Need some help from all you pro’s - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-29-2020, 05:44 PM Thread Starter
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Need some help from all you pro’s

Alright so this fungus looking algae just showed up about a week ago and I have no clue what it is or how to fix it. I’ll list my specs because it’s easier. See if y’all find anything way off or wrong. Thanks!!

•55 gallon tank

•Substrate is organic potting soil with clay mixed in and caped off with small gravel.

•Started to convert to RO water. Tank was too hard. Still is but only doing a water change at a time to lower.

•GH 89 ppm

•PH 7.0-7.2

•Ammonia .25 ppm

•Nitrite 0 ppm

•Nitrate 20 ppm

•Co2 2-3 drops per minute

•After water change I do 3 pumps of aquarium coop easy green fertilizer and a cap of flourish potassium

•Marineland cartridge filter

•Wave maker

•Fluval 3.0 light (settings below)

•Temp 78

•Water changes about every week or so








Also kinda hard to see but I’m fighting a film on top of the water



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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-29-2020, 06:19 PM
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Elbow grease should help this out, here is what I would do:

Run lights for 5 hours a day max. Start CO2 2 hours before the lights come on, and run it right up until the lights go out. Do this when you are home from work / school so you can enjoy the tank.

Begin adjusting CO2 way up, a few drops per minute is no where near enough CO2. Which CO2 kit do you have? That drop checker is blue in your picture, I would work towards getting it to a lime green colour over the next few weeks. Yo u have quite a lot of surface agitation with the filter and wave maker, so It may require a lot of CO2 to get that drop checker into the green.

Ammonia is from the dirt, .25ppm probably isn't horrible, just keep an eye on it until you don't have any ammonia present. Also keep performing water changes as needed to keep the fresh dirt and ammonia at bay.

I would look into a complete water column dosing program. Something like PPS-Pro should work out well with the dirted substrate.

I would also source a whole bunch more plants, even if they aren't the ones you are looking for long term. Fill out that tank as best you can to help use up what the dirt is leaching initially. Sell off the plants you don't want long term as the ones you do want become available to you.

RO water needs to be remineralized as well.

1.0 degrees of kH using KHCO3 is a good start.

30ppm Ca using CaSO4 is a good start.

10 - 15ppm Mg using MgSO4 is a good start.

Head over to rotalabutterfly.com / nutrient calculator to help you determine how much to add to reach a certain goal.

Best of luck, looks like you have all the framework ready for a nice looking tank!
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-29-2020, 06:32 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quagulator View Post
Elbow grease should help this out, here is what I would do:

Run lights for 5 hours a day max. Start CO2 2 hours before the lights come on, and run it right up until the lights go out. Do this when you are home from work / school so you can enjoy the tank.

Begin adjusting CO2 way up, a few drops per minute is no where near enough CO2. Which CO2 kit do you have? That drop checker is blue in your picture, I would work towards getting it to a lime green colour over the next few weeks. Yo u have quite a lot of surface agitation with the filter and wave maker, so It may require a lot of CO2 to get that drop checker into the green.

Ammonia is from the dirt, .25ppm probably isn't horrible, just keep an eye on it until you don't have any ammonia present. Also keep performing water changes as needed to keep the fresh dirt and ammonia at bay.

I would look into a complete water column dosing program. Something like PPS-Pro should work out well with the dirted substrate.

I would also source a whole bunch more plants, even if they aren't the ones you are looking for long term. Fill out that tank as best you can to help use up what the dirt is leaching initially. Sell off the plants you don't want long term as the ones you do want become available to you.

RO water needs to be remineralized as well.

1.0 degrees of kH using KHCO3 is a good start.

30ppm Ca using CaSO4 is a good start.

10 - 15ppm Mg using MgSO4 is a good start.

Head over to rotalabutterfly.com / nutrient calculator to help you determine how much to add to reach a certain goal.

Best of luck, looks like you have all the framework ready for a nice looking tank!

Hey thanks!! I’ll definitely start working on your advice! As for the co2 I had a scare once that kinda scarred me. I had it up to high and about killed all my fish. They were all swimming at the top air breathing or panic breathing hiding under stuff. Soooo I’m a little leery when it comes to that.

Now for the light should I continue on doing the ramp up to peak light for the day and then slowly roll off or should I just have it turn on at 50% for the 5 hours then go straight off? Thanks again


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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-29-2020, 06:37 PM
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As for the co2 I had a scare once that kinda scarred me. I had it up to high and about killed all my fish. They were all swimming at the top air breathing or panic breathing hiding under stuff. Soooo I’m a little leery when it comes to that.
Many of us have had that happen. If you work slowly, over a couple weeks, you can acclimate you fish to higher CO2 concentrations. Remember, drop checkers are about 3 or so hours delayed, so just because it's blue or not quite nice and green, doesn't mean there isn't enough CO2 in the water. Work at having the drop checker nice and light green from 3 hours after the lights turn on right up until the lights go out.

Consider running more surface agitation or an airstone at night when the CO2 is off if you want to maximize the O2 in the water for the fish.

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Now for the light should I continue on doing the ramp up to peak light for the day and then slowly roll off or should I just have it turn on at 50% for the 5 hours then go straight off? Thanks again
I personally would just turn them on / off. You can do a very fast ramp up / ramp down if you want. Plants / algae don't really care. Ambient room light should be fine for fish not to be too skittish when the lights pop on / off.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-29-2020, 06:41 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Quagulator View Post
Many of us have had that happen. If you work slowly, over a couple weeks, you can acclimate you fish to higher CO2 concentrations. Remember, drop checkers are about 3 or so hours delayed, so just because it's blue or not quite nice and green, doesn't mean there isn't enough CO2 in the water. Work at having the drop checker nice and light green from 3 hours after the lights turn on right up until the lights go out.

Consider running more surface agitation or an airstone at night when the CO2 is off if you want to maximize the O2 in the water for the fish.



I personally would just turn them on / off. You can do a very fast ramp up / ramp down if you want. Plants / algae don't really care. Ambient room light should be fine for fish not to be too skittish when the lights pop on / off.

Okay and just one more question before I go adjust some settings. For the light color is it more beneficial to run a lower blue and a higher red or vice versa. Or any combo at that. On my light I can adjust the intensity and level of each spectrum


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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-29-2020, 06:50 PM
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Okay and just one more question before I go adjust some settings. For the light color is it more beneficial to run a lower blue and a higher red or vice versa. Or any combo at that. On my light I can adjust the intensity and level of each spectrum
I'm by no means a light guru, but run whichever colour you like. I would run lots whites balanced out by a lot of blue and red to your liking, you'll be looking at it every day so you should like the colours. Many of us use a combo of heavy reds off set with blues and a little bit of whites.

Here was my old setup:

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-29-2020, 06:51 PM
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For that surface film, get yourself an Eheim Skim 350. It should clean up the surface film in a minute or two. I run mine 23 hours a day, and only have it off for an hour after I feed the fish.

https://www.amazon.com/EHEIM-Skim-35...3993861&sr=8-3

Edit: I hit submit too soon. That surface film is devastating to a planted tank. It may as well be a sheet of plastic wrap laying on top of your water. It will completely stop and gaseous exchange with the surface. This is detrimental to both plants and fish.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-29-2020, 08:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktarv199 View Post
Hey thanks!! I’ll definitely start working on your advice! As for the co2 I had a scare once that kinda scarred me. I had it up to high and about killed all my fish. They were all swimming at the top air breathing or panic breathing hiding under stuff. Soooo I’m a little leery when it comes to that.

Now for the light should I continue on doing the ramp up to peak light for the day and then slowly roll off or should I just have it turn on at 50% for the 5 hours then go straight off? Thanks again


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If you can afford one, a ph controller is a good way to keep CO2 regulated. I have an American Marine Pinpoint controller that works well.

I'm a big fan of ramped lighting. I run my lights for 10 hours daily. 1200-1500 at 20%, 1500-1600 at 60%, 1600-1800 at 100%, 1800-2000 at 60% and 2000-2200 at 20%. I also run a room light that I turn off after the tank lights go off. I plan on changing the lights on my 75g and going with the same cycle. However, where the 75 has CO2 and the 40 does not, I may have to play with the times a bit.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-30-2020, 04:24 AM
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Not enough plants to consume the fertilizer your injecting so algae is taking a dominant role in the aquarium. Your need More Faster growing Plants and less meddling. All of your plants are not very fast growers, dont require heavy strong light. Try adding something that grows faster like some Valisneria and watch the difference.


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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-30-2020, 09:11 AM
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Not enough plants to consume the fertilizer your injecting so algae is taking a dominant role in the aquarium. Your need More Faster growing Plants and less meddling. All of your plants are not very fast growers, don't require heavy strong light. Try adding something that grows faster like some Vallisneria and watch the difference.
I agree with Nicepoeci in that you don't have enough plants to compete with the algae for nutrients, especially with CO2 injection. To give you an idea, the 40g breeder is low tech (no CO2) and the 75g has CO2

40B


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