Sunlight’s tank journal

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Amazoniantanklvr

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Feb 26, 2020
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You have great water! I wish I had that kind of water here! lol
 
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the loach

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Aug 6, 2018
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I have always had trouble getting higher nitrates than 10 (and it was even rare to get them up to that) in this tank. But I dose quite a bit of fertilizers...
There you go... aquarium plants fertilizers rarely contain nitrates. You don't even have a densely planted tank so you are basically feeding the algae with most of the fertilizer when you say you dose "quite a bit".. nitrogen comes before the trace elements.
Like many plant people, make your own fertilizer with KNO3, and use a nitrate testkit to get the level about 10ppm. The trace element fertilizers come last, and you will see you will need very little of that.

My pH is 6.4 out the tap, but I also run CO2 and have tons of tannins in the water so it's likely much lower. I've never noticed any issues from anyone though, even my nerite's shell looks perfect. I've never tested for GH, KH, or phosphate so I'm not sure about those.
Did you aerate the sample and let it sit for a day before testing? Water utilities typically don't want their water below 7 because of corrosion issues. Test it again... When you use CO2 you really need both a pH and KH testkit to see where you're aiming at.
For GH you can just call the water utility and ask, or look at their site, in most cases a GH testkit is not required.
 
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Sunlight

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Mar 21, 2020
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There you go... aquarium plants fertilizers rarely contain nitrates. You don't even have a densely planted tank so you are basically feeding the algae with most of the fertilizer when you say you dose "quite a bit".. nitrogen comes before the trace elements.
Like many plant people, make your own fertilizer with KNO3, and use a nitrate testkit to get the level about 10ppm. The trace element fertilizers come last, and you will see you will need very little of that.



Did you aerate the sample and let it sit for a day before testing? Water utilities typically don't want their water below 7 because of corrosion issues. Test it again... When you use CO2 you really need both a pH and KH testkit to see where you're aiming at.
For GH you can just call the water utility and ask, or look at their site, in most cases a GH testkit is not required.
Very interesting, thank you for all of your help! How would I go about making my own fertilizers? It's just odd because before this, I've never had any algae issues and my plants grew like crazy with the same routine. I was having to trim my cabomba halfway every 3-4 days because it would grow to the top of the tank and curl over. It was crazy. Even my baby java ferns would pearl, and were growing relatively fast for java ferns (then I got lazy... never gonna happen again. you live and you learn, and I DEFINITELY learned my lesson.)

When I tested my pH it was the water in my tank before a water change before I got CO2 for this tank. I only started using CO2 in it this christmas. I haven't tested it since I got the CO2, which I figured was fine because everything was working so well for a while. I can test it today and see.

I use the API freshwater master test kit for everything, but what KH test kit would you recommend?
 

Sunlight

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Mar 21, 2020
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Also, I'm not against tearing everything down, disinfecting, and putting everything back together. That doesn't bother me at all if it would be best to just completely restart. I have plenty of time on my hands and it'd be a cool video.
 

angelcraze

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Mar 21, 2020
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You are getting good advice from Loach, but I just had to say not sure if co2 will get rid of the cyano directly, it's not an algae, but bacteria. But co2 will encourage the plants to grow better and use up the nutrients before cyano can.

Also I noticed a big improvement when I added floating plants, particularly water lettuce because my tanks are so large. But sylvinia or frogbit would be a nice floating plant for you. Or floating wisteria or water Sprite if your water is harder. Sorry haven't got all the info my head yet.
 

the loach

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There is no use or need to tear everything down. Did the shrimp and rasboras die before or after the Co2?
Water conditions can change over time, and when you're adding CO2, certainly in a small tank like yours, you really have to keep track what you are adding by checking KH and pH (at the same time of day even, as pH will fluctuate).
When the nitrate/phosphate ratio is off this will promote algae growth, with or without CO2.

You can get KNO3 like this https://greenleafaquariums.com/products/potassium-nitrate-kno3-1lb-jar.html
It's just a matter of dissolving certain amounts in water. Of course you could look for pre mixed KNO3 fertilizer as well, or go to a farm store put on your best smile and ask if you can get a couple of spoons of the stuff for your aquarium, if they have an open bag they'll give it for free.

You will need to test NO3 as well to maintain the right level.

not sure if co2 will get rid of the cyano directly, it's not an algae, but bacteria. But co2 will encourage the plants to grow better and use up the nutrients before cyano can.
That is exactly right
 

Sunlight

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Mar 21, 2020
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You are getting good advice from Loach, but I just had to say not sure if co2 will get rid of the cyano directly, it's not an algae, but bacteria. But co2 will encourage the plants to grow better and use up the nutrients before cyano can.

Also I noticed a big improvement when I added floating plants, particularly water lettuce because my tanks are so large. But sylvinia or frogbit would be a nice floating plant for you. Or floating wisteria or water Sprite if your water is harder. Sorry haven't got all the info my head yet.
There is no use or need to tear everything down. Did the shrimp and rasboras die before or after the Co2?
Water conditions can change over time, and when you're adding CO2, certainly in a small tank like yours, you really have to keep track what you are adding by checking KH and pH (at the same time of day even, as pH will fluctuate).
When the nitrate/phosphate ratio is off this will promote algae growth, with or without CO2.

You can get KNO3 like this https://greenleafaquariums.com/products/potassium-nitrate-kno3-1lb-jar.html
It's just a matter of dissolving certain amounts in water. Of course you could look for pre mixed KNO3 fertilizer as well, or go to a farm store put on your best smile and ask if you can get a couple of spoons of the stuff for your aquarium, if they have an open bag they'll give it for free.

You will need to test NO3 as well to maintain the right level.



That is exactly right
Thank you for all the help, you guys. This is super helpful. I know it's not an algae, but my laziness did put a halt to how well the plants were growing and I'm sure the constant fluctuation in (and ultimately lack of) CO2 did some damage to plant growth too.

I do have floaters, it's duckweed. It used to also grow like crazy and I'd have to remove a ton each water change. But now it seems even ITS growth has come to a halt. I also have 4 pothos stems hanging out the tank. I use their roots to divert water flow and add to overall aesthetic.

The shrimp I have tried adding multiple times throughout the year before the CO2. I'm pretty sure they got eaten by my betta, frog, or both because they always slowly disappear. The chili rasboras were wild caught and never actually added to the tank, they were just intended for the tank. They passed from a freak accident while in quarantine for ich. After Christmas I had a very lengthy spell of bad luck, which I'm sure contributed to my lack of water changes, refilling CO2, and overall motivation. That's not an excuse, though.

What would you recommend my first plan of action be? I can't leave the property right now but I can online shop for some KNO3. Also, how should I go about adding it to the water?
 
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Sunlight

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Mar 21, 2020
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Also, I don't really know how to get all of the algae off of everything without taking everything apart and individually scrubbing. I made a video 3 days ago of deep cleaning my tank and it’s already bad again so scrubbing everything while it’s in the tank isn’t cutting it. It might just be releasing particles into the water that settle on something else and spread that way. I also forgot to add that my fertilizer of choice is Niloc G Thrive, what say you about the ingredients loach? I dose correctly (1 pump per 10 gallons)

30063120-7000-45AF-B680-3D86356320C3.jpeg
 

the loach

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While the Pothos looks nice in your tank... it will be an additional hurdle, that is a method for overstocked/poorly lighted/plant destroying fish tanks. Also in tanks with CO2 you want to avoid floating plants, or at least keep them confined to a particular area. Both defeat the purpose of adding CO2 really...

Don't worry about the algae, once the plants take off they will disappear. Your fertilizer has phosphates, stop using it. Get a fertilizer without nitrogen and phosphates.

Order the KNO3, KH and phosphate test kits (also nitrate if you don't have it)
Let tapwater sit over night and test pH.
Test pH of tank as well.
Test tapwater for nitrate (or call/check website water utility, for phosphates as well)
Save empty bottle for the fertilizer solution you're gonna make.

Ps you realize you're doing all this just for the Cabomba right?
 
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