This site is supported by the advertisements on it, please disable your AdBlocker so we can continue to provide you with the quality content you expect.
  1. Support us by upgrading to the lifetime advertisement free version.

    Click here for more information.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. We are after as many aquarium plant images that we can get, doing so will assist us in completing the aquarium plant database.

    https://barrreport.com/threads/aquatic-plant-images-wanted.14374/
    Dismiss Notice

Reality Check Please!

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by Dabrits, Oct 26, 2010.

  1. Dabrits

    Dabrits Fraud Reported

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    2:57 AM
    First post!!!

    Anyway, I am extremely new to keeping live plants. Right now I'm am just trying to learn how to effectively grow plants and maintain a few simple fish simultaneously.

    Here's the setup:
    29g
    Lighting: 2x 24W T5 for ~7 hours daily
    CO2: DIY (about .5 bubbles/sec)
    Ferts: Seachem Flourish weekly
    Plants: 1x Anacharis, 5x Java Fern, and ~15 Corkscrew Vallis
    Fish: 1x Golden Algae Eater, 2x Otos
    Substrate: Some Caribsea bio-something or another

    I mention this current setup because I recently had a massive fight with thread algae. And the fight is not over (although I'm winning the war now). I previously had the lights on for 12 hours with .1 bubbles/sec. I had thread algae covering EVERYTHING.

    The wrap a toothbrush around the algae technique only left me with well groomed algae. So I spent about 5 hours doing a 50% water change while I scrubbed the algae off of the glass and rocks. I soaked the plants in a mild bleach solution for ~2 minutes each, then rubbed the dead algae off of the plants. The plants were thoroughly rinsed and soaked in fresh water before replanting. After I was done doing this chemotherapy of cleaning/killing the algae I buttoned everything back together. At this point was when I adjusted the lighting and CO2 to my current setup.

    I did all of this yesterday so it is will take some time to determine whether or not my efforts were successful. The plants look a little less healthy after the soak, but I think they can recover with enough love and attention.

    So really, I want some opinions on whether or not I have a correct vector on eradicating this algae problem. Seeing as how I'm still so new, I'm open to opinions or tips.

    I've included a picture for better conceptualization. Although, don't focus too much on the decorating as currently I am only focusing on keeping plants alive. Aesthetics will follow later.

    [​IMG]

    Thanks in advance!!!
     
  2. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Messages:
    5,623
    Likes Received:
    20
    Local Time:
    2:57 AM
    Hi,

    I think that your biggest issue is that your T5 lighting is overwhelming your DIY c02. How are you getting the c02 into the water and diffusing it?

    The second thing I would advise is to get many more plants....This will help as well.

    I also think you can do fine with just one of these bulbs for 7-8 hours daily...

    What kind of filtration/powerheads are you using? The more details that you provide the better. Keep the pics coming..

    I don't really see any anacharis in your tank....even a single one :)

    Get some wisteria or rotala and ludwigia species, and some more java fern and add them to the tank.
     
  3. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2007
    Messages:
    958
    Likes Received:
    10
    Local Time:
    2:57 AM
    More plants, less light, just like Gerry said. :)

    I wonder if the DIY CO2 is doing more harm than good? A good selection of plants and a low, but otherwise stable CO2 level, might be better? In my experience, DIY CO2 was a pain to get right.
     
  4. dbazuin

    dbazuin Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Messages:
    156
    Likes Received:
    1
    Local Time:
    2:57 AM
    With this amount of plants you never get it rigth.
    I would ad a nice bunch of hygrophlia like the hygrophila angustifolia.
    I would prefer using a liquid carbon instead of this DIY CO2 stuff.
     
  5. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Messages:
    1,150
    Likes Received:
    9
    Local Time:
    2:57 AM
    Hi all,
    A great design idea, if you follow Gerry's game plan, would be to add more low light plants like Anubias to complement your Java fern, possibly some of Tom's Manzy wood with a moss attached. Attaching Anubias and Java fern to wood or a rock is the recommended method. Do not try burying them into the substrate. Floating some wisteria rather then rooting it into the substrate should also work. Some Cryptocoryne might also work, although I am not sure about growing them in the soil you have.

    While I think your algae is due to new tank syndrome, planting the Java fern improperly and having just the few plants needed are not helping to improve your situation. Try increasing the water flow and reducing your light to start with. Answering our questions will tell us more about your situation. Reducing the light is easy. Improve the levels of CO2 is not so easy, but adding a powerhead to improve the water flow should help. Try directing it so the CO2 doesn't just shoot up to the surface.

    From your picture it looks like you are using a diy chopstick diffuser or an airstone and most of the CO2 is going straight to the water's surface. For a 29 gallon tank you will need to improve on the way you are getting CO2 into the tank water if you are going to increase your CO2 levels. As scottward points out, stable CO2 and good water flow, as well as appropriate lighting should be your focus.

    You need to decide on a method and take it all the way. As the elders would say, you can not have a foot in each canoe. You have to choose your canoe. CO2 will require dosing fertilizer and weekly water changes. An EI recommended dose for Seachem Flourish would be closer to a 5mL dose 2-3 times a week. With one T5NO bulb it might not be as much of an issue, but once your CO2 system works properly (powerhead/water flow issue) you need to add NPK. :) Until your CO2 levels are stable you might also consider supplementing your CO2 injection with a liquid Carbon product like Excel, but it will likely kill your vals.

    Just a few questions and then I'm done. I do not see any GH booster listed in your dose. Is there a good reason for that? Could that reason be Carib Sea's Eco-Complete African Cichlid substrate perhaps? What is your pH/KH? Were is the water you use coming from?

    FYI. A diy CO2 system for your tank would require a 4 liter generator. You might even want two generators running two separate modified powerhead setups.

    CO2 Injection Methods - pros and cons
    http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/5851-CO2-Injection-Methods-pros-and-cons
    DIY internal Reactor, great for Yeast CO2 users!
    http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/41-DIY-internal-Reactor-great-for-Yeast-CO2-users
    DIY CO2 reactor/surface skimmer
    http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/6231-DIY-CO2-reactor-surface-skimmer
    DIY CO2 primer for planted tanks.
    http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/7855-DIY-CO2-primer-for-planted-tanks.?p=57313#post57313
     
    #5 Tug, Oct 27, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 27, 2010
  6. Dabrits

    Dabrits Fraud Reported

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    2:57 AM
    Thanks for all of the comments! Seems like a very active and resourceful community here.

    So before I comment or answer questions, I want to point out a few of my observations.

    I'll try to be thorough here. My filtration is just the cheapy hang over the top filter designed for a 30 gallon tank. It is high on my list of things I need to upgrade. But when there are so many things to buy, it gets complicated.

    My CO2 reactor is a little then than 1 liter in size. From the last recharge I did on it, I put in significantly most yeast to help create CO2 faster. I'll have to recharge more often, but I don't mind. My diffusal was a standard glass/disk diffuser, but in my epic struggle with the algae, it broke and I actually have a nice cut from the glass. So currently I am using an air stone until I can get another diffuser. The bubbles are a bit bigger than I would like, but they still aren't too big.

    Yes, I no longer keep Anacharis in there. It didn't do so hot so it was removed.

    I plan on getting more plants, but it comes down to money again. It is also up there on the list of things I need to buy. An easier problem to solve, but still a problem, is which ones to get, how many, and where to get them from. I can solve that problem with some more research, but recommendations are always nice. :)

    I am a little surprised at the recommendation to go down to just one bulb. That would put me at ~.7w/G. That somehow doesn't seem like enough, but if that is what I need to do, I'll do it. I also have two different bulbs, one is more blueish and the other more redish. Which one should I keep on?

    The substrate wasn't the cichlid substrate. It was more generic than that, bio-something maybe? I haven't tested my ph in a while, I'll do that tonight. The hardness hasn't ever been tested. And besides Flourish, I don't have any other ferts or supplements. I haven't gotten the chemistry of all the different ferts down yet. That part of the hobby is the most troublesome for me.

    I've also had this tank set up for around 8 months. The way it looked then is no where near the way it looks now though. I went from one plant and VERY low light to more plants, more light, and some CO2. Could new tank syndrome still be a factor?

    I'm still in the market for something good to attach my javas to. Currently I have them just sitting on the substrate (since I didn't want to bury them and kill the rhizomes). But I would eventually like to attach them to something. The ones on the left are actually attached to that smaller rock via fishing line.

    I'm probably still missing some important information, but that's all I can think of for now.
     
  7. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Messages:
    1,150
    Likes Received:
    9
    Local Time:
    2:57 AM
    Sorry, I was editing my last post while you were replying, but I think you got most of what I was saying.

    Gerry (who keeps a PAR meter) will correct me if I am wrong but you might not have a problem using two bulbs if the one blue bulb is actinic and the other is a red like the Coralife Colormax HO.

    Read the diy CO2 primer and the CO2 Injection Methods links. Find an alternative injection method from the one you now use. I think you are looking at a needle wheel modification in your future, maybe two.

    You might try looking on AquaBid for plants and filters. http://www.aquabid.com/
    I like using high flow, canister filters with a spray bar. For a 29gal. tank I would be looking at anything with a flow rate between 220 and 290 gph. Canister filters are not without their controversy, but I think the higher flow rate makes up for some of the problems. Gerry would be better able to recommend a filter that would be appropriate.

    You might want to download Greg Watson's Guide to Dosing Strategies. http://www.aquaticplantnews.com/ For $4.95 it's an excellent resource.

    And Planted Aquarium Fertilizer has the fertilizer powder you will need. http://www.aquariumfertilizer.com/

    If you can provide your local water quality report we can help you some with your choices. :)
     
    #7 Tug, Oct 27, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 27, 2010
  8. Dabrits

    Dabrits Fraud Reported

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    2:57 AM
    Thank you for the sites. I've since browsed them a bit and I think I can use them.

    Do you know of a way I can find out the local water quality? I imagine I can through searching, just haven't tried yet.

    So I included a video of my CO2 setup as it was last night. You can see the small size of the bubbles, but they go to the top and just swirl around up there.

    [​IMG]

    Now this next video is after I moved the filter towards the center of the tank so that the water current would interact with the CO2 a bit more. It is easily apparent (in the naked eye, maybe not so much in the video) that many of the bubbles now get pushed back down and then circulate around the tank for a bit before they eventually rise to the top. There is still some swirling, but not nearly as much as before.

    [​IMG]

    I don't think that this new position will replace the benefits from a better filter and better current, but I think this is a decent ad hoc setup while I save for some more plants and a new filter.
     
  9. Htomassini

    Htomassini Guest

    Local Time:
    8:57 PM
    Have you tried moving the co closer to the intake on your filter to see if it will suck it up and disperse it better?
     
  10. Dabrits

    Dabrits Fraud Reported

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    2:57 AM
    ^I'm concerned that in the process of travelling through the intake and then to the point where the water flows back into the tank that it would lose a lot of the CO2. I'm open to more thoughts on the idea though.
     
  11. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Messages:
    1,150
    Likes Received:
    9
    Local Time:
    2:57 AM
    Not to much different. Either way, a lot of the CO2 is lost. If I might toot my horn, the Marineland's Duetto multi filter (DJ 100) would be a quick, effective fix. The $23 isn't much more then you pay for an average powerhead and they are sold at most any LFS. Tom's DIY internal reactor might be a little more efficient - more work. If you already ordered the glass/disk diffuser you might look into something like the Koralia to help disperse the bubbles.

    DIY CO2 reactor/surface skimmer
    http://www.barrreport.com/entry.php/2-DIY-CO2-reactor-surface-skimmer
     
  12. lightyear

    lightyear Prolific Poster

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2010
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    2:57 AM
    your plants arent supposed to be planted directly to the soil but rather must be attached to some kind of stones or driftwood. your soil is to nutritious for your type of setup that require less nutrients
     
  13. Dabrits

    Dabrits Fraud Reported

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    2:57 AM
    Thanks Tug! I've been doing some reading on those links you provided and some of the other threads around the site. It's a good read, but a lot of info. Thanks for providing even more. I'll probably post back in here again when I have learned some more. And thanks for the filter recommendation.

    Lightyear, my Javas aren't planted. But half of them aren't attached to anything either. I currently have the other half just resting on the bottom. The Anubias and Vallis do great when planted though.
     
  14. Dabrits

    Dabrits Fraud Reported

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    2:57 AM
    So I've been busy reading up a bit more and letting the tank recover from the algae infection. There is still some algae growing in a few trouble spots, but it is much more contained ATM. My current light setup is 2x T5 24W bulbs on for 6 hours a day. Hopefully, with the light, fert and increased CO2, the algae will slowly die out.

    I'm now in the market for some new plants. I've been more and more interested in Rotala. But it seems that there are quite a number of different plants. Any recommendations on some low maintanence/low light Rotalas?
     
  15. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Messages:
    1,150
    Likes Received:
    9
    Local Time:
    2:57 AM
    If only we could have access to a PAR meter.

    Rotala ´Russila´ might do well with Java fern.

    Have you decided on a dosing option yet? When facing the guardian rabbit of Caerbannog, run away! Not, when facing down fertilizer. Look online for a local water quality report. Hopefully it will tell you the levels of Ca and Mg in your tap water. It could just be the picture, but you have some signs of nutrient deficiency that might be from more then just low CO2 levels. In the meantime, add a GH booster like Seachem's Equilibrium to be on the safe side.
     
  16. Dabrits

    Dabrits Fraud Reported

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    2:57 AM
    Noted on the Rotala, thanks.

    As for dosing, it is just the Seachem Flourish 2-3 times a week until I figure out the long term solution. I'm still trying to find a local water report. I live on a military base and I don't know if that is making it harder or not. I found some reports for a city a few miles away though. Although even that report didn't have much information in it. I did find a phone number that I can call during business hours that might be able to help.
     
    #16 Dabrits, Nov 13, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 13, 2010
  17. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Messages:
    1,150
    Likes Received:
    9
    Local Time:
    2:57 AM
    Keep looking, it will help you to fine tune your doses but that is all. Some people use EI without ever knowing what is in their water. But, you need to start somewhere.

    If dry fertilizers and EI are your preference there is no reason not to order the dry fertilizers now. To start, I suggest you order; KNO3, KH2PO4, a trace like CSM+B and a GH booster. Those four things will be all you need to get started. That bottle of flourish should be about empty by now - a bag of dry fertilizer will last much longer.

    How long? It depends on the number and type of plants and the growing conditions you provide.

    Step 1: Define your goals and share them with the forum.
    http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/2889-Step-1-Define-your-goals

    Step 2: chose a method and learn it well - adapt to the situation.
    http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/2890-Step-2-chose-a-method-and-learn-it-well

    Tom Barr and Greg Watson offer some examples and explanations for a dosing routine called Estimative Index. Estimative Index (EI) is adjusted to suit the needs of each situation, making it seam more complicated then it is. In it's most basic form, it is very effective over a broad range of situations. When followed to the letter it will not cause algae or harm a thing and many people do little more then follow it exactly as is.

    EI light: for those less techy folks
    http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/2819-EI-light-for-those-less-techy-folks

    The Estimative Index of Dosing, or No Need for Test Kits
    http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/62-The-Estimative-Index-of-Dosing-or-No-Need-for-Test-Kits?p=217#post217

    From what I gather you are trying to provide a low-mid light CO2 planted tank.
    The following doses would be recommended to start;
    1/4 tsp KN03 3x a week
    1/16 tsp KH2P04 3x a week
    1/2 tsp GH booster once a week (w/water change only)
    1/16 tsp Trace (CSM+B) Elements 2x a week
    50% weekly water change

    If you want to add more iron you can add a daily 1mL dose of Seachem iron (Ferrous Gluconate). If you find your water quality report, you may already have plenty of Ca in your tap water, but need Mg and K. All the minor tweaks can be done to adjust the dose according to your situation but better to add it all now and have more then you need of some things then to add nothing, IME.
     
  18. Dabrits

    Dabrits Fraud Reported

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    2:57 AM
    I got some dry ferts on the way! I was able to find all of what you suggested except fr the KH2PO4. But now I am heavily in the market for some plants. I couldn't find any Rotala Russila. But I wanted to get some opinions on some crypts. Any ideas on what might do well in the tank? I'm desperate to get some more plants to help starve out that algae problem I've been dealing with. So low CO2 plants would be desired. Thanks.
     
  19. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Messages:
    1,150
    Likes Received:
    9
    Local Time:
    2:57 AM
    Hi Dabrits,

    It sounds as if you're committed now. A great place to find plants (often for free) is a local aquatic club. See if they have a web site, most do and they should have a swap and trade section.

    A few aquatic species I have experience with, I'm sure there are more that are easy to grow, would be Cryptocoryne parva for a low growing carpet plant. Cryptocoryne undulata for a mid-ground planting. Nymphaea zenkeri red, Tiger lotus should be fine and of course Anubias and any of the aquatic ferns look nice.

    KH2PO4
    I guess it depends on where you live, but Mono Potassium Phosphate (KH2PO4) is available online from AquariumFertilizer.com for $7/lb. Another way to add phosphate would be to add Fleet Enema, say one milliliter every other day to start, 1.5 mL when you have more plants. If you prefer, 30 -35 milliliters Flourish Phosphate per 100 - 110 liters every other day.

    Phosphorus and aquatic plants - http://www.barrreport.com/showthread...ter-Phosphorus.
     
  20. Dabrits

    Dabrits Fraud Reported

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    2:57 AM
    As always, thank you very much for the info. I've got the MKP on the way now as well.

    I'm doing some more research on the plants you suggested. I'll probably be making some purchases from aquabid shortly. Thanks again.
     
Loading...

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice