Help before tear down my tank! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
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Help before tear down my tank!

I made the decision to ramp up my tank about 2 months ago. I got a 4 bulb t5H0 fixture and i use 2 bulbs , Pressurized co2, maxed, Ferts (Ei ), Drop checkers, tubing, dosing pump etc. And ever since my tank has looked terrible. Everyday i come home and have pea green water and brown/green algae is over everything. My monte carlo pretty much has another carpet of hair algae on top of it, and my plants are melting from the bottom up like crazy. I just want to have clear water and it to look nice like it used to, I dumped another 400 dollars into this tank to try and get better results so i am so disappointed. SO..... Help me, I lifted my lights at first but i think that made it worse because my plants were melting even more. CAn you over dose nutrients ? Am i not dosing enough ? Should i ass more osmacote plus root tabs? i just use a basic sand substrate.

Its all about a balance
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
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I just did not want to bore anyone with to long of an intro!! lol. So first off I do understand that in the planted tank world this is ¨Low light¨. They are 2 54watt 48 inch t5HO bulbs, no plant specific or anything, but a very wide high quality reflector. Before I upgraded all this stuff i had a single t8 bulb with an aluminum foil reflector, This is why the new setup is ¨Higher light than im used to¨. Here are some more specs on my tank.
Kh-5
Gh- I could test this when i get home.
ph-7.5
Co2- Lime green drop checker, goes on an hour before lights
Phosphates- They were extremely high, i figured this is what caused the pea green water bloom, 50% water change and removed all my carbon, got the phosphates to a reasonable amount
108 watts of T5HO currently, 216 watts would be my maximum output if i used all 4 bulbs.
75 gallon tank!!!!!! probably should have said this earlier...
My Ammonia, nitrites and nitrates were all in check but one of my 2 canister filters crapped the bed yestarday so i have a little ammonia right now. But this is a seperate problem lol

So i dont dose the correct amount of macros and micros from when i created my solutions, at first i was getting algae outbreaks when i added this much (20 ml) so now i dose 5 ml of each solution, maybe i didnt have enough light for this, i have no idea what im doing. What should i do? If you were in this position what would you change ? It would mean alot for someones opinion!!!!!!

Its all about a balance
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 06:44 PM
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You may have reached a point where, even if you manage to hit the right balance between CO2, lighting, and ferts, your algae problem might not resolve itself (or take a looong time to do so) since it sounds like it's killing off your plants.

I was in a similar situation a couple months ago, maybe two weeks away from just ripping out my entire tank. I messed with fert dosing, CO2, and my light source and just couldn't shake the algae. I did a heavy-handed dose of H2O2 across the whole tank and, while it killed off some of the algae, it also decimated my plants (so before you do H2O2, find out if your plants are tolerant to it).

Finally, I just went on winter break and killed the CO2 and lights for a full week while I was gone. I figured I was going to rip everything out when I got back anyway so why not... Turns out it was a great idea. I came back to a tank with virtually no algae. My Monte Carlo took a little bit of a hit but it's quite a hardy plant so no foul in the long term.

While this won't solve your imbalance problem, it will give you a fresh start (without ripping up your tank) so you can actually start figuring out the right balance in a relatively clean tank.

Sorry I can't offer more help concerning the balance, I know nothing about fluorescents.
That said, maybe make sure your CO2 diffuser is giving off fine enough bubbles (don't want them racing to the top) and maybe making the bubble and pump outflow paths cross.
MC is also not a low-light plant, I wouldn't be surprised if the algae is just out-competing it at that light-level.

A quick link to my experience:
Beginner creates a 10G monster - please send help
Beginner creates a 10G (algae) monster - UPDATE
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 07:06 PM
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 09:33 PM
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That 3 watts per gallon rule isnt really accurate for T5HO tubes.. it works for T8 but not T5HO.
I have a 17.6 gallon tank with 2× 24watt T5HO with co2 and my monte carlo and pogostemon erectus and hydrocotyle tripartita grow like crazy. I keep kh4 and gh4. Ph6.4. Lime green drop checker.

My problem is not enough phosphates, I have to dose phosphate/potassium like crazy or phosphates drop to zero.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 04:09 PM Thread Starter
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So after reading everyone's post I am very happy you guys all responded!! I'm taking everyone's advice into consideration and I understand what you guys mean. First off I have been looking into an atomic diffuser or whatever it's called, I have a streamline of bubbles. My CO2 is right under my canister filter output and I have good circulation, so that should be ok. But going on to the lights I thought they were adequate because I didn't think watts per gallon applied to T5HO. But personally I thought about it and I think you guys are right about my lights. I threw on a 3rd bulb to start off and in within a day algae was going away on my plants and rocks, I swear to you guys it was crazy. I think all my problem was I kept lifting my lights to get rid of the algae but then my plants had nothing to utilize and grow to outcompete the algae. All my plants have new growth it's so easy to see, I'll show you when my lights turn on. And on another note I understand my tank is large for plants and getting enough light. But if I were to use all 4 bulbs and switch maybe 2 of them out for plant bulbs, I could get a decent amount of light. Just one last thing, how do you measure the nutrients in your tank? And what were to happen if you over dosed?
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Rickie Briana View Post
Just one last thing, how do you measure the nutrients in your tank? And what were to happen if you over dosed?
Someone else will correct me with more information if I'm wrong but the gist of it is that if you overdose you are likely to cause specific types of algae explosions (i.e brown algae, cyanobacteria [not technically algae], and green water). Different imbalances tend to favor different algae so you can use that information to help track down the problem. There are many resources online showing which algae favor which conditions, I would take a look at a couple of those and get to know the landscape.

At first, just stick to a comprehensive fert mix that includes trace nutrients as well as macros. Down the road, you can move towards individually dosing everything yourself but don't worry about that for now.

Another problem worth considering is that your ferts will be adding nitrates to the water column. Depending on your existing nitrate situation and the sensitivity of your fauna, overdosing may kill some of them. Additionally, most ferts are formulated to be fish safe, but not all are considered invert safe. So if you have shrimp, do the research first and avoid certain fertilizers (like Flourish Excel).

Personally, I've been using NilocG's Thrive all-in-one for its simplicity and reported shrimp safety. So far, so good!
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 07:35 PM
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Originally Posted by assofthefist View Post
Someone else will correct me with more information if I'm wrong but the gist of it is that if you overdose you are likely to cause specific types of algae explosions (i.e brown algae, cyanobacteria [not technically algae], and green water). Different imbalances tend to favor different algae so you can use that information to help track down the problem. There are many resources online showing which algae favor which conditions, I would take a look at a couple of those and get to know the landscape.



At first, just stick to a comprehensive fert mix that includes trace nutrients as well as macros. Down the road, you can move towards individually dosing everything yourself but don't worry about that for now.



Another problem worth considering is that your ferts will be adding nitrates to the water column. Depending on your existing nitrate situation and the sensitivity of your fauna, overdosing may kill some of them. Additionally, most ferts are formulated to be fish safe, but not all are considered invert safe. So if you have shrimp, do the research first and avoid certain fertilizers (like Flourish Excel).



Personally, I've been using NilocG's Thrive all-in-one for its simplicity and reported shrimp safety. So far, so good!


Do you use just the regular Thrive all in one or the ThriveS?


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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 07:37 PM
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Do you use just the regular Thrive all in one or the ThriveS?


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The reason I ask is I am looking to go to the thrive and saw some suggest to go with the ThriveS as it contains no copper. I have some shrimp and want to be safe


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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 10:02 PM Thread Starter
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I have my own solutions made up from NilocG ferts l, maybe I should've just bought the all in one to begin with! Thank you for the help
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 10:06 PM
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I used 4 bulb t5HO on my 75gal and still got relatively low par readings at the bottom of the tank.

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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 10:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Funken_A View Post
Low light with Monte Carlo is probably a recipe for bad things. Old School thought for florescent lights anything under 3 watts per gallon is medium to low light. So you probably don't want monte carlo...
Low light with Monte Carlo works perfectly fine. Where are you getting this bad info?
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 11:05 PM Thread Starter
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I agree with you, even though I am having algae problems my monte Carlo was still pearling with 2 T5HO lights. I think I'm going to a twitch over to the thrive from NilocG instead of dosing EI because it's a huge headache. Plus thrive has iron and other stuff, anyone agree or disagree ?
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 11:49 PM
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I have high light for the depth of this tank, and i recently had a crash in phosphates and plants started turning pale and and some lower leaves were becoming see through and getting holes. I finally got a phosphat test kit and realized my aquavitro Activate is defective, it has the wrong concentration. I have to add a cap full to raise my phosphates to 1ppm but the directions on the bottle says 1 inner cap full is suppose to be enough for 250 gallons. My point being, the higher light you have the faster the plants will react to deficiencies, so be careful.
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 05:01 PM
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Do you use just the regular Thrive all in one or the ThriveS?
Dang, I didn't even know he made a specific shrimp formulation! Is that a new thing?
I just use Thrive as he claimed the copper levels in it were too low to be of significant concern for shrimp.

I dose a couple times a week (I've gotten less rigorous now that I have shrimp because I don't want to stress them out) and so far, I can't link any deaths to fert dosing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rickie Briana View Post
I have my own solutions made up from NilocG ferts l, maybe I should've just bought the all in one to begin with! Thank you for the help
Nice! I was thinking of doing that too but I just needed a quick solution I knew would work at the time. The all-in-one Thrive is less cost effective but I don't mind since it's way easier and I have a 10 gal so it's going to last me a while anyway.

If you have other problems in the tank you need to deal with and want to rule out your fert routine as being problematic, going with an all-in-one for <$20 is probably not a bad idea. Whatever works for you!
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