, Nov 3, 2010.

  1. GillesF

    GillesF Subscriber

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    Hi guys

    I'm new to this forum and I'll start by introducing myself. I'm Gilles, a 23 years old Belgian and I started aquascaping about two years ago. My first aquarium was a Dutch style one but I didn't like it, it looked too unnatural.

    One month ago I started again, this time an Asian style aquarium (24"x16"x16") based on this picture: http://www.adana-usa.com/images/gallery02/22.jpg. Unfortunately, I'm having some problems with it:

    1) Since this week, algae can be seen (green spot algae, some thread/hair algae). I thought this was because the plants didn't have enough nutritients (the plants weren't growing too well either, except for some) so I dosed some more. Apparently, this didn't really work out well since I'm seeing even more algae now.

    My water:

    Ph: 6 - 6,5
    GH: 10
    KH: 3-4
    NO3: 10ppm
    PO4: 1ppm
    Micro: 15ml/week (since this week)
    Lighting: 2x 24w on 23-24 gallons, 9,5 hours per day. Until yesterday, this was 3x 24w of which the third T5 was lit during 6 hours.
    CO2: I have no idea, I'm using a drop checker but not a 4dKH solution. Will do that next week. I have already increased CO2. Since there are no fish in my aquarium (yet), I guess overdosing CO2 isn't a problem?
    Soil: Colombo Florabase

    2) I'm seeing a lot of snail shells from dead snails. How come? Today, I have also noticed something that looks like dead planaria. Huh?

    3) I'm using a DAZS glass diffuser and a glass filter outlet/inlet. Unfortunately, whenever I come back from school, I can see a lot of CO2 bubbles floating on the surface. I'm using an Eheim Ecco Pro 200 2034, which should be sufficient for my aquarium. What's causing this?

    Can someone tell me what I should do to improve my water/plant growth? :)

    Thanks,
    Gilles
     
  2. dbazuin

    dbazuin Guru Class Expert

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    The floating bubbles you describe sounds to me more like O2 as a result of your plants assimilating.

    Your NO3 and PO4 is still a bit low.
    Considering the fact that commercial available test are not that precise 10 mg/l can be very close to zero. The same fort 1 mg/l Po4.

    My tank has a NO3 somewhere between 20 and 30. Closer to 30 then 20 I guess. The PO4 will be somewhere round 5.
    The CO2 is best kept round 40 m/l.

    A other thing that is very important is good flow in the tank. When you can see leafs moving with the flow every where you alright.
     
  3. GillesF

    GillesF Subscriber

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    Can I increase my PO4 and NO3 at once or should I do it gradually?

    About the flow: there's a lot of flow in the background but almost nothing at the frontside. I can see the bubbles moving from one side to the other at the front though
     
  4. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    You can increase NO3 and PO4 at once.

    Get a good dropchecker, the one from Dennerle is nice since it has an actual numbered scale like 0-10-20-40-80 I have good experiences with that one, seems to be fairly accurate, then try to dial in your CO2 to about 40 mg/l.

    The algae you have are caused by low PO4 (GSA) and low CO2 (thread). Both should clear up in around 4 weeks after you get your dosing and CO2 level right.

    Flow is ok if the plantleaves gently sway.

    regards,
    dutchy
     
  5. GillesF

    GillesF Subscriber

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    This is the drop checker that I have: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/CO2-Aquarium-Glass-Drop-Checker-Tester-Monitor-Test-Set-/160446455999?pt=UK_Pet_Supplies_Fish&hash=item255b5aa0bf

    When I bought it, it said I had to add some aquarium water to it. I'll try to get some soda tomorrow and make a 4dKH solution.

    How much NO3 and PO4 should I have in my aquarium? 20 & 2? 30 & 3?

    One more question:

    Both my Myriophyllum Aquaticum and my Eustralis Stellata are splitting up at the crown. How come?

    I'll make some pictures of the "dead planaria" but I think those are just snail turds lol
     
    #5 GillesF, Nov 3, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 3, 2010
  6. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    Ok, don't use tank water, that's ok. You could bring your NO3/PO4 level up to 30/3 and keep it there. That still means you would have to dose another 30/3 per week. It's hard to specify because consumption depends on amount of light and plants.

    Keeping the PO4 level high will help to battle the GSA. Check if new growth stays algae free.

    Problems with Stellata's are typically CO2 related. I've grown them up to 9,5 inch in diameter.

    regards,
    dutchy

    IMG_2986s..jpg
     
  7. GillesF

    GillesF Subscriber

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    Those Stellata's look amazing! :O

    Amount of light: 2x24w (Philips 840 & 865) T5, 24 gallons, 9,5h a day. That would be about 2wpg?

    Plants:

    - Hemianthus Callitrichoides
    - Java moss
    - Java ferns
    - Eustralis Stellata
    - Myriophyllum Aquaticum
    - Amania Gracilis
    - Eleocharis Acicularis
    - Cryptocoryne Wendtii "brown"
     
  8. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    That's still a lot of light. You could think about removing reflectors. T5's are very intense lights. I'm using T5's without reflectors and still have twice the light plants minimally need at a depth of 20 inch.

    It can be done with what you have now, but you'll really need good CO2.

    Less light = less CO2 demand = less algae.
     
  9. GillesF

    GillesF Subscriber

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    I will try to remove the reflector. It will expose the interior circuit but everything is protected by a piece of plexiglass. Will this sudden change in lighting influence my plants/algae?
     
  10. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    There will be no sudden changes. Your plants will have to adjust to less light, this will take around two weeks. Growth will be slower, but plants will get wider in diameter, if you add enough CO2. Watch your plants carefully, especially stellata's give you a view into the past. Look at changes in leaf size and diameter, also from other plants.

    Algae will get less. It will also grow less fast.

    Don't break anything removing the reflector ;)

    regards,
    dutchy
     
  11. GillesF

    GillesF Subscriber

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    And what if I only use one T5 + reflector? Or would that be insufficient?
    By the way, I noticed some brown algae on the bottem at the front (barely visible, only noticed it when it produced very small bubbles). Is this a "startup algae"?
     
  12. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    If you have a single reflector for both bulbs it should be enough. if every bulb has it's own reflector, the spread might be to narrow.

    Your tank is not fully cycled yet, it's very likely to be a startup algae. I'd wait and see.

    regards,
    dutchy
     
  13. GillesF

    GillesF Subscriber

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    Yup, it's one large reflector for all three bulbs. What about my HC, will it still grow enough (low)?

    Yes, I have a lot of questions :D
     
  14. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    :) No problem. It still grew low in my tank ;) Anyway you will find out soon enough. If you don't like it, you just put in the bulb again.

    regards,
    dutchy

    IMG_2339..JPG
     
  15. GillesF

    GillesF Subscriber

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    Looks great, nice fish too!

    Removed the 840 and put the 865 in the middle. I'm really anxious to see the results!

    And what about the 14ml Profito? Should I add more?
     
    #15 GillesF, Nov 3, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 3, 2010
  16. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    No, just follow the manual.

    regards,
    dutchy
     
  17. GillesF

    GillesF Subscriber

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    OK, I bought some baking soda and 2 liters of demineralized water (+ two water bottles of each 1l). I have found a formula on this forum but it isn't very clear (never been good at that lol). Could you explain it to me, dutchy?

    I don't have a scale by the way.
     
    #17 GillesF, Nov 4, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 4, 2010
  18. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    Sorry, but I never used that formula. I'm sure someone else can answer you.

    regards,
    dutchy
     
  19. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
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  20. GillesF

    GillesF Subscriber

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    That's a nice calculator but unfortunately I won't be able to use it since I don't have a scale that measures mg's ... :(
    I'm looking for a comprehensive method to dilute the solution by adding more/less distilled water.

    @Dutchy: another question, should I add some extra Fe or is the Fe in Profito sufficient?

    *Edit* Bought a bottle of 4dKH solution from AE on Amazon.co.uk. Expensive but hopefully worth it. Still want to make some myself though :)
     
    #20 GillesF, Nov 4, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 4, 2010
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