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10 Gallon Planted (please give me tips)

Discussion in 'Critique My Aquascape' started by lucasgg, Aug 13, 2014.

  1. lucasgg

    lucasgg Active Aquascaper

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    Also, with the red stems dying, it seems to be a lack of substrate nutrients. One day after I inserted some root tabs, they perked up again.
     

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  2. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Lucas

    The only thing I can add if not already doing it more prepared good water changes 3 x 30% per week if you can do that, you can dim the light by lifting it up or using a sheet of not clear Perspex between the light and the top of the tank.

    Keith:):)
     
  3. Supercoley1

    Supercoley1 Moderator Staff Member

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    Which algae did you identify it as in the algaepedia? Not sure why there is any recommendation in there suggesting to reduce ferts as a step to prevent algae, that is just plain incorrect.

    Algae needs minimal nutrients, much much less than plants. If you put a pot of RO water on a windowsill it will grow algae over time just from dust particles rotting!!!

    All algae is caused by problems within the tank. Virtually always a CO2 / light imbalance. That meaning in non cO2 and CO2 enriched tanks there is too much light provided for the CO2 supplied.

    Think of CO2 and nutrients as food and light as a growth driver or consumption need. If you reduce CO2 or nutrients without addressing the light then if there is not enough CO2 or nutrient plants suffer and algae jumps in. Think of algae as an opportunist. It is an organism older than plants and requires much much less nutrient supply.

    So focus first on light. If you are using reflectors remove them. If not raise the light up if possible or use a light diffuser like Keith suggests.

    If you are supplying CO2 already find out if it is supplying what you need....all the time....at a consistent rate.

    Keep on top of water changes and filter maintenance.

    water changes remove organic wastes which then can cause localised ammonia spikes. Too small to register on a test but enough for you to get algae problems in one area but not others etc. Water changes remove organic waste. You then add in your fert which is in-organic.

    Took me 2 years to get through the stage you are in at the moment before I started to master keeping algae to a minimum :) Patience and perseverence is needed.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2014
  4. lucasgg

    lucasgg Active Aquascaper

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  5. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Lucas

    You certainly have very lush growth there how is the algae control proceeding?

    Keith:):)
     
  6. lucasgg

    lucasgg Active Aquascaper

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    It's okay... I did a 2 day blackout, and I killed all of the string algae, how ever a large portion of BGA had grown over places in the tank.
     
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  7. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Lucas looks gone from one algae to another.

    You must find the cause if not you will never get rid of the Algae.

    Keith:):)
     
  8. lucasgg

    lucasgg Active Aquascaper

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    I like this paragraph:
    To properly control algae, use this approach: 1) limit light and nutrient input, even if this means reducing the light or food to less than usual levels, keep the tank lights off for a few days and feed every other day — it is virtually impossible to starve fish to death without actually trying; 2) remove as much algae as possible, scrub down the tank, remove ornaments, scrub and wash those, and do a water change to physically remove the algae and 3) eliminate nutrients from the aquarium by using phosphate, silicate or nitrate remover as necessary.

    Large blooms of algae are typically indicative of water-quality problems, which should be addressed not only to get rid of the algae but for the health of the fish. Typical algae “problems” are never truly detrimental to the aquarium, no matter how unsightly they may be. Address the problem, not the symptoms.
     
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  9. Supercoley1

    Supercoley1 Moderator Staff Member

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    The problem with that is that it is very old school.

    Algae will grow in tanks where there is the minutest of nutrients. If you put RO water in a sealed cup on the windowsill it will grow algae. How?

    As for removing nutrients that is a thankless task. There is a constant supply of enough nutrients for algae from fish waste, fish food, dust etc. Then there is supply from localised problem such as plant (and algae) decay.

    I would ignore anything that ever suggest that the way to tackle algae is to focus on the nutrients. Most aquascapers overdose nutrients. There is a lot of excess left in the tank. Think of it as a buffet. The plants have all they need available all the time.

    CO2 is much harder to supply an 'all you can eat' option. Many people who think they are supplying CO2 well with a pressurised setup still struggle with algae and then can be very hard to convince that CO2 is likely to be the problem.

    So the last thing that you focus on is light. You can control the amount of light much much easier than CO2 so you can control the growth rate and therefore the demand on nutrients (CO2 is a nutrient in the plant's case.)

    This is especially important in a non CO2 setup. You are relying of the natural amount of CO2 in the water and therefore it is not a limitless supply. This is why non CO2 setups use lower light levels. 1 to 1.5WPG is around the mark you should be unless you are sure your tank is OK with more. That is 1-1.5WPG of flourescent T8. Less with T5 and much less with good LEDs.

    You must keep up on maintenance and water changes siphoning out the bad stuff, using a toothbrush to wrap algae around and remove.

    The problem is that it is much easier to prevent these things in the first place than it is to retrieve the situation. That is partly down to human nature in that we are better at preparing and planning than we are at being patient or persevering.

    Once you have an algae or BGA problem then it can be a slow recovery and there will always be remnants within the tank. It isn't irretrievable but it is much easier to take stock and plan a new setup then start again keeping on top of things from the start.

    I said in another thread (or maybe this one) that it took me close to 2 years of battling algae(s) and spending something like £2000 over that space of time to finally get an algae free tank. Some was due to buying cheap this and cheap that. Some was following old hat advice like needing higher light etc. A lot was inexperience, impatience and often laziness.

    I could buy that same setup that cost me £2000 for about £600 now with experience. £1400 of that was wasted on trying to buy things cheaply or buying things that I didn't need because of bad advice etc.

    Its either the patience and trust route or the start again approach I'm afraid. It is worth it in the end though because once you've got it mastered you can focus on the tank / scapes knowing that you can deal with any little problems.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2014
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  10. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Lucas

    There is not much I can add to that.

    "Prevention is always easier than the cure."

    Over the Forum years I have across algae problems that could not be removed no matter what was done, I think they tried every thing and nothing worked, in the end I asked for a photograph of the room, as soon as I saw the photo problem solved the algae was caused by natural daylight from a very high window cure move the tank.

    Keith:):)
     
  11. lucasgg

    lucasgg Active Aquascaper

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    Well, my tank is near a window, but the window points north, with the sun being slightly more towards the southern side of the house at it's highest point in the year. There is also a large eve that provides decent shade. I have had the tank in the basement, but I did not notice any difference.

    The only problem with moving it back into the basement, is that I practically will never see it. So, if I don't see it, forgetfulness will occur. (it is currently in my room)
     
  12. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Lucas

    I was not suggesting yours was near a window just that it can happen and often does.

    Mine is less than 3ft from a big window and never gets any sun on it at all.

    Keith:):)
     
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  13. Supercoley1

    Supercoley1 Moderator Staff Member

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    Keep it where it is and put a curtain rail above the front of the tank. Problem solved. You can close the curtains when you're not there :)
     
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  14. lucasgg

    lucasgg Active Aquascaper

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    Yes, I have thick heavy green curtains in front of my windows, so I am covered.
     
  15. lucasgg

    lucasgg Active Aquascaper

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    I will higher my light soon.
     
  16. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Lucas

    Are you saying it is a light concern, natural/tank lights?

    Keith:):)
     
  17. lucasgg

    lucasgg Active Aquascaper

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    No Keith, I'm trying to reduce the light when I don't have as much co2.
    Right now, the LED's are about 1 1/2 from the water surface.
     
  18. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    You are trying to do too much with DIY CO2. You need to back off your light. This tank should be going slow. Supercoley1 covered it.
     
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  19. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Shawn

    Are you referring to lifting the light higher or, reduce the time the light is on or do both?

    Keith:):)
     
  20. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    Either, although I prefer reducing the light as opposed to having it on for less time. I've been doing less time with a couple tanks to reduce maintenance needs with our new baby at home, but have noticed the growth is more scraggly.
     

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