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Very VERY V E R Y frustrated

4365 Views 32 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  rjfurbank
:confused: I'm still a relative newbie to planted tanks and tanks in general, having only had one for two years. When I started putting serious plants in the tank, I ordered an all-glass, hinged tank top for the light to sit on and get the most light to the plants. Over time the pieces of the top have developed some sort of crud - you can't feel it, but you can sure SEE it. I generally use vinegar and water to clean this top and let it dry out well before replacing it. But besides the usual salts and other deposits, this clouding or whatever this BLEEP is, is impervious to vinegar, and commercial glass cleaner. I can't even scrape it off with a razor-blade!:frusty::frusty:I just KNOW this damned stuff is cutting down on the good light to my plants.

WHICH IS ANOTHER THING!!! ARG. I see all these pictures of these mind-blowing, jaw-droppingly gorgeous planted tanks, with their crystal clear water and full lush, green (or red, or pink or whatever) plants in all their thick foliage and with branching and all manner of new growth - algae is nowhere to be seen, everything is its own beautiful color, not some green-black lump. Three or four times a year I drop mumbley-mumble amount of dollars on online ordered plants, dutifully put them in with they own little fertilizer tabbs and a month or two later all the beautiful Myrios are but naked stalks, my wonderful Kleiner Bar sword's leaves are getting a thin coat of shmutz that has turned it a really unappetizing vague brown-green. The little shamrocks have been grazed to pitiful green nubs; the Ammania has either shredded, rottend from the stem:twitch: or gotten eaten from the ground up. The wisteria seems to be the only plant that is still looking pretty good but even it resembles trees more than bushes. I didn't think tetras ate plants - or is it that bleeping Rainbow shark? Or do I go on a snail pogrom? I've both the long good ones and the >other< kind.

Do ALL you people who have heavily-planted tanks really have such pristine tanks all the bleeping time?? Ok I guess my questions are - what is that crap on the glass top and how can I deal with getting rid of it - short of ordering another one? Annnnnnd do I have to completely tear the tank down and start from scratch or is there some way I can sorta roll the current substrate back (figuratively speaking) and put other better stuff under it?

No CO2 - I'm not a technowhiz.

Sorry if this is in the wrong thread. I'm sooooo tired of scraping at whatever is on that top I can't see straight.:twitch:

I'm stomping out the word "HELP!" in the snow and waving my arms to you Illuminati!!
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This is the other side of my tank showing where my lovely forest of Myrio USED to be - I had to take all the bare-naked stubbs out and replace them with the Greek temple. Shows also my Kleiner-Barr sword with the algae and all the shmutz.

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Regarding the deposit on the top glass, If it doesn't come off with steel wool, it is the glass, itself, etched and redeposited by water. When the lights turn off, the top layer of the water is warmer, and water vapor condenses on the glass, and the water dissolves a little bit of the glass. When the lights go on again they heat the glass and the condensed water dries up, depositing the dissolved glass. As time goes by, this process of etching and depositing builds up making the glass cloudy. This is really hard to remove. I suppose it is possible to get it off with the grinding and polishing compounds people use to grind their own lenses for telescopes, but I just live with it until the deposits are so bad that I have to buy new glass top plates. I have tried scrubbing the glass with silica sand, and that removes some of the deposits, but doesn't make any impression on the etching. I have thought about trying the lens grinding compounds, but have not done it yet.

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I hate to be the bearer of bad news but the odds are stacked against you with the plants that you want. The XL gravel is not condusive at all to rooting so eventually I think that most of your plants will rot at the base and float up, IMO. If you don't want to change the substrate then I think your best bet will be a low light low tech tank with mosses, anubias and ferns. Really beautiful tanks can be put together just using these plants and they, for the most part, don't require adding CO2 or lots of fertilization.

I think that you have some BGA growing in there wich can be treated using maracyn (erythromycin).
How much light exactly do you have? What type of lighting fixture do you have? Your plants look light-starved.
Fish love Oxygen and plants do not.
actually plants do like oxygen they intake it at night and need a bit of it in the water if you want your plants to bubble. plants will not bubble if the aquarium is not saturated with at least a little bit of O2 regardless of how much co2 you shoot into the tank

Get a few ottos, a couple bristlenosed cats (small) and about 3 corys to help with the algea and keeping the gravel cleaner.
this is a common myth among cory cats, they actually do not eat algae, nor do they eat fish waste that others leave behind like some people like to believe believe. they eat fish food and wafers like most other fish corys are good however because they eat the food that makes its way to the substrate that the other fish miss keeping the food from dissolving and making our water dirty
jazzlvr123 I agree about the corys, but he does need some to keep the gravel cleaner from the food on the bottom rotting and perhaps causing some of his algea problems. Maybe plants don't love oxygen, but what I was trying to say was that their requirements are opposite and a balance is needed.
After seeing his gravel and knowing he has about 34 watts of older bulbs which is probably to low light for the plants he wants. Also looks like he has an airstone or something adding oxygen which will probably lower his C02.
I agree with no salt. The fish you have certainly don't need it and all catfish I know don't like it.
I have Mollies and Swordtails and they are quite healthy and prolific without it.
When I bought my cory there was a sign posted NOT to use salt because it will kill them. I don't use salt, however, I have used it in the past when I kept goldfish.

The glass under the light may be cleaned with oven cleaner! I know, it is poison, but, you can wash the heck out of it when you are finished. Then I would run it through the dishwasher with salt as the cleaning agent, or baking soda. Then, rinse, rinse, rinse. I often wash items used for my animals and fish in the dishwasher using sea salt. It works very well. You can even wash the rocks you have, since they are rather large, use a colander to keep them together.

Sorry you are having such a hard time with your plants. I went for a lightly planted tank since I want it to look like a river or stream. I come from the NW and our streams have small gravel and rocks. I know the rivers where my fish come from are probably mucky, but, I don't want to look at muck.

Good Luck! ;)
Sorry I forgot to ask if you had made sure that all of those rocks are not releasing calcium into the water. That could be raising your GH and there are many plants that don't necessary like that either.
High GH rarely bothers plants, but high KH sometimes does. When plants or fish are said to like soft water, it is KH that is meant, not GH.
Thanks guys. At one time I WAS battling Cyanobacter, but then put the plants in and fertilized them and it went away. Where do you think the BGA is? Some of the rocks have the dark green stuff I was scrubbing off with a toothbrush. The algae on the oval-leaf sword seems to be just more plain green algae, so I'm just curious. Not trying to be combative here:slywink:

If I DID want to replace the substrate would it really mean an entire tear-down (REALLY not happy with that, since it would mean a total re-cycle and dying fish and all).

And YES that is the shmutz all over the glass!! I've scrubbed and used vinegar and commercial glass cleaner as noted in the original post. Thank you thank you! Now to try easy off or something.

I get it - no more salt.

In the reading ZI've done it said to put the CO2 on during the day, and turn the airstone on at night. All right moe research for the DIY CO2.

Ah yes, the aquarium! The gift that keeps on giving!!
I know, the aquarium can be a hassle, but, isn't it a joy!
So what are you going to do? Are you thinking of using diy co2? It looks like that would be the simplest and cheapes solution. I don't why but the tanks have injected co2 have great growth. Perhaps it is because co2 and minerals are consistent? That is they don't fluctuate. Waiting to hear from Aaronnorth about this theory of mine.

I was in your place about this time last year. Decided to go w/ pressurized CO2 and the plants all took off. The difference is really incredible--they didn't even look like the same plants (I had managed to keep most alive but looking very scraggly).

I suggest reading all the threads here on pressurized CO2 and taking the plunge. It has made all the difference for me.

Good luck!
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