Aquascaping The Fluval Spec 3 - Progress - Page 2

  • Thread Starter

-Mak-

Member
Jocelyn Adelman said:
I really like the up aqua tweezers (pincets to be proper), both the straight and curved are super thin... way easier to plant with then what I had before, got on Amazon...
Any new growth pictures?
Yeah, I might splurge a bit on fine tipped ones if my current ones give me too much trouble. My curved pair do well enough but my straight ones are a nightmare.

So, not really growth, but a massive trI'm and replant! The bacopa and ludwigia were starting to grow out of the water. I also removed the last of the terrestrial hydrocotyle and kept the leaves they grew submerged, they grow very fast but the leaves stay small. May not be a bad thing in such a small tank.

IMG_5257.JPG IMG_5258.JPG

Our upstairs is getting re-carpeted so both of my tanks were moved downstairs, you can see the 3 gallon in the background. I complain about it a lot, maybe you can see the mass of ugliness. Cyano and overgrown java moss everywhere. Remind me to never use java moss again
 
  • Thread Starter

-Mak-

Member
*slow claps hands* I finally have algae! I think the amano went in too soon and now I can't do large water changes (a difference of 1.2 in ph between tap and tank har har)

IMG_5261.JPG IMG_5262.JPG

These pictures are from a couple days ago, it was a lot worse today when I did a 20% water change.

I ordered another small rimless tank (hint hint nudge nudge wink wink) as a hospital tank for my betta, his fin rot's not improving and I need to resort to meds, but once he's out I may move Darwin the amano in and do some bigger maintenance on this tank.
 

KeeperOfASilentWorld

Member
Your lighting is high light if it's really over 700 lumens. Something to keep in mind.
 
  • Thread Starter

-Mak-

Member
KeeperOfASilentWorld said:
Your lighting is high light if it's really over 700 lumens. Something to keep in mind.
Perhaps, but since lumens is only for the human eye and I don't have a way of measuring PAR there's no way to know for sure. I don't think Fluval would put too much effort into making a high light for such a small tank kit though.
 

KeeperOfASilentWorld

Member
Lux - Wikipedia
Photosynthetically active radiation - Wikipedia

Think of it like the plants are the human eye. PAR would play part if we talk about penetration or get specific about spectral ranges which are only a little relevant in your situation. Lumens, Lux and PAR are very related siblings FLUVAL is also one of the best when we talk about spectral values and PAR.
 
  • Thread Starter

-Mak-

Member
KeeperOfASilentWorld said:
Lux - Wikipedia

Think of it like the plants are the human eye. PAR would play part if we talk about penetration or get specific about spectral ranges which are only a little relevant in your situation. FLUVAL is also one of the best when we talk about spectral values and PAR.
Not to get too technical, but since plants don't grow according to lumens, knowing the lumens of the light doesn't really help very much. I know lumens and PAR overlap but isn't it entirely possible to have a light with high lumens and low PAR, or a light with high PAR, lower lumens?
 

KeeperOfASilentWorld

Member
Yes it is possible to have a light like that. I am sorry for the confusion.
 

Jocelyn Adelman

Member
How's it going???
 

Jocelyn Adelman

Member
Oh no! No replies is not a good thing
 
  • Thread Starter

-Mak-

Member
Very sorry! I should have popped in here to mention that I was leaving for vacation, I was gone 11 days without wifi. I have internet access now but won't be home until Saturday. My family says there's a lot of algae, but they aren't aquarium people so I don't know what it's like right now. They're with me so they can't send a picture either. I plan on doing some massive water changes and cleaning once I'm back though!
 

Jocelyn Adelman

Member
Enjoy vaca!
 

Jocelyn Adelman

Member
How's the tank after vacation?
 
  • Thread Starter

-Mak-

Member
Jocelyn Adelman said:
How's the tank after vacation?
Uhh not good haha, this is what I came back to:

IMG_5417.jpg

It's been a couple weeks since I got back and after removing most of the brown algae it hasn't come back as strong. The plants survived surprisingly well, but the new growth was very small from the lack of light. Darwin the amano is in a separate smaller tank. I've been cleaning out my 3 gallon for a new scape, and the spec has kind of taken a back seat. I will probably take the plants out, clean them, replant, move Darwin back in, introduce some more amanos, and see how it goes.
 

Jocelyn Adelman

Member
Oy!
 
  • Thread Starter

-Mak-

Member
Did a 30% water change today, I feared that a bigger change would shock the buces into melting, considering their current fragile state. I used my DIY airline tubing siphon/vacuum to suck up some algae, and most of what was on the glass peeled off by just running the hard tubing up and down it, which makes me suspect it was dead cyano.

Post cleaning:

IMG_5500.JPG

Still got a long way to go, but hey, the plants are now (mostly) visible!

IMG_5499.JPG
What I'm glad about is the brown algae/diatoms aren't actually attached to anything really, and they were easy to just suck out with my minI siphon. They might be ending their "new tanks commonly get diatoms" cycle, hopefully! As you can see in this picture the monte carlo has come out really healthy and starting to carpet despite what was certainly very low light levels. The algae is growing on the substrate and is wedged between the plants, but not on the plants themselves, for the most part.

The only problematic algae is this, which I have not encountered before:
IMG_5501.JPG
I think it's green hair algae, but slimier than I expected. I didn't actually have any in my 3 gallon unintentional "algae farm" tank. It's harder to remove than the diatoms, though not impossible. The xmas moss continues to grow massive despite the algae.
 

goldface

Member
Makes me wonder what my tank will look like this weekend after being gone for 2 weeks. Glad I decided to move my fish out before I left.
 
  • Thread Starter

-Mak-

Member
scarface said:
Makes me wonder what my tank will look like this weekend after being gone for 2 weeks. Glad I decided to move my fish out before I left.
Honestly, if it was going good before you left, probably not much changed. I was already starting to encounter problems right before I left, I just didn't expect it to get this out of hand.
 

Silister Trench

Member
What's your dosing regiment like right now; Co2, ferts, what light and how long? You don't exactly have what I'd call normal startup algae in your pictures, but what looks like filamentous diatoms, which I've only ever experienced in the past when there's an abundance of light + ferts and very low Co2 levels.

The brown looks like filamentous diatoms to me, while the white tufts look like the white fungal growth that develops on freshly submerged driftwood after its been in the tank for around a month. One of my first real ventures into live plants and aquascaping I had a tank that looked exactly like yours does now, simply because the photoperiod was too long, or I'd leave the light on after it's normal shut off period to work on it, while trying to drown the water in iron rich micro fertilizers, Nitrogen, Potassium and no phosphates. That combination of imbalance and a very limited means of additional Co2 and boom! filamentous diatoms that almost grow back completely over a day or two.

Take something like a stick, or a fork, or a pencil and try and spin the algae into it like you would spaghettI noodles and see how easy it is to remove, then take some of it between your fingers and rub it gently into the water to see how easily it breaks apart. Filamentous diatoms are very easy to remove and strands break apart with almost no effort into a gritty feel (I think?) while the white growth will be slimy.
 
  • Thread Starter

-Mak-

Member
Silister Trench said:
What's your dosing regiment like right now; Co2, ferts, what light and how long? You don't exactly have what I'd call normal startup algae in your pictures, but what looks like filamentous diatoms, which I've only ever experienced in the past when there's an abundance of light + ferts and very low Co2 levels.

The brown looks like filamentous diatoms to me, while the white tufts look like the white fungal growth that develops on freshly submerged driftwood after its been in the tank for around a month. One of my first real ventures into live plants and aquascaping I had a tank that looked exactly like yours does now, simply because the photoperiod was too long, or I'd leave the light on after it's normal shut off period to work on it, while trying to drown the water in iron rich micro fertilizers, Nitrogen, Potassium and no phosphates. That combination of imbalance and a very limited means of additional Co2 and boom! filamentous diatoms that almost grow back completely over a day or two.

Take something like a stick, or a fork, or a pencil and try and spin the algae into it like you would spaghettI noodles and see how easy it is to remove, then take some of it between your fingers and rub it gently into the water to see how easily it breaks apart. Filamentous diatoms are very easy to remove and strands break apart with almost no effort into a gritty feel (I think?) while the white growth will be slimy.
Honestly the huge bloom happened a few weeks ago, while I was gone I had family dose a little less than normal ferts. I think it was 0.2 mL Thrive, three times a week, which follows the dosing for low light tanks. I stopped dosing when I got back, and only just started again yesterday, after the two cleanups.
I have no CO2 and haven't dosed excel for quite a while now.
Lights are Fluval spec III LED stock lighting, the new version. I may put it on a dimmer switch if algae persists after I clean it up. Photoperiod 6 hours.

The diatoms are really easy to remove, I find sucking the out with the siphon easier than twirling. They do break apart easy. The stuff on the moss is actually light green, and I'm fairly certain it's algae. I got fungus on the wood back in May(?) when I first set the tank up. I dropped some in my amano's tank and I believe he ate it. It just looks whiter due to the light.
 

Silister Trench

Member
-Mak- said:
Honestly the huge bloom happened a few weeks ago, while I was gone I had family dose a little less than normal ferts. I think it was 0.2 mL Thrive, three times a week, which follows the dosing for low light tanks. I stopped dosing when I got back, and only just started again yesterday, after the two cleanups.
I have no CO2 and haven't dosed excel for quite a while now.
Lights are Fluval spec III LED stock lighting, the new version. I may put it on a dimmer switch if algae persists after I clean it up. Photoperiod 6 hours.

The diatoms are really easy to remove, I find sucking the out with the siphon easier than twirling. They do break apart easy. The stuff on the moss is actually light green, and I'm fairly certain it's algae. I got fungus on the wood back in May(?) when I first set the tank up. I dropped some in my amano's tank and I believe he ate it. It just looks whiter due to the light.
There's your problem. You let someone else touch your tank. :dead:

I let someone do that once, feed and dose my high-tech tanks for a week... yeah, I'll never let anyone touch it again. They stopped by a week later and I was playing in a tank, so they grabbed the food container (ya know, since they did it for a week and were a pro) and thought they'd feed the fish. I almost took one of their fingers for that offense, having finally cleaned a mess of rotting tubiflex worms + flakes. Not sure how I didn't explain dosing right, since I use squirt bottles and mix it so 1 x pump is dosed for 20G of water, but they got a bit squirt happy too...

I even took it to the next level put food and ferts in a small cabinet I made that locks, so you know... kid's and the bad ideas adults get aren't tempted to help me.o_O


I still wouldn't dose ferts. Can't remember what substrate you have exactly, but it's comprehensive (containing macro + micro)and similar to ADA. When plants are covered like that, dosing ferts is only helping the problem, as they're not getting as much light and unable to use the ferts. With your substrate I doubt you'll have to dose ferts for a loooong time, being low light, and assuming you w/c weekly. The overall problem is likely beginning fertilization too soon in combination with maybe a longer photoperiod in the passed. If you have higher nitrates, small water changes every day or every other can help bring them down while not changing the water chemistry enough to allow diatoms and algae to outcompete your plants.

I'd also begin dosing excel again, but consistently, and if the problem still persists, then I'd look into lighting.
 
  • Thread Starter

-Mak-

Member
Silister Trench said:
There's your problem. You let someone else touch your tank. :dead:

I let someone do that once, feed and dose my high-tech tanks for a week... yeah, I'll never let anyone touch it again. They stopped by a week later and I was playing in a tank, so they grabbed the food container (ya know, since they did it for a week and were a pro) and thought they'd feed the fish. I almost took one of their fingers for that offense, having finally cleaned a mess of rotting tubiflex worms + flakes. Not sure how I didn't explain dosing right, since I use squirt bottles and mix it so 1 x pump is dosed for 20G of water, but they got a bit squirt happy too...

I even took it to the next level put food and ferts in a small cabinet I made that locks, so you know... kid's and the bad ideas adults get aren't tempted to help me.o_O


I still wouldn't dose ferts. Can't remember what substrate you have exactly, but it's comprehensive (containing macro + micro)and similar to ADA. When plants are covered like that, dosing ferts is only helping the problem, as they're not getting as much light and unable to use the ferts. With your substrate I doubt you'll have to dose ferts for a loooong time, being low light, and assuming you w/c weekly. The overall problem is likely beginning fertilization too soon in combination with maybe a longer photoperiod in the passed. If you have higher nitrates, small water changes every day or every other can help bring them down while not changing the water chemistry enough to allow diatoms and algae to outcompete your plants.

I'd also begin dosing excel again, but consistently, and if the problem still persists, then I'd look into lighting.
Thanks for the tips, Sil! Nobody was living until the tank so thankfully I didn't have to deal with feeding instruction, I agree that wouldn't be too fun upon return.
Substrate is UP aqua sand; I have no idea what the heck it actually is, I bought it because it looked a bit like the more expensive soils but for a lot cheaper. I wonder if there's a way to test what's in it. I'll continue to clean and WC, and hold off on ferts. I'll probably start up again eventually though, depends on what I find out after playing around for a little.
 

goldface

Member
-Mak- said:
Honestly, if it was going good before you left, probably not much changed. I was already starting to encounter problems right before I left, I just didn't expect it to get this out of hand.
Got back recently. Not bad at all. Indid have filamentous green algae, but it never got out of hand. Happy to see the plant growth, however.
Silister Trench said:
There's your problem. You let someone else touch your tank. :dead:

I let someone do that once, feed and dose my high-tech tanks for a week... yeah, I'll never let anyone touch it again. They stopped by a week later and I was playing in a tank, so they grabbed the food container (ya know, since they did it for a week and were a pro) and thought they'd feed the fish. I almost took one of their fingers for that offense, having finally cleaned a mess of rotting tubiflex worms + flakes. Not sure how I didn't explain dosing right, since I use squirt bottles and mix it so 1 x pump is dosed for 20G of water, but they got a bit squirt happy too...

I even took it to the next level put food and ferts in a small cabinet I made that locks, so you know... kid's and the bad ideas adults get aren't tempted to help me.o_O


I still wouldn't dose ferts. Can't remember what substrate you have exactly, but it's comprehensive (containing macro + micro)and similar to ADA. When plants are covered like that, dosing ferts is only helping the problem, as they're not getting as much light and unable to use the ferts. With your substrate I doubt you'll have to dose ferts for a loooong time, being low light, and assuming you w/c weekly. The overall problem is likely beginning fertilization too soon in combination with maybe a longer photoperiod in the passed. If you have higher nitrates, small water changes every day or every other can help bring them down while not changing the water chemistry enough to allow diatoms and algae to outcompete your plants.

I'd also begin dosing excel again, but consistently, and if the problem still persists, then I'd look into lighting.
That explains it. I use ADA powder type. I don't dose anytthing at all and use stock lighting of the spec iii. My rotala wallichI grows like crazy and I heard those plants are difficult to grow without CO2 dosing.

Oh and I know what you mean. I can't trust anyone around my tanks. I made the decision not to have anyone feed my fish the entire 2 weeks I was gone. All the fish are doing fine and are lively. They don't even look like they were starving. Just an FYI for anyone curious about leaving for vacation for more than a week.
 

Silister Trench

Member
-Mak- said:
Thanks for the tips, Sil! Nobody was living until the tank so thankfully I didn't have to deal with feeding instruction, I agree that wouldn't be too fun upon return.
Substrate is UP aqua sand; I have no idea what the heck it actually is, I bought it because it looked a bit like the more expensive soils but for a lot cheaper. I wonder if there's a way to test what's in it. I'll continue to clean and WC, and hold off on ferts. I'll probably start up again eventually though, depends on what I find out after playing around for a little.
Oh, yeah! Now I remember. UP aqua sand was ADA aquasoil without ammonia spikes during start up. It's a nutrient rich substrate that has everything the plants need, so seriously, no need to dose!

If I were to guess, then the majority of the problem is because of this substrate. Complete substrates are better suited for very heavily planted tanks, where there's enough consumption of their nutrients that it isn't released so heavily into the water column. What we have is a tank under low light (because my experience with Fluval kits leads me to believe it's just quality enough to grow plants... barely...) with light initial planting, so this large amount of nutrients isn't being utilized, sooooo... algae, diatoms, in the worst way.

Hopefully, with some time, everything grows in thick enough to consume the nutrients, but eventually it'll lessen.

I'd consider dosing again in a few months, like 3. I have a very heavily planted 5G with a betta and 60 - 100 RCS with stronger lighting and nutrientless substrate that I don't even dose 6-8 months later. Consider that in comparison, as well as the plants being mostly water column nutrient only consumers. Just weekly 60% WC and feeding food that contains phosphates.
 
  • Thread Starter

-Mak-

Member
Hey everyone! Short update here:

I am going on vacation again, for two and a half weeks. I started a lean dosing regiment just before I left because it seemed like the monte carlo had deficiencies of some sort, I couldn't really tell what kind though since it's so tiny. Nothing but plants in this particular tank, so the light is on a timer, a paper towel placed over the lid for a slight dimming effect (an inline dimmer did not work), and hopefully it won't be in too bad of a shape when I get back.

The exciting thing is I am going to Taipei, Taiwan and later Shanghai. I'll be hitting some aquarium shops there and seeing if I can find anything interesting. Obviously and unfortunately I can't bring back any plants or livestock, but it'll be cool to look at. Maybe some hardscaping material and aquascaping tools if I see any. Not sure what to expect though, so it'll be a surprise!
 

Jocelyn Adelman

Member
Exciting!!!!
Not sure I would leave the paper towel on... assuming sil was spot on (usually is) the nutrients from your substrate will begin to accumulate with no water changes... that plus dI'm light will be another algae explosion...
 
  • Thread Starter

-Mak-

Member
Jocelyn Adelman said:
Exciting!!!!
Not sure I would leave the paper towel on... assuming sil was spot on (usually is) the nutrients from your substrate will begin to accumulate with no water changes... that plus dI'm light will be another algae explosion...
I was planning on doing a really rough test with my substrate to see if it leaches ammonia or nitrate after soaking and being crushed. Haven't gotten around to it. The main reason I wanted to dI'm it was to prevent algae, since I'm not there to dose ferts or excel
 
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