Wits end with vallis..... Please help

fz1ben

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Hi guys

I've been trying ........and failing for months and months to grow two large patches of giant vallis in my 6ft tanganyika display tank.My vision was two areas where the vallis would grow to the surface and add height and interest to the tank.

I have 2 gro beam 600s and 2 mini tiles hooked up to the 8 way controller. The lights can be moved anywhere on the tank. So I have complete control of lighting.

My ph is 8.2 / 8.4 kh 14 and gh 18 the tank is approximately 550l and I perform 220l per week water changes.The substrate is about 80% sand with some gravel mixed in.

I've placed root tabs under the plants and tried dosing ferts (lightly admittedly ) All that happens is the vallis slowly dies over a period of months.

I'd be eternally grateful if anyone can help me to achieve my goal of lush tall growth. This has me stumped I feel as If I've tried everything I can. It can't be impossible and I won't give up........ but I need help.


20150704_192840_zpsrgz12wae.jpg
Many thanks in advance
 

kirk

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Hi, I can't see brilliantly on this phone, but it looks like you have bba, also melt.

I'm guessing you are not using co2? Are you dosing liquid carbon? Your lighting is too much, how long are they on for? We need a bit more info please to be of more help, ie light time /distance from surface, fert dosing, whether you use co2. Filter turn over, flow rate. You do have a serious case of bba I would concentrate on trying to iradicate that as from what I can see that's the only thing that is happy.
 
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fz1ben

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Hi kirk thanks for the reply
no co2 or liquid carbon the altolamprologus I keep are hyper sensitive to it. The lights sit on the glass sliders so probably 3/4 inchs from the surface and 24" from the subtracted. The tank is filtered by a massive eheim 2260 2400lph and and an eheim experience 350 1100lph..

The bba has always been a problem really it grows well on the rock work but I've learnt to live with it as it brings some great natural behaviour out it the fish. I do spot dose with hydrogen peroxide to keep it in check or remove the rocks and dip them in a peroxide bath.

The lights are on for 7 hours with a long ramp up and down and set to 75%
 

kirk

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Have you tried reducing the lighting to sat 50 percent at all? You are close to running low tech, I'd probably reduce the light to 30/40 percent for a bit, what happens to the leaves before they break off or you remove them? Are they going yellow?
 

fz1ben

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I've tried reducing the lights but didn't see much improve, if you think it's worth a shot ill do it. Yes the end of the leaves sort of melt and turn yellow.
 

fz1ben

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20150404_2133082_zpsoctwvtwm.jpg

Fts from April, you can see the two patches of green but still no height.
 

kirk

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Try reducing light adding more ferts too. One of the plants needs nesting back into the substrate a little. That is making me think are the fish ripping them up? I've heard of this happening at lights off to vallis with certain fish too. I like the rock work, we just need to get your plant problem sorted for a great scape, stick with it.
I had great results with jbl slow release clay balls . Pushed into the substrate.
 

kirk

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The light may be two low. A Grobeam 600's PAR reading is just 16-18 micromols at 58 cm from the substrate at 100% setting.
http://www.ukaps.org/forum/threads/anyone-using-these-without-trouble.30700/
Could be. I'm unfamiliar with the mentioned led. But for me algae and melting plant has me knocking lighting back. I've had vallis growing mad low tech under a desk lamp over a two ft deep cube. That mad I got sick of vallis and threw it away as it took over. If we were talking about a demanding plant I would say strait away from that thread I agree. Vallis normally doesn't need a lot of light to grow. Are there new roots on any of your remains plants? I'm quickly running out of questions.:D
 
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fz1ben

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When I tried the lights at 100% the algae grew faster and I started getting hair alage on the substrate too.
 

xim

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If the solution to grow plants without algae was just dialling into a light level,
many threads in the forums would not exist. :)
 

Andy D

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Flow / distribution could be an issue. Those Vallis looked quite well protected from the flow by those rocks.
 

fz1ben

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The ones on the right of the tank don't get that much flow but the ones in the middle do and there's no difference. Do you think lack of flow would cause such problems?
 

PARAGUAY

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You have the vision about how you want the tank but initially I would throw away the poorly vallis,the BBA treat with Easy Carb or similar,consider as Kirk suggests lower lighting,if it was me I would change to a couple of T8,it is a low tech as is your set up.Plant really heavily with good quality stem plants with your vallis.Egeria,Hygrophilla fast growers which should help fight off any algae issues,the heavier you initially plant the better when the vallis starts to spread with runners gradully remove the others.Stems are taking a lot from the water column so water changes and again good liquid fertiliser daily dosed.I believe vallis in the wild gros on the margins in sand with gentle flow.
 

alto

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Which tang's are you keeping?
- I kept A compressiceps, P nigripinnis, L ocellatus 'blue', "lampeyes" (shipped as A normani) in a limited plant tank, adding lower levels of CO2 (maybe 1bp 2-3 sec): Microsorum 'Narrow' & 'Philippine', E acicularis, V americana (natans) & V spiralis 'Tiger'... both vals easily grew 1m leaves, the acicularis struggled a bit (nice clumps but no ground cover), both Microsorums were bent on world domination ...
It's been a while so I don't recall GH/KH etc but loads of "limescale" ;), pH 8ish, Carib Sea Aragonite as substrate (my very nice fish guy had a Marine shop & special ordered/shipped fish & plants & CO2 system etc, I'd picked up the substrate & tank).

I didn't have any brush algae (or particularly great flow as it was just whatever filters shipped with the tank kits), but did need to stir the sand re that (common) blueish/greenish algae that slowly grows.
I had rather less rock. Lighting was just standard fluorescent, though I ordered in "fancy" bulbs, I ran the lights 10-12h, dosed Tropica fertilizer at water change (50% weekly), I'd started with Tropica pots (20 as that was the minimum order) & plants were established for a couple months before adding fish (I did have some Amano shrimp, but they were eventually sorted out by the A comps).
 

xim

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The light may be two low. A Grobeam 600's PAR reading is just 16-18 micromols at 58 cm from the substrate at 100% setting.
http://www.ukaps.org/forum/threads/anyone-using-these-without-trouble.30700/
Info about light level for various aquatic plants.
http://answers.seneye.com/index.php?title=en/Aquarium_help/What_is_PAR_&_PUR_?/fresh_water_plant_PAR_levels

Vallisneria americana 50 micromoles minimum, Vallisneria spiralis 40 micromoles min.

Even Tom Barr will be hard pressed to recommend going lower than 30 micromoles.
 
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My guess would be that they lack of nutrients, I had vallis even growing in a goldfish tank without any flow and a small light bulb, but the fish poo gave it enough nutrients for sure.
 

fz1ben

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This is what's so confusing for me....... Some people say lower light some people say increase light?

You have the vision about how you want the tank but initially I would throw away the poorly vallis,the BBA treat with Easy Carb or similar,consider as Kirk suggests lower lighting,if it was me I would change to a couple of T8,it is a low tech as is your set up.Plant really heavily with good quality stem plants with your vallis.Egeria,Hygrophilla fast growers which should help fight off any algae issues,the heavier you initially plant the better when the vallis starts to spread with runners gradully remove the others.Stems are taking a lot from the water column so water changes and again good liquid fertiliser daily dosed.I believe vallis in the wild gros on the margins in sand with gentle flow.
I really don't want to go to t8 tubes I don't like the look of flouresent tubes plus I paid close to £500 for the ability to have full control and sunrise/sunset feature. I could turn the lights right down to match t8 lighting.

When the lights are on 50% the tank looks very dull to the eye

I've grown some very nice low tech tanks and always planted heavy from the start with fast growing species. The problem is I can't plant heavily due to all the rock work which I need for the fish.

I've planted some cryptcoryne balansae amongst the vallis thinking this was a good species for clean hard water and low light but after 3 months it's barely hanging on?
 

fz1ben

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You think so troi.? It's got a fair few fish and I feed them well. Would you add just micro nutrients? Think I have a bottle of easy life profito somewhere
 
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