Hygrophila Melt and other general concerns

jscottm1981

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2 Jun 2020
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Hello UKAPS!

This is my first forum post, although I’ve been a fairly frequent visitor for many years. This forum is such a wealth of information, but I’m afraid I’m at my wits end trying to figure out what the problems I’m having are. I’ve tried for months to trouble shoot and dial it in on my own, but I just can’t get over the hump. Anyway, thanks for your time, and onto the topic at hand:

Hygrophila siamensis - it grows, rather prolifically as it’s known to do, and then it just melts. I don’t bother them - I haven’t even trimmed them - because they always end up melting way back.
1f4bd392ef4a841fc1c1ca31a35ea2be.jpg




Crypt (various from wendtii to petchii to ustriana) all are doing okay, although some better than others. The browns do much better than the greens.

Dreaded BBA. Not a problem on my anubias, but rather problematic on my narrow leaf java and bucephalandra.
bdaee09f72c4a9d971a83b2c43b7b107.jpg

1a6c971444f5d177574c48b192160670.jpg




Minor to decent staghorn algae on lower rocks and wood, and a bit in my fissidens fontanus. On the topic of fissidens, it seems to be a little more brown than it is green.
9fcebf1a79ff475ddfb5ebb2f313a172.jpg


As an aside, I dealt with diatom/brown algae for what seemed like a long first 2-3 months (planted and cycled in early/mid-February) but in recent weeks, it hasn’t been much of an issue.

Also, I have next to zero green algae present. Not sure if due to parameters or cleanup crew.

My tank setup:

Waterbox 72 gallon/300 liters? (48x20x20, sorry, here)

Two Oase Biomaster 600s
In/out on opposite ends of tank, one glass lily pipe set higher for good surface agitation.
I feel my circulation is good.

Lighting is Finnex 24/7 CRV on default 24/7 mode

Pressurized CO2, with inline diffuser
On at 4am, off at 2pm
Drop checker stays med-light green, no fish stress, PH probably shifts somewhere between 6.3-6.8

Tap water in North Carolina is pretty neutral and and clean. I have no idea what the Gh/Kh is.

Autodosing PPS (default mixture, premixed) daily 6:45am
Macro 13ml
Micro 2ml (I figured not much red/high demand plants)
I also autodose EasyCarbo (10ml) at 8am

I perform at LEAST one large (50-70%) water change a week, but usually two.

Planted substrate is ADA Amazonia Lite, with ADA La Plata sand used in open spaces.

Plant list:

My intention was to use slower/less demanding plants

Dwarf sag (“ground cover” in the back)
Hygrophila Difformis
Hygrophila Siamensis
Some kind of basic rotala
Hygrophila pinnatafida
Anubias coffeefolia
Anubias nana petite
Two random small buce types
Narrow/trident java fern
Crypt green/brown/usteriana/retrospiralis
Fissidens fontanus
One pathetic strand of bolbitis

015fe809412692769c1afa34fdae0f00.jpg



Stock list:

GBR pair
A. Macmasteri pair
20+/- rummy nose tetra
7 false Julii corydoras
4? Otocinclus
6? Amano shrimp
8+? Zebra thorned nerite snails

I think that’s everything. It’s probably something very simple, I’m just missing the target. Thanks again, and I look forward to your replies!
 

Zeus.

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Location
Yorkshire,UK
Because you are adding CO2 but have <"relatively lean dosing"> you may just not be supplying enough nutrients for the light

+1

So too much light and not enough nutrients and plants main nutrient is Carbon aka CO2

Need more details on your CO2 method or apply a better method.

CO2 needs to be stable from lights on till CO2 off.

So you will need to measure pH with pH pen or papers from pre CO2 on every 30 mins till CO2 off.

The goal is to get the pH/[CO2] as stable as possible once lights come on till CO2 off.

So doing a pH profile is often the best way forward to help check the [CO2] is stable and a Drop Checker (DC) IMO is the best way to see what your [CO2] is. A DC does have a delay on the [CO2] of about two hours, but once you have a stable pH the DC colour change two hours later is the [CO2] for all the period the pH is stable

To rule out all other nutrient deficiencies best to dose an EI dose at first with weekly 50% Water Changes (WC) IMO. reducing fert dosing once everything is growing healthy well slowly later is fine watching your plants all the time

Most problems on tanks with CO2 injection is poor implementation which results in fluctuating [CO2] which leads to poor growth, pinholes, melting, increase Dissolved Organic Compounds (DOC) which in-turn leads to Algae and BBA etc.

Increasing the WC frequency and or % WC also helps control the DOC levels which in-turn help reduce/control algae
 

jscottm1981

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Joined
2 Jun 2020
Messages
11
Location
United States
+1

So too much light and not enough nutrients and plants main nutrient is Carbon aka CO2

Need more details on your CO2 method or apply a better method.

CO2 needs to be stable from lights on till CO2 off.

So you will need to measure pH with pH pen or papers from pre CO2 on every 30 mins till CO2 off.

The goal is to get the pH/[CO2] as stable as possible once lights come on till CO2 off.

So doing a pH profile is often the best way forward to help check the [CO2] is stable and a Drop Checker (DC) IMO is the best way to see what your [CO2] is. A DC does have a delay on the [CO2] of about two hours, but once you have a stable pH the DC colour change two hours later is the [CO2] for all the period the pH is stable

To rule out all other nutrient deficiencies best to dose an EI dose at first with weekly 50% Water Changes (WC) IMO. reducing fert dosing once everything is growing healthy well slowly later is fine watching your plants all the time

Most problems on tanks with CO2 injection is poor implementation which results in fluctuating [CO2] which leads to poor growth, pinholes, melting, increase Dissolved Organic Compounds (DOC) which in-turn leads to Algae and BBA etc.

Increasing the WC frequency and or % WC also helps control the DOC levels which in-turn help reduce/control algae

Thank you for your response!

I have been running my CO2 from 4am to 2pm (plants draw up around 5pm). I was thinking that low CO2 may be my problem, although the only indicator I have is a DC, and it shows pretty light green. Ive been a bit afraid to go any higher because my fish/shrimp seem to suffocate right when I’m not looking.

I changed the run time from 4am-2pm to 4-5pm.



As far as flow and CO2 implementation, is as follows:

Blue is the output with inline CO2 diffuser, with standard lily pipe; flow running just under the surface.
Red is an influx lily pipe, which directs water down.
Yellow are intakes.
DC is behind intake on right side of tank.

I’m also starting to get staghorn on the sand in the open area on the left.

I’m not well-versed in EI method, but I’ll try to calculate a premix and give it a shot.

Thanks again, guys. Your help really means a lot to me.
 

jscottm1981

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2 Jun 2020
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So after a large water change, I upped the co2 (it’s very light green), and dosed EI for over a week, left for a few days, and now the algae is really getting out of control!!! BBA, staghorn, brown algae and now cyanobacteria!!!

I’m at my wits end. What the heck is going on? My tank has never looked worse than it does now.


 

hogan53

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Hi
This would be my method of attack!
Reduce the light duration to 6 hours maximum keep this continuous, reduce the intensity to 50%.
Co2....3 hours before lights on.
Reconfigure the lily pipes so they are going in the same direction.

Take the Hygrophila's out the substrate and use them as a filtering aid by leaving them on the surface.
Strip some of the lower leaves off the plants to encourage aerial root growth.

Manual removal of the moss for cleaning, as with as much hardscape as possible.
Remove a thin layer of substrate and clean.
Clean the filters and reduce the filter media in the compartments.

The dosing regime should be alternate days!
Macro... Monday, Wednesday, Friday
Micro/Trace ...... Tuesday, Thursday
Saturday/Sunday as either maintenance day.

Some plants don't like Liquid Carbon..... Hygrophila Siamensis could be one of them.
hoggie
 

Witcher

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The last 2 images you've uploaded show without any doubt PO4 deficiencies (massive outbreak on gravel and attack on slower growing leaves of buces or sth which looks like buces) - GSA almost always appears when PO4 is too low. I'd do general maintenance as Hoggie says, slowly increase phosphates by at least x2 and keep these conditions STABLE for 3-6 weeks or so (make sure your water is acidic all the time at photosynthesis time, if not Fe may coagulate/precipitate at high presence of PO4). Overall it looks you've been changing too much in a very short amount of time and with every change your plants need to adapt to that. Give them some rest, but I'd definitely increase Phosphates and clean everything what's possible. And personally I'd decrease overall dosage by at least 50% (minus PO4) - this is lightly planted tank and you don't need that amount of ferts.
 

jscottm1981

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Location
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The last 2 images you've uploaded show without any doubt PO4 deficiencies (massive outbreak on gravel and attack on slower growing leaves of buces or sth which looks like buces) - GSA almost always appears when PO4 is too low. I'd do general maintenance as Hoggie says, slowly increase phosphates by at least x2 and keep these conditions STABLE for 3-6 weeks or so (make sure your water is acidic all the time at photosynthesis time, if not Fe may coagulate/precipitate at high presence of PO4). Overall it looks you've been changing too much in a very short amount of time and with every change your plants need to adapt to that. Give them some rest, but I'd definitely increase Phosphates and clean everything what's possible. And personally I'd decrease overall dosage by at least 50% (minus PO4) - this is lightly planted tank and you don't need that amount of ferts.

Thank you, Witcher.

I just did a big clean today. Turned the lights down, and will dose accordingly. Thanks again to all of you.
 

jscottm1981

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I upped the bubble count, and it’s really pouring in, but there’s no stress on the fish that I can see. I guess my drop checker wasn’t accurately displaying the levels, so I re-did the solution, making a strong blue. I assume it’s the level green it needs to be? I repositioned the lily pipes to have both on the one side, and the drop checker at the lower third of the tank below them. This is what I’ve got:



I’m using an inline diffuser, and to be honest, I really don’t like the amount of bubbles permeating the water column. Would any of you recommend a reactor type instead? (Rex Grigg, Cerges, etc)
 

X3NiTH

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I use a Cerges/Dwell Time to completely silence the lemonade look whilst using an inline.


I heat softened some pvc pipe to the outlet and siliconed it in place.



I used two circular low ppi reticulated foam sponges as diffusion barriers, now reduced to just the one with lowest ppi as debris particles can easily be rinsed/sloshed from the sponges when cleaning without having to dismantle the unit. I locate the sponge 3/4 the way up the drop tube.


Bubbles come out the bottom when running high flow CO2 but when the rising gas hits the sponges the tiny bubbles have to diffuse through, this extra contact time ensures the gas goes fully into solution.


This is the type of housing you need for the way I have done it. You’ll need to also source the connectors for the 3/4”NPT threads. Eheim double taps are optional.

:)
 

Nick72

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I upped the bubble count, and it’s really pouring in, but there’s no stress on the fish that I can see. I guess my drop checker wasn’t accurately displaying the levels, so I re-did the solution, making a strong blue. I assume it’s the level green it needs to be? I repositioned the lily pipes to have both on the one side, and the drop checker at the lower third of the tank below them. This is what I’ve got:



I’m using an inline diffuser, and to be honest, I really don’t like the amount of bubbles permeating the water column. Would any of you recommend a reactor type instead? (Rex Grigg, Cerges, etc)

It sounds like you are mixing water with your drop checker liquid to make your drop checker solution, is this correct?

I've never done this personally but I believe you need to ensure the water you are mixing in is 4dKH. Otherwise your drop checker colour will be off.
 

jscottm1981

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It sounds like you are mixing water with your drop checker liquid to make your drop checker solution, is this correct?

I've never done this personally but I believe you need to ensure the water you are mixing in is 4dKH. Otherwise your drop checker colour will be off.

Yes. I have 4dKH and bromothymol blue reagent. I think I may have made it a little “thin” in the past, which I thought might make it a little easier to read, and after a few weeks of the same solution, it seems it got “stuck” on light green. I removed it for a few hours, solution still in, and it didn’t change back to blue. So I remixed, but made it a little “deeper” blue to begin. For the sake of argument, here is a current shot, now a few hours from the last pic posted.
 

jscottm1981

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Okay. I purchased a Sera Flore reactor, and it’s going to be run off it’s own independent canister filter. I bought a standard lily pipe for outflow.

I moved the existing biological filter outlets to the right side; one (blue) shoots across the surface, the other (red,
current co2 injection) shoots downwards.





Any suggestions on where I should install the new outlet? Same right side? Or should I have it run from the left?

Plant update: new algae is down to minimum on sand, hardscape, etc it seems, so thats a plus. New growth is green and healthy on other plants, and the cladophora/staghorn has pretty much died off all the fissidens (after a few days of spot treatment with EasyCarbo). However, hygro has again gone through some more melting phases, and now the java fern mass in the center is browning.

Due to new parameters? Should I trim hygro down/prune java or let it run its course?

 

dw1305

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Hi all,
What filter media should I reduce? The biological?
I'd just take out any fine sponge or filter floss, and some of the biological media <"if it's impeding flow?">. I don't like any <"mechanical filtration in the filter body">.
Should I trim hygro down
I'd be tempted to just prune the Hygrophila when it reaches the surface, and I'd definitely replant the tops, because you still don't have much plant mass.

If it was my tank I'd be adding a lot more plants, ideally <"surface">/<"sub-surface"> floating plants, <"I keep them">, but they are easy to remove if you want to.
prune java or let it run its course?
With the Java Fern I'd take the central really brown ones off. Any fronds that were still reasonably green I'd leave. Hopefully over time plant growth will improve, and the Java Ferns will be into active growth, at that point you could take most of the old leaves off. It looks like burning on the ferns, which can be caused by <"drying out, excess light energy or chemical burn">.

cheers Darrel
 

jscottm1981

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UPDATE:

Tank has bounced back and is really looking great! Fissidens has recovered, plant growth is healthy and booming, and algae is down to a minimum - including no new BBA!

I can’t thank you all enough for your help! I’ve learned a lot in the process as well.

BUT the hygrophila is still dropping leaves. It’s planted in several inches of ADA Lite, with ADA power sand below; even with that and EI dosing, would anyone recommend root tabs? I do dose a small daily amount (20ml) of Excel; could that be the culprit? I’ve read conflicting reports on that.



At this point it isn’t a huge deal - I may just remove it and go with a different background stem, as it seems to be the only plant still struggling at this point. Just curious as to what the problem may be.

Again, thanks so much! You guys are great.
 

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