Newbie Advice

Neo365

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Hi all new to planted tank. Current set up Fluval 240 - LED lighting 8.5 hrs daily.
Dosing carbon 3.4ml and liquid ferts 4.8ml daily. Had a diatom bloom - tank running approx 10 weeks.

I do a 25 % water change twice a week and try to wipe of diatoms of leaves rocks glass and gravel - Water parameters all good.

Posted some pics of the diatoms on leaves and rocks. Do I need to be concerned or will the diatoms reduce with time? They just make the new plants look so unsightly!

Should I being doing anything else?
Thanks
 

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dw1305

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Hi all,
new to planted tank.
Welcome.
Dosing carbon 3.4ml and liquid ferts 4.8ml daily.
What are the fertilisers? The plants don't look too bad, but they definitely aren't in optimal condition.

Plants need all of the <"nutrients essential for growth">, just in very different amounts.
Do I need to be concerned or will the diatoms reduce with time?
They will reduce over time, they are very common in new set ups.

What is your filter like? Particularly what <"filter media does it have in it">?

cheers Darrel
 

Neo365

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Plant substrate
Tropical Plant Growth

Ferts
Ferts are TNC Lite and TNC Carbon.

Filter Media,
Filter s Fluval 306 - Fluval sponge and polishing pad in 1tray. - media includes, 1tray Fluval ceramics and 1 tray Bio Home Ultra.

Lighting - Fluval plant boost setting adjusted to:
7.30 - 12.00 at 100%
12.00 - 14.00 at 55 %
1400 - 18.00 at 100%
 
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dw1305

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Hi all,
Ferts are TNC Lite and TNC Carbon.
OK, that helps. The plants can only make use of the extra carbon you are adding if they have sufficient amounts of the other nutrients.

<"TNC Lite"> doesn't contain nitrogen (N) or phosphorus (P), this is because nitrate (NO3-) and phosphate (PO4---) are the markers of <"eutrophication (pollution) in the natural environment">, but things are different in the aquarium. Nitrogen and phosphorus are two of the three macro-elements, along with potassium (K), and we need to supply enough of all of these (along with the other essential nutrients).

If you want to stick with TNC they sell a mix with everything included in "TNC complete", which may improve plant growth. All <"liquid fertiliser mixes are expensive">, but offer convenience.
Filter s Fluval 306 - Fluval sponge and polishing pad in 1tray. - media includes, 1tray Fluval ceramics and 1 tray Bio Home Ultra.
I'd been keen on taking out the finer media. Have a look at pages 9 & 10 of <"3rd time lucky....">.

cheers Darrel
 

Neo365

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If you want to stick with TNC they sell a mix with everything included in "TNC complete", which may improve plant growth.
I stated off using TNC Complete however as it contains Nitrates it sent my Nitrate levels into the 40 -80 range.
I was advised to try the TNC Lite as this does not contain Nitrate.
After dosing with TNC Lite instead of TNC Complete the Nitrate levels went back to normal.

What would you suggest stick to TNC Lite of go back to TNC Complete ?
Thanks
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
What would you suggest stick to TNC Lite of go back to TNC Complete ?
I would go to using a complete mix. You should be able to get accurate NO3 readings from your water supplier, the EU tap water limit is 50 ppm NO3. Have a read through <"Nitrate levels">.

I'm not keen on nitrate test kits, so I use a floating plant (not light or CO2 limited) <"as an indicator of nutrient level">.

cheers Darrel
 

Neo365

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Just to be clear. I started of with dosing TNC Complete only - this sent my Nitrate level high.
I then changed to dosing daily TNC Lite and TNC Carbon - this reduced my Nitrates to a acceptable level.

I will go back to using the Complete mix as suggested and monitor Nitrate levels again.

If I go back to using the TNC Complete do I still continue dosing the TNC Carbon as well?
 

Simon Cole

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Guys before you all say too much more, just have a look at the lighting duration on this tank. It's 10.5 hours!
@Witcher it's obviously a low tech tank because CO2 is not injected. Glutaraldehyde is used to control algae and it is dangerous. It will not mitigate over-lighting.
@Neo365 nitrate is fine up to 300ppm. Fish LC50 is usually above 1000ppm. You need to drop to 7 hours of continuous lighting. Do what Darrel said.
Are you really giving that much light?
 

Neo365

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Hi, due to my lack of knowledge in planted tanks - we all have to start somewhere, I followed the lightning default setting on the Fluval Aquasky plant boost setting as stated previously, so yes I was using this 10.5 hrs setting.

I shall reduce light to one block of 7 hrs continuous lighting and revert back to daily dosing TNC Complete 3.4ml.

Anything else I should be doing?
 

Witcher

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Guys before you all say too much more, just have a look at the lighting duration on this tank. It's 10.5 hours!
@Witcher it's obviously a low tech tank because CO2 is not injected. Glutaraldehyde is used to control algae and it is dangerous. It will not mitigate over-lighting.
@Neo365 nitrate is fine up to 300ppm. Fish LC50 is usually above 1000ppm. You need to drop to 7 hours of continuous lighting. Do what Darrel said.
Are you really giving that much light?
Hey Simon, I understand your concerns with glut, it's dangerous when at high concentration (like most of the substances we put into our tanks) and it needs to be used with moderation. The dose I use is an effect of more than a year of tests and the only negative effect I saw was lowered fertility of Amanos at approx 40-50ml/240l.

But not sure what's the problem with 10.5h of light assuming that in the Summer (for example) photoperiods are much longer? On the other hand, 300ppm of N in my opinion is a clear way to hypertrophication in micro scale - bear in mind that in the rivers where most of our plants are coming from, amounts of ferts are very (if not extremely) low while photoperiod is quite long.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Water readings from supplier.
Those are the <"regulatory limits">, 50mg/L (50 ppm) for nitrate etc.

You can get the actual results for your tap water from your water supplier via your post code. Have a look at <"Nitrate levels">.
........We are lucky in the UK, because we can get a water report from the water company. It will be <"Yorkshire Water"> for Hull.

I just choose a random central Hull post-code ("Hu1 3JQ") and the given value for NO3 was 38ppm, the conductivity was 685 microS and the water was described as "very hard" with 121 ppm calcium (Ca)........
I shall reduce light to one block of 7 hrs continuous lighting and revert back to daily dosing TNC Complete 3.4ml.

Anything else I should be doing?
Possibly add some floating plants, they aren't CO2 limited, so it takes CO2 out of the equation. Depending on how hard the water is you might need to look at an <"alternative iron source">.

cheers Darrel
 
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Neo365

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Thanks for the reply’s.
The water in my area is soft. What floating plants would you recommend?
 

Simon Cole

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@Witcher Most people stick to around 8 hours per day. Most people dose nitrates. I don't want to go too far off on a tangent thinking about oligotrophic conditions and sunlight. Neither is this the time to be going into the dangers of glutaraldehyde vs anything else.

I'm ducking out of this one because you have got lots of good advice. Darrel is an expert on floating plants.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
But not sure what's the problem with 10.5h of light assuming that in the Summer (for example) photoperiods are much longer?
Personally I use a 12 hour photo-period, it is what you get in the tropics, but I have a lot of plants, including floating ones.
What floating plants would you recommend?
I'm an <"Amazon Frogbit fan">, but they all perform the same function, in terms of maintenance of water quality.

The advantage of Amazon Frogbit (Limnobium laevigatum) is just its greener leaves.
On the other hand, 300ppm of N in my opinion is a clear way to hypertrophication in micro scale - bear in mind that in the rivers where most of our plants are coming from, amounts of ferts are very (if not extremely) low while photoperiod is quite long.
I like a <"low nutrient approach"> as well.
The water in my area is soft.
That means you are less restricted in your iron source.

cheers Darrel
 

Neo365

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