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My Tank is Borked!

Discussion in 'General Aquascaping and Planted Tank Discussions' started by WileyOompa, Sep 24, 2017.

  1. WileyOompa

    WileyOompa New Member

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    I am not sure what to do. I have tried many things but there is something off with my tank and the only LFS has not been super helpful.

    Here are a couple pictures to start.


    IMG_7667.JPG IMG_7668.JPG

    I have 2 major issues.

    1. Something keeps killing my snails. They end up dead and I cannot figure out why. I have tried adjusting hardness, ph and making sure to change out the water periodically.

    2. I have this weird algae that keeps coming back. I have been cutting back the plants continually to try to stop it but it keeps coming. You can see it in the 2 pictures. I dont think its hair algae but it seems just as problematic.

    My Setup:
    I have a canister filter with a UV light inside it with bio balls and carbon in it.
    I have a CO2 injection system with the ph set to 7
    I have plenty of light provided by an LED lightbar
    I have 2 airstones to keep the water aerated
    Planted with only live plants and some driftwood.

    The tank has been good for over a year, it stayed clean and the snails thrived along with the algae staying at a minimim.

    Any ideas or suggestions on what I should do?

    Thank you,

    Brandon
     

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  2. Zeus

    Zeus Active Aquascaper

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    Hi and welcome

    Looks like you have staghorn to me but no expert which is thriving in high light and low flow. If your using CO2 whilst the CO2 is on its wasted. Airstone only on in no photoperiod going off two hours before CO2 period.

    What size tank?
    What filter do you have?
    what Light do you have?
    What fertilizer are you using?
    How longs you photo period?
    How often are you doing Water Changes and how much water?
    Are you using a drop checker? If not what is the pH of the tank just before CO2 comes on? or in very cleaned well rinsed out glass fill with tank water leave 24hrs then take pH
    Using Liquid CO2?
    What substrate do you have under the gravel? think it may be some Aqua Soil (AS) which if you haven't be dosing ferts will be exhausted which would have a Knock on effect on everything else.

    Having answers to the above will help the community to help you get you tank back on track

    Zeus
     
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  3. Tim Harrison

    Tim Harrison Moderator Staff Member

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    It definitely will; I think Zeus has this one covered ;)
     
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  4. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    WileyOompaus

    Zeus has asked you the correct questions its most important you answer them so we can help you.
    Here are a few more for you.
    Your filtration how often is it cleaned plus are you using any Carbon.
    Other than the type of filtration what size is it LPH if you know it can be checked using the name and model number.
    Personally I would remove those very badly effected plant/s (in the first photo) as they could be beyond saving. I you do decide to remove them make sure you have syphoned all the algae in that area.

    This might sound a bit drastic but in the long term by replacing them you tank will look a lot better once all your concerns are fixed.

    The other big concern I would start looking for another LFS in your area.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
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  5. WileyOompa

    WileyOompa New Member

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    Let me see if I can answer these completely.

    I am hoping this helps.

    Thanx
     
  6. Zeus

    Zeus Active Aquascaper

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    Sorry for my error, airstone on whilst CO2 on is a no no. Reason airstone bubbles create a lot of surface aggitition which in turn causes the CO2 to be lost faster, so higher CO2 injection needed.

    No ferts !!! Except fish waste OFC, you need ferts, surgested EI ferts, buy salts and make solutions.

    12 hours light that's a lot. I would advise 6 hrs max till problems resolved.

    Need a pH drop of 0.5 to 1.0pH to get most out of co2 . If your not using ferts your CO2 is wasted.

    Your substrate will be exhausted, you tank needs ferts.

    Knowing the kH of your water will help you determine what would be a reasonable pH to aim for, if you use ferts.

    Need airstone on timer if using CO2

    Also need good flow in tank if using CO2 and ferts. The target for a tank with CO2 and ferts is pump output should be about ten times tank volume.

    Don't listen to the LFS who couldnt point you in the right direction.

    Will do a more detail reply if no else does and some more helpful links info if you like. It late here and work in morning

    Sent from Mountolympus via neural interface
     
  7. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    WileyOompa

    Zeus has just added to this The other big concern I would start looking for another LFS in your area.

    How often are you doing Water Changes and how much water?
    Every couple weeks, 1/3 tank or so

    I would commence 2 X 35% twice weekly immediately.

    I would also clean your filter using the old tank water once a month.

    Carbon is an excellent produce to use after treating your tank with medications please remove it immediately as it is no longer required.

    Keith:cat::cat:




     
  8. WileyOompa

    WileyOompa New Member

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  9. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    WileyOompa

    I would commence 2 X 35% twice weekly immediately.
    Its just a part of having a tank if you don't do it that is when all the problems start.

    So just the bioballs and ceramic balls, no carbon? I have never treated my tank with medications.
    Correct. Now to keep all your good bacteria its advisable to use a good Bio Starter eg Seachem Stability there are plenty of cheaper products around which the LFS will say "Same as and as good as" I only every used that product standard dosage at every water change and double at the Filter cleaning.

    Soft water the safest way is only have "Soft Water inhabitants"

    I dont have any other options except PetSmart and Petco within 20 miles.
    That could be the reason why you are having problems now. I would regularly drive a 100+ klm return to go to get my supplies plus always reliable information. When I had the Marine tank that was a 150klm return trip

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  10. Zeus

    Zeus Active Aquascaper

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    Going off your low quality pic and the info given so far. They die of starvation. But not an expert.

    Reason- your tank is nutrient deficient. The plants are not growing but just hanging on with their food store. the Staghorn is doing OKish as the snails you had cant eat it. They have eaten all the other algae which was also struggling to thrive despite the abundance of light and the staghorn has done better s nothing eating it.

    Some may of gone dormant and may return once there is food for them in the tank.

    Only time for quick answer ATM - will try to find time tonight for some guidance/tips to help get tank back on track. But the main issue is ferts OFC.
     
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  11. WileyOompa

    WileyOompa New Member

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    Keith and Zeus,

    Once again, thank you for the helpful information. I will start making water changes immediately.

    So I have Seachem Stability which I used when I initially setup the tank.

    I dont have a problem going to another LFS that is near work or ordering online if I know what I am looking for. My experience with most of the fish stores in the greater Raleigh area is that they are staffed with kids who are hobbyists but not the most informed when it comes to the more technical issues. This is why I am here. You guys have already shown an abundance of knowledge and been more helpful than anyone I have talked to since I started my tank.

    I am an instruction follower and like routine. My goal is to keep the tank maintenance to a minimum as I have little free time and would like to not be spending all of it on my tank. I feel that I have a good set of equipment and may need to get some more. It sounds like I need info on the following.

    Should I get another powerhead and increase the overall circulation.
    Should I use the Seachem Stability with every water change?
    How do I get the tank nutrients issue fixed?
    It seems I am going to have to pull all my plants to get rid of the staghorn if nothing eats it. Is there a way to get rid of it without doing that.

    Zeus, you mentioned the low quality pic. Thats an HD picture, do you need to see more detail, is it not showing enough, what is it that makes the pic low quality because its certainly not the resolution. I am happy to provide more pics of whatever it is you guys need to help me figure this out and get a good solid setup going again.

    Thank you again!!!
     
  12. Zeus

    Zeus Active Aquascaper

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    More Pics the better IMO, One of whole tank would help too as we can then see the whole tank and talyor any advise to your tank.

    Help on others later, just finished work ;)
     
  13. Zeus

    Zeus Active Aquascaper

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    60 gal tank so going by the x10 rule you need a pump/filter with an output of 600Gal per hour, true and false. The x10 guide was devised by wise folk in the hobby as a rough guide that would work for high tech tanks for growing any plant with any hardscape plus allowing for manufactures claims of pump outputs that was incorrect. So its a guide not written in stone but a great place to start if starting from scratch. Your present pump is x4 so little under for a high tech tank but may be enough for your aims. Your using CO2 which doesn't necessarily make it high tech, its not low tech but it seems it may be more of a hybrid tech IMO. You tank was doing OK for some time without using any fertiliser which is the norm if you have AS. But then its stored ferts run out and you end up with what you have. So do you want the long slog of getting thing back or the quick route.

    The quick route is easy, empty tank, Wash gravel removing AS then get some more and start from scratch, scrubbing all the algae away and get new plants, Bit of advice on what fert may suit you the best and you tank is up and done growing.

    The longer path would be getting Ferts in and working with light CO2 and tank flow you get it recovering but will still involve some more plants IMO. More Kudos with this and you learn more and dont fall into the same trap again

    CO2

    you say your kH is 2, so using graph
    upload_2017-9-27_19-7-30.png

    Your target pH should be 6.6 to 6.5pH to get 16-30ppm CO2. having a target pH of 7 is giving about 8ppm CO2. which will make a difference dont get me wrong but not massive. It may be enough for your aims.

    Alos when was the last time you calibrated your pH controller? it should be at least monthly more frequent as the probe gets older as the probe only last about a year, some much less.

    Different Probes do give different pH for the same sample of water even if both have just been calibrated, its just the way they are in short, so get get hung up on the value it gives, find a level that suits and use the controler to hit your working pH. Ph controler also great to get the BPS right for tank then when happy take take it off as once the injection rate is right only small changes may be needed occasionally.

    A drop checker which measures the [CO2] may be helpful also to hep get the CO2 levels.

    Easy add them. you say you have some ferts what do you have? Any fert is better than nothing. I use Seachem Flourish on one low tech tank easy once twice a week 0.5ml in small tank. On two high tech I use the EI method which involves mixing the dry salts and dosing daily the two different nutrient solutions, more time consuming. But there are several ways. Chosing the right one to suit your needs and commitments will help you/us to help you get the must of your hobby.

    If you cant commit to weekly 50% WCs then stay away from EI ferts.

    Judging by what you have said you may be best going for a hybrid tank which Tim has a great thread you should read The Soil Substrate Planted Tank - a How to Guide... :notworthy:

    Dont rush or Knee jurk to anything you will just get out of control

    Your tank is Borked NOT F$$$$$d, it will still be borked next week, but with some effort with what you have things could be improving.

    Cut your Light down to SIX hours MAX
    remove as much algea as you can without damaging plants.
    Clean filter media in old tank water.
    Few big water changes after a tank has been cleaned
    Add ferts you have at the highest level the label on then advises or even double short term. The AS will suck up the excess no problem.
    CO2 on 2hrs before lights on and off 1-2hrs before light OFF

    For airstone on all night is GOOD, but if CO2 or lights are ON - airstone OFF

    Then read Tims thread think about your options and costs and time commitments they imply.

    Then in a couple of weeks you will have a better idea of whats possible and what will be needed/cost to get it, Plus tank will be picking up. Dont buy anything short term ( except ferts if you dont have any, or maybe a few cheap 'easy grow plants')

    A complete PIC of tank will help us help you too with all the hardware attached
     

    Attached Files:

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  14. WileyOompa

    WileyOompa New Member

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  15. WileyOompa

    WileyOompa New Member

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    Picture updates. You can see the algae in the tank now. Its out of hand, this is all growth since the picture I first posted.
    IMG_7686.JPG
    IMG_7687.JPG
    IMG_7688.JPG IMG_7689.JPG IMG_7690.JPG IMG_7691.JPG
     
  16. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Wiley

    I am very sorry to say your tank is a mess its showing every sign of doing practically every thing wrong.
    You are now at the correct place to put you back on the right track.

    What I am about to suggest is going to sound very drastic but in the long term you will finish up with a tank to be proud of.

    Get a large water container that will hold at least 50% of your water. Siphon out 50% into the container and add all the inhabitants.

    Strip the filter down completely, that includes the inlet and outlet plus all the hosing.
    When finished set it up in the new water container. Most important add a double dosage of the Stability to get a good bacteria back into your filter.

    Remove all the remaining hardware and give it a very good cleaning using the tap water.
    This can then be set up in the new container.

    Remove one piece of driftwood at a time and scrub it with a stiff brush under a tap. This will remove all the algae. When all finished place into the water container.

    Remove all the un salvageable plants and put them in the rubbish bin.
    Next remove one good plant at a time and remove all the algae you could try a soft tooth brush or what every removes it all, finally a good cleaning under a running tap, and then into the water container.

    I have not mentioned your inhabitants feed them a little if at all as you should be able to clean and rebuild your tank again in a few hrs.

    The light will not be required to have it on.

    All you should have left is your Substrate.
    If you only have those stones I just a matter of removing them and giving a good cleaning using a strong garden hose. Store them in a separate container
    If you have a layer of ???? under the stones its going to be harder as you will have to remove all the stones first. I will a choice of either replace the ??? or clean it.

    Finally the tank should be left with the water only. Drain it all out and give the tank a very good cleaning, you can use a soap free non scratch kitchen cleaner.

    I think I have mentioned every thing

    Now set the tank up again, If you like I can help you with a new Aquascape.

    By doing this you will be starting off with a perfectly clean tank.

    Zeus will give you all the correct advice in setting up your Co2 and, lights etc.

    My answer would be a big YES.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
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  17. Zeus

    Zeus Active Aquascaper

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    AS - AquaSiol Guide to Substrates by George Farmer well worth a read.

    Thanks for the Pics helps a lot, I've arranged for NUKE to hit your tank which should help the clean up process, Thunderbirds will be airlifting the tanks inhabitants before the strike :eek::whistle:

    It needs a really really big clean, cleaning all the pipes and filters with old tank water and use Seachem prime to treat water you add to tank after filling before stating filter. Get some FERTS.

    As to the powerhead yes, but with a big clean and ferts you may not need it long term if you do regular maintenance but it would do no harm. Read Tims thread
     
  18. WileyOompa

    WileyOompa New Member

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    Here is my selection of nutrients and starters

    IMG_7692.JPG
     
  19. Zeus

    Zeus Active Aquascaper

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    Seacham Flourish Low tech fert but better than nothing -I would add 5-10ml every day (one cap full) then sort out a more complete FERT to suit your tanks needs

    Prime- excellent - need to add to freash water you add to tank
     
  20. WileyOompa

    WileyOompa New Member

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    So if I am going to go through the hassle of setting this all up again. I need to make a list of the tasks and settings. It looks like I am going to need a ton of timers so I am going to need a bigger power strip.

    I dont really have anything under the rocks / sand so cleaning that should be easy, I had added flourite to it originally so I dont know if that still has any value. I am open to any and all suggestions for upgrades / changes.

    Ultimately my goal is to have a tank that supports the snails and invertebrates well. I really like the different types of shrimp, they are interesting and fun to watch. So that brings me to the next set of questions.

    Should I get a bigger canister filter that will do 500+Gph or should I just use powerheads to make up the circulation difference?
    What is the best way to setup the tank for the least amount of weekly maintenance?
    Any suggestions on things I should change?
    If I am looking to have snails and shrimp, are the specific plants I should use, substrates, decor, etc?

    Thanx again guys!
     

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