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Discussion Starter · #61 ·
Plant community Plant Nature Leaf Natural environment

So been meaning to reread DW online post on the shrimp tanks but life has been one interuption after another and the tank has been getting away from me. I need to make some adjustments. The algea is not really improving. I think i need to go in and wipe down the walls and do another small water change to clean things up a bit.
I added in a small water hyacinth to try and help combat the extra nutrients until the plants start showing more solid growth.
Plant Light Purple Liquid Entertainment

This is some the algea im dealing with i think its green green string/hair algae. Very hard to get a pic of but i tried.
Ive also been going in and rubbing the algae off the leaves of the plant and off tge roots and leaves of the floating tiger.
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In rereading some of your posts, I'm theorizing that between the algae and the beneficial bacteria which marked your tank's "cycling" your plants are not getting enough ammonia/ammonium and having to rely on the nitrates in your tank as a secondary food source. Aquatic plants favor the uptake of ammonia but will settle for nitrates, if not enough of the former is available. But, it comes at a cost in the plant's uptake efficiency, resulting in slower growth.
Counterintuitively, the solution may be to add more plants and to consider putting Captain back in the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #63 · (Edited)
In rereading some of your posts, I'm theorizing that between the algae and the beneficial bacteria which marked your tank's "cycling" your plants are not getting enough ammonia/ammonium and having to rely on the nitrates in your tank as a secondary food source. Aquatic plants favor the uptake of ammonia but will settle for nitrates, if not enough of the former is available. But, it comes at a cost in the plant's uptake efficiency, resulting in slower growth.
Counterintuitively, the solution may be to add more plants and to consider putting Captain back in the tank.
Ill get captian back in the tank after i claen the walls and take the turkey baster to the excess plant matter floating around. All the tank levels have been stable so i had planned to move him and the snails back in on monday. I figured it was something along those lines of me still being in a inbetween stage. If i understood the section about soil correctly then the compost i used is still in the process of breaking down/mineralizing, refering to the section about the vals and plant growth in soil soaked for 6 weeks or less then 6 weeks.
Im not sure where i would be able to add more plants, but then maybe im thinking too much like a landscaper/desginer would, considering the mature size of the plant and allowing for that growth to prevent overcorwding which then leads to its own set of issues.

I just wanted to make sure i wasnt going to have any issues with the soil that impact Captians health.
Thanks for the continued advice.
 

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Im not sure where i would be able to add more plants, but then maybe im thinking too much like a landscaper/desginer would, considering the mature size of the plant and allowing for that growth to prevent overcorwding which then leads to its own set of issues.
You're worried about having too many plants? I'm looking at your tank and scratching my head. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #65 ·
You're worried about having too many plants? I'm looking at your tank and scratching my head. :)
Lol i just have issues placeing things, i feel like it looks cluttered and that the plants will not grow well as a result, which i know it counterintutive to actual aquatic ecosystems. Ill be adding more plants in the star grass just went to pot on me over night.
Plant Organism Vegetation Water Terrestrial plant

It was fine looking when i moved Captian back in on Sunday night and didnt really notice anything yesterday. Was looking the tank over this am and noticed all the leaves were basically grey.
Do i have anaerobic soil in that spot? Go in a poke the spot before adding new plants?
I think i add some new star grass, rotala h'ra, ludwigia lacustris and stypen repens.
The micro chain sword doesnt seem to ve doing so hot either.
Now im worried i moved Captain back to soon and this is all in the process of blowing up in my face. Things change so rapidly in tanks.
If anyone else has plant suggestions let me know. Ill add enoung to make it a cluttered, unslightly mess
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Lol i just have issues placeing things, i feel like it looks cluttered and that the plants will not grow well as a result, which i know it counterintutive to actual aquatic ecosystems. Ill be adding more plants in the star grass just went to pot on me over night.
View attachment 74037
It was fine looking when i moved Captian back in on Sunday night and didnt really notice anything yesterday. Was looking the tank over this am and noticed all the leaves were basically grey.
Do i have anaerobic soil in that spot? Go in a poke the spot before adding new plants?
I think i add some new star grass, rotala h'ra, ludwigia lacustris and stypen repens.
The micro chain sword doesnt seem to ve doing so hot either.
Now im worried i moved Captain back to soon and this is all in the process of blowing up in my face. Things change so rapidly in tanks.
If anyone else has plant suggestions let me know. Ill add enoung to make it a cluttered, unslightly mess
View attachment 74038
You're fine. There's a good chance there are anaerobic spots.The rotten egg smelling gas will escape through the water surface However, most of the bubbles are probably just CO2 which is a good thing to have going on in your soil. .
 

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Hello, how is the tank doing? I didn't read thoroughly the entire thread, but from some parts I got the impression that the light intensity might be high. Tropica suggest up to 20lumen/litre for easy plants, 20-40lumen/lt for medium and >40 lum/lt for advanced plants. That might help you balance your tank better, as your nutrient supply (fish poo + plant melts) is constant, your CO2 supply (livestock respiration) is probably constant as well, so the last parameter (light) is the one that will make or break the balance between the three. That means that excessive light breaks the balance, insufficient light does so as well. If your tank volume is 10L If so, the net water volume could probably be around 7,5-8L. I saw a lamp in the discussion that was rated 450Lumen. So, that means 450/8=56,25lumen/L. In theory that could mean too much light.

Since you mentioned good growth for cryptocorynes, the substrate is healthy, since you mentioned good growth for floaters, nutrients from the water column are removed as well (are stem plants doing good?). The only thing I can think of is too much light. That was the case for my 60L cube (47L net volume) where I decreased the light intensity to 70% and haven't noticed algae on the glass for a few weeks now. 70% intensity for my lamp meant I am now at 20-25lumen/liter without artificial ferts and only sugar-yeast CO2.

If your light is dimmable, I think that you could readjust and see how it goes from there.

Good luck!

Reference:
 

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Discussion Starter · #69 ·
Hello all,
Kind of dropped off the face of the earth here. My 5 year old Scottish deerhound had to be rushed to the vet at the end of october. What followed were 4 months of vet appts almost three grand of vet bills and Ivor finally on the mend close Christmas. On the 23rd of December despite being on the mend he died in his sleep. The vet believes he had a blood clot break free and suffered a massive stroke.

So Christmas and the new year was aweful and both my tanks went largly neglected for 4 months. I did not feed Captian Pan as much as I should have been and it showed in the tank. All my floaters vanished and my stem plants took a major hit. I started trying to get things back on track mid Jan. My nitrates, amm, nitrites are all non existant which means i wasnt feeding enough to support the plants.

About a 2 weeks ago I started seeing improvement in the stem plants i had left so i thought everything was getying back on track. Then this past Sunday Captian Pan died. He was fine in the morning then around 11am he was swimming around spazzily, swimming on his side floating etc. He was dead about a hour later. My LFS thinks he injured himself somehow since the water parmaters were good and he was fine in the am and showed no signs of any health issues.

So my tank now has nothing in it expect my 2 snails and 5 now 3 cherry shrimp (2 died this morning) that a friend of mine who breeds them gave me.
My LFS has no bettas i want right now so im waiting for their new shipment next Wed. Im not sure if I should try some real small fish that could later live with a betta? Ive continued to drop bits of fish food into the tank to keep the cycle going. So im open to suggestions, I want another betta but what should I do till I find one.
Heres what it looks like right now. Im hopeing to find a new piece of driftwood.
Water Plant Vertebrate Botany Green


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Two suggestions:

1) Do not add anymore driftwood.
2) Stop trying to "keep the cycle going". All you're doing is encouraging more bacterial growth. Your plants haven't budged in four months, in part, I suspect, because they are in constant competition with beneficial bacterial growth. But, did we ever get an answer to Diana's question about your water's hardness?
 

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Discussion Starter · #71 ·
Two suggestions:

1) Do not add anymore driftwood.
2) Stop trying to "keep the cycle going". All you're doing is encouraging more bacterial growth. Your plants haven't budged in four months, in part, I suspect, because they are in constant competition with beneficial bacterial growth. But, did we ever get an answer to Diana's question about your water's hardness?
No I have not checked my water hardness recently. Ill check it again and see where it stands. I had not been checking for any posts on here and just saw the question today about GH, KH.

I feel like im starting from scrath as really let everything go these last months. Ill report on GH KH in a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #72 ·
Could be that your water is too soft. What is the hardness of your water (i.e., GH)?
You have plenty of plants. Now you just need to get them growing.
Ok tested twice using API GH KH test kit.
8 drops for GH -143.2 ppm acording to their chart and 6 drops for KH - 107.4 ppm acording to the chart.
I had taking under a half galljn of water out just by cleaning the derbis snail poo sitting on the top of the substrate on monday.
 

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First of all, so sorry for your losses PlentyCoup. Sounds like a rough couple of months. I imagine it's difficult getting back into the swing of aquarium upkeep after all that. Sometimes it can be a nice escape though, our own little world apart from everything that we get to care for and enjoy.

Two suggestions:

1) Do not add anymore driftwood.
2) Stop trying to "keep the cycle going". All you're doing is encouraging more bacterial growth. Your plants haven't budged in four months, in part, I suspect, because they are in constant competition with beneficial bacterial growth. But, did we ever get an answer to Diana's question about your water's hardness?
I agree with the driftwood, but not so sure about stopping feeding. Obviously don't be dumping too much food in, but I think continuing some nutrient supplementation would be beneficial to the plants. Not sure how much the beneficial bacteria could be out-competing the plants - it seems like plants have a much higher capacity to absorb nitrogen so if anything it would be the other way around? But either way, if the bacteria was taking nutrients from the plants, I would think they would want to add more nutrients to the tank, not less.

Looking at your plant selection, you have a lot of crypts which are slow growers. The big ones in the back have grown quite a bit in the last couple months! But maybe you need some more fast-growers to keep up. Perhaps some dwarf sag in the front of the tank?
 

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Obviously don't be dumping too much food in, but I think continuing some nutrient supplementation would be beneficial to the plants. Not sure how much the beneficial bacteria could be out-competing the plants -
I don't disagree with you about the need to add nutrients after a certain period of time. Potting soil only lasts so long, especially after all of that mineralizing we put it through to begin with. And, I have no problem with dry food as a potential source of trace minerals like phosphorous and zinc. But, I keep thinking of the poor poster who a few months ago reported dropping a hunk of ham into her nano tank in order to coax some worms out of their hiding places in the substrate and wondering why her tank smelled bad and had a cloudy look.

it seems like plants have a much higher capacity to absorb nitrogen so if anything it would be the other way around? But either way, if the bacteria was taking nutrients from the plants, I would think they would want to add more nutrients to the tank, not less.
That's not my understanding. Diana states pretty clearly that plants and nitrifying bacteria compete for nutrients and for ammonia/ammonium in particular (p.111, EPA.) Plants can use nitrates as a secondary source of protein, if no ammonia is left for them to absorb. But,it is a less efficient process for them than straight ammonia absorption because it involves converting the nitrates back into ammonia, thus losing as much as 50% of their photosynthesis efficiency. This, I believe, is her main rationale for including as many rapidly growing plants as possible as early as possible in a Walstad tank because once the beneficial bacteria get going, the more dependent the plants become on nitrates.
 

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Discussion Starter · #75 ·
I don't disagree with you about the need to add nutrients after a certain period of time. Potting soil only lasts so long, especially after all of that mineralizing we put it through to begin with. And, I have no problem with dry food as a potential source of trace minerals like phosphorous and zinc. But, I keep thinking of the poor poster who a few months ago reported dropping a hunk of ham into her nano tank in order to coax some worms out of their hiding places in the substrate and wondered why her tank smelled bad and had a cloudy look.



That's not my understanding. Diana states pretty clearly that plants and nitrifying bacteria compete for nutrients and for ammonia/ammonium in particular (p.111, EPA.) Plants can use nitrates as a secondary source of protein, if no ammonia is left for them to absorb. But,it is a less efficient process for them than straight ammonia absorption because it involves converting the nitrates back into ammonia, thus losing as much as 50% of their photosynthesis efficiency. This, I believe, is her main rationale for including as many rapidly growing plants as possible as early as possible in a Wastad tank because once the beneficial bacteria get going, the more dependent the plants become on nitrates.
I used compost and sand in my final soil set up. I have only been putting about 6 or betta flakes in the tank about everyother day.... so just on monday and wednesday, since Capitan died thid past sunday.

I am assuming im just better off keeping this a single betta tank and not trying to add anything else. The CS were just given to me on monday and doubt they will be around long if i get a new betta, and im unsure about stocking paramaters on a dirtied tank of this size. I pulled Dianas book back out to go through again and give myself a much needed refresher.
 

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I used compost and sand in my final soil set up. I have only been putting about 6 or betta flakes in the tank about everyother day.... so just on monday and wednesday, since Capitan died thid past sunday.

I am assuming im just better off keeping this a single betta tank and not trying to add anything else. The CS were just given to me on monday and doubt they will be around long if i get a new betta, and im unsure about stocking paramaters on a dirtied tank of this size. I pulled Dianas book back out to go through again and give myself a much needed refresher.
I feel like I owe you an apology. I know what it's like to lose even a single fish before its time. Capitan sounds like he had a lot of personality.

In terms of your substrate, I'm no expert, but compost should be pretty nutritious for a while. More so than common potting soil, no? If your parameters are showing -0- nitrogen across the board, I would put the plants in first then think about adding ferts or some other means of supplementing nutrients. But, another Capitan is the most obvious solution, IMO.
 

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Ok tested twice using API GH KH test kit.
8 drops for GH -143.2 ppm according to their chart and 6 drops for KH - 107.4 ppm according to the chart.
I had taking under a half gallon of water out just by cleaning the debris snail poo sitting on the top of the substrate on Monday.
The GH and KH sound good.
I noticed that you've lost your Water Wisteria and floating plants. Your rooted plants haven't grown that much. You've got the soil and the water hardness, so it's something else. Maybe too much cleaning, water changes, filtration, and not enough fishfood addition.
Do you have a photoperiod of at 11 hours?
 

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Discussion Starter · #79 ·
The GH and KH sound good.
I noticed that you've lost your Water Wisteria and floating plants. Your rooted plants haven't grown that much. You've got the soil and the water hardness, so it's something else. Maybe too much cleaning, water changes, filtration, and not enough fishfood addition.
Do you have a photoperiod of at 11 hours?
Its probably too much cleaning on my end. I dont do water changes expect for topping it off. When I do go in and clean it maybe removes under half a gallon. Im still trying to train myself out of cleaning this tank.
My lights are on 8:00-1:00 off 1:00-4:00 on again from 4:00-9:00. So im at 10 hours with a 3 hour rest.
I know something is off. Do i need to supplemment with something?
My LFS had a sale on ember tetras so I picked up three. I assuming they will be okay with any betta i eventully get.
And that i can get this tank back on track.... or just on any track at all.
 

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You have a 13 hour photoperiod, which is very good. So it's not that.
Since you lost your floating plants, that suggests an iron deficiency in the water.
Did you use compost? Real mineral soil contains plentiful iron, but pure organic material like peat does not. If so, it could be your tank is deficient in iron.
I would add a micronutrient fertilizer and/or chelated iron. Try again with floating plants. Your goal should be to have enough nutrients in the water to grow floating plants.
Your rooted plants may be getting just enough iron from the substrate mulm to keep going, but not enough to thrive.
Manganese is another micronutrient that oxidizes in the water, so if your substrate is gravel/compost, start out first with a micronutrient fertilizer. Then, you could go to a chelated iron powder, which is cheaper.
I think Ember tetras would be fine with a Betta.
 
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