My one month old tank is sucking badly! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-27-2016, 11:08 PM Thread Starter
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My one month old tank is sucking badly!

Nov. 14 UPDATE POST @ 7

I started this tank around Aug. 15th and my plants are dying, algae is taking over (glass, gravel, plants), and my shrimp/fish don't swim much at all nor eat. I've lost majority of my shrimp and 2 fish. I don't even see the fish eat, the food will just float right by. I had a Finnex 4g that had been running for years and I decided it was time to up the size, so I got this sweet Aquamaxx 9.1 gallon tank. I'm assuming some of the deaths may have been from the tank cycling. The only thing I brought over from the old tank was the plants and some of the rocks. I would have brought the filter/soil over but I had those really weird small tiny white parasites swimming everywhere and didn't want them to come over into the new tank.

I have a Deep Blue 10g HOB filter, a Finnex Fugeray Planted+ 30" light, Florite "Live" Gravel, used Tetra start. I dose excel, flourish, and added root tabs about a week ago. The light runs about 7 hours, which I reduced a bit to hopefully cut back on algae which doesn't seem to work. My Finnex tank had super healthy plants and I dosed ferts maybe twice a month. My fish/shrimp were also active and algae was far less. In a nut shell I took worse care of my Finnex and it thrived w/o problems, I hadn't t even checked the water in about 6 months.

Water test are below


Unrelated, what plants would you recommend, I'm thinking of a carpet type plant, maybe some staurogyne repens. I'm not going to get any plants until I get my tank on the right path.



Aug. 20th when plants were fresh over from my old tank


Currently



Last edited by Quentin; 11-14-2016 at 11:48 PM. Reason: UPDATE
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-28-2016, 12:40 AM
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Tanks suck for the first few months. Get more plants (it looks like Southern California in there). Get a clean up crew (Amanos and snails). Be patient and your tank will start to sort itself out as time goes by.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-28-2016, 04:07 AM
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Sorry to hear about your tank. My tank sucks too plant wise.
Sound like you only started macro ferts a week ago with the root tabs?
Maybe the fish are in shock from the 100% water change and cycle.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-28-2016, 04:51 AM
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In my opinion, you need a LOT more plant biomass in general, and it seems like that lighting may be on the strong side for a tank that is rather shallow. I would recommend some kind of floater for the short term at least maybe, such as frogbit or red root floater. S repens sounds good for foreground - and what redavalanche says is def close. I know shrimp in particular are very sensitive to water parameters and can barely tolerate much, so maybe hold off on them for longer in the future.

Good luck with fixing it up! hope I was of some help


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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-28-2016, 12:07 PM Thread Starter
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Alright thanks for advice, I'll add more plants.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-28-2016, 12:35 PM
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From looking at your tank from above, aim for atleast 75% plant coverage. You have a lot of light on your tank. That's most likely why your blyxa japonica is turning bronze/red, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Fill it up with easy faster growing plants and give it ferts, tlc, and some time. Trim plants that need it and replant the best looking tops (if you do any stem plants).
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-29-2016, 06:56 PM
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I have a 12 gal long, it also isn't very deep. I was having similar issues until I put a glass on top and moved the lighting up about 2 feet. It was as if a switch went off - the algae just disappeared & plants are growing so well that I have had to split the crypts twice. I agree with the other folks - get some more plants and either try a glass between the light and the water or get some floating plants.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-14-2016, 11:55 PM Thread Starter
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It's been about 1.5 months since the original post and no noticeable improvements. Added a lot of staurogyne repens about 4 weeks ago but it's not doing so well. Added a Lexan lid about 1.5 weeks ago and that hasn't cut back on any of the algae, although less evaporation. Switched out the rocks and added a layer of substrate and they both were covered in algae in about 2 weeks. The fish still hide when the light is on, I also never see my fish eat ever. Food just falls past their face, surprised they haven't starved to death. I think at this point I need to get a less intense light. Any light recommendations? I still want to grow plants but don't want my fish hiding and reduced algae. Pic as of today below

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-15-2016, 01:30 AM
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Any chance of getting either red root floaters or frog bit to cut back light? Or some hornwort that could float around the tank? Or some window screen taped to the plastic cover shielding the led's on the light ?
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-16-2016, 02:40 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by someoldguy View Post
Any chance of getting either red root floaters or frog bit to cut back light? Or some hornwort that could float around the tank? Or some window screen taped to the plastic cover shielding the led's on the light ?
Never been into floating plants (may as a last resort); I thought the lid would cut back on the light, guess not. I'll look into film/screen.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-16-2016, 03:22 AM
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You need to cover all the substrate with plants. Staurogyne is not a good carpeting plant. Try hairgrass, glosso or hc Cuba? Heard hc can be done with liquid carbon. Is there anyway you can raise up your light?? Raise your light 40% of original height will reduce light intensity by half. Do you have any cleaning crew in your tank?? Perhaps you can use your smartphone as lux meter to test your light intensity. Mine is 4000 Lux at the bottom. By the way, what kind of algae you have?? What kind of fish you keep?

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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-16-2016, 04:32 AM
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Do you dose any form of CO2? With that much light, you will need some.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-16-2016, 01:49 PM
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Based on what you've said so far you're dosing excel/glut and only dosing micros, no macros.

So there are a few things here I think are contributing to this tank not working well:
- You have way too much light for your setup. So you have a planted plaus maybe 9" from the substrate? You're probably over 100 PAR. Adding a lexan cover, when clean, might reduce that by 10%. You need to reduce it by 50% probably. Shortening the light length isn't going to fix this.
- You only have slow growing plants. That looks like blyxa and s repens? Your light level + slow growing plants means only one thing will grow fast, algae.
- You're not dosing any macros? You don't want nitrates to be zero and depending on how much you're feeding it's likely you other levels are too low as well (Phosphate, Potassium)

Without raising the light I don't really see how you're going to get away from pressurized CO2 and a proper fertilization routine. Additionally if you want to keep this light (when raised up) you should add some faster growing stem plants to the tank while it gets established. They don't have to stay there forever but they will provide a buffer while your slowing growing plants actually grow out.

If you can raise the light up, get some stem plants, and dose some macros then it should turn around.

As far as alternate lights go, a Finnex Stingray will put you at like 40-50 PAR or so for that height. It's 42 PAR @ 10".
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-17-2016, 12:31 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Wong View Post
You need to cover all the substrate with plants. Staurogyne is not a good carpeting plant. Try hairgrass, glosso or hc Cuba? Heard hc can be done with liquid carbon. Is there anyway you can raise up your light?? Raise your light 40% of original height will reduce light intensity by half. Do you have any cleaning crew in your tank?? Perhaps you can use your smartphone as lux meter to test your light intensity. Mine is 4000 Lux at the bottom. By the way, what kind of algae you have?? What kind of fish you keep?

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I agree the Staurogyne doesn't seem like a good plant for this setup. I'll order some hairgrass.
Currently I only have 3 tetras in there. I've had 2 more tetras, a few shrimp, and one cleaner fish I forget the name of, but they have all died. Was going to hold on getting more till I get things settled.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nordic View Post
Do you dose any form of CO2? With that much light, you will need some.
I dose API CO2 Booster and Flourish. Are there other liquid CO2s that I should be using?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkrohn View Post
Based on what you've said so far you're dosing excel/glut and only dosing micros, no macros.

So there are a few things here I think are contributing to this tank not working well:
- You have way too much light for your setup. So you have a planted plaus maybe 9" from the substrate? You're probably over 100 PAR. Adding a lexan cover, when clean, might reduce that by 10%. You need to reduce it by 50% probably. Shortening the light length isn't going to fix this.
- You only have slow growing plants. That looks like blyxa and s repens? Your light level + slow growing plants means only one thing will grow fast, algae.
- You're not dosing any macros? You don't want nitrates to be zero and depending on how much you're feeding it's likely you other levels are too low as well (Phosphate, Potassium)

Without raising the light I don't really see how you're going to get away from pressurized CO2 and a proper fertilization routine. Additionally if you want to keep this light (when raised up) you should add some faster growing stem plants to the tank while it gets established. They don't have to stay there forever but they will provide a buffer while your slowing growing plants actually grow out.

If you can raise the light up, get some stem plants, and dose some macros then it should turn around.

As far as alternate lights go, a Finnex Stingray will put you at like 40-50 PAR or so for that height. It's 42 PAR @ 10".
Thanks, very helpful. I'll try to order/buy some other nutrients to dose. I don't see how I can raise the light as it is made to clip to side of tank. I'm most likely going to just order a less powerful light; that seems to be the easiest way to solve my frustrations. The Stingray fixture has 27 white LEDs compared to 88 on my current setup. Just a hunch that 27 wouldn't be enough? I'll see if they make a fixture that's in between these 2. Did see that the Finnex Fugeray marine has 48 white LEDs which is a good compromise but has 96 blue; not sure I want that strong of a blue tint. Will probably have to buy a non Finnex.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-17-2016, 12:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quentin View Post
The Stingray fixture has 27 white LEDs compared to 88 on my current setup. Just a hunch that 27 wouldn't be enough? I'll see if they make a fixture that's in between these 2.
Don't count the number LEDs they aren't terribly relevant. (Could be different LEDs, different power, different lenses, etc) At the end of the day what matters is PAR and that the amount of PAR you are exposing your tank to matches the rest of the environment. Too little PAR and nothing will grow. Too much PAR and here comes the algae.

In general:
Quote:
Low light - 15-30 micromols of PAR - CO2 is not needed, but is helpful to the plants
Medium light - 35-50 micromols of PAR - CO2 may be needed to avoid too many nuisance algae problems
High light - more than 50 micromols of PAR - pressurized CO2 is essential to avoid major algae problems
Source: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/10...ead-watts.html

The CO2 that refers to is pressurized CO2. "Liquid CO2" as things like Seachem Excel, Metrocide, API (all are glutaraldehyde at the end of the day) are absolutely not the same as a pressurized CO2 system and can not be run as the sole source of CO2 in a high light environment. I think you could probably get away with a medium light environment dosing solely glut though.

PAR data is readily available for both the Planted Plus as well as the Stingray:
Quote:
30" Finnex Stingray:
Center------ 6 off center
2 166 ----- 10
6 72 ----- 37
10 42 ----- 31
12 35 ----- 27
You tank is 9.5" tall with what appears to be between 1-2" of substrate. The light will sit an inch or so off the rim, so for the same of argument lets call it 8.5" from the substrate. For the 30" Stingray that puts you around 50 PAR.

Same table for the Planted Plus:
Quote:
30" Finnex FugeRay Planted+:

1 525
2 400
3 260
4 192
6 145
8 112
10 89
As you can see this is putting you in the 100 PAR range. MUCH too high given you're only dosing glut. This PAR would be far too high even if you were running pressurized CO2 given the low amount and slow growing plants you have in there.

For ferts Flourish will take care of your micronutrients. What you need are macronutrients. So things like Phosphorus, Potassium, and Nitrates primarily. There are quite a few dosing regimens out there with EI and PPS-Pro probably being the most popular.
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