What Is Wrong With My Tank? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-11-2009, 01:25 AM Thread Starter
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What Is Wrong With My Tank?

I have a 20 gal tall that's fairly heavily planted. I had 2 apistogramma but now I only have the female left and she hardly eats. The tank has been set up for a little over a month. I was regular on my water changes (2x a week) but now I do it about once every week and a half. I've been dosing once a week Flourish excel, potassium, iron, and comprehensive supplement. I don't have any meters to do any readings so I know nothing. My plants are melting but still making roots. The indica in one of the pictures is melting on the bottom half and then rooting where the melting is ending. Some of the micro swords are making runners but that's about it. My lighting is a coralife 10,000K 65 Watt. And I'm not doing any kind of CO2. I know little to nothing about planted tanks. This is my first planted tank ever. Please let me know what you think might be wrong with it and how to fix it!

Pictures are before and after and pictures of the melting.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-11-2009, 02:30 AM
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I believe it's either the water is too soft or too hot.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-11-2009, 02:43 AM
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Since that substrate looks like ADA Amazonia, I'm going to guess that the ammonia levels in that tank are probably still off the charts.

You need to get some test kits and get a handle on your ammonia and nitrite levels. Those are most likely what are killing your fish.

ADA substrate requires a good deal of cycling and water changes, typically 50% daily for weeks, since it releases tons of ammonia at first.





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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-11-2009, 03:38 AM
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Not sure if it might have anything to do with your problem but how long is your photoperiod?
You might also want to remove that melted plant matter, if lauraleellbp is right about your substrate releasing ammonia (i have no personal experience with ADA substrates) because that's going to add a butt load of ammonia from the decomposition process. Just replant the rotala indica that's still alive.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-11-2009, 05:55 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by gamexeater View Post
Not sure if it might have anything to do with your problem but how long is your photoperiod?
You might also want to remove that melted plant matter, if lauraleellbp is right about your substrate releasing ammonia (i have no personal experience with ADA substrates) because that's going to add a butt load of ammonia from the decomposition process. Just replant the rotala indica that's still alive.
my photoperiod is a little over a month ago to yesterday. If I leave the melted plants in there, what harm will it cause?
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-11-2009, 05:57 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by lauraleellbp View Post
Since that substrate looks like ADA Amazonia, I'm going to guess that the ammonia levels in that tank are probably still off the charts.

You need to get some test kits and get a handle on your ammonia and nitrite levels. Those are most likely what are killing your fish.

ADA substrate requires a good deal of cycling and water changes, typically 50% daily for weeks, since it releases tons of ammonia at first.
The substrate is not ADA. It's actually from a tank that had been set up/tore down a while ago... So I believe that ammonia shouldn't be a problem. Nitrites however... what are high nitrites caused from?
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-11-2009, 05:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lauraleellbp View Post
Since that substrate looks like ADA Amazonia, I'm going to guess that the ammonia levels in that tank are probably still off the charts.

You need to get some test kits and get a handle on your ammonia and nitrite levels. Those are most likely what are killing your fish.

ADA substrate requires a good deal of cycling and water changes, typically 50% daily for weeks, since it releases tons of ammonia at first.
it's not ADA but the ammonia could definitely play a big role on this tank. Get a filter with carbon media. you need to invest in some more tools if you're planning to make that tank purty again. since you dosing, you should always have some sort of meter to monitor the dosage. check for ph, nitrate, nitrite, and ammonia. those elements are going to be your growing compound including the nutes.

It look like you already spent a good amount on the fauna, why not a little more to keep it alive.

Good luck
still a sexy tank btw
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-11-2009, 06:42 AM
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still a sexy tank btw
LOL can you explain to me what makes an aquarium sexy?
Very impressive first planted tank though. You definitely did your homework. Hope you get this figured out!

Oh and one thing, it looks like your power head on the right has no cage around the intake - i'd be concerned about a little fish getting sucked up, that once happened to one of my ottos when i forgot to unplug it while i was rinsing the cage out. It spat out a ground up otto. Might sound funny but it wasn't LOL.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-11-2009, 08:38 AM
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What species of Apistogramma are you keeping? What is your dGH and dKH like? For finicky Apistogramma I feed frozen brine shrimp or bloodworms.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-11-2009, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by carlyq333 View Post
my photoperiod is a little over a month ago to yesterday. If I leave the melted plants in there, what harm will it cause?
Hi, just thought I'd explain what is commonly referred to as photo period. It is the period during which photosynthesis takes place, meaning how long do you keep the lights on every day. Most of the high tech setups keep 8 hours, at least I do. Some low tech, low light people have photo periods of 12h or even longer.

You should definitely remove the melted plants in my opinion. Decaying plant matter will eventually turn into ammonia and your aquarium may not be able to handle it. It also usually promotes algae.

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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-11-2009, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by carlyq333 View Post
my photoperiod is a little over a month ago to yesterday. If I leave the melted plants in there, what harm will it cause?
Like Regloh previously posted photperiod refers to how long your lights are on each day. The melted plants will eventually, through bacterial processes, be converted into ammonia and later into nitrates which in high concentrations is harmful to your fish. But ya..Regloh pretty much covered the question.

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Originally Posted by carlyq333 View Post
Nitrites however... what are high nitrites caused from?
Basically through different nitrifying bacteria for each stage, ammonia is converted to nitrites which is then convereted to nitrates (Nitrogen cycle). If you have high nitrites it means that the bacteria responsible for converting nitrites to nitrates are either not present (incomplete cycling, which i doubt is your case) or there's some sort of spike via the introduction of a lot of ammonia.
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-11-2009, 04:17 PM
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Noticed that you planted your stem plants all bunched together. That looks good at first, but will lead to rotting stems. You should pull them apart and plant single (or double/triple) stems. Once they root and grow they will get bushy and not rot.

And ammonia is a great plant food. Toxic to fish, but doesn't cause plants to suffer.

Your light is too much for a tank without CO2... I can see algae in your future.

And finally, there is a lot of speculation about Ammonia and Nitrites here. Buy a test kit and test for it. If there is any, keep doing larger water changes or relocate the fish.


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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-13-2009, 11:17 AM
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Your light is too much for a tank without CO2... I can see algae in your future.
Agreed, way too much light for no Co2, either add gas or change to a smaller
light fixture.

If you had Co2, then the plants would be using/eating up the ammonia under
the intense light, so, in a sense if you had Co2 it would alleviate/remove the
ammonia through plant growth/consumption.

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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-13-2009, 04:13 PM
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Apistogramma tend to die in tanks that have not been fully established. One month is nothing.

You really need to get a test kit. It will last forever and save you a lot of trouble.


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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-14-2009, 05:08 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by AzFishKid View Post
LOL can you explain to me what makes an aquarium sexy?
Very impressive first planted tank though. You definitely did your homework. Hope you get this figured out!

Oh and one thing, it looks like your power head on the right has no cage around the intake - i'd be concerned about a little fish getting sucked up, that once happened to one of my ottos when i forgot to unplug it while i was rinsing the cage out. It spat out a ground up otto. Might sound funny but it wasn't LOL.
Yea, I didn't have a cage or whatever before and I think it ate my 2 pygmy cories. Luckily I didn't see it...
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