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Bedside Aquarium

dw1305

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Hi all,
Still battling with my algae issues.
Hopefully as the tank grows in they will lessen.
filter wool for filter floss
Have you got some sponge you could put in instead? Ideally not finer than 20ppi sponge.

Filter floss is a really effective mechanical filter medium, but because of that it tends to clog really easily and that reduces oxygenation to the biological filter media. It is fine if you keep on changing the floss, but it is a bit of a faff.
Lights are on 6 hours a day, at full % of 16W, should I try reducing hours or brightness?
I wouldn't have a shorter photo-period, but you could try reducing the light intensity, some-one else will be more familiar with the light fitting and may be able to advise you of an intensity to use.

Personally I'd just add a <"few floating plants and/or fast growing stems">, they will diffuse the light, but also have the advantage of taking up some of the nutrients. Once the tank has settled down, and the permanent planting has grown in a bit more, you can remove them.

cheers Darrel
 

Miss-Pepper

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6 Oct 2012
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Hi all, Hopefully as the tank grows in they will lessen. Have you got some sponge you could put in instead? Ideally not finer than 20ppi sponge.

Filter floss is a really effective mechanical filter medium, but because of that it tends to clog really easily and that reduces oxygenation to the biological filter media. It is fine if you keep on changing the floss, but it is a bit of a faff. I wouldn't have a shorter photo-period, but you could try reducing the light intensity, some-one else will be more familiar with the light fitting and may be able to advise you of an intensity to use.

Personally I'd just add a <"few floating plants and/or fast growing stems">, they will diffuse the light, but also have the advantage of taking up some of the nutrients. Once the tank has settled down, and the permanent planting has grown in a bit more, you can remove them.

cheers Darrel

Thanks Darrel. The new filter cartridge has a 'core' of very open celled foam and there's a little more porous pad that sits in the bottom so some sponge but seeing how brown and nasty the old filter wool was I thought it could use some finer stuff until settled. I will keep in mind though that I need to replace frequently and then perhaps swap for more bio media once the fish go in. Won't be adding those until I have a bit of balance though.

Haha well the funny thing is, I did try and get some floating plants from eBay but they arrived in such a state, it almost looked like someone trod on them! Full refund but not much plant to work with. Giving the best leaves a chance to recover, if not I'll get something else. Will try and pick up something like elodea?

On another note I've been trying to rub the brown algae off the leaves and it feels very gritty, like calcium dust. Is that still diatoms mixed with my liquid rock tapwater?
 

Miss-Pepper

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Hi all,
@Miss-Pepper, how are things going now?

cheers Darrel

Going much better now thanks Darrel, but still not quite 'perfect'! It was a bit of a palava to get hold of the Hornwort, which arrived in pieces anyway, but hopefully it'll start working it's magic soon as it recovers! I also got some salvinia cucullata and hygrophila pinnatifida to add to the tank.

I'm still having to manually remove a lot of slime algae/cyanobacteria that the clean up crew won't touch, not sure if I need to add anything to the aquarium to finish it off but was trying to avoid needless additives where possible. I also don't know how effective non-antibiotic treatments are against it.

We finally got some fish too, corydoras habrosus and pseudomugil gertrudae. Only a few of each, I had to actually raid two fish stores for 3 corys! But we be adding more of each to get a nice size school over the next few weeks. Not sure if we'll add any other species, depends on my will power haha! There's also still the 3 amano shrimp, 6 orange 'cherry' shrimp, and ? number of ramshorn snails! They've done a great job helping keep it clean and my partner and I are really enjoying just a peaceful end to the evening, watching 'fish town' formerly known as 'shrimp town'.

Thanks for all your help, hopefully things only improve from here.

p4utce3h.jpg


a3vhhg0h.jpg
 

Jayefc1

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Looking good the balance in a low tech tank generally comes quiet naturally I think it just takes a while as I'm sure you have found out the clean up crew will do there job one thing I have learnt is every thing in the tank has a job to do
Cheers
Jay
 

Miss-Pepper

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Time for another journal entry I think!

I still have cyanobacteria! And it's driving me a little around the bend. I tried manual removing as much as possible during 50% weekly water changes. I tried using the higher dose of 'The Aquascaper' fertiliser to ensure the plants weren't being out-competed (at 3ml per 50l as opposed to 1ml per 50l for low tech) and lastly I gave in and bought Easy-life's Blue Exit. So far, nothing is finishing it off. I can manage it but it's never entirely gone. I actually think the Blue Exit made it worse because it requires you not to do a water change for two weeks! And you can see how nice the tank looked after that...

E1ppoN3h.jpg


I had a good deep cleanse after that fiasco I can tell you! The stem plants were beyond saving at that point, the hornwort I had previously had long disintegrated but the crypts are holding strong and my floating plants are starting to pick up and multiply. The fish are all doing great despite this of course, we sadly lost one rainbow but are not why. Perhaps the heatwave, perhaps the damselfly larvae I kept finding in the tank!

Kn6x1NBh.jpg


The hairgrass seems to be the main attractor of it, and it's no longer looking very healthy or noticeably growing. Is it best to just remove it and focus on another foreground plant?

3V6vUFNh.jpg


I'm not unhappy with the tank, I just want it to be salvageable and am not sure what to do next. I still love sitting in bed and watching the fish but I would love this cyanobacteria to be gone now. What do you guys suggest? Also should I leave the right side of the tank open or add some more plants back?
 

Tim Harrison

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I'd also be thinking about adding a whole load of other plants and taking Darrel up on his suggestion of floating plants as well. I'd also be thinking about adding CO2 or at least LC.
High plant biomass will give your tank an amazing degree of biological stability, and help to banish algae :)
 

Miss-Pepper

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Clean the tank, do a large waterchange and add extra NO3, than blackout the tank 4 days ( no peeking).

Thank you, it's certainly worth a try! The plants won't be negatively affected?

I'd also be thinking about adding a whole load of other plants and taking Darrel up on his suggestion of floating plants as well. I'd also be thinking about adding CO2 or at least LC.
High plant biomass will give your tank an amazing degree of biological stability, and help to banish algae :)

I'll add some more floating plants if I can get some but the ones I have are showing good growth finally, probably thanks to the fert 'overdosing' :) Any other plants you suggest, maybe for the background? I don't really want another shedding stem plant, made too much mess! I have very little actual true algae now thanks to previous help, just some green on the wood (which I like oddly) and this cyanobacteria.
 

CooKieS

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Ultralife Blue Green slime remover is the ultimate weapon against cyanobacteria, dose once then upgrade your routine as said by the others members and it won't came back!
 

tam

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I've always used blackouts instead of chemicals too. You want to remove as much as possible first so that it's not decomposing in the tank when it dies. Then lights off and tape thick paper/card around the glass to stop any ambient light getting in. Wait patiently and fingers crossed. Make sure your flow is good - worth giving your spraybar parts a clean at the same time - it also likes dead spots in the current.

I wouldn't give up on the hairgrass yet, the original leaves always die back and then it makes roots under the substrate and then it starts growing. Give it a bit more time.
 

Franks

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Cyanobacteria is not an algae so a blackout will do nothing to help there.

The compacted substrate is the most likely cause for your bacterial issue. it won't go, but it's manageable using Hydrogen Peroxide. I've found that once cyano gets onto DHG, it causes BBA quite easily. If you're not injecting Co2, you're fighting a losing battle.

I've recently rescaped using different sized pea gravel and I'm 100% cyano free.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Cyanobacteria is not an algae
It isn't. Algae isn't a very useful term, because the different algal organisms aren't closely related to one another. The green algae (Chlorophyta) are much more closely related to the higher plants than they are to Diatoms etc.
so a blackout will do nothing to help there.
Why not? they are photosynthetic.
The compacted substrate is the most likely cause for your bacterial issue.
Possibly, there is some suggestion that <"high levels of DOC"> make cyanobacteria outbreaks more likely.
If you're not injecting Co2, you're fighting a losing battle.
I'm not a CO2 user, but I very rarely get any visible BGA (very occasionally I've seen it on the underneath of the older Pistia leaves).

You can actually detect very low levels of BGA via odour, if your aquarium has a slightly earthy, "pondy" smell that is caused by BGA, even if you can't see it.

cheers Darrel
 

Miss-Pepper

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Thank you everyone for your replies, I read all your comments but was distracted by health issues and couldn't find the time to reply properly.

Not to my knowledge and experience,

Excellent, I will give this a go then! I know cyanobacteria isn't an algae but it does still photosynthesise as Darrel said.

I wouldn't give up on the hairgrass yet, the original leaves always die back and then it makes roots under the substrate and then it starts growing. Give it a bit more time.

Ok I will give it a little longer after the cyano issue clears up thanks!

Cyanobacteria is not an algae so a blackout will do nothing to help there.

The compacted substrate is the most likely cause for your bacterial issue. it won't go, but it's manageable using Hydrogen Peroxide. If you're not injecting Co2, you're fighting a losing battle..

I appreciate it is a deep substrate but I've seen a lot of dirted tanks set up this way that are beautiful so fingers crossed it's not going to hold me back and I can finish this cyano off, otherwise I would have to start all over again! As for CO2 I tried to purposefully pick plants that would do well without, but I will keep it in mind for another last resort!

I'm not a CO2 user, but I very rarely get any visible BGA (very occasionally I've seen it on the underneath of the older Pistia leaves).

Thanks again Darrel, I think I will be doing a black out and ordering some more low light easy plants including some more floating ones. If this still persists and CO2 is my only option, I have failed what I wanted to achieve so will have to have a think there. Wish me luck!
 

sparkyweasel

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Of course it's possible to have a beautiful planted tank without cyanobacteria or algae problems, without injecting CO2. Lots of examples on here and on the net, and aquarium books from Victorian times until the 1980s, - when CO2 injection started to become trendy. :)
 

Miss-Pepper

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Quick update! It's amazing how much I missed looking at the tank in the 4 days, but just uncovered it and it all looks great! Plants are totally fine, a little outstretched towards the light but nothing major and I can't see any cyano on them! Possibly some left at the front underneath the sand but if it comes back again I know exactly what to do.

Thanks for the great advice as always :)
 
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