HELP MEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeee... before i throw this *$#@ tank away! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-12-2005, 11:57 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy HELP MEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeee... before i throw this *$#@ tank away!

OK... so HERES the story.... i accidentally left my co2 on all night and i woke up this morning and i had dead shrimp and floating fish gasping for air...crap! i put in a bubble wall, turned off the co2, and went to work. When i got home today, the fish were more active but i tested the water and my nitrites were through the roof! I mean they were VERY high, in the deadly levels. I panic... i did a 50% water change immediately (the co2 is still off), and then i turned the c02 back on and waited 10 minutes and did another water change... nitrites are still sky high! What the heck!? Also i got this funky grey slimy looking stuff all over my plants along with the hair algae, my guess is the excess co2 killed the crap out of the hair algae (but then it reappeared OF COURSE before i got home ), so what do i do? Also i have tried everything to get rid of my algae, i tried upping my DIY co2 to 2 bottles and now my co2 is easily in the 25-30 ppm range, i have been dosing my EI in the exact amounts that im supposed to. I tried turning my lights down to 65 watts, i have tried EVERYTHING. im going mad, why cant i have a tank without algae like so many other people? Am i forgeting somethings? Is there something i can buy to just eliminate my algae? And whats up with these nitrite readings and blurry water all of a sudden? Heres is my tank stats by the way....

29 gallon tank
Filteration- Aquaclear 50
Co2- 2 2l and a diffusing system that works excellent
substrate- onyx
lighting- 130 watts PC
Dosing- nitrates, phosphates, potassium, iron, and traces.
PH- 6.6
40% of the tank is planted
The algae i am having problems with is hair algae for some reason thats all that im getting, i did have brown algae but its almost totally gone

Please help me
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-13-2005, 12:18 AM
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HELP MEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeee... before i throw this *$#@ tank away!

I wish I could! Just want you to know that someone is there and feeling your pain!

I am absolutely new to this planted tank thing (2 days), so I am still driving erratically through the learning curve. But I've been a stalker around these parts for awhile now and at first blush it looks to me like you have too much light and not enough filter. (I could be WAY wrong about the lights, but I'm new to planted tanks, not fishkeeping and I'll stand by the insufficient filtration.) I'll leave it to the experts, but again - just wanted you to know you're not alone!!!

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-13-2005, 01:23 AM
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That is a lot of light, but people can do it. You would probably need to make the conversion from DIY CO2 to automated so you can get the desired ppm's you need(25-30). This will aid in the hair algae problem also

For your nitrites, go out and get some Seachem Prime. They have directions for a nitrite spike; I think it is 10 drops per gallon. Do that along with a lot of water changes and you will be alright. It has worked for me. By the way, how long has this tank been setup to have a nitrite spike?

Just to make you feel a bit better, when I had a CO2 accident, I lost everything. 22 some fish and 7 shrimp. It was a bloody massacre.

Hang in there
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-13-2005, 01:29 AM
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Originally Posted by GTApuffgal
I'll leave it to the experts, but again - just wanted you to know you're not alone!!!
I feel bad for you too man. The best thing you can do IMO is stick around here and follow the advice... wish I could help with specific advice.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-13-2005, 01:43 AM
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recalculate your fertilization method.

do you test for all of your ferts? (no3,po4,ca,mg,fe?,gh,kh)

also, is your tank possible still cycleing?
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-13-2005, 02:25 AM
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How heavy is your planting? If it's not maxed out, I'd recommend more plants of the fast growing variety.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-13-2005, 07:52 AM
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Check under the wood and in the bushes for dead shrimps. I suspect there are still more deaths that you missed to pick up, and that is the main culprit for the sudden rise in NO2
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-13-2005, 09:18 PM
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I found out that with a planted tank, it starts really good, get bad, gets worse, then gets pretty down right painful. One day, you look at the tank and it's all good.

So, patience is the true step. You have a garden, not a math problem. Not every answer is going to be the same.

But don't worry, lot of people have felt what your going through (past, present, and future). So, lets try to figure this out.

Could you tell us what is your NO3 reading? Check if danmhippo is correct, but I suspect that your ammonia levels up would spike up first. So test your amino too (just in case)

What is your KH? How much are you dosing each?

The EI method is really overdosing Phosphate & Nitrate in the respective ratio, Then change the water to clear it out. But I would guess if you're dosing too much. It's possible the plants and algae will feed. But I'm not positive. I will leave that to Mr. Barr to answer that. I've noticed that lot of people who have a mature tank can and do overdose thier tank, but I'm not sure if you're starting a setting up you should overdose with 4-5x the dosage. Unless, you have more constants in the problem (pressurized co2, big tank, lots of fast growing plants, ...)

But the good news, stay with it, It will get better
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-14-2005, 01:46 AM Thread Starter
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Well i didnt bother doing another water change, im holding off until tommorrow and doing small water changes until my nitrite level goes down more. I did a 50% the other day and took every plant out and cleaned it really good to get any dead algae off, and also took out the filter and everything and just basically did a total cleaning on the tank. I do believe my problem was that the VERY high levels of co2 that built up in the tank killed most of the hair algae, which cause a nitrite spike. Now that i got everything cleaned my nitrite levels are going down VERY slowly but, they are, going down none the less. I stopped doing the EI dosing and started dosing PMDD drops every day and i am having MUCH better luck controlling algae, also i have turned down the lights from 130 watts to 65 watts and upped the co2. SO i learned something... if you get real mad and want to get rid of your hair algae, take your fish out, do a blackout and up your co2 levels really high for a day or so . Also i learned that if you are using DIY co2 your best bet is to stay away from the EI dosing because its hard to get the amount of co2 you will need to be successful with it, dosing drops of PMDD every day and doing a 25% water change a week is not only less of a pain for me, but seems to be working much better . I suppose every tank is different, but im at least happy that my algae level has went down a little bit, and all in all i guess when you have a really bad experience you always learn something from it.
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