Trying to find the balance

Discussion in 'Aquarium Plants' started by Mer-max, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. Mer-maxWell Known MemberMember

    Co2, ferts, and lights but I've still got some alge problems. The white hairlike is new but the dark green spots are prior to adding co2 ( about a week ago)

    Here's my set up:

    55 gallon
    48" t5ho dual light fixture
    DIY co2 with a diffuser - runs 24/7 with my ph dropped a full 1.0 since adding
    I use flourish comp, flourish nitrate when nitrate is low, and API leaf zone about every 3 days

    Here's some pics :






    Other than how do I control the alge, I was wondering why I still have black spots on my java fern- one has cleared almost completely up while the other hasn't at all.

    Also - my sword ( not pictured ). Still has some (old) leaves that are curled. Is this lack of calcium? Could I put crushed egg shells in my canister to help?

    Thanks ahead!

    - max

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2018
  2. bankruptjojoFishlore VIPMember

    do you know what kind of t5ho bulbs your using? the 10,000K can cause algae problems.

    how long are your lights on for? 6 hours is all your plants need.

    your not dosing any phosphates, id get a phosphate test kit to see where there at. to high or low can cause algae. im not sure what the ideal range is though so youll have to have someone else tell you that, sorry....

  3. kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    That's green spot algae, and it is often caused by low phosphate levels. I struggle with it in my tank as well, and I dose pure dry phosphate every other day! Algae eaters can't eat it because it's too firmly rooted. It's hard to even scrape off.

    CO2 only needs to run when the lights are on. Plants don't photosynthesize (and therefore don't take up carbon) in the absence of light. They perform the Krebs cycle all the time (it's called the "dark cycle" but that's sort of a misnomer, implying that it only occurs at night, but really it happens all the time, just it's the only cycle ongoing at night), but they do not require carbon for that.

    I have a 55 gallon tank with injected CO2 and I have it come on an hour before the lights come on, and turn off with the lights. That way there is some CO2 already in the water when the lights come on.

    Can you test your KH and GH?
  4. Mer-maxWell Known MemberMember

    ( can't turn off DIY co2!) lol. Yes I do have a gh and kh test kit. What would hardness have an effect on plants?

    Any idea on the black java fern? It's the leaves black - not alge
  5. kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    Woops, mybad :p I've never had a DIY setup.

    Well, you mentioned adding eggshells, and that increases the KH, so we'd want to check that first :) Though I don't think it directly affects plants at all.

    AP sent me this link awhile ago, maybe you can see if your sword looks like it has any of these problems. Click on the picture to make it bigger :)  
  6. Mer-maxWell Known MemberMember

    Last time I checked kh it took 44 drops.

    I have that chart, that's why I was thinking of adding eggshells for calcium.

    I'm ordering a regulator on payday and going injected, how do I avoid my ph shifting back up at night if I turn the injected off? ( thought I'd ask before hand and while I had you here lol)
  7. kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    :eek: Holy cow, 44 drops?! That's a ton!! You would have no problem keeping snails :p

    I thought the same thing, about the pH shifting, but from what I've read it doesn't really shift that much, and it's pretty gradual as well. I polled around and most, if not all, members turn their CO2 off at night. I ended up piecing my system together (rather than buying a kit) and only paid about $230 for the whole shebang, which isn't too bad :) My plants really took off after I started it up.

    I also turn on airstones at night, I've read about other members doing that too. Also the fishies like to swim in the bubbles :;smack It doesn't really make sense, in that if anything it would make the shift more severe, but I know it's pretty common practice. I just go with it :p
  8. Mer-maxWell Known MemberMember

    From what I understand turning the air stone on at night is a practice for DIY setups since you can't turn it off. I just pull my spray bar up higher at night and drop it in the day time. The day I pulled my diffuser out of the water to simulate turning an injected system off my ph went from 7.4 up to the natural 8.4.

    Also - for whatever reason I don't do great with snails. I got like 20 mts several months ago and sometimes during a cleaning ill find one in the sand but no others. In any of my tanks. I put ten in the 55 and ten in the 10 and no luck in either.
  9. CichlidnutFishlore VIPMember

    How do you fail with MTS?! ;D

    I emptied my tank for 2 weeks, it's been dry with some sand in there. I just put water in and I've got MTS coming back to life!
  10. Mer-maxWell Known MemberMember

    Just checked kh - 35 drops. Well from 30-35. I started putting more than one drop in
  11. kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    I find MTS in tanks that aren't supposed to have MTS in only assumption is that I accidentally suck them up when doing a water change in the MTS-tank, they cling to the bucket when I dump the water out, and hang out for a week until I do a water change the next weekend, and get deposited into other tanks :p
  12. Mer-maxWell Known MemberMember

    They shipped in bad weather. I only CONFIRMED one as alive. Maybe that's the guy I keep bumping into when I turn the sand. Who knows, I may have a mts explosion coming on soon. That or the pufferfish is that good at keeping them in check.

    We got off track. Ill check the phosphates when I can get a test kit.

    Ideas on the black in the java fern? The plants are producing little babies as well as new growth of their own but the black is unsightly. . .
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 2, 2013

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