Toads' Twenty - A.k.a. Algaegeddon!

Should I do a hardscape?

  • No, focus on plants!

    Votes: 10 62.5%
  • Rocks would be nice

    Votes: 1 6.3%
  • Wood needed!

    Votes: 1 6.3%
  • Rocks and wood needed!

    Votes: 4 25.0%

  • Total voters
    16

toads74

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Light is very deceptive without a PAR meter.
My 100PAR @ the substrate doesn't appear all that bright to me.
I cannot distinguish the 75PAR side from the 100PAR side without the meter.

Did some searching tonight and found this thread, from those values I should be just under 90par at substrate level on max setting: https://barrreport.com/threads/chihiros-led-lights.13977/#post-138447


Macrandra japan for me looks like pig vomit until the tops reach 8" tall.
Then they are in a much higher PAR range, they begin branching and showing bright red tops.
When trimmed the tops look like hell again until that right height is reached.
Three years of growing this and I've only offered for sale once due to poor appearance.

I noticed it is looking a little better as it gets taller, seen that with several other plants. Wasn’t sure if that was the higher light or just recovering .


I would rule out CO2 @ this time.

My fert schedule is so different using capped soil, can't chime in on that one.
Dropping KH down should help improve as you have done.

S. repens for me is growing 5" tall and branching even in semi-shaded areas of the tank.

PAR meter, anyone you could borrow from ????

Im using Brightwell, very similar to controsoil. Like Ada but much leaner on nutrients. Not sure I should be dumping so much ferts into the water column or not. I figured it would cover most deficiencies, but reading some of the other threads I’m not so sure I don’t have too much of something. I did see improvement going from about half current levels to what I’m dosing now, but none going higher than that. I guess I’m stuck not knowing what to adjust, just raise/lower one thing at a time and see what happens.
 
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Tim Harrison

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I'd always add wood and rocks, but I admire the Dutch style as well.
Try your hand at aquascaping, it's an art form that is very rewarding.
 

toads74

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I'd always add wood and rocks, but I admire the Dutch style as well.
Try your hand at aquascaping, it's an art form that is very rewarding.

Was shooting for a Dutchish style until it went south trying to fix issues, and not having had time to do anything because of being short handed at work. Once I get some of this fixed I have a few ideas in mind of what scape I’d like to try.

The shrimp tank though is overdue for a rescape, also a 20g long. Definitely want a nature style, low maintenance, low/med light. Need some decent rock and branches to work with. Got plenty of wood in the yard, though probably not as gnarly as I’d like. Clean slate as far as I’m concerned, except for a couple plants in limbo for the other tank. Haven’t really done a “serious” attempt at a scape so expectations are iffy. ;) Hopefully I’ll get that one started soon.

 

toads74

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I dropped the kh more for a week to see what would happen.... ludwigia was not happy, so bumped it back. Growth has steadily improved, was a bit thin but getting better. This is after it reached the surface and the tops replanted to increase the bunch:


Did three peroxide treatments. 50ml peroxide diluted about 4:1 water:h2o2, turned off pumps and sprayed it inderwater with an air line. 30 min later turn filter back on, and large water change next day. It is clearing up well. Hair grass was choked with BBA.
 

toads74

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Different tank... shrimp have gone on holiday for a bit, while tank was stripped bare to get ready for a rescape. Maybe just a scape, not sure previous one qualified... ;)

Shrimp haven’t bred for months, so I took out the soil and rinsed the crud out, cleaned the sponge filter, etc. Not sure I like the wood yet. Think it needs a few long pieces on the left side to balance it. It was assembled from a bunch of twigs and 2 larger chunks, zip tied. Letting it soak while messing around. Won’t add shrimp till an ammonia test after a few days at least.

 

toads74

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Update time!

Been away on and off lately, and had a chance to try a few things. First, a couple pics. I had the lights dimmed to level 5 (7 is max at ~90 par iirc), and kept the kh about 3.5.

Stauro and ludwigia are still not growing much but look reasonable. The main target of my efforts is the rotalas. As you can see they were a bit poor until two days ago when I bumped the lights back to max. Colored up dramatically and growth much better in those two days. So I think for now I need the higher light. Hair grass was trimmed two days ago also, so it likes it as well.


Rotala mac

A couple observations:

1. At lower kh the ludwigia and stauro suffered noticeably so I’ll hold kh where it is. Baby tears is gone, I don’t think it likes low kh.

2. Being gone a week at a time seems to have had very little effect. I’ve kept the same water change schedule, and did a double dose before leaving, skipping 5 to 7 days worth each time. I think this indicates I don’t have a short term fert deficit.

3. Still having periodic algae issues, though much reduced at the lower light level. BBA is almost completely gone now. Main algae issue is now a very fine floating hair algae I would characterize as “pond scum”.

4. I had crazy co2 levels, ph drop of 1.7 which is a flow rate of 40cc/min. No livestock of course. No noticeable affect. I’m bringing it down to a target of 1.3 over the next week so I can bring back some critters. 15cc/min is giving me a 1.5 drop.

I was reading back on @Pikez kill tank thread about maintaining constant nitrate levels, so that inspired my next plan. Got nitrate and phosphate test kits and going to see what the uptake is doing. I have a feeling my dosing of something is out of whack, so hopefully this will bring some insight. Starting values are 30ppm and 5ppm dosed with the water change, no other dosing during the week. In the mean time a little more peroxide... :oops:
 
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toads74

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Still going good, figured I’d put the regime here for reference. Added eight white cloud minnows, they seem happy now that they have some room after being stuffed in a 5g with 20+ other fish. :) Two of the males have each claimed a batch of plants. Getting a light dusting of GDA. Best I can figure at the moment is a weekly uptake of 5 - 10 ppm NO3.

Water changes once a week, all the way down to about an inch of water left. :D Dosing is 2x the amounts below with water change, and 1x mid week.

Ph 7.1 degassed -> 5.8 with co2

CaSO4, MgSO4, KHCO3 - 100% ro
Ca 15.3
S 12.2
dGH 2.1

Mg 10.6
S 14
dGH 2.5

K 34
HCO3 53.1
dKH 2.4

Fert dosing:

NO3 10
N 2.26
K 6.31

PO4 1.5
P 0.9
K 0.62

CSM+B:
Fe 0.101046
B 0.017832
Mn 0.029006
Mo 0.000856
Zn 0.005706
Cu 0.001427
 
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toads74

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So something apparently was amiss. Two weeks ago the r.mac tips severely stunted, and it and r.indica sprouted a ton of roots mid stem. I’ve been trying to keep nitrates at about 20, which I figure with no uptake could top out around 35 max with 90% water changes every week. Measured nitrate just now and it was 80 on the api test!!

Feeding the two dozen or so nano fish uses about one Sera Onip tablet a week, not much. Sooo either it has massive amounts of nitrate in it, or I messed up big mixing ferts.... or maybe I’m unconsciously dosing while sleepwalking. (I hear Norton saying “Lulu! Luuuuluuuuu!”)

Another test after water change and dosing shows 40ppm. I think I goofed....

Not enough ro in the bin to do more than half, so at least nitrate will be in the ballpark for now. Will have to mix up some new ferts and try again.

Saga continues...
 
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toads74

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Tank is doing better with twice a week water changes. If I go longer than 5 days or so I start getting gda on the glass. Go longer on the wc to like a week+, rotala mac will stunt after about two weeks, even with midweek dosing. Takes forever to unstunt.

After a big trim:

E061E172-62CE-4A83-A9EE-78B4A86CA4F6.jpeg


Shrimp tank for giggles. Some BBa, but stable.

0629DE2B-36A4-4164-BDD6-CB2BBA8D461F.jpeg
 

toads74

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I tried to upload a pic but got a server error, so ok have to go without for now.

Been trying a few changes to dosing to see what the issue is, keeping the twice a week water changes and front loading the dosing.

First I dropped the kh further from 2.4 to 0.8. No ill affects to anything. Ludwigia which stunted the last time I tried it did well. It slowed down a lot for the first week then picked back up to its normal state. Very slight improvement to the rotalas but the main issues with Macrandra continued, nanjanshen looked a little skimpy still, and AR was still cranky with stunted, slow, wrinkled growth. Doses were NO3 20ppm, PO4 3ppm.

Lopped off the top 2/3 of the r.mac hill and preserved a few untouched stems at another spot, just in case.

Next I wanted to test out phosphates. Added a bonus of 3ppm dry dosed on top of normal, so 6 ppm total. Nothing happened for two weeks.

Bumped it up to 8pmm, a little improvement in growth rates (not r.mac or AR though), but some paleness in the hairgrass started to develop.

Not being shy I did the unthinkable :eek:. I upped the addition to 10 ppm for a week, so 13ppm total. After that week I pulled out a softball size chunk of new water sprite growth, nanjanshen exploded on a similar scale, stauro doubled its height (matching a couple months of growth), cobomba growing much faster. On the negative side, hairgrass has become much more pale, except a patch at the end opposite the filter return, and nanjanshen has become infested with the expected algae outbreak (staghorn I think) with minor traces of it here and there. I had to cut the r.nan down to the nub and replant the best dozen or so tops. Also did a good trim to reduce some of the nutrient demand.

Not sure if that much phosphate is a good idea long term, since I’ve seen other threads that suggest that 13ppm is pretty darned high. I’ll keep that level for a week or two while I try to find the next deficiency. 30ppm nitrate anyone? :confused: Could reduce the light to slow things down if it gets too dicey.
 
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toads74

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Been running at 30ppm NO3, 10ppm PO4, and .5ppm Fe via CSM, wc 2x a week, no other dosing. AR is slowly coming back. Someone is going to write a song about poor old R.Mac someday.... Sorry about the sloppy trim...

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Shrimps
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I think that juvie shrimp and the scud are buddies. Funny, haven’t seen those in any of my tanks for several years.
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Love those shrimp, would like to have those!
Only shirmp that are save in my tank is japonica if they are big enough else they be expensive apisto snacks..
 

toads74

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Been gone for about 2 weeks. Interesting things are happening. A week before I left this tank was hit by a big brown algae (diatom?) and bba bloom. Got in three treatments of Algaefix to get ahead of it, fixed the co2 hose that was leaking, and put in 3 little balls of osmocote under the rotala indica, macrandra, and Alternanthera, and replaced the plastic bioballs in the canister with 1 liter of ceramic media. Note that everything was covered in thick algae. Unfortunately I didn’t take a before pic... thought I was going to loose almost everything by the time I got back, fish included. This is what I returned home to:

02BD78CA-D9CD-469F-AF04-81BAFE5F435E.jpeg


Never had r.mac this happy before, and a.r. Leaves are flat again. Indica and nanjanshen are happy. Something’s wrong.. I always have some rotala mad at me.. :rolleyes:

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Blue bolt shrimp:
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Being gone wasn’t without it’s disaster. Poor acei lost its sibling. Happened a couple days before getting back based on what was left. Had to do an emergency water change and cleaning. And yes, dead fish smell isn’t fun when you first walk in the door. Coincidentally our fridge went out too, so double the smell... and the light timer on the reef flaked out and wouldn’t turn on.... sigh. :( Thinking we took a power hit or something.

485800BF-20EB-40D4-9B62-4D4A414472CD.jpeg
 

toads74

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Brought water changes back to once a week, was doing twice a week for a while to stay ahead of the algae. Also started dosing twice a week. From the pale looks of the older leaves on the a.r., there seems to be something missing still.

Also have the algae under control except for the rampaging bba. :eek:. Not sure what is causing it at the moment. Afraid to really nuke it with peroxide, so just spot treating some here and there.
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Shrimp tank has reached the one year mark for this scape. Shrimps are slowly dwindling, not reproducing much. I’m going to have to uproot and clean the substrate soon. I thing too much junk has built up from minimal vacuuming. Aside from a monthly water change and plant trim, it’s a very easy tank to take care of. Vacuuming is difficult due to the layout and small plants, so been largely neglected, and never deep cleaned the substrate. This is after a big trim. Removed about 1/2 the plant mass.
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White cloud fry in a sea of daphnia... nom nom! :D
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