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So many problems I don't know where to start!

Lisa_Perry75

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Bobtastic said:
The point that everyone is making is that to prevent algae attacks you need to create a balance between Light, and Nutrients (including Co2)

This isn't contradictory at all bobtastic, and yes a balance between these three is the key. Very hard to achieve! Fish waste can provide ferts :thumbup:
 

Lairewen

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The Goldfish Bowl is the one I'm planning to go to - I don't drive and it seems accessible from the train station. There is a MA in Bracknell, but since I'm going to Oxford anyway I thought I'd have a look there first. :)
 

fluffiebugie

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Lisa_Perry75 said:
This isn't contradictory at all bobtastic, and yes a balance between these three is the key. Very hard to achieve! Fish waste can provide ferts :thumbup:

Absolutely. I have a nano that's been on autopilot for about two years, no ferts and no CO2. I lost all shrimps recently and so Algae is creeping in a little. But other than that it's been fine and supports various plants fantastically.
Obviously that's simply down to the waste in the bottom, as I rarely touch the gravel unless it becomes unsightly in the front.
Just doing regualr water changes is enough for that tank.
 

GreenNeedle

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I am leaning towards Bob's way of thinking here. Yes ferts need to contain N and P. No-one disputes that BUT lets look at the particular tanks in question.

-They are both running on stock lighting at a reasonably low level.
-They are both run with a good photoperiod length of 8 hours.
-They are both stocked.

What I can't understand from the posts so far is why everyone is rushing to say ferts are even needed and then to boot that CO2 is needed.

If CO2 or liquid carbon is added then yes ferts will be most definately needed. However will they without added C?

I would suggest maybe a little N and P but if these are stocked tanks with fish that are fed and have water changes to boot then for low light non CO2 then there should be next to zero problems on ferts.

Secondly in that picture we can see that there aren't many plants. There should be ample nutrient from the fish waste and excess food for the quanitiy of plantmass in there.

Noone seems to have commented on the large gravel size.

From my view the first thing I notice is that filter. Looks pretty tiny to me and I would suggest that the circulation from it is not too clever either. Positioning is not so good right down at the substrate.

I think that people are jumping in with hi tec principles where this is clearly a low tech tank. Yes maintenance could help the situation because that filter is clearly not keeping up BUT giving the substrate (gravel) a thorough cleaning each water change is just meaning that the nutrient that was there is being pulled out and therefore needs replacing. Seems a little pointless to me. I would just take the gravel vac attachment off the top and wave the pipe over the substrate to remove the loose stuff. Leave the substrate undisturbed.

I wouldn't add CO2. It just means that you instantly speed things up on a tank you are struggling with anyway. It would also mean you would then need to add ferts and mean maintenance increases in necessity. We should be helping you with your situation rather than turning your tank into our situation and then dealing with it in our 'comfort zone'.

Lastly I think you will struggle with algae until you get more plants in there. A few plants at the rear and a couple of algae balls isn't exactly what we guys would call a planted tank. technically it is of course as it has plants in it. However the principles we use for a 'planted tank' are more applicable to a heavily planted. tank

In summary yes plants need N, P, K trace and C plus flow but lets sort the problem out and not advise someone to turn their slow problem into a high speed mess.

I must say that on a lot of the forums I frequent there seems to be this sudden leaning towards liquid C as a necessity. People seem to have forgotten about equilibrium and running a tank without CO2 can be done quite easily and with some good results to boot!!! Liquid C is not a cure all and for a tank in trouble not due to highlight is just a pointless exercise in my opinion. It just means that the tank was going downhill slowly. Now it is going to fall off a cliff.

AC
 

Lisa_Perry75

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Fair enough Andy, but if you read the stocking levels its
30L tank - 1 male betta
30L tank - 1 male betta and some pygmy cories (not sure how many)
Considering this I would consider stocking levels to be low and therefore not much ferts being supplied as waste. Also the OP mentions that the plants don't grow and that she has a tight budget.
Based on that I thought:
Some (agreed not masses, just minimal dosing) TPN+ would rule out any deficiencies for the plants. Gluteraldehyde (in excel) helps plant growth and we know it can kill some algae, thought that would also help the situation. I did think some more plants to boost biomass would be good but depends on the budget. We have only seen a picture of one tank, so no idea planting density there.
You know more about low tech balance than me, what do you think would best help the OP?
 

Bobtastic

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Lairewen are the tanks sat in a bright area? If they are in direct sunlight this could compound algae problems.

Had it been stated the wattage of the lights being used?

You can get some nice Java Ferns from most fish shops (make sure they have roots or u're basically buying dying leaves) and tie them to your wood. Make sure the roots aren't pushed into the substrate.

SuperColey1 my low tech tank has pea gravel and it seems to be doing ok. :D
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
....... I think that people are jumping in with hi tec principles where this is clearly a low tech tank. Yes maintenance could help the situation because that filter is clearly not keeping up BUT giving the substrate (gravel) a thorough cleaning each water change is just meaning that the nutrient that was there is being pulled out and therefore needs replacing. Seems a little pointless to me. I would just take the gravel vac attachment off the top and wave the pipe over the substrate to remove the loose stuff. Leave the substrate undisturbed. I wouldn't add CO2. It just means that you instantly speed things up on a tank you are struggling with anyway. It would also mean you would then need to add ferts and mean maintenance increases in necessity. We should be helping you with your situation rather than turning your tank into our situation and then dealing with it in our 'comfort zone'.......
I'd certainly agree with the whole quoted post, it covers the points I would have made.

I know I'm in a minority here, but I strongly believe that heavily planted, low tech. tanks, with some bio-film development are much more stable and easier to handle for the majority of aquarists.

cheers Darrel
 

GreenNeedle

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Lisa_Perry75 said:
Fair enough Andy, but if you read the stocking levels its
30L tank - 1 male betta
30L tank - 1 male betta and some pygmy cories (not sure how many)
Considering this I would consider stocking levels to be low and therefore not much ferts being supplied as waste. Also the OP mentions that the plants don't grow and that she has a tight budget.
Based on that I thought:
Some (agreed not masses, just minimal dosing) TPN+ would rule out any deficiencies for the plants. Gluteraldehyde (in excel) helps plant growth and we know it can kill some algae, thought that would also help the situation. I did think some more plants to boost biomass would be good but depends on the budget. We have only seen a picture of one tank, so no idea planting density there.
You know more about low tech balance than me, what do you think would best help the OP?

As I said. Probably the filter. The tank MAY ned some extra ferts BUT we shouldn't be suggesting that the OP 'speeds things up' by adding Excel. That will only makes things worse.

Circulation is not as big an issue with low tech. I sort of knew it and George pushed me to go down to just the filter. however it still needs to be 'enough' and possibly needs cleaning more often than the hi tec if going the full on no water change route.

However I am not suggesting no water changes.

That little filter doesn't look much cop to me. I have a 200lph external (One of those £20 Boyus) on my 10ltr!!!

My larger tank just has the Eheim now but still nearly 6x turnover.

If the OP adds liquid fertiliser then I can foresee yet another person giving up on getting algae free.
Spot dose maybe but thats it.

Now think about the stocking. Yes 1 Betta. Dose that apply? The Op is doing water changes. The OP is replenishing nutrient with tap water content. There are your ferts. Stocking with that amount of plants would only be relevant on a no water change setup. So stocking does not apply in this case.

Basically I spoke from seeing the pic, reading the OP post and then applying my understanding to the particular tank in question. Yes most of the people are giving sound advice for most situations, but then this tank is not heavily planted, high light etc.

And yes to the OP above pea gravel can be succesful but most people with standard gravel also tend to be those that are ramming a vac into it and disturbing the substrate continuously. There are exceptions of course so not everyone ;)

AC
 

Lairewen

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Hello all, quick reply since I'm on a train! Apologies if I miss anything.
I forgot to post tank 2, must do that later. It has a few more plants and about 2 inches of substrate.

Neither tank is in a particuarly high light area. Tank 1 is on my desk under a shelf, tank 2 is in the living room, which is naturally dim due to the position of the house.

The filter is an eheim pickup... the positioning isnt intentional, the sucker pads have gone and I need replacements. However I am reluctant to increase the flow too much as bettas don't do well with a strong current.

I will check the light wattage when I get home.

Is it worth me getting any more plants, or am I better to wait until I sort these ones out?

I really appreciate all the advice. :)
 

Lisa_Perry75

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Perhaps hold fire on getting more plants for today. Keep an eye open on the classified section as sometimes when people are trimming their plants they tend to offer them cheap to UKAPS members. Have a look at your budget and let us know if you have any funds for perhaps uprating your filter.

Ah yes Andy, tbh when I had a low tech tank running for 3 years I had a fluval 104 then a 204 so I didn't think about circulation.
 

Lairewen

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OK, as promised, here is tank two.

SDC15459.jpg


I couldn't get the ferts suggested, so I got some easy carbo instead. I also got new sucker pads, so I can get my filter in a better position! I will look at upgrading... maybe in a month or two if I can find one the betta can cope with.
 

nry

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Good comments on planting, I struggled with algae recently until I added more plants - plants take up ammonia quickly leaving less for the algae to use :)

Ammonia = algae so less ammonia = less algae :)
 

Mark Evans

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nry said:
Ammonia = algae so less ammonia = less algae :)

shouldn't that read, ammonia + light =...I always believe that light is the trigger in the big gun :D

I could be talking tosh mind you.
 

nry

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Ammonia without light is going to be different, but Tom Barr kind of made it clear that ammonia is the algae trigger above other things.
 

Lairewen

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Can I assume it's very small amounts of ammonia that cause it? My tests always come out as 0, but I know there's always some, just too low to register.
 

Mark Evans

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nry said:
but Tom Barr kind of made it clear that ammonia is the algae trigger above other things.

so how come in amazonia 2 set ups that i've done, i've not had algae? even though it was present....light is the trigger imo.

if co2 and ferts don't match light, then bang!
 

JamesM

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Tbh, that last tank looks under maintained and past the point of saving. Plants aren't healthy, and they wont recover. A thorough clean and new plants would be recommended. A short light period and good maintenance is the key to any tank ime.
 

Lairewen

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Fair enough. I am really embarassed by them - if I wasn't desperate to get it sorted I would have been ashamed to post the pics. (Actually, I still am...)
 

JamesM

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Lairewen said:
Fair enough. I am really embarassed by them - if I wasn't desperate to get it sorted I would have been ashamed to post the pics. (Actually, I still am...)
No, don't be :) We all have to start somewhere, and the pics are helpful for others who are in the same boat :thumbup:
 

GreenNeedle

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nry said:
Ammonia without light is going to be different, but Tom Barr kind of made it clear that ammonia is the algae trigger above other things.

I think you misread Tom a little here.

Tom will suggest CO2 is the problem in 95% of cases.NOw from there you can basically assume the factors to rule out which are causing the CO2 to be a problem will be light first.

Ammonia is the algae trigger BUT only if the circumstances are good for algae. If ammonia was the main problem then there would be no such thing as a virtually algae free non CO2 no water change tank like mine :)

So first look at CO2 then work out why CO2 is not good enough. It can be nothing to do with CO2 itself and something else that renders the CO2 a problem.

AC
 
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