Please Help! CO2 EI and High Light and still bad growth. Pics included - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-14-2014, 03:42 AM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Please Help! CO2 EI and High Light and still bad growth. Pics included

Hi, first off I want to say thanks for reading and hopefully figuring out what I am doing wrong that will change this up.


So I am EI dosing my tank with ferrous gluconate, plantex csm + b, monopotassium phosphate, and potassium nitrate. I dose every 2-3 days (originally I had it mixed to a tank 5 gallons larger than I had, so I dose slightly less than I did. From 5 ml to about 3 ish ml).
I have pressurized co2 running into a rex style reactor, no bubbles coming out outflow (I have a pic of it, to show and see if I built it correctly). I have it running at about 2-3 bps. No drop checker as I never got a 4dkh solution, but I just got a scale that goes to .1 g so Ill have one mixed by the next few days, maybe tomorrow. Before however I just eyeballed it. I had it so if I turned the knob just any more than I had, within an hour the fish would be gasping at the top for air, so I am assuming I am borderline.
I have a dual T5 HO 24 watt GE 6500k bulbs on a GLO fixture from Hagen. It is on with a timer from 3 pm to 10 pm. The plants begin to pearl at around 6-7 pm.
Filtration is an ehiem 2213 canister filled with mainly only bio media, with a coarse sponge that I clean out every 2-3 weeks. They are flowed out with the Do!aqua violet pipes.
Substrate is ada aquasoil. I have 3 cory's, 3 black neon tetras, 2 glo light tetras, 1 ember tetra, and 1 albino bristlenose.
This is all hooked to a 17 gallon (12 gallons of actual water) tank that is 20l, 13w and 14h.

So my problem is that I am getting scrawny growth, not as nice color as some of my other friends tanks, and on my ammanis gracilis, deformed leaves, and not as red as from where I got them. Also, I get the detritus algae growth that grows on older leaves. It's a mix of detritus I am assuming as some of it flows away at times, but I am assuming its an algae too since it sometimes doesn't come off with more flow or me patting on it. Pearling bubbles sometimes come out of the leaves covered in this. Another thing confusing me is why am I getting pearling when the growth doesn't seem the best . It's the reason I can't grow glosso or dwarf baby tears, they get covered and die off after a while. So what am I doing wrong? Why is this happening?

From afar, it doesn't look too bad, but I can never get close to it without getting anxiety with how it looks after spending the money I've spent on it with my highschool budget. I don't mind spending more, but I really want my investments to have a real change. I look at older pics of my tank and the growth at times look nicer than it is now, which upsets me.
My next investments of what I was planning to do was to hook up the co2 to a ph controller, or set up a system to get RO water with a tds meter, but idk if it will help. Also maybe a better outflow pipe that has more spread flow.

So this is what I am doing, I have the pics below, and what I plan to do. Please shed your wisdom and help this high school kid with holes in the pockets after putting all that I could . Thank you so much! Especially if you are able to help solve my problem

In the pictures, disregard the mexican candy under the stand, I am hiding my candy from the siblings aha. Also disregard the plants in the front of the tank out of place, I just got them today and havent figured where to put them yet, I have the pic to show the placement of the pipes.
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Last edited by jfishy; 04-14-2014 at 03:47 AM. Reason: to add
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-14-2014, 03:43 AM Thread Starter
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more pictures
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-14-2014, 10:06 AM
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This is all hooked to a 17 gallon (12 gallons of actual water) tank that is 20l, 13w and 14h.

What do you mean by this?
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-14-2014, 11:58 AM
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The top growth of your plants, at least in these pics, looks healthy. I notice 2 things though. Your tank is heavily planted and little light appears to be getting to the lower levels. This could explain the spindly look on the lower end of your plants. The other thing is that you've only got a 2213 creating flow in the tank. I use 2213's so I know the flow from them is not great and in such a heavily planted tank I suspect you've got a lot of dead water spaces. I suspect an inexpensive power head or external pump with a little creative plumbing may help a lot, especially getting good water flow to the lower regions of your tank.
Good luck with it.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-14-2014, 01:13 PM
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I would lower the lights down a bit and add a power head


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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-14-2014, 02:54 PM
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Be careful take it slow lowering the lights and adding a power head got me green string algae
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-14-2014, 03:11 PM
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Looks like you need to trim more/better etc.

Note, the tap water in RC changed a fair amount lately, it's better now.
We got rains finally. In Dec/Jan/Feb, lousy.

Get some algae eaters also, lots of shrimp, lightly vac the gravel's surface, fluff the plants some, maybe 1-2 bushy nose pleco babies. Good sized water changes, trim right before the water change.

Check CO2 again. Water surface movement etc.




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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-14-2014, 03:34 PM
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First, the plant growth in your photos is not clearly deficient in any nutrient, they look healthy. The problem appears to be the brown algae you have covering everything.

1) How long has this tank been setup?

2) Is that Aquasoil in the bottom?

3) What are your nitrate levels?

4) Temperature?

5) How much of each fertilizer are you adding in ppm? KNO3, KH2PO4, CSM+B, Fe-gluconte.

6) Please describe the scrawny growth you mentioned it is not immediately clear from the photos.

7) What are your GH and KH values?


Quote:
Originally Posted by jfishy View Post
So my problem is that I am getting scrawny growth, not as nice color as some of my other friends tanks, and on my ammanis gracilis, deformed leaves, and not as red as from where I got them.
Ammania species routinely produce deformed leaves in response to GH and KH changes. Above GH 6 they tend to be unable to maintain normal leaf shape. They also occasionally deform in response to lighting changes.

I think its great you have friends nearby that have the same hobby.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jfishy View Post
Also, I get the detritus algae growth that grows on older leaves. It's a mix of detritus I am assuming as some of it flows away at times, but I am assuming its an algae too since it sometimes doesn't come off with more flow or me patting on it.
I've found that this particular algae doesn't stick around too long. Try manually removing it as often as you can, and you can try increasing the nitrates a bit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jfishy View Post
Another thing confusing me is why am I getting pearling when the growth doesn't seem the best . It's the reason I can't grow glosso or dwarf baby tears, they get covered and die off after a while. So what am I doing wrong? Why is this happening?
Pearling is not directly related to plant health. It is directly related to how much oxygen there is in the water. A lot of plants in a small place will produce oxygen which will saturate the water, then any new oxygen made cannot dissolve and forms bubbles. The same process happens when you do a water change (the higher pressure and colder water hold more dissolved oxygen which comes out of solution in the lower pressure warmer tank).

I can't say what is wrong with the HC or glosso since I haven't seen photos of those plants when they died. It doesn't seem likely they died from a lack of nutrients, but perhaps the algae blocked too much light as you mentioned.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jfishy View Post
My next investments of what I was planning to do was to hook up the co2 to a ph controller, or set up a system to get RO water with a tds meter, but idk if it will help. Also maybe a better outflow pipe that has more spread flow.
Do not buy a pH controller. It is a useless and expensive device that brings with it no practical benefit. pH is essentially unimportant in freshwater systems and having a pH controller will only limit the CO2 you add to the tank.

An RO system has practical benefit. Being able to control nutrients as you see fit is handy, especially if you want to maintain a lower GH/KH for soft water plants like Ammanias.

Adding more flow is a good idea, which can be done, as others have mentioned, by adding a powerhead or two.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-14-2014, 06:22 PM Thread Starter
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Wow thank you so much all for your input, it's greatly appreciated Especially for so much of it.

@Yiannis : What I meant is that the dimensions of the tank are 20 inches long, 13 inches wide, and 14 inches tall. It is a total of a 17 gallon tank, but after adding my substrate and plants, only 12 gallons of water is in the tank (if I took out all the water, I would come out with 12 gallons with only plants and substrate left in the tank).

@Steve002 : Thanks. hooking up a powerhead (maybe a 2nd 2213 if it will be better) to the tank will be the next thing on my list to do. I guess I just assumed since it was a canister filter I was getting suffice flow compared to the HOB I used to have. Just thinking how to place it so I don't have dead spaces without having the look of the plants being blown my storm winds aha

@Italionstalion and @Agent69 : Will be adding the powerhead for flow, as of for the light I'll eventually slowly lower it. I used to have it lower, but I was blasted with tons of green thread algae and green slime algae too aha. Both have significantly decreased now thank goodness.

@plantbrain : Trim better as in chop the plants lower correct? Thank goodness the water got better, gives me more time on that RO thing aha. I want to get shrimp, ive tried rili and cherry shrimp, but they all died for a reason I don't know, they didn't like something but never figured it out. Ill probably go grab a 2nd bushy baby. I had an otto but I havent seen it in like a week so I am assuming it died. and water surface movement as in have a lot of it, some, or none?

@Zapins : The tank has been set up since October. However newer parts have slowly been added on. CO2 was added december, lights and canister was added in February. Before the canister I had an aquaclear 50. Before the T5 ho lights I had 3 plant nano LEDs from fluval (each on at 8 watts).

Yup aquasoil all around and under

My temperature is at 76 F

Scrawny growth as in skinny. It was mainly referring to two plants, the ammania and the rotala rotundifolia. The ammania for it's leaves, but it's probably from the gh/kh as you mentioned now. The rotala is skinny and the ends on some look curved. This is in comparison to the other rotala rotundifolia I have gotten from friends, which were thicker and the leaves were bigger. But after seeing it, its probably just because I trim my plants at about 1/2 or above and it looks like newer growth, compared to my friend's who trimmed his practically at the bottom, so a more full grown plant. Also he lets his grow to the top for a while, mine I trim before they do usually

I just bought a KH and GH test kit yesterday huzzah! So for kh i got 6 dkh. GH I can barley tell. It was some light green at 4 drops and pretty green at 6 drops.

Nitrates are at 20-40 ppm before a water change today.

ferts are set up the following: (i wrote everything on the back of my bottles just in case i ever needed to know lol)
Using Wet's calculator I set it to make ferts for a 17 gallon tank

KNO3 with 74.45 g of KNO3 in a 475 ml container of distilled water producing 4.73 K ppm/degree, 1.69 N ppm/degree, 7.5 NO3 ppm/ degree for a dosage of 5 ml

Ferrous gluconate:
24.43g of it in 475 ml container of distilled water. .5 ppm/degree at dosages of 5 ml

11.34 g of KH2PO4 in 475 ml container of distilled water. at 5 ml dosages, .54 K ppm/degree, .42 P ppm/ degree, and 1.3 PO4 ppm/degree

For plantex + b was the only one i didnt have written cause I just put I think it was 30 ml in the same 475 ml container. I am making a new one cause it has mold now and will be using the calculator to do so.
Thank you from saving me from buying a ph controller aha. Powerhead seems like the way to go. What do you think would be a better outflow pipe to use instead of the violet pipe? Preferable a glass one to go along.

Thanks to all that have responded. Anyone else feel free to add on, or ask more questions.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-14-2014, 10:40 PM Thread Starter
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Red face

@Zapins : And yeah its cool to know other hobbyists from the area. It's cause I work at an lfs nearby, so when I see someone coming in asking for ammano shrimp instead of algae eating shrimp like others call em, I know they probably got a planted tank goin on aha. Met them all there, we at times trade or give away our trimmings and share info. However, I am one of the only ones I have really struck a conversation with that is running a high tech tank.

Update:
So far, I did a 10 gallon water change and started trimming. I trimmed a lot deeper than usual and started really swishing things around. Then... smell. Sort of like decaying matter. The culprit... well me aha... but my mayaca fluviatilis, being very densely planted, was sort of like a detritus sponge storing all sorts of dead plant matter in the center. I hacked it down and when I saw that, pretty much hacked all the other ones too. Should I not be planting so thickly? even if I upgrade the flow (either to another 2213 canister or external powerhead)? Also cleaned out my filter.
The center of the mayaca, as seen in the pic, seems to be dead. its like a yellow orange now, with the rest covered in that brown algae/detritus and green. I am hoping for new growth to form from what I chop up, then cut and save the trimmings, and re do my tank. Funny, I was sort of planning to start up a 75 gallon, but I think making my 17 gallon perfect would be more satisfying. All a learning process that I enjoy but my wallet and girlfriend don't so much aha.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-14-2014, 11:15 PM
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Hmm, good stuff! Meeting hobbyists is great. You should try get a club started if you have enough interested people, plenty of fun things you can do with others.

Looking at the last picture it seems the lights are quite high up. Perhaps you should try lowering them so the plants don't die from no light & being close together.
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