Those of you who've done iwagumi layouts... - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-16-2008, 12:18 AM Thread Starter
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Those of you who've done iwagumi layouts...

...do you start the tank out from the beginning with a crapload of stem plants, and then gradually remove them as the carpet fills in? Or do you start from the beginning with only the carpet plant, and just deal with the algae as it happens? The reason I ask is I can see that people do it both ways, and I'm a few inches away from throwing my hands in the air and planting a buttload of rotala all around the edges of the tank.

As of right now, I'm keeping things in check, I believe. But there are an awful lot of diatoms growing in there, every day, and it's more than the otos and the amanos can keep up with. Also, there is a lot of green dust algae growing on the rocks, but I actually don't mind that so much because it's pretty. But in the last week I've noticed thread algae starting to make its presence known, so I mowed the grass down to the substrate, hoping the cleanup crew will start munching on it.

I'm just starting to get slightly anxious about this setup, and looking for some bits of wisdom from those of you who've been through this before.

I'm running pressurized CO2 at just less than 2 bps, which keeps the drop checker at a yellowish-green color. I'm dosing EI style at the recommended dosage (for a 20g) of 1/4tsp KNO3, 1/16tsp KH2PO4, 1/16tsp K2SO4, and 1/16tsp CSM+B. Each of these is 3x weekly, and 50% water change on 7th day.

Oh yeah, and 72w NO t-5 lighting.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-16-2008, 12:36 AM
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I just start with the end-plant list, but start with no livestock and extremely high co2 for the first month or two until growth is established. No algae problems except a bit of GDA.

I only ever get GDA and GSA in new set ups. GSA always goes away on its own; best not to mess with it. Thread algae is from low co2 or some ammonia. Drop checkers are only a rough idea ~ watching the fish and plants is better.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-16-2008, 01:16 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the quick reply, Mac. So the thread algae means I either need to up the CO2, or there is ammonia in the water. If it's an ammonia problem, I wonder if it has to do with either: A) I just recently switched to Novaqua from Prime, because the closest lfs only has novaqua, and I bought it, even though I always used Prime before. Or B) I started using a diy "python" to do my water changes, and before that I always added Prime to a gallon jug of tap water, then poured that in the tank, and repeated. That meant that the Prime had time to de-ammoniate the water before adding. But now I'm just draining half the tank, adding the recommended dose of novaqua, and filling from the tap.

I don't have any test kits. Maybe it's time?

And fwiw, the grass is growing/spreading. At a nice rate. It pearls every day, too. And the fish and shrimp all seem to look healthy and happy.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-16-2008, 02:01 AM
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To your credit, one of the remedies is increased plant mass and/or increased co2, according to the best algae guide on the web (IMHO): link.

I'd get a test kit (and not just necessarily for this situation). I only use them when setting up a new tank, or something looks obviously wrong with the livestock.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-16-2008, 02:14 AM
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I'm pretty sure both Prime and Novaqua convert ammonia into ammonium, which is still available to both plants and algae. So I don't think that's your answer?





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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-16-2008, 02:19 AM
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I was suggesting ammonia because it is a new tank and perhaps there is some ammonia from that (i.e., fish and/or aquasoil or whatever), not because it was in the water supply.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-16-2008, 02:38 AM Thread Starter
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Well, it's not exactly new anymore, but I wouldn't say it's been up for a long time either. That algae guide link was awesome, btw, so thanks for that. I'm not concerned about the ammonia then. I'm guessing it's CO2 related, or possibly water flow related. I'm going to clean the 2213 out tonight and see if things seem better. I have also upped the CO2 slightly, to just over 2 bps.

Do you guys think I have enough otos/shrimp to perform the janitorial duties of a 20L? I have 6 otos and 15 amanos. No snails, though.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-16-2008, 03:35 AM
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Yeah, I think so. Thats quite a bit.
I would plant like half with carpet half dense with rotala
as first half fills in rip a few inches of stems at a time

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-03-2008, 12:20 AM Thread Starter
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Ok, so recently I did a thorough gravel vac, which sucked up a whole lot of algae-ridden microsword, and stopped dosing ferts for about 5 days, so I could reset the EI schedule and start it off on my preferred day. WELL... I noticed that the tank seemed really clean and algae free during this time, and shortly after I began the EI routine again. But it looks like it all is coming back again! It's mostly thread algae, but some green dust and diatoms too. What it appears like to me, and I don't necessarily know if this is the case, is that beginning the ferts again has caused there to be an excess of nutrients in the water, and the algae are photosynthesizing it MUCH more rapidly than the lilaeopsis.

Does this sound about right? Could that be what's going on here? That without any fast growing stem plants to suck it all down, and knowing that lilaeopsis is not the fastest grower in the world, I simply should not be dosing anything?

I'm getting bored with my tank already, and I don't like that. I want to learn to curb algae growth without "cheating" by throwing a bunch of rotala in there.

Sad face.


*edit --- after posting this, I started really thinking about it, and I'm really feeling the lightbulb on over my head! Seriously, could the problem be that EI wasn't designed for a single-species, carpet-only, iwagumi kind of tank? Should I just be testing the water and being a little more "scientific" about my dosing strategy? Am I finally on to it, or am I deluding myself?
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-03-2008, 07:40 AM
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Cut your dosing in half. Plants can only grow so fast anyway, and you don't have enough of them in the tank to go full EI yet.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-03-2008, 12:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Church View Post
stopped dosing ferts for about 5 days, so I could reset the EI schedule and start it off on my preferred day. WELL... I noticed that the tank seemed really clean and algae free during this time, and shortly after I began the EI routine again. But it looks like it all is coming back again!
I don't think algae pops up the day after a specific condition is made. The case may be different for the algaes you're dealing with, but I know that BBA takes from 5-7 days to show up once you starve the tank of CO2, and clado starts popping up about 5-7 days after my tank sees an ammonia spike. I do believe that Green Water also takes a day or two to show up after you feed it ammonia, and it's a simple cell algae.

You probably could cut your EI schedule in half, and everything would be ok, since you don't have much nutrient uptake without having nutrient absorbing plants, like your hygro's or limno's. But, I really don't think dosing the recommended amount will cause the algae either. I could (and have) double the EI dosing in my tank, and I wouldn't see any additional algae, granted I do have some fast growers in my tank.

I can't give any real solutions , but it's something to think about. Good luck to you!


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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-03-2008, 08:16 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all your help everyone. I'm just gonna keep EI dosing, at half the recommended amount for a 20g, and spot treat the algae as it occurs. It's a PITA, but I'm really trying to avoid putting any stem plants in there if I can help it.

I can do this...
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-03-2008, 10:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Church View Post

I can do this...
Nicorette can help


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