Something's Going Wrong In My Tank

Lee Murray

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Cornwall U.K.
20190731_174946.jpg 20190731_175002.jpg 20190731_175057.jpg 20190801_184504.jpg 20190801_184517.jpg 20190801_184534.jpg 20190801_184642.jpg 20190801_184656.jpg

Hi, something's really not right in my tank but I can't figure out what. 1st of all here's my tank info.

Rena 340L (47" long x 19.5" wide x 24" high)
Fluval 406 filter with spray bar
Fluval Sea LED light bar (46w/3475 lumens/5200k colour temp.) Recently changed from 2x T8's
Tropica Plant Growth substrate covered with gravel then sand

3x Cory Julii
3x Cory Pepper
18x Neon Tetras
21 Green Flame Tetras
11x Emperor Tetras
9x Congo Tetras

2x Amazon Swords
3x Hygrophila difformis
Anubias and Java Ferns on wood
Water Lettuce floating on the surface

I dose the following ferts daily
7ml Easycarbo
70ml EI Salts (1 day Micro and the next Macro)

For some reason my plants are starting to look terrible as you can hopefully see from the pictures, the Ceratopteris has vibrant green new growth on the top but all other leaves have brown spots and holes, the Anubias and Java are in a right state and all the wood looks horrendous, I get very little algae growth on the glass but there seems to be all sorts growing on the wood. I have included a picture of the intake pipe and heater to show how mucky they look, (I will clean this weekend), a lot of this seemed to start after I added the plant substrate the other week and the water became really cloudy.
Temperature is a steady 26c, Ph 7-7.2, ammonia and nitrites always 0.00ppm and nitrates get to about 40ppm usually by the time I do my weekly water changes.
Any ideas what is wrong and what I need to do guys?
 
Last edited:

Edvet

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How old is the tank?
Also you could have increased the light without increasing CO2.
1) Decrease lighting times
2) increase waterchanges and maintenance ( rub leaves clean)
3) add some ferts
 

alto

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I’ve used Tropica Plant Growth Substrate many times and never experienced this

BUT (method as shown on Tropica website etc)

Bare Tank
Layer Tropica GS 1 - 2cm layer wherever I’m intending plants (or an all over layer for future scape changes)
Layer fine gravel or Tropica Aquarium Soil - note this layer must be at least 3 - 4cm (though I think 4-5 is better is if using aquarium soil as it’s a much more porous layer)
Carefully place any hardscape materials so as not to disturb base layer
Plant using pinsettes/tweezers

Carefully fill tank (no clouding)
Check that filter return is not “digging up” any gravel/aquarium soil and exposing GS

I’ve not observed any clouding during following weeks
 
Last edited:

alto

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More to the point,
You need to physically remove all the visible debris, even just a very thin layer of dust will prevent plant from growing/“breathing” properly
Once debris is cleared away, assess plant leafs for damage

At this stage, I’d do daily water changes and debris removal in tank

Remove the water lettuce - this is a 60cm tall tank, substrate PAR levels will be low to very low (depending upon type of LEDS, driver, internal reflectors, external cover etc)
As I suspect low PAR is an issue, I’d keep photoperiod to 6h minimum

I doubt your tank needs that much fertilizers - when growth is slow or planting is light, reduce the nutrient mass

Add some algae crew to your tank - Otocinclus, shrimp (given your fish, I’d add mean Caridina cf japonica (these have been shipping in recent years, like traditional Amano Shrimp they are a colourless bigger shrimp ... but they are much more aggressive, in a bigger tank they are grand, in a small tank they can harass smaller shrimp and attack small fish), snails (Mystery, Nerite etc)

The new growth is an excellent sign :)
Now you just need to make sure it remain clear of debris etc
 

Lee Murray

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Joined
8 Jul 2019
Messages
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Location
Cornwall U.K.
How old is the tank?
Also you could have increased the light without increasing CO2.
1) Decrease lighting times
2) increase waterchanges and maintenance ( rub leaves clean)
3) add some ferts

Hi, the tank has been up and running since the start of May this year, lights are on from 1pm until 9pm every day and I do a 20-25% water change every Sunday, when you say add ferts do you mean more EI salts or something else?, I have Tropica Premium Nutrition, thanks
 

Lee Murray

Member
Joined
8 Jul 2019
Messages
37
Location
Cornwall U.K.
I’ve used Tropica Plant Growth Substrate many times and never experienced this

BUT (method as shown on Tropica website etc)

Bare Tank
Layer Tropica GS 1 - 2cm layer wherever I’m intending plants (or an all over layer for future scape changes)
Layer fine gravel or Tropica Aquarium Soil - note this layer must be at least 3 - 4cm (though I think 4-5 is better is if using aquarium soil as it’s a much more porous layer)
Carefully place any hardscape materials so as not to disturb base layer
Plant using pinsettes/tweezers

Carefully fill tank (no clouding)
Check that filter return is not “digging up” any gravel/aquarium soil and exposing GS

I’ve not observed any clouding during following weeks[/Q)

I only decided to add plants and plant substrate after the tank was set up I'm afraid, just come back to the hobby after a few years layoff and only intended to have a small tank for the grandkids but I'm sure you know what happens ;)
 

Lee Murray

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Joined
8 Jul 2019
Messages
37
Location
Cornwall U.K.
More to the point,
You need to physically remove all the visible debris, even just a very thin layer of dust will prevent plant from growing/“breathing” properly
Once debris is cleared away, assess plant leafs for damage

At this stage, I’d do daily water changes and debris removal in tank

Remove the water lettuce - this is a 60cm tall tank, substrate PAR levels will be low to very low (depending upon type of LEDS, driver, internal reflectors, external cover etc)
As I suspect low PAR is an issue, I’d keep photoperiod to 6h minimum

I doubt your tank needs that much fertilizers - when growth is slow or planting is light, reduce the nutrient mass

Add some algae crew to your tank - Otocinclus, shrimp (given your fish, I’d add mean Caridina cf japonica (these have been shipping in recent years, like traditional Amano Shrimp they are a colourless bigger shrimp ... but they are much more aggressive, in a bigger tank they are grand, in a small tank they can harass smaller shrimp and attack small fish), snails (Mystery, Nerite etc)

The new growth is an excellent sign :)
Now you just need to make sure it remain clear of debris etc

I was afraid someone was going to suggest daily w/c's :lol: I want to re-arrange the tank anyway so I'll take the roots and other wood out this weekend and give everything a good clean, I keep the water lettuce down one end of the tank and only have some Anubias and Java Fern below it so 3 quarters of the tank gets all the light the led can give, was hoping to keep it as my green flame tetras love it. I am picking some other plants up on Saturday that I ordered, Hygrophilia Costata x3, Nymphoides hydrophilla Taiwan x2 and Staurogyne repens x4, do you think I should stick with the amount of ferts with that in mind or still reduce?, I do have 2 Zebra snails but no shrimp or Octos.
 

alto

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24 Dec 2014
Messages
5,991
I was afraid someone was going to suggest daily w/c's :lol:
You can also try this method using a canister filter - description begins ~ 1:40


Just keep “vacuuming” until most of debris has been removed
Use lots of fine sponge or filter floss in filter to trap the very fine particles
 

dw1305

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Messages
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Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
Tropica Premium Nutrition
If that is the one without any nitrogen (N) or phosphorus (P)? If it is I might try adding some phosphorus and see what happens.

Do you have a picture of the Water Lettuce (Pistia stratiotes) ? Because it has access to aerial CO2 (and first dibs on the light) it might indicate what your issues are likely to be.
3x Ceratopteris
That is Hygrophila difformis, the leaves are very similar in shape, but Ceratopteris doesn't have leaves coming from a stem (it is a fern, so it has fronds)

cheers Darrel
 

alto

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Just keep the water lettuce shading the Anubias and it should be fine (fish do love floating plant cover)

You could add several more Nerite snails (not all species are equally good cleaners, some seem to prefer just cleaning the glass over detailed plant work ;)), some Otocinclus would likely be a good addition to this “small” tank but you can also just increase your activity
Things should balance out in a several weeks/couple months and then just that weekly 50% water change and debris cleaning should suffice

I’d likely still cut the fertilizers and then add more as plant mass increases

Note that daily water changes can increase dissolved CO2 in tank (depending on your tap water supply - which may assist plants during transition to submerse leaf) but it’s really only something I’d do on a tank this size, given a Python No Spill Clean & Fill type system
 

Lee Murray

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Joined
8 Jul 2019
Messages
37
Location
Cornwall U.K.
Hi all, If that is the one without any nitrogen (N) or phosphorus (P)? If it is I might try adding some phosphorus and see what happens.

Do you have a picture of the Water Lettuce (Pistia stratiotes) ? Because it has access to aerial CO2 (and first dibs on the light) it might indicate what your issues are likely to be.That is Hygrophila difformis, the leaves are very similar in shape, but Ceratopteris doesn't have leaves coming from a stem (it is a fern, so it has fronds)

cheers Darrel

Hi Darrel, yes it is the one without N or P I will get a pic of the water lettuce in the morning, I did wonder if it was actually Ceratopteris or not.
 

jms127

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22 Jun 2019
Messages
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Location
Hertfordshire
If that is water lettuce Pistia stratiotes, then it looks a bit small and a bit translucent. This is my water lettuce from above, each plant is nearly 10cm in diameter, and the main root is similar in length, these are small ones. The pale color is due to the hairs, but this plant is a Nitrogen hog and wont grow properly without the addition of macros.

DSCN0833-1.jpg
 

Lee Murray

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Messages
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Location
Cornwall U.K.
The Pistia I have at the minute is the small stuff that I kept, the rest, (which was a lot), I gave to my son-in-law, for some reason it isn't doing too well for him but I couldn't control it. Anyway long story short I thought sod it last night and put some more Tropica substrate in and the tank was just a cloud, I couldn't see anything!, I've since done 2 big w/c's plus removed all the wood etc. and rinsed it off so things are looking a bit better now, still don't want to risk putting all my new plants in until everything looks nice and clear, the pics show the lettuce from above plus the state of the tank last night.

Water Lettuce 3.jpg 20190804_181857.jpg
 

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