Aquascaping The Fluval Spec 3 - Progress | Page 4

Discussion in 'Aquarium Aquascaping' started by -Mak-, Apr 8, 2017.

  1. OP
    OP
    -Mak-

    -Mak-Fishlore VIPMember

    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.
     
  2. scarface

    scarfaceFishlore VIPMember

    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.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    -Mak-

    -Mak-Fishlore VIPMember

    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.
     
  4. Silister Trench

    Silister TrenchWell Known MemberMember

    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.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2017
  5. OP
    OP
    -Mak-

    -Mak-Fishlore VIPMember

    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.
     
  6. Silister Trench

    Silister TrenchWell Known MemberMember

    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.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    -Mak-

    -Mak-Fishlore VIPMember

    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.
     
  8. scarface

    scarfaceFishlore VIPMember

    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.
    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.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2017
  9. Silister Trench

    Silister TrenchWell Known MemberMember

    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 beta 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.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    -Mak-

    -Mak-Fishlore VIPMember

    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!
     
  11. Jocelyn Adelman

    Jocelyn AdelmanFishlore VIPMember

    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 dim light will be another algae explosion...
     
  12. OP
    OP
    -Mak-

    -Mak-Fishlore VIPMember

    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 dim it was to prevent algae, since I'm not there to dose ferts or excel :(