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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello again, about 8 months ago, I wanted to try my first planted aquarium. Done a lot of reading and decided on a 10g low tech setup. I got a Nicrew planted + light with a ramp up/down timer, bdbs substrate with root tabs a biowheel filter and ordered a stem plant bundle from Ebay. I was dosing once a week with API Leaf zone.

Things were going well until my first algae outbreak at about 2 months. Got that under control by lowering the light duration by an hour. I've tried to introduce new carpeting plants like dwarf hairgrass but it all ended up dying. I really wanted carpet so about a month ago, I purchased an Fzone co2 generator which uses baking soda and citric acid and drop checker.

Since then, I've seen minimal plant growth and my tank just doesn't look healthy. I've switched from the Leaf zone to Nilocg Thrive all in one fertilizer and also bought some of their root tabs. Got rid of the biowheel hob and got a Nicrew internal filter to help improve water flow. I placed the co2 diffuser directly under the filter to try and get better distribution. That worked because I was running 2bps and had to dial down co2 to about 1 bubble every 2 seconds.

If you've made it this far, thank you for your time! When I ordered my stem bundle, what I received was not labeled so I'm not sure of the names of some.

I currently have:
Unidentified stem plants in the rear
Unidentified center plant (sword?)
S repens
Anubias
Java fern (crested)
Red tiger lilly (just planted)

My stem plants don't look healthy, my java fern has brown tips, my anubias has what I'm assuming is green spot algae that is very hard to manually remove. Not getting any other algae problems at the moment. The only livestock I currently have is 2 siamese algae eaters.


Plant Light Water Organism Terrestrial plant


No idea what plant this is.




Plant Water Leaf Terrestrial plant Automotive lighting


Or this.

Water Plant Vertebrate Organism Underwater


Plant Water Organism Vegetation Terrestrial plant


Plant Yellow Terrestrial plant Flower Grass


Water Vertebrate Plant Green Nature


Sorry about the micro bubbles. I took these pics yesterday after a water change which is done at 50% weekly. Lights ramp up starting at 1130 to 100% power at 12 and turn off at 8pm. Co2 comes on one hour before the lights and turns off 1.5 hours before the lights go off.

What am I missing? Too much light? Not enough? Should I up my fertilizer to 2 or 3 times a week? I just don't want to make drastic changes which will cause more problems.
Sorry for the long post but I'm still trying to figure this stuff out before I change over my 75g to live plants which was the main goal when I started this adventure. Any experienced help and advice would be much appreciated. Thanks for reading!

Edit
Api master test kit readings. This was taken around 2 hours after co2 turned off.
PH 7.8
Ammonia. 0
Nitrate 20
Nitrite 0
GH 8
KH 11
 

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The experts will be along soon, but they will ask for a lot more information from you. They'll want measurements of all of your water chemistry: nitrates, water hardness, ph and ph drop, best guess @ lighting levels, etc. From my limited experience/knowledge it looks like you need to either cut back on the light and/or raise your co2. It's hard to say, but since you said that's right after a water change it could be that your drop checker is still showing blue from being out of the water for a while. If it's calibrated properly, you typically want it to show a lot more on the green side, possibly even a bit on the yellow but that's preference at that point. Ultimately using the ph drop measurement will give you a more reliable way to measure it. You may also need to up your ferts as well, but wait for some of the more experienced crew to show up.
 

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Bandit summed it up nicely, water parameters as in NO3, PO4, pH, hardness would be good.

First glance looks to me like too much light for the food or too little food for the light. :)
What's the drop checker color when the light comes on and when the light goes off?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Bandit summed it up nicely, water parameters as in NO3, PO4, pH, hardness would be good.

First glance looks to me like too much light for the food or too little food for the light. :)
What's the drop checker color when the light comes on and when the light goes off?
Well I just set up the internal filter 3 days ago and put the diffuser under it. The bio wheel filter just wasn't creating enough flow. Within a few hours the drop checker went from dark green to a neon green which made me adjust the needle valve.
I thought about parameters after I posted this topic. I will get readings tonight when I get home!
The experts will be along soon, but they will ask for a lot more information from you. They'll want measurements of all of your water chemistry: nitrates, water hardness, ph and ph drop, best guess @ lighting levels, etc. From my limited experience/knowledge it looks like you need to either cut back on the light and/or raise your co2. It's hard to say, but since you said that's right after a water change it could be that your drop checker is still showing blue from being out of the water for a while. If it's calibrated properly, you typically want it to show a lot more on the green side, possibly even a bit on the yellow but that's preference at that point. Ultimately using the ph drop measurement will give you a more reliable way to measure it. You may also need to up your ferts as well, but wait for some of the more experienced crew to show up.
My drop checker has always shown dark green until I installed the submersible filter. After I placed the diffuser under the intake, it went from dark green to a lime green/borderline yellow. The only issue I see so far with this setup is I still have bursts of co2 bubbles shoot out the spray bar long after the co2 is turned off. So far, it's not an issue but it's something I have to keep an eye on. Will check the parameters tonight when I get home. Thanks for the reply!
 

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I have no value to add regarding fertilizer, light, or co2. But I can say that the plant at the back right looks like rotala of some kind, and I agree that the bigger plant in the middle looks like some kind of sword. Both of those plant types would benefit from root tabs. Have you been using root tabs?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have no value to add regarding fertilizer, light, or co2. But I can say that the plant at the back right looks like rotala of some kind, and I agree that the bigger plant in the middle looks like some kind of sword. Both of those plant types would benefit from root tabs. Have you been using root tabs?
Yes I was using flourish tabs. Just got some thrive tabs and put a few in yesterday.
 
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