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

Lairewen

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31 Aug 2010
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Bracknell, Berkshire
OK, so my plan right now is:

Increase water changes to weekly or twice weekly.
Clean the filter pads monthly.
Reduce light to 6 hours a day.
Dose with easy carbo daily.
Dose with ferts daily once I get them.

How does that sound?
 

dw1305

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7 Apr 2008
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Hi all,
Lairewen wrote
Fair enough. I am really embarrassed by them - if I wasn't desperate to get it sorted I would have been ashamed to post the pics.
after this quote had been posted,
bh, that last tank looks under maintained and past the point of saving. Plants aren't healthy, and they wont recover.
Lairewen there is no reason to feel embarrassed at all, and I'm sorry but this comment is just totally wrong, the plants don't look lush and green because they haven't had large amounts of macro- nutrients, there is nothing else "wrong" with them at all. In my opinion a lot of what has been posted on this thread is in-appropriate advice, your plants lack macro-nutrients, that is all that is "wrong" with them.

I think that your "to do" list in the last post is a good one:

Increase water changes to weekly or twice weekly.
Clean the filter pads monthly.
Reduce light to 6 hours a day.
Dose with easy carbo daily.
Dose with ferts daily once I get them.

Personally I would ditch the liquid carbon, and start with a very low nutrient addition. In your case the first addition I would make would be to add some KNO3 (potassium nitrate), and my suspicion would be that your plants will show a very quick response to this in terms of both growth and colour. Use the calculator on "James' Planted Tank" (<http://www.theplantedtank.co.uk/calculator.htm>), and aim for about 5 ppm N (for example 1/2 of a teaspoon of KNO3 in a 100 litre tank would supply 12ppmK & 18ppm NO3 (this is 5ppm N)).

Over time you may feel that plant growth would be increased by the addition of more nutrients (I'll include light (PAR) and CO2 in this), and once you used to "normal" plant growth, you can start manipulating these 3 elements.

I want healthy plant growth, but much more than that I want a stable, resilient tank environment. In fact I welcome some algae and biofilm, it is an entirely natural part of the aquatic environment.

cheers Darrel
 

GreenNeedle

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Personallly I would clean internal filters weekly. Need to keep what circulation you can. I used to do my internal weekly before I got an external and that was a much higher capacity. In fact it was the same turnover as my external however which much smaller media capacity I found that even weekly they were pretty dirty.

AC
 

Lairewen

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Bracknell, Berkshire
I've found 100ml of TPN+ on ebay for about £7, so I'll get that ASAP if it really is THE one to go with. Probably in a week or two. I should have a slightly more flexible budget then.

Glad my to-do list seems suitable - there are naturally a lot of different suggestions here, I'm just trying to work out what is best and most practical for me. I think I will try to save what plants I can - if they're still green then I'm prepared to replant and hope!

Out of curiosity, when I do eventually get new plants, are there any 'bullet-proof' plants you'd suggest to rebuild my plant-growing confidence? :p
 

dw1305

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Hi Lairewen,
Most of the "low light" plants are fairly hardy, this is because they can maintain fairly slow growth in low light/low nutrient conditions and in many cases don't show much response to increasing levels of light or nutrients. Many of them are fairly dull green.

Plants that fulfil this requirement are Anubias spp., most ferns and mosses, some Cryptocoryne spp., some Echinodorus spp. and a lot of floating or emergent plants, these have access to aerial CO2, and so are not growth limited by dissolved CO2 levels. I just had a look in the shrimp tanks (very limited maintenance, no CO2 and extremely lean NPK), and they both have various mosses, Cryptcoryne wendtii, Potomageton gayii, Microsorum pteropus, emergent Hygrophila corymbosa and a Ceratopteris sp., the larger tank also has an Echinodorus spp., a Nymphaea, Cabomba carolina (we use this in the lab., and it requires higher light than the other mentioned) and some Ceratophyllum.

Both tanks have layer of floaters, Salvinia "auriculata", Pistia, Lemna minor and Limnobium laevigatum. The first and last are indestructible, but the Lemna reacts poorly to lower nutrients, and the Pistia would benefit from higher light and more nutrients. I use the "Lemna index" for fertilisation, if the Lemna is very pale green and visibly declining, I need to add fertiliser.

See what grows from the tanks you already have, and then PM me when you are ready and I'll donate some/all of the above plants to you.

cheers Darrel
 

a1Matt

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10 Mar 2008
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Bromley
Lairewen said:
there are naturally a lot of different suggestions here, I'm just trying to work out what is best and most practical for me.

My two cents is that the comments from Andy (SuperColey) and Darrel are spot on and I would bear those in mind when formulating your plan of attack.

Lairewen said:
I've found 100ml of TPN+ on ebay for about £7, so I'll get that ASAP if it really is THE one to go with. Probably in a week or two. I should have a slightly more flexible budget then.
Dry ferts give you greater control and flexibility in your nutrient dosing, but you have buy the 'ingredients' separately and work out how to dose them.
If you do go for a commercial fertiliser, then yes TPN+ is the best one to get. (not standard TPN).
 

Mark Evans

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a1Matt said:
My two cents is that the comments from Andy (SuperColey) and Darrel are spot on and I would bear those in mind when formulating your plan of attack.

:lol: look like I'm talking rubbish then.

Lairewen, ignore what i've put, it doesn't work...apparently :thumbup:
 

Lairewen

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Wow, thank you!

I'm going to prune later... get rid of all the definitely dead stuff to hopefully give the remainer the best chance.


********

I will probably go for the TPN+ for now, at least until I get a better grasp of how it all works!


*******

LOL you're doing better than me! ;)
 

Lisa_Perry75

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17 Oct 2007
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dw1305 said:
Lairewen there is no reason to feel embarrassed at all
I also agree with this comment, your betta have lovely big tanks to swim around in! I've seen them in much much worse (pint glasses).

With the filter pads perhaps check them as you are doing the weekly water change. If you use a bucket then just pop the internal in that with the water you're taking out. Take a gander at the sponges/media. If it looks really clogged then maybe just give it a few squeezes or a quick swoosh in the water. If it doesn't look that dirty after a week then maybe check the week after. Then you have a bit more of an idea if it needs doing weekly, fortnightly or monthly.

Unfortunately as you can see many people do things different ways as they have worked for them. There is no one set way to do things. Rather than turning into a bit of an advice 'war' I hope that we can find some common ground to best help the OP. Also you might realise that UKAPS is a friendly place and everyone wants the best advice that will help you fastest and make your tank work for you :thumbup:

What do people think about gravel vaccing? Is it useful to remove waste this which will provide ammonia which might feed algae or leave it to break down and turn into more ferts?

Edit: ps when checking the filter please unplug it with dry hands before you pull it out of the tank. I know you would do this anyway, just thought I'd mention just in case :lol:
 

Lairewen

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Bracknell, Berkshire
Oh, nothing sets me off like seeing bettas in undersized, unfiltered, unheated 'tanks.' I wonder how anyone can think it's ok.

Good idea, thanks. :)

Everyone's been great - lots of different opinions, but no rudeness at all. Really glad I registered - you're stuck with me now. :p

LOL the worst I did was *thinking* I'd unplugged the heater and I hadn't...
 

ukco2guy

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9 May 2010
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@ Tom - That just grinds my gears :( It`s all about the money and no thought or care about the livestock.. Grrrr...
 

Lairewen

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I have, it's awful. It's both a blessing and a curse that they're such hardy fish. There are more UK based breeders these days, but I'm sure the vast majority of tropical fish in general are still shipped from abroad.
 

ukco2guy

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My pair of betta`s here are from The water gardens in hinton parva (swindon). Great selection and they take very good care of their livestock :)
 

GreenNeedle

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Lisa_Perry75 said:
What do people think about gravel vaccing? Is it useful to remove waste this which will provide ammonia which might feed algae or leave it to break down and turn into more ferts?

To my way of thinking the substrate should be left undisturbed if possible. To disturb it when vacing not only means you can risk releasing lots of stuff into the water column whilst vaccing but also you are just taking awway ferts and then adding them back in later.

In a hi tec tank you wouldn't vac, maybe clean the surface. I see no reason why in a lo tec you would do any different.

Also in a hi tec tank you are adding ferts anyway. In a lo tec it is not necessarily the case that you need to.

I think the ammonia trigger is a little overplayed in this thread. Yes it is the trigger but only when the situation is right. A little like the liquid C cure for algae. It cures a symptom not the cause. Remove the algae ideal situation and the ammonia trigger is rendered inactive if you know what I mean :) If it were purely a case of the ammonia being a trigger then we would all have algae without doing water changes every day.

No problem with curing a symptom as long as the cause is looked into whilst doing so. It is often harder to find that cause while the symptoms are not there!!! Therefore in my opinion it would be better to take the hit, suffer whilst searching but find the grail sooner.

AC
 

Lairewen

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The shop I went to yesterday had a stunning selection, but I have no idea where they came from. A couple even looked like they might have the dragon gene.

OK, one maintinance session and a very unimpressed betta later, this is the state of tank 2. I lightly tugged on each plant... if it came up, it went. The brown algae is still covering everything, but the dead plants are gone. I did a 50% water change and cleaned the filter pad in the old water.

tank2-1.jpg
 

Burnleygaz

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21 Jun 2010
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i might of missed it , but i can`t see where anyone has mentioned manual removal of as much algae as possible , daily would be best but as often as you can will suffice.

If it can be removed from the tank (Hardscape like rocks or wood, and any equipment) get it in some warm water and use an old toothbrush or similar and scrub every thing well. Plant wise , a lot of alage will come off with some light pressure from your fingers, a toothbrush is good for hair algae (twirl it up like spaggeti) and more sutbborm types like GSA you`ll have to remove the affected leaf.


Give all the glass a good scrub aswell, then do your water change and try and run your siphon tube near any of the substrate that has algae on it (sometimes helps to creat some movment with your hands to dislodge any loose alage/waste)

Doing it before the water change is very important as you will remove most of the waste you`ve just created by cleaning, otherwise it will just sit in your tank rotting adding to your problems.
 
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