75 Gallon Planted Tank Out Of Control - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 02:29 PM Thread Starter
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75 Gallon Planted Tank Out Of Control

Hello,

Thanks in advance to anyone who takes the time to respond...

I re-entered the aquarium lifestyle about 9 months ago after a 20 year break. I now have a 75 gallon tank with a limited amount of fish (clown loach, 2 algae eaters and 8 Tetras). I have multiple pieces of large driftwood from Lake Michigan, two "fake" rocks purchased from the local fish store and approximately 14 plants. I am using Eco Complete Planted Aquarium substrate. The bulk of the plants are Tall Hairgrass.

I have two Fluval heaters, a Fluval 406 canister filter and a Fluval Plant 59 watt light. Initially I was using the light that came with the tank, and then when I purchased the Hairgrass the fish store recommended the light I am using now. THAT'S when my trouble started. Everything in my tank, and I mean everything.... is growing fur/algae. I am injecting C02 and the PH runs between 7 and 7.5. The Nitrates are at approximately 20 ppm. The driftwood has approximately 1/2" growing on each branch of each piece. The Hairgrass is completely engulfed with ever strand covered in algae. The plants are often "pearling", however, covered in algae. The tank looks..... bad. I'm contemplating abandoning my thoughts of having a "planted tank" at this point and starting over with some Oscars.

I am in WAY over my head, have read some of the previous articles/comments here and online to try to understand and quite frankly am overwhelmed.

ANY input will be appreciated.

Thanks...
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 05:13 PM
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Your tank is out of balance, probably because of too much light and not enough fast-growing plants.

Can you reduce the amount of light by reducing the photoperiod, or maybe going back to the original lighting?

I would also introduce some fast growing plants, like hornwort, that grows like crazy and can partially block the light from the algae. It's a floating plant and easily removed once your "real" plants have established.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 05:45 PM
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Hi @020272

Welcome to TPT!

Let's start with the basics.....what are your water parameters?

pH = 7.0 - 7.5 (that's a pretty big spread; are you using test strips or liquid test kit?
dKH =
dGH =
nitrates (ppm of NO3) = 20

A 75 gallon with a Fluval 3.0 (59 watt / 48" - 60") should give you good medium to medium high light. How long is your photoperiod?

Nitrogen (nitrates) is just one of the three macro-nutrients that plants need for growth. What are you dosing for plant nutrients?; how much?; how often?

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75 Gallon, 2X55W AH Supply CF 8800K, 1XFluval F&P 2.0; 45 Gallon Tall, 96Watt AH Supply CF 6700K; 30 Gallon Long; Fluval F&P 2.0; 20 Gallon, 1X26W AH Supply LED; all with CO2 and (Calcined) Montmorillonite Clay
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 05:52 PM
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Yikes, I could see myself in the same boat. In a few months.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 06:32 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your reply...

I'm testing PH with a real time meter. The PH always spikes overnight, from 7.0 at lights out to 7.8 "+/- when the lights go on in the AM. I have the C02 timed to shut off one hour before lights out and start two hours before lights on. It will typically take several hours for the PH to get close to 7, then increases over night as noted.

dKH = I have not tested.

dGH = I have not tested.

Light goes on at 5:30am and off at 6:30pm. I have been running the light at 90% of maximum.



I found a kit online to test the dKH and dGH and can have that here in a couple days...



Quote:
Originally Posted by Seattle_Aquarist View Post
Hi @020272

Welcome to TPT!

Let's start with the basics.....what are your water parameters?

pH = 7.0 - 7.5 (that's a pretty big spread; are you using test strips or liquid test kit?
dKH =
dGH =
nitrates (ppm of NO3) = 20

A 75 gallon with a Fluval 3.0 (59 watt / 48" - 60") should give you good medium to medium high light. How long is your photoperiod?

Nitrogen (nitrates) is just one of the three macro-nutrients that plants need for growth. What are you dosing for plant nutrients?; how much?; how often?
Forgot to mention.... I'm using Seachem Flourish Tabs.

Bump: Thanks for your reply,

I can reduce the photo period via the Fluval app at anytime. Im' currently running 5:30 am to 6:30 pm at 90% of maximum. The old light is long gone.

I'll see if the store has any of those plants later this week.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Fisher View Post
Your tank is out of balance, probably because of too much light and not enough fast-growing plants.

Can you reduce the amount of light by reducing the photoperiod, or maybe going back to the original lighting?

I would also introduce some fast growing plants, like hornwort, that grows like crazy and can partially block the light from the algae. It's a floating plant and easily removed once your "real" plants have established.

“Just Being Yourself Is A Successful Rebellion…”

Last edited by Darkblade48; 10-15-2019 at 03:53 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 07:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 020272 View Post
Forgot to mention.... I'm using Seachem Flourish Tabs.

Bump: Thanks for your reply,

I can reduce the photo period via the Fluval app at anytime. Im' currently running 5:30 am to 6:30 pm at 90% of maximum. The old light is long gone.


I'll see if the store has any of those plants later this week.
Well thars your problem.

You are running a 13 hour a day light with a fluval 3.0 at 90%. Plus only a dozen or so plants, mostly grass.

Long and short too much light not enough plants and not the right type of plants.

Follow these steps.

1) Change your light setting to 2 different photoperiods each 3-4 hours long. You get a maximum of 7 hours a day light in total with a break of at least a few hours in-between.

2) clean as much algae as you can off the wood and plants manually. Use an old toothbrush, your hands etc.

3) plant at least 4 bunches (more would be better) of fast growing stems plants. Any fast growing stems is fine here. Ludwigia, rotala, whatever. Ask your fish store they should be able to direct you to a handful of options. Notice I said 4 bunches minimum. Not 4 plants. They are sold typically in bunches with usually 6-10 stems per bunch. You are basically going to fill in a lot of space with plants.

4) start doing big water changes at least twice a week for a few weeks

5) consider changing your fertilizer solution. With more plants you need to think about how you feed them. The root tabs are not great as the only fertilizer because you can't see when they run out and when they do your plants stop growing and you get algae. Look into getting Thrive. It's an all in one fert that you pump in once or twice a week. Pretty easy and well thought of.

6) consider rehoming the clown loach. If you love that loach then work around this one. But, it's stopping you from getting snails and amano shrimp which are two BIG elements of many peoples clean up crew.

Hope this helps.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 09:19 PM
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Make your fluval look more like this top plot line, more morn and afternoon ramp up/down time, only about 3-4hrs at brightest intensity.

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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-15-2019, 09:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 020272 View Post

I'm testing PH with a real time meter. The PH always spikes overnight, from 7.0 at lights out to 7.8 "+/- when the lights go on in the AM. I have the C02 timed to shut off one hour before lights out and start two hours before lights on. It will typically take several hours for the PH to get close to 7, then increases over night as noted.
[/QUOTE]

By describing the algae as fur algae I assume you mean black beard. You said above that your Ph drop is only .8 ph and it takes several hours to get there.

Not enough Co2 is a common cause of bba. Try increasing your bubble rate so you hit a 1.2 drop in your ph when or or shortly after your lights come on. So for you that's 6.6 from 7.8.

That along with the advice from the other posters will help. Plus read up on the use of hydrogen peroxide and/ or Excel to kill what you have. Take your decorations out of the tank to do this if possible.

Good luck!
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-15-2019, 09:39 PM
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Do you have a full tank picture? Is algae green or black/red/grey brush algae?

You can’t do high light and co2 injection and not do water column dosing. Root tabs are optional, dosing tank water is not.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 12:26 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your suggestions... I'm going to adjust the light today and will see if any of those plants are available locally ASAP.

As far as the clown loach, I never really wanted it anyway. I had alot of snails a couple months ago and the fish store suggested the Clown Loach. I was leaning toward an Assassin Snail, however, was advised against that. Unfortunately, my access to reliable aquarium advice is limited up here. Thats why I joined this site and it clearly has already been a big help...

Thanks again...



Quote:
Originally Posted by minorhero View Post
Well thars your problem.

You are running a 13 hour a day light with a fluval 3.0 at 90%. Plus only a dozen or so plants, mostly grass.

Long and short too much light not enough plants and not the right type of plants.

Follow these steps.

1) Change your light setting to 2 different photoperiods each 3-4 hours long. You get a maximum of 7 hours a day light in total with a break of at least a few hours in-between.

2) clean as much algae as you can off the wood and plants manually. Use an old toothbrush, your hands etc.

3) plant at least 4 bunches (more would be better) of fast growing stems plants. Any fast growing stems is fine here. Ludwigia, rotala, whatever. Ask your fish store they should be able to direct you to a handful of options. Notice I said 4 bunches minimum. Not 4 plants. They are sold typically in bunches with usually 6-10 stems per bunch. You are basically going to fill in a lot of space with plants.

4) start doing big water changes at least twice a week for a few weeks

5) consider changing your fertilizer solution. With more plants you need to think about how you feed them. The root tabs are not great as the only fertilizer because you can't see when they run out and when they do your plants stop growing and you get algae. Look into getting Thrive. It's an all in one fert that you pump in once or twice a week. Pretty easy and well thought of.

6) consider rehoming the clown loach. If you love that loach then work around this one. But, it's stopping you from getting snails and amano shrimp which are two BIG elements of many peoples clean up crew.

Hope this helps.
The algae is green furry stuff.... I'll post an image later.

As far as the PH, it has been erratic since the day I set the tank up 9 months ago. Several days ago, as an example, the timer for the C02 had malfunctioned at some point during the day and the C02 was not being added. When I got home the PH was 8.4. And while it does not always swing that drastically, it has occasionally.

Thanks for your help...


By describing the algae as fur algae I assume you mean black beard. You said above that your Ph drop is only .8 ph and it takes several hours to get there.

Not enough Co2 is a common cause of bba. Try increasing your bubble rate so you hit a 1.2 drop in your ph when or or shortly after your lights come on. So for you that's 6.6 from 7.8.

That along with the advice from the other posters will help. Plus read up on the use of hydrogen peroxide and/ or Excel to kill what you have. Take your decorations out of the tank to do this if possible.

Good luck![/QUOTE]

Bump: The algae is green furry stuff.... I'll post an image later.

Thanks...


Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveKS View Post
Do you have a full tank picture? Is algae green or black/red/grey brush algae?

You can’t do high light and co2 injection and not do water column dosing. Root tabs are optional, dosing tank water is not.

“Just Being Yourself Is A Successful Rebellion…”

Last edited by Darkblade48; 10-17-2019 at 03:36 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 02:20 PM
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All of the above will help because, as some have said, the tank is very much unbalanced.

I'll weigh in with another opinion on where to start. I would strongly support @mboley comment on possible lack of CO2, given the light strength. With pH not dropping below 7.0 (although we don't know what your KH is), it seems that this is a critical issue. In addition to measuring the pH drop from fully degassed to fully gassed (and there are some issues with this approach, like any of these recommendations), a drop checker can help you visually monitor CO2 levels. Lacking any CO2 measurement indications, I would begin increasing bubble rates a little every day until your fish can be seen struggling near the surface, then back down and try again the next day. Keep doing this until the fish continue to struggle with each daily increase. That would be a ceiling.

"Fur" algae can be several types. If you can describe it better or provide a photo, that would help us in suggesting a short-term remedy. It would be a good idea to try to kill off that algae before it has a chance to cover your plants too much, while you work on the longer term balancing needs.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-17-2019, 11:50 AM Thread Starter
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Is "Thrive" used for water column dosing...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveKS View Post
Do you have a full tank picture? Is algae green or black/red/grey brush algae?

You can’t do high light and co2 injection and not do water column dosing. Root tabs are optional, dosing tank water is not.
Bump:
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveKS View Post
Do you have a full tank picture? Is algae green or black/red/grey brush algae?

You can’t do high light and co2 injection and not do water column dosing. Root tabs are optional, dosing tank water is not.
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-17-2019, 08:33 PM
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Would still like to see full tank picture showing filter placement and setup and actual planting density of whole tank? Would like to see a well lit side shot of subtrate bed showing thickness of substrate and accumulation of detritus in substrate?

But yes Thrive is a all in one fert for water column dosing. But there are other solutions (dry, mix your own) that might be better choice for that size tank.

Also how many root tabs did you place and how long ago?
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-18-2019, 02:21 PM Thread Starter
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Will this picture help...? I can send additional more later if you would like...

6 tabs approximately a month ago.



Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveKS View Post
Would still like to see full tank picture showing filter placement and setup and actual planting density of whole tank? Would like to see a well lit side shot of subtrate bed showing thickness of substrate and accumulation of detritus in substrate?

But yes Thrive is a all in one fert for water column dosing. But there are other solutions (dry, mix your own) that might be better choice for that size tank.

Also how many root tabs did you place and how long ago?
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-20-2019, 01:22 PM Thread Starter
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I've tested dGH and dKH, results are below...

dKH = 200-400 ppm
dGH = 200-400 ppm





Quote:
Originally Posted by Seattle_Aquarist View Post
Hi @020272

Welcome to TPT!

Let's start with the basics.....what are your water parameters?

pH = 7.0 - 7.5 (that's a pretty big spread; are you using test strips or liquid test kit?
dKH =
dGH =
nitrates (ppm of NO3) = 20

A 75 gallon with a Fluval 3.0 (59 watt / 48" - 60") should give you good medium to medium high light. How long is your photoperiod?

Nitrogen (nitrates) is just one of the three macro-nutrients that plants need for growth. What are you dosing for plant nutrients?; how much?; how often?

“Just Being Yourself Is A Successful Rebellion…”
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