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Old 10-03-2008, 12:38 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Very VERY V E R Y frustrated

So let's see if I get this straight:

Lighting: Probably 1.5 to 2 watts per gallon
Substrate: Regular aquarium gravel
Ferts: None, (except fish) and some root tabs
Carbon source: None No CO2 or Excel
Water : Slightly soft, what does that mean exactly? What is the dkH and dGH

How many and what kind of inhabitants do you have?
Why are you adding the aquarium salt?

I think that the eaten up issues has more to do with the plants not having what they need than them being chewed on by your fish. When people talk about increasing phosphates they are talking about water column fertilization. This means adding ferts to the water since most aquarium plants get their needs through the leaves. Sword plants are "root feeders"
and can take advantage of root tabs but most of the others that you have would likely prefer ferts in the water column.

You should also find out about the quality and exact wattage of your lights. You should be running lights that are in the 5000 to 10000K color temperature range.
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Old 10-03-2008, 01:53 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Very VERY V E R Y frustrated

Plants + aquarium salt = dead plants.
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Old 10-03-2008, 03:46 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Very VERY V E R Y frustrated

Quote:
Originally Posted by BryceM View Post
Aaron beat me to the punch. The difference you'll see in your tank with the addition of CO2 will be nothing short of amazing.

When my CO2 levels are good, my tank is lush, beautiful, and algae free. When CO2 goes bad, even for a few days, the tank becomes full of algae and the plants start to look sick in no time.

This and a couple of other posts are making me think it's time for a "CO2 for beginners" type article here.
growth is about 30 times faster with co2 rather than without. the orgaic such as excel is about 5 times faster than without either way it makes a huge difference
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Old 10-03-2008, 03:57 PM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Very VERY V E R Y frustrated

Did you say you have snails in the tank? Some will devour your plants. If you want the snails to stay try feeding them algae tabs and maybe they will lay off the plants. I was going to have snails in my tank, but, decided I wanted plants and so decided against them. Hope you work it out.
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Old 10-03-2008, 06:06 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Very VERY V E R Y frustrated

the amount of algae you have in your tank directly correlates to how many snails you have in your tank. basically if you cut off their food supplies you limit their population. While it is very hard for even the most experienced aquarists to have a tank that is 100% algae free most of us that have been around for awhile can get somewhat close. however my point is limit your algae growth= limit your snail population. how do you do this? ample light (not too much), sufficient co2 (30 ppm ideal), frequent fertilization and regular water changes all contribute to promoting plat growth which will in turn keep algae away by out competing it for resources. people have to learn that algae is an opportunistic grower it doesn't need fertilizers and co2 to grow like plant matter does so the second you start to lack one of these factors your plants stop growing and your algae starts.
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Old 10-04-2008, 05:38 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Very VERY V E R Y frustrated

I been into planted tanks for a about a year now and here is a brief summary of my experience. Plants and fish require different things. Plants love C02 and Fish do not. Fish love Oxygen and plants do not. Fish usually love algea and plants do not. So, in order to have both healthy you must have a balance.
I only use excel at this time and both are doing well. It helps control algea a bit and plants love it. A twenty gallon tank should not be to expensive until you get things under control then you can go to diy or pressurized if you see the need. Feed the water column with a line of liguid ferts (seachem, etc.) for awhile and see if it helps. I'd recommend using Flourish, nitrogen, potassium, Iron and maybe just a minimal dose of phosphates. You should not need the Trace. Get a few ottos, a couple bristlenosed cats (small) and about 3 corys to help with the algea and keeping the gravel cleaner. Some plants will inhibit the growth of algea also, such as hornwort and other fast growing plants. Keep up the tabs on the Sword and do partial water changes. Would like to know what fish you do have and your light watts and bulb type. You'll get it right just stick with it.

Last edited by The old man; 10-04-2008 at 05:39 AM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 10-04-2008, 06:19 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Very VERY V E R Y frustrated

Except for the Rainbow shark (which I thought would eat algae - and he seems to - he's all over everything with his little barbels) my current tank is a tetra tank - 3 black skirts, 4 silver tips,3 glowlights and 3 black neons.

Maybe the two fluorescent bulbs I have are low cuz they've been there a while. One of the fluorescents is marked 17 watts; the Flora-life one isn't marked in that way.

And I thought you had to add some aquarium salt for the benefit of your fish - a sort of tonic. It's only half a teaspoon per gallon. Is that too much?

I'd like the long spiral snails to stay but not the >other<, bad kind. Is there a way to get rid of the usual plant-eating snail but keep the Moroccan ones? Snail-picking party!

I'd like to thank all you guys for being so helpful and patient. It's really refreshing to get replies that are helpful and not all 'How could you NOT know that? You rotten excuse for a yuman bean!" Some of the aquarium forums are entirely too caught up in their own knowledge and aren't much help to a newbie. So thanks, guys for your help and your courtesy.
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Old 10-04-2008, 06:40 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Very VERY V E R Y frustrated

No salt. Change 50% of your water and don't add salt. In about 3 days do it again. Plants don't like salt. Your fish don't need it. You can see all the threads on this forum about people raising and breeding fish. Their tanks are very heathly - without salt. People use quarantine tanks for treating sick fish.

Snails - we love em, we hate em. The cone shaped ones (MTS) have a harder shell than the ponds shaped ones. You could get fish that eat snails like clown loaches, yoyo loaches, botia loaches. They usually can't get all the MTS but will clear out the others.

Sounds like you need new light bulbs and also more light.



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Old 10-04-2008, 07:06 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Very VERY V E R Y frustrated

I just did a 20% water change yesterday, I thought if you changed water too often there would be some kind of terrible spike. My original LFS guy (now out of biz) told me to do water changes once a month. ZI've worked it out to once every two or three weeks with vigorous vacuuming between. When I was doing the max water changes once a week I couldn't get the tank to cycle right and ended up killing fish. This LFS guy said a 10% water change would be best - but the forums want more. Is the salt what may have killed all the pretty Myrios, cuz they really DID look eaten right off the stalk.

Last edited by oddsoxdi; 10-04-2008 at 07:40 AM..
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Old 10-04-2008, 07:16 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: Very VERY V E R Y frustrated

This is one side of my tank, showing the blackening of the java fern on the wood, and all the algae on my plants and sword.Also shows the losing of foliage along the stems of the Ammania leaving a tree-top look.

Last edited by oddsoxdi; 10-04-2008 at 08:08 AM.. Reason: re-trying to get pic in thread
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