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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yup, still trying to figure this whole planted aquarium thing out, but I'm learning. When I first started a month ago I figured I'd keep it simple and just start with some moss. Moss will grow anywhere right?

I can grow moss in a bowl with no light other then light it gets from the bulb in my room. I can grow it in a bucket with no filtration or anything. But I still can't grow it in my fishtank.

I've tried all sorts of differnt things to get it to grow in my tank but ever time it gets attacked by algae. But I think I might be onto something now.

I've been trying to recreate the conditions of my bucket, or decoding what I'm doing right and wronge. I'm trying to learn from my moss.

I have to say its been tough to kill it. I've barmbarded it with ferts, had it attacked by all sorts of algae, but everytime I put in a bucket with fresh water it comes back in 3-5 days.

I started out with a 5.5 gallon aquarium, a strip light, a zoomed 501 canister filter. I had 3 fish and bunch of Peacock moss.

The first time I set the tank up like any standard aquarium and just added the moss attached to some wood. It wasnt looking too good so I started adding excel and flourish. It got attacked by algae.

I brought it back to life in the bucket and gave it another try. This time no ferts and it got attacked by algae.

So I tried again a 3rd time, this time with no ferts, and no filter, just a air pump with a bubble wand. It got attacked by algae again.

This will be my 4th attemp to recreate what I'm doing right with the moss in the bucket.

As of now I took the moss out and put it back in the bucket to bring it back and get rid of the algae. This time I'm removing the air pump. I'm going to run the filter with no floss so no waste gets trapped because of phosephates. And I'm removing the biofiltration from the filter becasue I think it was robbing the moss of amonia and nitrite. So basicaly the filter is just gonna be for circulation.

Another problem might be my substrate. I have some fine pea gravel which I think is getting alot of waste building up in it. So I'm swiching to sand so any waste will sit on top if it and I'll know if its there.

Some poeple have said to add some fast growing stem plants. I kinda dont wanna have to do that. Because its just one more thing I have to try and keep alive. Also I dont have alot of room to work with, my wood takes up alot of space.

My goal is to get some green heathy moss that is algae free. It can grow in my bucket I shuold be able to get it to grow in my tank. The only other thing I can think of after this is too much light. But I'm having a hard time excepting 10 hours with a strip light is too much.

I've done alot of searches and reading on this site and I'm running out of things to try.

Anyone have some suggestions? or advice to they could share?
 

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In my opinion, I think you should still leave media in the filter. Moss isn't very fast growing so it isn't going to suck up many nutrients. As a result, moss is definitely not demanding, but won't require much in the way of fertilizers. But, you have to remember that the fish are producing waste (ammonia, etc.) and since moss isn't a fast grower, you should definitely keep media in the filter to establish even more surfaces for nitrifying bacteria to colonize.

Do you have an idea of what the wattage is on the strip light? Too much light will also cause problems. Also, what is in that 5.5 gallon? If your tank is overstocked and fish are producing much more ammonia than can be converted to nitrites and eventually nitrates, then you're definitely putting yourself at higher risk for algae.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
In my opinion, I think you should still leave media in the filter. Moss isn't very fast growing so it isn't going to suck up many nutrients. As a result, moss is definitely not demanding, but won't require much in the way of fertilizers. But, you have to remember that the fish are producing waste (ammonia, etc.) and since moss isn't a fast grower, you should definitely keep media in the filter to establish even more surfaces for nitrifying bacteria to colonize.

Do you have an idea of what the wattage is on the strip light? Too much light will also cause problems. Also, what is in that 5.5 gallon? If your tank is overstocked and fish are producing much more ammonia than can be converted to nitrites and eventually nitrates, then you're definitely putting yourself at higher risk for algae.
I have a 14 watt fullspectrum bulb, I started with 3 danios but I'm down to one now. When I fisrt set the tank up my ammonia was very high up until I added the moss. Within an hours it had soaked up all the ammonia and the tank cycled in no time.

What I dont under stand is the moss in my bowl and bucket have no filtration and no light. It does better then the stuff in my tank with no algae problems.

I've tried running the tank with just the filter and the media and I had severe algae problems. I didnt think one fish would be too much of a bioload. I read that there was no need to build a large bacteria colony because plants do much of the work and the colony would rob the plants of amonia and nitrite.
 

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Well yes, plants working as your "bio-filter" so to speak generally holds true if you have lots of fast growing plants. Moss I personally don't think of as a plant that would be considered to be a part of that group. It is better than nothing though, but it is so slow growing. But, if it is able to soak up the ammonia, etc. then that's golden!

Either way, 3 danios does not seem like too much for a 5.5 gallon tank.

What type of algae is it? Got any pictures you may post? Often times new set-ups may run into algae problems like diatoms, etc. that may go away just with time.
 

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I had the same problem. I think I know.
Moss do fine in low light, no nutrient situation like a bucket.

But when you put it in an aquarium with decent lights, some nutrients, algae will grow all over it... The key is CO2... When you give plants light & nutrients but no CO2, it won't do so well.. So, the algae will use what the moss is not using.
 

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Add CO2 with a sugar/yeast method mentioned here:

http://www.thekrib.com/Plants/CO2/co2-narten.html

Then also turn your light off except for about 5-6 hours daily(maximum), on that tank you'll have more than enought light for the moss if it grows fine in your normal room lighting.(also is the tank getting any daylight)?

Post a pic of the algae so we can see what type(s) your getting, also, different algae has different problems that create each type. Knowing what algae your getting can help in the determination of the problem by analizing the different factors.

I suspect the CO2 though, and too much light without any further info.
 

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If a question of moss arises and you don't know what the answer is what should you do? Call me, your friendly (usually) neighborhood Moss Man!:icon_bigg

Well yes, plants working as your "bio-filter" so to speak generally holds true if you have lots of fast growing plants. Moss I personally don't think of as a plant that would be considered to be a part of that group. It is better than nothing though, but it is so slow growing. But, if it is able to soak up the ammonia, etc. then that's golden!

Either way, 3 danios does not seem like too much for a 5.5 gallon tank.

What type of algae is it? Got any pictures you may post? Often times new set-ups may run into algae problems like diatoms, etc. that may go away just with time.
Sorry to put it so flat and bold, but you're wrong. Want photo evidence? Here it is. This was in about one month, no ferts!


THEN,



1 or 2 months growth not too sure;)

I had the same problem. I think I know.
Moss do fine in low light, no nutrient situation like a bucket.

But when you put it in an aquarium with decent lights, some nutrients, algae will grow all over it... The key is CO2... When you give plants light & nutrients but no CO2, it won't do so well.. So, the algae will use what the moss is not using.
Yes and No, Usually talking you give plants CO2 to suck up nutrients faster than they would with the normal CO2 levels in the tank, thus pumping the tank water with nutrients and CO2 to make plants grow much faster than normal. Moss requires no CO2, I don't think it really cares too too much either way. Yeah it will help but it's not required. The key thing is light, there is too much light and too little plant mass. If you want to keep the algea at bay you need to up the plant mass. Simple as that;)

Any more moss questions PM me since I might miss them here.

-Andrew

PS. I know some people will think I'm a bit high on CO2 right now, but all the stuff stated is quiet true... but I'm about to fall asleep and should be doing homework so It might be a bit off.:angryfire
 

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Moss requires no CO2, I don't think it really cares too too much either way. Yeah it will help but it's not required.:angryfire
Welp your wrong about this. Truth is that "ALL" plants require CO2. Thats how they photosynthesize. PERIOD. Without CO2 there is not a plant I have heard of that can grow. Maybe you mean that your mosses do not need that much CO2 because your fish put some into the water column and therefore you do not have to add "additional" CO2 but the plants still MUST have the stuff.

For this situation the lighting is set with too many hours on while the tank is still having algae problems. To correct the algae which is what this post was about originally the best method is to give the plants ALL required nutrients(CO2 is a nutrient) and lighting and water quality. Assuming the water quality is fine and that the ferts that are being added are in appropriate doses leaves only the light duration and guess what... CO2.

Best to test out these params first before moving on to other things though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thx for the help,

I don't have any pics of the algae, But I'm pretty sure this is what it is.

I have blue/green algae growing on the gravel. I know its blue/green because I've seen it before.

I have greenspot growing on the glass but not on the plants.

I have this other suff growing on the wood and glass it's stringy and greyish/brown. Kinda looks like stringy cobwebs.

The algea thats attacking the moss is like brown fuzz. Kinda looks like fungus, but instead of being white its brown and hairy.

I'm begining to think that, eventhough its only a strip light, and I now no all lights are equel. But I think I have too much light and not enough co2.

I've noticed that the moss on the wood closest to the light turns yellow then brown and dies. While the moss at the bottom of the tank don't do it. The moss that is closest to the light is only about midlevel in the aquarium.

I was hopeing to start with moss and work my way up to co2 eventualy. If I have to add co2 I'm gonna scrap this project and turn it into a fish only tank.

When I decide to go with co2 I'm diving in head first and getting a fully auto co2 system and a larger tank.
 

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With all those types of algae your ferts are to strong probably. Check how much your suppoed to have, and do a water change to reduce the amount for a while. (in smaller tanks lesser is better with ferts).

Also what temp are you keeping this tank at? Ideally mosses like it in the cooler range at say 73-77 -vs- typical tropical temps af 80-82. Kinda hard to control in some weather like hot summer days. This is not to say that higher temps are not tolerated...

Mosses are pretty much the easiest plant to keep when not overdoing anything like light amount or ferts. I always keep the KISS method (keep it simple stupid) with the plants. IE less of me messing around with the tank works better for the plants.

This is a new setup also so the whole thing is in flux with ammonia, then nitrites, then nitrates(controlable with more plants). While in flux I would not even use ferts for about a month. The CO2 will help the plants use up the available ferts from fish waste and cycling for that long.
 

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Welp your wrong about this. Truth is that "ALL" plants require CO2. Thats how they photosynthesize. PERIOD. Without CO2 there is not a plant I have heard of that can grow. Maybe you mean that your mosses do not need that much CO2 because your fish put some into the water column and therefore you do not have to add "additional" CO2 but the plants still MUST have the stuff.

For this situation the lighting is set with too many hours on while the tank is still having algae problems. To correct the algae which is what this post was about originally the best method is to give the plants ALL required nutrients(CO2 is a nutrient) and lighting and water quality. Assuming the water quality is fine and that the ferts that are being added are in appropriate doses leaves only the light duration and guess what... CO2.

Best to test out these params first before moving on to other things though.
I agree with G doug here. Anything that photosynthesize use CO2.
 

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Anyways, wantsome, since you're tank is 5.5 gallons, and you mentioned excel earlier, you could try just dosing that as opposed to CO2.

Some individuals overdose Flourish Excel to actually get rid of algae as well. You could try searching on the forums for how individuals did that. In addition, once the algae is gone, you could probably dose excel per the directions from Day 1 of your tank being set up.
 

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There is some truth in this statement but the costs are greater than just making a CO2 reactor and adding yeast and sugar to get the "Proper" type of Carbon.
The costs are nothing on a 5.5 gallon.
 

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Since most people have everything in their houshold for generating CO2 in a 2 liter bottle setup anyways the cost are even lower than buying chem of any sort for CO2. but costs aside, thi main reason for CO2 is to add Carbon. with excel your not actually adding carbon just faking the plants into believing they have it (if I read the site correctly about this). I am old fashioned about CO2 but if something new will work just as well no matter what someone spends that's Great!

I would still think of naturally getting rid of the algae with inhabitants/lighting/CO2 rather than anything that "Might" do harm to plants also. ie. if it kills algae then it can kill plants if accidentally used improperly, but the choice is to each their own.
 

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Welp your wrong about this. Truth is that "ALL" plants require CO2. Thats how they photosynthesize. PERIOD. Without CO2 there is not a plant I have heard of that can grow. Maybe you mean that your mosses do not need that much CO2 because your fish put some into the water column and therefore you do not have to add "additional" CO2 but the plants still MUST have the stuff.

For this situation the lighting is set with too many hours on while the tank is still having algae problems. To correct the algae which is what this post was about originally the best method is to give the plants ALL required nutrients(CO2 is a nutrient) and lighting and water quality. Assuming the water quality is fine and that the ferts that are being added are in appropriate doses leaves only the light duration and guess what... CO2.

Best to test out these params first before moving on to other things though.
Sorry I was falling asleep while typing :sleep: I meant that no additional CO2 is required;) fish waste isn't even required, moss uses VERY LITTLE CO2 and ferts thats why it does so well in a low light bucket!

The best way to get the algae away in my opinion is to scrap the tank at the moment, pull the moss out and then clean the tank. Then restart and keep a lower wattage bulb there, something around 1-2 WPG and you shouldn't have any problems. My 10g has the normal strip light and thats how my moss grows ;) . Moss also has a 'acclimation period' in my opinion it's almost like some corals. It can take a day, to a month for the moss to get comfortable and get growing, so if it doesn't grow right away don't worry. Also, in a new tank add carbon to the filter. You don't need too many nutrients especially in a tank with algea, keep it simple and algae free don't worry about the moss it will grow;)

Since most people have everything in their houshold for generating CO2 in a 2 liter bottle setup anyways the cost are even lower than buying chem of any sort for CO2. but costs aside, thi main reason for CO2 is to add Carbon. with excel your not actually adding carbon just faking the plants into believing they have it (if I read the site correctly about this). I am old fashioned about CO2 but if something new will work just as well no matter what someone spends that's Great!

I would still think of naturally getting rid of the algae with inhabitants/lighting/CO2 rather than anything that "Might" do harm to plants also. ie. if it kills algae then it can kill plants if accidentally used improperly, but the choice is to each their own.
Flourish Excel™ is a source of bioavailable organic carbon. All
(from their site). Basically saying that it is carbon:proud: it's just not a gass, but a liquid state. Also CO2 isn't a nutrient it's a gass (usually at times a solid, or liquid) It isn't NKP or a Micro nutrient to my knowledge.

So to the original poster, just keep the tank simple and moss will grow.

-Andrew
 

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The best way to get the algae away in my opinion is to scrap the tank at the moment, pull the moss out and then clean the tank. Then restart and keep a lower wattage bulb there, something around 1-2 WPG and you shouldn't have any problems.-Andrew
I agree with this after seeing everything here. Just clean out the tank and rinse the moss in a bucket of normal water at room temp to get as much bluegreen algae out of it (spores and all) then restart without much light and NO FERTS to begin with since your tank is in flux for the first month or so during cycling. Then begin ferts when you test your tank water for nitrates and have no nitrites or ammonia. Maybe add a couple MTS for the algae eating ability just to get the tank off to a good start.

I guess I missread the site on excel i'll go back now and check it out again instead of 2am.

I read in a book about co2 being a nutrient the most important one. Probably just their way of making it sound familiar for anyone reading it... I will find that info sometime also, though, I have over 100 books to go through so don't hold your breath...;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thx for the reply's everyone. I have a delema on what to try, Newb say's try carbon in the filter and a lower wattage bulb. Which I think sounds good but this is the smallest light I could find for a 5.5 gallon. Thats what I wanted was to keep it simple. I have a question though, I thought about the carbon but woundnt that soak up nutriants and end up as phosephates? I was told by my local petstore that my tap water has alot of phosphates to begin with.

I plan on cleaning the tank out and switching the substrate to sand so that the waste sits on top and I can see it more easly. I'm also gonna add the biorings back to the filter. I think the lack of bio filtration lead to the blue/green algae.

Doug made some sense too about adding co2. I went out and bought some jello and yeast. I'm thinking about injecting it into my canister filter to defuse it. I read someone did that with the filter I have in one of my searches.

But I belive what newb said that moss needs very little light and co2. Because I'm seeing how my moss is reacting in my bucket. I'm worried that if I add co2 I don't have enough light being its only a strip light. I'm worried I'll have too much co2 and not enough light for it to get used.

I have about 4 golf ball size portions of moss attached to some wood.

If I could I wonder if I add co2 is there away to controll it in a DIY setup so I dont get too much?

And If I add co2 would I have to dose ferts? I have flourish would that do? or would I have to go with the whole seachem line? Would say a 50% water change a week replenish any elements missing?

In the end I'm realy confused I'm haveing a hard time beliveing a strip light is too much light that I would need co2.

I think I'll try co2 for a few days and see how things go. If things take a turn for the worse and I can't work them out. The I'll buy a smaller light maybe a incandecent fixture and a single 10 watt screw in pc bulb and add some carbon.

I do think I have alot of nutriance not getting used its just a matter of how to correct it.

Keep the comments comming I'll all ears
 

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Maybe just reduce the hours the light is on first before buying any other lighting. Take it down to around 5-6 hours per day with what you have after cleaning out the tank and moss as above.

Then add CO2 and no ferts since your tank is in flux the moss can get some ammonia from the cycling.

This will be my last recomendation since things are getting to complicated here with different opinions about all of this. I hope you can work this out though and remember the mosses are VERY simple plants like algae they aren't very high up the list on difficulty either so don't get disallusioned with all this help.

Just keep trying and you'll get a combo that works for you.
 
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