Nano Tank is Still Dragging Along After 2 Years... - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-20-2016, 07:42 PM Thread Starter
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Nano Tank is Still Dragging Along After 2 Years...

Hello All,

Wondering if anyone has any sage advice on my 5 gallon planted nano which is languishing after 2+ years of adjustments and upgrades.

Basic observed issues are:

- Yellowing of plants
- Slow growth
- Weak rooting of plants (other than dwarf grass)
- Constant low-grade algae bloom: green dust and/or fuzz algae
- Occasional BGA blooms, normally lurks in substrate and emerges when I crank the CO2 too high
- 1 attempt to introduce 8 RCS - all perished within 3 weeks
- Overall, not the lush green aquascape I've always aimed for

Levels are pretty consistent in normal range:

- Ph: 6.6-6.8
- Kh: 3 drops to turn yellow
- Nitrate: 0 ppm
- Ammonia: 0 ppm
- Phosphate: 0 ppm

Setup is:

Equipment -

- Powerhead and carbon+ceramic media filter rated up to 20 gal. 20 inches below tank
- Flex Mini LED light @ 11 hours total ON with two 30 minute rests
- In-line heater at 68 F
- CO2 tank on during light phase at 1 bubble per 3 seconds, output positioned under outflow.
- Twinstar Nano Reactor (M3) (looks pretty but doesn't seem to affect algae)

Biological -

- Amazonia substrate, plus small amount of sand for root anchoring
- Dwarf Hair Grass
- Dwarf Baby Tears
- Ludwigia sp Red
- Eel grass
- Fertilizer is Do!aqua "Be Green" daily trace minerals and potassium
- Have also experimented with adding GH and KH

I've tried varying: photoperiod, CO2 level, fertilizer, temperature, PH, even adding waste material to invigorate the biocycle--so far nothing works. Photoperiod seems too long at 11 hours, but this doesn't seem to explain the yellowing of plants--shouldn't they be thriving given sufficient nutrients and CO2?

After exploring so many variables, my remaining suspicions are:
1) Flex Mini is said by LFS and others to provide of light for a 5 gal cube, but is LED so difficult to measure--maybe it's not actually sufficient (despite long photoperiod)
2) Pump is positioned under tank by about 20 inches for aesthetic reasons--maybe flow is diminished? Looks okay and pump is rated for 4x
3) Maybe I'm using the wrong fertilizer? Not adding something needed?

Any feedback or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

~~drownedgod
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-20-2016, 09:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drownedgod View Post
Hello All,

Wondering if anyone has any sage advice on my 5 gallon planted nano which is languishing after 2+ years of adjustments and upgrades.

Basic observed issues are:

- Yellowing of plants
- Slow growth
- Weak rooting of plants (other than dwarf grass)
- Constant low-grade algae bloom: green dust and/or fuzz algae
- Occasional BGA blooms, normally lurks in substrate and emerges when I crank the CO2 too high
- 1 attempt to introduce 8 RCS - all perished within 3 weeks
- Overall, not the lush green aquascape I've always aimed for

Levels are pretty consistent in normal range:

- Ph: 6.6-6.8
- Kh: 3 drops to turn yellow
- Nitrate: 0 ppm
- Ammonia: 0 ppm
- Phosphate: 0 ppm

Setup is:

Equipment -

- Powerhead and carbon+ceramic media filter rated up to 20 gal. 20 inches below tank
- Flex Mini LED light @ 11 hours total ON with two 30 minute rests
- In-line heater at 68 F
- CO2 tank on during light phase at 1 bubble per 3 seconds, output positioned under outflow.
- Twinstar Nano Reactor (M3) (looks pretty but doesn't seem to affect algae)

Biological -

- Amazonia substrate, plus small amount of sand for root anchoring
- Dwarf Hair Grass
- Dwarf Baby Tears
- Ludwigia sp Red
- Eel grass
- Fertilizer is Do!aqua "Be Green" daily trace minerals and potassium
- Have also experimented with adding GH and KH

I've tried varying: photoperiod, CO2 level, fertilizer, temperature, PH, even adding waste material to invigorate the biocycle--so far nothing works. Photoperiod seems too long at 11 hours, but this doesn't seem to explain the yellowing of plants--shouldn't they be thriving given sufficient nutrients and CO2?

After exploring so many variables, my remaining suspicions are:
1) Flex Mini is said by LFS and others to provide of light for a 5 gal cube, but is LED so difficult to measure--maybe it's not actually sufficient (despite long photoperiod)
2) Pump is positioned under tank by about 20 inches for aesthetic reasons--maybe flow is diminished? Looks okay and pump is rated for 4x
3) Maybe I'm using the wrong fertilizer? Not adding something needed?

Any feedback or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

~~drownedgod
Hi drownedgod,

Welcome to TPT!

That tank as a lot of potential to look really great!

Hmmm, no nitrates and no phosphates so what nutrients are your plants supposed to use to grow? It takes three macro nutrients for plants to grow: nitrogen (nitrates/N); potassium (potash/K); and phosphorus (P). Some folks include carbon (C) as a macro-nutrient. Plants also require iron, calcium, magnesium, and a variety of other micro-nutrients.

It sounds like you have the potassium and micro-nutrients but not much else. Let's try an experiment. Stop dosing the Do-Aqua "Be Green" and replace it with Seachem Flourish Comprehensive which has small amounts of N, K, and P along with micro-nutrients. Dose the Seachem 3X per week per the instructions.....don't change anything else. If you plants start to respond with better growth and better color we know we are on the right track; then we can discuss how to progress.

Roy_________
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75 Gallon, 2X55W AH Supply CF 8800K, 1XFluval F&P 2.0; 45 Gallon Tall, 96Watt AH Supply CF 6700K; 30 Gallon Long; Fluval F&P 2.0; 20 Gallon, 1X26W AH Supply LED; all with CO2 and (Calcined) Montmorillonite Clay
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-20-2016, 11:07 PM
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Also, if you have no livestock and no other source of ammonia, it seems quite possible that any nitrifying bacteria you had over the past two years have since died and your tank is no longer cycled (assuming it was in the first place). I don't know if this is what killed the shrimp, since they don't have much bioload anyways and I think the plants probably would have taken care of their ammonia. Do you know your GH? If your KH is just 3, your GH could also be low. Shrimp can have issues with low GH. Also, depending on how you acclimated them, the pH (along with GH) could be the issue. RCS seem to do a little better in harder water.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-21-2016, 03:01 PM
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Q and A from Seachem website regarding Flourish Comprehensive.

I believe the phosphate question/algae is BS but the Seachem response is valid.

Q: I have a question about why you have phosphates in your Flourish? This is the #1 culprit in algae in aquaria.

A: I believe if you check the amount of phosphorous content (< 0.01%) you'll see that at our recommended dosing this would only add 0.0005 mg/L (ppm) of phosphate to the water. This is completely negligible and poses absolutely no risk of algae growth. So unless you are planning on a 1,000 fold overdose you don't have to worry about ever getting any measurable phosphate from using Flourish. We don't sell Flourish as a macro element supplement which is why the phosphorous, nitrogen and potassium levels are as low as they are.

EI based NPK + CSM+B - NilocG Aquatics may be a better source of N P K
For about the cost of 2-250ml seachem products.

As @Seattle_Aquarist stated that tank has great potential.


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Growing is not that difficult.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-21-2016, 05:31 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks very much for the feedback, Seattle Aquarist, geisterwald, and Maryland Guppy. Much appreciated! I will definitely try switching up the nutrients as suggested and will update on the progress.
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