What did I do wrong? Please help... - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-27-2006, 06:09 PM Thread Starter
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What did I do wrong? Please help...

A little bit long, please be patient...

Size: 125-gallon tank
Water volume: 100 gallons
Substrate: 100% flourite (11 bags of SeaChem flourite)
Filter: two XP3 FilStar Canister
Lighting: two 48" overdriven homedepot CE fixtures (total output should be 64x4=256 watts) on top of the tank (this is an open tank)
CO2: fully automatic system from Aquatic-Stores.com

My tap water is very soft with KH~1 and GH~1 (German degree). I do ~30% water change every week. On the day of water change, I use baking soda and Ca/Mg from Greg Watson to raise KH to 9 and GH to 6-7.

The pH in my CO2 is set to 6.7, 24/7.

My lighting period is from 10AM to 10PM with 2 hours break (3-5PM) in between. I remember someone mentioned this somewhere that it could help algae problem.

Plants: I have about 10 types of plants including Anacharis, Amazon sword, chain sword, Hygrophila polysperma 'Ceylon', Rotala rotundifolia, Banana plant, Nymphoides sp. 'Taiwan', etc. Not much and not in a big quantity. The tank looks half empty so far.

Inhabitants: 7 neon tetras, 10 Platties, 1 guppy, 3 danio's, ~20 sherry shrimps, 6 otto's, 4 SAE's, 1 apple snail, 2 Japanese stone turtle (<1year old), 2 dwarf puffers.

Dosing:
Day 1: 1/4 tsp K2SO4, 1-1/4 tsp KNO3, 1/4 tsp KH2PO4, Iron and CSM+b
Day2 to Day7, I test P and N first and half-dose (as compared to day 1) P+N+K or P+K or N+k as needed to keep PKN in P ~2-5ppm and N~20ppm on the test charts. Some said test kits are not reliable but I did see changes on test results before and after the dosing so kind of guessing. I also dose 1-2 tsp of my own PMDD (which includes MgSO4, K2SO4, and CSM+b). The reason I am doing testing so frequently is because I haven't had a good feeling of the consumption pattern of my tank.

Just about two weeks ago, I clean up everything in my tank because my tank was turning to an algae farm: chopped off almost half of my plants, bleached top layer of the substrate, bleached filter every part of the filtering system exception inside of the filter (replace the plastic tubes), bleached every single driftwood and a floating cork bark. 50% water change twice that day.

1. Green spot algae were back on the first week. So I dosed more phosphate.
2. Green algae (about 1-2 mm long string) on the wall, on the leaves, and on PVC pipes. Don't know how to get rid of them. SAE's seems to like them but not be able to keep up.
3. Hair algae are coming back from the substrate. The algae stick out from the substrate and tangle with the plants. Personally I hate hair algae the most. SAE's didn't show any interests on them.
4. Small sign of BBA on the substrate. My KH is on 9 and pH is set on 6.7. The CO2 is supposed on 30-40ppm or so. There is CO2 indicator in the tank. It says good CO2 level in the tank. Dont know what else I can do to get more CO2 without lowering the pH. Increase KH?

Finally comes my question:

So I guess my question would be what the causes of those algae are and how I get rid of them. Here is a list of my understanding after reading tons of posts:

1. Green spot algae: phosphate too low (need more phosphate)
2. Green algae (string type): dont know
3. BBA: CO2 too low
4. BGA: nitrate too low (black out works perfect for me)
5. Fuzz algae: dont know
6. Staghorn: dont know
7. Green Water: too much nutrition (water change?)
8. More?

Could you guys help me analyze my tank and tell me if I did anything wrong, or how I could do better?

Thanks alot.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-27-2006, 06:38 PM
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My guess is that you introduced an ammonia spike in the water by disturbing the subsoil.

Hoppy
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-27-2006, 07:00 PM
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My guess would be overfertilization with lack of plant mass. I would cut down on the powders, and add lots of fast growing plants. Bleaching, rubbing, blacking out etc doesn't help plants to grow.

Not sure about the turtles... aren't they big poopers? Maybe not when they are small.


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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-27-2006, 07:24 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for your quick response and patience .

Quote:
My guess is that you introduced an ammonia spike in the water by disturbing the subsoil.
I did see 1-2 dead fish right after the big action. It could be the ammonia spike. The rest of the fish didn't show any symptom on stress or appetite.

Quote:
My guess would be overfertilization with lack of plant mass. I would cut down on the powders, and add lots of fast growing plants. Bleaching, rubbing, blacking out etc doesn't help plants to grow.

Not sure about the turtles... aren't they big poopers? Maybe not when they are small.
Lack of plant mass could be a problem. Bleaching, rubbing and blacking out were to get rid of previous algae.

About the turtle, they poop as much as you feed them. Currently I feed turtle and fish every other day with small amount of turtle food (fish love the turtle food).
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-28-2006, 12:25 AM
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Your tanks sounds fantastic (except of couse for the algae) so don't give up.. I am currently having the same type of problem where everything appears in line but it grows anyway- YOu're not alone. I have other tanks with similar parameters that don't have any isses at all so I don't think there is a fix all, but I am very interested to follow this thred....

As for lack of plant mass- you need plant mass to suck up the ferts and keep them from getting out of line (too high) right? it seems like the fertilizer levels are all where they need to be... no? yes?
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-28-2006, 01:03 AM
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Good advice by Wasserpest and Turbo... Pack it full of Wisteria, Egeria, Hydrocotyle, or my fav., Limnophila aquatica... and any other cheap fast growing stems, Back off the ferts for now. Your fish food can take care of PO4 and possibly nitrates. Just keep dosing some micros and maybe some potassium and iron. Once it is a jungle, the algae will become very very manageable. Then start more dosing and 'scaping to your delight. Don't worry how it looks yet, just pack it full of stems. Good luck.





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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-28-2006, 01:18 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much for the advice, guys. Really appreciate that. I enjoy looking at my tank (or other people's tanks ) for hours. I know my tank is not pretty enough now but still it is your tank, haha.

I will get some nutrition sucking plants tomorrow. Meanwhile, please throw in as much advice as you can.

A question though: will it cause any problem if I over dose CSM+b and fe?

Thanks.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-28-2006, 01:22 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turbosaurus
As for lack of plant mass- you need plant mass to suck up the ferts and keep them from getting out of line (too high) right? it seems like the fertilizer levels are all where they need to be... no? yes?
I experienced from don't know to make sense, not sure, understand, and then to totally confused. Confused should be my current state. So the answer to your question is I don't know .
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-28-2006, 02:23 AM
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It sound's as though it is a new tank, and you are burning to much light at this point in time, the ecosystem/biomedia has not had time to build.
Turn the light's down, 12pm to 10pm with 2x64..the 2hour break does nothing, i would ditch that idea and keep it simple and straight.

Don't add all that Ca/Mg, kH3 is perfect, then you can put the pH where you want it.
Remember! the light's are the driving force, the tank is not ready for alot of it, you will need about 3 or 4 week's of this less light maybe more, depend;s on the tank.
Next water change use straight tap water, no Ca/Mg addition on you're part.

Let the ecosystem work at it's pace...Pay attention to the fish, algae, and most importantly, the plant's, they tell the truth.
for the next week or two dose
2x64 8hr's first week, then maybe you can bump it up to 10 hour's, once again, the plant's will talk to you, if you pay attention.
3/4Tsp KN03 Twice a week
1/4Tsp KH2P04 Twice a week
1/4Tsp [email protected] change then another 1/4 midweek
15ml CSM twice/week
Dont add any Fe at this time, wait till the tank is in better shape, keep it simple.
Clean as much of the algae out of the tank that you can, keep picking at it.
Once thing's start to even out a bit, add little more light, add the other 2x64 a couple hour's before light's off, with an increase in light, increase fert's, C02 is going to be the tricky part.

Patience and persistance..

Craig

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-28-2006, 02:47 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks wolf. More questions coming...

Quote:
Originally Posted by WfxXx
It sound's as though it is a new tank, and you are burning to much light at this point in time, the ecosystem/biomedia has not had time to build.
Turn the light's down, 12pm to 10pm with 2x64..the 2hour break does nothing, i would ditch that idea and keep it simple and straight.
The tank has been running since last Sept but there is only 2 weeks since the CO2 system was added. It is very new.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WfxXx
Don't add all that Ca/Mg, kH3 is perfect, then you can put the pH where you want it.
My tap water has GH of 1 degree. Do I need to increase it? What is kH3? Do you mean KH?

Quote:
Originally Posted by WfxXx
Remember! the light's are the driving force, the tank is not ready for alot of it, you will need about 3 or 4 week's of this less light maybe more, depend;s on the tank.
Next water change use straight tap water, no Ca/Mg addition on you're part.
I have always used straight tap water for my water change. Again the question is do I need to increase GH?

Quote:
Originally Posted by WfxXx
Let the ecosystem work at it's pace...Pay attention to the fish, algae, and most importantly, the plant's, they tell the truth.
for the next week or two dose
2x64 8hr's first week, then maybe you can bump it up to 10 hour's, once again, the plant's will talk to you, if you pay attention.
3/4Tsp KN03 Twice a week
1/4Tsp KH2P04 Twice a week
1/4Tsp [email protected] change then another 1/4 midweek
15ml CSM
Thanks for helping me calc the doses . Do I dose CSM once a week? Just to make sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WfxXx
Clean as much of the algae out of the tank that you can, keep picking at it.
Once thing's start to even out a bit, add little more light, add the other 2x64 a couple hour's before light's off, with an increase in light, increase fert's, C02 is going to be the tricky part.
Sounds an excellent plan to me. What do you mean CO2 is going to be the tricky part? Do I do anything to it during the test run?
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-28-2006, 04:46 AM
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Yes, KH.
GH/4 or 5 would be an optimal "number", place more focus on KH/pH for now.

What mean's are you using to test KH/GH?

See how thing's go without adding Ca/Mg for a few week's.

Most plant's respond very well to a steady dosing regime of N,P,K, Trace, C02.
I have grown plant's in pure RO water very well, with just those fert's, no additional Mg/Ca, the trick is the light/C02, with a KH3 shoot for a pH of 6.4/6.5, but do not totally rely on a number or a probe, plant's,fish,algae are the best test.

Yes on the CSM twice/week, you must have quoted me just after I made the previous post, I noticed I left that off as I read it, and immediatly did an edit.

Quote:
What do you mean CO2 is going to be the tricky part? Do I do anything to it during the test run?
Get a feel for it, takes a bit of practice, C02 is not always plug and play.

Craig

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Last edited by WfxXx; 02-28-2006 at 10:36 AM.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-28-2006, 01:50 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WfxXx
What mean's are you using to test KH/GH?
I am using TetraTest kits for GH, KH. Use its pH kit to confirm the result on pH controller.

The plants are actually growing very fast. New sprouts every day. So are the algae .

Quote:
Originally Posted by WfxXx
Yes on the CSM twice/week, you must have quoted me just after I made the previous post, I noticed I left that off as I read it, and immediatly did an edit.
Hehe, I checked the post very often last night. I need practice on my patience .
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