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Old 04-02-2012, 03:58 PM   #1
CamMTX
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Things not going as planned. What is off?


OK I am trying to figure out what could be going wrong here. I am definitely open to suggestions. I recently added Co2 and Ferts(via E.I. method) and algae has completely taken over as well as the cyanobacteria. This stuff is everywhere, and has come back even after a 3 day blackout! I am running 2 39watt T5HO 6500K Wavepoint bulbs atop my 38 gallon bow for 8 hours a day. I have the co2 come on an hour before lights on/off so drop checker is always green.
Right now I have 3 swords, 1 crypt, maybe about 8 or 9 java fern and half a tank of jungle vals. The swords are ok, but my vals never grow tall. They send out runners and they grow to maybe 4 inches and then fall apart?? They have been like this for about 4 months. Do I need to root fertilize for my vals to do well? I was thinking the osmocote plus route. The eco complete is mixed with regular gravel and is about 3 years old. And should I add more plants to take more nutrients our of the water column? What do you guys suggest? I was also wondering if I should invest in a canister filter, thus improving water flow?
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Old 04-02-2012, 04:32 PM   #2
Dr. Acula
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Well first, I would like to point out that with two t5HO bulbs, you're running high light on that tank. High output bulbs really do put out more light than a lot of people think, and excessive light is very often a contributing factor to algae. Considering that none of the plants you mentioned require that much light, you might want to think about only running one bulb.

As for flow, it has been my experience that increasing it and eliminating dead spots does help control algae, though not so much to get rid of it. You could get a powerhead like a koralia or something to increase flow without purchasing a new filter, if you'd like to go that route. I see you've got a gourami in there, though, and they don't really like a ton of flow. Just something to consider.

What exactly does your dosing and water change schedule look like, to get a better idea of everything?
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Old 04-02-2012, 04:53 PM   #3
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For high light and EI you should be growing some plants that are better suited to it. Those are all low tech plants that grow slow and you are essentially adding a bunch of excess ferts that cant be used by anything other than algae. There isnt a nutrient export other than WCs. I would reconsider your EI dosing and drop it to once a week. You could also conside some floaters to help block the light and export some of the ferts. As for the light you could either raise it or lower your photoperiod.
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Old 04-02-2012, 05:00 PM   #4
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I would add some stems like rotala or ludwigia to help absorb extra nutrients in the water.
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Old 04-02-2012, 06:30 PM   #5
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I agree on the stem plants like Zefrik said. Also, think about some floating plants as they help remove nutrients out of the water really well. Raise the light up a bit if that's possible to put yourself in a lower light bracket.
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Old 04-02-2012, 07:23 PM   #6
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Dose H2o2 (Hydrogen Peroxide) on the cyanobacteria. That will kill it instantly.. worked like a charm for me. Also, h2o2 is completely harmless to your fish and your plants as well.. good luck
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Old 04-02-2012, 07:30 PM   #7
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Dose H2o2 (Hydrogen Peroxide) on the cyanobacteria. That will kill it instantly.. worked like a charm for me. Also, h2o2 is completely harmless to your fish and your plants as well.. good luck

Whoa there Kimosabe....

H2O2 is NOT harmless to fish and plants. For his tank size I wouldn't go over 1.5 ml per gallon or 55 ml total. That includes spot dosing the algae. Any more than that and you risk burning gills.
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Old 04-02-2012, 07:42 PM   #8
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Also, if OP decides to really truly get rid of the BGA, erythromycin is 100% effective. The best price I found for it is on e-bay item #110479107472 for 20 gms. That jar would give him approximately 25 doses separated by 2 days each. Enough to kill 8 outbreaks of BGA over the shelf life of the drug. For BGA you don't need to go the full course as you would for a bacterial infection. Usually 3 doses over 6 days is enough to get rid of it permanently.
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Old 04-02-2012, 09:59 PM   #9
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Always, a big algae problem means too much light and too little CO2. Your tank is about 22 inches high, so with 2 inches of substrate, the light will be 20 inches from the substrate. Unless you have a very cheap light fixture you have high to very high light intensity. You don't need that much light to grow anything. If you can run the light with only one bulb, and use feet to hold it 3 inches or so above the top of the tank, you will have a much more usable level of light. And, after you clean up the existing algae, it will be much harder for it to come back. Excess fertilizers don't cause algae.

If the light will only run with both bulbs on, you can suspend it about 8-10 inches above the top of the tank, and also get a reasonable usable light level, letting you grow any plants you want.
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Old 04-03-2012, 04:17 AM   #10
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OK thanks guys for responding. So basically my to-do checklist should be
1. Run only one bulb (cannot suspend fixture and it is already on 3 inch feet)
2. Get more high light plants such as stems and such
3. Eradicate the BGA with an Erythromycin treatment
4. Purchase a Hydor Korali to increase flow (optional)

Do any of you all have an idea as to why my vals are not growing? Are they primarily root feeders or do they take it in from the water column? I was also considering staurgyne repens as a foreground plant are these water column feeders? And what do you think about the osmocote plus root caps?
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Old 04-03-2012, 08:51 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by CamMTX View Post
OK thanks guys for responding. So basically my to-do checklist should be
1. Run only one bulb (cannot suspend fixture and it is already on 3 inch feet)
2. Get more high light plants such as stems and such
3. Eradicate the BGA with an Erythromycin treatment
4. Purchase a Hydor Korali to increase flow (optional)

Do any of you all have an idea as to why my vals are not growing? Are they primarily root feeders or do they take it in from the water column? I was also considering staurgyne repens as a foreground plant are these water column feeders? And what do you think about the osmocote plus root caps?
Yes your Vals are root feeders. Just like swords and crypts and some other plants. Even stems if the nutrients are there will get nice strong long roots in the substrate.

The Osmocote plus root tabs are awesome. Ive used them for some time now and always great results. Always get mine here from the power sellers for a great price.

I agree with Moose.. E-mycin will kill off the BGA. There is a protocal for doing it. You will need to dose and treat the tank but also you need to do a NO light period with it. This means NO light. Cover the tank with towels or whatever to keep all light out during that time. BEFORE you dose the E-mycin do a VERY good water change. Try and physically remove as much of the BGA as possible from everything. Dose, Cover and no light for 72 hours at least. When the dose is done then do another Big water change remove as much BGA as possible and may need to dose again.

While H2O2 can be used it CAN be quite harmful to fish and plants. Especially fish like Corey cats. So be cautious. If you wanted you could pull some plants in a tray with a correct % mix of H2O2 and water for a fast dip. Ive done this. dipped for about 8 to 10 minutes sometimes you can hear it bubble. After done rinse well. Return to tank. This could be used on stubborn Algae thats wont die off.

Then as suggested Fix the issues that cause the problems or it will be right back.

I also suggest Some other plants to help suck up nutrients in the water and substrate. Things like H Difformis, Hygro Corymbosa and Corymbosa 'Siamensis. Pretty well lots of Hygro's do well at this. Water Sprite, Cabomba and some other good stems.
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Old 04-03-2012, 10:35 AM   #12
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Another option to get rid of the cyanobacteria is Chemiclean. I used it on a horrible outbreak of cyano I had in my 29G planted tank and within 4 days, it was completely cleared up. I was honestly amazed at how well it worked and from what I could tell there were no side effects on plants or fish.

-Rob
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