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What should I do?

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by PRSRocker3390, May 24, 2009.

  1. PRSRocker3390

    PRSRocker3390 Junior Poster

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    I have a 20 tall with a 65 watt coralife aqualight 6700k ( It is mounted with the mounting legs and my tank is an open tank with no hood), flourite substrate, an Aquaclear 50, and good co2 going. My water parameters are no ammonia, no nitrite, some nitrates ( cause i dose them), 6.6 ph, 5 kh, 12 gh. I use KNO3, KH2PO4, and Plantex CSM+B with the EI method. I have three otocinclus catfish, a zebra danio, and a white cloud.

    I am having trouble with algae!

    I had diatom looking things but my otos took care of that.But now I have brownish algae on my substrate but alot of it looks like organic material i just cant seem to get with no matter how many water changes or gravel vacs.

    My anubias nana has green spot algae on about 3 or 4 leaves.

    I have some just normal green algae on my glass and it can easily but scrubbed away but comes right back. It is the least of all the algae right now.

    And i also have a slimy film on my water forming.

    I dont know where to start and what to do. I feel like i am doing all the right things for the tank but it stills gives me problems.


    EDIT: I just added pics of my whole current setup
     
  2. tedr108

    tedr108 Lifetime Charter Member
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    Probably the biggest issue you have is lack of plant biomass -- that's assuming your CO2 is good, as you say. In your position, I would go buy a bunch of cheap stem plants and fill the tank up with them. As the plants fill in and the tank becomes healthy, you can remove the plants you don't want.
     
  3. PRSRocker3390

    PRSRocker3390 Junior Poster

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    which plants do you recommend? How does plant bio mass help? I'm very new to that term and to planted tanks. I have used hornwort which grows crazy fast for me but the only problem was when i used it as a filler plant, it collected lots of organic material, some diatoms, and lots of otocinclus excretions so to speak. Should i use a plant like that anyway or no? By adding plant bio mass, will my other plants get healthier? Cause right now my dwarf hairgrass is a little brown and it just seems like all the plants aren't thriving as much as they should.Thanks
     
  4. tedr108

    tedr108 Lifetime Charter Member
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    I recommend the "cheap" ones! :) Most all of the stem plants (they are sold as cut stems in the stores, not in pots) will grow very quickly with CO2 and proper light and nutrients. Hornwort or anacharis floating around will cut down on light and would give your other plants a chance to get going without so much light blasting them.

    Since some of your plants are not doing well, I have to wonder if you can be certain that your CO2 level is good.

    The main point of more biomass is to have something using up the nutrients, so algae cannot get a strong foothold. Lots of plants, plus the weekly (or bi-weekly at the beginning) water changes will normally keep algae at bay.
     
  5. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi,

    How many bulbs are in your fixture? How do you know your c02 is good? How long are the lights on for? How do you supply your c02?

    Light is what drives plant growth and c02 and nutrient requirement.

    C02 is very important/vital nutrient to plants and will increase plant growth dramatically if supplied in sufficient and stable quantities.

    This is not that easy to accomplish. But a small tank like your is easier.

    The higher the light, the more c02 and other nutrients are needed to fuel that growth. Insufficient or unstable supplies of c02 will lead to algae and poor growth/melting, etc.

    Algae need very little nutrients and c02 to grow and there is enough in the tank to feed them. However it is thought that nh4 may cause/fuel an outbreak of them. When plants do poorly and the leaves die, they excrete nh4 which fuels algae.

    The higher light just makes them grow more and more.....

    Good plant growth will NOT leach nh4 and so algae will not be an issue....no matter if you have high nutrient levels.

    So, if you have 2 bulbs, try removing one, but ensure the spread over the tank is still good and covers all areas.

    If only 1 bulb, mount the lights so they are raised and/or adjustable...

    This will require less c02 and nutrients.

    Plants tend to do better in groups and also look better in groups.

    Try hygrophila, ludwigia, bacopa, rotala species for fast growing stems. No issue with stuffing the tank at first :) Seperate/clean the stems and trim the lower level leaves and then plant. Too many stems together will not get light/nutes to the center and may suffer.....

    Hornwort can also be used on the surface to reduce the light that gets to the rest of the tank. So feel free to keep some, just remove any algae infested areas.

    When you see new growth and no NEW algae, you are getting somewhere.

    Please note that good current/flow is also important and some surface ripple is a good thing. Flow must distribute nutrients and c02 to ALL areas of the tank and washes away detritus at the same time. All plants should see some movement/swaying.....Surface ripple will add oxygen and help mitigate risk if too much c02 is added. You just may need more c02 to compensate than if you did not have surface ripple.......

    Now please supply some detail on how you are supplying/measuring c02. You most likely do not have enough. You may need to increase, but do so SLOWLY over the course of several weeks. It may take some time to get to the right amount. Especially based on your method.

    And get your zebra white cloud some buddies or conspecifics as they are called. Most fish do better in schools and zebras and white clouds are no exception......Get at least 6 more of each.........

    Hope this helps.
     
  6. PRSRocker3390

    PRSRocker3390 Junior Poster

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    I'm going to try my best to answer all these questions so you guys can help me.

    I have only one 65 watt bulb in my fixture. My lights are mounted up on the aqualight mounting legs as of a couple weeks ago. It used to be on for 10 hours, i recently just cut it back to just about 8 hours. I don't have a drop checker yet because i am looking for a cheap one from america that will get here quick and not in 3 weeks like the ones on ebay from hong kong. Anyone know where i can find it? Well till then, i can only assume i have okay co2 because my plants do have bubbles on there leaves at times. I'm guessing its oxygen from photosynthesis? Well i use two 2 liter bottles diy co2 which is diffused through an old fluval plus 1. Seems to work great making little bursts of tiny bubbles every second. I can in no way right now afford pressurized co2.

    My plants sway because my aquaclear 50 provides current for the left side since i moved it there now and my fluval plus 1 for co2 diffusion makes current on the right side.

    Most of my plants are actually doing good, its just that i recently got plants from someone online and some of their bottoms where brown. I also now find 2 snails a day in my tank and i remove them. They are light brown small snails but i haven't got a clue what they are since i know nothing about snails.

    Here is the current status of some of my plants one by one.

    I have about 3 cryptocoryne wendtii red that i got from the lfs. After 3 days they completely melted but now seem to be coming back with a vengeance after a few weeks. They each seem to make at least one new leaf a week. The leaves are a greenish,redish brown color so looks good i'd say.

    My 2 corkscrew val came from someone online. I snipped off the dead tops and now they seem to be all green and good.

    I have an ozelot sword that produces a new leaf every other week and has a stem 5 feet long with about 5 baby swords growing leaves every day.

    I have a stem of anacharis which is just small and green but growing.

    I have rotala magenta that has pink leaves on it and seems to be doing good after snipping off dead leaves. Also bought online.

    I have some hc which i planted some stem by stem and the rest in a little bunch. I only did this a week ago and i notice nothing. bought online

    My dwarf hair grass is weird and dont know if its doing good or bad. It had a few brown strands on it when it came in the mail. I just planted it for a few days till i had more time. I then one day cut the tops and a little off the ends of the roots and planted it in 5 little bunches. It has been about a week now with them and i cant tell how they are doing. Still a little brown here and there but the other day, one bunch was uprooted and before i replanted it, I noticed that it had little white roots or rhizomes coming out of it, so i assumed this was a good sign.

    I also have an anubias nana that attached to driftwood and it now grew and anchored itself to it. It hasn't been growing for the 2 months i had it until just this last month where it has already put out 2 new leaves and just looks bigger. About 3 old leaves have Green spot algae on them though so idk.

    I also just have some green rotala, i believe rotala indica. It came from someone online as well. Got a bunch that had browned off all on the bottoms. Well i kept a few stems of it and winded up cutting off the bottoms leaving only the green tops and planted those. Seems to be doing good now.

    I also have some red stemmed rotala that i dont know what it is. It came as a bonus. i probably take a picture and show you guys. It came an basically lost all its leaves. I replanted just the stems and it is now these dark red stems growing these bright green leaves. Only a few leaves so far but looks very cool.

    And lastly I have some Rotala Macrandra. I thought these would be doing horrible but not really to my surprise. The bottoms now after going through the mail and replanted only last week have dead clearish pinholes leaves on them. Only on the bottoms though. But all through out the plant stems ( I have 3 stems of it) there are these white rhizomes a guess, shooting out all over and getting longer by the day. The tops are now growing too. One stem is growing beautiful pink leaves and the other is growing bright yellow, orange-ish, and pink leaves that look great. And it is not a deffiency yellow, that i can tell. It is a beautiful light light greenish yellow with a hint of pink. It is really nice. I can take some pics if you guys want.

    Well thats about everything in a nutshell. Sorry about all the writing but please any advice helps. I really appreciate anyone taking the time to read all my observations and help me get my tank going in a good direction. Thanks in advance to all.
     
  7. PRSRocker3390

    PRSRocker3390 Junior Poster

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    bump

    Also need to add that as of lately, my algae seems to be growing more on the glass and there is just alot of organic matter and debris in the tank i can't seem to get rid of. The gravel has this brown stuff all over it. And the green algae on the glass is growing. Some is growing in small tiny circle like GSA, but most of it looks like tiny hairs, like fuzz or dust ( i'm guessing green dust algae...). Is there any kind of fish or snail or something to help me clean this up. And I guess i'll try to just add more plant bio mass. Anacharis is cheap enough. I'm just worried that with all the plants in there, are some of the plants going to get blocked out from light, especially the high light plants like my rotala macrandra?

    I also bought a rubber lip pleco today hoping it will help me some since my three oto cats don't seem to dent the algae anymore. The did wonders with my diatom problem a while ago but now that gone and i'm on to bigger and badder things. I couldn't find any bristlenose plecos at any lfs. I only found one, albino and full grown for 34 dollars! Too much for me right now. I picked up the rubber lip since someone there said it would be good. Plus they only get to be about 5 inches on average and i have a 20 gallon so thats cool.

    Well, hope to find some serenity with the algae soon. Thanks in advance for any help.
     
  8. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
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    Get SAM!

    Nice use of the fluval to disperse CO2. I was going that way with my DIY but got lazy and stopped dosing CO2 altogether. Read non CO2 methods.

    Algae responds to low nutrient levels and thrives! CO2, NPK and light will need to find a balance. Water flow is also very important, there are some threads with good info on flow rates for planted tanks. I'll look.

    A PO4 level of 2 ppm can be maintained very easily. It probably comes out of your tap that way to start. A level of 5 ppm does not harm my tank and helps a lot of good things; less GSA, less fuzz, less frequent water changes, less of what you were talking about.
    I did ( just once), raise copper levels to find less algae after the next water change. High copper levels are hard on a lot of species/ algae.

    Look for BGA, if your nitrates are low and get some more plants.
     
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