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Newly setup 22 long planted concerns

Discussion in 'Planted Aquariums' started by Barber Mike, Apr 30, 2018.

  1. Barber Mike

    Barber Mike AC Members

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    Hahah!! Thanks so much for the informative post Jen, as always.
    And please, no worries -- life comes first. I'm happy to have any help with this CO2 stuff at all.

    So yes, good riddance to the Aquatek. I'd figured I'd just make the most of it, but waking up to a motionless bubble counter was the last straw. I've got a lot invested and I wish I hadn't skimped on the regulator initially. However, I am so exited to receive my GLA reg, you have no idea. Finally get some piece of mind with this.

    As far as algae, I did a bit of researching too and you are right in your advice. Another possible cause I found for the hair algae is fluctuating CO2 lol. I'm not sure if the flux I currently have is responsible, but it's another reason to lose the Aquatek lol. Will make sure to do extra water changes if need be, and keep the ferts up. It's prominently on the driftwood (which I only soaked for 2 days). You're right, I've read around it can be common in new establishments. May also have to do with the status of my cycle which is now in full swing. Changed the water last night and tested after work today. Ammonia is dropping but still present, nitrites are through the roof and I'm starting to see nitrates in the 5-10ppm range. Lot of life blooming about. The algae hasn't taken anything over by any means. I will take what I can physically during my water changes.

    The snails seem to be munching on the algae. The majority of them are congregated on the driftwood feasting. I guess they are welcome... for now:eek:.

    Thanks, as always.
    Will be back with updates.
     
  2. Barber Mike

    Barber Mike AC Members

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    As of tonight:
    Ammonia down to .50ppm
    Nitrites off the charts
    Nitrates up to 40/80ppm

    Changed the water about 90% again after reading above parameters. Pruned any unhealthy looking leaves/stems. Seems as though my nitrates are ramping up. Hoping to zero out ammonia and experience a decrease in nitrites soon.

    I have been dosing Cory from Aquarium Co-op's all in one Simple Green liquid fertilizer per its instructions. Twice a week. I'm curious, what's your fertilizing schedule? I was tempted to dose again after this water change tonight but opted out in fear of over fertilzing. I typically dose after my water change on Monday (the day I'll do my weekly changes once I finally get to once a week :mad:) and Thursday. When do you dose your ferts? Is there any special when and how?
     
  3. Jennifer G.

    Jennifer G. AC Members

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    Hey Mike!

    Ok, so when I had the co2 running I was dosing ADA's Green Brighty step 1 every day starting week 2. I dosed nothing the first week since the aquasoil is so jam packed with nutrients and my plants were melting faster than the Wicked Witch of the East with a face full of water. The step 1 is great for initial set up to month 3 as it helps promote new leaf growth. It is micro/trace nutrients. No need to be dosing anything with nitrogen at that point (which Easy Green has) as the aquasoil cycling adds more than enough to the water column, which I'm sure you're totally aware of at this point hehe. I added some iron 2-3 times per week.

    Once my cycle was complete (4-5 weeks after start up) my plants started getting hungry. I would only dose the Easy Green once, right after my water change at half or full dose (depending on my mood that day lol), then switch back to the Green Brighty every day, sometimes every other day with a dose of iron twice a week. The Aquarium co-op Easy Green is pretty potent so I would cut the dose in half in the beginning (for 20 gals, 1 pump instead of 2 for example). I would test my nitrates on day 3 after water change and dose to try to keep the nitrates between 10-20 ppm.

    Now that my co2 hasn't been running, I only dose half the Easy Green after water change, still keep with iron twice a week and dosing the micro/trace every other day. Still checking on my nitrates and dose to keep them between 10-20 ppm. Too low nitrates can cause algae issue too, from what I have read.

    You might be seeing the algae due to too much ferts. I'd cut back at half dose for now, and increase as your plant load does. How long are your lights running? I have mine turn on at 1pm and off at 9 pm (I like the look of the lit tank at night) and then it's on the blue moonlight the rest of the time.
     
  4. Barber Mike

    Barber Mike AC Members

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    Hi Jen, I hope you had a nice weekend and thanks for the reply.

    Thanks for all of the info, I will have to look into the Green Brighty and will also have to look into the iron supplement. Things are looking quite good over here, did another water change today - picked away at some of the hair algae and it cleaned up quite well. A pair of otos are on top of my list once my cycle finishes!

    Ammonia steady at 0ppm
    Nitrites seem to have dropped. They have been off the charts but seem to have come back down somewhere in the 2ppm range
    Nitrates were high, between 40/80ppm.
    These parameters were pre-water change tonight.

    Things are really looking good, my plants look healthy, and there is a little growth still taking place. I should have read up a little more on the Easy Green and ferts in general. I should have known 2 pumps twice a week of one product was too good to be true! Where do you buy your iron from?

    And my lights are the finnex planted+ 24/7 cc on the 24/7 mode. They kind of are on all day, just at different intensities. Upon researching a bit more though, I've just realized I can set a custom 24/7 lighting schedule. Will have to research a bit to see if anyone has found a good CO2/custom 24/7 light regiment for my particular fixture.

    Oh, and my GLA indicator solution came in and I replaced my amazon solution during my water change. Way better!! Still waiting on the regulator. Hope it comes soon I don't want Aquatek to back out of their refund offer. I figured I'd just wait it out with the current setup instead of being without CO2. Sorry Aquatek!;)

    Anyways, nice to hear from you and grab a few more bits to research on. How's your MTS going??

    Talk to you later
    Mike
     
  5. Jennifer G.

    Jennifer G. AC Members

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    Hey Mike :)

    Sounds like your cycle is coming along quite nicely! As far as the info on Easy Green is concerned, I researched it, and came up with confusing findings as at the time I purchased they had regular Easy Green and Nano Easy Green. I was watching Cory live on Youtube a while back and I had inquired about the difference between their regular Easy Green vs the Nano Easy Green as their website listed the ingredients as being the exact same....which didn't make sense to me. Luck had it, my question was answered during the live stream and it turns out the Nano EG is a watered down version of the regular. He also touched base on how potent the regular EG is and that dosing is something you have to dial in instead of taking package dosing to heart...which he also mentioned, goes for all other brands of ferts. How was a noob like myself supposed to know this??? I of course followed the bottle directions and grew a crap load of algae o_O

    As for the iron and nitrogen I use Seachem. You could probably substitute the ADA Green Brighty with Seachem's Trace. I ordered a bundle load of various sized medicine syringes on Amazon for measuring fert dosing and use a rubber band around my fert bottles to keep the syringes attached as to not mix them, reserving one clean 5 ml syringe for my water testing kit (beats the heck out of dipping, gathering too much, pouring some out, pouring more out, poured too much having to redip etc etc).

    I don't have experience with Finnex lights, but I see that you mentioned you can customize...which is a great feature! I'm using the Current Satellite Pro Plus. I purchased it because of the custom feature :) At 1 pm the sun rises for 15 minutes, then it runs at the setting I set it to (75% intensity) for 7.5 hours, then starts sundown for 15 minutes until the blue moonlight kicks on at 9pm. There's my 8 hours of light each day :)

    Hearing you get excited about your GLA regulator is making me think I may just stop being patient on waiting for their GLA Mini-ss paintball to hit the shelves and just get myself the GLA Gro paintball regulator. The thing that is stopping me is the Gro has a 3 year warranty...the mini-ss I'm waiting on has a 10 year warranty....SEVEN EXTRA YEARS...I feel I have no choice but to be patient for the extra 7 years on that warranty!!!

    My MTS is waiting on my walls being painted lol! We hired painters to do the ceilings and our entry way. Our home is open concept and the sheer span of the ceiling is just too much for me. With ceilings, once you start you can't stop and I can only imagine the pain in the neck I'd have after doing 2 coats. My entry way is 2 stories plus a peak which is about 27 feet tall. I'm only 5 feet tall...I mean, 5 feet short...there's noooo way I'm painting that. I'm painting everything else though, just need the ceilings done first :D

    Have a great day Mike!
    Talk soon
    Jen
     
  6. Barber Mike

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    HAHA. Hey Jen. Can't wait for the preparations on the house to be finished! Hope you will be posting updates on your tanks as you get them going! I hear ya on the 7 years of warranty, definitely worth the wait -- let's see if you can do it! I regretted hastily purchasing my GLA-gro for about... 12 seconds :D.

    Sorry in advance, lot going on---

    I have yet to actually reconfigure the schedule of my lights, although I'm growing more and more suspicious that they may actually have a role in my algae situation. Currently, nothing is out of control. Hairy stuff is mostly on the xmas moss attached to the driftwood, and somewhat removable with water changes. I've also always have had some brown algae (maybe diatoms) on all my plants, and it isn't getting any better. Everything I'm researching says it's normal and you have to wait for the ammonia/silicates to regulate. The water seems to get slightly cloudy still 48 hours after a water change, with an oil-slick appearance on the surface. I'm dying to get on a one-water-change-a-week schedule! I have also ordered the Iron, Nitrogen, and Trace Elements and they will be arriving tomorrow and I will get on a dosing schedule immediately.



    In other news: My tank is cycled!!

    0ppm ammonia
    0ppm nitrite (tested twice)
    20ppm nitrate

    Now, I understand I can technically add fish at this point, but I'm going to hold off. Looking for advice...

    I still am waiting on my regulator. My ferts are arriving tomorrow and I'd like to get a handle on dosing before I add more properties to the tank i.e. fish/fish food. My lights may need tweaking. I'd like to last more than 48/72 hrs without having to change the water. So I think. These are all things are making me reconsider getting fish right away. Feel free to weigh in.

    The only thing I'd be in a hurry to do is pick up a 3 pack of otos to sick on this annoying algae haha. They'd have it cleaned up in no time. If I were to do so, I would have to wait until Sunday or Monday, due to my real life schedule :eek:.

    Thanks for your time Jen.
    Have a great rest of your night.
     
  7. Jennifer G.

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    Well...good news! Painters started today!!! House is totally chaotic. Just how it goes i guess. They're mudding the high spots where the house settled and I couldn't reach. Kitchen got the first coat as well as the ceilings. EVERYTHING was covered with plastic tarp...I didn't know what to do with myself! Can't sit here. Can't sit there. TV is covered. Fridge is covered. Even the coffee maker was being held hostage :eek: The coffee maker!!!!

    So glad to hear the cycle has come full circle!!! Wait the entire no water change week, test your waters. If everything comes up clean, it's safe to say your cycle is official :D

    Personally...I'd slowly start adding your fish before your oto's. They are really super sensitive to new aquariums. Algae, and lots of it, is also really important. Algae wafers are good to have too. They'll spend their days grazing on what's in your tank so backup is good to have. Drip acclimation is recommended as opposed to the plop and drop method. Most people lose their oto's that way. If they can survive the first 2 months, they'll be a solid fish for you.

    What fish will you be keeping? I can't believe I haven't asked you this already!! How rude of me :rolleyes:

    And yes...we...the people forever waiting on regulators. Le sigh*

    I will be more than happy to share my MTS experience. If I knew the ways of Youtubing I'd record it. But I don't. I'm a pro watcher though :D

    Diatoms. Oh how I hate thee. Bane of my existence! My poor 5 gallon...RIP. Let me tell you. I had them...BAD. Everything I read was "they're normal, new tank, normal, be patient, normal, they will go away, normal normal normal". Wasn't the case for me. They started off being light brown fluffy stuff that sucked up easily with the syphon. 2 days later they were back. So by next water change there was a lot more fluffy brown stuff to suck up. Eventually the evil brown was no longer fluffy. It was caking on my plant leaves. Now I had to start rubbing the leaves to remove them, then do my water change. By the 6th week, my plants were being deprived of light. That's how bad the diatoms got. Couldn't rub them off anymore. I manually removed every single plant from their substrate, rubbed each and every leaf with Q-tips and replanted them. Within days it was as though the hours of hard labor never even happened. Diatoms 1 Jen 0. To Google I went and found the whole phosphate/silicate relationship. Got myself a phosphate test kit. Got myself a silicate test kit. Phosphates were so low I wasn't concerned at all. The silicates on the other hand... 7.8 ppm from my tap. Now, you see...these diatoms, at 1-2 ppm you might get them, but they will eventually resolve on their own. (This is the "normal" I've been hearing so much about.) Moderate amounts at 3-4 ppm, you will likely see persistent diatoms in the lower-light areas of the tank, or on the substrate where it is partly shaded by plants. At 5ppm to 20 or even 30ppm, you will likely see diatoms anywhere in the tank not occupied by plants or green algae, and the plant or algae surfaces themselves may look brownish to frankly quite brown from these algae existing as a coating on the plants and even on some other algal types. I knew I was doomed...nothing was going to be "normal"...ever. Google, dearest Google, told me about Phosguard. Thank you Google once again for saving me. It worked! kept those nasties away. Then I got real (fed up) and got myself the ADA substrate after a tank tear down. The RO unit (thanks again Google lol) saved me from having to Phosguard ever again and keeps my precious soil happy and working as intended :D

    Diatoms *shudder*
     
  8. Barber Mike

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    You so should do a youtube series! Haha. I could never either. I do love watching all the fish keepers though. I'm obsessed with the fish room tours and all the interesting hobbyists.

    So my regulator should be arriving Tuesday :D:D:D!! Also my ferts arrived today. I think I screwed up... I ordered iron, trace elements AND nitrogen. I just reread your previous post and you said my aquarium coop easy green had nitrogen in it.. So I guess I have an extra bottle of nitrogen lol.

    How do you suggest I dose?
    Trace elements daily, iron Tuesdays and Fridays, and half a listed dose of easy green after water change on water change day (sun or mon)?

    I also wanted to ask you what you meant by keeping an eye on the 20ppm nitrates... how/which ferts will affect nitrates and in what way?

    Thank you for the continuous help Jen. It's hard to believe you're less than a year into the hobby and already so knowledgeable.

    Have a great night. Going to test again tomorrow just to see where my nitrates are.
    Talk soon
     
  9. Barber Mike

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    Hey! Sorry I just realized I forgot to mention my stock! Ya know, going into this particular aquarium I have been mostly focused on the plants/CO2 and I honestly don’t have any dead set stock ideas. Will probably have a school of smaller fish, maybe like 15 ember tetra or 20-25 exclamation point tetra. I like the white clouds too. 6 coryroras of some sort, a pair of otos and maybe some shrimp. Want the showpiece to be the plants!

    And I dosed my 2ml of iron and 5ml trace elements this morning.

    Have a great day!
     
  10. Jennifer G.

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    Hey Mike!

    Your dosing plan sounds pretty good. You could probably dose your micro (trace) every other day. Plants need nitrogen, potassium and phosphate (NPK) the most (those are your macros). Trace are needed in smaller amounts, but are needed in the beginning to help get things going and produce new leaves. Once your plants fill in, you will have to adjust your fert regiment based on plant demands.

    Out of curiosity, are you able to dose your ferts when your lights and co2 come on? That's when your plants "wake up" and start the photosynthesis process and take it the ferts all day.

    What I mean about the nitrates...I aim to keep my nitrates between 10-20 ppm. Yes, Easy Green has it, but, if you're only dosing a full or half dose of Easy Green right after your water change, you aren't going to be adding any until your next water change, and your plants are feeding every single day. For now, I only have 1 betta in a 10 gallon tank. His bioload vs the gallons of water is very minimal so his contribution of nitrates through the nitrogen cycle is very minimal. Plants intake the nitrates as a food source. The more plants you have, the more they intake from the water column. A lack of nitrogen can cause deficiencies in your plants, particularly older leaves. They will turn yellow, die, and new growth will produce smaller leaves. Another side effect of a nutrient imbalance can cause an outbreak of cyanobacteria in a planted aquarium. In various cases, the reason is a highly elevated phosphate level, sometimes in combination with a nitrogen deficiency (more specifically, a nitrate deficiency). Went through it personally. You don't want cyano. It's a bacteria, not an algae. (If ever you were to come across it, try treating with Chemiclean). Another battle I had with the 5 gallon, ugh!

    Basically, this is where you read about "everyone's tank is different" and there really isn't a cookie cutter mold with a set in stone set of rules. Everyone's water is different, fish choice and fish/bioload load, plant variety and plant load, lights and light duration, co2 vs no co2. Knowing the needs of what plants require is part of it. Keying in to your personal tank is the other part. Here's a link you can always access if you start seeing things going on with your plant leaves that are a cause for concern. I link this one because it also incorporates the use of co2.
    http://photobucket.com/gallery/user...2llbmN5bGFiZWxlZF9NYXIxNV8yMDEwLmpwZw==/?ref=
     

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