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Multiple Issues, help would be much appreciated!

tomandrews

New Member
Joined
14 Nov 2021
Messages
7
Location
United Kingdom
Hi guys,
I'm new here so if this is posted int he wrong place please let me know!
I joined today because I would love to get some opinions on some issues I am having with my Rio 450 litre tank.
I've had it up and running for just under a year now, overall I'm happy with it but I am trying to work out if my issues are related to lighting, Co2 or Fertilisers.

Issues I have are:

Algae growth on Anubias and holes int he leaves
BBA present on amazon swords and elsewhere
Green/Blue algae (unsure exactly of the type) present on one rock
Brown algae present on the substrate and rocks.

I used to run my lighting at nearer 90% which was fine when I had lots of easy growing stem plants, but I removed them a few months ago and reduced the lighting to 65% maximum. With the BBA present, along with holes in the leaves and also green/brown algae I can't decide what to try first. I was thinking at first it might be a Potassium of Phosphate deficiency...

Any ideas and opinions on what could be the causes of these issues?

Tank specs:

Single Juwel Helialux Spectrum 1500. Maximum 65% white light during the day.
I have Co2 Injection approx 4bps. Runs during the day and off at night. Drop checker seems a good green colour
Dosing Leaf Zone as directed x2 per week.
Dosing Flourish Trace as directed every 2 days
Adding TNC lite liquid fertiliser once per month / use root tabs once every 6 months for the amazon swords mostly.
PH 6.49 going to a lowest of 6.34 during the day.

Juwel Bioflow XL
Oase Biomaster 850
Fluval 307

Nitrates are usually between 20 and 40ppm.

Please see the photos attached and I hope I've given enough information, I would really like to understand whats happening as all the different information has me confused as to what action to take.
 

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Joined
17 Dec 2020
Messages
264
Location
Gloucestershire
Welcome:wave:
Nice aquascape. Discus look very healthy.
As far as your question goes: Being a bit new to the plant thing, I will defer to the myriad of experts that are on here.
You have come to the right place and a discussion from the experts will follow shortly.
 

erwin123

Member
Joined
4 Mar 2021
Messages
566
Location
Singapore
Cooler temperature tanks are innately more stable and easier to manage as plant and algae metabolism is slower. Every degree above 26 celsius makes it increasingly challenging. This does not mean that plants do not grow at higher temperatures - most plants actually grow faster due to their increased metabolism. However, managing algae can be difficult. In warm tanks aquarists must be even sharper in the other areas of upkeep.

Quote from 2hr aquarist. Preventing damage, holes and algae on older leaves of aquatic plants
 

Angus

Member
Joined
29 Aug 2008
Messages
665
Location
Vauxhall, London.
Plants at high temps are challenging, browse the tropica website and choose some plants with more tolerance in the higher ranges, most of the successful planted discus tanks ive seen in person have been on the simple side, anubias, java fern, mosses, crypts.
 

tomandrews

New Member
Thread starter
Joined
14 Nov 2021
Messages
7
Location
United Kingdom
Thank you for your feedback everyone, I didn't know that the temperature had such a significant impact on the challenge. I'll research into plants that can tolerate the higher temps.
 

Gorillastomp

Member
Joined
24 Jun 2021
Messages
83
Location
Canada,Quebec
I think the plants you are using are ok for this temperature.

I would reduce light even more and see if the algae stop getting worst. Once it does focus on growing new healthy leaves.

Keep doing your weekly water changes, remove the affected leaves by algae and with holes.

Would be nice to have a ph profile :

  • ph of your degassed fish water tank
  • ph prior injection rate
  • ph ever 1hr or 2hr until end of the photoperiod.
 

tomandrews

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Thread starter
Joined
14 Nov 2021
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7
Location
United Kingdom
@Gorillastomp Thanks for the info... I will reduce the lighting further and see what impact this has, or potentially should I shorten the ramp up and down times which are quite long? At peak lighting it's on for 6 1/2 hours but in total with ramp up and down it's something like 17. The white lighting, which I understood was the one which plants would use to grow, is on for a total of 9 hours with ramp up and down. Not sure if these are too long and whether the red/blue lighting will count.

I'll also get the PH readings and come back to you with those. Thanks again!
 

tomandrews

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14 Nov 2021
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@sparkyweasel I have some but stopped using it because I was worried the Nitrates would be pushed too high. Sometimes I have a reading of 40ppm without using TNC complete, but the phosphate could be useful. What do you think? Thanks!
 

Angus

Member
Joined
29 Aug 2008
Messages
665
Location
Vauxhall, London.
@Gorillastomp Thanks for the info... I will reduce the lighting further and see what impact this has, or potentially should I shorten the ramp up and down times which are quite long? At peak lighting it's on for 6 1/2 hours but in total with ramp up and down it's something like 17. The white lighting, which I understood was the one which plants would use to grow, is on for a total of 9 hours with ramp up and down. Not sure if these are too long and whether the red/blue lighting will count.

I'll also get the PH readings and come back to you with those. Thanks again!
Sounds like a lot of light but obviously haven't seen your controller settings or the profile.
 

Angus

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Joined
29 Aug 2008
Messages
665
Location
Vauxhall, London.
Seems very high in the blue and red spectrums, and the photoperiod does seem long, looks more like the controllers ive seen on marine tanks than planted if i'm honest, as far as changing it? you could light the tank for most of the day on say 10% lighting, then have a shorter ramp up period and a 6-8 hour high lighting period, reduce the red and blue spectrum up the green a bit.
 

sparkyweasel

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Joined
30 Jun 2011
Messages
2,226
@sparkyweasel I have some but stopped using it because I was worried the Nitrates would be pushed too high. Sometimes I have a reading of 40ppm without using TNC complete, but the phosphate could be useful. What do you think? Thanks!
There's a lot of poor information around concerning nitrate.
@dw1305 has done a lot of debunking, backed up with science. If you want a lot of reading, this thread;
Post #5
and the ones it links to, will give you plenty.

Darrel explains that nitrate from tap water or fertiliser is not a problem. When fish die or become ill in a tank with high nitrate it is usually because the nitrate is from and earlier ammonia spike from some other cause.
I would add that if nitrate has built up from the inhabitants' waste, all their other wastes will have been building up too, including ones we can't test for.
So adding nitrate is very differernt to having it build up through insufficient maintenance.
 

MichaelJ

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9 Feb 2021
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Location
Minnesota, USA
Hi @tomandrews The R/G/B ratios doesn't really matter as long as the overall intensity of the light is not too high (the photoperiod matters much less than intensity)... You can choose whatever ratios within reason that makes your tank and beautiful discus look their best - I would go with @sparkyweasel and choose a complete fertilizer and dose consistently - the nitrate and phosphate you dose (plant food) is your friend - the nitrate and phosphate that build up in the tank due to waste, poor maintenance etc. is your enemy. As your injecting CO2 make sure you have adequate flow and circulation around the tank - especially in those nook and crannies areas. Also lowering the Temp a smidge will help as it increases dissolved oxygen - the discus probably won't like anything much below 27.

And welcome to UKAPS! :)

Cheers,
Michael
 
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tomandrews

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14 Nov 2021
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United Kingdom
Hi @sparkyweasel. Thank you for the advice and for pointing me into the direction of that very interesting thread. I am looking forward to learning more and seeing for myself the results. @MichaelJ Thank you for supporting what @sparkyweasel is saying, it gives me more confidence to see respected members supporting the same advice. Once my TNC complete has been used up I will certainly look into mixing my own fertiliser.

Based on all the response I am going to switch to TNC complete weekly dosing, reduce tank temp to 27 degrees and slightly tweak the lighting down.

Thank you for everyones responses, I'm really glad I joined the forum! I will post again with an update on how the following works out for me.
 

tomandrews

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Thread starter
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14 Nov 2021
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Location
United Kingdom
Hey @aquagenetics. It's getting better, but it's not perfect. I managed to decrease most algae but the BBA has increased slightly. I am looking into the lighting levels required as I think this is really the key to my issues. I'm currently running at 50% but after some reading I think I'm going to try 100% but increase the co2 and fertilisation. Using the calculation of 140 lumen per watt with a 60 watt light bar, I have 8400 lumen - divided by 450 gives me 18.6 - which on the Tropica website has the lighting sufficient only for low light plants. It's hard to find other people using the Juwel Spectrum with the smart control, so if you see any threads on these and the lighting levels please let me know! I've got a complete fertiliser now which should help. I am going to get a kh test also because my kh readings are coming out different every time with the test strips I have. To get my drop checker to turn lime green brings the PH down to 6.20 😅 It's a minefield but I'm enjoying experimenting and one day hopefully I'll have cracked the balance, for this tank at least!
 

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