New to the Planted Tank world and NEED HELP!!! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-10-2010, 06:45 AM Thread Starter
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New to the Planted Tank world and NEED HELP!!!

Ok, so I will start off by telling you what I am working with and then let you know the problems I have been fighting.

55 Gallon DAS tank with stand and Canopy.
4 96watt coral life lights (two of the retro fit kits) I have been running two of the 10,000k and one antic. 10 Hours a day.
XP3 with bio stars, and ceramic rings plus the normal filter material.
Heater.
5lbs co2 bottle with Rex Grigg's regulator, bubble counter, and diffuser.

In the tank I have:
Soil Master Complete Carbon Substrate (about 2 inches in the front and 4 in the back).
Two pieces of drift wood.
A hand full of reasonably sized rocks
A pretty big variety of plants, but hardy normal stuff.
3 Clown Loaches
4 Zebra Danios
1 Pleco
3 Otto's

Problem #1
The tank has been running for about 40 days now, everything was going well till I figured out I had BBA on some of my swords. Last night I dipped them in a 1:5 solution of h2o2 for about 30 seconds, rinsed them and put everything back in the tank. This morning most the BBA was red which from what I read means it's dead.

Problem #2
I was about to go to bed tonight and saw one of my clown loaches has Ich, I tried to get a pic but he was not making it easy. He has about 8 salt grain sized spots on his body. I turned the heat up to 85 but will the ottos and pleco be ok? I also added 1 1/8th Cup of table salt to the tank. How long should I leave this in here, and how long should the heat be up? Should I still by meds or will this be enough?

Problem #3
I bought the Rex Grigg's c02 setup, everything works great. I did a water change Friday night and since then when the c02 is running (on a timer with the lights) it will blow a bit of bubbles out about every 7 seconds. It wasn't doing this before the water change. I thought there might be an air leak somewhere but its from the c02 because when I turn it off it stops. I have the diffuser mounted longways is this an issue? I included a picture. I have ordered a drop checker, but for now I have been using the chart, says I'm at 60ppm which maybe I am because I am running like 5-6 bps. The fish show no signs of it though. The guy at the LFS said to run it up as high as possible till you see the fish up top looking for air.

Ph 6.4
Ammonium 0
Nitrites 0
Nitrates 0
KH 5

About 3 days ago I have started using Rex's Ferts as directed and have been using the Flourish Excel daily till the BBA is completely gone.
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-10-2010, 12:22 PM
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Problem #1 doesn't seems like a problem at all. It's dead now, so just remove the affected leaves and let new growth come in.
Problem #2 Scaleless fish can be prone to Ich, but the real question is where it came from. Make sure to try and purchase a QT tank or at least buy from a reputable lfs. The temp and salt alone will most likely not get rid of it. Especially on a scaleless fish like your clowny. Try meds at about 1/4 of recommended dosage and keep a real close eye on your oto's. Keep the temp up.
Problem #3 Did you jar something with your co2 setup whilst water changing? sounds like you hit the nail on the head to me . . . air leak somewhere. Go through the entire system start to finish and tighten all the hoobabs until you find the problem.
Good luck, your tank looks real good by the way. You should put some pictures sometime down the line when it fills in a little more!

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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-10-2010, 12:51 PM
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#1: Same response as Bear, but you should also ask how do I keep rid of it. There is a problem and usually with BBA it is a CO2 problem which takes me to #3. It almost seems to me as if there is something clogged. Read this article. It may be a leak, but it may also be clogged. Once you get your CO2 corrected, your BBA should also go away.

#2....get yourself a 10gal tank, a tetra heater and a sponge filter and air pump. This will be a hospital tank or acclaimation tank for sick or new fish. You don't want to be using meds or salt in your main tank. The best thing with ick is to treat with meds, and quick. That clown won't last long unless you get him some meds.

#4....lights...are you saying that you have (4) 96watts bulbs or you have a total of 96 watts? Also, you don't want to run actinics in a planted tank. Also, if you are running (4) 96 watts of 10,000K, that is alot of light for 10 hours for a 55 gallon tank. I would go with some 6700K bulbs or the 10,000k/6700k combo bulbs and run 2 for 8 hours with a 2-3 hour burst of the other two.

Hope this helps!

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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-10-2010, 02:07 PM
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Looks good.
For the CO2 reactor to work properly, it has to be placed vertically.


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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-10-2010, 02:47 PM
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agree with all the above. The likely cause is undissolved CO2 due to your reactor not being vertical and/or you leaving the CO2 on while having the filter off during the water change.

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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-10-2010, 06:34 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dewalltheway View Post

#4....lights...are you saying that you have (4) 96watts bulbs or you have a total of 96 watts? Also, you don't want to run actinics in a planted tank. Also, if you are running (4) 96 watts of 10,000K, that is alot of light for 10 hours for a 55 gallon tank. I would go with some 6700K bulbs or the 10,000k/6700k combo bulbs and run 2 for 8 hours with a 2-3 hour burst of the other two.

Hope this helps!
Ok I have moved the regulator where its facing more downwards, I know it doesn't look like I did much. Believe me I had to tear apart all the plumbing, It's the best I can do without moving everything around. The shelf in there is preventing it from standing straight up and down. Should this work just as well? The bubbling issue I was having is now gone.

As the lights go I have 4 96 watt bulbs, I am only running 2 10,000k's and one antinic. I know the antinic isn't needed, but I really like the color it makes the tank. When I am gone for a few days I unplug it so it doesn't get used when people aren't looking at the tank. There is nothing in the 4th bulb spot because the ballast went bad. It's on my to do list to buy a new ballast and a 6700 bulb. One of the 10,000k is pretty old but works, should I replace that bulb with a 6700 or a 10k or is it ok to keep using it?

Once I get the other stuff ordered and installed I will tune back the light. When should the light burst happen? Like in the middle of the 10 or 8 hour block? So simulating high noon?

I am off to buy ich meds, so I will keep you updated on that situation. Good news is that the clown loach with ich is acting fine and eating. Watched him eat a snail about 15 mins ago.

Now for a new issue, I have my heater turned all the way up and the tank will only just barely break 81 degrees. Might be able to get a bit more with the lights on. I had a really nice Marineland heater, but I was stupid and forgot to turn it off on my first water change and broke it. Replaced it with a generic brand heater rated for 75 gals. Any thoughts?

Finally, after dipping a few days ago the plants don't look stellar. Will they recover? I can post some pics later but I need to be studying for my finals!
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-11-2010, 12:27 AM
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75-78 is fine on temp. I know you are trying to treat the ich, but 78 is fine for treatment. get a higher wattage heater when you can afford, but for right now, the one you have should work fine. The dip will ... do things to plants. Melt, twist, kill, etc. If your roots are looking good you should be fine, just snip off the dying leaves and let new growth come in. By roots looking good i mean white, not dark yellow, black or brown.

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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-11-2010, 04:52 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice Bear, turns out the heater had enough juice to get it there. When I got home from school today it was at 86, I just needed to give it sometime to get there. Hopefully this Ich issue will be over soon and I can get back on track and have my plants start growing!
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-11-2010, 05:07 AM
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Seriuosly? with the plants that youre growing, co2 isnt even necessary. Echinodorus sp. will thrive in a pile of (worm) poop. Shame on all these viewers for ntohelping this guy out sooner. I recommend root tabs and Excel and keep it simple.

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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-11-2010, 05:11 AM Thread Starter
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Chad,

My initial plant purchases was for mainly to get some stuff in there to help cycle the tank and start on my greenery. I plan to grow a lot more stuff once things have setup a bit. Tank is barely 40 days old. I also came at it with the perspective that I wanted to have all the necessary tools on hand. Which included 384 watts of light and c02, I agree that I don't need it at this point in time but I plan to soon
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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-11-2010, 11:05 PM
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Ok, I understand now that my raging is over. In that case yes, youre off to a great start. Your swords look really nice already. They get huge so snipping off a couple leaves isnt going to hurt them at all. My friend put some radican swords in his pond last year and they got about 2 1/2 ft. across so if they do get too big for you thats an idea. Good luck with your tank!

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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-12-2010, 01:28 AM
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I had those very same rocks in my planted tank and my KH was climbing 1-2 points per week. I took them out and it stopped. Have you tested your KH and GH?

How much did you pay for Rex Grigg's regulator, bubble counter, and diffuser? I want this same set up.
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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-12-2010, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chad320 View Post
Seriuosly? with the plants that youre growing, co2 isnt even necessary. Echinodorus sp. will thrive in a pile of (worm) poop. Shame on all these viewers for ntohelping this guy out sooner. I recommend root tabs and Excel and keep it simple.
Helping him how? By giving him bad advice? Sooo.... now plants don't require CO2? Giving the plants a bath in an oxidizing solution is a temporary fix for a problem that is caused by too much light and not enough CO2. Wonder how much excel you'd need to feed a over-lit 55 gallon tank.


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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-12-2010, 06:28 PM
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Clown loaches and ich is no joke. My normal salt and temp raise did not do the trick last time and I lost two. One of the most depressing fish losses since I started keeping fish. Ugh to having to quarantine feeders from then on....

Keep in mind that once you see ich on a fish in your tank, all the rest have ich as well. Some just don't aren't as susceptible or show it as easily/quickly. How are the loaches doing with the meds?

Also keep in mind that the pleco and otos will be competing for food. In my experience, the pleco will fight hard for the good green stuff and will usually win. Try to keep an eye on your otos, although most of that will go on after lights out.
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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-12-2010, 11:29 PM
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Helping him how? By giving him bad advice? Sooo.... now plants don't require CO2? Giving the plants a bath in an oxidizing solution is a temporary fix for a problem that is caused by too much light and not enough CO2. Wonder how much excel you'd need to feed a over-lit 55 gallon tank.

Agreed! All plants under any lighting conditions benifit from Co2. I think that this person needs a drop checker and large water changes with a non N and P fertilizor.
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