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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Need help growing plants.

I have a high light, 5g planted tank with 7 blue shrimp & 1 nirite snail. I don't inject CO2 (no room for it), just liquids.

I put in 1/2ml of liquid CO2 (3) times a week, and 16 drops of Flourish (2) times a week. I change water 15-20% (3) times a week.
Parameters: 0 nitrates/nitrites/ammonia, GH: 255ppm, K: 115ppm, PH 7.4-8. (shrimp and snail want higher PH)
Tap water is high in PH and very hard. That's why I went with shrimp tank. I keep light high for the fissiden moss although it is constantly overgrown with algae and it's browning. Lots of oxygen and water movement via pump.

Issues I'm having:
-Growing moss, as it tends to not be really growing. More algae grows on it, suffocating it, I get lots of string algae and brown algae.
- Anubis nano is developing holes and turning yellow, with holes.
-tons of brown algae on rocks and plants, plant tips are turning brown, stinted plant growth. Had plants melt a bit. Took out everything, and did a Hydrogen peroxide spray, washed and put back in. That helped but I just see it all coming back. Trying to stay on top of water changes but I don't see much results.. What is my tank lacking?
-not sure about my macro nutrient status since I don't stock fish.
-Should I dose phosphorus and potassium?
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So there is a couple of things happening here which are not good. If you really have high light you need to change it up. Moss is a low light plant not a high light so you should be using significantly less light. The other thing that needs to happen is you should be dosing some kind of fertilizer or fertilizer system which is a complete nutritional package. Flourish has very little nitrogen which plants need to survive. The idea behind flourish was to keep a few simple plants alive when you have a heavy fish load. Your bioload is close to zero so your plants have very little nitrogen.

Coupled with pumping a ton of light trying to drive growth the nutrients won't support and your plants are going to suffer.

Also plants like anubias were likely grown emersed with the roots in water but the leaves in the air. They will need to transition to submerged growth. All emersed growth (current leaves) will likely slowly die off over the next 8 or so months while new leaves grow in.

How are you measuring light levels to determine you have high light?

Also how long are you lighting the tank?

Hopefully this is helpful, good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
was set to 19FC at bottom, and 65FC at top of tank. Just reduced it to be 9.5 at bottom 50 at top. It's a growing LED with Red blue and white LEDs and I reduced the blue led's to minimum. Was running it 12hrs/day. Just reduced to 10hrs/day. I really struggle with understanding nutrients. I ordered Thrive S Shrimp Specific All in One Aquarium Fertilizer, hopefully that will raise my values up. I just retested Nitrate and it is at zero.

For nutrients, can I drop in the fish flakes to raise the values? Maybe get an Otos to naturally raise values (although I'm not sure if he'll thrive with high PH/hard water parameters.)
 

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was set to 19FC at bottom, and 65FC at top of tank. Just reduced it to be 9.5 at bottom 50 at top. It's a growing LED with Red blue and white LEDs and I reduced the blue led's to minimum. Was running it 12hrs/day. Just reduced to 10hrs/day. I really struggle with understanding nutrients. I ordered Thrive S Shrimp Specific All in One Aquarium Fertilizer, hopefully that will raise my values up. I just retested Nitrate and it is at zero.

For nutrients, can I drop in the fish flakes to raise the values? Maybe get an Otos to naturally raise values (although I'm not sure if he'll thrive with high PH/hard water parameters.)
I'm not sure what you mean when you say 19FC and 65FC.

When we talk about low, medium, and high light we are referring to PAR / PPFD values. This is a measurement of how much light that plants use is being detected. Generally speaking low light is going to be something with 10-25 par. Medium is 25-50 and High is going to be anything above 50 par. Some lights will have PAR ratings associated with it and you can look them up and see what the PAR is at any specific distance. If you don't know these values then you can not be sure if your tank is running high, medium, low in terms of par.

Anyway 10hours is a long time for a light to be on in a planted tank. I would reduce it to 8 hours. You can split this amount up if you are not around. So if you tend see your tank in the morning and the evening then you could run the light for 2 hours in the morning and 6 hours in the evening etc.

I would not overfeed a shrimp tank. I also wouldn't add a fish just for poop.

The fertilizer will definitely be a complete source of nutrition. If I were you I would dose half of their recommended amount since your plants are pretty undemanding. Also once you start dosing thrive you should stop dosing any other fertilizers. If you get more plants in there or see explosive growth with your current plants you can increase the fertilizer amount as needed. Also you will probably want a plastic syringe for dosing purposes. I believe the pump mechanism on the thrive bottle is for 10 gallons per pump. So you will want like 1/4th of that (probably like .5 or 1ml - not sure from memory). A small plastic syringe easily purchased from amazon or any pharmacy will be great for getting this precisely and consistently.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
I'm not sure what you mean when you say 19FC and 65FC.

When we talk about low, medium, and high light we are referring to PAR / PPFD values. This is a measurement of how much light that plants use is being detected. Generally speaking low light is going to be something with 10-25 par. Medium is 25-50 and High is going to be anything above 50 par. Some lights will have PAR ratings associated with it and you can look them up and see what the PAR is at any specific distance. If you don't know these values then you can not be sure if your tank is running high, medium, low in terms of par.

Anyway 10hours is a long time for a light to be on in a planted tank. I would reduce it to 8 hours. You can split this amount up if you are not around. So if you tend see your tank in the morning and the evening then you could run the light for 2 hours in the morning and 6 hours in the evening etc.

I would not overfeed a shrimp tank. I also wouldn't add a fish just for poop.

The fertilizer will definitely be a complete source of nutrition. If I were you I would dose half of their recommended amount since your plants are pretty undemanding. Also once you start dosing thrive you should stop dosing any other fertilizers. If you get more plants in there or see explosive growth with your current plants you can increase the fertilizer amount as needed. Also you will probably want a plastic syringe for dosing purposes. I believe the pump mechanism on the thrive bottle is for 10 gallons per pump. So you will want like 1/4th of that (probably like .5 or 1ml - not sure from memory). A small plastic syringe easily purchased from amazon or any pharmacy will be great for getting this precisely and consistently.

Good luck!

Gotcha on the Par. will look into model. Adjusted setting to 8hr/day, and will begin with Thrive on Sat. Syringe on the way :)
Thanks for your input. Will update after I stick with the change for a bit.

Is that a daily dose?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
how long has the tank been up and running... has it been cycled properly?
about 2 months

I'm not sure what you mean when you say 19FC and 65FC.

When we talk about low, medium, and high light we are referring to PAR / PPFD values. This is a measurement of how much light that plants use is being detected. Generally speaking low light is going to be something with 10-25 par. Medium is 25-50 and High is going to be anything above 50 par. Some lights will have PAR ratings associated with it and you can look them up and see what the PAR is at any specific distance. If you don't know these values then you can not be sure if your tank is running high, medium, low in terms of par.

Anyway 10hours is a long time for a light to be on in a planted tank. I would reduce it to 8 hours. You can split this amount up if you are not around. So if you tend see your tank in the morning and the evening then you could run the light for 2 hours in the morning and 6 hours in the evening etc.

I would not overfeed a shrimp tank. I also wouldn't add a fish just for poop.

The fertilizer will definitely be a complete source of nutrition. If I were you I would dose half of their recommended amount since your plants are pretty undemanding. Also once you start dosing thrive you should stop dosing any other fertilizers. If you get more plants in there or see explosive growth with your current plants you can increase the fertilizer amount as needed. Also you will probably want a plastic syringe for dosing purposes. I believe the pump mechanism on the thrive bottle is for 10 gallons per pump. So you will want like 1/4th of that (probably like .5 or 1ml - not sure from memory). A small plastic syringe easily purchased from amazon or any pharmacy will be great for getting this precisely and consistently.

Good luck!
Interesting. looks like their pump is sized for 5G now on the Thrive S!
I think they might have diluted it? As before it was for 10G. Doubt pump design changed.
How often should I dose the tank with the 1/2 pump? Also, should I still be dosing liquid CO2 Booster and potassium which appears to be omitted in formula?

My routine plan so far is: 15% water change Mon, 30% on Wed, 10% on Fri. Dose CO2 booster daily, and dose potassium and thrive. on Monday and Friday (start with 1/4 pump).
 

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Typically you would dose a low tech tank like this once a week after a big water change. For the 'liquid co2 boost', be aware this is not actually liquid co2. At best it is an alternate source of carbon, at worst it is a means of killing algae. I use excel on one of my tanks (similar product) but its for algae defense more then anything. So you can keep dosing it if you want.

Also I am assuming you are keeping neocardina shrimp, correct?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Typically you would dose a low tech tank like this once a week after a big water change. For the 'liquid co2 boost', be aware this is not actually liquid co2. At best it is an alternate source of carbon, at worst it is a means of killing algae. I use excel on one of my tanks (similar product) but its for algae defense more then anything. So you can keep dosing it if you want.

Also I am assuming you are keeping neocardina shrimp, correct?
Yeah, I have a lot of brown algae so I'm sticking to liquid CO2 to control it a bit. The original plant leaves/moss is decaying and new ones are growing in, so there's a lot of decay bio-load in the tank right now. I'm trying to stay vigilant on the water changes for now. The stem plants are exploding in growth though. Blades/nanos/moss isn't.

Yes, Neocardina shrimp.

I'm not sure what you mean when you say 19FC and 65FC.

When we talk about low, medium, and high light we are referring to PAR / PPFD values. This is a measurement of how much light that plants use is being detected. Generally speaking low light is going to be something with 10-25 par. Medium is 25-50 and High is going to be anything above 50 par. Some lights will have PAR ratings associated with it and you can look them up and see what the PAR is at any specific distance. If you don't know these values then you can not be sure if your tank is running high, medium, low in terms of par.

Anyway 10hours is a long time for a light to be on in a planted tank. I would reduce it to 8 hours. You can split this amount up if you are not around. So if you tend see your tank in the morning and the evening then you could run the light for 2 hours in the morning and 6 hours in the evening etc.

I would not overfeed a shrimp tank. I also wouldn't add a fish just for poop.

The fertilizer will definitely be a complete source of nutrition. If I were you I would dose half of their recommended amount since your plants are pretty undemanding. Also once you start dosing thrive you should stop dosing any other fertilizers. If you get more plants in there or see explosive growth with your current plants you can increase the fertilizer amount as needed. Also you will probably want a plastic syringe for dosing purposes. I believe the pump mechanism on the thrive bottle is for 10 gallons per pump. So you will want like 1/4th of that (probably like .5 or 1ml - not sure from memory). A small plastic syringe easily purchased from amazon or any pharmacy will be great for getting this precisely and consistently.

Good luck!
So the site doesn't list the par/ ppfd values. But the light does have 6 power options ranging from Full to Low. Looks like at Full, it is putting out 1150lm.
 

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So the site doesn't list the par/ ppfd values. But the light does have 6 power options ranging from Full to Low. Looks like at Full, it is putting out 1150lm.
You can use a lux meter or the lux meter app on a smart phone to get an idea of lux at the depth of your substrate. If you take that number and divide it by 80, you will get a very rough approximation of par.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
You can use a lux meter or the lux meter app on a smart phone to get an idea of lux at the depth of your substrate. If you take that number and divide it by 80, you will get a very rough approximation of par.
OK, so my bottom of tank can do 4 PPFD, and top at 7 PPFD, and that's light set to max. At your recommendation, I've set it to half of that and running at 8hrs/day. Update: Brown algae/diatoms is still bad if not getting worse.
Plant Twig Branch Wood Tree

Red Root floaters beginning to die.
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I read online that for brown algae to go away, you need a lot of light, is this accurate? If so, by running at half power on my lights, aren't I making the brown algae worse?
 
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