Quite Discouraged - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-22-2014, 09:23 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Quite Discouraged

Hello I'm new to the forum so I'm hoping this will help of my many problems that are occuring in my tank. I have a 55 gal with a few plants. 3 to be exact. I have a sand with gravel on top for substrate. I have an algae issue. My plants are now dying. I have a 2 bulb shop light that sits on top of glass lids. I do not have co2. I so wanted to do a low light tank. I even went to the extreme of taking black fabric and enclosing the tank so no extra light will get in. So pretty much I cannot enjoy my tank because it sits behind this black fabric. I have my times for 7-12 and the off from 12-4 and back on from 4-7. I started back on with the liquid fert. for now I have ordered some osmocote root tabs and I haven't gotten those in yet. I would like to rescape the whole tank to black sand. I would save 95% of the water and put back into the tank but i'm afraid of throwing it into a new cycle again. My fish are very happy. I do have 1 problem fish a Pleco. He is useless he flips his tale and rips the leaves of my plants. I'm going to find him a new home soon. I do not know what to do. Any advise I will be appreciate of. Thank You
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-22-2014, 10:06 PM
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No need to save any water from the tank. Make sure you keep the filter media wet for the time of transition. As long as the bacteria is alive, it doesn't matter if the water is new or old. No biological filtration bacteria live in the water column. Be sure to re-acclimate your fish when you are done switching over though. Test the water frequently for a while to make sure your bacteria survived.

The plant in the second picture is Java Fern (Microsorum pteropus). Between the base of the leaves and the start of the roots is a part of the plant called the rhizome. In order for the plant to take nutrients from the water column (as Java fern prefers) the rhizome must be above the substrate. Java fern do well tied to something like an ornament, rock or driftwood.

(not my image)
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-22-2014, 10:21 PM Thread Starter
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Oh I did not know that about the Java Fern. Thank u I will fix that ASAP.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-22-2014, 10:58 PM
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I would like to help you but I need some info on the tank, how long has it been running? What are your water parameters? How often do you clean it and do water changes? That brown algae looks like diatoms , it looks like you haven't cleaned the tank in awhile. Diatoms like low light, excess silicates and excess po4. They could also be a result of poor tank maintenance. I'm not sure why you would cover the tank in black fabric, The lights in your house shouldn't be a problem. Try removing one of the bulbs from your shop light or raising the light to lower intensity. Do one of those and that will instantly eliminate the need for covering the tank.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-22-2014, 11:11 PM
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You have low Co2 levels. I would start dosing liquid Co2 as soon as you can. Your plants take in co2 if you don't have enough Co2 it can cause low alkalinity in your tank. This makes perfect conditions for algae growth your plants need co2 as that plants lose their co2 they can't complete their photosynthetic process in result you could have a brown out. Try a bubbler or Add liquid Co2, it will increase the levels of alkalinity in your tank and help your plants grow. If you over dose on Co2 you can actually kill the algae in your tank. But be careful you can also starve your fish of oxygen. So start slow. Best of luck to you
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-23-2014, 10:25 PM Thread Starter
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I have had the tank for almost a year. I do know that I need an upgrade on the filtration - Right now I have 2 filters that hang on the back of the tank. I change water once a month. I do not have any co2 on the tank. I run bubblers at night when the lights are off. My lights are on timers from 7-12 they are on and off 12-4 and back on 4-7. The reason y I have the black fabric is because the tank in the living room where there are multiple windows. No it is not in direct sunlight it does get extra daylight from the room. I am not fully stocked with my fish. I use well water which I have had tested many times and the water quality is Perfect.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-23-2014, 10:41 PM
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Use the Air pump 24hrs and cut off one hr of the light.
The air doesn't need to create a water fall. You can reduce the amount of it. A couple more plants would help.

The shortest distance between any two points is a straight line...in the opposite direction...

Last edited by Raymond S.; 06-23-2014 at 10:53 PM. Reason: additional info
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-24-2014, 01:49 AM
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Your problem is a combo of lack of nutrients, too much light, and not enough ferts.

I suggest raising your light, more frequent water changes, dosing dry ferts, getting more plants, floaters are key, keep a clean tank.

You will be out of the woods if you work towards providing what the plants need.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-24-2014, 03:03 AM
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The new sand (silica) is also causing some of your algae growth. Be patient with that and listen to Philip
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