Algae affecting plants

Nick72

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NO3 is 250, GH is 16d, KH is 15d, NO2 is 1, CL2 is 0

Most people advise keeping NO3 below 20ppm for the health of the fish.

Personally I keep my tank closer to 35ppm, and some say fish can thrive at much higher levels, but 250ppm is very high. It's likely to be harmful to fish in my opinion.

NO2 at 1ppm is simply unacceptable, this will kill fish. You need to get it down to zero.

All of your issues stem from lack of regular and sufficient water changes.
 

REDSTEVEO

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Not quite sure what your point is here @REDSTEVEO

Are you saying that the substrate grain size is too large and completely incompatible with a planted tank? Or simply that the large grain size will require more maintenance if he is to be successful at growing plants?
The substrate is too large, basically allowing lots of fish waste etc to build, up. Hence the 250ppm Niyraye levels.
 

Nick72

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The substrate is too large, basically allowing lots of fish waste etc to build, up. Hence the 250ppm Niyraye levels.
I can't agree with you on that.

The OP's substrate looks about the same size as mine and I don't have any issues.

It also looks the same size as Eco-Complete which is one of the leading substrates on the market.

As long as the tank is well maintained I don't think the OP will have any direct issues with his substrate.
 

REDSTEVEO

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I can't agree with you on that.

The OP's substrate looks about the same size as mine and I don't have any issues.

It also looks the same size as Eco-Complete which is one of the leading substrates on the market.

As long as the tank is well maintained I don't think the OP will have any direct issues with his substrate.
If you look closely at the photographs of that substrate it looks a bit like the shiny black stuff popular with fancy goldfish tanks. You know the ones you see with treasure chests, sunken ships and skulls etc. It has even got the multi coloured sprinkles as well. So my real point is, that it is not ideal substrate for growing plants in, it is non porous, nothing for the plant roots to grip on to.

ECO Complete might be similar in grain size, but at least that is proper plant substrate.
 

sparkyweasel

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Thanks for your advice. I'm sure my controller is catered for that but in your opinion how should I distribute the 5 hour lighting period over the 4 settings
You could just have on and off, but I'm assuming you want the gradual increase for your fish; in which case ramping up from off to full over 10 or 15 minutes will be ok.
 

sparkyweasel

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I 've noticed that a lot of these incredible aquascapes that I see contain small species like Cardinal Tetras whereas mine for instance Blue Acaras, Kribs, Rainbows, Corydoras, Bolivian Rams and the like in a real community tank setup and it probably doesnt help the flora by the amount of waste these fish produce but there you go the fish come first .
No problem keeping plants with those sorts of fish. You need to adjust yout ferts to allow for the amout of nitrogen in the fish's waste.
I would cut out the macro (NPK) completely to start with and see how the plants get on. You might need to go back to dosing small amounts of P and/or K if and when the plants show they need it.
 
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Onoma1

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No problem keeping plants with those sorts of fish. You need to adjust yout ferts to allow for the amout of nitrogen in the fish's waste.
I would cut out the macro (NPK) completely to start with and see how the plants get on. You might need to go back to dosing small amounts of P and/or K if and when the plants show they need it.
TNC Light fertiliser is designed for use in heavily stocked tanks. They aren't selling direct atm, however you can buy it from Aquarium Gardens and elsewhere.

https://thenutrientcompany.com/

I have to disagree about the substrate as other forum members have proved that they can grow hungry plants in inert substrates with correct fertilisation (not an approach I follow but it seems to work). If the particle size is an issue I would suggest draining and just capping your gravel with sand (use the existing base to your advantage).

I found moving to a low tech dirted rank, using the duck weed index and large numbers of slower growing plants and a large diverse 'clean up crew' led to a much more resilient system. This allows a longer photo period (so I could enjoy the tank for longer) and needs smaller number of water changes and reduced volumes removing. Algae in this system is an input as a source of energy for the micro fauna as the start of a food chain. Having a sparkling substrate isn't necessary. This was my path to a relaxing experience and achieving flow. I am pushing this a bit further atm in a paludarium. It's working so far and I am still learning. Others take different paths.

Given the increasing cost of water and predicted water shortages due to climate change I guess the world of 50% changes on a regular basis will eventually priced out and (unless reused) will eventually seen as morally unacceptable (social norms change). Your other half may be onto something.
 

kellyboy47

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If you look closely at the photographs of that substrate it looks a bit like the shiny black stuff popular with fancy goldfish tanks. You know the ones you see with treasure chests, sunken ships and skulls etc. It has even got the multi coloured sprinkles as well. So my real point is, that it is not ideal substrate for growing plants in, it is non porous, nothing for the plant roots to grip on to.

ECO Complete might be similar in grain size, but at least that is proper plant substrate.
Alright, Alright lets not get too bitchy about my substrate for gods sake.....it is what it is :mad:
 

REDSTEVEO

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Alright, Alright lets not get too bitchy about my substrate for gods sake.....it is what it is :mad:
You asked for advice and some help. You posted the thread on Sunday. Nobody even replied, you thought you had broken the forum rules, which you hadn't. I replied on Thursday, since then others have offered advice. You got the truth.

Sometimes the truth hurts. Learn from it and move on.
 

Melll

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Trouble is at the moment the thought of rehoming the fish, removing the plants temporarily
Morning, Hope you don`t mind me popping on here. Why do you need to rehome the fish to do a substrate change over? A large storage tub, Ikea do some big ones, a filter from your tank and heater, add water from the tank and the fish. Empty the tank of water, have a cuppa, remove substrate, place new substrate in the tank, have a cuppa, replace plants, fill tank, replace fish, heater, filter etc. An hour or 2 tops. Have a cuppa and biscuits and tidy up.
I would suggest you start to increase your water changes, 50% a week or more is quite normal, the fish would appreciate it as well as the plants.
 

REDSTEVEO

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Morning, Hope you don`t mind me popping on here. Why do you need to rehome the fish to do a substrate change over? A large storage tub, Ikea do some big ones, a filter from your tank and heater, add water from the tank and the fish. Empty the tank of water, have a cuppa, remove substrate, place new substrate in the tank, have a cuppa, replace plants, fill tank, replace fish, heater, filter etc. An hour or 2 tops. Have a cuppa and biscuits and tidy up.
I would suggest you start to increase your water changes, 50% a week or more is quite normal, the fish would appreciate it as well as the plants.
Which is exactly what I was thinking, well done for suggesting such a brilliant simple solution to fix what is essentially an easy problem to fix. I have done exactly this several times in the past using two large water butt type barrels. Even kept the fish in there over two days.

I would probably increase the 'cuppa' rate by at least three. I drink more tea in a week than the OP does in water changes. 😅😅😉
 

Melll

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Which is exactly what I was thinking, well done for suggesting such a brilliant simple solution to fix what is essentially an easy problem to fix. I have done exactly this several times in the past using two large water butt type barrels. Even kept the fish in there over two days.

I would probably increase the 'cuppa' rate by at least three. I drink more tea in a week than the OP does in water changes. 😅😅😉
I drink coffee or a very unhealthy dark fizzy drink while doing stuff on the tanks and yes rather more than 2 in 2 hours :):) Jaffa cakes are a must also ;)

I would also, but maybe just me, do several 50% partial water changes on the tank in the days leading upto the substrate change so the fish don`t go into some sort of shock going from 250ppm Nitates, 1ppm Nitrites and who knows what Ammonia ppm, to a potentially 0,0,25ppm.

I do 50% partial water changes or more a week on all my tanks and I am on a water meter, so at least 2000 litres a week. Oh and the pond as well so another 1500 litres or so.
 

JoshP12

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have never got them to look like you see in 'show' tanks either on here or in retailers shops.
Hi Kelly!

As I read through the thread, I started to think that if we change our goals it may align with everything you want: long lighting period (I deduced this), low maintenance. I am thinking we go low tech?

I have a tank upstairs that is right beside a window. I use no light (only take advantage of sunlight) and have several floating plants, in particular duckweed, to help with nutrient uptake. It has no plants (but I have ran low tech in the past) as my wife wanted the plastic ones with blue rocks 🤣.

Diana Walstad's < Ecology of the planted tank > could be an approach that you take.

The issue I think is that the strategy that people take to achieve 'show' tanks is:
1) expensive (there is no denying that the upfront cost of CO2 etc is not cheap - even with DIY everything).
2) requires meticulous cleaning, especially on start up - which means changing water.
3) requires CO2 injection.

Dennis Wong achieves a < nice low tech tank > but I bet he doesn't fertilize the water column and has nutrient rich and appropriate substrate.

In every case, it requires a restart - as the low-tech approach with minimal water changes will need a substrate to keep it balanced.

Except the case below:

Or, you find a way to lean out you fertilization to match the 3ppm of CO2 that you have. This will require intensive water changing and cleaning up front - so you will have to remove most of the waste from your tank, clean it intensely, remove dying plants, remove algae, rub all of the leaves, clean your filter, THEN dose minimal amounts. This will work by forcing a different nutrient (not CO2) to stop the assembly line of Liebig's law of the minimum - without running it out of course so riding a nice line - (the easiest one to use here is phosphate as it is more mobile within the plant vs. the water column, so the plant can stock up on phosphates from the WC while algae ... at least this is what I have gathered from reading - no formal link here). The goal becomes SLOW, healthy growth. You shouldn't have to trim for months.

These are simply my thoughts :).

Josh
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
......I found moving to a low tech dirted rank, using the duck weed index and large numbers of slower growing plants and a large diverse 'clean up crew' led to a much more resilient system. This allows a longer photo period (so I could enjoy the tank for longer) and needs smaller number of water changes and reduced volumes removing. Algae in this system is an input as a source of energy for the micro fauna as the start of a food chain. Having a sparkling substrate isn't necessary. This was my path to a relaxing experience and achieving flow. I am pushing this a bit further atm in a paludarium. It's working so far and I am still learning.
Same for me. I just think it is an <"easier juggle">, and that you have a lot more <"wriggle room"> when things go "wrong", mainly because everything <"happens a lot more slowly">.

cheers Darrel
 
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