Is something wrong with my tank? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-01-2020, 02:41 PM Thread Starter
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Is something wrong with my tank?

I started my first planted tank beginning of Feb in a 5g that my friend gave me. Plants were growing well since the beginning, until a couple of weeks ago I noticed that my staurogyne repens and alternanthera reineckii looks to have black dots, and some parts have fell off. The staurogyne repens have been in the tank since the very beginning, whereas alternanthera reineckii were added a few days before I noticed the black dots, so I thought they were just melting a bit due to the transition.

I currently have 3 guppies, 2 amano shrimps, and a few cherry shrimps in there. Ammonia/nitrite/nitrate looks normal, but I did have a nerite snail die on me about 1.5 weeks ago, and was probably dead in the water for a week before I noticed and took it out. I did a 50% water change right away and another 20% the day after.

Today I also noticed this insect looking thing, anyone know what is it and how it got into my tank?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-02-2020, 12:47 AM
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The bug looks like it might be a dragon fly Nymph, they are evil get rid of it they can eat small fish. It could have traveled in on plats as a egg I guess.
What do you use for fertilizer?
What is your nitrate and phosphate levels?
The problem with the plants could be nutrients.


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-02-2020, 12:49 AM
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-02-2020, 05:13 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt69 View Post
The bug looks like it might be a dragon fly Nymph, they are evil get rid of it they can eat small fish. It could have traveled in on plats as a egg I guess.
What do you use for fertilizer?
What is your nitrate and phosphate levels?
The problem with the plants could be nutrients.


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yep, killed the bug right away. I'm using ADA AquaSoil as substrate, and no other fertilizers. I also have Seachem Excel that I use after the weekly water change. Nitrate level is generally around or below the lowest grade detectable on my testing kit. I don't know how I can test for phosphate levels.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-02-2020, 06:52 PM
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API has a phosphate test kit sold separately from the master kit. You may be able to find it at your LFS, but I had to order mine online. The black spots look like a nutrient deficiency, should be easily rectified by using a good broad spectrum fertilizer such as flourish or thrive, though id recommend doing research to decide which fertilizer best fits your tank. Be gentle with fertilizers, the labeled dosages are generalizations, not necessarily suited to all setups. Your substrate contains plant nutrients already, but some plants pull more from the water than the substrate and substrate does eventually deplete, faster or slower depending on plant species and growth rate.

Reinekii seems to pull from the water column, so it wouldnt get what it needs from the substrate alone. Staurogyne is a substrate puller, but it depletes nutrients very fast. We added thrive tablets under the substrate of our staurogyne when it did that exact same thing. Within about a month, the problem entirely disappeared and its now our healthiest plant species, forming a carpet even without added carbon.

Last edited by Darkblade48; 04-04-2020 at 08:17 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-02-2020, 07:36 PM
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That's a Mayfly Larva.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-03-2020, 06:06 PM Thread Starter
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I was concerned about adding fertilizers since I'm not running a proper CO2 system, I'm afraid of excessive algae building with too much nutrients. But I'll try it out for a bit and see how it goes.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-03-2020, 07:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elysio View Post
I was concerned about adding fertilizers since I'm not running a proper CO2 system, I'm afraid of excessive algae building with too much nutrients. But I'll try it out for a bit and see how it goes.
Just donít go treating your fert dosing like you are running a high tech tank and just realize that light/CO2 levels/nutrients all need to be in balance. To much light and/or to much fert will get you algae, but on other end no ferts can get you nutrient deficiency and plant growth stalling which can also lead to algae taking over when plants canít outcompete the algae.

If your tank is reading 0/low nitrates then your phosphates are probably also low. One word of warning on API nitrate test, you have to violently shake the reagent bottles for 2min before running test or it will always read zero. If you havenít been doing that redo test and get a proper reading.

As far as fert there are over a dozen nutrients plants need, fluorish comp has almost zero, nitrate and phosphate but sometimes you can get enough of those from fish food/waste. Fert like Thrive has N and P added. Pick fert that best fits your tanks needs and probably dose at 1/3-1/2 recommended rate 2-3x a week. Once a week dump and run dosing very seldom works out well in a low tech tank.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-03-2020, 10:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elysio View Post
I was concerned about adding fertilizers since I'm not running a proper CO2 system, I'm afraid of excessive algae building with too much nutrients. But I'll try it out for a bit and see how it goes.
If your using aquasoil and your tank is only a few months old you have plenty of N & P. There is really no reason to test for those at this point, especially in a low tech setup.

The only thing you might have to add is K and micros. There is a lot of wiggle room with ferts and what can be in the water. Algae is caused mostly by organics left in the tank, decomposing and releasing ammonia and other toxins. Algae control is more about healthy plants either uptaking these toxins and removing them with regular water changes, while not using excessive light. Excessive light will make the algae more prolific. Less fast growing plants, more water changes are usually required. Most people new to this usually don't do enough regular water changes.


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