Problimatic 29g. Please help.
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:18 AM   #1
Woody0229
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Problimatic 29g. Please help.


Hello every one i am having a couple issues with my tank that are not to terrible but that are getting under my skin. So here i go. Im sorry this is a long drawn out post but i tried to get as detailed as possible. And if you need more information that might be helpful ill do my best to provide it.

But my tank my tank my tank..... Kinda having a mental break down right now. Over the past month or so i have made a couple changes to my tank including plants and hardware. First off i upgraded my light from an odysea to a coral life. Both were 4 bulb t5 HO but the odysea one was only 24 inches so even when i suspended it the plants grew at a weird angle and it bugged me! Anyways the corallife is amazing plants seem to like it. I took the hang on the back filter off because i did not want the hardware in the tank. That was yesterday. maybe how much Co2 is geting dumped in because my tank ran out and i had to re fill it and i am terrible at counting bubbles. So i think a drop checker is my next investment. Do you use a drop checker? One last thing that i have done is i do a weekly water change with half tap half RO. Its only like 5 gallons every week. Only reason i do that is because madison water is extremly high. Ph of about 8.2.

Here i go though. Couple things i have noticed in the past couple weeks. I have a whole bunch of algea (Not like where the hair algea is out of control its just on some of the older leafs). At least more than the little spots of hair algea on older leafs. So far i see hair algea in larger amounts. It started growing on the glass even and i never really see that. I have a weird thing happening. I have a type of ludwiga that on the new leaflets forming at the top have blue green algea in the new leaflets like covering the top. Its super weird. But i HATE that stuff and i need to find a cure for that. I also see what is called black beard algea little tuffs of brown fuzz? That is getting a little on the gravel and it has covered some of the older leafs. And on my hygro kompacta i think it is i have like a diatom algea. Its like brown dots and to me looks like diatom. Its only on some leafs though not on all. One last thing the hygro sunset is an awesome plant grows like a weeed you know that. But mine got a little out of hand and im normaly good about trimming it and keeping it bushy. But it got let go so i did a big trim on it and some of the new plantlets leafs are going transparent and pretty much melt. My crypt that was once small and now is very large is starting to melt leafs too.

This is what i think i might need to do to fix these issues. Please correct me if im wrong or your thoughts on the idea. Please add any if some come to mind.

First off i think i need to raise the light. Weird thing is that it sits at about the same length as the odysea did. the coral life has large legs unlike the odysea having metal brackets. This idea i am not so much in favor of because i see in alot of peoples thanks ass the plants get closer to the top they change color like crazy. My plants dont do that. Maybe i just need to let them grow higher?

Second off i need a decent way to figure out how much Co2 im putting into the tank? Like i said drop checker might be my next investment.

Maybe do a larger water change weekly to get extra nutrients out of the tank say 10 gallons instead of 5. I dont think i would want to do a 50% change?

Last off i think i need to get a super duper master test kit so i can test all the required things to give some one like you more insight on the tank. A while ago i had a weird phase where some of my plants melted off so i bought a KH and GH test. Turns out my carbonate hardness was OFF the charts like i mean OFF the chart. i tested it multiple times and tested the tap and the tap was at least readable on the chart. Stil super high.

Other than that i am super happy with how the tank is turning out ill get you a picture here soon. Just from far away so you cant see the algea . One plant i am looking into is Staurogyne repens. Have you had any experince with this plant? I am getting it from Tom Barr if i get it. I plan on getting rid of the crypt because it is getting rather large and does not really fit in.

Happy thanksgiving!

Thanks a million.

Tim
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:32 AM   #2
chad320
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Hey Tim, First off, you are going to be fighting alot of algae if you continue to burn four T5-HO bulbs over a 29g tank. For my high tech 29Gs I use two bulbs and for low teck I use one. This is going to help alot with some of your hair algae issues. For BBA, its usually caused by fluctuating Co2 levels. Seachem Excel is the best wat to get rid of it. Sometimes you can dose it and kill it and it will stay gone. Other times you will need to fix the source of the problem, fluctuating Co2 levels. As for the Brown diatoms, they are likely the result of the changes youve made lately. Keep it stable and they should go away with time. For water changes, I would recommend you are keeping good on them if you are dosing anything to the tank to prevent it from building up in the tank. A 50% WC is pretty beneficial for this, even if its only once a month.
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:36 PM   #3
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Hey Chad thanks for the response! But do you really think I have too much light? From what I understand it's all about PAR. So how would I go about figuring the PAR of my corallife? I'll take your advice on the excel. Have seen a lot of people use it on this forum. As far as the water change goes ill start doing a 50% at least once a month to help prevent build up. Thank you. Any one else?!
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:09 AM   #4
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Any other thoughts or advice?!
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:48 AM   #5
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Yes, you for sure have too much light. FW tanks dont require the same lighting as SW tanks do. 2 T5-HOs will grow any plant you see on here to its healthiest potential. The rest is just overkill and begging for algae problems.
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:55 AM   #6
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Maybe ill cut down on the light and see where that takes me thank you for the advice! Should i just run 1 10k and 1 6700k?
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:18 AM   #7
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Yep, sounds perfect!
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:27 AM   #8
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The third graphic on this thread shows the fixture you have. Tons of light. Even the 2 bulb version needs to be hung about 25" above the substrate for a reasonable amount of PAR. If you wanted to hang your 4 bulb 30" above the substrate then that might reduce the PAR at the substrate level to a level you could handle.
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=184368

I see no mention of fertilizers? With a bright CO2 enriched tank you will need to add a complete range. Unless you can target specific nutrients that are low and dose just those it is far easier to overdose everything and make regular large water changes which is the basis of Estimative Index. See the sticky in the Fertilizer forum for how tos. Find a vendor, several present on this forum, buy them and dose according to the chart on the sticky. Make that large water change and done.

I like doing water testing but what my tests come up with is more how the tank is trending rather than the value as hobbyist tests aren't very accurate. Same with the drop checker. I think they are very attractive gadgets and if it is still blue at the end of the day something is wrong with the system, maybe the tank is empty or there is a kink or leak in the line, but in the end it is how your critters are doing that counts. Bump the CO2 up a notch every couple of days and watch very closely. My platies start hanging at the surface and the fish get generally cranky if CO2 is a bit too high. If I see a black neon tetra bump the surface then that is trouble. Maintain a good ripple on the water's surface to get lots of oxygen into the water. If there is lots of oxygen then the critters can handle more CO2.

I really like my tank better when I do larger water changes. Figure out a way to make them as painless as possible so you can do them more often. It gets odd bits of debris out that algae might use as a substrate, removes organics in the water and just brightens things up. I happen to use a python that is long enough to reach the garden so the water isn't wasted then remove the aerator on the kitchen faucet so my hose end adapter can go on to refill the tank. I just dose the dechlor into the tank. Last summer the tank missed a couple water changes and I came home to loads of BBA.

I have Staurogyne repens. Pretty plant that actually looks a bit like the hygro you have minus the pink tops. It likes to melt which in this case means shed leaves. Then the bare stems grow new leaves until the plant decides something is missing when it will shed again. As long as the stems are green it hasn't given up on you yet. You trim by snapping or cutting the too long stems and they can be replanted to thicken the stand. The stems are fragile as well, take care planting them. You must use fertilizers with it! It loves CO2 but doesn't seem to need massive amounts of light. Suspect it would appreciate root tabs as the root system is massive.
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