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help please with my new planted tank

2487 Views 15 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  hoppycalif
hi all im new here and im hoping you all can help me with my tank,
ill give you all a quick run down of my tank
its 65litres 90cm wide x 25cm high x 30cm deep (custom made size), it's divided into 6 compartments that has a halfmoon betta in each
there is a hidin back compartment that has a fluval plus 2 (400lp/h) internal filter and a 100w heater set to 28degrees
the light is a single hagen T5 39w 6700k (its on for 12-14 hours a day)
and for the decor it has tahitian moon sand, anubius nana attached to mini pieces of driftwood and corkscrew vall

ok now im new with planted tanks so any info yuo can give me is great,
so i set-up and planted the tank 2 weeks ago and have only done one 25% waterchange which was today because the tank has not cycled yet
and within the first week there has been all this build up on my plants and im not sure what it is or how to stop it
the best way to describe would be black/brown fuzzy stuff all over and grey fuzzy strings on the corkscrew all

so can any one help me to understand what it is and how to stop it

also i was wondering if it was allready on the plants when i got them because i forgot to wash the plants when i planted them or if it was just because the tank hasnt cycled yet

thanks in advace

oh heres a pic of the tank to give you an idea of what the tank looks like

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Interesting tank. Custom made?

What you describe sounds like bba (black brush algae). Typically caused by low/lack of CO2. I don't see that you inject CO2, nor use Excel. I would suggest one or the other. Anubias in a new set up will usually get some algae, because it's such a slow grower and the tank has not matured.
I was going to say black brush algae, too. Some crabon source (excel or CO2) and balanced ferts should keep it in check.

That's a really cool set-up you've got there! Did you make it yourself or have someone else build it?

the tank itself i got made but all the rest i did like the glass dividers, perspex back and drip system

ive got 6 bettas from thailand coming next week so it should look good with them all in there

i appologize for saying its black because i had a good look at it and it is brown not black it looks like tiny brown hair so would it still be black brush algae?

davemonkey when you say carbon source does that mean carbon in the filter?

i dont have a co2 system so which ferts do you all suggest i use and how many times should i dose the tank?

i do have seachem flourish so could i use that or different ferts?

also would a uv help?

thanks again guys for the responce
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Yes, even though it's 'brown' (or even grey at times) it can still be BBA.

The carbon source has to be an available form for your plants. Carbon in your filter is a whole different animal. It is an activated form that absorbs odor, color, certain metals...

Either CO2 or biological carbon sources (such as Flourish Excel) are biologically available forms of carbon.

Flourish by itself is not a fertilizer, it only provides trace nutrients. You need macro-nutrients (Nitrogen, Potassium, and Phosphorus). I actually noticed a bloom in my BBA when I would dose the flourish (before I had the other ferts). Seachem makes Flouish, Flourish Excel, and the macros in liquid form (N,P,K, all in separate bottles). There are also other brand names out there, I just happen to use Seachem. Pfertz makes some good fertilizers, too.

Another thing I've begun is limiting my phosphorus. I've noticed that by dosing less phosphorus, my algae is more suppressed. (I think my tap water has some phosphates in it because I live in a major agricultural area where there is a great deal of over-fertilization and run-off into the lakes that feed the water supply.) Anyway, you'll have to use trial-and-error to some extent. There are some good STICKY's in the Aquatic Fertilization forum on this site.

Also, the amount of fertilizer and carbon source you need depends on lighting intensity. (this is where my "advice-giving-ability" gets thin...) :rolleyes:

Never tried UV, but I've read that it can help some.

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A UV would help but you still have to keep the imbalance in control. What you have is most likely a rhodophyta or diatoms. These are pretty normal in newly set up tanks. Maybe you can get a couple of otos for each divider set up.

By carbon source it means an available source of carbon for the plants to use so they can grow. On land they use carbon dioxide in the air, in water they use dissolved carbon dioxide. A product like Flourish Excel is a soluble form of carbon for the plants to use.

I think that Flourish is not a complete fert mix but I don't think it would hurt.

A 50% water change once a week would probably do well in the firs stages of the cycle. I would defenitely do a water change a couple of days before the bettas arrive. Have done any ammonia, NO2, NO3 testing.

Carbon in the filter is probably noe necessary, and the majority of planted tank hobbyists do not use it.
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Sorry after reading more it probably is BBA. And I got beat on my post.

If it wasn't for those pesky Davemoney's...:heh:
Sorry after reading more it probably is BBA. And I got beat on my post.

If it wasn't for those pesky Davemoney's...:heh:

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UV's really only help on green water algae blooms. They also are great for killing pathogens in the water. They won't help for algae on surfaces. It has to be in the water column for the UV light to kill it. I have one for just that, they are great for stemming any disease outbreaks in your tank. You have to have one that is big enough or slow enough for the water to be exposed to the light for a long enough duration of time to kill the pathogens. It takes longer to kill pathogens than it does the green water algae.

BBA dies with excell & abundant CO2. Peroxide will also kill it. BTW excell will also kill your vals. I have found that water changes really help, probably because it adds CO2 to the water. Do a search on BBA Overdosing excell and you'll get tons of info. You could remove your anubias and do a 20:1 bleach dip for a minute or less.
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You might want to look over these links to give a good overview of what it takes to have a healthy planted tank:
First, you have a unique tank, for several reasons. One, it is a tiny tank if you look at each compartment as a single tank. But, you have a long thin T5 bulb lighting all of the row of "tanks", so that makes it be a conventional sized tank, not a nano tank. You have about 2.3 watts per gallon, but of T5 light, which is at least as intense as 3.5 watts per gallon of PC bulbs, so you have very high light intensity. Then, the depth of the tank is somewhat small, so the effective intensity is even higher. All of that means you absolutely need CO2 injection, at around 30 ppm, and you absolutely need a complete set of fertilizers dosed routinely per one of the methods listed in the fertilizing forum, and good water circulation in each of those compartments is essential. Without all of that you will most likely soon have major BBA and other algae problems.

An obvious "fix" is less light. Start by keeping the light on for only 8 hours a day. Then look at raising the light about 6 to 12 inches above the tank. Or, look at adding shade cloth to cut some of the light intensity. The plants you have don't need all of that light to grow very well.
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Divy, on a different note, are the glass dividers transparent? You might be able to cut the light intensity to each tank by making them opaque. IDK if it's actually what will happen but it will decrease the light because you will only have the small area of the bulb between didviders illuminating each compartment. I agree wtih hoppy that you may still want to elevate the fixture a few inches.

Also, if the dividers are transparent, do you think that the bettas will stress themselves out by fighting through the glass constantly. I can picture a bunch of flared gills and raised fins all day long.:boxing: I can't imagine that running into a peice of glass all day will be very good for them.
wow thanks all for the info that really helps!

i tested the water a the no2 is 0ppm, no3 0ppm and ammonia 0.25ppm

i do have a uv light so i put that in the back compartment which should help from what ive read
also i did a 100% water change today and cleaned everything a did a bleachdrip
but i stuffed up the nana was in there for longer then a minute because while it was in there i washed off the BBA
so will that be a problem? i did rinse with tap water after

i will also do 50% waterchanges once a week until its cycled to stop BBA growing
tex said that excel will kill the val so i took them out plus they werent looking too good anyways

hoppy i moved the light towards the back of the tank so its on top of the back compartment so that has killed the amount of light that the plants are getting so would i still need co2?

i will get some seachem excell soon and start to dose with it

jmontee yes the glass dividers are transparent, i do have some black plastic board that sits against the glass to stop them from flairing at eachother 24/7 but because the ones im getting are young ill uncard them often so they get used to seeing eachother

oh also now that i will be dosing with excell and the light isnt as intense anymore can some one suggest any good background plants? maybe something skinny and not soo bushy so it dosnt tanke up the whole tank so the bettas cant swim

thanks again all for the help i really appreciate it
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Maybe you can use some needle leaf java fern or or bolbitis. Regular java fern has wider leaves, so does the bolbitis but it's really pretty. For what you want I think the needle leaf will work best. You can attach the rhizome to a piece of driftwood that is thin and goes from on side of each compartment to the other. This will eventually make it like a curtain of javafern. Imagine how cool all you have to do to trim it is pull out the thin piece of driftwood then put it back in.

Don't forget that you will need to get the NO3 up once the ammonia is gone so that the plants can grow.
i was worried when i noticed i put the nana in the bleach for too long but they are ok

and the BBA has not returned
now thats its a low planted tank do you all think i should just let the nana survive
purely on the nutrition provided from fish waste and decaying food? i mean i dont mind if the plants dont grow i only want them to look healthy
or should i dose with Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium
Fertilizing needs are set by the amount of light you use. If you use high light intensity you need to provide the nutrients the plants need to grow at the rate the light drives them to. So, as long as you have reduced your light intensity you should be ok with reduced fertilizing. Whether or not the fish waste is adequate even then, I don't know.
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