Cleaning up appearance of Fluvial Spec V - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-10-2016, 04:51 AM Thread Starter
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Cleaning up appearance of Fluvial Spec V

Hello all,
Would appreciate any tips or suggestions that you may have on how to "clean up" the appearance of my tank. I'm having trouble logistically with what I'm adding for performance of the tank without completely killing the cosmetics.

What I've got: EcoComplete substrate with Flourish tabs, Finnex FugeRay LED light, standard filter is running but also have a ZooMed nano external filter. Heater in the filter pump chamber. I've just acquired a small CO2 system so I'll be adding that in as well. There's just so many tubes and lines coming in and out of the unit that its sloppy looking.

I'm having a horrendous time with algae and I'm not sure how to deal with it. I'm running the lights on timers, 4 hours on early in the morning, off during the peak of the day, on again in the evening for about 8 hours of total light. I've pulled all the plants and H2O2 sprayed and manually cleaned what I can.

I only have a handful of little ember tetras, a couple chili rasboras, an Oto and my sole remaining RCS. I love the little shrimp, but am having trouble with them not surviving, despite good test parameters on the water. Too much water flow?

I'm rambling...Is there a newbie guide somewhere?
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-10-2016, 05:20 AM
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A picture of your tank would help. How long has it been setup?
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-10-2016, 05:51 AM Thread Starter
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The tank has been running for well over a year. I'm overdue to clean it; on a weekly basis I essentially have to break everything down to clean the algae out. Current pictures would be way too embarrassing to share, especially given the gorgeous tanks you all seem to have! I've been forced to use the lid as I have an especially mischievous feline in the household that's taken to "fishing". It seems to help with evaporative water loss, but sure makes running all the tubes a challenge.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-10-2016, 06:04 AM
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No need to be embarrassed or anything. Everyone on here has experienced these same issues. It's just part of the hobby. Pictures might help people provide suggestions about how to address your issues, both the algae problems and the organization of wires and tubes.

A year is plenty long to have the tank setup, but it sounds like the system still isn't stable. Breaking everything down weekly, spraying H202, these are highly de-stabalizing in a small tank so that's not surprising. I don't really think your light is too powerful. How much plant mass do you have? What sort of plants?

As for wires and tubes, I have two of these Spec Vs, and I just try to have all the wires coming off the tank from a single corner and then going down behind the stand. Of course you can still see them, but it looks clean enough in my opinion.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-10-2016, 06:26 AM
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It's hard to hide tubing. You can switch to glass or SS if you have the cash, switch everything to the same color (transparent works, but it gets dirty inside), or you can cover the back of the tank with colored paper or paint. As for wires, bundle them with zip ties, velcro straps, or those wire ties that come with bags of bread. You can hide in-tank equipment behind tall stem plants.

To do a complete algae treatment, you can try followed by some manual removal after a week or two.

Along with the CO2, you should be dosing, periodically, with macro and micro fertilizers.

It's possible that after clearing out the algae, the ferts and CO2 might be enough to keep it from returning in force, but you may have to raise the lighting or use a dimmer if that doesn't work. Still, the addition of CO2 and ferts should definitely, at least, slow algae growth.

Generally speaking, more filtration is better, and more current is better.

There are lots of "newbie guides" in the form of stickies at the top of every forum.

Good luck! Also, you may want to take pictures. Even if you don't post them here, it's nice to be able to see your progress for yourself. It's easy to forget how things used to look.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-11-2016, 05:32 AM Thread Starter
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Posts: 4 are pictures from this evening after cleaning. I don't know which type of algae I'm dealing with. Its stuck to the sides of the class and I tend to get thick strands throughout the plants. Also, there's like a film that I get on the rocks and the larger leaves of the anubias. I just go in with a toothbrush and gently "brush" the leaves clean.

I think I have the cosmetic issue under control; have done a cut-out on the acrylic lid that seems to be working for the output of the ZooMed filter. Have started with Flourish liquid, so hopefully with the added CO2 (need to buy tubing before I can set it up..) and the fertilizer we'll make some progress.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-11-2016, 07:14 AM
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I have a Spec V, and the shrimp don't seem to have a problem with the flow from the pump it comes with. Maybe because parameters are fluctuating? They don't like it when the tank is being messed with too much or giant water changes.

As for aesthetics, honestly, I really like the filter that is built in because it has a giant sponge and you can put in whatever media you want in the holes. I have 2 of the ceramic bio filters.

I think your algae is stemming from your really strong light, and the majority of your plants are not very fast growers. CO2 will help, but it might be easier just to damp down the light and get it under control. You can dose a little Flourish excel too. I have moss, swords and anubias in there, and I use tabs bi monthly, and micronutrients dosed as instructed, and Iron and potassium dosed at half strength weekly. I just have the light it came with and a desk 13w CFL thats pretty high above the tank without reflectors.

And as a comparison, I have stingray (low light model from finnex) on my 12g long which is a couple inches shorter, and it's on the verge of too much light without CO2. The fugeray on a short tank like the fluval spec V is probably giving you light in the high light region.
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