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I've recently started my first planted tanks and I'm having a couple issues but let me start with what I have going on in my tank ATM

2 java ferns, 2 amazon sword (tiny still,) some java moss, stargrass (or so I've been told that's what it is), eelgrass/vallisneria, duckweed, water westerns, and a pink and green plant I can't remember the name of.

I have 3 male dwarf gourami, 3 guppies and, 3 snails

At the moment I haven't been adding co2 or any of my flourish (potassium, iron, comprehensive, excel) because I read that it could be good to wait a couple weeks to let the plants get settled. I'm also using a t8 power Glo light.on for 12 hours a day (I need to cut down on the time planing on getting a timer soon)

The java moss has been in my tank the longest, pretty much from the beginning of the fishless cycle I did and the other plants have been added a week ago

The problem I'm having is I have hairy stuff growing on a couple of the plants mainly the java fern. I have algae spots (I think) also on 1 leafs of a java fern and a couple leaves are also turning black. I've made sure not to plant the fern in the substrate (have it tied to a rock using thread) and I know that java fern propagate new plants on their leaves but it's not that ether. I'm not sure what to do.

The fuzzy stuff

The black leaves
 

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here is your breakdown

-that balance of epiphytic growth will be unique to each tank dont judge off others who have it right or lucky

worry about algae later, its a different technique. you already know the basics to beat algae (you have read to maximize plant growth to outcompete nutrients and to add otos to eat etc)<---ask yourself, what have you maximized in either of these known algae techniques>?

back to the plants. notice the pic where the plant matrix is breaking down, ghosting and you can see the strands, its see through etc.

thats your goal to fix, not the algae right now.

java is not your indicator plant to watch anyway, its too slow growing

but Im seeing a slow grower ghosting out slowly and that speaks of no command of nutrients for the plant

your tank is a combination of high tech (lights per gallon, intensity etc) and low tech (supposed to focus heavier on substrate delivered nutrients vs water column absorbed ones) yet the substrate is inert. Predictably you have low organics in the substrate so the system is rather paused. enrich the substrate correctly for low tech, or get co2

you are stuck in the middle, a deliberate action towards either technique pulling you out of the lukewarm middle is the fix. and time


regarding algae, never forget the option exists to simply not follow the rules and still have an algae free tank. 100% everytime, algae is optional

it is not possible for algae to grow on leaves that are kept trimmed and unavailable, or thumb removed, or in systems that deploy UV (a deliberate action) to fight algae resurgence after a cleaning. that which we dont like can easily be removed daily if needed, so until you master or get lucky w algae just remove it.
 

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some searching reveals easy ways to get that algae off using chems etc
now its common to say "i dont want to use chems"
but presenting a middle line tank with no optimization, and that restriction, wont do
:)
another thing you need to narrow down is your light.
post here a thread that shows a tank using your light only, with short new plants, and then at least 6 mos later of the same tank (as threads often evolve)
I tell my reef buddies that so many kit tanks nowadays are -lit- with led and that speaks nothing of actual growth. Skimping on lighting is a bad start unless you planned for low tech and executed it.
a simple thread showing your exact light as the sole source of ludwigia not melting away in 6 mos and Im sold its not your light.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So I have a couple questions because some things you have said I would like clarified.

What exactly are otos? A type of algae eater? And would shrimp or catfish work the same?

The amazon sword and ludwigia (you said the name and I looked up the plant and that is the pink plant I mentioned) both seem a bit see through compared to pics I have.

If I start adding nutrients are the ones I mentioned good? And once I do the plants need to consume the nutrients and that's done by adding co2 and light?

I do have a small 20g pressurized co2 canister, check valve, bubble counter, and diffuser but haven't been able to understand what I need to do with it. Eg how many bubbles/min and whether I need to shut it off at night because of plants reversing the need for co2 and making it instead and that causes ph swings?

I did add root tabs to my amazon swords yesterday But to none of the others because that's the only plant I've read that needs root tabs and the others feed from the water column?

Do u think I need more light for my ludwigia once I add co2 and liquid fertilizer or will that bother my other plants? And if so what should I change it to? (My local fish store gave me the light I have because it was meant for plants but I did notice it didn't have the watts/gallon I've read I should have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Does quoting give you notifications on my thread?

here is your breakdown

-that balance of epiphytic growth will be unique to each tank dont judge off others who have it right or lucky

worry about algae later, its a different technique. you already know the basics to beat algae (you have read to maximize plant growth to outcompete nutrients and to add otos to eat etc)<---ask yourself, what have you maximized in either of these known algae techniques>?

back to the plants. notice the pic where the plant matrix is breaking down, ghosting and you can see the strands, its see through etc.

thats your goal to fix, not the algae right now.

java is not your indicator plant to watch anyway, its too slow growing

but Im seeing a slow grower ghosting out slowly and that speaks of no command of nutrients for the plant

your tank is a combination of high tech (lights per gallon, intensity etc) and low tech (supposed to focus heavier on substrate delivered nutrients vs water column absorbed ones) yet the substrate is inert. Predictably you have low organics in the substrate so the system is rather paused. enrich the substrate correctly for low tech, or get co2

you are stuck in the middle, a deliberate action towards either technique pulling you out of the lukewarm middle is the fix. and time


regarding algae, never forget the option exists to simply not follow the rules and still have an algae free tank. 100% everytime, algae is optional

it is not possible for algae to grow on leaves that are kept trimmed and unavailable, or thumb removed, or in systems that deploy UV (a deliberate action) to fight algae resurgence after a cleaning. that which we dont like can easily be removed daily if needed, so until you master or get lucky w algae just remove it.
I'd love a response but wasn't sure how to let people know I've responded
 
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