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Old 02-25-2006, 12:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Trying to get my Foothold in planted aquariums

first off,

hello all, brand spankin new here. hope to pick all of your brains

so here are my water specs that i just took a day after having done my first dose of flourish comprehensive and phosphate supplement:

Temp = 80F
pH = 7.6
Ammonia = 0
Nitrite = 0.1
Nitrate = 15 mg/L
Phosphate = 0.5-1 mg/L
KH = 90mg/L = excellent buffer capcity (according to booklet)
GH = 180 = moderately hard water

have a CO2 fermentation device functioning
have 1 20 watt fluorescent FLORA-GLO bulb sitting on the top of the 10 gallon tank
light and it runs from about 10 hours

have a silica sand substrate

plants
1.) larger amazon sword with about 8 smaller runners that i just planted
2.) 1 water sprite which i have also just made into two to help generate more plant mass

fish
2.. 2 inch clown loaches
1.. 3 inch pleco
3.. female guppies
2.. male guppies
14.. brand new born guppies (very small)
1.. ottocinclus
1.. zebrafish

recently i had cleaned the whole thing out, bought the two big plants that are in there now, and removed all traces of algae.

and now, it seems to have returned on the smaller plants







i've noticed that about one leaf in each plant has a very funny looking leaf. You can see them in the pictures. it's much browner, and seems to have some weird lines running across. looks like the leaves have veins now and have lost their deeper green. It kinda looks like it is starting to move to the big sword a little too.. is that algae?

it also seems as the algae is starting to come back onto the leaves. there are small traces of it on my water sprite now too.

and in general.. all the plants seem to be a bit yellower than when i first got them.

Is there not enough light? is it just because i haven't gotten into the flourish comprehensive "groove" yet. i have only dosed once.

ALSO, i have noticed that whenever i do water changes, i find that the plants almost immediately began to produce little oxygen bubbles and had some nice streams running up to the surface...(no this wasn't just from the water turbulence... there were lots of bubbles coming up) this bubbling usually only lasts for the day of the water change and isn't there the day after (25% water changes).
i have a small 1 meg video of the bubbling if you wanna see it.
here

here's a pic of my tank:


so what can i do about this algae and does anyone see anything wrong with the setup i have so far? cause the plants aren't doing that great and i'm not sure what else to change.

i read that big beginners guide:
http://www.aquatic-plants.org/articl...nutrients.html

and it sounded like i might be missing some of the macronutrients? i don't know if flourish comprehensive has Potassium or Phosphorus which are apparently used in larger amounts


thnx for your help everyone,
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Old 02-25-2006, 01:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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I'm fairly new at this too, so I can't really help but I my plants also 'pearl' the day I do a water change. I really don't think it is the plants producing oxygen, because there are bubbles on the glass and the rocks too, it is most likely because there is trapped air in the new water. If you set up a bucket of water and let it sit overnight before you put it in your tank, you probably wouldn't see the plants 'pearling' because all the air has been released.

This is my guess from my experience so if I am wrong, those more knowledgeable feel free to correct me (nicely please! ).

Edit: Oh yeah and Welcome to APC!

Last edited by BrianK; 02-25-2006 at 01:36 PM..
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Old 02-25-2006, 04:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I do not believe the crown should be buried for the sword plants.
http://www.freshwateraquariumplants....um_plants.html

It has been my experience that sword plants appreciate a nutrient rich substrate. Probably not a requirement with C02 and dosing which I have not used for sword plants.

They will completely fill a 10 gallon when they begin growing.
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Old 02-25-2006, 04:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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20 watts over a ten gal is low-med light... I would imagine this is your problem. Any idea what those smaller plants are called?

Could also be a potassium def.

Also, ( as you may know) those clown loaches and that pleco (unless it's one of the small var) will be too large for a ten gallon soon. Plecos get to 18" and clowns can get to 20"+
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Old 02-25-2006, 06:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wiste
I do not believe the crown should be buried for the sword plants.
http://www.freshwateraquariumplants....um_plants.html

It has been my experience that sword plants appreciate a nutrient rich substrate. Probably not a requirement with C02 and dosing which I have not used for sword plants.

They will completely fill a 10 gallon when they begin growing.
I didn't even notice that! From what I have been told, burying the rhizome or crown can actually kill the plant.
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Old 02-25-2006, 09:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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thnx for the fast replies!

BrianK, i'll definitely try that with the water next time i do a water change. you have the mind of a scientist... i like that

wiste, i did NOT know that.. gonna fix that right now! i was thinking actually about trying a new substrate as i find when i'm pouring in new water for water changes that sometimes the sand can get displaced by the flow... are there good substrates that you recommend that retain the sand-like appearance but are more solid and act as a good nutrient source? do nutrient rich substrates need to get replaced due to being depeleted?

Blazerfrs, yah i was totally wanting to get more light over it however i'm a poor university student and more lighting is near robbery. I already cheaped out by using the light from my 29gallon tank to put on the 10 gallon. with regards to the smaller plants, most of them are just small runner plants that came with it and i planted upon placement in the tank.
I am aware about the fish that have 'Big' potential. they will head to the 29 gallon when they're bigger. but thnx for the head up anyways.

i was at the LFS today and grabbed a new plant which i think is a hornwart. i heard more plant mass is better for algae control. as well as one more little otto. I loved my first one so much i figured one more wouldn't hurt. they do great things for cleaning up surface algae.

will get some pics up tomorrow,
thnx,
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Old 02-26-2006, 05:09 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Welcome!

A few comments. The algae on the leaf in your second photo looks like BBA. The 'funny-looking' leaf with the reddish-brown bars look like a new leaf to me. They take a while to color up. Your light is definately on the low side for this tank. Adding more light will probably be a good thing if you intend on keeping higher-light plants, but this will be a two-edged sword. If you already have algae at this light level you will need to get CO2 and ferts better controlled before seeing the benefits. 30-40 watts of quality fluorescents over a 10 gal is probably moderate lighting that would be a good compromise. Sticking with 20 watts is perfectly fine if you intend on limitting your plant species. I think the swords will like a bit more though.

After WC's bubbles can form on all aquarium surfaces. That said, plants often do actually pearl after a WC, especially if the new water is high in CO2. How old is your aquarium? Your nitrites should really be zero in a planted tank.

80F is too high for most plants. You don't have any fish that require this high temp. 74-76 is better.

Read through the PPS and EI fert strategies here. Keep in mind that your plant mass isn't all that high and your plant's needs will be fairly low at these light levels.
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Old 02-26-2006, 04:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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so here are some updates on the tank's wellbeing:
1.) added my second ottocinclus. man those things go to work! i love it.
2.) added my second plant: (putative hornwart?)


3.) i uncovered the crowns of my sword only to find small little yellow leaves that didn't make it above the sand. YOU WERE RIGHT! so i have fixed that up as well as a little landscaping by removing the pot and moving the log for more planting room




guaiac_boy,

i do believe also that that is BBA on my leaves. Was thinkign about trying Flourish Excel on it. you ever use that stuff? do i dose in combination with flourish comprehensive or just one or the other?

with regards to the reddish-brown leaves. i'm not sure if they are new leaves though.. cause they started off green then became like that... maybe due to a nutrient deficiency of which i'm not sure of or light deficiency. Do you know any good places to get cheap lighting? i'm on a bit of a low budget so the cheaper the better.

my aquarium is about 1 yr old but the plants have only been in there for about 2 weeks or so. the nitrites were still quite low though.. 0.1.

i also set my temp down like you said to 75degrees F.

hope it works

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Old 02-26-2006, 05:02 PM   #9 (permalink)
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For cheap light try this:

https://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...ad.php?t=13727

There are lots of other options too. AH Supply makes some wonderful DIY kits.

Your nitrite should be zero if the plants are doing well at all. If you're detecting some I'm suspecting they aren't growing that well. I'm interested to see if others agree with me on this.

I have used excel. From personal experience and the posts of many other people (do a search about this) I'd say it definately helps in the fight against algae. If you're carbon deficient it will definately help the plants too. When it comes down to it though I'd say consistently high CO2 levels is the most important thing.
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Old 02-26-2006, 09:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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hey Guaciac Boy, you mentioned in your previous post:
PPS and EI fert strategies

what and where are these?

thanks!
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