23 long! Fight with bba tank journal - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-19-2017, 10:45 PM Thread Starter
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23 long! Fight with bba tank journal

So I decided enough is enough. I have had my 23 gallon long for about 4 months now running. I really liked the way I threw it together. It has been rapidly deteriorating and I need help getting it back on track.

23 gallon long (36"x12"x12")

4' 2 bulb flourescent shop light ~20 inches from substrate.

Substrate: diorite, play sand, lava rock.

Divided with moss wall dividers

Housing 5 bettas, bladder snails, rcs

Filter: 1 internal filter
Heater

Plants:
Brazililan pennywort
Java moss
Water wisteria
Jungle val
1 pothos in filter

Summary: All plants are either covered in bba, gda, or some green fuzz slime, and staghorn algae EXCEPT pothos but that has lots of dying leaves.
My tank is really ugly and I have plans for replacing dividers soon with better looking ones. Actually, I plan on rearranging most of the tank. It will be like one of those reality shows that renovate everything except I don't plan on spending lots of extra money. If it all comes down to it, maybe just dividing it into spaces to jar my males for my new dumbo breeding project. How disappointing! Hopefully I won't end up trashing all plants.

Fish are ok, except ones opposite my filter. I think they are suffering despite that I change the water 5 gallons every week.

Fertilizers: k, Fe, some trace every week by dosage on bottle. Excel sometimes.

I will post pics later tonight hopefully of this embarrassment.

Bump:

Bump: Top pic about 1 month ago
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-20-2017, 12:16 AM Thread Starter
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Plants

Bump: Plan of action:
Spend 10-20 minutes a day taking plants out, vacuuming substrate, killing bba, replacing decor, trashing decor, baiting snails, removing old dividers,

Things to put:
Second filter, new dividers, lid, set timer to 8-10 hours
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-20-2017, 05:43 AM
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Do the dividers allow for waterflow? I know its easy for algae to form when water is so stagnant. Maybe go with less light too
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-20-2017, 02:52 PM Thread Starter
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Dividers allow flow, but I really do need more filtration on my other side. And lighting is my main issue. I always forget to turn it off.


Another section that looks very ugly.
I think I will make one end no substrate. I am ordering foam dividers again that are less thick than ones I ordered 5 months ago.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-20-2017, 04:23 PM
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Keeping the water level higher will allow the water that comes out of that internal filter to move across the waters surface, to the other side of the tank, and back across the bottom. From your first photo, the water is likely short circuiting in your tank, by dropping out of the filter, down and right back in. Just a thought to get better water movement.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-21-2017, 03:03 AM Thread Starter
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Day 1: vacuumed substrate, took out some jungle val and decor. Added fertilizers. Scraped some algae off glass. Added a piece of spider wood temporarily until I find it a good place somewhere!
Tomorrow's plan is to move filter so output is even with water line as suggested and set timer for 9 hours.

I did not take a pic of the other side because it is too creepy.

The suggestions are really helpful. Thanks all.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-31-2017, 11:04 PM Thread Starter
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Here is a "before" pic of the right side.
Some things done:
Ordered new filter and dividers and planned right side renovations.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-01-2017, 07:44 AM
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What?s ur goal for the tank? Im wondering why u have dividers in
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-11-2017, 04:46 AM Thread Starter
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I got the filters I ordered and they did not work, so got another one. Everything is pretty much under construction. I have to keep taking the algae off the plants all the time.
For the record, I have a 20 gallon cat litter tank that is almost 100% algae free.
My 10 gallon has mild gda and that is all.

This tank on the other hand... Is driving me crazy. I plan on rehoming one betta who seems depressed? And then just dividing it 4 ways until I can convince myself to tear it all down and make it betta barracks. Either that or fill it with only floaters.

I am also sure my nitrates are low, but have not tested it. That may explain the fact my plants are doing terrible. And so have succumbed to algae. If I let the tank go, the algae takes over. And when I scrub the algae off the plants, I have to vacuum the debris. And it is a cycle like this. And they don't just sell KNO3 to anyone in canada. i have some orchid ferts, but don't know what other ingredients they put.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-27-2017, 02:10 AM Thread Starter
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The last photo I posted was the before. I redid it and put a filter on this side. It's just like those renovation shows now except without all the drama. My kids kept asking me to make the fish tank look like a bathroom, but no way I am doing that. So mini cafe? Mini... Breakfast corner?

Here is the after. I am hoping to keep it clean. It is like a spacious betta barracks with a plant. It's the best I can do for now because I just got some new fish that I always wanted and don't have time to keep up with densley planted tanks.
Other sections still under construction.
There is a snail perhaps waiting for breakfast on the chair.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-27-2017, 02:12 AM Thread Starter
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Another pic.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-27-2017, 03:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Fish Em View Post
And they don't just sell KNO3 to anyone in canada.
The Plant Guy and Canadian Aquatics both sell KNO3. I've personally bought from The Plant Guy and have had great service.

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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-27-2017, 06:06 AM
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Hello! I've had a tough time finding kno3 here in Montreal. The closest I've found is liquid form, aquavitro. Though I've also heard good things for the two above sites. Don't just want to pay shipping for a little bag when I already have all the other dry ferts I need...

Good luck with your tank!

it's not that simple.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-27-2017, 06:14 AM
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@requiem - Fair enough! Shipping prices can be pretty off-putting. But in just one small order from The Plant Guy I got enough dry ferts to last me for more than 2 years dosing at 3x/week.

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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-26-2017, 03:03 AM Thread Starter
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Well, I guess the fight is over and I lost. Me in this hobby is like teetering on the edge of leaving everytime something becomes difficult. I hate giving up this tank. It really was fun while it lasted. I just can't do it, nor have the time.
I am probably going to try to sell it as is in local ads.
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