I recently joined this forum and was so inspired by some of the pictures that I took on the mission of completely redesigning my aquarium. I emptied it entirely, put the fish and water and Aquaclear 50 filter on a 67 gallon rubbermaid tub. Meanwhile I hauled out the old crappy substrate and replaced it with 21 KGs of Flourite Black. Received a plant order from ThePlantGuy here in Canada and planted those. After a solid weekends worth of work my tank was looking pretty nice compared to what it used to be. It's been two weeks now since I did the overhaul. Here's a picture taken 1 week ago;
I'm gonna try to be as thorough as possible with the tank specs, although I dont have my water parameters handy right now.
The tank is a 35 gallon open top. 36" long, 12" deep and 20" tall. I have one Aquaclear 50 filter located in the middle. No other filtration or water circulation (which I think might be one of my problems). As you can see I have 2 large pieces of Malaysian driftwood and 1 rock which probably obstructs waterflow to a certain degree.
The plants in there right now are;
- 4 portions Brazilian Microsword
- 1 Echinodorus 'Oriental' (only plant that seem to be growing well, although it might be slowly dying so hard to tell..)
- 4 baby Crypt Wendtii
- 2 Ammania Gracilis (Nesaea Crassicaulis)
- 2 Lobelia Cardinalis
- 1 large Anubias Barteri
- a couple handful of Amazon Frogbit (to provide shade for Anubias)
- 3 Hygrophilia Carymbosa
- 1 Unknown red plant - sold to me as Red Ivy (recently bleach dipped to remove BBA)
The fish in there are;
- 1 large Angelfish
- 3 Harlequin Rasboras
- 5 Buenos Aires Tetras (which are eating the lobelia and microsword)
- 6 or 7 platies
My fertilizers are;
- Nutrifin Plant Gro
- Flourish Potassium
- Flourish Trace
- Flourish Excel
- KNO3 (not using it though)
(used if needed)
My lights are;
- 4 light fixture with 3 T5HO 6500K bulbs and 1 actinic.
- I currently only use 2 x 6500K bulbs on for 12 hours per day. The other 2 remain off because I was worried about too much light.
is to have a medium-tech, medium maintenance tank. I want to avoid have a CO2 system and would like to stick to Flourish Excel as the only carbon source.
I understand that this would mean slower growth and less fertilizers than a higher tech tank.
- Stunted plant growth
- Algae on driftwood (the one right under the Aquaclear filter)
- Dust and hairy looking strands on some leaves
- Dying bottom leaves
- Fish eating microsword and lobelia
Specific Plant problems;
- New Hygrophilia leaves are very small, crumbled and curly and grow very slowly. (When I first had this aqaurium 3 years ago, I had 1 actinic light and clown puke gravel and somehow this plant was growing very well. Now it looks really sad). Leaves are turning transparent and collecting algae.
- Lobelia Cardinalis leaves are no longer bright green and are slowly turning brownish. Some have become transparent and fallen off.
- Ammania Gracilis leaves are falling off towards the bottom and leaves are collection alot of dust and hairs. Fear it'll start getting overrun with algae.
- Anubias is collecting algae on leaves.
Fert Dosing regime;
- 5ml Flourish Excel every 2 days. 10ml after 30% water change.
- 5ml Flourish Trace twice a week
- 5ml Flourish Potassium once a week
- 5ml Nutrifin Plant Gro after 30% water change.
Last time I checked my water parameters, they were on par with what Nutrifin was recommending. But, I feel like those are general guidelines and not necessarily applicable to planted tanks.
So I really need help for the following;
- Understanding Plant needs and nutrient requirements and what it is I am missing.
- Fish and plant compatibility (I'm most likely going to give the Buenos Aires tetras to LFS)
- Water circulation specifics. Whether I am lacking significantly and creating many deadspots and how to solve that.
- Better Fertilization Regime.
- I used to own 6 golden algae eaters but got rid of them when I redid the tank 2 weeks ago. I figured it would be nearly impossible to fish them out of this newly setup tanks and since have not had an algae eaters. Would amano shrimp work well in this tank? I'm having a very hard time locating SAEs around here and also read that they destroy microsword so not sure about that option. And lastly, I was thinking about Nerite Snails but worry that they wont be able to clean the delicate and small leaves of the Ammania Gracilis...
Please help, its getting very discouraging to spend money and watching things get ugly and die. I would really like to make this a long term hobby but I feel like I'm lacking some serious understanding about how to make it work.
Thank you very very much in advance!