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A bit of everything...

CaptainBarnicles

New Member
Joined
6 Nov 2021
Messages
16
Location
Lincolnshire
Hi there, I'm new to the forum so forgive me if I don't post correctly or appropriately! I'm fairly new to growing plants and am eager to learn but please talk to me like I'm a 5 year old as the jargon and science will unfortunately go over my head!

My tank has been up and running for around 5-6 months, I can't remember exactly. I don't run c02, I dose TNC lite and I have the fluval plant 3.0 ....

I'm having trouble with all sorts of algae at the moment which started when I upgraded my light from the generic that came with the tank. I'm only running it at 50% and plants are growing but there's clearly issues that I'd like to resolve.

BBA is growing all over my dragon stones and in some of the elodea and vallis, I think there might be staghorn there too and green spot on some of my crypts. I also have cyanobacteria that I'm trying to keep on top of.

I've directed the outlets to the surface which gives great agitation as well as a long bubbler at the back which has increased the oxygen in the tank hopefully, I can see lots of micro bubbles. I've also added a little powerhead to push the water back towards the inlet which I've positioned to lift detritus etc off the substrate in the front.

Can someone please help me get to the bottom of how to begin fixing the issues I'm experiencing please?
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Geoffrey Rea

Global Moderator
UKAPS Team
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27 May 2017
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1,574
Location
Cambridgeshire
More information on the setup please…

Weekly maintenance routine?
Water change amount per week?
Tap/rain/RO water?
Filter(s)?
Current fertiliser dosing (how much and how frequently)?
Length of time for lighting?
Stock list?
 

Hufsa

Member
Joined
22 Aug 2019
Messages
650
Location
Norway
I second Geoffrey's request for more info, but I have written down some thoughts based on the info we have so far.

Im not sure how deep your tank is, but I run low tech and have the Fluval 3.0, I would advise you turn it down to 25-30% and see if you see a decrease in algae.
This would make sense since you say the problems started when you got the new light.

Lack of CO2 is the big limiter in low tech tanks, so you want to make sure the light is not pushing the plants to grow faster than they are able to.

BBA on hardscape in low tech suggests too much light as well.

Staghorn is usually associated with a build up of mulm and crud in your tank, make sure you stay on top of cleaning duties. If you have a coarse substrate you should vacuum it regularly to keep it clean. If you have sand then no need.
I suspect that at least some of the staghorn is just because the plants are not growing well. Plants release chemicals when they are stressed or breaking apart, and this works as a signal for algae to attack.

Green spot algae and cyano could mean that you are running a bit low on some nutrients.
If I were you I would review the fertilizer you are using, and make sure it contains sufficient amounts of Nitrate and Phosphate.
I can look into it a bit more for you tomorrow if you'd like.

Keep your plants well fed and your lights low, and your plants will do their best for you :thumbup:
 

CaptainBarnicles

New Member
Thread starter
Joined
6 Nov 2021
Messages
16
Location
Lincolnshire
More information on the setup please…

Weekly maintenance routine?
Water change amount per week?
Tap/rain/RO water?
Filter(s)?
Current fertiliser dosing (how much and how frequently)?
Length of time for lighting?
Stock list?
Yes would make sense wouldn't it 😅

Water change and maintenance is weekly, I take out 40-50% and get out as much of the dead leaves as I can see (or reach!) I can't vac 4he gravel as it's fine in texture so I just wave my hand over it or get my hose our the top (which I've been doing to get the cyano out)

I use water out the tap which is very hard here in lincs.

The filter came with the tank, its the fluval 307, its due a clean but I'm nervous to do it 😬 sounds silly, I've never had a canister filter before and I'm the clumsiest person I know! I have visions of me not doing it properly and it leaking all over...so I may have been putting it off.

I use TNC lite, probably enough for 200l...but I've halved it following advice from another forum. There's lots of slow growers in the tank-
crypts of all kinds
anubias
vallis
Elodea
Crinum calamistratum
Amazon sword
Hydrocotyle leu...something something
Hygrophila polysperma
Nymphaea lotus
And something else I recently added that literally just melted away overnight that I can't remember the name of.

Length of light is 8 hours daylight
 

PARAGUAY

Member
Joined
13 Nov 2013
Messages
2,440
Location
Lancashire
A look at the Tutorials and journals may help you get a better understanding of some basics of planted aquariums. I dont think the tank looks that bad btw
 

CaptainBarnicles

New Member
Thread starter
Joined
6 Nov 2021
Messages
16
Location
Lincolnshire
I second Geoffrey's request for more info, but I have written down some thoughts based on the info we have so far.

Im not sure how deep your tank is, but I run low tech and have the Fluval 3.0, I would advise you turn it down to 25-30% and see if you see a decrease in algae.
This would make sense since you say the problems started when you got the new light.

Lack of CO2 is the big limiter in low tech tanks, so you want to make sure the light is not pushing the plants to grow faster than they are able to.

BBA on hardscape in low tech suggests too much light as well.

Staghorn is usually associated with a build up of mulm and crud in your tank, make sure you stay on top of cleaning duties. If you have a coarse substrate you should vacuum it regularly to keep it clean. If you have sand then no need.
I suspect that at least some of the staghorn is just because the plants are not growing well. Plants release chemicals when they are stressed or breaking apart, and this works as a signal for algae to attack.

Green spot algae and cyano could mean that you are running a bit low on some nutrients.
If I were you I would review the fertilizer you are using, and make sure it contains sufficient amounts of Nitrate and Phosphate.
I can look into it a bit more for you tomorrow if you'd like.

Keep your plants well fed and your lights low, and your plants will do their best for you :thumbup:
Thank you! It's 55cm deep, I'm literally at my armpits to reach the bottom 😂 so I try my best to get it all the muck out without actually climbing in!

I'll reduce the light some more then...I was thinking maybe I should use the one that came with the tank again? £200 wasted on a light I can't use 🤦‍♀️
 

idris

Member
Joined
3 Jan 2011
Messages
808
Location
Herts
I have a similarly deep, low tech tank with algae. I hope you enjoy a challenge. 🤣😭
Others will be along with more informed opinion soon, but in the meantime, based on my challenges with a deep tank...

I can't see the dimensions of your tank other than depth. Your filter is rated at 780Lph, but will probably be significantly less than that because of the height of the tank. The received wisdom is you need turnover of 10x the tank volume per hour, and I'd look into ways to maintain good water movement in a deep tank - its a challenge.

Light won't get down to the bottom as well in a deep tank, so I'd guess that turning light down is the wrong way to go. (Please wait for better qualified replies.)

And clean your filter. It's not that difficult. If it's anything like mine it will accumulate plenty of organic waste and that needs to be removed from the water column.
 

tam

Member
Joined
5 May 2011
Messages
1,166
I'll reduce the light some more then...I was thinking maybe I should use the one that came with the tank again? £200 wasted on a light I can't use 🤦‍♀️

The 3.0 is good because it gives you lots of flexibility. You can reduce light by having a longer ramp up/down. So it's lit for the 8 hours, but the light is much lower at the start and end of the 'day'. It can actually be nice as it looks quite atmospheric with low light and you'll see different fish behaviours. I think mine is set closer to the 30% mark too.

Another way to lower light is to use floating plants on the surface to shade below. Your valis will be doing some of that - you might find the algae is a little less under where that floats over the surface? You could introduce some more floating plants and they can be a helpful indicator for plant feed too if you search the forum for 'duckweed index'.
 

CaptainBarnicles

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Thread starter
Joined
6 Nov 2021
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16
Location
Lincolnshire
The 3.0 is good because it gives you lots of flexibility. You can reduce light by having a longer ramp up/down. So it's lit for the 8 hours, but the light is much lower at the start and end of the 'day'. It can actually be nice as it looks quite atmospheric with low light and you'll see different fish behaviours. I think mine is set closer to the 30% mark too.

Another way to lower light is to use floating plants on the surface to shade below. Your valis will be doing some of that - you might find the algae is a little less under where that floats over the surface? You could introduce some more floating plants and they can be a helpful indicator for plant feed too if you search the forum for 'duckweed index'.
Yes I do love the sun up and sun down modes, I have an hour each.

What confuses me is how much of which particular colour to use 🥴 I'll post a screenshot of what the light are working on at the moment, maybe someone can suggest some alterations?

I've tried a few floating plants and I've failed with all of them so far! Water lettuce, salvinia, red root floaters...all disintegrated and died. I'm reluctant to try duckweed as once it's in your tank it with you for life apparently...who knows, I might kill that too! I think I've got too much surface agitation for floaters...although I'd love to be successful in growing them, maybe frogbit?
 

dw1305

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UKAPS Team
Joined
7 Apr 2008
Messages
13,117
Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
I think the tank looks lovely. I know not everyone is a snail fan (and your Kribs may eat them) but Ramshorn snails <"are effective at controlling a lot of algae">, and don't eat growing plants.
The filter came with the tank, its the fluval 307, its due a clean but I'm nervous to do it 😬 sounds silly, I've never had a canister filter before and I'm the clumsiest person I know! I have visions of me not doing it properly and it leaking all over...so I may have been putting it off.
I really recommend a <"pre-filter on the water intake">.
I considered that but was wary since I don't run c02?
Plant nutrient demand is driven by light intensity and CO2 availability, but whether your tank is high or low tech plants need all of the mineral nutrients. You don't have to use Estimative Index (EI), but you do need to <"supply all the nutrients">. <"TNC complete"> should do that, although it is possible that you might need to add some more magnesium (Mg) and/or iron (Fe) if you have very hard water (and I'm going to assume you do.)
Another way to lower light is to use floating plants on the surface to shade below. Your valis will be doing some of that - you might find the algae is a little less under where that floats over the surface? You could introduce some more floating plants and they can be a helpful indicator for plant feed too if you search the forum for 'duckweed index'.
I'm probably both biased <"and obsessed">, but I'd really recommend the <"Duckweed Index">.

cheers Darrel
 

erwin123

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Joined
4 Mar 2021
Messages
579
Location
Singapore
Plant nutrient demand is driven by light intensity and CO2 availability, but whether your tank is high or low tech plants need all of the mineral nutrients. You don't have to use Estimative Index (EI), but you do need to <"supply all the nutrients">. <"TNC complete"> should do that, although it is possible that you might need to add some more magnesium (Mg) and/or iron (Fe) if you have very hard water (and I'm going to assume you do.)
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I've often wondered why TNC Complete has so little Magnesium (or alternatively, why the EI level for Magnesium is so high), or whether there's an error in the spreadsheet.... (i.e. 0.8 rather than 0.08)
 

tam

Member
Joined
5 May 2011
Messages
1,166
I've tried a few floating plants and I've failed with all of them so far! Water lettuce, salvinia, red root floaters...all disintegrated and died. I'm reluctant to try duckweed as once it's in your tank it with you for life apparently...who knows, I might kill that too! I think I've got too much surface agitation for floaters...although I'd love to be successful in growing them, maybe frogbit?
You don't actually have to use duckweed for the duckweed index - frogbit would work great. The fact all your floaters disintergrated might also be a symptom of missing nutrients. You can use a ring of airline floating on the surface to contain floaters and protect them from surface disturbance.
 

CaptainBarnicles

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Thread starter
Joined
6 Nov 2021
Messages
16
Location
Lincolnshire
Hi all,
I think the tank looks lovely. I know not everyone is a snail fan (and your Kribs may eat them) but Ramshorn snails <"are effective at controlling a lot of algae">, and don't eat growing plants.

I really recommend a <"pre-filter on the water intake">.

Plant nutrient demand is driven by light intensity and CO2 availability, but whether your tank is high or low tech plants need all of the mineral nutrients. You don't have to use Estimative Index (EI), but you do need to <"supply all the nutrients">. <"TNC complete"> should do that, although it is possible that you might need to add some more magnesium (Mg) and/or iron (Fe) if you have very hard water (and I'm going to assume you do.)

I'm probably both biased <"and obsessed">, but I'd really recommend the <"Duckweed Index">.

cheers Darrel
Thanks Darrel, I'm afraid I read most of what you wrote as hieroglyphics 🤯 sorry, all the science is brand new to me! But I'll go through the links provided, thank you!

I have 5 horned nerites and 2 or 3 pond immigrants that ferried over with plants I'd bought...they're clearing up well alongside the few amanos I have too. And yes, liquid rock over here unfortunately
 

dw1305

Expert
UKAPS Team
Joined
7 Apr 2008
Messages
13,117
Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
I've tried a few floating plants and I've failed with all of them so far! Water lettuce, salvinia, red root floaters...all disintegrated and died. I'm reluctant to try duckweed as once it's in your tank it with you for life apparently...who knows, I might kill that too!
You don't actually have to use duckweed for the duckweed index - frogbit would work great.
It would have been so much easier if I'd called it the "Frogbit Index", rather than the "Duckweed Index" , but I'd already <"started writing about it before I changed over"> from Duckweed (Lemna minor) to Amazon Frogbit (Limnobium laevigatum).
The fact all your floaters disintergrated might also be a symptom of missing nutrients.
That would be my guess as well, often people think it is flow, or condensation from their lid, when the problems are actually <"nutrient deficiency issues">.
I'm afraid I read most of what you wrote as hieroglyphics 🤯 sorry, all the science is brand new to me!
No, don't worry, there is quite a lot of science, but the principles are <"really straightforward"> and you don't need the <"Rosetta Stone">. Have a look at <"Bedside Aquarium">, it is a bit of a rant, so with traditional apologies to @Miss-Pepper the OP.

cheers Darrel
 
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