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Few problems with my little slice of nature!

EA James

Member
Joined
22 Jul 2019
Messages
442
Location
Staines-upon-Thames
Hi all,
I have a few issues with my tank that i would LOVE some help with, really hoping the collective knowledge from you guys will get it looking as it should.

Tank info-
Evolution Aqua 1200 freshwater, 120cm length, 50cm wide, 70cm high

Fluval FX-4 and Eheim prefilter

2x20 watt EA LED white tubes and a Fluval Aquasky. Sunrise 16:30 to full pelt at 17:00, Sunset 21:30 till 22:00 then very dim for an hour, lights off at 23:00. EA lights on a timer to come on when Aquasky is on full pelt.

Sand substrate with Aqua Plants Care pinia clay peat balls and jumbo clay sticks for plants in the sand.

co2 on at 15:00 till 21:00 at about 5bps. co2 art Pro SE set up with in tank diffuser run off a FE. Drop checker slightly bluey green (was advised to get a 2dKH but couldn't find one so ran co2 lean instead) Probably wrong?!

EI ferts dosed alternate days at 90ml a day mixed up inline with @Zeus. calculator

50% WC every week without fail, prefilter cleaned on WC day, glass cleaned too. FX-4 cleaned out once a month.

So since adding the co2, the EI ferts and the extra 2 EA lights things started to slowly go bad. A lot of build up of algae on the glass, plants and rocks. My black lava rock now looks like brown lava rock! A few plants just seemed to rot away, i had a lovely little Anubias bonsai and it literally fell apart. I thought i was pumping in too many nutrients and not enough plants to take them in so I've now (about 2/3 weeks ago) turned off the co2 and the extra two EA lights and dropped the ferts down to 50ml
Things seem to be better but i want the co2 on for more plants i want to add but i obviously don't want these problems again! There are still algae on the leaves and rocks, the plants just look dirty to me and nothing is a nice green. Please help!
I think the flow of the tank is poor, I added a Sicce Xstream powerhead but its way too powerful, it pretty much uprooted my Hygrophila Polysperma!
There's lots i'm not happy with and to be honest i don't really know where to start but that's it in a nutshell, hopefully you'll be able to see from the photos and give me some advice to move forward.

I have a nice little selection of plants on the way thanks to @Konrad Michalski and i want them to do well. I'm also pretty sure that the majority of the plants are slow growers so that's probably not helping matters???

I'll put some photos up below, I'd really appreciate some help

Cheers, James
 

EA James

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Thread starter
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22 Jul 2019
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Staines-upon-Thames
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EA James

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22 Jul 2019
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442
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Staines-upon-Thames
39B7CACE-733B-4582-A278-732EC2DFF2A0.jpeg

full tank shot taken now
Forgot to mention inhabitants, 12 orange lemon tetra, 2 SAE, 2 panda garra, 8 kuhlis and about 8 amano shrimp
 

GHNelson

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Hi
I'm not a total expert, but a few of those plants do look suspiciously like terrestrial plants!
Do you have a plant list?
hoggie
 

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Jayefc1

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Swadlincote
Hi James really sorry to hear about your issues
Just my opinion I think there are several issues here
Firstly the plant mass looks really low for the size of tank and from what I can see in the pics a lot of slow growing plants like Anubias and bucephalandra compared to the stems plants so I'd get some stems in even if you don't want them long term they will help to balance the tank
Lose the hour of low light at the end of the photo period it's so low the plants cant make use of it but the alge is taking full advantage and with the plants being in a poor state it's really helping the alge attack. up the WC to at least 2 times a week if possible there is so much organic waste from the rotting plants
The co2 has probably been the start of the issue I believe it's either high tech or low tech there is no in between so get the co2 back on and tune it in 30ppm is what your looking for do a ph profile get 2 drop checkers in there one each end and get them.a nice lime green colour maybe get a surface skimmer to help with flow if you feel it's a issue and that will help distribute the co2 around the tank better
Really hope things get better for you as it is a lovely scape and tank
 

Luketendo

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25 Feb 2008
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Australia
Looks like not enough plants, low light (which is ok), low co2 and too many nutrients.

With the same plant mass I would suggest:

  1. Gradually increase CO2 until your fish respond badly (change in behaviour) or plants respond postively (e.g pearling). Drop checker blue/green is not good but sounds like you might not have it set up properly so not a good indicator.
  2. Check your nutrient levels, especially nitrate and if possible phosphate. No point in adding more N and P if you already have enough. EI method is designed around nutrient sufficiency so with low plants, low co2 and low light there will likely be excess going to algae.
If everything was fine before why not remove the CO2 and EI ferts? I don't recognise any particularly difficult plants.
 

EA James

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Staines-upon-Thames
Do you have a plant list?
The one you've pictured is Anubias hastifolia. I have various Anubias x 6. Various Bucephalandra (not sure on numbers, loads dotted about!) Cryptocoryne Beckettii x 4, Giants Vallis x 5, Trident fern x 2, Hygrophila Pinnatifida x 1, Hygrophila Polysperma x 1 but not much left of it, Bolbitis Heudelotii x 2, and some weeping moss.
I do have some more plants that arrived this morning from @Konrad Michalski to be planted later on today but nothing fast growing really.
As you can see from the pic of my Polysperma i don't have much luck with stem plants, I'm unsure of the trimming which i think leads to them dying off. The lower leaves always fall off and the plants look bare. I s this lack of light that causes that??
Most of the plants came from Aquarium Gardens or Aqua Essentials by the way.

@Jayefc1 Thanks for the detailed reply, I thought the low plant mass would have something to do with it. So if i put quite a few stems in pots behind the scape, things go good and i get the balance again would removing them make things go bad again? I like the look of stems but they never stay good for me!
So should i get rid of the remaining hour of light all together or leave them on full for an extra hour? If that makes sense?!
All the rotting or browning /discoloured leaves etc get removed asap, i try and keep the tank as clean as possible although it doesn't look like it at the moment due to the brown rocks :( 2 WC a week is easy enough though so I'll try that.
do a ph profile
Whats that? Feel stupid asking!
I was thinking about a surface skimmer as sometimes i get an oily film on the water surface which really bugs me. Do you have any recommendations?
Really hope things get better for you as it is a lovely scape and tank
So do i! And thank you 😊

@Luketendo I've mixed the ferts inline with @Zeus. fert calculator with my water readings so that should be spot on, he knows what hes doing. I can check them though, i have a basic liquid water test but it doesn't have a phosphate test
If everything was fine before why not remove the CO2 and EI ferts? I don't recognise any particularly difficult plants
Well i did want to ram the tank full of plants and i also wanted a few red harder plants but haven't got round to it yet, stupid i know! I also read that plants will benefit from co2 regardless so thought i'd give it a try and then i'm not limited on what i can put in the tank too.

Thanks everyone so far 👍
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
those plants do look suspiciously like terrestrial plants!
I wondered about that, but I think the Philodendron like plant is Anubias hastifolia. It does look quite pale and stripy however. Have a look at
Hi James really sorry to hear about your issues
My guess is that it is a nutrient issue. Have a look a<"Slightly sad......">

Do you add magnesium to your EI mix? and which iron chelator do you use?

cheers Darrel
 

EA James

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Do you add magnesium to your EI mix? and which iron chelator do you use?
Cheers for the reply Darrel, this is my mix-

KNO3 - 4.53 grams
KH2PO4 - 4.72 grams
K2SO4 - 66.44 grams
MgSO4.7H20 - 111.28 grams

CSM+B trace - 7.04 grams

hope this helps?
 

Zeus.

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CSM+B trace - 7.04 grams

Think one of the problems with CSM+B is there are folk selling a clone of the original CSM+B which isn't cheap either IMO , in the clone CSM+B I haven't found a good link that tells you in detail what chelate for Fe is being used.

Any decent products IMO will show on the back/data sheet what they actually contain in w/w% or % mass, easy to work from, if we don't have all the information we can't comment on the product, saying chelates isn't enough we need which ones for which elements.
 

EA James

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@Zeus. @dw1305 does this help at all?
And if it seems like a lot of trace elements why do you suggest a separate iron source? I’m not questioning your knowledge I just don’t understand it!
Cheers
751898B1-7AC5-418A-BE7C-0039F6FD50A1.jpeg
 

Zeus.

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@Zeus. @dw1305 does this help at all?
And if it seems like a lot of trace elements why do you suggest a separate iron source? I’m not questioning your knowledge I just don’t understand it!
CheersView attachment 153188

Yes and No are all the elements EDTA chelated ?

But it does suggest it is FE EDTA chelate so that may be the issue - getting your hands on some Fe DTPA or Fe EDDHA may help to resolve the issue
 

Jayefc1

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Hi
James I'd try banking the sand up at the back put some iron tabs in there and other tabs like the tropica ones then plant a load of stems the lower leaves will fall if there not trimmed due to lack of light but that isnt so much of a issue as long as they balance the tank to start with to me your ferts look right but as @Zeus. States there might be something wrong with the trace are you making separate or all in one mix

The ph profile with the co2 your looking for a stable ph drop of 1 so if your tank starts at a ph of 7.5 with the lights and co2 off you want a ph of 6.5 when the lights come on every tank is different mine takes 3 hours of co2 to get the drop at a bubble rate you can't count take a ph reading preferred with a ph pen every half hour all the way from co2 on to lights off then keep fine tuning the co2 till it's a stable 6.5 through the photo period

Skimmers I'd use a ehime 350
Give the rocks a scrub with a tooth brush when you do your next water change and try to wipe the glass with kitchen roll catching as much of the diatomes as possible also give your filter a good clean out
 

EA James

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Yes and No are all the elements EDTA chelated ?
You know i haven't got a clue 😂😂

getting your hands on some Fe DTPA or Fe EDDHA may help to resolve the issue
So would that be a complete replacement for the CSM+B or is that something extra to add?

@Jayefc1 that sand is already quite deep at the back so that will be fine. I think I've got some tropica tabs, if not i definatly have some TNC plugs and some more peat balls left over that seem to be doing the trick in terms of growth.
Ferts are seperate mixes, macro and micro on alternate days with a big WC on the 7th day.

The ph profile with the co2 your looking for a stable ph drop of 1 so if your tank starts at a ph of 7.5 with the lights and co2 off you want a ph of 6.5 when the lights come on every tank is different mine takes 3 hours of co2 to get the drop at a bubble rate you can't count take a ph reading preferred with a ph pen every half hour all the way from co2 on to lights off then keep fine tuning the co2 till it's a stable 6.5 through the photo period
Ok I'll do that, can you recommend a PH pen? Also on the co2 note, when it was on in my tank there was a crazy amount of bubbles in the water, i didn't like it at all! It didn't look right. I see loads of photos of these beautiful tanks and i don't see the same with them! Would an intank diffuser do that as opposed to an inline one? I've got the co2 art bazooka one by the way

Give the rocks a scrub with a tooth brush when you do your next water change and try to wipe the glass with kitchen roll catching as much of the diatomes as possible also give your filter a good clean out
I clean the glass every week on WC day with an exfoliating mit, theres hardly any build up on the glass now just a few random green dots. When the co2 was running the build up was a lot worse. Filter had a good clean last week , i do that once a month. Is that enough do you think?

Thanks again guys this is great :)
 

Zeus.

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Opps sorry- Recommended Manufactors Dose (RMD) - @Hanuman asked me the same question on one of our voice chats just the other day, just googled it and some of the slang means are quite rude 🤣 think I must just make them up at times then think they are in the urban dictionary :eek:
 

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