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Project II - 5 Gallon Low Tech Cube Tank

christinecrites

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UPDATE: delighted to say the diatoms/brown algae are no more and barely a week free and now I just found this algae ugh 🤦‍♀️.... it appears to be localized to my Juncus Repens and it think I cut some of it off. Invertebrates are recommended but I don’t want to put any more in my tank because my betta is a “bit” of an Ahole... I don’t want to lower my light because my other plants seem to be doing sooo well, but that was the other advice I read. I’d be interested in anything else I might try or maybe a little guidance on how to adjust the lighting???
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ScaperJoe

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Channel Islands
Hi @ScaperJoe. I do use Seachem Excel, because I am not running CO2. I do the recommended dose with each water change.
Same here, I really notice when I forget to use it for a couple days, but that’s on my CO2 tank and purely for algae suppression. I’ve only just set up a no-CO2 tank so I wonder if I’m in for a similar experience.

Amano shrimp are great with that algae 👍

Edit: I realised your betta might eat them, but if you do pop a couple in there, try to get the biggest you can find 😀
 

christinecrites

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Thanks for all the tips! I think I’ll take a trip into town this week and see if I can pick some big ones out and try it out. I currently have some little guys in there but I think they are too busy hiding as I only ever catch a glimpse of them on the occasion... I also may try putting my next dose of excel right on that area and see if it helps.
 

christinecrites

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Update:
I’ve been fighting the green tiny hairlike algae for a little while now. It does not come off the plant, so I have been cutting where I can. Disappointed because my Rotala has really started to show and my Juncus Repens look like they got a buzz cut. I even went so far as to remove the ones in the foreground on the right side.

I have lowered the light and I can’t really tell if it’s slowed the algae growth or not... I’ve added some more floaters and decided to invest in some new plants to replace the Juncus repens, and the carpet plant sections that are struggling. I will be headed to the fish store on my long weekend to look at neritebsnails and large shrimp.
Replacement plants include Blyxa Japonica, Fissidens Nobilis, Lilaeopsis Brasiliensis and Phyllanthus Fluitans.
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christinecrites

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Update:
My once glorious tank has suffered and looks nothing like it’s former self. I hade to completely remove and rotate the large rock on the right, to fix the the filter intake which had become somewhat buried in substrate that had slowly over time trickled down from the back left side. My plants have suffered poor flow and algae (spot / hair / diatoms). My floaters almost completely stopped growing roots which was a huge indication of my problems.

Having little to no experience with this, I wonder what sort of chance this thank has to recover or if little by little I will need to replace all the plants…

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Wookii

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What ferts are you dosing? Floaters aren't CO2 limited, and so care little about flow - if they've stopped growing, they may have run out of one or more nutrients.
 

christinecrites

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I had swapped from all the Seachem that was making my head spin to NA Thrive (all in one). I think I may be phosphate or potassium deficient as well now. I am going to attempt to try the seachem regiment again given that I have so much product.
 

Wookii

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I had swapped from all the Seachem that was making my head spin to NA Thrive (all in one). I think I may be phosphate or potassium deficient as well now. I am going to attempt to try the seachem regiment again given that I have so much product.

Thrive appears to contain N, P and K along with micros, so is a true all-in-one, so shouldn't have been an issue if you were dosing correctly. Are the leaves on the floaters still looking healthy and green?
 

Wookii

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Well, they look fine for the most part to me, perhaps a little pale in places - though you probably need the 'Duckweed' index creator @dw1305 to cast a professional eye.

If the period of your filter issues resulted in minimal surface movement, it could just be a lack of surface movement causing CO2 starvation of the submerged plants, but I can't think of anything else that may have caused the die back, and I can't explain the lack of root growth on floaters as mine throw out roots at alarming speed.

I would just keep the surface movement high, up the water changes and fert dosing, and see if things improve.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Well, they look fine for the most part to me, perhaps a little pale in places - though you probably need the 'Duckweed' index creator @dw1305 to cast a professional eye.
That looks about right. The older leaves are looking a bit deficient in something.
NA Thrive (all in one)
Should be fine, maybe try dosing a little more?

cheers Darrel
 

christinecrites

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Hi all,

That looks about right. The older leaves are looking a bit deficient in something.

Should be fine, maybe try dosing a little more?

cheers Darrel
Thanks Darrel, I have upped the dosing and will watch for root growth on the floaters and see how things go. These plants used to pearl so much when I started this tank and now they hardly do. My water changes are every other night 20-50% currently.
 

christinecrites

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Cochrane, Alberta, 🇨🇦
Well, they look fine for the most part to me, perhaps a little pale in places - though you probably need the 'Duckweed' index creator @dw1305 to cast a professional eye.

If the period of your filter issues resulted in minimal surface movement, it could just be a lack of surface movement causing CO2 starvation of the submerged plants, but I can't think of anything else that may have caused the die back, and I can't explain the lack of root growth on floaters as mine throw out roots at alarming speed.

I would just keep the surface movement high, up the water changes and fert dosing, and see if things improve.
Thanks, i also added an air stone for some more surface movement. If I cannot get them to bounce back I will slowly replace the carpeting plants with less demanding plants at this point. It will have been close to 5 months no CO2 with Monte Carlo and Cuba… not bad for a first attempt.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
I have upped the dosing and will watch for root growth on the floaters and see how things go.
It is more difficult to use the <"Duckweed Index"> when you are deficient in one of the mobile nutrients, purely because most nutrients <"are mobile within the plant">. The good news is because they are mobile the plant <"can move them to the new leaves"> and as soon as you add Liebig's limiting nutrient then the plant should green up and grow.

The three macronutrients, N : P : K are the most likely deficiencies, purely because plants need the largest amount of them.

cheers Darrel
 

christinecrites

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Update: Tired of watching this tank slowly deplete, I decided to try some new plants and adding 6 zebra horned nerite snails to help keep it clean. It looks nothing like it once used to, but I think the Betta with enjoy the hiding spots and shade more. Should have cleaned the rim before the pic, but I would like to keep this journal with unfiltered or touched up pics at this point. I’ll save those for Instagram lol.
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