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02-15-2014, 11:25 PM #1
MORE Plant Plus algae Problems >:(
I'm sorry all, I know I have posted before whining about my problems. But the old 30 gallon is at it again.
It all started when i got a smoking deal on a 4 bulb Nova light fixture for $40 in January. Brown algae growth is more rampant than before, and also a little black beard as well. But I feel like I can deal with that, as long as the plants are growing. However, the plants are not growing! I should phrase it like this, I guess: The plants aren't growing how I would like. Right now, I've only got 2/4 of the bulbs on to have less algae, and I've even decreased the time the lights were on from 8 hours to about 6 hours. That has helped a little, but again, the plants aren't growing as I'd like and algae is still on the loose.
I have a full stock of fish,
78 watts of t5 ho 6700k (2 bulbs at 39 watts ea.)
weekly water change
plants: anubias, wisteria, java moss, anacharis, cryptocoryne wendtii. I can move the anubias because I know it's a low light plant, and has not been doing well at all lately
fert schedule: dosing 1 ml of liquid fertilizer about once every 2 days. I used to put in liquid carbon by API, but stopped. I also put root tabs in every few months.
Symptoms: the cryptocoryne (my favorite plant) has been drooping, the java moss slowly losing a battle to algae, the anacharis shooting up on an inconsistent basis, and the wisteria not growing at all. I have theories, and I want to know what you guys think.
Is the light too strong? The fert schedule not being complete enough? Is it because I do not have enough plants to take up all the light+nutrients, or too little nutrients, which is stunting growth? I want to avoid getting pressurized CO2, and I've tried DIY but I couldn't get it very consistent, so the pH dropped a lot. Should I switch to plants that I know can handle high light (no wisteria and amazon sword perhaps) and get a lot of those, so they out compete the algae? Thanks for the help :)
02-16-2014, 12:51 PM #2
Any chance you could post some pics of your plants ?
Sometimes, if there is a imbalance or lack of the proper nutrients the plant needs, there can be some physical signs of this on the leaves.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/"]
02-16-2014, 02:30 PM #3
Your problem is very simple...you have WAY too much lighting on a tank which you are trying to run as a "low tech". No matter what plants you put in there they will suffer and algae will over take unless you change your methods. That fixture on a 30G tank is surely high lighting. You have 2 options at this point; raise the fixture or invest in CO2. Raising your fixture 12" off the rim of the tank would give you less light intensity into the tank, thus decrease your aquariums demand for CO2 and nutrients.
The biggest myth in the planted tank community is that excess nutrients cause algae...100% false. Low CO2 levels, nutrient deficiency, and excess lighting cause algae and poor plant growth. Poor plant growth also leads to algae.
What were you doing with DIY? The best and most stable setup with DIY is champagne yeast and using 2 bottles...this creates stability as you would change 1 bottle each week to have a near constant supply. CO2 will drop your pH, that is normal. Even with DIY CO2 I would still raise the fixture 6-8" off the tank rim.
Ferts...what are you dosing? Most commercial liquid ferts are mostly water and little nutrients.3x75 gallons|2x55 gallons|2x50 gallons|3x40 gallons|1x29 gallon|1x10 gallon
02-16-2014, 04:57 PM #4
The CO2 I have had in the past was only a one bottle yeast+water+sugar? and maybe a little baking soda (I can't remember, it was a long time ago) reaction led by airline tubing into my 10 gallon...very high-tech ;) I have never heard of a two bottle method, and it already makes more sense to me in terms of stability. Can you elaborate into it more, or perhaps post a link?
Before I jump to raising the fixture, maybe I should just run one bulb at a time instead of 2 and see how that goes for a bit? I'm not really sure how I could raise the fixture.
Also, I'll try and post some pictures later today.
thanks for the replies! keep them coming
02-16-2014, 05:10 PM #5
Very simple...make 2 2L bottles of yeast...connect their lines together with a T valve and have 1 line going into the aquarium. I use this method on my 20G...works very well. You will need to shake the old bottle when you replace a new one(alternating them once per week) to get CO2 going again. Very effective setup. Champagne yeast also burns out slower than bakers yeast thus it is more stable. Using baking soda keeps your mixture from becoming overly acidic too quickly....the acidic conditions kill yeast thus makes your mix burn out. Doing all of these things yield very stable results.
Im no sure you can run 1 bulb on that fixture...but a single T5 bulb would be optimal for that tank it would give you a nice medium light. You can raise the fixture by hanging it from your ceiling or building a hanging device. Many people have put a self over their tank and attached fixtures to it or used pipe to build something to hang the fixture from.
Without knowing specifically what amounts of nutrients are in that liquid it is hard to say how to accurately dose for your tank. I would honestly address your lighting and CO2 issues first and then see what happens with nutrients. Lighting and CO2 however are the two most critical things for the tank right now.3x75 gallons|2x55 gallons|2x50 gallons|3x40 gallons|1x29 gallon|1x10 gallon
02-16-2014, 05:27 PM #6
Awesome! I'll definitely give it a go, then.
As for the one bulb, I admittedly can run one bulb only because one of the bulbs that it runs with is burnt out
02-16-2014, 05:30 PM #7
Hey if it works keep going with it. I would consider replacing the 1 bulb you are using that works...T5s need to be replaced yearly. The preferred spectrum of lighting you need for optimal plant growth is 5000-10,000K. 10,000K is a touch blue and the lower you go the more yellow it becomes. I personally run 10Ks on all planted tanks without issues.3x75 gallons|2x55 gallons|2x50 gallons|3x40 gallons|1x29 gallon|1x10 gallon
02-16-2014, 05:51 PM #8
That's why my fish look jaundice with a 6500 k full spectrum t-8 tube. LOL...a 10000 k t-8 tube just came on over my head.
02-16-2014, 06:01 PM #9
Yep, lol. Many people believe 10Ks promote algae due to the slight increase in the blue spectrum however this is also false, it isn't a large enough difference in spectrum to create a disturbance. Plants grow the same in 10K as they do in 5K...as does algae if something catalysts it.3x75 gallons|2x55 gallons|2x50 gallons|3x40 gallons|1x29 gallon|1x10 gallon
02-16-2014, 06:11 PM #10
You are the aquarium NINJA Jenn.