Problem with Plant Growth, New Tank

itsBobby

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21 May 2019
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I set up a new tank around 5 weeks ago now, it's my first planted tank, it's not gone smoothly really.

The specs are:
42 litre tank
CO2 injection from fire extinguisher (drop checker lime green throughout photoperiod), goes straight into filter intake
6 hour light period, Chihiros A351 light on controller, goes from 60%-80%-60% over the course of the 6 hours
Eheim Eccopro 200 filter (600 litres per hour quoted in spec)
Substrate is a mixture of carribsea eco complete and JBL mandano (wish I'd gone for something nicer now)
Livestock is happy and not dying
Plenty of flow throughout tank - I know this because my hair algae on my carpet gives me an indication like an evil stringy wind-sock

Products I've been using
TNC Complete
Some root tabs in the substrate
Seachem Prime
Recently tried some Seachem Flourish Excel to combat algae, didn't do anything noticeable

I have a carpet of monte carlo which has filled out nicely, but I've also got plenty of fuzz/hair algae in this, and the remainder of the plants have not been growing well, particularly the stem plants I'm worried about. They're all suffering (irregular growth) and hardly growing.

The rotala rotundifolia here was planted on day 1, and now 5 weeks later does show some new growth but it's not looking good, it lost all its round leaves and started growing in its other form, and has tried to branch, but the leaves are mostly quite small.

2019-05-21-14-38-39.jpg


I've really not got to grips with the dosing of the TNC complete. The bottle says 1ml per 10 litres once per week, but when I dosed at this level the plants were actually starting to die and I got algae. I looked that the EI calculator on rotala butterfly which has options for TNC complete, and it calculated to put 5ml per day in. There's quite a difference here, 4ml per week vs 35ml per week. I've been trying 2.5ml per day and plants look less dead but still they aren't growing, but I'm pretty unsure about plonking more than the stated weekly dose in every single day. The amazon frogbit I have also overall turned yellow, black, and had quite a bit of die-off.

Am I doing something wrong here? Please help!
 

Tim Harrison

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Hello and welcome to UKAPS :)

I use about 3 to 4 times the stated dose and feed my plants every day, but then my tank is heavily planted. It's about learning to read your plants, it all comes with experience I guess.
Without a FTS it's difficult to give advice since we can't see how densely planted your tank is, nor can we see how your outflow is set up etc.

Hair algae can be an indication of low flow, low nutrients and low CO2. I'd double the dose for now, and post some full tank shots.
 

itsBobby

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Joined
21 May 2019
Messages
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Location
Preston
Hair algae can be an indication of low flow, low nutrients and low CO2. I'd double the dose for now, and post some full tank shots.
Thanks for the advice. Here is a full tank shot. There were more plants than this, the right hand side was actually quite filled out originally but got full of the hair algae and I cut it all back last week with the intention of propagating some stem plants into there if they ever grow enough to need trimming.

2019-05-21-16-41-14.jpg
 

Tim Harrison

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Looks like you're using a poppy outflow so not sure how much CO2 will be getting to the bottom and back of the tank.
You could try moving your drop checker around closer to the bottom of the tank and toward the back, see if it still turns lime green.
But definitely increase your fertz at least double, see how you go and maybe more if there is no change after a week or two.
I'd also plant some more stems...denser planting gives more biological stability and may help control the algae.
 

itsBobby

New Member
Joined
21 May 2019
Messages
10
Location
Preston
Looks like you're using a poppy outflow so not sure how much CO2 will be getting to the bottom and back of the tank.
You could try moving your drop checker around closer to the bottom of the tank and toward the back, see if it still turns lime green.
But definitely increase your fertz at least double, see how you go and maybe more if there is no change after a week or two.
I'd also plant some more stems...denser planting gives more biological stability and may help control the algae.
Thanks, I've had the drop checker in every corner of the tank and it's lime green everywhere, I just got sick of it blocking light from the very front corners so moved it up seeing as it wasn't telling me anything new. I'm pretty sure flow is good, the filter is massively over-rated for this size of tank, small fish are getting swept around.

I had quite a lot more stem plants but as I say, they got consumed with algae and I ripped them out, I might pick up a couple more bunches though and will definitely dose more ferts.
 

itsBobby

New Member
Joined
21 May 2019
Messages
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Location
Preston
As an update to this, I had only recently put the Hygrophila polysperma in the tank to fill out space - it was cheap and I heard grew like a weed. This was growing, but all of the leaves were coming out bleached and distorted, yet there was a stem at the back of the tank which was growing beautifully... This made me wonder if my light intensity was too much and have since reduced it to run 35%-50%-35% and everything is now starting to grow visibly day to day, plus the algae has stopped progressing.
 

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