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Struggling a bit with my discus display tank

turkishpat

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19 Oct 2009
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As the title says I’m struggling with my plants in my tank it’s a 72x30x24 with 2 fluval 3.0 leds on it I’ve got them running at 50% brightness for 8 hours a day I’ve a bit of bba on the anubias and my java fern is off colour I will attach water perams and a video of plant just after a few pointers il.I dont dose co2 and the only ferts I’ve tried is profito
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xZaiox

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When you say 'fluval 3.0' is this referring to the fluval planted light? Because just one of those is more than sufficient for a non-CO2 injected tank. When you don't inject CO2, you typically want much less light in the tank, the reason is that the light is essentially the 'gas pedal' - it decides how fast things move. When the light increases, the metabolic demands of the plants increase, they require more CO2 and nutrients. If they become nutrient limited however, they don't stop growing, they just grow in unhealthy ways that ultimately result in higher organic loads and susceptibility to algae.

Black beard algae specifically is usually related to imbalances in CO2 or high organic loads. What does your tank maintenance look like? How often are you doing water changes? How much water is changed? What is the flow like in your tank? I.e do all your plants gently sway in the flow? How well-stocked with fish is your tank? How long has the tank been running?

There's a lot of information missing in this post. Planted tanks can unfortunately be kind of complicated at times, it's a delicate balancing act of a mini ecosystem. The more info you give us, the more we'll be able to assess the situation :)
 

turkishpat

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Sorry I’ll explain a bit better I have 2 of the leds as the tank is 7ft they are 3.5foot each so cover the length . Tank been running over 5 years I do two big 200 litre olive barrels water changes which is airiated and heated soft Lake District tap water .the tank is filtered by two fluval fx 5 it has good flow from both ends
 

turkishpat

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Stocking levels are 9 discus 40 plus sterbais and 30 rummy nose tetras and a few l183 plecs
 

turkishpat

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Till recently I only had non aquatic leds above tank and a couple of anubias.I’ve since gone onto the proper fluval 3.0 plant led and set them at 50% except the blue and added more anubias and Java as not wanting demanding plants .I’m wondering as my tank is 30”tall and my return from filters are at the top the plants are quite still as the returning water is at the surface .would adding a wave maker lower down aiming at the plants help .
 

_Maq_

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A general remark: I suppose you keep temperature high, as this is a discus tank. In such cases, oxygen is always an issue to worry about. Plants can suffer from low oxygen just like fish and microbes.
 

turkishpat

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I run 2eheim 400 air pumps with air stones plus as well as that I have a large sponge filter to help polish the water them temp is 28 degrees
 

xZaiox

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plants are quite still as the returning water is at the surface
In planted tanks, as a general rule you want all of the plants to gently sway in the flow. This shows that they're in the flow of any nutrients dosed and also that organics are being swept away from them.

How often are you doing water changes? Weekly? Monthly? How often do you clean your filters? When you do water changes do you attempt to vacuum off detritus resting on the substrate etc? It's interesting to me that in your pictures, the java ferns at the higher end of the wood appear to be doing better than the ones at the lower end. My first instincts are thinking flow and/or high organic load might be causing issues.

The only times I've ever seen black beard algae in my tanks was when I had my first ever setup, I didn't optimise flow and so the water wasn't being circulated at the base of the plants, so only the lower leaves would develop black beard algae while the top leaves were fine. I had quite a high stocking and overfed a bit too, so in my case this was likely related to a high organic load not being swept away from the plants lower leaves. Just my experience with BBA :lol:
 

turkishpat

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its a learnig curve for me but all the peoples advice is brilliant and i am taking it all in . what i now realise is my tank is 30" tall and bother the filter outlets returns break the surface to oxygenate the water .if im correct i will need maybe a powerhead or wave maker lower down as the plants are still in the water and nothing to agitate them. the tank is 7ft long with the fx6 at either end returning the water the legth of the tank.so next question what size wave maker do i need ad do i need two or one large one to help move the water lower down and move the plants a little. thanks all for the replies as all i want is a healthy large display tank. i do two large changes twice a week and clean the filters out once every couple of months or when the flow reduces.
 

Conort2

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clean the filters out once every couple of months or when the flow reduces.
I used to do similar or leave it even longer sometimes. I now include weekly filter cleaning as part of my water change regime. You’ll be surprised how much gunk those filters will pick up, especially with big messy fish like discus.

I’d also recommend spot dosing the bba you currently have with liquid carbon as the existing stuff won’t disappear by itself.

Cheers
 

turkishpat

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thanks for reply im getting some liquid co2 to spot dose with and will get a wavemaker though not sure what size to get to help with the flow at lower levels. i will try and clean the fxs*s out a bit more regular then. i dont know whether i need to increase the settings on the lights as running at 50% settings except the blue only at 5 % as told it encourages algae.
 

turkishpat

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any advice on what wave maker to get and would i need two as its 7 ft long cheers
 

turkishpat

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ive started with profito but not sure on other minerals too add . im not after a hitech set up but as its 7 ft and has a few plants just dont want it to be an eyesore with algae . as discus are the main focus
 

turkishpat

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As shown in the picture my nitrates are high I’ve checked from the tap and hardly show up so going to have to get this down as I gather this will be a major factor with the algae
 

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dw1305

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Hi all,
ive started with profito but not sure on other minerals too add . im not after a hitech set up but as its 7 ft and has a few plants just dont want it to be an eyesore with algae . as discus are the main focus
You will need <"to get a fertiliser"> that contains <"all the essential nutrients for plant growth">.

Because it is a large tank you may find all propriety fertilisers <"too expensive"> and I'd recommend using dry salts. Plants, <"combined with water changes">, are the best way of <"maintaining water quality">.

I <"really like a floating plant">, they have a <"number of advantages">.

The best fish keeper I know is <"Larry Waybright"> (@apistomaster on various forums) and if I was to keep Discus I'd use him as a starting point.
As shown in the picture my nitrates are high I’ve checked from the tap and hardly show up so going to have to get this down as I gather this will be a major factor with the algae
What does your water company say about your tap nitrate levels? They have <"analytical equipment and can give you accurate values">.

cheers Darrel
 
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turkishpat

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Thanks for all your help and replies my plan is to get the nitrate lowered by doing some big water changes as my tap water has minute levels of nitrate .clean both the fx6 out a week apart so hint crash the cycle. Get a wave maker to circulate the water at lower levels as tank is 30” deep .when nitrate lower will then be asking what nutrients to add and maybe tweak the light intensity
 
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