Plant and Algae Issues in Discus Tank - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-21-2020, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
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Plant and Algae Issues in Discus Tank

Hello, I hope everyone's doing good during these weird times and able to help me with some challenges in my tank… I apologize now for the over descriptions, I’m in marketing and have a tendency to over explain…

I'm getting a little frustrated with my tank and I think there’s a solution but I can’t quite seem to figure it out. Over the past few weeks I’ve had a few types of algae that has mostly killed my plants and is currently taking over some of the driftwood in my tank. I also think a factor to this issue is my fertilizer dosing.

First, the moneywort… At first it was some brown, diatom, type of algae build up on the older leaves that the cories would sometimes chew at but that turned into a black hair like algae. I’m not sure it if was BBA or something else. I removed the plants, did my best to clean off the algae and returned it to the tank. All was good for about 2-3 days and then it returned. Unfortunately, after about a day I noticed that most of the leaves started to die off. This time I removed the plants and just cleaned off all of the affected leaves. Which now left me with bean stalk looking plants, but at least they look healthy.

Second, the hygro… it had similar brown, diatom, looking algae that I was able clean off during water changes but it has since developed brown areas, and some holes on almost all of the leaves. Then within a day or two they all started to melt and die off. I had to just remove them all because they were quickly dying and I didn’t want it to spread.

Third, the jungle val… much newer to the tank and I think most of it is just that new plants melt when first added to the tank. The ends of most plants have turned brown and fall apart when I gently feel them. I have runners and new shoots starting on each plant so that’s a great sign.

Fourth, the pennywort… it’s been floating at the top of my tank for almost 2 months now and initially started to grow like crazy. It has since almost completely stopped growing any new leaves. It has developed some heavy diatom build up and most leaves have holes in them.

Finally, the driftwood is spiderwood and it’s developed this thin layer of white fuzz. So far I’ve taken it out, run it under really hot water and scrubbed it clean. Nonetheless, the white fuzz shows up after a day or two.


As for fertilizer I’ve been using the Seachem Flourish as recommended, as well as root tabs. I know that I’m missing the other key nutrients but there are so many articles and discussions on what to add and the amounts that I’m completely overwhelmed!!

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Here’s my tank set up:

60 gallon, Top Fin HOB filter and Fluval 307 cannister filter and LED lights that came with the tank. I have Fluval Stratum substrate, with two pieces of spiderwood. The temp is set for 84.

Here’s my fish list too:
3 Julii cory’s
5 Panda cory’s
5 Columbian Red & Blue tetras
7 Rummeynose tetras
6 Discus (all in the 3.5 in. range):
- Red Pigeon Blood - "Petunia"
- Leopard - "Sully"
- Albino Blue Diamond - "Lucille"
- Eruption - "Juniper"
- Alenquer - "Marv"
- Yellow Melon – “Darla”

I used to have a pleco but had to rehome him because he was starting to get too big and I didn’t want to hurt his growth. He definitely helped with the algae previously and it shows.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Now, what I’m thinking about to help with issues…

First after some research I think that I need to change my fertilizer over to Thrive C liquid fertilizer. Or with my plant deficiencies is there a better approach?

Second, possibly add an algae eater; Hillstream loach, Oto’s, etc. Or, maybe should I add in some shrimp?


My main concern is the discus, they are the main focus of the tank so everything I do has them in mind. Which has also been the main reason why I haven’t taken too drastic of measures yet. I’m trying not to add too much more bio mass because of the potential water parameter issues.


Any thoughts or suggestions are greatly appreciated!!!
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-25-2020, 06:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pgallagher View Post
I'm getting a little frustrated with my tank and I think there’s a solution but I can’t quite seem to figure it out. Over the past few weeks I’ve had a few types of algae that has mostly killed my plants and is currently taking over some of the driftwood in my tank. I also think a factor to this issue is my fertilizer dosing...

As for fertilizer I’ve been using the Seachem Flourish as recommended, as well as root tabs. I know that I’m missing the other key nutrients but there are so many articles and discussions on what to add and the amounts that I’m completely overwhelmed!!

I like Seachem and their stuff works, but it seems like everyone (myself included) makes the same mistake. Flourish [Comprehensive] is not an 'all-in-one' fertilizer in the same sense as Thrive, its a baseline fertilizer with micros and a tiny amount of N/P/K. You generally need to use it with their N/P/K/Fe/Trace products on a schedule. Advance (plant hormones) and Excel (algaecide, makes some carbon available for plants) are optional. I wouldn't use excel in your tank since Vals are sensitive to it, though they can be slowly acclimated.

Dosing everything separately is a pain, but the idea is that you're maximizing the bioavailibility of each nutrient and can adjust the individual dose to constantly maintain desired levels, whereas with all-in-ones you're overdosing ferts to ensure the plants get what they need and then doing a large water change every week to reset the water chemistry. Both methods work fine.

Your Discus are gorgeous.

Last edited by DeathFromBelow; 05-25-2020 at 07:05 AM. Reason: clarity
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-25-2020, 09:05 AM
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How much water change/maintenance do you do and how often?

What are ph,gh,kh,nitrate and phosphate readings? What are those readings on your change water source after letting water set in bucket for 24hrs.

How much and how often are you dosing?

Looks like a complete deficiency of a lot of the mobile nutrients.

White fuzz is thing that shows up on new wood and will go away on its own in time, maybe unsightly but nothing to worry about. Just leave it alone and suck off what you can with water changes. Do not run it under hot water etc, that is only restarting process that causes white fuzz to begin with.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old Today, 02:47 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry for the delay in responding, work has completely taken over and I haven't had time to reply, but here we go...

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeathFromBelow View Post
I like Seachem and their stuff works, but it seems like everyone (myself included) makes the same mistake. Flourish [Comprehensive] is not an 'all-in-one' fertilizer in the same sense as Thrive, its a baseline fertilizer with micros and a tiny amount of N/P/K. You generally need to use it with their N/P/K/Fe/Trace products on a schedule. Advance (plant hormones) and Excel (algaecide, makes some carbon available for plants) are optional. I wouldn't use excel in your tank since Vals are sensitive to it, though they can be slowly acclimated.

Dosing everything separately is a pain, but the idea is that you're maximizing the bioavailibility of each nutrient and can adjust the individual dose to constantly maintain desired levels, whereas with all-in-ones you're overdosing ferts to ensure the plants get what they need and then doing a large water change every week to reset the water chemistry. Both methods work fine.

Your Discus are gorgeous.
Thank you very much for the clarity! It was extremely helpful in guiding me to make the decision to purchase some Thrive S fertilizer. I think the "all-in-one" approach will work well for me for the time being while I learn more about maintaining proper levels for my plants. I also felt comfortable with it because I do regular water changes 3 times a week for the discus and as you said the all-in-one's need that too.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveKS View Post
How much water change/maintenance do you do and how often?

What are ph,gh,kh,nitrate and phosphate readings? What are those readings on your change water source after letting water set in bucket for 24hrs.

How much and how often are you dosing?

Looks like a complete deficiency of a lot of the mobile nutrients.

White fuzz is thing that shows up on new wood and will go away on its own in time, maybe unsightly but nothing to worry about. Just leave it alone and suck off what you can with water changes. Do not run it under hot water etc, that is only restarting process that causes white fuzz to begin with.
Now, to answer your questions:

Water change/maintenance schedule: 3 times a week and replacing 40 - 60% of the water every time. I do this to keep proper Nitrate levels for the discus

Readings: I know that I need to get a kit that will show me all of these readings, is there one that you recommend?
ph - 6.5
gh - not sure
kh - not sure
nitrate - never above 5 ppm
phosphate - not sure

Dosing: As I mentioned above I got Thrive S fertilizer last week and started with 3x a week, always 24 hours after a water change.

Now some updates...
Last week I got a rubber lip pleco and he has definitely helped with some of the algae, especially on the glass, and the white fuzz has pretty much gone away. Most of my plants started to completely die and I had to remove them.

Right now I'm just left with:
- Jungle Val, which is doing great and already creating three new shoots from each plant
- A little bit of the Pennywort that I was able to get the algae off of and I think the pleco has been keeping clean too
- The plant in the center of the tank which I think is Java fern but I'm not entirely sure

The main issue is my diatom issue has become ALOT!! I think that one of the main causes is that we are getting more direct sunlight in the room, and possibly on the tank itself. This is also one of the reasons that I got the Thrive S because I think adding some larger Amano shrimp might help with all of my issues.

Thoughts??

Any are appreciated!! Thank you!!

A step or two above a beginner with nothing but optimism and excitement to learn all that I can!

Full write up on my set up
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