Nearly at my breaking point - The Planted Tank Forum
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-20-2010, 05:05 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
frogmanjared's Avatar
 
PTrader: (5/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 771
Unhappy Nearly at my breaking point

I just don't know what to do with my tanks anymore. I've done everything I can with my financial state in trying to get these tanks looking good, my 5 gal was awesome for a year, but now I'm ashamed when people come over to visit and peek at my tanks. Part of the problem with the 5 gal is that its acrylic, so it has gotten scratched, and now there's algae that can never be removed and its hard to see through so I got discouraged and gave up. Today and the coming week I'm going to make my last stand with my 10 gal, cleaned out the BGA as best I could and will work with moving the crypts to a corner since the sword has gotten larger (actually sent out a flower stalk with a plant or two starting to grow!) There's only a petco around here, so I have limited plant selection to find a fast grower quickly. I've also never been able to grow nutrient suckers, like wisteria or anarchis, even hornwort in these tanks.

If anyone has suggestions on what I should to doing to succeed this time around (just want a decent looking tank with plants that actually grow) please help me out, the 10 gal link is in my sig, feel free to post there or here. I'm going to be starting up a 1.5 just to try and grow out some leftover plants that are barely surviving to see if they can recover in a different tank. Please, any suggestions or comments are helpful, I really don't want to give up on plants.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
frogmanjared is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-20-2010, 05:15 PM
Planted Member
 
Larry Grenier's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Manassas, VA, USA
Posts: 233
1st, I wouldn't put that fish in your avatar into either of those tanks...

2nd, my personal opinion is that bigger is easier rather than smaller but maybe that's just me.

3rd: tell us more about how you take care of your tanks, what's in them, hardware... so we can get a better picture of your situation.

I tried a few planted tanks in the past and failed. I recently set-up a 60-gal medium-tech after reading alot here and it's my 1st success so it can be done.
Larry Grenier is offline  
post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-20-2010, 05:33 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Eden Marel's Avatar
 
PTrader: (38/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Longmont, CO
Posts: 3,379
I have a ten gallon as well and using 2x15w GE 6500k spiral florescent lights with three CO2 bottles going into it, two of them have 1 teaspoon of yeast each and the third has 1/2. I dose NPKFeComp in that tank, no Excel.


So, I dunno. If you are having BGA problems you either do a 3-4 day complete blackout or treat it with a full regimen of erythromycin. BGA is a photosynthetic bacteria that loves light.

Maybe add more CO2 will help. I think our tanks are somewhat similar, the only algae I have is some GSA scattered here and there but it is almost unoticable and I have a nerite snail so I'm practically algae free now.
Eden Marel is offline  
 
post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-20-2010, 05:58 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
houstonhobby's Avatar
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Houston
Posts: 612
BGA can be pretty discouraging but you can beat it with Maracyn II. Then lower the light and do more water changes to keep the nitrates in control.

In general, any time you have trouble with algae, raise the lights farther up above the tank if possible, cut the wattage if possible, and cut the photo period.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
houstonhobby is offline  
post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-20-2010, 06:08 PM
Moderator
 
Darkblade48's Avatar
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Toronto/Singapore
Posts: 11,640
Several points I would like to reiterate:

As mentioned, smaller tanks are actually harder to maintain than larger tanks, because when things go wrong, they can go wrong very quickly.

BGA can be combated with erythromycin, but unless the root cause is eliminated, it will keep coming back. Lowering nitrates usually will not solve the problem because BGA is able to fix atmospheric nitrogen.

What filter are you using in the 10g tank? BGA can also be caused by a lack of flow.

Also, your tank journals seem to be out of date; for your 10 gallon, you say that your fauna is only RCS and Hatchetfish, but there appear to be other species inside the aquarium.

Finally, with the lighting you have, I would cut the photoperiod down from 10 hours to 8 hours.

Anthony


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
and
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Eheim Pimp #362 - Eheim 2213 x2, Eheim 2028, Eheim 2217, Eheim surface skimmer and Eheim autofeeder.
Victor Pimp #33 - HPT272-125-350-4M
Darkblade48 is offline  
post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-20-2010, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
frogmanjared's Avatar
 
PTrader: (5/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 771
I'm using a penguin 100 for filtration, I don't think that's causing it though, I had a different 10 gal with flow like a river and it still got a hold in the tank, not as bad, but it was still there.

I'll try raising the lights a few inches if I can find something laying around that would work, otherwise I'll try to find 10w bulbs.

The specs on the tank are the same, except I don't have co2 anymore(need to get some fast growing plants that could actually use it) only dose after water changes which have been far and few between lately, in hopes that not touching the tanks would somehow resolve some issues.

I know bigger is better, I have a 75 gal waiting in the wings once I get a better job and we can get a house. Its currently housing a turtle.

My main concern isn't the algae, its actually getting plants to grow. I mean I can get the slow stuff like crypts to grow, but I've done that in african clawed frog tanks with blue sand and no light! I've got some Echinodorus tenellus, Lilaeopsis brasiliensis, and possibly a spiral val. in a small tank in sunlight to see if I can get them to spread and put in the 10 gal. (the light for the tank isn't working, so hopefully the sun will do!) I've done this with an anubias in a goldfish bowl and a guppy, and it worked great, so hopefully I'll have luck with this as well.

Thanks for the suggestions so far!



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
frogmanjared is offline  
post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-20-2010, 07:20 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Kathyy's Avatar
 
PTrader: (35/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Newbury Park, CA
Posts: 4,203
Wow, you have had quite the battle with BGA! How are you removing it? I would siphon it off the plants and substrate with an airline daily and it would be back the next day as happy as ever. There would be tiny rods of it floating in the water ready to land and take over again.

While I was battling BGA in the big tank I set up a betta tank. BGA was in there as well. A weekly break down of the 2 gallon hex really helped and the stuff disappeared faster than in the big tank.

Have you tried fertilizing the tank with nitrate, phosphate and potassium as well as the Excel and Flourish? Try that and keep the tank super clean, no dead leaves, rinse filter media lightly in tank water, vacuum well, keep tank walls scraped off.
Kathyy is offline  
post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-20-2010, 07:56 PM
Honeycomb Master
 
Centromochlus's Avatar
 
PTrader: (122/100%)
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 6,769
Are you using any root tabs? When i used flourite, my plants really didn't grow that well until i added some root tabs. I highly recommend over_stocked's RootMedic complete tabs. I have a few extras that i can send you for free if you pay for shipping.

I know that's not the cause of your algae problems, but it may help your plant growth.
Centromochlus is offline  
post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-20-2010, 10:17 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
timwag2001's Avatar
 
PTrader: (59/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: upton MA
Posts: 3,477
it sounds to me like you try to keep you nutrients low in your tank. no nutrients = problems. you need to make sure that you have ample nutrients for the plants to not be able to run out. then you will have good plant growth which will limit algae.

do you gravel vac? do you have enough flow so that there are no dead spots?
timwag2001 is offline  
post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-21-2010, 05:00 AM
Algae Grower
 
Montbars's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: May 2010
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 93
Hmmm I know what its like to be reliant on Petco and it can suck.
Ok I would not wait for the Echinodorus and the Lilaeiopsis--both of those things are grown emersed from Petco and take a long time to morph into their submersed state, unless you have alot of light and CO2. Especially the Lilaeiopsis, it grows very slow no matter what.
When its a very small tank and it is low tech, my advice is to stick to bulb plants like aponogeton, amazon or argentine swords, obviously you can use java moss or its bigger bro Pelia, but if it is a small tank you dont want real fast growers because then you have to trim all the time, which I hate.
In conclusion, java fern, anubias, cryptocorynes, large sword plants, aponogeton, and other slow growing plants that are NOT nodular will not only grow easily and effectively but will need trimming less and will be much easier to trim. Just my $0.02
Montbars is offline  
post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-21-2010, 05:32 AM
Children Boogie
 
mistergreen's Avatar
 
PTrader: (13/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Cincinnati
Posts: 16,743
add some NPK into your tank or substrate and reduce your photo period to 7-8 hours.
But for now, clean out as much algae as you can and then turn off the light and cover up the tank so no light can get through. Do that for 4 days. The BGA should be gone.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
mistergreen is offline  
post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-21-2010, 05:37 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Chrisinator's Avatar
 
PTrader: (36/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: NJ
Posts: 2,202
If you're lookin to change up your 5 gallon tank, Petco is havi a $1 per gallon tank sale which you could probably get a bigger tank for $10-20 depending on the size you want.

In my tanks, multiple times I've had something fail, but looked awesome the day before. What I do is a put things in there and I let them grow a little bit until something pops up in my head. I'm not one shot 'scaper, and it takes time. I like tweaking things I guess it waht I'm trying to say.

Try getting a good light on the tank, medium lighting is pretty and good and starting up a DIY CO2 (https://www.plantedtank.net/articles/DIY-Yeast-CO2/7/) to provide some CO2 to your tank. In such a small tank 1, 2 liter bottle would work quite well. Root tabs and fertilizing could work. With my suggestions, you will get algae. I can't give you the exact dosing for your tank, since each tank is different.

You will get algae, but the learning part is tweaking and defeating it. Also, remember to eliminate the cause of the algae, not just the algae.
Chrisinator is offline  
post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-21-2010, 08:26 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
frogmanjared's Avatar
 
PTrader: (5/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 771
I appreciate your help everyone, but remember, I'm on a VERY tight budget so spending money isn't an option right now. I don't think root tablets will improve things greatly because my sword is very nice as are the crypts. My java fern just doesn't have the luster it once had... can a rhizome get too old? I'm thinking about just throwing it out.

Rescape idea 1: I would be willing to spend some money on a plant that grows low for the front 1/3 of the tank, but I'll wait and see if my E. tennellus propogates well in the hospital tank first. Would Marselia minuta grow in 20-30w of light?

Rescape idea 2: The sword will stay put in the center of the tank, the C. spiralis will move to the back right, what would look good in the back left of the tank??? I would prefer something that looks like a rotala to give contrast to the rest of the leaves in the tank, but wouldn't be opposed to something similar to the crypt.

I've noticed that the BGA might be sticking around even when its not visible in the tank by the edges IN the substrate, especially on the window side of the tank(12 feet away, never direct sunlight except in the dead of winter) so I'm going to cut some black construction paper to cover up the substrate visible through the glass. Since the shrimp haven't ever bred in the 10 gal, I might move the remainder back into the 5 and start using the 10 for breeding some type of live-bearer for turtle food.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
frogmanjared is offline  
post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-21-2010, 10:36 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
DarkCobra's Avatar
 
PTrader: (5/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Posts: 3,350
Maracyn II (erythromycin) often wipes out BGA completely - meaning it will never return unless it is reintroduced to a tank from another source. Look in the tanks at PetCo - if they have BGA, tell them to treat it, and don't buy until they do! Although it's important to have proper tank parameters and setup, BGA is especially pesky when it's living in the gravel edges since it's nearly impossible to get proper circulation there. For this reason, I don't hesitate to use erythromycin to eliminate a rare BGA outbreak.

Mr. Clean Magic Erasers do a great job of cleaning any kind of algae off acrylic. Much better than anything else I've tried, and even gets the stuff in deep scratches. It's very slightly abrasive to acrylic (equivalent to 2000-3000 grit). This is fine enough to slowly polish out finer scratches, so you actually get less algae regrowth the more you use it.

And of course, you need some fertilizers. A medium to heavy fish load is usually enough to grow wisteria and hornwort like crazy. Other plants are more demanding.

If your financial situation is such that obtaining any of these items is a problem, send me a PM. I have all these items to spare and can send a care package free of charge.
DarkCobra is offline  
post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-21-2010, 10:53 PM
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (6/100%)
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: MI
Posts: 272
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkCobra View Post
Maracyn II (erythromycin) often wipes out BGA completely -
Maracyn II is Minocycline, Maracyn is erythromycin
Lance Uppercut is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome