first planted tank troubles, HELP! - The Planted Tank Forum
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-11-2007, 02:38 PM Thread Starter
Guest
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 39
first planted tank troubles, HELP!

Getting frustrated with my tank. About 1 month ago I decided to venture into the planted tank world, I didn't realize that it was this complicated. I have a 125 with flourite and pool filter sand on top, couple pieces of driftwood and about 15 or 20 medium swordplants(amazon and brazilian). I was told 3 watts p/gal best but I went with 2 T5HO nova extreme with 2 6700 and 2 10000 watt bulbs in each(2.5 watts per gal in what I end up with). Tank is lightly stocked with cardinals, cories, and bn plecos. My ph is about 7.8 so I decided to use Keta peat to soften it up a bit for the plants and fish. The first week the tank looked great, I loved it. Now it looks like crap. Half the leaves are dead, hair algae on all the leaves, driftwood and even the sand is looking nasty. The first couple weeks the lights were on for 9 hours a day and 1 wc per week. When I saw it starting to get cloudy I lowered it to 7 hours a day and 2 wc, not much difference. Now its been getting 2 or 3 wc per week and only 6 hours of light and it does seem to be clearing up slightly but I'm not happy. Using hang on back filters for now with carbon. I did pull the keta peat out a couple weeks back to see if that would help but it didn't. Any help would be great, I just want a decent looking tank with clear water and green plants.
discus33 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-11-2007, 03:07 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Betowess's Avatar
 
PTrader: (27/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Skagit County, Washington State
Posts: 3,199
More info is needed. Do you have pressurized CO2 running? What is the fert regimen? Are you dosing in NPK?

Is it a new tank, or newly converted to planted? Did you chock it full of fast growing stems to start the switch to planted, or only put in a few? Many don't put enough plants in at first and end up with an algae mess.You will want a jungle of plants in there at first to get the tank balanced. Then you can yank a lot out after it has become stable.

T5s are much brighter than traditional so lowering the photoperiod is a good call, though six hours is pretty short. Better to turn on the second bank of T5s midday for only 2-3 hours and run half power for the other 5-6 hours. And a 125 is not a very deep tank, so that is a lot of light- algae is inevitable unless you primarily run half power with the midday blast. I run same light on a 24" tall tank (3 foot 65 gallon) and only use both banks for 3 hours. And its an established tank with CO2. If no CO2 you'll need to only run one bank of two T5 tubes per 3 feet and convert to low light regimen, very few ferts save K.

Do you have diatom outbreak or only green algae?

If you don't have pressurized CO2, you will have algae troubles for a LONG time with that amount of light (even at half power). And carbon pulls trace nutrients out of the water the plants need, so I would quit that too.

IMO, pressurized CO2 is the only way to go if you want a trouble free planted tank, with one exception, slow growing low light tank. Discus would prefer a less bright tank too.





Three Tanks...Eheim 2128 & XP3-90G, Eheim 2128-65G, Eheim 2232-25G.... Tek 4x54 watt T5-90G, Aqualight 96watt PC 65G low tech, 65 watt Aqualight-25G.... Hydors-90G & 65G ... Flourite in 90, 65, & 25 Gallons, .... Auto Water Change/Auto dosing on 90 & 65 gallon..... AGA member......
Betowess is offline  
post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-11-2007, 03:54 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Rex Grigg's Avatar
 
PTrader: (65/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Portland Orygun
Posts: 9,600
Well the first problem I see is too many sword plants. You can completely fill a 125 with just three plants in about 6-9 months if the conditions are right.

As Betowess asked are you running CO2? Are you adding any ferts?

Do you have any other plants in there besides the sword plants?

Also take a few minutes and read my Guide.

3 wpg on a 125 is actually a monster amount of light. Even 2.5 wpg is a high light 125. You pretty much have to have CO2, and DIY is not even something I would want to contemplate on a tank that size. And you need to add nutrients.
Rex Grigg is offline  
 
post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-11-2007, 07:01 PM Thread Starter
Guest
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 39
No co2, no fert, nothing. All swordplants, I really want a strict biotope so I will only use plants from amazon if possible. Don't know what Npk or diamtem are. This has been a bb discus tank that I decided to plant and remove discus. If I addd more swordplants would this solve problem or do you have other amazon plant suggestions? Thanks
discus33 is offline  
post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-11-2007, 08:55 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Betowess's Avatar
 
PTrader: (27/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Skagit County, Washington State
Posts: 3,199
First, Fix the water problems, then maybe add more or new swords. But as Rex said Swords get huge, when happy - well at least most species.
Swords are root feeders so you need rootabs. Best are slow dissolving ones made by Seachem available pretty cheap at Big Als online.

NPK are abbreviations for Nitrogen, Phosphates, and Potassium also known as Macro elements in the hobby. Trace elements are called Micro nutrients and are sold by companies like Seachem too. Or you can save a lot by buying it in powder form from Rex. You'll need to at least dose K if there are fish in there. Fish food and waste might take care of N and P and possibly trace elements. I highly recommend reading Rex's guide, it will solve many problems for you.

IMO, if you want happy Discus, I would spend the $200 for CO2 to lower pH and open plant options. Swords like soft water too as do most plants! But if you don't, then keep the light really low, like one bank per three feet (1/2 power) for max of 10 hours. And dose some K. You can buy the powder cheap from Rex or elsewhere. Its a common hydroponic fert.

Lastly, diatoms are a brown algae which are normal in a new tank. It shows up after 2-4 weeks and last a month or more depending on the tank parameters. Otocinclus catfish (little suckermouth) are terrific to wipe out Diatoms in a weekend.

Good luck!





Three Tanks...Eheim 2128 & XP3-90G, Eheim 2128-65G, Eheim 2232-25G.... Tek 4x54 watt T5-90G, Aqualight 96watt PC 65G low tech, 65 watt Aqualight-25G.... Hydors-90G & 65G ... Flourite in 90, 65, & 25 Gallons, .... Auto Water Change/Auto dosing on 90 & 65 gallon..... AGA member......

Last edited by Betowess; 06-12-2007 at 03:42 AM.
Betowess is offline  
post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-11-2007, 09:45 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Rex Grigg's Avatar
 
PTrader: (65/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Portland Orygun
Posts: 9,600
You don't actually need the root tabs. Dosing the water column works just fine with sword plants.
Rex Grigg is offline  
post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-12-2007, 03:41 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Betowess's Avatar
 
PTrader: (27/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Skagit County, Washington State
Posts: 3,199
They grow better with both roottabs and water column, IMO.





Three Tanks...Eheim 2128 & XP3-90G, Eheim 2128-65G, Eheim 2232-25G.... Tek 4x54 watt T5-90G, Aqualight 96watt PC 65G low tech, 65 watt Aqualight-25G.... Hydors-90G & 65G ... Flourite in 90, 65, & 25 Gallons, .... Auto Water Change/Auto dosing on 90 & 65 gallon..... AGA member......
Betowess is offline  
post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-12-2007, 02:35 PM Thread Starter
Guest
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 39
No carbon in planted tank?
discus33 is offline  
post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-12-2007, 03:02 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Betowess's Avatar
 
PTrader: (27/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Skagit County, Washington State
Posts: 3,199
Quote:
Originally Posted by discus33 View Post
No carbon in planted tank?
Planted tanks don't use carbon. As previously stated it pulls needed nutrients out of the water column. BTW, quality root tabs, although not cheap, are much easier to use than daily water column dosing.





Three Tanks...Eheim 2128 & XP3-90G, Eheim 2128-65G, Eheim 2232-25G.... Tek 4x54 watt T5-90G, Aqualight 96watt PC 65G low tech, 65 watt Aqualight-25G.... Hydors-90G & 65G ... Flourite in 90, 65, & 25 Gallons, .... Auto Water Change/Auto dosing on 90 & 65 gallon..... AGA member......
Betowess is offline  
post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-12-2007, 06:49 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
turbosaurus's Avatar
 
PTrader: (44/100%)
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Yonkers, NY
Posts: 842
I second Betowess suggestion on root tabs. Why dose the water column when you can get away with burying root tabs under the substrate? Just don't over vacuum the gravel near the roots and disturb the fertilizers.

Turn the lighting way down. 2.5w/gallon on a tank that size is WAY WAY high. I am oversimplifying, but you need less wattage per gallon as the tank gets bigger. WPG is not really the best guideline to use.

Get the carbon out of your filter. You don't need it- and it is likely pulling nutrients out of your water that your plants need to grow.

The one thing I am surprised that Rex and Bob didn't mention is these new swords with dying leaves. They are probably shedding emersed leaves. Many growers grow the plants with the leaves emersed, and the emersed leaves will die off once you submerge them. Give them some root tabs and some time. They will take off.

The first 2-3 months is always the worst.
turbosaurus is offline  
post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-13-2007, 01:13 PM Thread Starter
Guest
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 39
So will the swordplants be enough in my tank to control algae or do I need some different kinds of plants no matter what. When I get the co2 will this be enough to stop algae and have swordplants only?
discus33 is offline  
post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-14-2007, 01:04 PM Thread Starter
Guest
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 39
So what would be my best first step, I started reading on the nutrients and such and a bit confused. Not going to get co2 for at least a few months so what should I do specifically. Root tabs I understand but should a use ferts as well. I've got my lighting cut to only half bulbs running for most of the time.
discus33 is offline  
post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-14-2007, 01:51 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
turbosaurus's Avatar
 
PTrader: (44/100%)
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Yonkers, NY
Posts: 842
You've already taken the first step by lowering your lighting.
personally I would avoid dosing any fertilizers in the water column for now and go with just root tabs. Without fast growers or CO2 that will be plenty.
turbosaurus is offline  
post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-14-2007, 02:15 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Betowess's Avatar
 
PTrader: (27/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Skagit County, Washington State
Posts: 3,199
I agree completely. You can study up on the nutrients, it gets easier after a little while. And go lowlight/low tech. But yes, if you can add quite a few "easy to grow" stem plants such as water wisteria, egeria, green hygro, etc. - all easy to find and fast growing stems, that can help tremendously. And if its a newish tank, look for a diatom bloom and Otocinclus cats will fix that.





Three Tanks...Eheim 2128 & XP3-90G, Eheim 2128-65G, Eheim 2232-25G.... Tek 4x54 watt T5-90G, Aqualight 96watt PC 65G low tech, 65 watt Aqualight-25G.... Hydors-90G & 65G ... Flourite in 90, 65, & 25 Gallons, .... Auto Water Change/Auto dosing on 90 & 65 gallon..... AGA member......
Betowess 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



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