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dennerle deponitmix overdose?

Tyse22

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4 May 2021
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Northamptonshire
Hi,

I’m new to UKAPS and relatively new to planted tanks in general.

I’ve recently (3 weeks ago) set up a 60l Dennerle Cube and used their deponitmix black 10 in 1 base substrate, covered with black decorative gravel (as recommended).

Due to the style of the scape having a 9kg dragon stone upright, the total substrate is unusually deep to support it.

I fear I may have used too much of the dennerle deponitmix black 10 in 1 base substrate under the gravel as I am experiencing a horrendous algae problem, which is really amongst the plants....and everything else!

Furthermore, my neocaridina shrimp which were added last week are lethargic and I’ve had losses.

I use a 50/50 RO and tap water mix, GH 8 KH 4 and Ph 7.5, are all fine. Nitrite/Nitrate also fine.
Tank is running at 24C
Twin star B series light (so not too much power)
Oase BioPlus internal filter
Just added the Dennerle XL Eckfilter to increase flow

I was initially using a basic CO2 kit but reduced and removed this when started losing shrimp.

All I can assume is there are simply too many nutrients in the water for the plants to consume. The plants were mainly young Tropica lab, so small and anabias. I’ve recently introduced floating plants to assist.

my question is can you use too much nutrient base layer....is it responsible for the algae....and is it bad for Shrimp?

Should I re-scape the tank from scratch?

Thank you!
 

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Nick potts

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Hi Tyse22

I don't know much about the deponit mix, but I was under the impression that it was not as nutrient-rich as other substrates, especially in nitrogen etc, but they may be wrong. Either way, how much exactly did you use? How deep is the deponit mix?

Algae is usually part of a new setup, as the tank matures and parameters swing, large daily water changes are always a good first stop. Another issue may be the removal of CO2, fluctuating levels are a known cause of algae.

My advice (which is limited sorry) would be to manually remove as much as you can and carry out large daily water changes, if possible you can also try raising the light higher to reduce the intensity or turn it off an hr or so earlier.
 

Tyse22

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Thank you. I’ve been doing twice weekly water changes but reduced to small amounts so not to force the shrimp to molt. I will changes.

I added another 10cm on top of the recommended amount towards the back of the tank where gravel is deeper, but I’m thinking with the few small plants I have it’s way too much.

I didn’t use any of the active soils as they generally lower the ph and not suitable for Neocaridinas.

Are you aware of any good plant beneficial substrates that do not effect parameters and shrimp safe?

I’ve been looking at Caribsea Eco Complete....any advice welcome

thanks
 

aec34

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Algae is usually part of a new setup, as the tank matures
This is my immediate thought: I have deponitmix (though not the black one) in two of my little cubes which are planted and with neos, and all is well.
I’d stick a few more quick plants and floaters in, and keep up with bigger water changes. Neos are quite tough in my experience.
 

Tyse22

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Thank you. That’s reassuring.
The algae is very difficult to remove without uprooting/damaging the plants, if I can’t remove it, will the plants ‘survive’ when the algae finally dies down?

I’ll add more plants and moss and increase water changes.

can you recommend any suitable plants now that I’ve removed the CO2?
My current plant list is attached

thanks again
 

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Karmicnull

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Cambridge
To add to the consensus - too much fertilizer doesn't generate algae. The most common causes of algae are an inbalance of light and CO2 (followed by not enough ferts). Also fluctuations in levels of these - Algae react far faster to them. If you've stopped CO2, make sure you've adjusted lighting accordingly - low energy tanks don't need high light intensity. Too intense light and you'll get GSA and threads everywhere! As other people have said, big plant mass helps combat algae - and will also speed maturing of the biofilters that contribute to keeping your tank healthy.
WRT the shrimp - it's known that new aqua soil often leaches ammonia. Frequent WCs will help with this. Cherries are tough beasties, and will prefer WCs to ammonia.

Cheers,
Simon
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
All I can assume is there are simply too many nutrients in the water for the plants to consume. The plants were mainly young Tropica lab, so small and anabias. I’ve recently introduced floating plants to assist.
I wouldn't re-start it, but I would add some <"temporary stems">, as suggested by the other posters.

I'm a floating plant (<"Amazon Frogbit really) obsessive"> so I would keep an eye on the floating plant, you need to look at <"leaf colour, leaf size and growth rate">.

The great advantage of a floating (or emergent) plant is that it has access to about 420 ppm of atmospheric CO2, so it isn't CO2 limited and can make use of available nutrients. The also don't have a lot of supportive tissue, so they show a pretty quick growth response to nutrient level.

cheers Darrel
 

aec34

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10 Oct 2020
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Gloucestershire
Hi @Tyse22
I’m tackling some algae today and in case you haven’t seen this somewhere already a turkey baster (no, really) can be helpful for clearing algae.
Take a bit of water out the tank so you don’t overspill, then squib some tank water at the affected plants underwater. This blows some of the algae, debris etc. about, which then you can remove as you do the rest of your water change. And if you have shrimp, they seem to love hoovering up leftover bits.
Don’t loose heart! I have a little 10 litre which is full of green thread algae, but eventually it should come right 👍
 
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