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Old 08-20-2012, 08:10 PM   #1
Kelli
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So lost and information overwhelmed


I can't say nothing is going right in this tank, but a lot is going wrong.

Pros:
I.werneri are exhibiting mating behaviors.
Grass shrimp are berried all the time.
Parameters are stable.

Cons:
It's ugly as sin.
Algae Algae Algae.

Info:
30gal: 36" x 12" x 16"
MGOPS capped with pea gravel
tap water weekly - 10 days WC w/ prime.
Magnum 350 canister
Airstone 24/7 (pH jumped to 8.2 without it)
Natural daylight from East facing window, direct from sunrise until close to noonish, indirect to the point I almost wouldn't count it after that.
2 6500 mini CFL that come on about 10am and shut off 1 hour past sunset.

Flora:
Jungle Val
Anacharis
L.rotundifolia (?)
Duck weed
Water Wisteria
Ludwegia (?)
Some water primrose
One more I think but idr

Fauna:
15 I.werneri
2 Rosy Reds (probably going into the farm pond as soon as I get over the guilt)
1 baby Largemouth bass (temp until he's added to the farm pond)
At least 20 ghost shrimp.
2 Otos

Parameters:
pH: 7.6
NH3: 0
NO2: 0
NO3:0
Total hardness: 120ppm
Alkalinity: 180ppm

Issues I need help with:
Algae & Hardscape

First, the Algae:

I have BBA:


I have Staghorn:


I have hair/thread algae (?):


I have Green spots/dust:


and as of this morning I have BGA:


Plus diatoms (which I expected) but the otos are trying to keep up, need more but they are hard to find around here lately. My LFS says they have some in stock so I was headed there this afternoon.


I have been trying to research before I post my questions but I'm so overwhelmed with info right now my head is spinning. I have pearling but only during direct sunlight, it tends to stop right after 10 or 11am. I think I might have too little light? I know I need more nitrates but I'm sort of at a loss as how I should accomplish this. I'm trying to stay low tech so I would like to avoid CO2 (it scares me!) but would try maybe, if someone would help me past me terror. The fish are #1 priority so my first fear is gassing them, second is blowing up the house, and third is blowing up my bank account. Plus my hardscape sucks so it's difficult for me to drop money on an ugly tank.

Here is a glommed together FTS from right before this post. Sorry if it's too big, my PS skills are rusty.



Any help/suggestions/criticism/direction/offers to nuke the tank helpful and extremely appreciated.

~Kelli
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Old 08-20-2012, 08:24 PM   #2
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My first impression of your setup is quite the opposite of yours. I think you have a gross over abundance of light.

Some things have me confused. Why do you think you have too little light? No where in your post do you mentioned CO2, so, direct sunlight for 4-5 hours a day is going to cause some serious issues, which I think you are noticing now. You mentioned pearling, but what you are seeing in fact false pearling, not because your plants are producing an abundance of oxygen, but because theres an abundance in the water from your airstone. This is assuming you are in fact not using CO2.

In my opinion, what needs to be done is a drastic reduction in lighting.
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Old 08-20-2012, 08:24 PM   #3
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Sunlight is the biggest problem youre facing right now. Its well known for growing giant algae tanks and smothering any plants you have in there.
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Old 08-20-2012, 08:40 PM   #4
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I agree with them both! I moved my setup out of the sunlight, kept the lights on for 8 1/2 hours a day and the algae was controlled adequetly. Put some blinds up or move it.
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Old 08-20-2012, 08:44 PM   #5
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I'm confused by this as well. Why the 24/7 airstone? And why would you say pH gets too high without it? Also, what wattage are mini CFLs? You may very well have way too little light when there's no sunlight and WAY too much with the sun. Like everyone else said... block out the sunlight, and tell us more info about your lighting setup.

Once you get your lighting under control you may want to pull out all those plants, clean them as best you can, and invest in some amano shrimp and nerite snails to help you get the rest of the algae.

Threadfin rainbows are some of my favorite fish to watch ever. Sounds like yours are happy and don't mind the algae (:
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Old 08-20-2012, 08:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trickerie View Post
You mentioned pearling, but what you are seeing in fact false pearling, not because your plants are producing an abundance of oxygen, but because theres an abundance in the water from your airstone.
I am very very open to the idea that I am wrong about the pearling but here is the pics I took and a video:






sideways video:

http://s30.photobucket.com/albums/c3...-42-09_543.mp4
(video wasn't working so I posted the link)

It's actually coming out of the val in this video, would the airstone cause this? Not asking to be a butt, but because really I don't know.

~Kelli
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Old 08-20-2012, 08:48 PM   #7
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Its Oxygen. Its probably more of a result of the algae choking out the plants ability to breathe than anything.
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Old 08-20-2012, 08:55 PM   #8
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Yes, this is not pearling. It is oxygen being forced out of the plant. You see the same thing happen when you knick the plant or cut a stem. Pearling is much more beautiful and natural. The bubbles engulf the leaves and crawl out of it slowly, not in a stream
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Old 08-20-2012, 09:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FriendsNotFood View Post
I'm confused by this as well. Why the 24/7 airstone? And why would you say pH gets too high without it?
My prior tanks and this one maintain a 7.6 pH for the last several years. This one has been set up since Mid May 2012. I didn't plant heavily in the beginning and then bombed planted the tank all at once on 8/2, the next day my pH was 8.2. I assumed it was from the CO2 uptake by the new plants so I put in an airstone and the pH dropped back to 7.6 by 8/5 where it's stayed. I lost 2m/1f threadfins to the swing but aside from that the only change I made was the airstone. Thats why it's been running 24/7.


Quote:
Originally Posted by FriendsNotFood View Post
Also, what wattage are mini CFLs? You may very well have way too little light when there's no sunlight and WAY too much with the sun. Like everyone else said... block out the sunlight, and tell us more info about your lighting setup.
Box says "Sylvania micro-mini CFL Daylight 6500k 13w - 60w replacement 800 lumens brightness"

Sunlight is blocked now, lights are off. The duck weed is THICK and takes over half the surface area, my filter is pushing it two plants deep.

Here is a link to a video of my threadfins doing their business in the duckweed. I want to add moss to the tank for them but not until I get the algae under control

http://s30.photobucket.com/albums/c3...-59-36_956.mp4

~Kelli
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Old 08-20-2012, 09:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trickerie View Post
Yes, this is not pearling. It is oxygen being forced out of the plant. You see the same thing happen when you knick the plant or cut a stem. Pearling is much more beautiful and natural. The bubbles engulf the leaves and crawl out of it slowly, not in a stream
Quote:
Originally Posted by chad320 View Post
Its Oxygen. Its probably more of a result of the algae choking out the plants ability to breathe than anything.
Crap. Now what?

*sigh* At least I like my fish (Looking for the silver lining here)

~Kelli
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Old 08-20-2012, 09:08 PM   #11
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Put a background on it to help control some of your lighting. Plants like consistency. If you dont have a timer on your lights, get one. Theyre like five bucks at any big box store.
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Old 08-20-2012, 09:12 PM   #12
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Oh man I love threadfins. They get so feisty!
Anyway, there's been many discussions about this on this forum, but I think most people will tell you you don't need the airstone. People don't usually run airstones on planted tanks unless you have pressurized CO2, and even then it's at night only. The airstone might also gas off any CO2 that your substrate produces, and any CO2 is precious in a low-tech tank.

And you were right, 26 watts of CFLs doesn't sound like nearly enough light for your tank, especially with the duckweed covering the surface. I run 10 watts of CFL over a 2.5 gallon and that's barely enough light. I'd add another CFL if you can, or get some t8s or t5NOs.
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Old 08-20-2012, 09:26 PM   #13
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So nix the sunlight but my lightbulbs aren't strong enough?

I basically have way too much light in the AM, and then not enough for the rest of the day? Am I understanding everyone ok?

~Kelli
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:44 PM   #14
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Basically yes. You are blasting the tank with the window, which perhaps work if you used high co2 concentrations. Since you arent, youre just growing a ton of algae. What I suggest, is covering the window until you can get a background for the tank to keep the light out. Then, upgrade your bulbs. From what I see in the video, you are using dome reflectors. These are fine, but the duckweed is so thick Im not sure enough light is making it through. Up your lights to something like 2 GE 6500k 26w. This will give you a little more than low light, but with that thick cover it should be ok. You may also want to remove a little every once and a while and rehome it (Ill take some off your hands! :P)
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Old 08-21-2012, 01:22 AM   #15
Kelli
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If I knew the first thing about how to do it I would ship it to you. It came in as one petal and I let it go because I honestly thought the fish might nibble on it. Now look at all of it! LOL. Judging by my threadfins there might be eggs in the roots too.

Does the background have to be one of the black plastic things? Can I use car window tint or frosted glass instead? I mean, I know I /can/ use whatever I want but in order to battle my algae does it have to be opaque?

~Kelli

BTW, Huge thanks to everyone for the help! I feel better knowing I have a direction to go in now.

And Trickerie, I'm originally from the Boynton/Lantana, seeing the WPB pop up I started drooling for a real cuban; dinner is going to be so disappointing tonight
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