Always loved planted tanks but thinking about giving up... - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-10-2019, 10:57 PM Thread Starter
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Always loved planted tanks but thinking about giving up...

Discouraged and thinking about giving it up
Wife and I used to keep cichlids and about 2 years ago decided to go with a planted tank. However for the life of me I just canít seem to get anything right. We kill all the plants, algae takes over and just donít know what to do anymore.
- 55 gallon tank
- fluval 3.0 light on planted mode also have a 24/7 finnex but have not used it in over a month
- pressurize co2 system with inline defuser GLA complete kit including the PH regulator set at 6.5
- root tabs done every 3 months
- sun sun canister filter
- thrive fertilizer 5 squirts as per bottle recommendation on Mondayís after water change and Fridayís
- black diamond sand substrate
- 2 wave makers one on left upper corner shooting across to agitate surface, second one under spray bar (right side wall of tank) helping push co2 to other side of tank.
- weekly 50% water change
- automatic water heater set at 81 (discus) si no temperature fluctuation

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I donít know where to go from here, even my substrate has a little of algae but afraid to really clean it besides a suction hose because of the amount of dirt that comes out and creates a cloud.
I have put money into this and would really like to have a nice tank but Iím either too stupid or should just give up the hobby and cut my losses.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-11-2019, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Js1984214 View Post
Discouraged and thinking about giving it up
I have put money into this and would really like to have a nice tank but I’m either too stupid or should just give up the hobby and cut my losses.
Seems like you have all of the basics covered, so let’s try to take a look at what is actually going on as a result of using those basics.

Light: can you provide an estimate of what your PAR is at the substrate? You should be able to find it by searching this forum. This link may help in understanding the value of PAR:
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/1...ml#post1951160

CO2: Setting the pH controller at 6.5 may not be enough. Go to Rotala Butterfly | Planted Aquarium Calculators & Information and, using the “CO2 Calculator”, make sure that you are getting ~30ppm CO2. If necessary, adjust the pH controller to the desired pH level.
NOTE: when using calculators, input the actual amount of water, niot the tank capacity. This is usually between 70-80% of tank capacity.

Chemistry: Can you provide test results for NO3, PO4, GH, KH, pH and TDS?

Fertilizer: Root tabs aren’t necessary, but water column dosing (which you are doing) is. Use the “Nutrient Dosing Calculator” part of Rotalabutterfly to verify that you are dosing sufficient quantities of the Thrive.

Circulation: Are all of your plants very gently swaying at the tops and bottoms?

Cleaning: Water changes are good. Do you clean your filter with each water change? Start doing that and, if you find you don’t need to do it weekly, after a few weeks you can back off until you find the right frequency.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-11-2019, 02:42 PM
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I can’t provide in depth help because I’m still learning but I had a similar setup (55gal, fluval 3.0, and CO2). With these I wasn’t able to promote good growth with off the shelf premix fertilizers. I started making my own fertilizers and algae growth slowed tremendously and plant growth exploded. Just one or two plants I can’t keep healthy and happy. I know that this is an extremely basic comparison but just my take on what could help. I know members will likely chime in with much more in depth help. If I were you I’d take the next step I took with NilocG fertilizer pack (with GH booster and iron if your water needs it). They made it easy to begin to understand ferts. Edit: all my plants are “beginner” plants too I suspect
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-11-2019, 03:14 PM
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Iam not a expert but can help you a bit.

*Remove that apple snail. He will eat plant leafs.
*Turn off lights for 4-5 days. Also don't give food.
*Add some siamese algae eater fish. They'll eat all algae. After adding them don't feed for 3-4 days.
*Instead of root tabs I'll suggest you to use liquid fertilizer.
*Keep light on for Max 6-7 hours a day.

In addition you can add some trumpet snails. After 1-2 months they'll be huge in numbers then add assassin snails.

I hope this will solve your issues. I also use these points to solve algae issues. 🙂
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-12-2019, 12:45 AM
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It's possible Thrive might not give all your plants what they need. I used to dose dry ferts and flourish comp for micros on my 10g betta tank, then switched to Thrive, so easy! Most of my plants did really well with this, but slowly over time my stems and especially windelov fern started to die. The color of the leaf made me think they weren't getting iron, so the last few weeks I tried adding Leaf Zone (iron and potassium) a day after the usual Thrive. Now my stems are growing nice and green again, my windelov is slowly recovering. (But I have more black spot algae cropping up, something else is too much now so I think I'm going to go back to using dry ferts again.)

It's only one example, and I'm not sure the cause, but it looks like my windelov and stems couldn't get enough iron from Thrive (maybe other plants just outcompeted them for it)- because when I added that things got better.


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