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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I have a 10 gallon I would consider maybe moderately planted tank the plants in the tank are water Sprite, I have 3 marimo Moss balls I have two bunches of bacopa and anubias Nana on a piece of Driftwood I also have some Polished River stones that I bought at a local pet shop. The inhabitants of the tank are a single male orange Cambodian veiltail betta, single assassin snail, a single tigers blood nerite snail, two horned nerite snails, two zebra nerite snails and two African dwarf frogs.

I recently upgraded to fluorescent lighting I believe it's just the normal Spectrum bulb that comes with the Aqueon hood that sits on the jointed piece of glass. I don't know what it's called sorry lol. I recently yesterday just got a new filter. I went from a whisper in-tank power 10 gallon filter which just was not doing a good job it was taking up a lot of space in the tank it was not good for the beta having issues with him getting sucked into it blowing around so I recently upgraded to a Marineland bio-filter the size 100 believe it's a penguin 100b which seems to be working awesome and it's my understanding this will give me great biological filtration as well as mechanical and one of the issues that I had with the old filtration system was that when I would change my filter cartridge, the carbon cartridge because it would get full of Gunk like decaying plant matter and so on I would go through a mini cycle which would cause my fish and frogs and stuff to get stressed out and then I was working overtime doing water changes which exacerbated the problem so I'm hoping that this stabilizes the issue.

It is an heated tank I have not got the best heater right now. I have the 50 watt I believe of the Tetra heaters it's preset at 77 in the future I'm looking at doing something like a visatherm that I can set to a specific temperature.

My question regarding the plants is this my water Sprite seems to be doing well I get random brownish patches that I believe to be brown algae. The phosphates from our water system here in Michigan are pretty high I don't know how high because I haven't been able to have it tested but any tank I set up no matter what the size no matter what is Stocked in it and I always get brown algae after its cycle and it does not go away now I've noticed with the bio wheel there is a space where you can put a access filter media like a phosphate absorbing pad so I had a question about that because I'm not sure if the brown patches on the water Sprite are actually brown algae or diatoms my issue and why have so many nerite snails is just that to eat the brown algae if I didn't have brown algae or if there was a way to eliminate that would like a phosphate absorbing pad and that would not harm the plants health I would probably go that route and take at least in the right snails back. I like the assassin my wife is a big fan of snails not so much fish lol

My second question is the anubias that I bought on driftwood the Driftwood itself whenever I move it has these little black specks under it in the gravel talking to a local pet store not a Petco or PetSmart but like a mom and pop store that's well known for having a good reputation they said not to worry about it. Now it's not changing my water acidic it's not changing the color of my water they said it's probably just the tannis of some sort wherever the wood which was conditioned before i ordwred it online with the anubias on it.

My question with a bacopa is I can't seem to Planet without using those lead strips so I put them on the two bunches as Loose as possible planning into the gravel pretty deep but it doesn't seem to be doing well it's only been in there for 2 days so I don't know if maybe it takes a little bit longer to establish and I also don't know light recommendations for all the species of plants I know the Moss ball is pretty much bulletproof as far as that goes but I don't know if the bacopa, water Sprite and anubias all need different spectrum of light or different times that light is on

Currently i am not dosing with any CO2 or any fertilizers because that worries me I've heard some horror stories by just following directions I heard it takes awhile to get it exactly right and I just have a pretty simple liquid Master Test Kit of pH nitrite nitrate and ammonia.

water sprite seems to be doing awesome.

Anubias nana seems to be doing pretty good solid I am getting some new growth but the largest leaf seems to have a little bit of a thin spot in it at so I asked about the light and the bacopa just doeant seem to be doing well, not terrible but not grear. I just don't know maybe this is a good choice for my tank but getting good quality plants in my area seems to be just about impossible when I go to the few stores that actually sell live plants they will either be brown or holes in the leaves are droopy or buying large just not look healthy and I'm worried about buying something like that because it is kind of pricey and then putting it into a low-tech tank and just having it died and contaminate the water I appreciate you guys reading this super long post and any input or help that you can give me I look forward to being on this form for many years and hopefully not only bothering you guys with questions but also contributing thanks so much again.

Also here is a picture of my full tank let me know what you guys think could be done better or what I've done correctly
 

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I just skimmed you posts, but a couple of things to suggest.

1. This is a lightly planted tank at this point, not moderately. I would get more plants.
2 Bacopa does better in at least medium light. Do not bump up past medium-low light without at least using diy C02.
3. Fertilze. Go to Nilocg's website and get his diy EL liquid kit. It is so easy. You would just dose 2.5ml of macros and micros once at week and the kit will last you an insanely long time for only about 30 bucks with the gh booster.
4. Consider using Seachem's Excel as a co2 supplement. Dose 2ml everyday. Helps with algae too.

As long as you have decent lights and you stick to low and medium-low light plants, this is fool proof.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've read co2 in liquid form can go bad, dropping ph quickly if you are not precise to the does your tank needs?

Would you recomend maybe taking the bacopa back for more water sprite?

Any idea how long I should be leaving my light on?
 

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Are you planning on doing other fish because 8 cories would have you fully stocked.

What you heard about excel is not true. I have changed my doses with no ill effect as long as...

1. You don't have inverts
2. You don't have jungle vals or anarchris

When I was doing diy c02 on a 20L, I was dosing 4.5ml of excel daily, which is more than twice the recommended.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have 5 nerite snails, a cherry shrimp, aND an assassin snail so I have plenty of inverts.

I was also going to replace the bacopa with anacharis.

Does this change my plan of attack?

The 8 corries, rather they are habrosus or pygmy would be all I added
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
What if I did more water sprite since it seems to do great in my tank and then keep the anubias nana driftwood and Moss balls. Would that require anything more?

Sorry if these may be dumb questions. I just really want to do things right
 

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Since the bacopa has only been in the tank for two days, it is very early to judge whether or not it will do well. I would give it two weeks before making a judgment. If it were my tank, I would leave the bacopa and see if it settles in, and also add the anacharis to give your tank more plant mass. Any time I make changes to my tank, whether it be adding a new plant, moving a plant, changing lights, fertilizing, etc., I give the changes a couple of weeks before I make a decision. It is a good idea to keep a diary of for your tank, so that you can look back and see what changes worked, and what didn't and to keep track of maintenance, additions and changes.
 

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I double dose excel as per the guru Hoppys instructions. I think Tom Barr suggests this too. Double dosing excel seems pretty widely accepted

I personally would ditch the bacopa and get more watersprite. I would still consider dosing ferts though. Maybe try some water wisteria.
 

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Diatom algae will usually run its course and be done with.

Seachem makes an entire line of Flourish products.

Excel is one of them, it provides Organic Carbon, call it a form of CO2.

My wife keeps two heavily planted tanks thriving with bi-weekly 25% WC's.
She refuses to use any chemicals other than Prime for WC's.
Her tanks contain Moscow guppies and RCS that are constantly breeding.

This can be kept very simple if you choose undemanding plants.
 

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Plants need a lot of nutrients to grow. Water, oxygen, carbon, nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, iron are the ones that come to mind.
Water and oxygen are taken care of.
Carbon, a little is in the water that diffuses from the air and also some from flora and fauna respiration. Adding Seachem Excel if the tank is a bit too bright can help plants outgrow algae better. It is also an algicide and can damage some plants so dose as the bottle reads if you choose to use it.
Nitrogen and phosphorus are found in fish waste, bright tanks can need more of both but you won't.
Calcium and magnesium are components of water hardness so if your water has GH of 1-10 the plants will have plenty. I see damaged shells on my snails so am sure to dose GH booster.
Iron and potassium are less easy to get and that is what you must use. Just dose as the bottle suggests and if there are additional micro nutrients it's fine.

Snails help with diatoms. Time helps. Wiping down the tank panes helps. Lowering the light to the tank helps, either by dimming it with something between light and tank or a shorter lighting period. My new nano just didn't get it this time and neither did my big tank when I rescaped it last summer. I had my programmable LED on very low level for a month, encouraged snails and wiped down the tank at every water change with a white paper towel. I've been doing this for a while and suspect it was all in the lighting as I've always had snails and always wiped the tank down and always had a little diatom growth early on.
 

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I've noticed that the old Ceratopteris thalictroides Oak Leaf variety of Water Sprite doesn't seem to be available any more. I had incredible growth with that variety this new type with the finely pinnate leaves is almost as slow growing as Java Fern.

 
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