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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello all, greetings from Belgium in Europe !

Some time ago i discovered this great website, and since then i spend a lot of my lunchbreaks here :)
The reason for this post is that I'm not really getting the results I would like in my tank :
- Some plants look very unhealthy, like the cryptocorines (it used to look good some 6 months ago).
- There's some kind of algae on Echinodorus and other plants, the leaves turn black and its almost impossible to get it off, except by cutting away the leaves :(.
I've also seen all kinds of other algea like GDA, green algeas but these seem to go away with excel.
- There's dirt piling up on plants (like valisneria) and on the bottom.

I'll first tell you the tank setup :
It's an Aquatlantis Evasion tank, it measures 39 x 20 x 27 inch (that's 100x50x70 CM I'm in Belgium).
Content : 300liter (80 gallon)
Light : 4 * T5 39W - Arcadia Plant Pro (+ reflectors) on for total 9 1/2 hrs (all 4 lamps only 8 1/2 hrs).
Filter : Tetratec 1200 (1200 l/h) with UV-lamp mounted in between but not turned on now.
Heating : Dupla Therm heating coils , set to keep temp at 25,5 C but gets hotter due to lighting (about 27 C at evening).
CO2 : JBL pro 3 with PH-controller, now set at about 6,7.

Water values : Ph=6,7 KH=3 GH=5 NO2=0 NH3=0 NO3=12 PO4=0? FE=0,1

I use Seachem flourish, excel, trace, iron twice a week and add Dupla 24 drops daily.
(Also tried Seachem's expensive dosing chart without seeing any change for about a month)

Recently i switched to adding only RO-water since the guy at the store says he does it, and his tanks look amazing:rolleyes: I now try to change 60-70liters (18 gallons) weekly, but used to change about half the tank with mostly tapwater.

I have also tried to get more swaying in the plants, but the water movement is still very local, coming from the small holes in the outlet pipe (its submerged).

I would really like some advice, I know that the tank is rather deep (should have thought of that sooner...) and the lighting may be too little.
But now i have a thousand of other questions in my mind : Is the filter not strong enough (dirt), or should I just get a powerhead? How could I increase the light (if that's a solution), do I have enough CO2(black algea, what is it btw???)? I have 2 indicators, the one on the left is dark green, the one on the right is light greenish towards yellow(window side)...

After reading so many articles on so many forums (and books and magazines!) I'm wondering what else I could try. I would really appreciate some opinions,seems there's a lot of people here that know what they're talinkg about.

PS : I stopped dosing seachem Phosporus an Nitrogen, thought things got worse.
I will add some pictures tomorrow, looks like I have to get them really small..

See you later.
 

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I think it is BBA (black beard algae). The algae on your crypts and other slow growers is something I recently battled with in my tank. Once it is established, it was hard to get rid of, but here's what I did. Like you said, it is really hard to get off the leaves, and the only way to get rid of it was to cut the leaves off, which I did for awhile, but it kept coming back, even if I removed all the affected plantage I could see. I consulted the forum, and it was suggested that my CO2 levels were low, and my drop checkers agreed, so check your CO2 levels, and lower your pH controller set point accordingly until CO2 levels are optimal. Now you may have to trim some of the plantage that is worse off to get a head start, but you can also spot treat with excel. Get a syringe to dose your excel with. Dose excel as normal with the syringe, but squirt the excel directly on the affected areas of your plants. The BBA should turn pink in areas throughout the day, indicating it is dead. Do this for a couple of days and you should have it under control. I'm not sure what fish you have in there, but most of them won't touch BBA until it is dead, and then if you withold some food from them for a day or so, they'll start on the dead BBA. If not, the dead BBA is a bit more easy to remove. I also notice that you stopped dosing N and P. I would suggest against that, you need to dose all macros (NPK) and micros semi-regularly so your plants have enough nutrients to battle off the algae when you fix what is wrong.

Hope that helps, someone with more experience with this could indicate if I went wrong with this process, but that's what I did. Spot treated the BBA with excel directly onto the plants affected and increased CO2 levels and the BBA has come under control.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the advice, I will be checking the CO2 more closely, do you suggest levels of 30 PPM (like i read in other posts)? What is your opinion on water movement?
 

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For me more water movement is better, but what comes is greater surface agitation which will lower your CO2 levels. Its a trade off, so try to find a happy medium. I keep my tanks around 20ppm CO2, but 30 ppm CO2 would be ideal. I keep it lower because I don't have the $ to refill my paintball canisters as often as I'd like.
 
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