• You are viewing the forum as a Guest, please login (you can use your Facebook, Twitter, Google or Microsoft account to login) or register using this link: Log in or Sign Up
  • You can now follow UKAPS on Instagram.

Thinking of giving up Again!!!

marwil

New Member
Joined
13 Aug 2008
Messages
23
Hi guys,
Hopefully you won't mind me having a moan and you may be able to help me. I have become really disheartened with the planted tank game for a second time. A while back I had a dennerle system which was great for a while but ended up with probably every algae imagineable and gave up. After chancing on this site which is marvellous andI think you guys are great I thought I would have another go and decided to follow ed seeleys tutorial on Ei index. My tank is 69 gallon eco complete substrate fe co2 with rhinox diffuser with a koralia 1 and filtration is 2 eheim 2329 wet and dry filters which I know goes against the grain but understood I'd just have to up co2 to compensate temp is 28c I have some hair algae issues mainly on my juwel rock backgroung and redmoor wood plants are not affected by it, and mulm in the tank is a real problem the stem plants are constantly covered the only way to rid it is to uproot them and clean them in a bucket I use an Eheim sludge extractor but just can,t seem to keep on top of it the tank just looks crap. What I would like to know is as this is a higher temp tank for discus do I need to up the ferts excel etc and maybe upgrade the koralia. I am supposed to be getting my discus on the 25th of this month but am thinking of putting it off and giving up again and suffer the wrath of my wife for all the money I've spent :twisted: :p . Any help would be extremely gratefully recieved and save me getting horse whipped from my wife ;)
Whinge over
Cheers
Mark.
 

Superman

Member
Joined
29 Jan 2008
Messages
1,802
Location
Cheltenham
Hi Mark,

I hope you don't give up, it's just getting the right balance and then you'll be onto a winner.

Higher temps will mean that gases such as co2 and o2 will be driven off quicker.

My stems get mulm around the substrate and I leave it to be honest but when I does get too much I get the vac to siphon it out. Obviously, increased filtration will help to remove any muck.
 

nry

Member
Joined
23 Oct 2007
Messages
1,225
Location
Cumbria, UK
How are you monitoring CO2 levels? If fertilisation is sufficient, the CO2 levels need to be high enough and stable for the plants to benefit fully.

Has the tank got any fish in? If so what type?

Did the tank cycle fully before adding fish if you do have them?

What's your lighting levels/type and fertilisation routine? Cleaning regime?
 

marwil

New Member
Thread starter
Joined
13 Aug 2008
Messages
23
hi Lighting is 3 x 54w t5s on for 7 hours co2 monitered by drop checker with 4dkh 50% water change weekly with mulm removal in between and ei fertilization.Tank was cycled before fish at the moment there is cardinal tetras and otocinclus.
Cheers
Mark
 

ceg4048

Expert/Global Moderator
UKAPS Team
Joined
11 Jul 2007
Messages
9,224
Location
Chicago, USA
Hi,
I would strongly advise against adding discus until you have sorted out the plants. There are no adjustments necessary due to a 28 degree tank.

You can help yourself most by disabling one or more of the light bulbs.

You should also do at least 2X per week 50% or more water changes.

The mulm you mention is most likely diatom algae, which is driven by your lighting. Killing some or most of the light will reduce the occurrence of this.

You should stop uprooting plants. Each time you uproot a plant you are destroying the interface between root and substrate. This takes time to re-establish when you put them back in the substrate and the plants suffer even more. Continue to use a water siphon to pull the algae away from the plant. You can even use your hands and a soft cloth to wipe them clean but try to avoid uprooting.

I would also avoid using the sludge extractor. This device merely pulls ammonia laden substrate up and discharges it back into the water column. Whoever invented this device should be severely flogged.

Cheers,
 

Ed Seeley

Member
Joined
3 Jul 2007
Messages
3,258
Location
Nottingham
Don't give up mate.

You're much better to syphon any mulm out during your water changes rather than use those powered 'cleaners'. Most of the time the detritus simply goes through the machine and back into the tank! As Clive said, up the water changes for a while and you should get rid of the mulm and remove as much algae as possible each time too.

I think you also need to check out your CO2. How are you measuring the CO2 level in the tank? Do you have a drop checker with 4dKH indicator? When this is green you will have 30ppm CO2 in the water.

BTW it's Clive's (ceg's) tutorial on EI not mine! ;)
 

GreenNeedle

Member
Joined
19 Jul 2007
Messages
2,727
Location
Lincoln UK
Ceg has already said everything I would've.

The only thing that caught my attention was the following question:

Did the tank cycle fully before adding fish if you do have them?

I'm not sure how this affects the situation. Many of us in planted do not cycle tanks with no problems.

AC
 

LondonDragon

Administrator
UKAPS Team
Joined
21 Feb 2008
Messages
11,290
Location
London
Its just too easy to just give up, find out what you were doing wrong and correct it, growing healthy plants is not that difficult, you just have to find the right balance between CO2 and lighting and dose accordingly together with the right filtration/flow around the tank and thats most of your problems sorted.

I was running 144w of light in my 125 liter tank for a test and got algae breaks and plant dificiencies, as soon I reduced it to 96w most of the problems I was having went away, too much light and not enough CO2 is the major cause of most problems in the planted tank scene.

Just ensure you have nice flow around the tank, make sure you dosing correctly for your tank size and preferably daily dosage, then ensure your drop checker is lime green during lights on, and then concentrate on the light levels, start low and then increase it if necessary ;)
 

marwil

New Member
Thread starter
Joined
13 Aug 2008
Messages
23
Hi Guys
Thanks again for the replys
Ed Seeley said:
BTW it's Clive's (ceg's) tutorial on EI not mine! ;)
Apologies to clive what I meant to say was I was following Ed's tutorial on the higher tech tank :oops:

ceg4048 said:
I would also avoid using the sludge extractor. This device merely pulls ammonia laden substrate up and discharges it back into the water column. Whoever invented this device should be severely flogged.
Another £40 quid wasted then :twisted:

I'll try and figure out how to post pictures and hopefully you good fellas could give me some feedback tips as apart from these teething problems I'm generally not happy with it so any inspiration would be most welcome
Cheers
Mark
 

marwil

New Member
Thread starter
Joined
13 Aug 2008
Messages
23
Hi Guys an update on my tank/disaster any help would be very gratefully recieved as I'm at my wits end with it, its just going from bad to worse I ended up getting my discus as the week previously tank had been fine. Stats are 69 gal tank with eco complete substrate ro water remineralized with dennerle ro stuff co2 injection by fe always in the green now koralia 1 for flow, dose by ei 30mls trace and 15mls kno3 kp04 and 10mls easicarbo daily 50% water change per week with roughly 40/50 ltrs daily when I syphon out uneaten discus food. Should I strip it down and start again or is there something else you guys can suggest. Regards Mark
004dju.jpg
001skg.jpg
 

marwil

New Member
Thread starter
Joined
13 Aug 2008
Messages
23
Hi The whole tank is the same there is an intake and outake at either end I did have spraybars but they flow was too powerful all the plants were bent double filtration is by two eheim 2329's.
cheers Mark.
 

Nick16

Member
Joined
13 Aug 2008
Messages
1,759
Location
Surrey, UK
you only do about a 50L change a week?

your tank must be around 250-300L. id be wanting to change 30% twice a week at a minimum. you need to be doing 25% every 2 days to help resolve your algae issues. (there is other things to address of course)
 

marwil

New Member
Thread starter
Joined
13 Aug 2008
Messages
23
Hi Nick I do a 50% water change a week and then every day I syphon out at least another 50 ltrs to remove uneaten food from my discus.
regards Mark
 

GreenNeedle

Member
Joined
19 Jul 2007
Messages
2,727
Location
Lincoln UK
Are you sure it is 30ml traces and 15ml NPK?

15mls NPK sounds OK for your size tank but I would expect the trace to be nearer to 5ml.

AC
 

amy4342

Member
Joined
22 May 2008
Messages
337
It's a shame, cos it's a stunner of a tank without the algae! I would try giving the spray bars another go, but maybe drilling extra holes inbetween the pre=drilled ones, or drilling the existing holes to make them bigger - it lessened the force of the outflow, or try blocking the inlet slightly so theres not as much force coming through the spray bars. I think that could help shift some of the algae and prevent more from forming.
 

ceg4048

Expert/Global Moderator
UKAPS Team
Joined
11 Jul 2007
Messages
9,224
Location
Chicago, USA
marwil said:
Iam following ed seeleys tutorial on the higher tech tank so according to my calculations 30mls is correct
Mark, you're missing the big picture. As I've said many times before, stripping down the tank won't get you anything but temporary relief because you will repeat the same mistakes and you'll get the same results as you're having now. One needs to understand the weaknesses of a particular tanks configuration and then learn how to overcome those weaknesses.

Let's go back to the beginning. Algal blooms typically are due to a combination of factors, the major ones being;
1) Too much light.
2) Poor nutrient levels.
3) Poor flow/distribution.
4) Poor CO2.

You need not look any further than these four items, and you must believe that if you have blooms then one or more of these factors are to blame. Failure is inevitable when we trick ourselves into thinking that all four of these factors have been optimized. The algae is telling you that they are not.

1) Too much light.
Have you reduced the lighting as suggested in previous posts? if so is it possible to reduce it further, at least in the short term?

2) Poor nutrient levels.
That first picture shows what looks like the beginnings of a BGA bloom in the upper right area of the image. BGA means that either the tank is running low on Nitrate or that the plants in that region are unable to uptake sufficient quantities of Nitrate. There is a possibility that you need to add more of your macro mix. Regardless of who's dosing formula you use, your tank is the ultimate indicator. Presumably your daily fert dosing occurs after the daily 50L replacement, correct? One needs to be flexible in one's thinking in that sometimes, more nutrients may need to be added in order to compensate for other weaknesses in technique. Typically the weakness comes in the form of...

3) Poor flow/distribution.
Not only do you need a high turnover rate, as discussed previously, but you also need to have good distribution so that all areas of the tank have continuous access to nutrients and so that waste products are carried away. Trimming these high growing stems will facilitate better flow distribution for example. You may also need to reposition your filter's return flow and supplementary powerheads to ensure that you don't get stagnation. It's not clear where these are positioned so it's difficult to visualize your flow patterns. Could you show a diagram or otherwise clarify?

4) Poor CO2.
Last, but certainly not least is the plants ability to uptake this most critical of all ingredients. Unfortunately, having discus now makes adjustment a very touchy issue. The gas should be turned on 1-2 hours before the lights come on. You may need to increase the injection rate. If the lighting is not excessive and if the flow/distribution is excellent then the injection rate increase can be minor which would reduce the stress on the fish..

Cheers,
 

Similar threads

Top