Quag's 3' 25 Gallon - Page 2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #16 of 282 (permalink) Old 01-30-2018, 12:01 AM Thread Starter
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It depends what you really feel caused the algae. I'm sure you mentioned it but what kind of light are you using. I saw 7 hrs full intensity after 12 days that seem like a lot if it's a high light.
Fluval fresh and plant 2.0, I'm thinking of taming it back, might try and raise it too because the back corners are fairly dark.

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post #17 of 282 (permalink) Old 01-30-2018, 12:21 AM
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I really have no experience with LED lights. But I do see your tank is only 16" deep.

You are listing PAR at around 100 in the spreadsheet. Do you have any idea how good of an estimate that is? At 16" might be even higher?

And either way, if it is 100 PAR, that is a lot of light for a new lightly planted tank. And I know you have lots of plants, but not lots of plant mass yet.

Like Houseofcards mentioned, it might just be too much light too soon. Might not be ferts at all.

And do keep the CO2 level up. Many drop 1.3 or 1.4 pH with no effect on fish. Just keep an eye on them while you dial it down.


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post #18 of 282 (permalink) Old 01-30-2018, 12:41 AM Thread Starter
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I really have no experience with LED lights. But I do see your tank is only 16" deep.



You are listing PAR at around 100 in the spreadsheet. Do you have any idea how good of an estimate that is? At 16" might be even higher?



And either way, if it is 100 PAR, that is a lot of light for a new lightly planted tank. And I know you have lots of plants, but not lots of plant mass yet.



Like Houseofcards mentioned, it might just be too much light too soon. Might not be ferts at all.



And do keep the CO2 level up. Many drop 1.3 or 1.4 pH with no effect on fish. Just keep an eye on them while you dial it down.


Seattle measured the same light on the same tank for me, 130 peak par dropping to around 100 at the edges.

The more I think about it the more Iím thinking light is a big player here. Itís awfully intoxicating to keep it high because of the plant growth I am seeing, but Iíll be willing to dim it to 60-70 % and watch for a bit.

The main reason I like it full on is to keep the corners lit up nicely, itís a big eye sore to have the middle of the tank looking great, and then the corners looking dull and dreary. Maybe Iíll toss some R. rotundifolia in the corners to provide active plant mass in the lower lit areas, and move the more demanding species into areas with adequate light (even with the fixture dimmed).

Itís a shame that even on a ďhigherĒ end light a 36Ē model is truly only 32Ē at best, otherwise the corners would be lit up nicely.


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post #19 of 282 (permalink) Old 01-30-2018, 12:52 AM
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Seattle measured the same light on the same tank for me, 130 peak par dropping to around 100 at the edges.

The more I think about it the more Iím thinking light is a big player here. Itís awfully intoxicating to keep it high because of the plant growth I am seeing, but Iíll be willing to dim it to 60-70 % and watch for a bit.
Is that 130 PAR at the substrate? If so, you are playing with fire there. Especially in a new tank.

I would really tone that down until things get going a bit. Get some mass built up, then start slowly raising it back up. And I don't know if I would ever run it full out at 130 PAR.

Good luck. I'm looking forward to seeing how it goes.


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post #20 of 282 (permalink) Old 01-30-2018, 02:09 AM Thread Starter
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Is that 130 PAR at the substrate? If so, you are playing with fire there. Especially in a new tank.



I would really tone that down until things get going a bit. Get some mass built up, then start slowly raising it back up. And I don't know if I would ever run it full out at 130 PAR.



Good luck. I'm looking forward to seeing how it goes.


130 @ substrate is correct. Aquarium co-op also did a PAR reading and got 135 @ 12-14Ē.

Iím not shy of extremely high light, but I think I got ahead of myself on a new tank. Itís been a while since my last ďrealĒ tank greater than 5 gals.

Anyway, I think Iíll go ahead and run the lights on a dimmer setting, and increase CO2 gradually.


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post #21 of 282 (permalink) Old 02-12-2018, 06:22 PM Thread Starter
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Almost 1 month since planting, things are going fairly well.

Diatoms are gone, green algae is subdued, staghorn has stopped spreading and hair algae is hardly there since I reduced light to ~75%. Picked up 3 oto cats, 5 amanos and tossed a handful of juvy orange Neo shrimp in (whatever was left in the 5.5 gallon this tank replaced). Seen a few adult male orange neo's, but all adult females are dead so we will see if a surviving population is left after a couple of months...

S. repens is showing steady growth
AR mini is starting to bounce back, although very seldom very very dark coloured growth, interesting.
R. wallichii is hardly growing, although there is some new growth
H. pinnatifida is down to 1 healthy stem, lack of light in the back corner.
H. polysperma 'rosanervig' is nothing but a weed, not showing any red colour, although I'm going to let a few stems go and see if they will colour up closer to the light.
L. repens is a weed, again not really very red, some near the surface but that's it.
R. macrandra is growing very well, just not as red as I would like .
Proserpinaca palustris is growing very well, no red colour as of now.
Added some R. rotundifolia as space filler in the shaded corner, growing well
Myriophyllum mattogrossense is nothing but a weed, had to hack it way back as the bottoms were shaded and the tops were shading too much, I'm likely going to remove this plant, using it as filler atm.
Gratiola viscidula is completely stunted, very little new growth and old growth is an ugly, pale colour.
MC carpet is growing well
UG is showing some new growth, old growth is looking rough but there is new growth so... who knows.
Crypt lutue hobbit is growing very well, crypt parva melted horribly, but is showing new growth.
All other plants are basically space filler until I find a supplier with some selection I want... My LFS has gone through 2 orders and hasn't brought in any species I requested, despite requesting plants directly off their suppliers sheet.... Oh well.

Helanthium is flowering, pretty cool! CO2 drop is right around 1.0, any more and I get a gas bubble built up in the reactor. Amazon screwed me with my surface skimmer, so for now water changes are the main way of reducing my surface scum.
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post #22 of 282 (permalink) Old 02-19-2018, 07:19 PM Thread Starter
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Small update, I've been making some small adjustments but that is basically it. Plant suppliers have been stressing me out for the last month. Everything from bad stock to wrongly sold items. Finding something in stock has been a nightmare, and not a single supplier seems too interested in taking my money to order something in.... Unfortunate really.

So, that said the H. poly sunset is not sunset, just regular poly, so for now it's space filler. Other space fillers include L. Repens, Myriophyllum mattogrossense, R. rotunifolia, hemianthus micranthemoides. Not sure what or when I'll be ordering plants I actually want to keep. Started dosing extra CSM+B because, well why not! Going to increase my Ca dosing as well to try and fix a few twisting stems, Pogostemon stellatus was twisting bad before I cut it back.

I raised the light 2.5", see photo, going to run it @ ~ 70-80%. Much better light spread and I love looking in through the top. I will be painting the bracket I made black to match the tank trim. I also turned CO2 on an extra hour early, I couldn't increase the rate without getting an annoying gas bubble in the reactor so I figured I'll increase the time CO2 is on instead. No gasping fish as of now. Also, I've started dosing 2.5mL Metricide 14 daily, not sure if it is needed but it may help with algae ??? It certainly isn't hurting anything.

As for algae, hair and staghorn are still giving me issues. All diatoms are gone and any green spot algae is within my "comfort" level, I'm hoping the extra hour of CO2 should keep me in a safer spot while the lights are on.

As for plants:
AR mini is starting to show promising growth.
Star. repens is growing steady now.
R. wallichii looks like I can save it, down to 5-6 x 3" stems.
Gratiola viscidula doesn't seem stunted anymore, I'll have to thin it out this week.
R. macrandra and Pogostemon stellatus I cut way way back, to much growth and bottom leaves were dying back. I moved the macrandra to the center and the stellatus to where the macradra was, the rocks should hide any leafless stems on the stellatus as it grows.
R. Bonsai seems to be growing again.
MC carpet is filling in.
Rotala colorata is slowly growing. Nothing impressive yet.
Hygro. polysperma is just a weed, I sold a bunch off but i find I'm cutting it back twice weekly.

The more I think, the more I want to just place an order or two for plants I would rather have, doing so should keep motivation higher and I would have less to complain about!! That's all for now, I may be thinking of adding some dwarf neon rainbows.... maybe.... shrimp population is unlikely to grow so I may as well enjoy some active fish!

Going to go H2O2 spot treat a bad area of staghorn now, anything to try and stay on top of it I guess.
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post #23 of 282 (permalink) Old 02-19-2018, 07:48 PM
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Nice update!

I would contact some of the usual sellers here for plants.

To me it's the best selection, plant health, and value.

Keep the updates coming. I am enjoying following along.
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post #24 of 282 (permalink) Old 02-19-2018, 09:30 PM
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H. poly sunset is not sunset, just regular poly
For me, it seemed to disappear over time. My used to appear as 'sunset' for about a year and a half. Now mine are almost pure green. Same plants and parameters.


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post #25 of 282 (permalink) Old 02-19-2018, 10:26 PM Thread Starter
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Nice update!

I would contact some of the usual sellers here for plants.

To me it's the best selection, plant health, and value.

Keep the updates coming. I am enjoying following along.
Being from Canada makes buying form this forum tough I'll go ahead and post a wanted ad, but I never see Canadian folks swapping much. We need to change that!


Well, 2nd update for the day. I went and spot treated some staghorn algae with H2O2 and decided to test NO3. This is AFTER my 50% water change from yesterday, API NO3 kit gave me well past 80ppm! Again, after a 50% water change! So, I shook the living hell out of the bottles and tested again, plus my tap. Tap was 0, tank was pushing 80+ ppm again, so I did a large water change and got those numbers down. I'm in the 10-20ppm range now, so tomorrow I'm thinking of another 25% or 50% as a final reset water change, and get back into my routine afterwards.

Water change TDS - 190ppm
Tank after 2 large changes - 250ppm
Tap - 420

So given those numbers I would assume my NO3 dosing is the source. I do weekly 50% water changes, so obviously I am dosing too much.

What I am planning on doing is going back to my roots and making up a liquid solution of fertilizer. I have done this in for the past 5-6 years with great success, and now I have fallen victim to "why change what isn't broke syndrome". Basically I follow aquariumfertilizer.com's mix and dose according to plant mass and algae growth. If I see good growth and algae, I cut it back, if I see no algae and slow growth, I bump it up until I find a balance, and slowly increase dosing as plant mass builds. Usually I see great growth and colour and only have to scrub algae every 4-5 weeks. Weekly 50% water changes are the normal. See pictures for a few past tanks using this dosing method.

I'll likely keep up with increased micro's as that seems to be a hot topic... no science to it, just an extra dash of CSM-B 3 times weekly and see how things go.

Oh, I guess I should acknowledge the stocking in the tank.

~ 10 CPD's
7 x chili rasboras (never see them, I'm removing them at some point)
1 x Powder blue dwarf gourami (girlfriend wouldn't let me leave the store without it....)
3 x oto cats
5 x amano shrimp
1 struggling orange neo shrimp colony
1 x juvenile purple mystery snail from the damn things breeding in my other tank.

Bump:
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Originally Posted by vanish View Post
For me, it seemed to disappear over time. My used to appear as 'sunset' for about a year and a half. Now mine are almost pure green. Same plants and parameters.
I figured it was something along the lines of that. Oh well, I have a home for the H. polysperma whenever I want it gone.
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post #26 of 282 (permalink) Old 02-23-2018, 02:01 AM Thread Starter
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Couple crappy Iphone pics from today, I also finally got a hold of a seller on some "local" classifieds with a decent selection, so I have 5 or so species ordered, should be replacing the "filler" plants I was talking about.
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post #27 of 282 (permalink) Old 03-08-2018, 02:23 PM Thread Starter
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Not much to update, most plants are growing really well, I'm constantly trimming + selling/giving away the more aggressive plants. I'm spot treating any algae hot spots with H2O2 3% and then matricide immediately after. For the most part I'm ahead of the algae, there isn't any "new" hot spots, only older ones that I'm clearing up. Running lights reduced to ~80% currently lifted 2.5" from the water surface.

My pH pen lost calibration, it read this tank as 7.8, aged RO water with 9.0 ppm TDS at 8.4 and my saltwater tank at 7.7.... so I'll go back to liquid tests while I get some calibration fluid.

I've attached my weekly totals not accounting for microbial/plant uptake.

I'm not too happy with the Macrandra colour, it's kind of washed out pail orange on the leaf top, and then a lighter pink on the underside. I think it was from reducing my overall dosing, so I'm looking into increasing my ferts again.
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post #28 of 282 (permalink) Old 03-26-2018, 03:54 PM Thread Starter
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Update time,

Staghorn is still my main enemy at this point, although I've since gone through the tank and removed the large Helanthium which was the literal definition of an algae magnet. A lot of plants were stunted/covered in staghorn so out came the scissors and everything stunted/algae covered was removed and either topped or replaced with non-stunted plants from a holding tank. Stunted growth was definitely related to me being stubborn with my current fert program, so I went ahead and picked up some straight KNO3 and am now dosing straight Rotala Butterfly EI based off of 22 gallons 3 times weekly, once after water change, once the day after and another partly through the week. If that's not enough I'll go ahead and do a 4th dose.

As for CO2, I have it cranked right up now, more than the reactor can take, nasty gas bubble stays in it for 2 hours after the solenoid closes but I'm going to try and run it like this for now and get some pH drop measurements. I may have to splice in a ball valve post reactor to increase back pressure and hopefully dissolve more into the water, but I think I'm at my limit of flow reduction as is, and I'd rather not have a pump in the tank. Might move to an in-tank diffuser, although my regulator is not the best for higher pressures to punch gas through a good diffuser.

I adjusted the flow so as to NOT be so linear, I was noticing distinct areas were algae loved a constant, directional flow. I'll watch and see if this improves.

I keep catching myself cranking up light intensity, only to drop it back down to 70-80% so I'm going to stick with it for a while, force myself to keep light reduced and watch algae response. 7 hour photoperiod.

More amano shrimp are in the future when I get around to it.

Anyways, here's a FTS after Sunday's 50% WC. Not much to show off, like I said I did quite the hack 'N' wack job, it was well needed.
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post #29 of 282 (permalink) Old 03-29-2018, 02:17 PM Thread Starter
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Had some time yesterday around the house to get some before/during/after pH readings along with kH + gH and I was again a little shocked. Today's task is to make up a batch of WC water, let sit to degas and test pH / kH /gH this weekend.

Current Parameters:

pH 7.7 (much higher than I would have thought, my tap:RO mix is 11% tap water : 89% RO, remineralized w/ MgSO4 + CaSO4)
kH 4.5
gH 9

pH drop w/ CO2 1.1

I adjusted the vertical position of the reactor to a more angled position, instead of being 90 degrees up/down, its about 70-80 degrees (so slightly more horizontal now) and immediately I heard a lot more CO2 being tossed and turned, so I knew I was on to something. I again opened the needle a tiny bit, just fast enough for the bubbles to be too fast to count accurately, I'm thinking almost 3bps (not that bps means much anymore). Anyway, because of the fittings I used and the original positioning of the reactor, I was not taking full advantage of the flow, this was causing a large bubble having the water flow passed the one "side" of the bubble. Now, there is no large bubble, after I adjusted the position the water breaks apart the bubble / tosses + turns the gas. This resulted in an immediate increase of dissolved CO2 and NO GIANT GAS BUBBLE at the end of the day. I have the CO2 come off 1.5 hours prior to the lights, and just as the lights shut off I can't hear gas in the reactor.

I also put in a bypass to this damn water softener:

kH 15
gH 17

I may, or may not, play with a mix of the non-softened water : RO and see what I can come up with. Maybe make up a mix using the same recipe as normal just us non-softened water instead. Only issue here is I would have to heat the WC water because the non-soften line does not go through my water heater. (My current mix allows for the 11% of tap to be hot hot hot and the RO to be room temp which = close to tank temp, no issues with temp swings).

One step at a time....

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post #30 of 282 (permalink) Old 04-09-2018, 02:08 PM Thread Starter
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Update.

Now I'm not sure I'm aloud to use this word, but I believe I've got some Micro Tox happening... from over doing it with CSM+B. Symptoms are badly stunted Rotala rotundifolia, macrandra, colorata, nanjenshan with deformed and small/irregular new growth, old growth is less affected but is showing poor colour. Proserpinaca palustris completely melted back and is showing no new growth after 2+ weeks. The rest of the plants are doing marginally OK, but are not stunted or showing distorted new growth. I've attached a pic of the macrandra (sorry about the quality, but you should be able to make out the distorted growth).

I have a few reasons to believe I was over doing the CSM+B. I tested NO3 after last weeks 60% water change and it was a deep orange colour, so 40-80ppm+. I was following rotala butterfly's EI dosing regime for 22 gallons of water so in theory I would have been over doing it with the CSM+B as well. So, I stopped dosing NO3 for a week, performed another 60% WC and tested again which resulted in 20+ ppm NO3, so I was certainly over doing it with the fert program. I'm thinking the volume of water is more 18-19 actual gallons just based off water changes and my mini measuring spoon set it un-accurate. So I've ordered a 0.001g scale with calibration weight to ensure I am dosing the correct amounts for the future, likely base it off 18 gallons.

I also dosed 1 week of Flourish comp. in hopes of supplying other forms of micros apart from CSM+B, which likely only added to the issues. So my plan is to either do a couple reset water changes or reduce dosing for a week, test again to see what my livestock is adding weekly. I believe I am medium stocked with medium feeding amounts.

I am now using a mix of un-softened tap:RO @ 1:3 plus gH boosting that mix by another 3 dgH @ 3:1 / 4:1 Ca:Mg. I switched to this for 2 weeks because I figured the Na in the soften water was causing some toxicity issues, but after switching to un-softened water for 2 weeks, there has been no positive response leading my to think CSM+B over dosing.

pH drop - 1.1
kH - 4.5
gH - 7
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If it were easy we wouldn't be here

My 30g Journal:
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Quagulator is online now  
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