Anubias suffering, nitrates high? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-10-2018, 03:43 AM Thread Starter
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Anubias suffering, nitrates high?

I recently acquired a 75 gallon aquarium from craigslist. 36 inches wide 21 inches high. It originally had 6 angelfish, 1 pleco, 1 loach, & 2 saes, but I rehomed all except 2 paired off angels. When I brought it home, I couldn't get the Sun Cannister filter it came with to properly seal, I spent 2 days trying to fix it and trying to keep the media alive in a bucket until I caved and bought a fluval 406 from petsmart (cost more than the entire original setup). I have a NICREW Deluxe LED Aquarium Light, Full Spectrum Fish Tank Light for Planted Tanks, 30 to 36-inch, 28-Watt, 1800 LM, 7500K on for 6.5 hours day, with a 1 hr break in the middle (3.5 hrs on, 1 hr off, 3 on). No C02.

Anyway, now the older anubias leaves are struggling, they have holes and are wilting away. Possibly magnesium deficiency? Some brown algae. And despite water changes, nitrates remain at 80 ppm, everything else 0. I am wondering if the media being left out for two days led to this, or the filter is just too dirty, I'll try rinsing the media with aquarium water soon, any other suggestions? I've been feeding less. I've heard of "old tank syndrome"?? This one has been running 2 years.

I'd like to get this tank thriving, low tech preferably, but if I have to add some sort of fert to get it looking spic and span, I'll do it. I also don't have an aerator going because I don't like the noise of the one I have, should I be using one with just two fish? Hoping to get a school of red phantom tetras eventually too.
Thanks for any help!

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-10-2018, 05:30 AM
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Based on your writing it sounds like you are not using any fertilizer but have CO2. In my opinion CO2 without fertilizer is pointless. IN order for plant to consume CO2 and nitrates 13 other elements to grow. your high nitrates and damaged leaves is a good indication that your are short on nutrients. Your tap water will have some but That is not going too be enough. you either need a good all in one fertilizer (such as thrive, Nilocg.com) or get dry fertilizer salt (CSM+B, and NPK). You also might have to increase lighting but i would work on fertilizer first and verify your PH with CO2 on is one point below the PH without CO2.

Bump: Based on your writing it sounds like you are not using any fertilizer but have CO2. In my opinion CO2 without fertilizer is pointless. IN order for plant to consume CO2 and nitrates 13 other elements to grow. your high nitrates and damaged leaves is a good indication that your are short on nutrients. Your tap water will have some but That is not going too be enough. you either need a good all in one fertilizer (such as thrive, Nilocg.com) or get dry fertilizer salt (CSM+B, and NPK). You also might have to increase lighting but i would work on fertilizer first and verify your PH with CO2 on is one point below the PH without CO2.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-10-2018, 06:29 AM Thread Starter
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Hi surf, thanks for the advice! I am not using Co2. Do you still think I should add fert? I can do that, I'd like to figure out what one would be best, considering I don't want to add CO2, trying to keep it as simple as possible. Would Flourish do the trick? I'll check out the ferts you mentioned though. Thanks again.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-10-2018, 01:00 PM
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I am running several low-tech tanks,I do around 1/3 E.I. does of macros and micros.I add macros once a week,and micros every other day with a 50% w/c every week,and DIY root tabs every 6 mos in the non-dirted tanks.That's what works for me,FWIW.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-11-2018, 06:31 AM
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It think you need to try a fertilizer. Pictures of your tank show the leaves are also severally distorted and tissue is either yellow or green. It is not just holes in the leaves. So based on what I see you might has magnesium, calcium, potassium, sulfur and maybe iron. It is however hard to be sure on anything with the leaves looking like this. I really don't like flourish. In my opinion it is not well balanced However in my case I was using very clean RO water.and had multiple macro deficiencies and some micro deficiencies. With tap water it might work. However I think you would get better results from with thrive instead of Seachem Flourish. Also be sure you do consistent weekly water changes.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-11-2018, 07:31 AM
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Surf is right about some nutrient deficiencies. On the plus side anubias are very hardy. As long as your rhizome is still healthy the plant will bounce back. Trim off all the leaves that aren't looking too good. I have experienced with Seachem Flourish and it did pretty good for me. But I heard good things about Thrive also. Good luck with it and keep us posted on how things are going.


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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-12-2018, 01:29 PM
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The plants may need modest ferts.

As to high nitrates:
- Are you doing routine weekly water changes of 50-75%?
- Have you checked your source water for nitrates? (It's not uncommon these days, especially in agricultural communities to have high nitrates in water.)
- Do you clean your filter (aka nitrate factory) regularly? (A pre-filter sponge prevents food from getting into the filter before the fish can eat it.)
- Are you feeding a high quality food that reduces excess waste?
- Are you feeding properly....just what the fish will consume in a few short minutes?
- What is your substrate? If gravel, do you routinely gravel vac? (coarse sand is better as food/detritus doesn't get down under and rot.)

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-13-2018, 04:12 AM
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AbbeysDad has the right questions, so check that first. Also, pluck leaves as KZB said.

One thing to add about the filter: just keeping bio-media in water does not necessarily keep it alive. It needs Oxygenated water, flow, and the Ammonia or Nitrites to eat. If it just sits in a bucket for two days, it may take some time to rebuild the population - and may need to be stirred up to remove the dead stuff. Already done and gone in your case, but food for thought.


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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-17-2018, 03:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surf View Post
It think you need to try a fertilizer. Pictures of your tank show the leaves are also severally distorted and tissue is either yellow or green. It is not just holes in the leaves. So based on what I see you might has magnesium, calcium, potassium, sulfur and maybe iron. It is however hard to be sure on anything with the leaves looking like this. I really don't like flourish. In my opinion it is not well balanced However in my case I was using very clean RO water.and had multiple macro deficiencies and some micro deficiencies. With tap water it might work. However I think you would get better results from with thrive instead of Seachem Flourish. Also be sure you do consistent weekly water changes.
I completely agree with needing some nutrients, but do you really think a fertilizer with a full dose of N should be used when the tank is already at 80ppm?


Which also brings the question for the OP. Are you sure it's 80ppm? How did you test? It's not that 80ppm is out of the question, it's that it can be kind of tricky getting an accurate reading on nitrates.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-22-2018, 11:33 PM Thread Starter
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Hi guys thanks for all the feedback and Happy Thanksgiving!

@Surf , I think am going to get the thrive for low tech tanks, thanks for the tip. I've been doing 15-25% water changes about every other day. A few days ago I cleaned the Fluval media with aquarium water, rinsed out the sponge etc. Brown had algae/diatoms become even worse, today I scrubbed down the tank, wood, and plant leaves and did a 25% water change. The tank also came with an algae UV sterilizer (JUP-23) which I decided to take out now since it seemed like maybe debris was getting trapped inside and not sure if it was helping the algae problem or making it worse.

Just measured Nitrate and I think it's at 40 ppm, thankfully seems a bit lower. I have some dwarf sags in the gravel now, hoping adding the fertilizer will help them take off and help lower nitrates further? Also I've had some trouble vacuuming the gravel with my python - it seems to be a mix of course and fine materials and it keeps clogging up my Python. There does seem to be some debri trapped down there and I'm trying my best to get it all, hoping the dwarf sags can help suck it all up if I get the bottom covered with em.

@AbbeysDad, I wasn't doing that big of water changes because I heard daily 15% was less stress on fish, but I'll do another 25% tomorrow or the day after and continue, maybe a 50%. Food isn't necessarily high quality, it's what the guy gave me that he was feeding them (dried blood worms and dried veggie flakes). I've been meaning to go get them some frozen bloodworms. I only feed what they can eat in 1-2 minutes. I have a feeling the substrate is a bit clogged with old debris from before I got the tank and when there were so many fish. I also checked my source water which had 0 nitrates (though whoops, I didn't check for ammonia and nitrites in source. I hope they're not high, its my drinking water...).

PS: @Proteus01, I did keep an aerator and added some ammonia when I was trying to keep the media alive. It was kind of a hectic couple of days and I dunno if it worked, but I tried. I bought the Fluval but oh how I wish I could have waited to order an Eheim online, the fluval is noisy! Already tried a couple fixes for the noise I found online but still, I'm picky about sound.
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