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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All :)

I'm not sure what the issue is so thought 'general discussions' was probably the right place!!

Right, I really cant work out my 4ft. I'll admit that to start with the flow really wasn't what it should be but hopefully Ive sorted that now. The HC is at least staying alive having added the eheim pump.

Quick run down of the tank

120x45x45
Eheim 2080 filter 1700lph
Eheim compact+ 3000lph closed loop for flow
lighting - 1x54w osram lumilux skylight 880, 1x54w sylania growlux on for 8hrs. I had been running 2x osram lumilux skylight (three in total for 6hrs) but I cut it back to two tubes and increased into the 8hr.
Ferts - 20ppm NO3 and 2ppm PO4 three times a week. 40ml AE trace three times a week. 50% water change with rain/tap water
Akadama substrate
Think that's most things.

My problem seems to be that the plants grow (even pearl under the 2x54w!), but the leaves very quickly turn brown. The HM shows this really clearly but all except the java fern are doing it. DC is green to yellowish.









Any thoughts greatly appreciated!

Sam
 

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Ferts - 20ppm NO3 and 2ppm PO4 three times a week. 40ml AE trace three times a week.
My problem seems to be that the plants grow (even pearl under the 2x54w!), but the leaves very quickly turn brown. The HM shows this really clearly but all except the java fern are doing it. DC is green to yellowish.

Sam
Unless your source for nitrates and phosphates are KNO3 and KH2PO4, then you are not giving the plants any potassium. I think that is the problem.

-Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi,

Cheers for the thoughts. I am using KNO3 and KH2PO4 for the N and P so K should be covered,i would think.

Sam
 

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Themuleous, have you tried a 3 day blackout? I've used the blackout method not only to kill back algae (except BBA, which doesn't seem to be your issue) but also to evaluate if my issue is recurring or just a one time thing such as excess ammonia from an unseen dead fish. My aquarium is a planted 180 gallon so sometimes a dead fish will go unnoticed for a while. How are your ammonia levels?

Also, it's hard to tell how fully planted your aquarium is. While I like the fert amounts you have listed, under strong lighting with little nutrient uptake things can go wrong quickly. Can we see a full picture of the aquarium?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hi,

Here's a pic of the tank



I see what you are saying about the dead fish, but I can see pretty well around the tank and I'm sure I would see a dead fish. I also have shrimp in the tank which won't survive if NH3 was present.

I also know that I'm well under planted, but I spend £50 on HC when I first set up the tank which all died and I'm not overly keen on spending lots more on plants until this issue is sorted!

When you say 'things can go wrong quickly' what do you mean? Following the advice of a friend I have cut the ferts way back so its only 5ppm NO3 and 1ppm PO4 three times a week. Under the old fert dosing I could easily have had a NO3 level well over 100ppm.

Your help is greatly appreciated :)

Sam
 

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Hi,

Cheers for the thoughts. I am using KNO3 and KH2PO4 for the N and P so K should be covered,i would think.

Sam
Hmmm. I'm stumped as well now. :noidea: Is that brown (diatom) algae on the leaves? How old/new is the set-up? Sometimes it can take a few months to get out of the 'baby-stages' where algae covers everything.

Sorry I couldn't be of more help.

-Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks Dave, it is a puzzler!

The tanks been running for several months now and there are plenty of otos in there so pretty sure its not diatoms. The thing is that the older leaves are turning brown and dieing off, it just seems really odd :rolleyes:

Sam
 

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50% water change with rain/tap water
I noticed that you're using rain water for at least part of your water change. Can you explain how you're collecting the rain water, how much are you using, and why you are using it?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hi Vicki,

The rainwater comes off my house roof, which has concrete tiles (old one's, the house was built in the 60's), then stored in water butt (which i cleaned not so long ago). I run the water through a huge pond carbon filter meant for taking chlorine out of tap water during pond top ups. It goes into it with a very slight colour but comes out colourless and odourless, seems to work great!

I do a 50% water change so must be using 80-90lt rainwater each week. This is why I'm using rain water as I was using RO but on this new 4ft it would waste so much water I add to find an alternative.

Sam
 

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My guess is that you have a light/CO2 mismatch. Even without knowing any details about your tank, I'd assume that insufficient CO2 is the problem until proven otherwise. The first photo shows that the newest growth on your plants is healthy appearing, but the older portions of the plants are covered in algae.

It's possible that your primary problem is a nutrient deficiency, but it's FAR more likely that you'll see the results you want if you bump up the CO2 levels.
 

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First, I know I am not one of the experts. But, I'm going to go out on a limb here....I would not cut back on your lighting. 2 x 54 is not really a lot of light. Your Downoi looks like it it stretching. . . a lot. In a high light set up w/ good ferts and CO2 the internodal space should be very, very close together. Unless you've just moved these in from another tank, I think they're saying you don't have as much light as you think. Also, unless the color is off from the photography, if the leaves are whitish, then more iron, and maybe don't cut the N down?

Give the plants what you/we know they need. Don't run around trying to catch your own tail - like a puppydog. If your worried about too much build up of N. Get some good test kits and use them. Also add a few more heavy feeding stem plants into the tank (even temporarily.)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the ideas, I'll give it some thought. Guess its a bit of trial and error for a few months to see what works and what doesn't.

Cheers again :)

Sam
 

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I don't know much about using rain water (cool filtering) or RO water, but I understand that it's important to add back certain minerals to replace the ones needed, but removed from the RO process.

Are you adding any minerals back?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hi,

Yeh I use tap water to add the minerals back in. My water if rock hard so 1 part to 4 parts rainwater gives me about the right hardness in the tank.

Sam
 

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Well, I'm stumped, too. I'm not familiar with some of the things you're using which makes it hard for me to be of much help. I know what works for me, but it's hard to translate that to what you're doing.

Hopefully, someone with more knowledge will be able to help.
 

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Be sure to keep us updated as things progress (either for the better or worse). Again I don't know what your experience level is but when all else fails try the 3 day blackout.
 
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