Please help - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-01-2019, 02:13 PM Thread Starter
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Please help

Hello,

Started two tanks a couple of months ago. The plants in either tank are not doing well. Water chemistry in 65 gal: nitrate 40, nitrite 0, hardness 75, Cl 0, alkalinity 80, pH 7.2. 20 gal: nitrate 60, nitrite 0, hardness 75, Cl 0, alkalinity 180, pH 8.4. I add the appropriate amount of Flourish Excel daily, I add weekly Na Thrive fertilizer, use Flourish tabs. Weekly water changes with RO water. Can anyone offer any advice, please?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-01-2019, 02:24 PM Thread Starter
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Still trying to figure out how to post images, ugh!
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-01-2019, 03:18 PM
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Do you re-mineralize your RO?
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-02-2019, 10:18 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, with Equilibrium. Is there a tutorial on how to post pictures?!
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 01:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TSWisla View Post
Yes, with Equilibrium. Is there a tutorial on how to post pictures?!
Sign up to imgur.
Upload your images.
Go to each image and use the share link or similar. Find the choice BBcode.
Copy and paste that link when you want to insert the image.
Hope this helps


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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 01:25 PM Thread Starter
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Finally figured out the photos. Thank you @Jamo33 What is going on? Too much light? Please help.



2nd tank

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 01:45 PM
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A bit strange that kH is different between the two tanks.

I am guessing that you started both tanks with a bunch of emersed grown plants. If that is the case, they do melt while transitioning to submersed growth and dump nutrients and crud into the tank. In that case, water changes do not help that much with accumulation of organics on the substrate and hardscape. The way to overcome this transitional stage is to keep cleaning: remove decay from substrate, clean the glass, rub algae off affected leaves with your thumb, trim off melting leaves. With stems, once you get 2 - 4" of submersed growth, pull the plant, cut and replant the top.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-18-2019, 11:44 AM Thread Starter
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The one tank was started with ordinary softened water (before I knew better) I then changed to RO water with Equilibrium. This definitely does not have to do with too much light? It almost looks like some of the leaves are burned. In the shorter tank with Eco Complete substrate, brown algae is growing on the substrate as well. Thank you.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-18-2019, 02:03 PM Thread Starter
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One more question. For the plants that are sprouting roots in the middle or for the ones that are getting too long, I should cut these down and replant at the roots?

Rubbing this algae off is a disaster and incredibly time consuming. Some of it simply refuses to come off!
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-18-2019, 04:19 PM Thread Starter
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After cleaning. Should I cut those plants with the long roots?
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-29-2019, 02:26 AM Thread Starter
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I vacuumed the gravel in both tanks today and the water was black. So much algae in it. Also, the leaves and gravel are just covered with brown/black algae. I can't get in front of it. Any advice? Could it be too much light? Should I decrease the intensity? I have LEDs on for 8 hours a day. Thank you.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-29-2019, 03:00 AM
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What light are you using?
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-29-2019, 11:51 AM
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Thanks for sharing this. Am setting up a new tank and am going through the inevitable algae explosion myself.

What kind of fish do you have, and have you added any lately that might have increased your bioload? My new motto is "if you can't beat it, let 'em eat it!" When I bought my first batch of plants I asked them for some Malaysian Trumpet Snails, and got a couple of hitchhiking ramshorns as well. Investigated other algae-eating critters, but couldn't find any ghost or amano shrimp locally. I'm leery of the so-called algae-eaters, because they're often mislabeled and grow up into huge carnivorous & aggressive fish that stop eating algae. Petsmart had some surprisingly healthy-looking otos on sale for just $2.49 each, so got 4 who are all happily munching away. Holding off on buying more fish since 'll be traveling a lot the next 3 weeks, so figured they could earn their keep cleaning up while going through quarantine.

The most consistent advice I've gotten is to start out with as many plants as possible so they can outcompete the algae for nutrients. Sounds counterintuitive because you want to give them room to grow, and not spend a fortune on plants. Looks like your stem plants are growing well & putting out roots--so yes trim those & replant. The bottoms will grow out bushier--increasing your plant mass even more. And you can always get some cheap temporary floating plants like anacharis & hornwort to help soak up the nutrients, and block some of the light. Speaking of light, have you tried shortening your light period down to about 6hrs/day? Another thing to try.

Part of the fun of this hobby is finding ways to overcome these inevitable challenges. My strategy is to try one new thing at a time so I know what works. Good luck, and keep us posted!
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-29-2019, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the responses. The 60 gal tank has a Current Satellite Plus Pro LED and the 20 gal has a Current Orbit Marine Pro. The 60 has all large mature fish, Severum, 3 Denison barbs, 5 Buenos Aires tetras, Goldfish, Blue ciclid, catfish, pleco, 2 angels. The 20 has 8 Neons and 2 very large female guppies. The plants in the 20 are all growing, with the exception of one, but I have all of this nasty algae all over the plants. In the 60, I started with a lot of plants, some were eaten, but nothing is growing there, they are completely stunted and dying off and looking worse by the day.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-29-2019, 02:38 PM
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Well, I suppose since this is low tech, I don't have as much business being in here, but as you are not getting too much responses, I'll offer a guess. Your gut instinct of too much light may be right. That's what I've tended to lean to whenever my algae balance goes awry. So I'll second @Desert Pupfish 's and third your own recommendation of lessening the lighting period. This is especially true if you're running your satellite plus pro at full intensity for 8 hours. Even in my high tech tank in the past, without the proper balance of growing plants in place, 4 hours at full intensity would've been too much. The alternative is to get floaters to shade your plants. This is in line also with @Desert Pupfish 's recommendation of more plants for now.

So cut down that light, keep doing all your other stuff, give it a little more patience (yea another month! ), especially so that you're running a low tech tank, and see if new leaves show up and stay healthy without being taken over by algae. As they do, you can trim off the older, ratty, algae infested leaves, and slowly grow your way out of your algae mess.

As you are waiting, spend some time at this site: https://www.advancedplantedtank.com

especially focusing on: https://www.advancedplantedtank.com/101-lowtech.html
https://www.advancedplantedtank.com/control-algae.html

I pretty much repeat this mantra (from the site) all the time to myself as I see the algae pop up:
"Using very strong lighting is like driving a fast car. It could get you to your destination more quickly, or end in an accident. "
There's been variations to this quote, but it holds true when you're starting out.
The one I liked a lot too was:
"Think of light as a gas pedal of a car. The harder you press down on the gas pedal (the more light you have), the faster your car will go (the faster your plants will grow). However, the car will require more regular maintenance (your plants will require more maintenance, i.e. fertilizers, CO2, etc)."
from here: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/s...php?t=107303#2

In your low tech tank, you have no way of supplying the CO2 that your lighting period is demanding, hence, you have an unbalance that is triggering unhappy plants, which lead to algae. Your only true alternative, then, is to lessen the lighting to meet what CO2 you CAN supply.

Keep on that site and build up to:
https://www.advancedplantedtank.com/...h-plllars.html
https://www.advancedplantedtank.com/light-3pillars.html
and whatever else on that site.

And feel free to come back for clarifications or questions.


And now, here's a darker hole that you may or may not want to go into..

From your pics, it looks like one of your algae is BBA. If you're truly desperate, you can drop a little bit of hydrogen peroxide on the algae during a water change to kill it off. I hesitate to recommend it because it'll usually come back unless you've figured out the root cause and there IS a risk of harming your fauna. But if you 'really really' are desperate as I was in the past, I would not exceed 2 tbsp per 10 gallons as per this thread: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/2...treatment.html . So, I did that 1-2 punch, but I realized it was too harsh. I ended up doing a weird hybrid of it. Whenever I did water changes, when the leaves filled with BBA were exposed, I would just squirt a little h2o2 directly onto the algae. And as stated before, I would measure out 2tbsp per 10 gallons and limit myself to that. If I ran out before I got all the algae, I'll just wait until the next water change before hitting the others. That way, I conservatively hit them all over time.
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