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Results 1 to 10 of 34
  1. #1

    Default My aquarium looks a mess


    0 Not allowed!
    So I have been running this tank since March now and still don't feel I've left the ranks for complete and utter beginner.

    I don't like the way it looks and I am not good at keeping clean, despite doing everything by the book!
    I am still on 50%/week WC and still occasionally get high nitrates (40-60). Other params are generally good. Quite hard water and high Ph (7.5).

    Algae and diatoms everywhere, covering all the plants :( Followed online instructions and even briefly resorted to chemical battle but it just won't shift. I even added a second filter just in case the stocking was iffy (one of my male guppies turned out to be a lady guppy so babies happened - they are still tiny, however, and will be going to new homes soon. This problem started well before they were born) -- so no running about 3.5x the necessary filtration on this tank but other than make the water move and suck away debris I don't know what it has changed. TOUCH WOOD I haven't actually lost a fish since the case of the missing neon back in April-ish, so I can't be doing everything wrong, but it just all looks so ugly!



    I would like new substrate, new plants, new scape ... and to say goodbye to the green algae. Help? (all this without killing fish or shrimp!)
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2

    Default


    2 Not allowed!
    Questions - how large of a tank is this? How long do you leave your lights on during the day?

    I usually associate diatoms with a newer tank.

    What are your most recent water parameters including nitrates?

    How often are you feeding your fish and how many are in there now?

    How often are you vacuuming the bottom to suck up any excess rotting food?

    Have you cleaned your media yet (meaning rinsing it in used tank water)?
    46 gal fw tank with black skirt tetras, neon tetras, spotted corys, green corys, 1 guppy, cherry barbs, otoclinus, snails & 4 amano shrimp - plastic & live plants
    5 gal QT with green corys & 2 guppies

  3. #3

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    ^^^ Excellent questions from imma24, as usual...the answers will help get to the bottom of your algae/diatom and trates issues


    This tank does not look that bad to me...I may cull back some of the plants if it were me, but it is not that bad!
    10 Gallon Beginner Tank... Journal

    40 Gallon Breeder: ... Journal

  4. #4

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Sorry I thought I'd put all that info in a signature a while back but obviously forgot to save it - sorry!


    how large of a tank is this? How long do you leave your lights on during the day?
    130L, lights on between 8-10 hours. There is inconsistency here as currently no automatic light - I wil buy a timer asap. So some days it's on longer and worst of all I work away from home lots and sometimes leave on, sometimes leave off. That isn't helping, huh?

    I usually associate diatoms with a newer tank.
    Ditto. I had the normal diatom bloom within about 6-8 weeks and then they went away again. The last few months, they seem to be here to stay, hence I'm worrying about the whole set up. I know I've gone wrong somewhere.

    What are your most recent water parameters including nitrates?
    Will re-test params tomorrow but on Sunday was 0 amm, 0 nitrite, 20 nitrate after 20% water change. I used to have very, very low nitrates all the time. I did post here in April about high nitrates but they settled again. Since early Sept everything is constantly fluctuating. I never picked up any ammonia or nitrite though so I didn't think mini cycle, esp with all the plants ...

    How often are you feeding your fish and how many are in there now?
    Every day. I try to vary veg, frozen and flakes and not overfeed. The fish get antsy when I don't feed.
    5 neon tetra
    6 black tetra
    5 adult guppy (very small, think they are endler hybrids), 3 half grown + a dozen babies who will be gone soon. Tetra didn't let too many of the babies survive!
    4 (maybe 5) kuhli loach
    15-20ish cherry shrimp

    How often are you vacuuming the bottom to suck up any excess rotting food?
    Every second water change, but to be honest I can't reach most of the gravel as there is so many plants. I did some vacuuming last week and uprooted the dwarf grass. It's total chaos - when I rescape I will leave space for this type of thing. I can't even find the floor of the tank half the time. I'm guessing therein lies the problem? But I have read many forums and pages that seem to say with dense planting gravel vacuum is not as important?

    Have you cleaned your media yet (meaning rinsing it in used tank water)?
    I do that fairly often, perhaps once a month, although not extensively. Stop filter, empty canister, dunk media and start again. I did change the filter pads once but that was many months ago as they were second hand to start with and I did them at rate of one per week and didn't see any changes in params. Too often, not often enough? Ugh ...

    THANKS FOR YOUR TIME! IT IS APPRECIATED!

  5. #5

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Slaphppy7 View Post
    ^^^ Excellent questions from imma24, as usual...the answers will help get to the bottom of your algae/diatom and trates issues


    This tank does not look that bad to me...I may cull back some of the plants if it were me, but it is not that bad!

    Thanks, answered posted. I admire all these clear, beautiful tanks in this forum and mine just looks like someone painted the decorations and plants with a touch of green fuzz. I'm not jealous, just disappointed in myself!

  6. #6

    Default


    1 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Soot View Post
    Thanks, answered posted. I admire all these clear, beautiful tanks in this forum and mine just looks like someone painted the decorations and plants with a touch of green fuzz. I'm not jealous, just disappointed in myself!
    You'll get it taken care of, imma24 is one of the many members here with vast knowledge and solutions to issues like yours...you'll get that tank cleaned up in no time, stay positive
    10 Gallon Beginner Tank... Journal

    40 Gallon Breeder: ... Journal

  7. #7

    Default


    1 Not allowed!
    Diatoms need silicates to grow, which is why they are more common in set-up with new substrate as that will release silicates into the water. Once the silicate are gone, so will your diatoms. I would guess that as you still have diatoms after a few months that you have silicates in your water supply. That is common in rural areas where I live and I have read that is also very common in the UK. Using Chemi-pure Elet in one of your filters will help to remove at least some of the silicates to reduce your diatoms.

    I would also suggest testing your tap water for nitrates, just in case you have higher nitrates in your water. That too can be very common in certain parts of the UK as well as North America. This may effect the amount of water you routinely change. Once we know that amount, I may be able to make some more suggestions on your water changes

    I would still be cleaning as much of your gravel as you can get to. I always did that in my heavy planted tanks to help make sure the nitrates would not get higher than I wanted.

    Are you using any plant fertilizer in your set-up ?
    If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
    "Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
    Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish Marine Aquarium Info [URL="http://saltwater.aquaticcommunity.com/"]

  8. #8

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff View Post
    Diatoms need silicates to grow, which is why they are more common in set-up with new substrate as that will release silicates into the water. Once the silicate are gone, so will your diatoms. I would guess that as you still have diatoms after a few months that you have silicates in your water supply. That is common in rural areas where I live and I have read that is also very common in the UK. Using Chemi-pure Elet in one of your filters will help to remove at least some of the silicates to reduce your diatoms.

    I would also suggest testing your tap water for nitrates, just in case you have higher nitrates in your water. That too can be very common in certain parts of the UK as well as North America. This may effect the amount of water you routinely change. Once we know that amount, I may be able to make some more suggestions on your water changes

    I would still be cleaning as much of your gravel as you can get to. I always did that in my heavy planted tanks to help make sure the nitrates would not get higher than I wanted.

    Are you using any plant fertilizer in your set-up ?

    Thanks for your help.
    Definitely no nitrates in my water supply, luckily. Tested this at the very beginning. Is there any way to test for silicates or no point? I am indeed in semi-rural area so this does seem likely - I can go to my LFS tomorrow and get some Chemi-pure Elet - just pop it in the filter? In any specific section?

    Not currently using fertiliser. I had some root tabs for a while but they kept floating up when I vacuumed so I got rid of them then. Then used a weekly liquid one, I think Flourish? I stopped using that I read somewhere it could be bad for my shrimps. The substrate is just normal gravel, so this is one reason I'd like to change everything. Could you recommend a liquid fert safe for all?

    And finally, I will do more gravel vacuum! The problem is the plants. There are so many that as soon as some water is out of the tank, they all flop and I can't see a thing. The mid and background of the tank is literally all planted up without any visible gravel. It's a big chaotic mess. Don't get me wrong, I like the wild look, but I need my wilderness a bit more under control

  9. #9

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    ... just in case it is of interest.

    Duckweed dies in this tank. It never grows and just dies. Snails are not very happy, either. Used to have lovely big apple snails but they stopped growing then died ages ago. Some pond snails that have come in on plants but they look pale. And yet, the shrimp seem happy and moult very well and breed well (even if the tetra eat most small shrimp).

  10. #10

    Default


    3 Not allowed!
    I am going to ask a few more questions, as I think there may be a balance problem, meaning between light and nutrients.

    What is the light? It looks rather blue in the photos. If this is fluorescent tube, what is the Kelvin and wattage? Name?

    The so-called diatoms...are they really diatoms, or brush algae (there is a brown/black type that is very small)? Does this brown easily come off plant leaves with your fingers, or not?

    Plant fertilizer may be necessary. Nutrients will occur in fish foods and with water changes, but these are not always sufficient, depending upon the plants (number and species), fish load and light. [Back to that balance again.] I would first use a comprehensive liquid, like Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement. This will not harm any invertebrates unless overdosed excessively. Root tabs are fine but unnecessary except for the very large plants like Amazon Swords (Echinopdorus bleherae and similar), Aponogeton and Tiger Lotus. The chain sword I see in the photos will thrive on liquid once a week, if the light is balanced.

    I never vacuum the substrate in my tanks, with one or two exceptions but those are not heavily planted like the others. I can't even see the sand substrate in one of my tanks for the pygmy chain and micro swords. You want organics in the substrate as this is your main source of CO2, a vital nutrient. Again, balance.

    Nitrates should be low, below 10ppm once everything is balanced. My tanks are fairly heavily stocked, and even with no substrate cleaning at all I never see nitrate above 0 to 5 ppm. This should resolve once we get the balance going.

    What is the GH of your tap water? This may be a factor.

    Byron.

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