First Planted Tank 75 - Need Help (Pic Heavy)
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Old 09-21-2014, 01:49 AM   #1
December
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First Planted Tank 75 - Need Help (Pic Heavy)


Hello,

I recently (2 weeks ago - Tomorrow will be the start of the third week) started my first planted tank and I am running into some issues which I cant seem to figure out. I was hoping you guys can help me diagnose them. I am a total noob! so bear with me.
I'll try to give as much information as I can:

Substrate:
- 11/2" MTS bottom layer
- About 8-10 Osmocote plus scatter across the tank
- Eco Complete about 1 1/2" covers the MTS and Osmocote Plus
- 1/2" of Black Diamond Sand to covers the Eco Complete

Lighting:
- 4x T5 6500k HO 216 Watt
- On from 4pm - 11pm

Equipment:
- Pressurized CO2 with inline Aqua Co2 Atomizer
- About 3-4 Bubbles per second
- Co2 come on 1 hour before light is on and turns off one hour before light goes off.
- Milwaukee Regulator Ma957
- HW 402B 3 stage 75gallon canister with 9watt UV

Fertilizer:
- EI Dosing

Plants:
- Micro Sword
- Blyxa Japonica
- Rotala Roundafolia
- Staurogyne Repens
- Wendtii Red
- Anubias Nana and Regular? Anubias
- Plant Sword (forgot the name)
- Red Plant (forgot the name)
- Big Green Stem (forgot the name)

Fish : None yet

Let me know if I missed any information, or more information would help. Issues will be listed with the picture:

Picture of the whole tank:
[/URL]

Water Parameters:
PH : 6.6-6.8 (hard to tell)
Ammonia : 0ppm - .25ppm
Nitrite : 5ppm
Nitrate: 40ppm
GH : 12
KH : 3

[/URL]

Problem 1)
There is new growth, but everything else is melting and dying off. As shown below:
Big Green Stem (forgot the name):
[/URL]

Red Plant (forgot the name)
[/URL]

Staurogyne Repens
[/URL]
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Rotala Roundafolia
[/URL]
[/URL]

Anubias Nana and Sword (forgot name):


Check Dropper:



Problem 2)
Some weird Algae is growing on my driftwood




The pictures are too large?? don't know how to make it smaller...I tried following the sticky when putting up these pictures... let me know if I need to do anything different about pictures.

Issues summary:
1)There is new growth, but everything else is melting and dying off.
2)Some weird Algae is growing on my driftwood

Any help would be appreciated.

Last edited by December; 09-21-2014 at 02:10 AM.. Reason: Readability
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Old 09-21-2014, 02:36 AM   #2
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I am pretty sure that algae on the driftwood was normal. Seems most new pieces grow some as the driftwood "cycles". Water changes and a few weeks and it should be gone.

What size is your tank?
How much and of what ferts are you dosing for EI?
How often/how big of a water change are you doing?
Are the issues on the old leaves? Any new growth showing the same signs?
Have you tried dumping/refilling your drop checker to make sure its accurate?
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Old 09-21-2014, 03:07 AM   #3
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What size is your tank?
75 gallon tank

How much and of what ferts are you dosing for EI?
+/- 3/4 tsp KN03 3x a week
+/- tsp KH2P04 3x a week
+/- Plantex CSM+B 3x a week

How often/how big of a water change are you doing?
50% weekly water change on Sundays

Are the issues on the old leaves? Any new growth showing the same signs?
The old new leaves are starting to have the same signs. Hope that makes sense. New leaves grow and as more new leaves grow, the older new leaves starts to melt and die.

Have you tried dumping/refilling your drop checker to make sure its accurate?

I haven't, will try that tomorrow when I do the 50% water change.


Yah, I did boil the drift wood before putting it in - to try and get rid of any unwanted bacteria. I really hope so.

Last edited by December; 09-21-2014 at 03:12 AM.. Reason: more info
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Old 09-21-2014, 03:32 AM   #4
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Your plants are probably just adjusting to their new environment, your tank must be quite different from the conditions they were in before. As they shed leaves, they're just going to be pumping out ammonia giving you a never-ending cycle, so it's best to remove as much of the dead material as possible. On the stems, trim to maybe an inch or so below the new growth (basically enough that you can plant them) and replant them. The repens you can do the same where possible, otherwise just leave it. Give the blyxa time, that stuff puts down roots first before it actually starts growing at all, so be patient with it.

The picture of the sword behind the drop checker kinda looks like a potassium deficiency. Are you dosing any additional potassium? Also I think you could hold off on the nitrate dosing, seeing your tank is cycling and there's lots of nitrogen around based on your tests.

And the fuzz on the driftwood is normal for a bit, I think it's actually a fungus or bacteria (I've read both). Also if it's still around when you're finished cycling, most algae eaters and some other fish will munch on it.

Not sure what the green plant is, but the red is alternanthera reineckii (maybe mini?). Also called scarlet temple.

Hope this helps!
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Old 09-21-2014, 04:15 AM   #5
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I would recommend swapping out two of the 6500k bulbs for two Wavepoint Ultra Growth Wave bulbs.




The reason is simple, plants have two chlorophyll stages, chloraphyll A and chlorophyll B; Clorophyll A responds to both blue light 420nm and red light 660nm, and Chlorophyll B responds to blue light 460nm. So by adding the Wavepoint UGW bulbs you'll be covering both stages of chlorophyll stages during photosynthesis, and your plants will respond to the change in lighting.
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Old 09-21-2014, 06:06 AM   #6
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Unless you have actinic, I would only switch bulbs if you don't like how they look. CO2 is much more important than which color bulb you are using.

First make sure you have enough CO2, then check ferts.

Don't sweat about algae in a new tank. It's very normal.

It looks like you are starting to get some decent growth at the tops of these stems. I would trim off and replant the new growth with enough stem to stick in the substrate.
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Old 09-21-2014, 04:24 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the input! More questions.. sorry

Absolut Talent >> I dumped and refilled my drop checker during my 50% water change this morning. How often should one change his/her drop checker fluid?

ChemGuyEthan >> Ya, the environments that the plants came from are different and not only that but i'm a total noob at handling planted tanks. I did try to remove more of the dead plants this morning too, hopefully that will help.

Regarding the nitrate .. lol Silly me... i didnt even think about it until you said that. Should i stop doing it completely or just reduce the amount and for how long? I should probably gauge it based on the API tests probably huh?

I haven't decided on what type of fish i want to keep yet. Any recommended algae eater for this ?

Thanks for identifying my red unknown plants.

xxUnRaTeDxxRkOxx >> ummm interesting, I will have to do some research on the bulbs and see if i can get some here locally then swap two out and give it a shot. (Could save the extra 6500k pair as back up) These lights are fairly new (3 weeks since i started the tank).

I've also read somewhere that, if there isn't enough light, the bottom leaves starts to die off as the top leaves block the light source. Could this also be a reason why bottom older leaves are dying faster? It could be the plants are just adjusting to my tank environment as well....so many variables..

Hyzer >> I have about 3-4 bps on my bubble counter. I changed the drop checker fluid, hopefully that will help reassure the parameters a little.

I do have a question about my atomizer. My spray bar is shooting out a lot of tiny bubbles when the solenoid turns on is that normal? I thought i was suppose to mix in with the water. I've watch some videos and they don't seem to be making as many bubbles as mine.

Last edited by December; 09-21-2014 at 04:35 PM.. Reason: more info
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Old 09-21-2014, 06:10 PM   #8
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I think drop checker solution is good for several months, though I could be wrong...

In new tanks, I tend to dose about 1/2 strength until the cycle is done, then I bump it up to 3/4, and maybe another month in I'll do full dosing. Not sure if it works, but it seems to keep algae at a minimum and I still see good growth.

I agree with what Hyzer said, CO2 level is much more important. You want to make sure that's dialed in before dosing or you're just asking for algae. And on that note, algae is normal in all tanks, just gotta do our best to keep it to a minimum, haha.

Excellent guys to keep in a tank are the amano shrimp, they eat most algae and are generally entertaining critters. They also get big (2 inches) so they usually don't pose as a snack for bigger fish once they are this size. Oto catfish are others, stay small and clean the glass and rocks. I've found they tend to be surprisingly sensitive fish. They acclimate fine, but every now and then I get random deaths, which I don't understand as the other fish always seem fine. At any rate, they also do a good job. You have a big tank, so you may be able to get away with siamese algae eaters, just make sure you get the true ones, look that up online how to do that. I've read they get aggressive and don't eat as much algae as they get older though...

There is not enough growth on your plants to suggest they are shadowing the lower leaves, that only becomes an issue in heavily planted tanks that are really grown in.

And onto the bubbles, that's a normal thing. I think it might be related to differences in flow rate and where you position the inline diffuser with respect to the tank. I've also seen those videos, but all of my inline diffusers give a fine spray of bubbles into the tank. They seem to mostly dissovle before exiting at the surface, particularly in my bigger tank. The shallow tank is a bit of a different story... not enough water height to make sure it dissolves.
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Old 09-22-2014, 03:37 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChemGuyEthan View Post

In new tanks, I tend to dose about 1/2 strength until the cycle is done, then I bump it up to 3/4, and maybe another month in I'll do full dosing. Not sure if it works, but it seems to keep algae at a minimum and I still see good growth.
I'm going to have to give this a try. Interestingly, I haven't come across this tip before in my readings. Great tip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChemGuyEthan View Post

And onto the bubbles, that's a normal thing. I think it might be related to differences in flow rate and where you position the inline diffuser with respect to the tank. I've also seen those videos, but all of my inline diffusers give a fine spray of bubbles into the tank. They seem to mostly dissovle before exiting at the surface, particularly in my bigger tank. The shallow tank is a bit of a different story... not enough water height to make sure it dissolves.
Okay, good to know. I have that power head trying to push them toward the other side of the tank as some of the bubbles go straight up doesn't get a chance to dissolve. Mine is about 14 inches away from my spray bar but about 3 feet away from my canister. Maybe I should move it closer to the canister to give it more time to dissolve into the water as it travels back up to the tank. Is your atomizer closer to your spray bar or your canister filter?

Awesome tips and comments guys. Its going in my "paper" version of my journal. Thanks!! Will keep ya'll posted.

Last edited by December; 09-22-2014 at 03:39 AM.. Reason: more info
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Old 09-22-2014, 03:47 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by December View Post
I'm going to have to give this a try. Interestingly, I haven't come across this tip before in my readings. Great tip.



Okay, good to know. I have that power head trying to push them toward the other side of the tank as some of the bubbles go straight up doesn't get a chance to dissolve. Mine is about 14 inches away from my spray bar but about 3 feet away from my canister. Maybe I should move it closer to the canister to give it more time to dissolve into the water as it travels back up to the tank. Is your atomizer closer to your spray bar or your canister filter?

Awesome tips and comments guys. Its going in my "paper" version of my journal. Thanks!! Will keep ya'll posted.
Haha, well you probably haven't read that tip anywhere cause I came up with it. And I'm referring to full EI dosing, not just nitrates. I dose KNO3, K2SO4, and KH2PO4 at recommended EI dosing. I think most people probably do some sort of alteration or halting of their dosing during cycling, but maybe it's not mentioned frequently enough.

I think a powerhead is a good idea, maybe have the spraybar pointed down at about a 45 degree angle to help shoot the bubbles further into the tank too. I don't think it'll be worth the trouble of moving the diffuser, I don't think the dissolution into the water is all that poor with the little bubbles. Mine is only about 4 inches up the outlet tubing of the canister, so there's about 2 feet of tubing for it to dissolve in but I still get the bubbles.
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Old 09-23-2014, 05:32 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChemGuyEthan View Post
Haha, well you probably haven't read that tip anywhere cause I came up with it. And I'm referring to full EI dosing, not just nitrates. I dose KNO3, K2SO4, and KH2PO4 at recommended EI dosing. I think most people probably do some sort of alteration or halting of their dosing during cycling, but maybe it's not mentioned frequently enough.

I think a powerhead is a good idea, maybe have the spraybar pointed down at about a 45 degree angle to help shoot the bubbles further into the tank too. I don't think it'll be worth the trouble of moving the diffuser, I don't think the dissolution into the water is all that poor with the little bubbles. Mine is only about 4 inches up the outlet tubing of the canister, so there's about 2 feet of tubing for it to dissolve in but I still get the bubbles.
Hahahah still a good tip. So you also do K2SO4 for more potassium - will add that in.

Almost moved the spraybar to a 45 degree angle....

The human life style has taught us to get things done - as fast as possible and as cheap as possible.... ...So hard to just sit and wait lol... " patience young grasshopper" says my brother - he isn't even into aquarium/plant/fish keeping lol, but he is right ahahahha.
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Old 09-23-2014, 08:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Hahahah still a good tip. So you also do K2SO4 for more potassium - will add that in.

Almost moved the spraybar to a 45 degree angle....

The human life style has taught us to get things done - as fast as possible and as cheap as possible.... ...So hard to just sit and wait lol... " patience young grasshopper" says my brother - he isn't even into aquarium/plant/fish keeping lol, but he is right ahahahha.
Yeah, I've heard of people using KCl as well, but I bought my ferts from GLA and they sell K2SO4, so that's what I use. KCl is also "salt substitute" but you'd have to make sure it's non-iodized, and even then I might be a little concerned using it.

Patience is tough to learn, haha. Once things get settled in though, you may find some plants grow too fast for you to keep up with. That's definitely been my experience with some of the stem plants.
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Old 09-23-2014, 11:20 PM   #13
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I would do a few 75-90% wcs and get levels back to normal. These plants should get used to living in water parameters that they will be in once you start to keep fish. Once you get nitrates and nitrites back to zero you can begin dosing again and track. You don't want nitrates about 20ppm.

As for a great fish, I highly recommend you get a school of SAE's. The real ones. 6-8

They destroy algae, super active, very friendly, fun to watch, don't grow huge either.
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Old 09-25-2014, 11:30 PM   #14
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Its weird to have so much melting given your specs. Its not even about CO2 at this point (though many ppl under dose), the rotala rotundifolia usually grows well even without CO2, and you definitely have enough light. Your KH values seem normal. Is there anything special about your MTS substrate ?
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Old 09-29-2014, 01:46 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philipraposo1982 View Post
I would do a few 75-90% wcs and get levels back to normal. These plants should get used to living in water parameters that they will be in once you start to keep fish. Once you get nitrates and nitrites back to zero you can begin dosing again and track. You don't want nitrates about 20ppm.

As for a great fish, I highly recommend you get a school of SAE's. The real ones. 6-8

They destroy algae, super active, very friendly, fun to watch, don't grow huge either.
Did a 75% water yesterday and have reduced the KNO3 dosage to 1/4 tsp. I'm thinking of reducing it instead of stopping completely, is this a better idea or should I just stop completely ?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Xiaozhuang View Post
Its weird to have so much melting given your specs. Its not even about CO2 at this point (though many ppl under dose), the rotala rotundifolia usually grows well even without CO2, and you definitely have enough light. Your KH values seem normal. Is there anything special about your MTS substrate ?
Yes, it is weird. This is my first planted tank so I don't know how much plant matter should've melt from the environment change. My Microsword's didn't melt much, just a few. My Japonica went from super healthy to everything melting away. Although they are slowly starting to comeback (I'm happy about that at least ).

As for the MTS, I tried to follow AaronT's post (How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot ) as much as possible. I followed it fairly close. Now that I think about it, the only things that I might have done differently were probably add to much pottery clay and my Muriate of Potash looked different from his.

You are suppose to get it to a "nice runny mud" when adding the clay. Well I added little by little and cant seem to get a nice runny mud until I almost ran out of clay. Maybe to much clay ?

As for the Muriate of Potash (0-0-60), I got that from UFC Farm Supply. It looked a little different and different band from AaronT's but I thought as long as it was 0-0-60, I should be okay. Any thoughts ?


I did remove most of the dead plant matter yesterday and re-planted all the stems. Will post some picture up later when I get home.

Last edited by December; 09-29-2014 at 01:54 PM.. Reason: more info
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