My Planted Tanks: Progress - Page 2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #16 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-04-2020, 01:01 AM Thread Starter
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My albino BN plecos doing good very good job in keeping my driftwood clean. Also them together with ghost shrimps (mine riceland prawn) helps eats leftover food at the bottom.

Regarding riceland prawns, becareful with the adults because they are vicious, kill & eat small fish like guppies , even young plecos not safe. I feed the adults to my big fish.


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post #17 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-05-2020, 05:07 AM Thread Starter
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Tank #1
153 days


Tank #2
115 days
Java Moss & hairy grass are in poor condition. Trimmed & re-planted steam plants. Dealing with diatoms & hairy green algae.


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post #18 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-06-2020, 06:13 AM
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Tank #1

89 days
Added Java Fern on the rear-left.
It looks really good.
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post #19 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-12-2020, 02:03 AM Thread Starter
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Tank #1

89 days
Added Java Fern on the rear-left.
It looks really good. <a href="https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/images/smilie/icon_smile.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Smile" >:-)</a>
Thank you!


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Last edited by kizwan; 01-12-2020 at 02:48 AM. Reason: Edit
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post #20 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-13-2020, 04:11 AM
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Regarding throwing away plants do emersed. Not sure if they can be emersed but if they can heres what i do. Get a big tub and put multiple smaller tubs in that big tub. Punch holes with a heated fork or nail in the smaller tubs. then put dirt in the smaller tubs. fill water in the big tub. add a lid to the big tub. If ur lid is airtight punch a couple of holes for C02. Plant your plants. Maintainance is only every couple of months. Place in sunlight. Direct or indirect depends on how much u want for your plant. they generally grow faster this way then in tanks. AND u dont need to throw away plants. Yay
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post #21 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-13-2020, 04:49 AM Thread Starter
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@BuddyMan thanks! I'm considering doing that.


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post #22 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-13-2020, 05:29 AM
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No problem kizwan
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post #23 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-01-2020, 04:45 AM Thread Starter
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I have problem with Tank #2. Green hair algae keep coming back. And water lettuce are dying. Ludwigia sp. 'Dark Orange', Bacopa caroliniana, Cryptocoryne Wendtii "Red" & Anacharis are growing well, basically doesn't show any indication of deficiency. Eleocharis Acicularis Carpet Plant consumed by GHA, I don't know if any survived. Java moss pretty much dead but this is due to BBA that I have previously. I think I want get rid Anacharis to decrease the demand of CO2.

Can EasyCarbo or Seacham Flourish Excel help in my situation?


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post #24 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-11-2020, 03:11 AM Thread Starter
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Tank #1
220 days

Freshly trimmed.
All aquatic life are healthy & thriving.
3 Albino Plecos, 3 ghost shrimps (Riceland Prawn) & 10+ mosquito fish.
Little bit of green algae on the driftwood & green spot algae on the glass which indicate phosphorus deficiency if I'm not mistaken.

Tank #2
182 days

Driftwood position changed during yesterday cleaning & water change.
Around a week ago one & only one Albino Pleco went missing. Nothing left from it to indicate it died. Maybe my cat ate it, I don't know.
There's a lot of organic materials on the gravel that I have tried to remove many times.
Have BBA problem in the past. GHA recently until I trimmed all Bacopa & Ludwigia plants & then did water change. There is still green algae on the glass & on the gravel.
Unfortunately, during big water change yesterday, when I syphon 90% of the water & also removing a lot of organic mater, I think there's ammonia spike because the guppies & ghost shrimp looks agitated. I thought when I refilled with dechlorinated water, all will be well but no. All 4 guppies are dead in the morning & the ghost shrimp is dead this morning. As of now, it doesn't have any aquatic life in it.
I used to have a small filter in this tank with activated charcoal but it is old activated charcoal. I removed it a week ago. Maybe when I removed the filter, it change the balance in this tank. Should I put the filter back & with new activated charcoal?
Anacharis frequently in & out in this tank because of the GHA. Now I put them back in to help filtering the water.
I also have problem with water lettuce keep dying. They used to be OK before but not anymore since a couple of months. I keep taking several from Tank #1 & put it in this tank.
Bacopa caroliniana, Ludwigia sp dark orange & Cryptocoryne Wendtii are growing well but looks dirty. Java fern windelov looks OK but dirty as well. For eleocharis grass, I can see few strands survive.

The dechlorinated water that I use for both tanks is filtered water - mechanical filter & carbon block (around almost 2 years old I think).
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post #25 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-12-2020, 08:22 PM
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I have problem with Tank #2. Green hair algae keep coming back. And water lettuce are dying. Ludwigia sp. 'Dark Orange', Bacopa caroliniana, Cryptocoryne Wendtii "Red" & Anacharis are growing well, basically doesn't show any indication of deficiency. Eleocharis Acicularis Carpet Plant consumed by GHA, I don't know if any survived. Java moss pretty much dead but this is due to BBA that I have previously. I think I want get rid Anacharis to decrease the demand of CO2.

Can EasyCarbo or Seacham Flourish Excel help in my situation?
I'm not familiar with EasyCarbo, but to answer your question, Excel can help, yes. For hair algae, my understanding is that it's better to use Excel after lights-off, otherwise it will utilize the Excel just like our plants do during photosynthesis. Best approach would be to manually remove as much hair algae with a tooth brush or something else that you can get it tangled up with, then twirl up the threads and give a gentle scrub where they're attached or just remove that leaf. Just be aware that Anacharis will melt with Excel, so if you want to treat the tank, I'd remove the Anacharis first. I'd do a higher than standard dose, personally, either 2x or 3x. 3x dose is what's recommended after water change, but Excel doesn't accumulate as it breaks down almost entirely within 24 hours, so if you do a 3x dose and your shrimp don't go nuts, I'd keep going with that after lights out. Also, you could try API AlgaeFix if it's available where you are. This is my favorite for hair algae, very effective, but you can't dose it with shrimp because it will kill them, so you'd have to rehome your shrimp to your other tank for a while.

Edit: Oops, just read the post after this, sorry for your fish and shrimp loss. Shrimp don't like big water changes, so a 90% water change would certainly be pushing it. But the fact the guppies died tells me something else may have been going on. What did you treat your water with? Are you just relying on a mechanical filter and carbon block? Carbon block, if 2 years old, could very well be shot completely or at least letting enough breakthrough of chlorine or chloramine to be toxic. I replace my catalytic carbon blocks every 6 months at most in my RODI units, as my tap water is treated with lots of chloramine which is tougher on carbon than chlorine.
You don't want to use activated carbon constantly as a general rule. Unless you're trying to remove something specific from the water, like residual medication, I would steer clear. My understanding is that carbon will begin to leach after it becomes saturated.

Are you dosing the water column with any liquid or powder fertilizer?
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post #26 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-14-2020, 02:59 AM Thread Starter
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I'm not familiar with EasyCarbo, but to answer your question, Excel can help, yes. For hair algae, my understanding is that it's better to use Excel after lights-off, otherwise it will utilize the Excel just like our plants do during photosynthesis. Best approach would be to manually remove as much hair algae with a tooth brush or something else that you can get it tangled up with, then twirl up the threads and give a gentle scrub where they're attached or just remove that leaf. Just be aware that Anacharis will melt with Excel, so if you want to treat the tank, I'd remove the Anacharis first. I'd do a higher than standard dose, personally, either 2x or 3x. 3x dose is what's recommended after water change, but Excel doesn't accumulate as it breaks down almost entirely within 24 hours, so if you do a 3x dose and your shrimp don't go nuts, I'd keep going with that after lights out. Also, you could try API AlgaeFix if it's available where you are. This is my favorite for hair algae, very effective, but you can't dose it with shrimp because it will kill them, so you'd have to rehome your shrimp to your other tank for a while.

Edit: Oops, just read the post after this, sorry for your fish and shrimp loss. Shrimp don't like big water changes, so a 90% water change would certainly be pushing it. But the fact the guppies died tells me something else may have been going on. What did you treat your water with? Are you just relying on a mechanical filter and carbon block? Carbon block, if 2 years old, could very well be shot completely or at least letting enough breakthrough of chlorine or chloramine to be toxic. I replace my catalytic carbon blocks every 6 months at most in my RODI units, as my tap water is treated with lots of chloramine which is tougher on carbon than chlorine.
You don't want to use activated carbon constantly as a general rule. Unless you're trying to remove something specific from the water, like residual medication, I would steer clear. My understanding is that carbon will begin to leach after it becomes saturated.

Are you dosing the water column with any liquid or powder fertilizer?
Just mechanical filter & carbon block. I'm planning to change the carbon block later this month. I noticed that water lettuce died if using tap water but not if using filtered water. So I use that as a benchmark whether the filter is still good. Also I use same filtered water with the other two tanks. I will change the carbon block soon anyway.

I suspect something in the soil but it doesn't contain any chemical fertilizer. It just organic soil with compost.

At the moment I did not dosing with any fertilizer.


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post #27 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-15-2020, 10:35 PM
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Just mechanical filter & carbon block. I'm planning to change the carbon block later this month. I noticed that water lettuce died if using tap water but not if using filtered water. So I use that as a benchmark whether the filter is still good. Also I use same filtered water with the other two tanks. I will change the carbon block soon anyway.

I suspect something in the soil but it doesn't contain any chemical fertilizer. It just organic soil with compost.

At the moment I did not dosing with any fertilizer.
So here's my advice - purchase and use Seachem Prime, or something similar, to treat your water for chlorine, chloramines, and detoxify ammonia, nitrates and nitrites before you add it to the tank. There's a couple possibilities with what wiped your tank, but Prime would've likely prevented all of the scenarios. The first two that come to mind - Scenario 1 - disturbed the soil which resulted in some ammonia leach. Prime would've locked up the ammonia, making it a non issue. Scenario 2 - you could have breakthrough of chlorine/chloramine(whichever your city uses) with your carbon block being so old, and with such a large water change, it was enough chlorine/chloramine to kill all your fauna. Prime would've also prevented this. I use an RODI system for all of my tanks, I still add Prime to my water because any breakthrough would be very bad for my shrimp, in particular, but my city uses up to the legal limit of chloramine, which is harder to eliminate with carbon blocks.

I would also not use water lettuce as an indicator of anything. I mean, obviously, if it's dying, then something is going on, because that stuff is a weed, but to use that as a determining factor for tap vs filtered isn't a great idea in my opinion. I would start dosing some NPK and micros to your water column, though, as the dirt won't be adding nutrients for the water lettuce since it's capped. All of your plants will enjoy some water column dosing, so this would be a great start to see if your water lettuce improves!

You mention you removed the filter, do you have any filtration at all on the tank currently? It's important for there to be water movement, so if there's nothing moving the water around and breaking surface tension, you need to put that filter back on. You don't necessarily need to add a cartridge back in, but you must have something moving the water. Stagnant water is bad bad bad.
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post #28 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-16-2020, 09:14 PM Thread Starter
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Scenario 1 is most likely what happened. They look agitated before I add new water. At the same time, scenario 2 could happened too which make things worst. I just changed 1/3 of water with treated water. I didn't use seacham but similar; removes chlorine & chloramine, neutralize ammonia, heavy metal & nitrites.


You're right on the water lettuce. I will get fertilizer for my tank. What do you think about the DIY fertilizer using dissolvable capsule & regular garden fertilizer?


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post #29 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-01-2020, 02:08 AM Thread Starter
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I bought 5 Tiger nerite snails because it is the only ones they have left. Zebra out of stock. However they doesn't look like tiger snails. Can anyone confirm? One doesn't move since I put them in my tank; 3 in Tank #1 & 2 in Tank #2. Originally 3 in Tank #2 but one doesn't moving, so I tranfered it to my stable tank (Tank #1) for now. The trap door did open & close, so it is alive. They did live 4 days inside sealed packaging before I received them. I bought them online.

















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Last edited by kizwan; 04-01-2020 at 02:28 AM. Reason: Edit
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post #30 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-11-2020, 02:24 AM Thread Starter
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Update on the nerite snails. 2 still alive & well, moving around when lights off. The other 3 died not long after I posted previous post. Basically one died in stable tank (Tank #1) while the other two died in problematic tank (Tank #2). With so many death & missing-in-action (suspect my cat) in Tank #2, it become fishless tank which is not good because I can only remove so much organic matter & algae by myself.

I suspected the problem is in the soil (garden soil with compost). I have been doing frequent water change. I'm using filtered water treated with water conditioner which is the best my LFS have (mydilab Tension gon). The carbon block (CTO) for filtering the tap water have been replaced with new one. Yesterday I bought very cheap ghost shrimp, specifically riceland prawn to take care organic matter. Before that I checked ammonia level using Api test kit. I was expecting it read some ammonia level because it doesn't differentiate between ammonia & ammonium. However to my surprise, I got 0 ppm reading. Please see attached photo below. I added the shrimps after I tested the water. There's so many ghost shrimp, like 20 of them & only 2 to 3 died (DOA). They already cleaned some of the organic matter. I can see more of my beautiful black gravel now.Click image for larger version

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