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Thread: Having problems

  1. Default Having problems


    0 Not allowed!
    I'm sure you guys get this a lot,. but I am having some issues with my planted tank.

    First off,

    55 gallons
    130 watts of compact flourescent
    weekly water changes of 40%
    Java ferns anubias and wisteria
    flourite gravel
    lights are on for 8 hours a day on a timer


    I am getting a ton of algae on the glass and plants. The java ferns have holes in them and are not doing well. In fact, none of the plants in my tank are doing well which is weird because they did so well for a long time(almost a year). I recently just cut down on feeding from once a day to once every other day. I was dosing flourish excel, but I am changing to flourish I think. Was doing that once a week. I just can't figure out what the problems are. Can anyone help?
    55g- blood parrots, hatchetfish, SAE, bristlenose plecos
    75G-oscar

  2. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    You have way too much light for the plants you have. How you deal with it is entirely up to you.

    Get a different bulb that doesn't give off as much light ( presently you're in the over 2 WPG gallon range using the old method, so you're really closer to 3 WPG) or add some fast growing stem plants.

    As for feeding, again, with the plants you have, they shouldn't need to be fed every or even every other day. Except for the Wisteria, Anubias and Java Fern are slow growers. They should sprout a new leaf once a week and that's it. People that use C02 will agrue this, but a leaf a week is considered a normal growth rate for these 2 plants.

    Is is possible to get a pic of the plants with the holes in the leaves? It's hard to say what is going on without a pic.
    Meddle not in the affairs of dragons for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

  3. #3

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Zilla
    ( presently you're in the over 2 WPG gallon range using the old method, so you're really closer to 3 WPG)
    Could you expand on this, Zilla? What's the "old method", and the current method?
    300 gallon mega tank: build in progress
    75 gallon community tank: tetras, danios, corys, platies, otos, pearl gouramis, bristlenose pleco, assassin snails, red cherry shrimp, bamboo shrimp
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  4. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Brhino
    Could you expand on this, Zilla? What's the "old method", and the current method?
    The old method of figuring out watts per gallon was taking the watts of a bulb and dividing into the the tank size. So in this case, it would be 130 ( the bulb is 130 watts ) divided by 55 ( 55 gallon tank) = 2.26 WPG

    There isn't technically a new method to figure out watts per gallon as lighting is much different than it used to be. A compact flourescent is much different from a Metal Halide bulb. So, until somebody steps up to the plate and actually figures out formulas for each type of bulb, one should consider the intensity of whatever bulbs that are using. If they are using a T-5 bulb, they should add .5 to the wattage of their bulb to compensate for the intensity level. I have no idea what the formula would be for things like Metal Halide bulbs. I keep asking about such things and never actually get a answer.

    Instead of turning lighting into a whole big issue due to all the bulbs that are out now, I make things easier by going by what is planted in a tank. Low light plants do not require high intensity light and even plants that are considered high light or light demanding don't always need high intensity bulbs. If a light source is closer to the plants, there is no need to spend a small fortune on high priced bulbs as they will get the light intensity that they need.

    In the case where plants are getting too much light, by adjusting the light by either physically changing the bulbs, or raising the light fixture ( yet a third option for this thread) it decreases the light intensity.

    This is about a clear as mud when jotted down in text, but it makes perfect sense in my head. LOL
    Meddle not in the affairs of dragons for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

  5. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Sharkman
    I'm sure you guys get this a lot,. but I am having some issues with my planted tank.

    First off,

    55 gallons
    130 watts of compact flourescent
    weekly water changes of 40%
    Java ferns anubias and wisteria
    flourite gravel
    lights are on for 8 hours a day on a timer


    I am getting a ton of algae on the glass and plants. The java ferns have holes in them and are not doing well. In fact, none of the plants in my tank are doing well which is weird because they did so well for a long time(almost a year). I recently just cut down on feeding from once a day to once every other day. I was dosing flourish excel, but I am changing to flourish I think. Was doing that once a week. I just can't figure out what the problems are. Can anyone help?
    Ok, well the lighting here may be a problem, buttt you also said it was working for almost a year, so I think something else may be at play that sparked this. The lighting still may be an issue to look into, though. One good way of getting rid of algae is to split up your light cycle. What you could do is set your timer to go on for say 4 hours, then off for 2 or 3, then back on for another 4 (assuming you still want 8 hours of light, there's nothing wrong with going up to 12 or even 14 in some cases). Algae has problems growing when the light isn't on continuously throughout the day, but plants, on the other hand, can pretty much immediately start photosynthesizing as soon the light comes back on.

    Another thing to look into would be your dosing regimens. Like stated above, you really don't need to dose excel every day. I do mine 3x a week and that's plenty. I also wouldn't replace flourish excel with flourish because they do two entirely different things for the plants; if anything, you would want to start using both. Flourish excel puts a form of carbon that plants can use into the water column while flourish is a general micro/macro nutrient fertilizer. I'm currently dosing flourish 1x a week right after my weekly water changes to seemingly good effects. Eventually, you should be able to find a balance of how much flourish and excel you should be dosing, but every day is certainly not necessary. Dosing too much excel can throw off water parameters as well which may be a possible cause.

    If you could get some pictures up of the plants, we could probably give some more advice as to what may be going wrong and better diagnose where your deficiencies are coming from.

  6. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Thanks for the responses.

    What are some examples of quickly growing stem plants?


    My anubias grow a new leaf probaly every few days, but are just constantly covered in green algae. I cut my doses of excel down to 2-3 times a week along with 1 dose of flourish weekly. The wisteria died and there is no longer any of it in the tank...

    No camera, but I will see if I can pick a leaf off and take a picture on my phone for you.
    55g- blood parrots, hatchetfish, SAE, bristlenose plecos
    75G-oscar

  7. #7

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I disagree with the amount of time the lights are on thing.

    But if you are near Philly, you may need to add things to your water. I was having a hard time with algae since moving to Philly without any noticeable cause. I started adding various Seachem things to my water during WCs (Excel, Phosphorus, Iron, Potassium) and my algae has massively reduced. Only time I get some now is if I go a while without a water change, and I imagine its because those chemicals have dropped off.

    I recommend getting some of those liquid ferts and seeing if it made a diff - did for me
    30g - Planted - need to do some serious rethinking
    20g - planning
    MS-II

  8. #8

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    My problem was with phosphates right from the tap. You may want a phosphate tester to see where your's are at. I seldom fertilize at all now other than a bit of iron now and then and it's the first time my ferns have looked decent. I only used the Excel when I had a BBA outbreak and have since put that way, too. I am probably due to add a fert but with no algae now, had to even mess with it.

  9. #9

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    You said a while ago they grew great, but now not so much?

    Have you replaced the bulb(s)? When they get old the color changes over time I think. Dont quote me but I think its 6-8 months

  10. #10

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I disagree with the 130watts of PC being to much light, I grew very simillar plants in a 55G and felt the lighting was marginal. IMO your 2 biggest factors are a lack of fast growers and nutrient hungry plants and perhaps a nutrient deficiency. Essentially the algae in your tank is simply out competing the plants, algae thrives when plants wont. If your plants were getting more of their needs met with nutrients they would grow faster, but the plants you have are notoriously slow growing you need some quick growers to help with the outcompeting factor. Rotala rotundifolia is an excellent choice for a low/mid light tank such as yours, adding in some nutrient hogs like crypts and and a sword plant would also help. Cabomba is another good option, as are various species of Hygro.

    I definatly agree with the ferts, the holes in the leaves is a tell tale sign of deficiency. I would dose N,P,K and some Flourish to fill in any gaps. Excel isnt necessary, infact it will melt alot of plants out there. Once you get balance between ferts, lighting and plants your algae will be minimal to nonexistant.

    PC bulbs do infact need replaced every 6-8months, their lumens start to break down after this point. You can get some cheap(but great quality) bulbs from catalinaaquarium.com. I just picked up 4 65watt PCs for $45+shipping and since they didnt have the spectrum I wanted in stock of one of the bulbs they shipped a freebie. Another option which you may find benefitial to really kick algae in the butt is a split photoperiod, it does not harm the plants but the algae just fails with it. Do 4-5hrs on, 4hrs off, 4-5hrs on...a cheapo timer is your best friend for this
    20G High-Tech Planted|50G High-Tech Planted|50G Goldfish Tank|56G Column Low-Tech Planted

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