I am not happy.

Discussion in 'Aquascaping' started by Luketendo, 27 Feb 2008.

  1. Luketendo

    Luketendo Member

    Messages:
    463
    Location:
    West Sussex, England
    I really thought I was going to succeed this time, but at least I now know that it's far from a piece of cake.

    I have lots of algae problems, and am generally unhappy with my scape, I want to create something great! I like the Iwagumi and Red Moor Wood (With moss) scapes but I'm unsure if these would suit.

    Here's the information on my tank:

    Tank: 120L Approx. / 32USG / 27 UKG (60cmL X 40cmD X 60cmH)
    Filter: Juwel Internal Filter 600lph, Fluval 104 480lph, 8 times turnover an hour.
    Lighting: 2 x 24W Juwel T5s. One 'Day' (Blue) and the other Nature (Orange). 1.5WPG (US). May upgrade in 6 months or more, will probably get reflectors soon.
    CO2: None, maybe getting pressurised in 6 months or more.
    Substrate: 2cm Tetraplant Complete Substrate, 1cm Pea Gravel, 4cm Argos Playsand.
    Fertilisers: None, maybe in 6 months like the rest..

    Plant Stocking (Taken from Greenline since I'm not educated enough yet):

    10 X MICRO SAGITTARIA
    3 X DWARF SWORDS
    2 X SAGITTARIA NATANS
    7 X BABY TEARS BACOPA
    5 X CRYPTOCORYNE WENDTII
    1 X NARROW SWORD
    10 X MYACCA FLUVIATILIS
    5 X CREEPING JENNY
    5 X HYGRO. POLYSPERMA
    5 X STRAIGHT VALLISNERIA
    5 X ELODEA DENSA
    5 X LUDWIGIA NATANS

    Fish (& Inverts) Stocking:

    6 X Silver Tip Tetra
    6 X Cherry Barb
    6 X Corydoras Sterbai (Future Plans to double this)
    1 X Angelfish (Future Plans for another)
    1 X Pearl Gourami (Future Plans for 2 more)
    2 X Dutch Ram
    1 X Zebra Danio
    10 X Malaysian Trumpet Snail (so far)


    I thought ordering a plant collection from greenline and plonking it straight in the tank would work, but I'm very sorry that's an insult to what I now realise is quite an art.

    Now that I have my birthday coming up (June) I'll be able to try and restart.
    A lot of my plants have done alright but there is algae on all of them, the crypts and swords etc have failed and I don't know why.

    My real question:

    What sort of scape could I do with my tank and what would I need to buy?


    Here's some pictures of the tank and algae:

    SN850429.jpg

    SN850430.jpg

    SN850431.jpg

    SN850433.jpg

    SN850432.jpg

    SN850438.jpg
     
  2. Dan Crawford

    Dan Crawford Founder Staff Member

    Messages:
    3,266
    Location:
    Daventry, Northants
    Hi and welcome.

    If you could give us some info on your maintanence schedual that would help too.

    Where is would start is get some reflectors, thats a nice cheap way to boost your lighting.
    Iw would be doing at least two 30% water changes per week, more frequent change would be even better but try not to exceed 30%.
    Get a all in one fertaliser like Tropica Plant Nutritian Plus or Seachem Excel and dose as described on the bottle.
    Co2 would help, although you not "high light" is will always aid in plant growth.
    Remove any dead leaves as soon as you notice them dyeing because they will just leach amonia and your algae will love that!
    Clean the glass before each water change, maybe do one area at a time so as not to create too much mess.

    Little and often is the key to a succesfull planted tank IMO.

    I hope that helps.
    Cheers
    Dan
     
  3. Arana

    Arana Member

    Messages:
    1,053
    Location:
    London
    Welcome Luke :) try and keep your chin up mate and keep at it, i promise we have all been there :rolleyes:

    As Dan said Co2 or Excel/Carbo woud be a great start and make sure you are removing any signs of decay from the tank on sight. Feed your plants well and do plenty of water changes and you should start seeing a differance soon :eek:
     
  4. Ray

    Ray Member

    Messages:
    474
    Location:
    Switzerland
    Hi Luke, it doesn't look so bad actuallyand as Arana and Dan say, you are far from lost.

    I would stear clear of reflectors until you add CO2, I think your lighting is spot on for a non CO2 tank (but no more than 10 hours light/day). I've got a 25L non CO2 tank with 13W light - its roughly 1/4 your size. I had similar issues until I started doing 4 things:

    50% water change every 1 - 2 weeks.
    Trim and remove dead, dying and algae ridden leaves.
    Dose Tropica Plant Nutrition Plus weekly as per the bottle for Macro and Micro nutrients.
    Dose Easylife Carbo Pro daily as per the bottle for a well planted tank (its the double dose) for Carbon.

    You can get a small bottle of each from AquaEssentials for about a tenner. Since I started doing that I've been getting great results - everything is growing very nicely. Once you get things growing you can start moving them around to create a new scape as you like...

    Cheers,

    Ray
     
  5. Luketendo

    Luketendo Member

    Messages:
    463
    Location:
    West Sussex, England
    Ok well I am looking to get CO2 pretty soon anyway. I'll be having 2 Nutrafin Canisters and two rhinox 1000s if nry wakes up.

    I haven't really been doing many water changes, nowadays I only do it when my test kit says so because my typical stats have been:

    Ammonia 0
    Nitrite 0
    Nitrate 10-20
    pH 7

    Maybe I should be doing more changes, removing the 'used' water and putting fresh in, I suppose it's to do with nutrients that the plants take in.

    My shopping list is:

    - Yeast CO2
    - Reflectors
    - TPN+

    I suppose I'd also need a KH test kit so I can calculate the amount of CO2 in the tank.

    Questions:

    I'd quite like to buy some redmoor wood from AE, does this come in pairs, I heard it's pretty tall It'd fit into my tank well if that is the case.

    What water change schedule do you think I should use? Keep in mind I'd prefer to do 1 a week rather than more since Saturdays are good for me.

    Since I still owe my parents money for this tank, it may be a little while before I can put any of this buying into action, would I be ok as I am at the moment?

    Is my fish stocking too much? I was thinking of adding more sterbai corys, another angelfish and 2 more pearl gouramis, would this cause problems?

    Are those crypt leaves alaged / dead? I heard you can get different coloured versions, as far as I know these are normal variants.

    Do you know the dosing rate of the fertiliser? I'm just wondering how many mls I'd use per week so I know how long it will last.

    Thanks a bunch.
     
  6. Felix

    Felix Newly Registered

    Messages:
    8
    do a water change of like 40% everyday for a few days
    dose some excel every day
    cut down your lighting period
    bada bing bada boom

    with your next scape try one like this
    springscapegood.png
    Echinodorus tennelus
    Riccia fluitians
    and some stems rotala green or giant hairgrass/cyperuss helferi

    the plants are fast growing and easy to keep and hence less algae
    you have to understand the balance of an aquarium

    LIGHT : CO2 : FERTS

    if theese 3 factors arent balanced for the plants needs then algae can thrive on the surplus.

    another way to cut down on algae growth is a light timer get one and put in 3, 1 hour gaps to stunt algae
    plants can photosynthesize for an hour after the light goes out
    algae cant so
    4 on | 1 rest | 3 on | 1 rest | 1 on | 1 rest | 1 on
    the algae will have to keep stopping and starting whilst the plants will use up the excess - result algae is weak and dies WOOO
     
  7. Luketendo

    Luketendo Member

    Messages:
    463
    Location:
    West Sussex, England
    Would those plants be ok under my light?

    I can't dose excel because I don't have any.

    Ok then I have one answer, it says dose 5ml per week per 50l of water so I'd dose about 10ml per week.

    Ok then I think I shall try reducing my light from 10 hours to 7 hours with 3 1 hour gaps.

    Sounds good since the plants will be getting 10 hours effectively.
     
  8. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hello,
    I'd like to clarify a couple of fundamental issues after which you might be better able to assess the direction you may want to take with your tank:

    Firstly, in my opinion, the very last thing on your upgrade list should be lighting. Until you are able to confidently and successfully grow plants without algae problems you should avoid increasing th light. Light magnifies your mistakes because it creates growth demands on the plants which, if not addressed properly causes even more algae.

    Secondly, in my experience you would be doing yourself and your tank a disservice if you rely on a test kit to make critical decisions about your tank. Nitrate and phosphate test kits are notorious liars and they will lead you down a blind alley. Never use a test kit to tell you when to change your water. Water changes should be regular and consistent. They are a part of regular maintenance that should be incorporated into your weekly or bi-weekly routine. Water changes remove organic waste that contributes to algae production. This fact alone should encourage you to keep up with regular water changes.

    Again, in my opinion you should hold off on increasing the lighting. I advise to leave the reflectors off you shopping list for now. You need to be able to gain expertise in CO2 injection since the yeast method has various pitfalls, which, if not addressed can cause algae. I dislike the yeast method of CO2 injection, but I understand that a pressurized system my be a bit more expensive. Add Carbolife or Excel to you list in order to supplement the yeast CO2.

    Tank CO2 concentrations can NEVER be computed based on the KH of the tank water. The pH/KH/CO" relationship is totally invalidated when there are other acids present in the water. Your tank water contains organic and possibly other types of acids nullifying any results you could compute with the KH tables. Add a drop checker and 4 KH water to your shopping list and read the CO2 measurement article in the "Cookbook" forum section to gain a better understanding of this technique.
    Questions:

    Then Saturdays it shall be.

    Here is some advice that may seem contradictory: You have a low enough lit non-CO2 injected tank. This is a low tech tank and therefore in this regime you would be better off not doing a water change at all. You should clean your algae out, start regular dosing of nutrients such as TPN+ and Excel and call it good. Only when you have started adding the CO2 and lighting should you commence the water changes.

    Instead of buying more fish, why not use the money to buy TPN+ and Excel?

    Remove all leaves that appear to be even remotely unhealthy. They never get better and normally get worse. As they get worse they only help the algae.

    Why not just dose what the bottle recommends for starters? It's impossible to suggest an alteration to the recommended dosing scheme until you see what effects the bottle dosing produces. Make life easy for yourself. Get the TPN+ and Excel and dose per bottle instructions for at least three weeks. Remove all visible algae and remove all dead or dying leaves. Assess in three weeks.

    Cheers,
     
  9. Luketendo

    Luketendo Member

    Messages:
    463
    Location:
    West Sussex, England
    Ok then new shopping list.

    - TPN+
    - Excel

    I suppose it'd be better to leave out the co2 for now and see how they do on this.

    - Ok, as I'll keep low-tech how much water change should I do and how often?

    - Do you think the crypt leaves are naturally brown? They seem to grow brown rather than grow green and get brown over time.

    - Are my amazon sword leaves healthy (other the obvious one.) Are you meant to be able to see the veins?

    - Should I get co2 or not?

    - What is better, excel or easycarbo. I see the latter is cheaper.

    I also forgot to say I'm using one of these as it was free: http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/index.p ... 4c0ae7a549
     
  10. Ray

    Ray Member

    Messages:
    474
    Location:
    Switzerland
    In my low tech I do 50% every 1-2 weeks. But some people say changing water in low tech causes CO2 fluctuations that encourage algae. I _do_ do my change either last thing before lights out or dose Easylife Carbo and TPN+ directly after. Also I let the new water stand in a bucket for an hour or two to stablise.

    Probably - mine produce brown leaves sometimes according to some environmental criteria I don't understand. Crypt leaves vary a lot bases on environment.

    I think that's normal.

    Why not - but best to only change 1 thing at a time. Like Cliver says, try TPN+ and Carbo for 3 weeks and if things are going well you can add CO2, but I would combine yeast based CO2 with liquid Carbon to reduce effects of CO2 fluctuations.

    Same thing.

    If you use TPN+ not necessary.
     
  11. Luketendo

    Luketendo Member

    Messages:
    463
    Location:
    West Sussex, England
    My lights is 7 hours now with 3 1 hour gaps, when I get ferts I'll change this back to 10 hours.

    Gotta go to school now bye.

    I am back, I'm going to get easycarbo it is cheaper.
     
  12. Luketendo

    Luketendo Member

    Messages:
    463
    Location:
    West Sussex, England
    Just a question but would using dry ferts be feasible and cheaper than TPN?
     
  13. Luketendo

    Luketendo Member

    Messages:
    463
    Location:
    West Sussex, England
    Re:

    I have since found out they are and I have good news.

    I have managed to sell my laptop bits for £25, whether my Mum will let me keep this I do not know. I owe my Mum £45 but I still need to sell my old tank which will pay the debt off.

    So if my Mum lets me keep the cash, I'll be buying very soon:

    KNO3
    KH2PO4
    Trace
    Two Fert Pots
    Easycarbo

    Hopefully this will boost my aquarium.

    Recently (today) I did a rescape and I'm quite pleased, no pictures yet though. I have moved the wood and turn it upside-down, it now is taller and looks rather good, although I could do with another piece or two to supplement. The plants have moved around a lot and I now have a lot less of them (due to pruning). The E. Tennihaveforgottenhowtospell that I started with two of, have sent out 5 runners, this is going to be the foreground carpet. The crypts and very brown (all but one) but seem ok. The Hygro has responded well to pruning and has grown again. Elodea hasn't done so well but it's not dead! The Ludwigia Repens was pruned and now the leaves are turning red on top (like Sam's nice tank.)

    All in all it's going alright now, I do get wired algae on the glass now (mainly near the substrate). It's like brown and a bit like dirt. Some bits seem as if they are smudged. I've managed to remove it all of a cloth though, my sponge wasn't touch enough.

    If a get my ferts, I'll keep you updated.
     
  14. Arana

    Arana Member

    Messages:
    1,053
    Location:
    London
    Hope you get your Ferts Luke, keep the updates coming and do post some photos if you can :D
     
  15. Luketendo

    Luketendo Member

    Messages:
    463
    Location:
    West Sussex, England
    I did take some photos... but that was kind of before I did the rescape.

    By the way my snails have started multiplying, last night I saw 7 babies on my wood, just now I saw a few around.

    I'm thinking about getting a plant to attach to my wood. I like Anubias, of yes and I'm recieveing some free amazon frogbit soon (thanks oatfish), this will hopefully dim my lights a bit and kill algae. My lights are quite powerful without co2 IMO so I hope this helps.

    Eventually I plan to ditch the Elodea and get a nicer stem plant. As I already have Rupens and Polysperma I don't know what to get. I liked the look of that red polysperma variant but I'm not sure if it's go well with polysperma.

    As for the foreground I'm just waiting for the Tenn.... to carpet and Crypts to bush out.

    Oh yes and fish too. I'm thinking of another angelfish, a couple more pearl gouramis, a pleco (or several pitbulls) and maybe more corys.

    BNs are ruled out because of the plants. I was thinking a Flash or a Clown pleco since they seem to be cheaper. I do like Queen Arabesques and King tigers but they cost more. I suppose my birthday is only June.

    Yes I do like the Queen Arabesques...

    Not sure if these would attack plants though... that'd be a problem.

    That's about it really... I think. I'm considering trying to place 2/3 of my rocks in the tank, but I'm not sure. They're not anything fancy but I have a couple what could resemble dragon rock / iwagumi rock. They're a bit multi coloured though.

    Great news, my Mum will let me keep the money so I can buy ferts (and 1 months xbox live.)

    Hopefully, they will be ordered tomorrow.

    All the stuff is now ordered, I'll update when I receive it all.
     
  16. Luketendo

    Luketendo Member

    Messages:
    463
    Location:
    West Sussex, England
    The ferts and Easycarbo are now here (very quick, thanks AE.) I will start dosing tomorrow and perhaps make a journal.
     

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