Newly Planted Nano Aquarium - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-14-2016, 06:32 PM Thread Starter
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Newly Planted Nano Aquarium

Hi all,

New to the forum, and new to planted aquariums. As such, I have a few questions that I can't seem to find answers too, or just need a second opinion(s).

To start, I have:
- Fluval Spec III 2.6-gallon
- 7.7 lbs Seachem Flourite Black Sand
- Stock 7000K high-output LED light (not sure of wattage)
- Gainor 45 watt LED full-spectrum grow light
- 25 watt Neo-Therm heater in filter area
- DIY CO2 (1/2 tsp of yeast, 1 tsp of baking soda, and 2 cups of sugar)
- Rhinox drop checker
- inTank Fluval Spec media basket w/sponge and Purigen
- Dwarf Baby Tears
- Staurogyne repens
- No fauna
- Seachem Nitrogen (5 drops 2 x week)
- Seachem Phosphorus (8 drops 2 x week)
- Seachem Potassium (10 drops 2 x week)
- Seachem Iron (5 drops every other day)
- Seachem Flourish (7 drops 1 x week)
- Seachem Flourish Excel (10 drops daily for hair algae)

I planted the tank on 17 July. As expected, the Staurogyne repens dropped their leaves (I assume they were grown emersed), however, the stems are healthy, rooting, and are starting to bounce back with some new growth. HC has experienced a slight bit of die back here and there, but not much. They are dropping roots, and seem to be adjusting slowly to the aquarium. I know HC isn't recommended for beginners, but I have my heart set on an HC carpet, and I have read everything I can on it (the repens also).

I can't find the wattage for the stock LED light, and worried that the HC wasn't getting enough light. They seemed to be growing up and not spreading (trying to carpet the repens and the HC), so I added the 45 watt grow light. As I hoped would not happen, the tank developed an algae problem within a few days of adding the grow light.

My questions:
1. I know I don't have the wattage for the stock light, so it may not be possible to answer with any degree of accuracy, but I'll ask anyway (maybe someone knows the wattage of my light). Anyway, do you all think that I'm using too much light? If necessary, I can raise it higher above the tank to reduce the intensity.

2. Looking at the photos, can you all determine if I have hair algae? I had more of the stuff yesterday, until and spent about four hours removing as much as I could from the plants. I also removed a ridiculous quantity of dead Staurogyne repens leaves from the tank - the water went from slightly cloudy to Purigen-clear within a few hours. I am speculating that the rotting detritus was contributing to the algae bloom?

3. I am not sure how accurate the drop checker is, but the aquarium definitely looks to have too much CO2 for fish and shrimp (the color looks lower than the lowest reading on the color chart that came with the dropper). However, this amount should be fine to jump start the plants? I know that HC, in particular, thrives in high-light and high-CO2 conditions.

4. I have read that there are plants that are sensitive to Flourish Excel overdosing, but none of the sources actually list the plants. Is HC and Staurogyne repens sensitive to Flourish Excel overdosing? H2O2 overdosing? If safe, I would like to hit the algae with both. What would be safe amounts of each given the plants?

5. How does my ferts dosing look?

6. I have little white flatworms on my glass. Are they harmless?

I know I've posted a lot. Any information is greatly appreciated.

- Koda
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Last edited by Koda; 08-14-2016 at 09:38 PM. Reason: Trying to upload pics.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-15-2016, 01:21 AM
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1. Wattage is not really a good way to measure light intensity, PAR is much better. In this case I doubt you could find the PAR ratings for your light online. But, I would definitely raise the light if you are having algae issues. It's hard to know whether you are using too much light without PAR readings. HC doesn't actually need that much light to grow, so you could probably cut it back somewhat. Also, because you don't have any large stems, you have nothing that really utilises the probably high amounts of light.
2. Yes the rotting organic waste would have been part of the reason why you got algae. Although, algae within the first few weeks of setting a tank up is normal. That being said, a well maintained tank shouldn't be completely smothered by it. Water changes and products like Purigen at the start to remove organics are really important to get a good start.
3. The colour looks really yellow, if you want to house fauna you will need to lower it. The plants probably won't even need that much CO2, just try and get it to a lime-green colour. You used 4dKH water to make the drop checker solution right?
4. No, plants like Vals are sensitive to Excel. Just dose the recommended amounts on the bottle. If you are using it to spot treat just take a little bit and hit the algae directly with a syringe. Plants hit by it will suffer a little, but it's not really a big issue.
5. Drops are a bit hard to gauge. I would just follow the recommended dosing on the bottles using a syringe. You have a pretty undemanding plant load, so you won't need to dose super high amounts of nutrients. Don't dose Iron so regurlarly, you don't need as much of it compared to the Macros (NPKs). Dose those 3 times a week maybe (as in those 3 all in one day 3 times a week) and the Micros (Flourish Comprehensive and Iron) 2 times a week. For future referance if you get a big tank consider getting dry fertilisers to save some money.
6. Yeah they are probably feeding on the decaying plant mass, fish will eat them.
Other points: Move your drop checker to the right side so it's doesn't block the viewing area.
Next time plant your HC in smaller clumps, it tends to do better that way.
Considering getting some epiphytic plants like Anubias to cover the driftwood just cus I think it would look nice.
Also consider getting some fast growing stems. They could add colour, help outcompete algae and could give a focal point to the right corner of the tank.
Hope this all helps.


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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-16-2016, 12:37 AM Thread Starter
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Hi Opare,

Thank you for the quick advice. I'm going to contact Fluval to see if they can give me the PAR rating for the stock light. I did raise the grow light today, but when I came home the algae had exploded! As I don't have fauna, what is the max dosages of Excel and H202 that I can hot the algae with?

Not sure if I used a 4dKH solution in the drop checker. I used 5 drops of the solution that came with the drop checker and 2ml of distilled water.

Thanks for the other tips. It makes sense to plant the HC in smaller clumps. Also, I do plan to move the drop checker. I just have it there for quick and easy reference until I get my tank stable. Still looking into some other plants too.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-16-2016, 07:40 AM
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Newly Planted Nano Aquarium

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koda View Post
As I don't have fauna, what is the max dosages of Excel and H202 that I can hot the algae with?



Not sure if I used a 4dKH solution in the drop checker. I used 5 drops of the solution that came with the drop checker and 2ml of distilled water.
You could use a 2x dosing but rectifying the issues that are causing the algae is a better method of getting rid of it than blasting your tank with Excel/H2O2.
Okay so for a drop checker to work properly you need a 4dKH solution of water which you mix with the indicator solution. There are guides online on how to make this using baking soda and distilled water. The distilled water you're using means the readings for CO2 you are seeing won't be correct.
I would suspect your algae is going crazy because your CO2 levels are probably a bit low, there is a lot of light and a lot of decaying organic material. I would advise more water changes to try and remove the organics, as well as manual removal of the algae. Also, fix your drop checker sotuation and adjust your CO2 accordingly.


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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-17-2016, 11:42 PM Thread Starter
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Agreed that I need to figure out what is causing the algae. Since hammering the tank Monday night, I haven't used the glow light and the algae hasn't returned. Currently researching the recipe for the 4dkH and I am anxious to see where my true CO2 levels are. All this time I believed them to be very high, when in fact, as you mention, they may very well be low.

So I contacted the seller Amazon seller for the grow light PAR rating and this was his response, "And the 45W grow bulbs'PAR about 1700lux". Will the lux rating get me close, or do I need to contact him again for the PAR (I seriously doubt he will know it)? I will try to contact Gainor directly and ask them. Have yet to receive a response from Fluval regarding the PAR rating for the stock aquarium LED. Very frustrating.

In the meantime, I am keeping up daily with removing the dying plant material. Most of the leaves that are going to die have already done so and have been removed.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-18-2016, 02:22 AM
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I'm no expert but I do know lux is pretty useless and I'd a completely different animal than PAR. You can try asking but I doubt the average EBay or Amazon seller will provide Pat numbers. IMO 45 watts is way way too much light for that tank. This forum is dead otherwise I'm sure people would be chiming in on that. I suggest not using it at all at this point. Find a small led with some proven grow potential to supplement the stock one once you get your algae under control.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-22-2016, 10:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apistolover39 View Post
I'm no expert but I do know lux is pretty useless and I'd a completely different animal than PAR. You can try asking but I doubt the average EBay or Amazon seller will provide Pat numbers. IMO 45 watts is way way too much light for that tank. This forum is dead otherwise I'm sure people would be chiming in on that. I suggest not using it at all at this point. Find a small led with some proven grow potential to supplement the stock one once you get your algae under control.
I agree. There are several ways to measure light like Lumens and watts and lux and on and on. I mistakenly bought a photography light meter to measure the intensity of my light in f-stops. I suppose I could measure to determine at which f-stop my algae starts to grow. PAR is more helpful though. There is also a measure called PUR that is useful.

Really all you have to do is play around with the light. Turn them down to where the plants just start to pearl and see what the algae does. The lights may look too dim to your eyes but your eyes don't know. After that, turn the lights up to see if you can get away with a little more. You don't really need to measure the light because your algae has done the measuring for you.

To keep your DIY CO2 consistent try mixing it at lights out. That way it can go crazy overnight before settling down for the next day's CO2 production. The other side of this is you need to know how long it can run before it begins to slow down and you have to remix it.
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