My planted tank problems - The Planted Tank Forum
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-25-2003, 08:52 AM Thread Starter
Guest
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 159
Hi Guys - go easy on me this is my 1st post !!

I have a Juwel Vision 180L (40G) tank set up for discus.
The pH is 6.5 by use of a pH6.5 Buffer and I use a Softening pillow to decrease the kH and gH (1 is 13 and the other is 6 - can't remember which).
The hood has space for 2 30 inch bulbs. I have 1 25W Arcadia Original bulb and 1 25W Arcadia Freshwater bulb, and both bulbs have reflectors. Now I don't know how effective these reflectors are, but I'm guessing that gives me about 2WPG - the photoperiod is 12 hrs.

The substrate is sand.
The fish are - 4 discus all under 4 inches
3 Clown loaches
4 Ancistrus
2 Swordtails
1 BGKnifefish

The plants are:
2 big java fern on bogwood - so quite high in the tank
Lots of H.Polysperma - green and red variety
10 Tough leaf Swords - I only paid for 2 but the guy sent me 10 so I kept them all.
Some cheap goldfish weed - not elodea (the one more common in UK)
2 Anubias (Unknown type)

Sorry all that is so vague - but I'm just beginning with plants :roll:
As fertilizer I use LeafZone, root tabs and Pro-Aqua Fertilizer bags (from http://www.aquaticplants.eu.com/Pro%20aqua%20Plant.htm ).

Now the growth of the polysperma is fantastic although the leaves all have bits of 1-2mm long strands of (hair?) algae on them. The Java ferns have more of the same, the anubias have blacker hair algae on the edges of the leaves, the swords have some hair on them, and the new leaves that grow uncurl to reveal holes and ragged edges so I have to just cut them straight off. The tank is snail free as far as I know and there are 3 clown loaches that would soon eat any stray snail.
I read that by adding CO2, the plants will out compete the algae, but then I have to add special fertilizers in specific amounts. Do you think CO2 would help ? Am I over fertilizing ? Is there too much light for the Java ferns higher in the tank, and too little light for the swords on the floor ??

Lots of questions I'm afraid !!!
Thanks
Tom
tombsc is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-25-2003, 12:53 PM
Planted Tank VIP
 
GulfCoastAquarian's Avatar
 
PTrader: (6/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
Posts: 3,583
All your questions are good ones. CO2 would definitely help. You've got some fairly decent lighting and the plants will be able to utilize it far better in the presence of CO2. As long as you're following the manufacturers instructions on your supplements, I doubt you're overfertilizing. You definitely don't have too much light. Even with excellent reflectors, you can't guesstimate your wpg to be any higher than it really is. Truth is, you've got 1.25wpg, which is pretty low.
I would start with CO2 and try to keep things balanced as the plants start to grow faster and starve out the algae. Soon you'll be able to remove all the algae-infested leaves and start afresh.
The black brush algae is a bit tougher to get rid of, though. Even after balancing my system, I couldn't completely rid the tank of it until I got a few Siamese Algae Eaters.

- Sam P -
Low Tech Planted Nanos with Bettas
Former Tank Journals:

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
GulfCoastAquarian is offline  
post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-25-2003, 02:06 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Rex Grigg's Avatar
 
PTrader: (65/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Portland Orygun
Posts: 9,600
Either you have magic reflectors or don't quite understand how they work. Normal reflectors don't create light. They just direct it where we want it to go. You have 1.25 wpg over the tank. At most you might be getting 1-1.1 wpg into the tank. I have to disagree with Sam here. At those light levels CO2 is not going to help much if at all.

Second the use of the pH 6.5 buffer is causing most of your problems. If I'm not mistaken it's a phosphate based buffer. I suggest that you check the phosphate levels in your tank. In fact I just checked the manufactures website and took this right from the web site.
Quote:
Proper pH 6.5 is for freshwater aquariums only. Proper pH 6.5 is a phosphate buffer and should not be used with live aquatic plants.
Sorry to be so blunt but the cause of the algae is you.
Rex Grigg is offline  
 
post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-25-2003, 02:35 PM Thread Starter
Guest
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 159
GulfCoastAquarian - Thanks for the help. I'm thinking of getting a JBL CO2 kit - are these any good ??

Rex Grigg - If you want to be blunt - carry on. Just read my post properly. I'm not using Proper pH6.5. I'm using a pH buffer from Waterlife which clearly states on the label that it is 100% safe and beneficial to plants, whether it is phosphate based or not -I am unsure.

Other forums have advised me to buy reflectors to increase the light getting into my tank. Have I wasted my money ?? Is there a better way of increasing wattage ? The only bulbs that will fit in the lid are 2 x 30inch 25W.
Thanks in advance.
Tom
tombsc is offline  
post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-25-2003, 03:07 PM
Guest
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 519
Well, phosphates are benificial to plants, especially algea.
digger is offline  
post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-25-2003, 03:17 PM
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Littleton, CO
Posts: 279
Tom,

Reflectors will reflect more light into your tank so it is a good idea to have reflectors. However you are not increasing the amount of watts you have over your tank. 50W is 50W no matter if you have reflectors or not. Just as an example you might get 35W of the total 50W without reflectors and maybe 45W of the 50W with reflectors that is actual light going into the tank (I just took these number out of thin air, there is no meaning). But you will never be able to get more than 50W with two 25W bulbs. Actually you should be looking more a lumens if you want to know how much light you are getting to your tank.

Yes , your plants will do better with the reflectors but you still have a low amount of light in your tank (Max 1.25 watts per gallon). I would have to agree with Rex that CO2 will help much. I would suggest trying to upgrade your lighting to atleast 2 wpg.

Eric
emoore3 is offline  
post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-25-2003, 03:26 PM Thread Starter
Guest
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 159
Ok, thanks for all the input- I now realise that I can't get more than 50W out of 2 25W bulbs - I think my brain went funny to make me think I could ops:

So how it is possible to get more light ?
I can't add more bulbs due to the type of aquarium - not sure if you get Juwel tanks in the US (??) but the light system is a sealed unit. Can you buy higher output bulbs ? I have never seen any.
tombsc is offline  
post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-25-2003, 03:28 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Rex Grigg's Avatar
 
PTrader: (65/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Portland Orygun
Posts: 9,600
The Waterlife web site doesn't give much info about the product. I would write or call and ask them if it's phosphate based. If so it's most of the problem. Or if you have access to a phosphate test kit test your water. Normally phosphate levels should be in the 0.5-1.0 ppm range.
Rex Grigg is offline  
post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-25-2003, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
Guest
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 159
....and there is no list of active ingrediants on the tub. I will contact them to find out what they use. In the mean time I will test my Phosphate levels.
I had an idea that the buffer may be causing the algae - so by using CO2 I could suppliment the plants and decrease my pH. Does that sound good ?
tombsc is offline  
post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-25-2003, 05:35 PM
Guest
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 519
That's exactly what will happen.
digger is offline  
post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-26-2003, 09:40 AM Thread Starter
Guest
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 159
Waterlife just got back to me - their pH buffer DOES use phosphate, so I've decided to inject CO2 and throw out the buffer.
I'm still unsure how I can increase my light output - there is no space at all for any extra bulbs and I can't find high output bulbs.

Would it be best for my plants if I turned off the airpump ? the airstone is only 1 inch long, but when I turned it off before the fish all came to the suface to breath. I'm hoping that eventually my plants will provide enough O2, but they're not yet.

Sorry for all the newbie questions.

Funny thing is when I got my 1st tank I stuck in a bunch of about 3 stem plants and a couple of swords - no ferts - irregular photoperiod etc etc - and the plants grew like crazy, taking over the whole tank. Now I'm trying to grow plants - I can't !!
tombsc is offline  
post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-26-2003, 01:48 PM
Planted Tank VIP
 
GulfCoastAquarian's Avatar
 
PTrader: (6/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
Posts: 3,583
It does seem like plants seem to be able to determine our intenet, doesn't it? They're shrewd little buggers.

If the discus are gasping for air without the airstone, dont' take a chance and turn it off until you see major plant growth. You have to take care of the fish. The problem will be that you will lose a great deal of your CO2 through the airstone. So maybe just run it at night and through the morning.

Stopping the use of that buffer is going to make a huge difference in plant growth, though. With the discus, I'm sure you do plenty of water changes, so keep them up and you'll eliminate those phosphate buffers in no time.

As for light, when you don't have room to add more bulbs, you have to replace them with brighter ones. www.ahsupply.com has some excellent, easy-to-use retrofit kits that will show you how to swap out your tubes for Power Compact bulbs.

- Sam P -
Low Tech Planted Nanos with Bettas
Former Tank Journals:

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
GulfCoastAquarian is offline  
post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-26-2003, 03:40 PM
Guest
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 27
they're a tad expensive. I seen complete compact florescants on ebay (bought one myself) for less, and they come with bulbs.
williammosko is offline  
post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-27-2003, 12:34 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Rex Grigg's Avatar
 
PTrader: (65/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Portland Orygun
Posts: 9,600
But they don't have those awesome reflectors. The reflector is what makes the AH Supply kit. That and it comes with everything you need to install the kit.
Rex Grigg is offline  
post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-27-2003, 04:21 AM
Guest
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 11
I'll have to second Rex's reply. The reflectors of AHSupply Bright Kits are awesome. I have 4x55w suspended over my 55 gallon and MAN! I don't even turn on the room lights when we eat dinner anymore! The tank lights are more than enough. No kidding! The 36w and 55w bulbs you can get in a 5300k temperature, and they are awesome. They have got to be the best looking as far as portraying natural color of plants and fish. They are either 92 or 93 CRI. I have two of the 5300k in front, and two 6700k bulbs in back. I don't think I'll ever change this temp combo. My tank truely looks crisp, BRIGHT, and naturally colored. Many people, especially on this site, seem to like those 93xxk bulbs (don't remember exact temp), but they simply cannot portray true colors in that spectrum, since it has quite a bit too much blue. I'm sure these bulbs make a tank look great, but I don't think they compare to this combo.

Anyways, 55w bulbs are 24" (actually 22.5") long and you could fit maybe two of these in that hood. I use individual reflectors in my setup, but if space is tight, they sell a double reflector (holds two bulbs) that measures 7" front to back rather than 8". It obviously has a slight reflectivity loss from the individual freflectors, but you gotta do what you gotta do! They are still awesome quality reflectors (MIRO 4 Reflectors).
Sumpin'fishy is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Converting my 125 gallon planted tank to a .... kherman General Planted Tank Discussion 2 09-23-2004 08:25 PM
New planted tank questions melbourne General Planted Tank Discussion 7 09-23-2004 03:12 PM
Pixelcrayon's 75gal Planted Tank pixelcrayon Tank Journals 48 07-27-2004 08:58 PM
Planted Tank; no Fish louisxyz General Planted Tank Discussion 3 04-26-2004 08:06 PM
"Tilapia" in a Planted Tank... danpbmx Fish 0 10-13-2003 09:08 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome