Superman's 180l Asian Retreat

Ed Seeley

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Re: Superman's First Planted Tank

I believe the TPN+ actually has some ammonia in as a chelated nutrient source but not sure whether that will register on the test kit or not. Maybe James will know? Keep up the water changes anyway as they will help keep the algae at bay.

Also the carbon source from the Excel is not going to affect the drop checker at all and won't affect the fish either. You need to keep the CO2 levels up as well as adding the Excel to combat the algae.
 

Superman

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Re: Superman's First Planted Tank

Another water test today as thought I'd compare from yesterday's readings...

Ammonia (NH3) 1ppm
Nitrite (NO2) 0ppm
Nitrate (NO3) 20ppm

From this, I would believe that my filtration is working as more Nitrate is being produced. Unless the TPN+ include Nitrate?

Another water change coming...

Edit: Just read somewhere that TPN+ contains Nitrate, so my theory is out of the window! I'm just a bit worried that I've killed off the bacteria in my filter somehow.
 

ceg4048

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Re: Superman's First Planted Tank

Hey Clark,
The wheels must have fallen off the wagon mate. Could we back up a moment? I mean, I'm no TPN fanboy (that's for sure) but I can't see switching from TPN+ just because you can't accurately measure nitrates.

Now firstly, a reading of 1ppm Ammonia is just absolutely beyond belief unless you've got a dead dolphin hidden behind a rock somewhere. :wideyed: This is a lethal concentration so there is no way your fish would be swimming around if that were the case. Are you sure the reading isn't more like 0.1ppm?

Secondly, If you were having algae due to deficiency and you are using TPN+ then it means you are not adding enough. 5ml may not be sufficient. Maybe you should be adding 10ml or 20ml. As I mentioned, I always encourage people to switch away from commercial ferts to the dry powders for economic reasons, but the switch should be for the right reasons. From what I see here your reasons don't look...well...reasonable mate.

I'm not sure I buy into the "algae dying and causing a 1000 fold increase in NH4" theory. Is something wrong with your filter? Have you added any antibiotics to treat disease? That could have wiped out your filter bacteria. Do you even have any bio-media in the filter? Have you cleaned your filter recently? Are you adding CO2? An ammonia spike could easily be due to the plants leaching ammonia due to starvation. Are you removing dead leaves? They cause ammonia if left to rot in the tank.

Need to dig a bit deeper mate. :idea:

Cheers,
 

Superman

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Re: Superman's First Planted Tank

ceg4048 said:
Now firstly, a reading of 1ppm Ammonia is just absolutely beyond belief unless you've got a dead dolphin hidden behind a rock somewhere. :wideyed: This is a lethal concentration so there is no way your fish would be swimming around if that were the case. Are you sure the reading isn't more like 0.1ppm?
Nope no dead dolphin around the place. There were some shrimp problems but I've looked in the filter and none are in there decaying.
The test kit is still my old one which I bought some time ago (Aug07) so it might have gone off? I'm following the usual instructions for the Ammonia kit from API.

ceg4048 said:
Is something wrong with your filter? Have you added any antibiotics to treat disease? That could have wiped out your filter bacteria. Do you even have any bio-media in the filter? Have you cleaned your filter recently? Are you adding CO2? An ammonia spike could easily be due to the plants leaching ammonia due to starvation. Are you removing dead leaves? They cause ammonia if left to rot in the tank.
I've not touched the filter recently, apart from swapping the filer wool at the top of it.
Nothing added to the tank treatment wise.
There's only sponges in the filer.
Still adding CO2 through pressurised system.
There does not seem to be any signs on the plants that they're dying or any deficiency.
 

Superman

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Re: Superman's First Planted Tank

aaronnorth said:
It should have a date on your test kit, i bought the nutrafin kit in sep 06 and the date is aug 2010 so they do last quite a bit.

There's no use by date on the bottles I have. I haven't kept the packaging it came in. They have the (c)2006 so maybe something like yours.
I've also used a test strip (which I know are the worst!) and isn't reading 0ppm.

I'm now worried I've killed off my filter bacteria somehow.
 

Ed Seeley

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Re: Superman's First Planted Tank

Clark,
What's your current stocking on this tank? It's a Vision tank isn't it? The 180? Give us all the details again and let's work through this step by step. I would simply keep going with water changes, don't panic and don't change anything rapidly until we're sure there's a problem, other than with a dodgy test kit.

Are your fish dying because, as Clive said, if you had 1ppm Ammonia they'd probably be keeling over?

Let's look at this logically. If you're not losing fish; your algae was dying off, the plants were growing and everything seemed fine right? Now on the basis of some test results you seem to be panicking slightly. Are the fish or plants showing signs of trouble or is it just the test kit results you're worrying about?

It's actually pretty hard to kill off filter bacteria. I've had sponge filters that I've kept totally dry and, when they were reimmersed, the filter cycled and I added fish the next day (with very careful feeding) so don't worry too much on that score. Has anything happened to the tank that makes you think they might have died, apart from the test kit results?
 

Superman

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Re: Superman's First Planted Tank

Ed Seeley said:
Clark,
What's your current stocking on this tank? It's a Vision tank isn't it? The 180? Give us all the details again and let's work through this step by step. I would simply keep going with water changes, don't panic and don't change anything rapidly until we're sure there's a problem, other than with a dodgy test kit.

Are your fish dying because, as Clive said, if you had 1ppm Ammonia they'd probably be keeling over?

Let's look at this logically. If you're not losing fish; your algae was dying off, the plants were growing and everything seemed fine right? Now on the basis of some test results you seem to be panicking slightly. Are the fish or plants showing signs of trouble or is it just the test kit results you're worrying about?

It's actually pretty hard to kill of filter bacteria. I've had sponge filters that I've kept totally dry and, when they were reimmersed, the filter cycled and I added fish the next day (with very careful feeding) so don't worry too much on that score. Has anything happened to the tank that makes you think they might have died, apart from the test kit results?

Ok....

It's a Vision 180. 9 Harlequins and a lonely cherry shrimp.
Dosing 5ml each of TPN+ and EasyCarbo (easy Carbo added after an algae outbreak).
I tested the water due to losing 9 cherry shrimp and found the ammonia.
Fish are doing well.
Plants showing no signs of deficiency, I did have a tidy up the other night and removed any badly looking leaves, took out the smaller rocks to scrub off the algae.
I have not touched the filter.
Other than the test readings I have no other indication of problems at the minute. Still small bits of the old algae that is now white, which I couldn't remove.. No new algae although there is a "dusty film" on the water's surface that I try and keep removing but it comes back.
 

Ed Seeley

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Re: Superman's First Planted Tank

Ok Clark,
I'd suggest keeping going with the large regular water changes (up to 50% as often as you can, dosing afterwards) and then get a sample of water off to your LFS for testing asap. They should have in date kits to test the water and make sure whether your positives are false positives or not. You could also put a bag of Seachem's Purigen in your filter as this will remove ammonia and other pollutants without removing trace elements. IME shrimp are tricky little things at times and easy to kill. The fact one is still alive with the readings your getting suggests to me that things aren't that bad and something strange is going on. Don't worry mate, you'll sort this out.
 

Superman

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Re: Superman's First Planted Tank

Everythings going ok I think.

I added some more plants to what I already had as I spotted them in Pets at Home and 3 for £9 seemed like a bargain. They were Tropica and in very good condition - I was amazed tbh as my previous impression of Pets at Home and plants wasn't good. I did give them a good clean before planting and found (what I assume was) some snail eggs.

So added some more...
Lilaoepsis Brasiliensis - more of what I've got but in better condition?!
Crypt. Wendtii "brown"
Crypt. Undulata "broad leaves"

I am however, annoyed that with all the water changes that there still seems to be some white dusty stuff floating in the water. The flow seems pretty stong look at it but it doesn't seem that my filter is pulling it through the sponges at that well. So on the next water change I am planning to squeeze a sponge to see if there's a bloackage in there.
Due to the Juwel internal filter's workings it can still throughput from where the heater water is - I believe anyway!

There's still bits of old algae which isn't getting worse it's just not getting picked up. I keep wafting the leaves etc when doing a water change but nothing's getting cleaned. I'm wondering if I should get my external now or wait for 3 weeks tomorow when I move?

In addition, some Pogostemon Helferi which was planted a few weeks ago in the foreground, does seem to be going see through on their leaves which is a bit worrying. What does that indicate?
 

LondonDragon

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Re: Superman's First Planted Tank

My juwel filter clogs up pretty fast, I notice when I clean the sponges the flow is ok, but during the week it reduces gradually. I don't think they are that great, reason I purchased an external also. Don't think they are really designed with planted tanks in mind as there is always a lot more waste in the tank with plants, decomposing leaves etc...
I don't bother with the carbon sponges and I brough some cheap fine white sponge from ebay, the Juwel ones are a rip off.
When you do a water change what you can do is replace the fine white sponge and clean two of the four other large sponges, then the week after clean the other two, etc... that what I did to maintain a good flow prior to getting an external.
Make sure also that your water line is not above the inflow of the internal filter, if you cover those little threads where the water goes in at the top of the filter it won't pick anything from the surface of the water.
 

Superman

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Re: Superman's First Planted Tank

During my water change the other day, I cleaned half of my sponges in old tank water. Soon as I did that the pull into the filter increased considerably. When I get round to my next water change, I'll squeeze the other two sponges.

I still have a problem with bits floating on the surface of the water, it's not getting pulled into the filter at all. I've tried to use a net to catch the big pieces but most of it is fine stuff. There's nothing blocking the filter inlet as the water line is low enough for it to go through the grills if required.

I've increased my dosing to 7.5mls per day of TPN+, which seems to have a positive effect on the P. Helferi - that is, no new leaves are 'melting'.

I have had an increase of algae again, possibly down to fluctuating CO2 levels. It's the green/brown algae that sticks to the glass and the same old fuzzy stuff I had before. Plus theres started to get a green colour to some of my rocks. I'm still adding 5mls of EasyCarbo each day.

I've redone my drop checker at the last water change and increased my CO2 injection and this morning the first green/blue colour was observed. I will see what it's like tonight when I get home.

Other than that everything seems to be going ok, apart from the fact that the last shrimp died the other day.
 

LondonDragon

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Re: Superman's First Planted Tank

Could be a circulation issue, I had that in my tank even with the internal and external filter going.
Problem only went away when I started dosing Easycarbo and placed a powerhead inside the tank to help circulation.
Juwel insternal are very bad for circulation and create too many deadspots.
 
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