Newbie to planted tanks (less than a year...)

Ragnarok

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Hi!
I have an aqua one 980 with 1 x 30" sunlight and 1 x 36" tropical T9 tubes (some anubius and Aponogeton madagascariensis) no sunlight, swell limpopo sand substrate and large piece of driftwood*; one old comet, oranda and black moor goldfishes, a bristlenose pleco and a hillstream loach. keeps at 22-23 degC and I dose API leaf once a week.
Getting more and more green fuzz on the driftwood and brown fuzz on the plant foliage, lace plant fronds looking tatty. What could be causing this? T9 bulbs ageing? COuld I add a crinum calamistratum - tank looks a little bare.
All advice and any help welcome!
Ragnarok
We Lost the fancy goldfish in pic below left - he was a rescue and never settled:(
Screenshot 2019-09-12 at 14.13.30.png
 

Zeus.

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you could do with a complete fertizer as API Leaf is

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so it is missing some of the nutrients needed for plant growth. There are much better all in one fertilisers like TNC complete on the market which should suit your needs much better.

It will not be the light 'per sa' as plants dont care about the light as long as they have some, but they do need a full range of nutrients.
 

PARAGUAY

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I have a aqua one 980 and found it a bit awkward for water changes plant care and maintenance. So I made it open top with a t5 luminaire from APS and a 2000litre hour ex filter gives much more scope for planted aquariums. Your t8 tubes will grow most plants though as Zeus says I used to change mine approx 12 monthlysays .Welcome :) to UKAPS
 

Tim Harrison

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Welcome :)
If you want to go planted I'd add a whole lot more plants. The more you add the better the biological stability and the less likely you will get algae issues. However, as @Zeus. mentions you will need a good all in one fert for starters.
 

Ragnarok

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I have a aqua one 980 and found it a bit awkward for water changes plant care and maintenance. So I made it open top with a t5 luminaire from APS and a 2000litre hour ex filter gives much more scope for planted aquariums. Your t8 tubes will grow most plants though as Zeus says I used to change mine approx 12 monthlysays .Welcome :) to UKAPS
That's a great suggestion thanks :)
 

Ragnarok

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Welcome :)
If you want to go planted I'd add a whole lot more plants. The more you add the better the biological stability and the less likely you will get algae issues. However, as @Zeus. mentions you will need a good all in one fert for starters.
I've ordered up a bunch of plants (Ceratopteris thalictroides, Vallisneria spiralis Red Bunch (straight red vallis), Cabomba Aquatica Bunch, Bacopa monnieri (Moneywort). They all seem to work in 22 degC and with sand...
Re all in one fert, TNC complete doesn't go very far for a 215L tank does it! What about Neutro T?
 

Ragnarok

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Have you seen M D fish tank's set of videos on planted goldfish tanks:

Thanks I'll watch those, I am bound to say that considering how much my goldfish love sifting through the sand, I'm always a little sad to see bare bottom tanks, but I guess it's down to a visual preference.
 

Tim Harrison

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I've ordered up a bunch of plants (Ceratopteris thalictroides, Vallisneria spiralis Red Bunch (straight red vallis), Cabomba Aquatica Bunch, Bacopa monnieri (Moneywort). They all seem to work in 22 degC and with sand...
Sounds good...most plants will be fine at 22 oC and in sand so long as you water column dose fertz. It's the lack of CO2 that will determine which plants you can grow successfully. For more take a look at Tropica's "easy" plant list.
Re all in one fert, TNC complete doesn't go very far for a 215L tank does it! What about Neutro T?
For a more economical solution take a look at TNC+ dry powder from Aqua Plants Care. Each sashay costs £2.99 and makes 500mls. Mix in jug with RO or distilled water and decant in to a dosing bottle or pump dispenser.
 

Onoma1

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Thanks I'll watch those, I am bound to say that considering how much my goldfish love sifting through the sand, I'm always a little sad to see bare bottom tanks, but I guess it's down to a visual preference.

In later videos he added substrate and plants too the front :)
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
For a more economical solution take a look at TNC+ dry powder from Aqua Plants Care. Each sashay costs £2.99 and makes 500mls. Mix in jug with RO or distilled water and decant in to a dosing bottle or pump dispenser.
Re all in one fert, TNC complete doesn't go very far for a 215L tank does it! What about Neutro T?
You can get a ferts. mix. <"Dry salts work out a lot cheaper"> than buying branded.

Once an ion is in solution they are all the same, every K+ & NO3- ion is the same as every other K+ & NO3- ion, it <"doesn't matter where it came from">.

You can use the <"Rotala Butterfly nutrient calculator"> to replicate an <"existing fertiliser mix">, or create your own DIY one.

cheers Darrel
 

Ragnarok

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For a more economical solution take a look at TNC+ dry powder from Aqua Plants Care. Each sashay costs £2.99 and makes 500mls. Mix in jug with RO or distilled water and decant in to a dosing bottle or pump dispenser.
I haven't considered that option - is RO or distilled water a necessity? I fill 3 20L PET water bottles and leave them to stand for a week as water for my water changes (add Prime too) would that water do?
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
I fill 3 20L PET water bottles and leave them to stand for a week as water for my water changes (add Prime too) would that water do?
It depends on how hard your tap water is, you use RO or DI water because the potential problem is salts, already in the water, before you add the fertiliser salts. If you have hard tap water (with a lot of carbonates) this will raise pH and microelements like iron will come out of solution. There may also be some issues with <"phosphates in tap water"> which may also cause issues with insoluble compounds.

If your tap water is reasonably soft you could just acidify the small amount you need for your mix with white vinegar or citric acid. Don't add "Prime", it doesn't matter if there is a chlorine (or even chloramine) in the small volume of water you need, by the time it is in the tank it will be almost infinitely diluted. The water conditioner may contain EDTA etc which will precipitate out iron (Fe) etc.

You don't need very much DI water to make the fertiliser solutions up, so buying DI water for sold for irons etc. would still be a cheap option, other possibilities are rain-water, <"cooled boiled water"> or adding the salts to the tank as <"dry powders">.

cheers Darrel
 

Ragnarok

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Hi all, It depends on how hard your tap water is, you use RO or DI water because the potential problem is salts, already in the water, before you add the fertiliser salts. If you have hard tap water (with a lot of carbonates) this will raise pH and microelements like iron will come out of solution. There may also be some issues with <"phosphates in tap water"> which may also cause issues with insoluble compounds.

If your tap water is reasonably soft you could just acidify the small amount you need for your mix with white vinegar or citric acid. Don't add "Prime", it doesn't matter if there is a chlorine (or even chloramine) in the small volume of water you need, by the time it is in the tank it will be almost infinitely diluted. The water conditioner may contain EDTA etc which will precipitate out iron (Fe) etc.

You don't need very much DI water to make the fertiliser solutions up, so buying DI water for sold for irons etc. would still be a cheap option, other possibilities are rain-water, <"cooled boiled water"> or adding the salts to the tank as <"dry powders">.

cheers Darrel
Thanks so much for the advice, yes I do have hard water, GH 190 ppm and KH 60ppm, my water doesn't have phosphates in it. So are you recommending not using Prime in the tap water if I use it to make up fertiliser, or simply to avoid? If I can use cooled boiled water no problem, that's what I'd probably do.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
So are you recommending not using Prime in the tap water if I use it
You won't need to add "Prime" to the water you use to make up the fertiliser. I use rain-water, so I don't use a dechlorinator, but if I did need one I would probably use "Prime".
If I can use cooled boiled water no problem, that's what I'd probably do.
Should be all right, you need to strain the near boiling water into a container, that way you will removed <"the carbonate hardness">.

cheers Darrel
 

Ragnarok

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Hi all,You won't need to add "Prime" to the water you use to make up the fertiliser. I use rain-water, so I don't use a dechlorinator, but if I did need one I would probably use "Prime".Should be all right, you need to strain the near boiling water into a container, that way you will removed <"the carbonate hardness">.

cheers Darrel
Thanks again for all this help.

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Ragnarok

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An update:
The Ceratopteris thalictroides are doing fine new green leaf growth (a little fragile/thin) and strong roots, it's floating on the surface; Vallisneria spiralis Red Bunch (straight red vallis) gets uprooted by the Goldies, what's survived has sent out runners but leaves are small brown and spotted; Cabomba Aquatica Bunch fell apart and died, all Bacopa monnieri (Moneywort) was continually uprooted except one plant that doesn't appear to be growing and has a brown/orange tinge all over (see attached). Lace plant and anubias show new green leaves but old ones really turn brown/grey (see attached). Green algae has increased on my driftwood (see attached) and there's staghorn algae now too. The driftwod seems to be breaking down, although the water change is almost clear, where it used to be brown at the beginning, so assume less tannins are being released. BN pleco is scraping about 10% of it, hilstream loach still works on the stones and glass, (I've left algae on back glass to build up till now but considering getting razor scraper to get on top of it...)
My water parameters Tetra strips (API master/test kit) are:
Nitrate mg/l - 40 (40+)
Nitrite mg/l - 0.03 (0)
Total hardness °dH - 11 (11)
Carbonate hardness °dH - 6 (4)
pH value - 7.2 (7.4)
Chlorine (CL2) mg/l - 0.1 (0)
Carbon dioxide mg/l - 0 (n/a)
Phosphate n/a (2ppm)
I'd already bought NeutroT so have been daily dose 10ml of that, once it's gone will move to dry ferts. What I wondered is would liquid carbon help the plants I have?
I DO have phosphates in my tap water, so must have done the test incorrectly last time! Assume this contributes to the algae? How can I reduce levels? Sorry for the rambling!
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