My square descent into madness...

jaypeecee

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Hi Folks,

I think I'm correct in saying that Tropica Specialised is a reincarnation of Tropica Plant Nutrition Plus (TPN+). According to the excellent website below, the breakdown of TPN+ is included:

http://theplantedtank.co.uk/traces.htm

Isn't it great that we no longer need to go via the Wayback Machine to access the above web site?

JPC
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Am I missing something? The above link takes me to a discussion about TNC Complete, not Tropica Specialised.
Point taken, it was just the point that it doesn't really matter which of the "complete" mixes you use, they all have the same main ingredient, <"the world's most expensive water">.
statement of the obvious but I included it because it is something that may not have been obvious to @LordMomo if he is new to the aquarium hobby.
Same again, point taken.
According to the excellent website below, the breakdown of TPN+ is included:
James, of <"Planted Tank"> fame, is @JamesC from the <"Dosing with ammonia....." thread">.

cheers Darrel
 
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jaypeecee

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Hi @LordMomo
All fish are A-OK, living their best life it seems. Shrimp are also 100% had my first batch of shrimplets appear now and i can see a few more have berried up!
I feel somewhat disheartened by the way the tank has declined despite my best efforts to it good, and I have read countless forums now on algae and how to combat, sometimes they can leave more questions than answers and i feel i just need a practical , idiots guide/advice on what to do to try combat this.

Yes, it is disheartening and many of us have been there, done that, got the T-shirt, etc. However, I suspect that you have an excess of nutrients in the water column. Although not favoured by some aquarists, I find it very helpful to take a few water measurements. I would test for nitrate and phosphate in the first instance. Personally, I use JBL liquid test kits. But, the good news is that your fish and shrimp are doing well - so, give yourself a pat on the back for that.

The surface film on the water is produced by organic waste from fish food, fish faeces, plants, etc. Your best bet at the moment may be to use paper towel laid on the water surface for a few seconds and then removed. Repeat, as necessary.

I'll leave it at that for the moment.

JPC
 

LordMomo

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Thanks all. I have purchased the tropica trace (yellow/brown) bottle. Nitrates are pretty high in our water here in Hertfordshire.

Something I have been trying to work out is the ideal height at which my lights have to sit above the tank. Initially was pointed out as being too high, so I have lowered slightly.

Most of the diatoms in the tank are gone now, few spots here and there, the hair like algae is still around but in small amounts and on my hairgrass, so i need to get a toothbrush to twirl that out at the next water change. Small amounts of the BBA have gone, mostly due to cutting the badly affected foliage away and removing.

I think i am on course at the time being, so just fine tuning that balance now.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Nitrates are pretty high in our water here in Hertfordshire.
It is the same all over the SE. corner of the UK. Hard water and awash with domestic & agricultural pollutants, unless it comes from a <"deep, limestone"> or <"chalk aquifer">.

The main issues are likely to come from the high levels of pH and Ca++ ions interfering with the uptake, or availability, of other ions. <"Iron (Fe+++)"> is the most likely problem, but there could potentially be issues with <"magnesium (Mg++)"> and <"phosphate (PO4---)"> as well.

cheers Darrel
 

jaypeecee

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dw1305

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Hi all,
I've been a fan of James' Planted Tank for several years. So, what is @JamesC doing these days?
He just got a bit fed up with the forum, it wasn't quite such a friendly place at the time and he felt that people were unwilling to listen to any view that didn't agree that CO2 distribution and EI were all that mattered. We were always on good terms and I used to talk a bit after he was no longer active on the forum, but I haven't spoken to him recently.
I've been doing some experiments on this recently but I didn't try using Urea.
Urea is definitely less toxic than ammonia (which is why terrestrial animals excrete it), but there are <"still dangers involved">. At least with urea you need a plant, or micro-organism, with the <"urease enzyme"> to unlock the ammonia.
thanks for the link to the <"Dosing with ammonia....." thread">.
We had a few of <"these threads"> around that time.

cheers Darrel
 

jaypeecee

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Just taken a reading now using the API test kit and as far as I can tell as the colours are pretty much the same, gonna say 40ppm straight out the tap.
Hi @LordMomo

Thanks for that. So, that's a useful baseline. It would now be wise to know the nitrate level in the tank water. BTW, I seem to recall that the API Nitrate Test Kit is the one where it's necessary to give one of the reagents/bottles a very good shake before using. I think it may be reagent no. 2. API may have improved the formulation of their Nitrate Test Kit as it used to be notorious for giving inaccurate results. I'm sure it's not what you would want to hear but I would not feel comfortable if I didn't mention this. As I say, API may have made changes to this kit. There may be others here on UKAPS who use the API test kit and are in a better position to comment. Alternatively, search the Internet for this. Personally, I use the JBL Nitrate Test Kit.

I'm working on the basis that an excess of nutrients in the water column is one of several factors that may promote algae growth. The other big one is light intensity.

JPC
 

LordMomo

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So, that's a useful baseline. It would now be wise to know the nitrate level in the tank water. BTW, I seem to recall that the API Nitrate Test Kit is the one where it's necessary to give one of the reagents/bottles a very good shake before using. I think it may be reagent no. 2. API may have improved the formulation of their Nitrate Test Kit as it used to be notorious for giving inaccurate results. I'm sure it's not what you would want to hear but I would not feel comfortable if I didn't mention this. As I say, API may have made changes to this kit. There may be others here on UKAPS who use the API test kit and are in a better position to comment. Alternatively, search the Internet for this. Personally, I use the JBL Nitrate Test Kit.
Thanks for this, I was aware of the requirements for the API test kits, it does help to read instructions! HAHA!

Tested the tank again the other day and honestly, you cant tell if they are 20ppm or 40ppm as api use 2 colours that are pretty close to identical. So i'll invest in a different test for Nitrate.

Terms of algae, the light reduction seem to have done the trick as I can report that i have NO more hair Algae or anything. Small amounts of green algae on a rock but honestly it chalk and cheese to how it was before.

I do have a few other queries i'd like to run past more experienced members though.

Filter - I am using a eheim classic 250 (2213) which is meant to have a flow rate of 440L per hour, is that sufficient for my 55L tank?

Anyone ever found plant eating worms/caterpillars in their tanks? I found that something had been eating leaves of swords in the tank, looks how a leaf cutter atn would remove a section, then i found a small "wrap" of plants matter that appeared to be moving and had ahead. I removed and chucked outside, am hoping this was the only one! Anybody else seen this before?
 

LordMomo

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Small little image update of how we looking :

unnamed2.jpg

Hair grass is growing as there are strands cropping up between the bigger batches, although still quite slow going.
 

Nico Felici

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16 Oct 2020
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Colours are looking nice and it seems like a cute and simple scape to me. Well done.

I'm glad to see your rotala's are doing well considering the tech behind this. With similar if not equal equipment, size and ferts, I am struggling to get mine to red up but even just to go straight and steady really. I'll keep an eye on this and see how they develop for you :)
 
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