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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So I have a 20 gallon long fry tank and a 55 gallon also and I have been noticing what I thought to be brown algae and I kind of need help deciding on how to proceed. I am very new to plants and these are my first plants. Both thanks are established (cycled). My ammonia and nitrite have always tested 0 and my nitrate stays below 40 and most the time below 20. I can test current nitrate if needed. Also I do weekly 50% water changes religiously. Have never missed a water change so far. I have two 4' T5 32 watt bulbs above the 55 gallon (5000k and 6500K) and I have a 30" aquon modular LED with 3 daytime bulbs above the 20 gallon. Somebody told me that this light is not the correct lights for plants. I plan on replacing it but then again if it is OK for plants then I may just save the money and leave it.

anyway I have what I think to be diatoms in both. The 55 gallon has been set up for over 6 months and the 20 gallon long has been set up a month or so.

So a lot of my leaves have turned transparent looking all the way down to the root. I have trimmed most of these leaves off in hopes that the plant recovers a bit. here is an example of a leaf that is turning transparent.



here are some examples of what I believed to be diatoms but I am not sure so I would appreciate any feedback.








The other photos were in the 20 gallon and this one is in the 55 gallon. Looks the same kind of but not exactly.

[


Also are these snails good or bad? do they eat algae? do they eat plants? will they damage fry? any idea of species/type? They hitched a ride on some of the plants I assume.





Here is an overview of the 55 gallon. I am trying to grow a wall of jungle val in the back. Think it looks ok?





Here an overview of the 20 gallon. Does the hornwort look OK?



and here is one of the fry lol.

 

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Diatoms. Picture of snail is not clear/close enough. May eat decaying parts of plants
but mostly eat fine algae on glass/plants. If you are trying to get more growth, you need more ferts. Just more light is not enough.
If the 11 hrs is for viewing, then set timer to be off at middle of day for a couple of hrs. Use no more than 9 hrs..7.5-8.5 is better.
Not having ferts in there is the only reason you don't have algae issues/w that long of light period.

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=107303
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Maybe they are pond snails? Also will these lights be OK or should I just buy different lights? I like the satellite plus but if these lights are OK then I may hold off. Anyone?
 

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I don't think diatoms need much light. They mostlly like silicon, like from some sand, glass and maybe some rocks. I think they're mostly found on the glass. I'm wondering if more frequent large water changes would help with the diatoms.

If the plants can survive with the diatoms on them, I might consider leaving them. If not take the leaves out when they look like they're dying.

Just my take.
 

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But do you agree that the lights should be cut back to 8 hours? Just wondering.
I think the hours of light ought to be 10 or less, with 6 hours min. I'm not sure where the best place is. You might want to check the intestity of the lights with us by listing the bulb type, e.g, T5, and the fixture wattage or bulb wattage, and the tank size(gallons) plus dimensions. Then someone can guess at whether the light is a good match to the tank for the intensity (you can also raise the fixture if necessary).
 

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Agree that they look like pond snails to me, and diatoms. Nothing to worry about on either end. Looks like the plants may be melting a bit. Agree that lighting should be reduced to 7 or 8 hours.

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yes cut back on the lights. i like 8~ish hrs of light, 11 is quite a lot. also your plants have some sort of nutrient deficiency i believe. not an expert so maybe someone else can chime in and help you out.
 

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yes cut back on the lights. i like 8~ish hrs of light, 11 is quite a lot. also your plants have some sort of nutrient deficiency i believe. not an expert so maybe someone else can chime in and help you out.
Was gonna suggest potassium, especially since most of the vals I have ever had are not root heavy feeders and feed more from the water column. But then again I've never had luck with vals in any tank other than my snail breeder, which I do pretty much nothing to except water changes and add calcium.

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I have the same issue with my chain swords. I use osmocote plus but I guess I should start dosing the water column again. I used to use the micro macro mix from aquariumfertilizers before i knew better to not mix them. I figured Eh what ever and use it up. I have better stuff on order this weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I only use osmocote plus, should I be dosing liquid ferts? I know nothing about plants lol. I would love to know what I should be using though.
 

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If you're using Osmocote in capsules under the substrate under plants that take in nutrients from the roots, I don't think it makes it into the water for the other plants. I hesitate to recommend NPK fertilizers for a 20g, although some people use it. You might get the Seachem NPK and use small quantities, following the instructions. You could also use Seachem Flourish Comprehensive for micro ferts.
 

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If you're using Osmocote in capsules under the substrate under plants that take in nutrients from the roots, I don't think it makes it into the water for the other plants. I hesitate to recommend NPK fertilizers for a 20g, although some people use it. You might get the Seachem NPK and use small quantities, following the instructions. You could also use Seachem Flourish Comprehensive for micro ferts.
What's the issue with using NPK fertilizers in a smaller tank? Just curious because I'm using modified EI dosing for my 20g and 2g...
 

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What's the issue with using NPK fertilizers in a smaller tank? Just curious because I'm using modified EI dosing for my 20g and 2g...
I think this may answer both questions. I don't have an issue with ferts in small tanks. The idea I've heard is that you don't need them if you have fish. Fish supply Nitrogen, Phosphorous and I would think at least some micronutrients from the fish food. I've heard that fish food doesn't supply Potassium. But I would say if you can deal with the small quantities, why not make sure the plants get their ferts? Btw, what is a "modified" EI?

"So if I don't dose NPK can the jungle vals die? "

In my 10g I dosed Seachem Flourish Comprehensive and Root Tabs (both micro ferts) and I believe my plants ran out of gas. My tap water is very soft, and there's probably not a lot of just about anything, including Potassium. General Hardness might give an indication about what's in the water, but if you knew what exactly is in the water, like at the state water resources website, and you knew the dosage that is necessary, you would have your answer. It may be easier just to dose ferts.
 

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Those snails look like Ramshorn snails to me. If you look closely, you can see a leopard pattern on the shell which is common with ramshorns. Well either way, they still serve the same functionality as Pond snails.
 
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