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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,
I am new to the hobby and have started my first tank last Monday so on day 8 today.

The tank is 318 litres in capacity.

I am running 2 Fluval LED plant spectrum which are 59 watts each. I have them on full power for 6 hours a day since I started and CO2 comes on 2 hours before light comes on and turns off 1 hour before lights turn off.

Dimensions 122cm x 61cm x 46cm

Filters: Oase 850 and Fluvial FX6.

When I calculated lighting I thought this would be enough for this tank but I have some slow growing algae on the hardscape and so was thinking whether I am using too much light or not? My flow is good and stable, my co2 is stable and my light every day is stable.

I would like to say my plant is heavily planted but they are all still babies the plants (most are 1-2 grow pots). Lots of stem plants on left and left back.

Should I adjust the lighting in any way? Or make any other changes? Or is it just new tank algae that will leave in a couple weeks?

I have attached some pictures.

Any help would be appreciated.
 

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i think you have enough lighting and 6hrs/day is a good place to start. might want to go to 85% light output. that algae you say is showing up on hardscape looks like the white growth on new driftwood. it's harmless and will disappear.

although you have no fauna, is your tank cycled? best to start with 0 ammonia and nitrite to keep algae at bay.

looks like you're using ada aquasoil. if so, it is recommended to do daily 50% water changes for the first week, every other day the following week, followed by 3 a week, followed by twice a week, then once weekly in successive weeks. high ammonia could be the reason plants on the right side are melting.

have you started dosing ferts? you can get an all-in-one with traces and K but without N or P.

i would have to disagree with you about your tank being heavily planted. there is just too little plant mass and about 1/3 of the footprint will not be planted.

my last suggestion is to get a pH pen and ditch your drop checker. looking for 1pt drop in pH (over degassed tank water) by the time lights come on.
 

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I also would not call your tank heavily planted, add more plants so that 85% of the substrate is planted, and also agree that you should be dosing and adding some livestock. Don't worry! Your tank is new and it will settle in, good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
i think you have enough lighting and 6hrs/day is a good place to start. might want to go to 85% light output. that algae you say is showing up on hardscape looks like the white growth on new driftwood. it's harmless and will disappear.

although you have no fauna, is your tank cycled? best to start with 0 ammonia and nitrite to keep algae at bay.

looks like you're using ada aquasoil. if so, it is recommended to do daily 50% water changes for the first week, every other day the following week, followed by 3 a week, followed by twice a week, then once weekly in successive weeks. high ammonia could be the reason plants on the right side are melting.

have you started dosing ferts? you can get an all-in-one with traces and K but without N or P.

i would have to disagree with you about your tank being heavily planted. there is just too little plant mass and about 1/3 of the footprint will not be planted.

my last suggestion is to get a pH pen and ditch your drop checker. looking for 1pt drop in pH (over degassed tank water) by the time lights come on.

Thanks! That's helpful. Yes looking deeper into it definitely looks like new driftwood fungus.

Yes ive been using seachem prime for the last 5 days or so. It say on the bottle i only use for 7 days in total and that's all i need to cycle the tank apparently.

Oh wow those are big and frequent water changes ive been doing 50-80% water changes every 3 or 4 days. All the P herlferi on the right that have melted were brown when I had them in the pot and planted so only some have come back green now I just thought that was normal. Maybe a dodgy online order. They are all from 1-2 grow.

I haven't used any ferts yet didn't think I should start so soon as using ADA aquasoil which has plenty of nutrients for now?

Ill have a look into the pen never heard of it.

I also would not call your tank heavily planted, add more plants so that 85% of the substrate is planted, and also agree that you should be dosing and adding some livestock. Don't worry! Your tank is new and it will settle in, good luck.
Thanks definitely looking to add some algae eaters soon when I have some time off!
 

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Thanks definitely looking to add some algae eaters soon when I have some time off!
You're going to want to make sure you're done cycling first before you add livestock. If you're just past a week on your set up and you've used active substrate you still have about 3 weeks left until your cycle is complete. Some algae at this point in your set up is pretty normal. Keep an eye on your parameters (ammo will rise, then nitrite will kick in, then nitrate) once ammo and nitrite have gone away and nitrate has virtually disappeared (liquid ferts will keep some nitrate in the tank for plants but should be less than .25) you should be ready to add livestock.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You're going to want to make sure you're done cycling first before you add livestock. If you're just past a week on your set up and you've used active substrate you still have about 3 weeks left until your cycle is complete. Some algae at this point in your set up is pretty normal. Keep an eye on your parameters (ammo will rise, then nitrite will kick in, then nitrate) once ammo and nitrite have gone away and nitrate has virtually disappeared (liquid ferts will keep some nitrate in the tank for plants but should be less than .25) you should be ready to add livestock.
Thanks! I thought the quick starters like seachem stability help achieve the balance sooner? I guess I haven't read into it enough.
 

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I've used stability but only as a quick fix to give me time to do proper maintenance. I know everybody has their own methods- but in all honesty, the benefits of waiting out a cycle and letting bb build up naturally have better benefited me than trying to cycle as quick as I can. The one thing this hobby has taught me more than anything is patience. Typically takes me 3 months to start to add livestock from new set up, a month if I'm using mature filters and substrate. I think most people get their cycle under wraps and add stock at about the month mark from new set up and 2-3 weeks for precycled new. It really does all depend on your parameters. First thing is getting ammo and nitrite to 0, though.
 

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To my knowledge prime does not cycle a tank - it just helps neutralize ammonia. It is probably ok to add a few snails or maybe some guppies to help cycle the tank. The guppies might die if the ammonia/nitrite pop up but if you neutralize the ammonia/nitrite with prime it might work out ok - i would just look for some cheap guppies to help move things along. However i would wait at least a week and do those water changes to settle in the soil.

Thanks! That's helpful. Yes looking deeper into it definitely looks like new driftwood fungus.

Yes ive been using seachem prime for the last 5 days or so. It say on the bottle i only use for 7 days in total and that's all i need to cycle the tank apparently.

Oh wow those are big and frequent water changes ive been doing 50-80% water changes every 3 or 4 days. All the P herlferi on the right that have melted were brown when I had them in the pot and planted so only some have come back green now I just thought that was normal. Maybe a dodgy online order. They are all from 1-2 grow.

I haven't used any ferts yet didn't think I should start so soon as using ADA aquasoil which has plenty of nutrients for now?

Ill have a look into the pen never heard of it.
 

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Hi guys,
I am new to the hobby and have started my first tank last Monday so on day 8 today.
First post/reply: I appreciate your position. I am on day 7, and just noticed a touch of algae threads starting. So I added my Nano+ in hopes it keeps it in check some. But I do have a heavily planted 120p (270l) tank (spent 2 days planting), CO2, Oase 650 ( 2nd 650 to add once it's better established), 2x65 watt LED Current Satellite Plus Pro @100% for 6hrs. I had some hardscape slip and had to re-glue it/support with rock underneath wood, but it messed up my soil/sand in front... but I'll clean that up later. I have had high ammonia, and was changing every other day (8.0ppm at one point just from ADA ver.2 soil), & using Seachem Stability, Seachem Flourish Excel (just started that today). Some plant melt is occurring, and today 2.0ppm ammonia, so plan to start doing daily water changes. I feel your frustration @animallover tempImagevmdjpw.png
 

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do what jurijs coined the dark start method. scape tank, no plants, no lights, no ferts, no co2. let tank cycle. drain, plant, and refill. i agree with pinkploop, patience is key.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I've used stability but only as a quick fix to give me time to do proper maintenance. I know everybody has their own methods- but in all honesty, the benefits of waiting out a cycle and letting bb build up naturally have better benefited me than trying to cycle as quick as I can. The one thing this hobby has taught me more than anything is patience. Typically takes me 3 months to start to add livestock from new set up, a month if I'm using mature filters and substrate. I think most people get their cycle under wraps and add stock at about the month mark from new set up and 2-3 weeks for precycled new. It really does all depend on your parameters. First thing is getting ammo and nitrite to 0, though.
That makes sense. Thanks! i will need to buy the test strips to check my parameters. I didn't dechlorinate the water for the first few days as I forgot so maybe no BB grew then. In a planted tank with no livestock will the ammonia just come from the plants / debris I can't see? Just not sure if there's anything special I need to add to the tank to get the cycle going? I've literally added only plants and now dechlorinate the water every time I add water. Based on other peoples recommendations I have also been doing more water changes which I hope are helping. Will definitely get more plants added to the empty soil too.

Also not too sure when to increase lighting time (currently 6 hours) and when to add fertilizers?

On day 16 now!

To my knowledge prime does not cycle a tank - it just helps neutralize ammonia. It is probably ok to add a few snails or maybe some guppies to help cycle the tank. The guppies might die if the ammonia/nitrite pop up but if you neutralize the ammonia/nitrite with prime it might work out ok - i would just look for some cheap guppies to help move things along. However i would wait at least a week and do those water changes to settle in the soil.

Thanks for the message. Yeah not too keen on snails as im scared they will overpopulate haha. hmm if prime just gets rid of ammonia isn't that bad as that's what is needed to get the nitrogen cycle going?? I am still finding this cycling business quite confusing . I thought the BB convert the ammonia themselves. I guess the guppies or any hardy fish wouldn't be a bad idea to get the cycle moving quickly its just that I have some more plants that will be delivered this week and not sure if it all would be a bit too much of a faff planting with fish in there so might just wait to plant the final plants before adding any fish for cycling purposes.

First post/reply: I appreciate your position. I am on day 7, and just noticed a touch of algae threads starting. So I added my Nano+ in hopes it keeps it in check some. But I do have a heavily planted 120p (270l) tank (spent 2 days planting), CO2, Oase 650 ( 2nd 650 to add once it's better established), 2x65 watt LED Current Satellite Plus Pro @100% for 6hrs. I had some hardscape slip and had to re-glue it/support with rock underneath wood, but it messed up my soil/sand in front... but I'll clean that up later. I have had high ammonia, and was changing every other day (8.0ppm at one point just from ADA ver.2 soil), & using Seachem Stability, Seachem Flourish Excel (just started that today). Some plant melt is occurring, and today 2.0ppm ammonia, so plan to start doing daily water changes. I feel your frustration @animallover View attachment 1028235

Oh that's a very pretty tank!

Looks like you're doing a lot to help combat your problems. I haven't really done much over the last week except more regular water changes been quite busy at work. Well I guess this ADA soil really does cause huge ammonia spikes which might be why my plants on the right are melted although more of them have turned into green leaves again which is good.

do what jurijs coined the dark start method. scape tank, no plants, no lights, no ferts, no co2. let tank cycle. drain, plant, and refill. i agree with pinkploop, patience is key.

Definitely agree will just patiently wait it out. My stems and reinkini have grown a lot in the week all other plants have had pretty slow growth to be honest. The driftwood is still covered in the driftwood fungus business but luckily no other algae that I see as of yet.
 

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It doesn't get rid of it - it just binds to it to neutralize it so it won't harm the fishes. There is a chemical explanation somewhere - the new substance can still feed bacteria but it isn't as deadly to the fish. The effect is temporary - i think 2 days but again not sure of the details.

Thanks for the message. Yeah not too keen on snails as im scared they will overpopulate haha. hmm if prime just gets rid of ammonia isn't that bad as that's what is needed to get the nitrogen cycle going?? I am still finding this cycling business quite confusing . I thought the BB convert the ammonia themselves. I guess the guppies or any hardy fish wouldn't be a bad idea to get the cycle moving quickly its just that I have some more plants that will be delivered this week and not sure if it all would be a bit too much of a faff planting with fish in there so might just wait to plant the final plants before adding any fish for cycling purposes.
 

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If you have no livestock but you have active substrate the substrate will give off ammonia. If you don't have an active substrate you'll need to add ammonia.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
1028972


Hi guys,

I’m on day 28 today. I haven’t changed anything really since my last post except water changes.
There has been some growth in all of my plants and not so much growth on the plants that melted on the right but I would say 1/6 of them have reappeared and super healthy.
I was just wondering when I can safely increase my light? It’s only on for 6 hours a day. Haven’t really increased it as when I was doing the initial reading online most people said 6 hours is enough for the early parts. Just wondering if I can just jump to 8 hours? I was going to increase to 7 hours a day for the next month and see how it goes and adjust the CO2 of course?
I also have some fertiliser but have not used a drop yet just wondering if I randomly start using it now?
Thanks!
 

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I started with half hour increments when increasing lights, go for 2 weeks, evaluate and adjust ferts, then another half an hour, 2 weeks, adjust. This is because I don't have access to testing supplies. You can bump up quicker but keep an eye out for algae and plants needing fertilization, don't mess with your light scheduling while adjusting fert levels. It's a million times easier with adequate testing supplies (in addition to normal master test kit a gh kit, and phos, iron, potassium kits etc) but you can still do it just takes longer and requires more patience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I started with half hour increments when increasing lights, go for 2 weeks, evaluate and adjust ferts, then another half an hour, 2 weeks, adjust. This is because I don't have access to testing supplies. You can bump up quicker but keep an eye out for algae and plants needing fertilization, don't mess with your light scheduling while adjusting fert levels. It's a million times easier with adequate testing supplies (in addition to normal master test kit a gh kit, and phos, iron, potassium kits etc) but you can still do it just takes longer and requires more patience.
Hi,

Thanks for the response! Yes that's a good idea. I will do 30 mins increase every 2 weeks for lighting. I don't like overcomplicating hobbies so won't buy all those testing supplies until I really need them. I will just be patient and enjoy the growth I think while slowly tinkering one by one.
 

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My favorite approach 😉👍 I've been much more successful with slow and steady. Just be prepared to be as patient when things get funky cuz in this hobby it's only a matter of time. Usually small changes at a time with a week or 2 of consistency will tell you what's working and what's not, and if things go wrong it's just a matter of a few daily water changes and going back to what you were previously doing. That's the one thing that has drawn me into this hobby so much- things can be as simple or a complicated as you want them to be and there's really no right or wrong, just a set of basics to keep things alive. Good luck!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
My favorite approach 😉👍 I've been much more successful with slow and steady. Just be prepared to be as patient when things get funky cuz in this hobby it's only a matter of time. Usually small changes at a time with a week or 2 of consistency will tell you what's working and what's not, and if things go wrong it's just a matter of a few daily water changes and going back to what you were previously doing. That's the one thing that has drawn me into this hobby so much- things can be as simple or a complicated as you want them to be and there's really no right or wrong, just a set of basics to keep things alive. Good luck!!

I’ve started using ferts now just 1 pump a day of tropica SN (starting slow and will build up). From the first day I used the following day I got this new green algae that can be seen on a few of the pictures. Any idea if this is normal? (We were talking about trouble soon coming and here it is lol). Hasn’t grown in size since coming up.
Also my reinicki has started melting with holes in it? I’m guessing the lack of fertiliser is the issue from earlier on?
Also my crypts are browning now. Any help with what I can do to fix all these issues?
The rotala are all growing fast and very healthy from what I can see.

Doubt all these issues are from the one pump of fert that I’m using everyday?

thanks!

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Algae looks like diatoms. Try wiping it off. If it smells fishy than there might be a problem. If it smells earthy it's regular algae. I've had diatoms in every tank I've set up and it's normal during start up.

Holes in leaves are usually the result of a lack of iron and the trace elements used in it's uptake (I know boron is one of them I think magnesium is another but don't quote me). This isn't always the case but it's usually my starting point.

Most of what you're describing sounds like and imbalance of nutrients and lights. Did you start out at 6 hour photo period?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Algae looks like diatoms. Try wiping it off. If it smells fishy than there might be a problem. If it smells earthy it's regular algae. I've had diatoms in every tank I've set up and it's normal during start up.

Holes in leaves are usually the result of a lack of iron and the trace elements used in it's uptake (I know boron is one of them I think magnesium is another but don't quote me). This isn't always the case but it's usually my starting point.

Most of what you're describing sounds like and imbalance of nutrients and lights. Did you start out at 6 hour photo period?
Thanks! I will try wiping it off and smelling it. There is no smell in the overall water.

yes to be honest I haven’t used any fertiliser until start of this week so makes sense for something to be deficient. I’ll continue the 1 pump a day and increase slowly if the fertiliser or should I just jump to 2 pumps a day so soon? I’m trying the slower approach to see what effects it has. how long should I except for the red plants to start healing? Days or weeks? Will they die and come back or just grow new leaves?

yes I was on 6 hours light a day for first month and now have increased to 6h and 30 mins of light per day. It’s only been a few days since increasing the light butthe green “diatoms” came out the day before the light was increased so not sure if that’s the issue.

my CO2 requirement has also increased and I’ve had to increase the bubble count to achieve the green colour in the CO2 detector. Is it normal for the CO2 requirements to increase? Kind of makes sense if plants are larger and using more CO2 to grow?
 
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