Help with left side of 75G - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-25-2017, 10:07 PM Thread Starter
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Help with left side of 75G

Hi. I'm really hoping the someone can give me suggestions/help regarding the left side of my 75G Angel/Festivum aquarium; attached pictures below.

I set the tank up, cycled etc. back in February.

Substrate: Flourite dark and pool filter sand with peat moss underneath about 2/3rds
Light: Fluval Fresh and Plant 2.0
Filtration: Fluval 406 and Seachem Tidal 55 HOB (soon to switch for Eheim canister)
Ammonia - 0ppm
Nitrites - 0ppm
Nitrates - 20ppm
KH - 6-7
GH - 5
DIY CO2 (citric acid/baking soda - I know)
Ferts: NilocG Thrive and Seachem Iron, also Flourish tabs

It seems really strange to me that the left approximately 1/3rd of the tank, the side that is by the canister output and consequently where there are no floating plants, is the part of my tank that has a bad algae problem. The other 2/3rds, where light is really blocked by the dwarf lettuce and Salvinia minima and now crazed Brazilian Pennywort, has a very little algae. I would have thought that that would be the side with the algae problem?

Worse though for the left side is that it seems that no plants really are happy there except for some dwarf Sag. I have 1 Aponogeton boivinianus where the leaves turn brown as soon as they get big and now they are totally covered with light green hair algae. I have Valls, corkscrew and jungle, both of which are constantly melting and are also now mostly covered in hair algae. The corkscrew has been in the longest and went through the usual "newly planted" melt and had grown back to be quite tall at one point. The left back corner and sides are have the exact same substrate as the right side where I have no problem with swords and Bacopa.

Does anyone have any ideas about why this one side is so cursed? I am not asking why I have algae, I figure that has to do with the DIY CO2, but why there would be such a difference between the 2 sides of the tank? How about any suggestions for different plants for the back and left sides? I don't think I can take the poor Aponogeton much longer, nor the Vals if there is no hope for them growing longer than 3"!

Thank you very much in advance for your ideas!
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-25-2017, 10:38 PM
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Looks like staghorn algae

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-25-2017, 10:42 PM
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It looks nice!

I know relatively little about plants at this point as I am very new to the freshwater game. So maybe I can just point out the differences/ possible differences I see between the two sides.

1. Flow. I imagine there is more flow on this side of the tank as the canister output is there and I don't see any other powerheads anywhere else. I really don't know if this would matter much, but it is a difference.

2. Heat. Looks like the heater is on that side of the tank. Perhaps when the heater kicks on, it's heats the surrounding water enough that the plants get really unhappy. I know those heaters can put out a lot of heat quickly, and if the flow isn't relatively strong, it might not get distributed quick enough to not cause an issue in the immediate surrounding area.

3. Plant type. Obviously since nothing is thriving there, there isn't much there now. Have you attempted to grow the same plants on the left as the right? Could it just be that the plants you are attempting to grow on the left just aren't doing well in your tank in general?

4. Light. I can't tell if there is a difference there or not. Does that light stretch across the whole tank? Is it shifted towards on end of the tank or the other? Are any diodes out anywhere on the fixture?

All in all I think the tank looks nice. Frankly, I don't think it would be bad for that side of the tank to be relative negative space.
If it was my tank, I'd remove the large stone/wood (hard to tell with the reflection) on the left altogether. If possible, I'd try to hide the remaining equipment behind the forest in about the middle of the tank, put some small stones (just a couple inches long) scattered around the back left corner and try to get a carpeting style plant to grow on the substrate of the entire open left side. Maybe a small stone pile in the back left corner might look nice. One that just came about 4 to 6 inches off the bottom of the tank. I don't know if that's feasible, and it's just personal opinion anyway. Regardless, I don't think the lack of plants there is necessarily a bad thing.

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-28-2017, 03:30 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you both for your responses.

Addressing Unssenhand's points:

1. Yes, basically all the flow is from the Fluval 406's outflow. I have an HOB, but it doesn't sit flush with the tank and made way too many bubbles with it's output so I stuffed it full of sponges so the water only trickles out of it. I do have a Koralia circulation pump/wavemaker, but I was worried about installing it because of the angelfish and festivums. I've seen several videos of vallisneria leaves flowing in filter output, so I wouldn't have thought that would be a bad thing? Not sure about the Aponogeton though.

2. Yes, that is where the heater is; I didn't think about the heat in relation to the plants I must admit. I put the heater by the filter outflow on purpose so that heated water would be distibuted quickly.

3. No, I haven't tried growing Vals or the Aponongeton on the other side of the tank as I don't really want them there, but your point is taken.

4. The Fluval Plant 2.0 LED does stretch across the entire tank; there is < 1" on either end that it doesn't physically cover. It is basically a brand new light and I don't believe any of the diodes aren't working. The big difference in the 2 sides as far as the light goes is that on the right side there are all the floating plants blocking a lot of the light.

5.Yes, originally I was inspired by several YouTube videos where all of the plants and hardscape were on one side while the other was relatively empty. But I wanted to try too many plants and I had always thought that I might try Val's in that back corner anyway. But I do understand what you are saying about negative space. Unortunately, that corner has become the favorite hiding space for one of the shyer festivums, so I would feel badly about having nother there.

Thank you again for taking the time to go through all of those suggestions.

Does anyone have any suggestions for a tall plant with thin leaves for the left back corner? Something vaguely reminiscent of Val's maybe?
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-11-2017, 01:55 AM
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Cryptocoryne crispatula balansae looks great. Low light and low co2.

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