Algae and plant-melt problems
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Old 04-17-2013, 09:20 PM   #1
tommyt
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Algae and plant-melt problems


Hey everyone.

I have an issue with brown and green algae that I can't get under control. I have also had an issue getting my plants to grow and I am losing fish.

The tank is 29 gallons. I am running pressurized CO2 at 2 bubbles a second. I have the light down to about 4 hours a day for about a month now and I still can't get it under control.

I have dwarf hairgrass and baby tears that have completely wasted away. They showed signs of having brown algae and quickly deteriorated afterwards.

I do at least one 30% water change a week and I am running a 306 Fluval filter. I change the filter 2 times a month.

I supplement with Red Sea NO3 PO4-x, AquaVitro Synthesis, and AquaVitro Envy. I also use Flourish Root Tabs.

The substrate is about 60% pool sand and 40% Flourite/Laterite mixture.

The fish include 6 rummy nose tetras, 1 blue ram, 3 pygmy cories, and 7 otocinclus.

I had 10 rummy nose tetras and 2 blue rams instead of the number listed above, but I lost them today due to possible over-salting of the water while treating a bout with ich. I am still scratching my head as to what caused the ich since I am confident that I am changing the water and filter frequently enough.


Could someone please provide some insight?

I am absolutely tired of losing money on this aquarium. Even after the CO2, nothing grows and I keep losing fish.

I am about to chalk up the thousand or so dollars I have invested in this thing as a complete loss and chuck it out the window.
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Old 04-17-2013, 09:56 PM   #2
puopg
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Alright sorry to hear bro, here's some info that might help.

Lets just assume you have the following:
-Medium Light
-All the Ferts you need
-Decent water
-efficient CO2 delivery method
-Cycled/established tank

Feel free to confirm what you do and do not have. Please provide more specific info on your tank if you can. For now, follow these steps:
1. Clean up the tank as much as you can. Manually remove algae, remove dead decaying plants, wipe algae off glass.
2. Do a 3 day blackout, chances are things are pretty bad in the tank so do a 50% water change, drop in an airstone, and black the tank out of absolutely 0 light for 72 hours. Add excel if you want, but if will only help as most plants aren't sensitive to it unless you got like vals. Do a 50% water change after the blackout.
3. Once done, add more plants. I mean a ton more. Get em from ppl here or your LFS while the blackout goes on. Anacharis is sold at many pet stores that grows like crazy and love nitrates, will melt to excel. Water Wisteria works well as well as other fast growing weeds. Floaters also work but heh, duckweed you might never get out later on so your call. It's ok if you do not want the plants later, lets just focus on getting the tank back in order.
4. Lower the light intensity a bit, and keep total light time to max 8 hours. Possibly put in a 1 hour siesta or break after 4 hours to allow co2 to build up again. Make sure CO2 kicks in 1 hour or so before lights and then stop co2 30 mins before lights out.
4. Follow a decent dosing regime like EI or just make sure you got your macros (NPK) and micros covered. Might want to make sure you have decent GH, but chances are your tap is fine unless its RO or super soft.
5. Crank the CO2 up to acceptable levels. Slowly adjust this. Find a level that fish are ok with, then slowly increase it over weeks, maybe 2 turns a week, no more than just a little bit. May take a week for fish to show stress.
6. Be patient and wait. Try to maintain stability.


Also, salt + plants = plant. Add in elevated temps = plants. Next time get a quarantine tank and treat them there.

EDIT: Forgot to mention have decent flow.

Last edited by puopg; 04-17-2013 at 10:22 PM.. Reason: Edit
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Old 04-18-2013, 12:32 AM   #3
DefStatic
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My first question would be why are you adding Salt? That is probably the problem. Or at least the last straw to say.

Get yourself a Medic tank for doing that sort of stuff.

Also, how long has the tank been setup?

What are your water parameters?

Speaking of water parameters, what is the ideal GH and KH? Because at home I have HARD water, and at work I have SOFT water.
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Old 04-19-2013, 05:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by puopg View Post
Alright sorry to hear bro, here's some info that might help.

Lets just assume you have the following:
-Medium Light
-All the Ferts you need
-Decent water
-efficient CO2 delivery method
-Cycled/established tank

Feel free to confirm what you do and do not have. Please provide more specific info on your tank if you can. For now, follow these steps:
1. Clean up the tank as much as you can. Manually remove algae, remove dead decaying plants, wipe algae off glass.
2. Do a 3 day blackout, chances are things are pretty bad in the tank so do a 50% water change, drop in an airstone, and black the tank out of absolutely 0 light for 72 hours. Add excel if you want, but if will only help as most plants aren't sensitive to it unless you got like vals. Do a 50% water change after the blackout.
3. Once done, add more plants. I mean a ton more. Get em from ppl here or your LFS while the blackout goes on. Anacharis is sold at many pet stores that grows like crazy and love nitrates, will melt to excel. Water Wisteria works well as well as other fast growing weeds. Floaters also work but heh, duckweed you might never get out later on so your call. It's ok if you do not want the plants later, lets just focus on getting the tank back in order.
4. Lower the light intensity a bit, and keep total light time to max 8 hours. Possibly put in a 1 hour siesta or break after 4 hours to allow co2 to build up again. Make sure CO2 kicks in 1 hour or so before lights and then stop co2 30 mins before lights out.
4. Follow a decent dosing regime like EI or just make sure you got your macros (NPK) and micros covered. Might want to make sure you have decent GH, but chances are your tap is fine unless its RO or super soft.
5. Crank the CO2 up to acceptable levels. Slowly adjust this. Find a level that fish are ok with, then slowly increase it over weeks, maybe 2 turns a week, no more than just a little bit. May take a week for fish to show stress.
6. Be patient and wait. Try to maintain stability.


Also, salt + plants = plant. Add in elevated temps = plants. Next time get a quarantine tank and treat them there.

EDIT: Forgot to mention have decent flow.


Thanks for the help!

I had a couple of questions.

1. Clean up the tank as much as you can. Manually remove algae, remove dead decaying plants, wipe algae off glass.
I have been doing this. There is not much visible algae in the tank at all. However, it is enough to choke the life out of all my hairgrass and baby tears.
2. Do a 3 day blackout, chances are things are pretty bad in the tank so do a 50% water change, drop in an airstone, and black the tank out of absolutely 0 light for 72 hours. Add excel if you want, but if will only help as most plants aren't sensitive to it unless you got like vals. Do a 50% water change after the blackout.
I will try this. Thanks. I am currently down to 4 hours of light but that does not seem to be helping much.
3. Once done, add more plants. I mean a ton more. Get em from ppl here or your LFS while the blackout goes on. Anacharis is sold at many pet stores that grows like crazy and love nitrates, will melt to excel. Water Wisteria works well as well as other fast growing weeds. Floaters also work but heh, duckweed you might never get out later on so your call. It's ok if you do not want the plants later, lets just focus on getting the tank back in order.
I am low on plants right now. I was hoping to keep the larger plants to a minimum and have a lot of foreground plants but that does not seem to be working anyways. I'll buy some more.
4. Lower the light intensity a bit, and keep total light time to max 8 hours. Possibly put in a 1 hour siesta or break after 4 hours to allow co2 to build up again. Make sure CO2 kicks in 1 hour or so before lights and then stop co2 30 mins before lights out.
I am using 70 watts for 29 gallons. Pink light (I can't remember the intensity) and a 6500k. Also, I am using an Up Aqua inline diffuser for the CO2. The drop checker shows that I am in a good range at all times. Do you think I should lower the intensity with this light?
4. Follow a decent dosing regime like EI or just make sure you got your macros (NPK) and micros covered. Might want to make sure you have decent GH, but chances are your tap is fine unless its RO or super soft.
Could you provide more details on EI? I had issues finding anything on this.
5. Crank the CO2 up to acceptable levels. Slowly adjust this. Find a level that fish are ok with, then slowly increase it over weeks, maybe 2 turns a week, no more than just a little bit. May take a week for fish to show stress.
According to the drop-checker, the CO2 looks fine.
6. Be patient and wait. Try to maintain stability.


Thanks again!

Last edited by tommyt; 04-19-2013 at 06:02 PM.. Reason: colored text was missing
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Old 04-19-2013, 06:15 PM   #5
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This is what it looked like a week or so ago before I added the fish and all of my dwarf hairgrass melted away. Everything looks the same right now except for the foreground plants. As you can see, the algae is not out of control but the brown algae was enough to kill all of my foreground plants.
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Old 04-19-2013, 06:24 PM   #6
puopg
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4.
I am using 70 watts for 29 gallons. Pink light (I can't remember the intensity) and a 6500k. Also, I am using an Up Aqua inline diffuser for the CO2. The drop checker shows that I am in a good range at all times. Do you think I should lower the intensity with this light?
Drop checker is not an accurate way of measuring CO2. All its good for is to tell you that you have some or when you run out. Don't rely on it to tell you you have good CO2 levels. Light drives everything. Light drives CO2 demand. So depending on light intensity (We measure in PAR's) that will increase CO2 demand. Best thing to use is the plants. They will do well if given the right conditions. However, sometimes the system is too far in favor of algae and plants cannot get a good foothold. That's the reason for the blackout and addition of lots of plants. You can even float many aggressive stems.
5.

Could you provide more details on EI? I had issues finding anything on this.
http://www.barrreport.com/showthread...ss-techy-folks
Google the Estimative Index Dosing.
6.
According to the drop-checker, the CO2 looks fine.
Yea read above. Drop checker is not a good way to measure. Unfortunately.
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Old 04-19-2013, 06:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommyt View Post


This is what it looked like a week or so ago before I added the fish and all of my dwarf hairgrass melted away. Everything looks the same right now except for the foreground plants. As you can see, the algae is not out of control but the brown algae was enough to kill all of my foreground plants.
Yea brown algae liek diatoms killed me too. Was super hard to deal with. The blackout helped a ton. But really once you are done blacking out, fill that tank with plants. Float em if you must. i dont mean like stuff em in but add enough such that the tank has good coverage. Right now, you are very lightly planted. You can liek 3x that.
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