Fluval Spec V Problems - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-16-2018, 07:11 PM Thread Starter
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Fluval Spec V Problems

Hello all,

Its been awhile, but I'm finally back in the hobby and back down the rabbit hole of spending entirely too much money on aquariums.
Back in January I set up Nano Iwagumi style low-tech system. Equipment and stocking is as follows:

Fluval Spec V
Finnex Planted Plus Clip on (8 hour/day light period)
50w heater
Fluval Stratum

7 neons
3 RCS
1 otto
Monte Carlo
Anubias petite

I've got an ongoing brown algae problem that doesn't seem to want to go away, I've back the hours of light, feeding every other day, weekly water changes, etc. Not as bad as it used to be, but would have figured the tank would've been cycled for a long enough time to where I'm not having these issues. Two weeks ago, I planted the anubias and monte carlo. Not surprisingly the anubias leaves have started to become coated with BA and the monte carlo, which I bought emersed, is not looking great. Some of the strands have shown new growth and roots shooting down to the substrate, but a lot has just completely melted away. Again, not too surprising, just wanted to get opinions on whether it looks salvageable or not and what I should be doing to get the BA under control. Any input ( I won't get hurt feelings) would be greatly appreciated.

First 4 pics were taken today (before water change and algae cleanup)
5th pic was the day I planted the MC and anubias
last pic is original setup
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-19-2018, 04:31 AM
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You leave your tank light on for 8 hours a day? Your tank has hardly any plants. That's why I think you are having algae issues. You should probably back down to 4 hours.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-19-2018, 01:00 PM
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Are you doing anything to supplement the water column for the plants? It looks like your monte carlo is really not doing well. It is a very easy plant to grow but it still needs some nutrition and I am not sure that the lighting is the issue. Can you give us more details as to what you actually do and add to the tank as far as maintenance rather than just the stocking?

The monte carlo should be growing downward and carpeting and in your tank it is reaching way up and getting super leggy. That usually means not enough light but with that you also need to make sure that the bases are covered as far as nutrition. Are you testing any parameters right now like Ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, PO4? Also, is there any reason that you are not using the stock light that came with it? I recently upgraded to a Finnex Planted +CC cause I wanted to do some new plants and I am still trying to dial in the right combo and having other algae issues. With the stock light (7000K) that came with it I had great growth and very little algae issues. In fact, I was dosing CO2 and ferts every other day with that light so I might suggest to try that for a while and start out with only 6 hours a day.

PS I really like the original set up in the last pic!!
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-19-2018, 02:03 PM
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Seconded. I'm growing monte carlo in my spec V (if you click the link in my signature beware, it hasn't been updated for ages, although i might get around to doing that today). It grows fine under the stock light, although I am also injecting co2. The key to success with a planted tank is consistent dosing of nutrients. I aim for Nitrogen every other day, trace and Iron once per week. I haven't been dosing phosphate much lately as it contributes to algae growth. It might seem conterintuitive, but I promise that more nutrients actually slash algae growth by promoting plant growth!

Also, and I know this isnt what you want to hear, but MC is a pretty slow grower. It's not a plant that's going to explode overnight for you, unfortunately. Ill try and post some new pics soon on my journal so you can get a good idea of what I mean when I say slow.

Don't get discouraged, but do get some fertilizer!
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-20-2018, 04:07 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmontee View Post
Are you doing anything to supplement the water column for the plants? It looks like your monte carlo is really not doing well. It is a very easy plant to grow but it still needs some nutrition and I am not sure that the lighting is the issue. Can you give us more details as to what you actually do and add to the tank as far as maintenance rather than just the stocking?

The monte carlo should be growing downward and carpeting and in your tank it is reaching way up and getting super leggy. That usually means not enough light but with that you also need to make sure that the bases are covered as far as nutrition. Are you testing any parameters right now like Ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, PO4? Also, is there any reason that you are not using the stock light that came with it? I recently upgraded to a Finnex Planted +CC cause I wanted to do some new plants and I am still trying to dial in the right combo and having other algae issues. With the stock light (7000K) that came with it I had great growth and very little algae issues. In fact, I was dosing CO2 and ferts every other day with that light so I might suggest to try that for a while and start out with only 6 hours a day.

PS I really like the original set up in the last pic!!
Hi, thank you for the response. Right now I'm daily dosing Excel and was hoping the substrate would do it as well. Do you recommend adding additional ferts? The Monte Carlo is definitely doing better. I bought it emersed and it went through a pretty rough transition without any CO2 supplementation. It came in really long strands and I just planted it like that, which I'm guessing was not the correct way. Most of the emersed leaves have died off and been replaced by much smaller leaves and it's roots are reaching down and pulling it to the substrate. I've even got little baby plants growing out of the dragon stone. (I'll upload some updated pics when I get home) Diatoms are nearly all gone at this point too. My oto got hungry.
I changed up the lights because I wanted a light that looked a bit warmer in color. The stock light looked a bit too sterile, if that makes sense. Also, I stripped out the screw on the bracket and now the light droops which drives me crazy.
I really like how the the original scape turned out, but it was a bit too crowded in there and I decided to use most of the stone for my next project.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cbachmann View Post
Seconded. I'm growing monte carlo in my spec V (if you click the link in my signature beware, it hasn't been updated for ages, although i might get around to doing that today). It grows fine under the stock light, although I am also injecting co2. The key to success with a planted tank is consistent dosing of nutrients. I aim for Nitrogen every other day, trace and Iron once per week. I haven't been dosing phosphate much lately as it contributes to algae growth. It might seem conterintuitive, but I promise that more nutrients actually slash algae growth by promoting plant growth!

Also, and I know this isnt what you want to hear, but MC is a pretty slow grower. It's not a plant that's going to explode overnight for you, unfortunately. Ill try and post some new pics soon on my journal so you can get a good idea of what I mean when I say slow.

Don't get discouraged, but do get some fertilizer!

Thanks! Monte Carlo is definitely doing better now and diatoms are nearly gone. I'll update with more pics later. My tap water has a fair amount of phosphates in it so I think that would be a bit much but I'll get some other ferts in there. I'll have to wait until I've made my 10 post to be able to see the pics in your signature. (That's sort of an odd rule, but okay)

Last edited by Darkblade48; 04-20-2018 at 04:35 PM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-20-2018, 10:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerg View Post
Hi, thank you for the response. Right now I'm daily dosing Excel and was hoping the substrate would do it as well. Do you recommend adding additional ferts? The Monte Carlo is definitely doing better. I bought it emersed and it went through a pretty rough transition without any CO2 supplementation. It came in really long strands and I just planted it like that, which I'm guessing was not the correct way. Most of the emersed leaves have died off and been replaced by much smaller leaves and it's roots are reaching down and pulling it to the substrate. I've even got little baby plants growing out of the dragon stone. (I'll upload some updated pics when I get home) Diatoms are nearly all gone at this point too. My oto got hungry.
I changed up the lights because I wanted a light that looked a bit warmer in color. The stock light looked a bit too sterile, if that makes sense. Also, I stripped out the screw on the bracket and now the light droops which drives me crazy.
I really like how the the original scape turned out, but it was a bit too crowded in there and I decided to use most of the stone for my next project.

Thanks! Monte Carlo is definitely doing better now and diatoms are nearly gone. I'll update with more pics later. My tap water has a fair amount of phosphates in it so I think that would be a bit much but I'll get some other ferts in there. I'll have to wait until I've made my 10 post to be able to see the pics in your signature. (That's sort of an odd rule, but okay)
OK so the attached photos here are of the Monte Carlo using Easy Green, Easy Iron and root tabs over a two month period from planting on January 24 through March 21st. As you can see the stock light did it really well and I thought it filled in pretty amazingly fast. I planted it in single sprig format in the area that I wanted to cover. Last week during water change I had to mow it down cause it is getting so thick. I really don't know what I am doing right but I don't care cause this is the first time that I have been able to get a really nice carpet.

Also, yes, I would recommend some ferts for the water column. The ones that I am using seem to be doing well and work for a low tech tank really well.
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Last edited by jmontee; 07-01-2019 at 01:51 PM.
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brown algae, fuval spec v, iwagumi, low tech, nano aquascape

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