planted community tank - help please - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-16-2018, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
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planted community tank - help please

Hello, first of all I would like to thank you for taking the time to read this thread and any help is much appreciated. I have split my queries into two sections.

I have a low/medium tech fluval roma 125 with medium planting, running fluval fresh and planted 2.0, liquid carbon and ferts. I have a external fluval 306 filter thats all been running for 5 months so its fairly matured, i have a spray bar that sits on the right hand wall pointing to the left and i have an airstone on the opposite side to my spray bar.

my water parameters are stable: (50% water change a week, sometimes 2 x 30/40% pwc)
ammonia 0ppm
nitrite 0ppm
nitrate 40/50ppm (i got alot of nitrates in my tap water)
ph around 7.2/3 (7.6-8 out the tap) im not sure how much my tropica aquarium soil buffers that.

my tank is home to:
1 x male Dwarf Gourami
1 x male German blue ram (been searching for a healthy looking female to keep him company)
4 x male guppys
6 x cardinal tetra
7 x pentazona barbs
4 x albino cory
4 x amano shrimp
4 x red cherry shrimp

I have noticed a problem with my german blue ram, it seems like his lip is swollen and has a small white spot on his lip, also he cant eat food anymore or is eating very little. He was eating normally last week, eating big chunks spitting them back out and then repeating till the food was eaten. now he cant even swallow the smallest of particles, he tries to, it just doesn't seem like it goes in his mouth. he is also very active and chases everyone around at feeding time, even though it seems like he cant eat. i have attached some photos.

my second problem is my pentazona barbs. When the lfs sold me them i had no idea that they prefered dark lighting and brown tannin water and low water flow. After reading about people said they have kept them in community tanks just fine, so i gave it a go and they are pretty amazing and very active. But they seeme stressed half the time, when they are not swimming together at the front of the tank they are all glass surfing or just swimming back and forth frantically at the back of the tank and i don't know why. i have set my lights to 50% and theres plenty of dark spaces and plants, water flow is a bit high but i need it to be to get surface agitation from my spray bar all the way across. I have recently purchased a fluval edge 46l and was thinking of having a shrimp only tank, but maybe the pentazona barb would do better in there? i'd feel bad though as they are very active so a small tank isnt ideal, also it would be a massive challenge to actually net them to move them over.

my third question is that are my plants dying? most of them look healthy apart from the amazon swords. im really considering to buy a co2 kit from co2 supermarket and run it off sodastream bottles as it would be quick and easy and would give me a wider variety of plants to keep. i have got algae but i've cut back my lighting to 50%, photoperiod is 8 hours plus half an hour ramp up/down either side. i use 3/4ml seachem excel everyday, 3ml flourish comprehensive twice a week, 7/8ml api leafzone twice a week. i have tropica aquasoil substrate with gravel on top and i use root tabs every month or 2.

thank you.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-16-2018, 06:23 PM
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First, if you're going to go pressurized co2, I'd spend a little more on a regulator. I've owned one of the co2supermarket regulators and I was very unimpressed. Lasted a year before having catastrophic failure. Plus, the sodastream bottles are way more expensive than purchasing and refilling a #5, #10, or #20 co2 tank. I now own two GLA GRO-1 regulators and love them, highly recommend them. Huge quality difference.

Second, the white spot on the Rams mouth could be several things, but columnaris comes to mind which does require treatment. It could also be something pretty benign like fungus which will resolve itself in many cases. Has it gotten worse? I really don't see much in the photos of your Ram so it's hard to say with any certainty what it is. Something might stand out to someone else but to me it looks unremarkable.

I can't offer any help on plants, I do high tech only and run EI. Not familiar with leaf zone or flourish so I don't know what you may or may not be short on. Someone else I'm sure can help out there.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-17-2018, 09:46 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you. Basically there's not much to see on the ram, I only noticed because he can't seem to eat even though he tries and still chases everyone away. His top lip looks swollen and is white or has a small white lump/spot on it and he has more Gill movement than before. I also witnessed him have a heart attack or something yesterday, he just started flipping out and pointing upwards like he was dying. So I'm really worried now and don't know what to do apart from water changes, I've been doing 30% every two days for the past week so see if it helps at all.

About the co2, I'm not really too fussed on the price of gas as I require a small bottle so it will fit in my aquarium stand. I have a budget of 200 as that's what I assume it will cost. I thought the co2 supermarket regulator were dual stage?

Thanks again.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-17-2018, 06:51 PM
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I'm definitely not an expert, but here's my little input. I use Flourish Comp for the micros. You also need macros. Leaf zone is mostly iron and potassium. Your plants also need phosphate and nitrogen. I don't know if the nitrate in your tap is sufficient- I think there's different kinds of nitrate. You might want to try dosing KN03 and KH2P04. OR you may need to use the root tabs more frequently? when I use tabs I usually add them once a month- what does your package say. Also, swords are heavy feeders. Maybe just your swords need a bit more- try adding a few root tabs just around them. Most of your plants look pretty good to me.

How long have you had the barbs? (they're pretty). Maybe they still need time to adjust. When I first added cories to my tank one of them would glass surf constantly, for the first few weeks. Eventually it settled down. More plant cover might help, too...

Sorry I don't know how to help your Ram. I'd be worried to if it's not eating. If you think it could be columnaris find some meds to treat that soon. It can be bad. At the least I'd try something for fungs treatment.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-17-2018, 07:16 PM
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Research plant deficiencies, leaf indication is a good place to start and will likely help you a lot. Hopefully this will help you with your plants

See a new leaf growing.
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