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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-28-2016, 04:49 PM Thread Starter
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Newbie Needs Help

Hi All,

I'm a newbie to posting, but I've used the Planted Tank as my guide to set up my tank a couple years ago. I have a Fluval Spec V with a Nerite Snail, Mystery Snail and 7 mature (no longer egg laying) female RCS.

I recently had the original Fluval light burn out and decided it was time to do a reboot of the tank. I replaced the substrate with CaribSea Eco Complete, A Marimo Moss Ball, Cryptocoryne, Bacopa. I purchased a Finnex Stingray aquarium light as well as replacing all the filter materials.

I cycled/primed the tank with the plants in and I've done a 20% water change once a month, water tests great. I leave the lights on (timer) for 10 hours a day and feed once every few days. The shrimp/snails seem to be doing great. The plants, however, are not doing so well. They are turning a little brown and they are bubbling quite a bit. I'm also noticing more algae on the sides (there was never any before the reboot).

Any suggestions on changes I should try?
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-28-2016, 07:10 PM
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I guess the Stingray is a lot stronger than the stock lighting. Set it for 6 hours a day and you need to fertilize the plants with the basic iron and potassium fertilizer now. I'd also either buy some floating plants or shade the top of the tank with window screen mesh until the plants perk up and the algae growth slows down.

Wipe down the tank to get rid of those diatoms. You could try dusting off your plants then doing a water change to get some out of the tank. Otos are champion diatom eaters if you want to have a couple fish with your elderly shrimp ladies or let the tiny snails that probably hitch hiked on the plants stay.

New plants generally die back quite a bit in new environments too. I was completely shocked when a tiny crypt put into my new nano didn't do so as that plant melts into horrible goo on me every time I pull it up and rescape the big tank.


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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-28-2016, 09:39 PM
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Agreed and you may need to supplement other macronutrients depending upon what your current parameters are. The Stingray on a Spec V will likely put you into medium light territory, at least the lower end of it, given the depth.

What are current parameters?
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-01-2016, 03:05 PM Thread Starter
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I think you are speaking of the Stingray's parameters: (20) 7000k + (4) Actinic Blue LEDs + (4) 660nm Red LEDs
True 660nm RED High CRI Scoring LED Bulbs
10 Output Watts
Tri-color Blend to Promote and Showcase Inhabitants

The tank itself is 17.2 x 10.6 x 6.3 Inch and I have the substrate at 3" deep.

And thanks for the suggestion for Otos! I had them with my last round on this tank, but didn't replace them when they passed away. I'll get a couple to see how things work! I'll also try some fertilizer and maybe some guppy grass.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-01-2016, 04:15 PM
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Water parameters. pH, GH, KH, nitrate, nitrite, ammonia.

I have to add nitrate, phosphate and other nutrients to my tanks for plants to be happy. With the brighter light you may need to add them now. Water changes and critter poop can provide enough for dimmer tanks.


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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-01-2016, 05:46 PM
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I also think it's possible the increased lighting may have caused an uptick in nutrient absorption by the plants. Have you considered using something like Seachem Flourish and/or Flourish Trace? Also doing a google image search for "aquarium plant deficiency chart" has helped me in the past isolate issues I've had.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-18-2016, 09:48 PM Thread Starter
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Ok. I've ordered Fluorish. Water parameters are all within normal limits, except for the Ph (8.2). I've reduced the light time to 6 hours. I added two Otos, but one died this week, along with one of my old RCS (possibly just a coincidence). The algae on the walls is much decreased, the plants are looking a *little* better. I'll post back once the Fluorish arrives, fingers crossed and thanks for the encouragement and information!
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bacoba, caribsea eco complete, cryptocoryne, finnex stingray, lighting

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