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Amazon Swords killing everything?

This is a discussion on Amazon Swords killing everything? within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> Originally Posted by car0linab0y I had planned to take some photos when I got home, but the entire tank was green when I got ...

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Amazon Swords killing everything?
Old 07-07-2010, 02:57 PM   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by car0linab0y View Post
I had planned to take some photos when I got home, but the entire tank was green when I got home. Algae took over, but I know my plants are still living b/c the larger of the two that are left is nearly to the top of the tank. I did a 60% water change today, but the water is still too green to actually see through. I plan to do another 50% change Friday. I'm guessing the algae explosion is from leaving the light on and HOB running about half-steam for 10 days.
If you mean the tank light was on for the entire 10 days, 24/7, then yes, that is the cause of your green water/algae.

I'll assume you were away for the 10 days; you should buy a timer, you can get them at hardware stores for lamps and such; set for a regular period of light/dark is not only better for the plants but for the fish too. Lights on 24/7 is extremely stressful on fish; they frequently develop health issues and ich or related parasites will often appear. Keep a close eye on the fish.

A caution on the water changes: they are basically good and will help clear this up. But, check the pH of the tank and the tap water; if the tank is below 7 (therefore acidic) and the tap water is above 7 (basic or alkaline), a large water change that causes the tank pH to suddenly rise above 7 could be disaster. The reason is that in acidic water ammonia changes to ammonium which is basically harmless and the fish adapt. As soon as the pH changes to basic, the ammonium changes into ammonia which is highly toxic. It could cause an increase in ammonia beyond what the bacteria and plants can handle.

Byron.
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Old 07-07-2010, 03:03 PM   #12
 
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If you mean the tank light was on for the entire 10 days, 24/7, then yes, that is the cause of your green water/algae.

I'll assume you were away for the 10 days; you should buy a timer, you can get them at hardware stores for lamps and such; set for a regular period of light/dark is not only better for the plants but for the fish too. Lights on 24/7 is extremely stressful on fish; they frequently develop health issues and ich or related parasites will often appear. Keep a close eye on the fish.

A caution on the water changes: they are basically good and will help clear this up. But, check the pH of the tank and the tap water; if the tank is below 7 (therefore acidic) and the tap water is above 7 (basic or alkaline), a large water change that causes the tank pH to suddenly rise above 7 could be disaster. The reason is that in acidic water ammonia changes to ammonium which is basically harmless and the fish adapt. As soon as the pH changes to basic, the ammonium changes into ammonia which is highly toxic. It could cause an increase in ammonia beyond what the bacteria and plants can handle.

Byron.
I was going to get a timer, but there wasn't room in the budget until next payday.
Our tap is right at, or just below 7, and very soft. Gives me hell trying to maintain my cichlid tank.
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Old 07-07-2010, 03:58 PM   #13
 
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I was going to get a timer, but there wasn't room in the budget until next payday.
Our tap is right at, or just below 7, and very soft. Gives me hell trying to maintain my cichlid tank.
Should be OK with water changes then.

African rift lake cichlids? If yes, using a calcareous material such as dolomite, crush coral, marble chips in the filter will raise hardness and pH. Or in the substrate. A pH of 8-9 and corresponding hardness is fine for rift lake cichlids.

But if you mean non-Africans, depends upon the species.

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Old 07-07-2010, 04:04 PM   #14
 
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Should be OK with water changes then.

African rift lake cichlids? If yes, using a calcareous material such as dolomite, crush coral, marble chips in the filter will raise hardness and pH. Or in the substrate. A pH of 8-9 and corresponding hardness is fine for rift lake cichlids.

But if you mean non-Africans, depends upon the species.

Byron.
They're African... Lake Malawi specifically. I'm using cichlid gravel, and have 3 good sized Holey Rock in the tank. Using epsom salt to boost the pH and hardness during water changes.
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Old 07-08-2010, 06:28 PM   #15
 
New question... I have two of the hygro plants, one is nearly to the top of the tank now, the other is about half that height. I'm trading some equipment for some water wisteria and another stem plant clippings, sword looking, but the owner doesn't know the name of it. Would 20 Swordtails & Yellow Barbs produce enough CO2 to keep up with these plants?
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Old 07-08-2010, 07:13 PM   #16
 
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I'm getting rather confused here.

Initially the issue was plants not lasting, and pH was given as 6.8-7 with low GH and KH. Then there was mention of rift lake cichlids and using calcareous gravel to raise the hardness and pH. Now there is talk of barbs and swordtails.

This mix of fish is not recommended in one tank. Rift lake cichlids should in my view anyway have their own tank devoted to them. Lots of rocks, higher pH and hardness, usually no plants but Vallisneria does very well in such conditions if some of the fish don't eat it first.

Swordtails are livebearers and all livebearers do much better in slightly basic/moderately hard water; not as "hard" as rift lake cichlids like, but still hard and basic.

As you seem to have ideal whater for soft acidic water fish, such as the barbs, why not devote the tank to this type of fish? And the plants would do well too. There are many members here who would love to have your water parameters but are stuck with water almost rock hard.

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Old 07-08-2010, 07:28 PM   #17
 
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I'm getting rather confused here.

Initially the issue was plants not lasting, and pH was given as 6.8-7 with low GH and KH. Then there was mention of rift lake cichlids and using calcareous gravel to raise the hardness and pH. Now there is talk of barbs and swordtails.

This mix of fish is not recommended in one tank. Rift lake cichlids should in my view anyway have their own tank devoted to them. Lots of rocks, higher pH and hardness, usually no plants but Vallisneria does very well in such conditions if some of the fish don't eat it first.

Swordtails are livebearers and all livebearers do much better in slightly basic/moderately hard water; not as "hard" as rift lake cichlids like, but still hard and basic.

As you seem to have ideal whater for soft acidic water fish, such as the barbs, why not devote the tank to this type of fish? And the plants would do well too. There are many members here who would love to have your water parameters but are stuck with water almost rock hard.

Byron.
Nooooo nooooo noooo.... I just mentioned the Cichlid tank because we were talking about how soft my tap water is. The Africans are in a 55g 4-footer of their own. The 65g is the planted tank with the swordtails/barbs.
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Old 07-19-2010, 09:35 AM   #18
 
More specific data:
Nitrate = 0
nitrite = 0
GH ~75
Chlorine = 0
KH = 40
pH < 6.8
lighting: 60w natural daylight. bulbs could use replacing, but no one seems to sell 36" T8 bulbs around here.
ferts: Flourish 2x/week
Wouldn't fast growing plants just grow slower if lighting were the issue, rather than die off in a day or two?
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Old 07-19-2010, 03:29 PM   #19
 
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Originally Posted by car0linab0y View Post
More specific data:
Nitrate = 0
nitrite = 0
GH ~75
Chlorine = 0
KH = 40
pH < 6.8
lighting: 60w natural daylight. bulbs could use replacing, but no one seems to sell 36" T8 bulbs around here.
ferts: Flourish 2x/week
Wouldn't fast growing plants just grow slower if lighting were the issue, rather than die off in a day or two?
Not necessarily. There are a few interconnected things involved, and if one is missing plants can't grow at all. Going back in this thread, we have a 65g tank, 3-feet in length, with two T8 tubes over it. That is sufficient light, if the tubes are adequate as I'll explain.

Plants grow by photosynthesizing, and to do this they need light that is adequate in intensity and duration, plus some 17 nutrients. If any one of these is missing, the plants may not be able to photosynthesize. Some things are more critical than others; light is one of these. But something else may also be off, and the cumulative effect means faster demise of the plants. Especially fast growing plants which obviously have a higher uptake of nutrients and thus need good light even more than slower growing. Slow-growing plants tend to store nutrients to some extent, and provided the light is within reason can manage to overcome temporary shortfalls of some nutrients. But fast growing plants cannot do this and their consistent need for nutrients is strong and light must be adequate.

As I said, two tubes is sufficient intensity, but the light has to be good. First, it needs to provide what the plants most need, blue and red. A tube around 6500K is ideal to provide this, what we call full spectrum or daylight. But, the intensity (think of it as brightness) of light produced by any tube as they burn will weaken, eventually to the point of burning out; but long before that they are producing much less intent light than when new. All one has to do to see this is have an old tube and a new one, same exact type, side by side; you might be amazed at the difference in brightness. Some aquarists argue that the tube is fine so long as it is lighting, and the intensity issue is insignificant. But I don't subscribe to this theory, because for one thing as tubes age algae tends to become more prevalent in the aquarium, and this is a sure sign that the plants are not growing as well. Most reputable authors recommending changing T8 tubes every three years; the older T12 tubes (the thicker ones, getting more scarce these days as the T8 are more efficient) should be replaced every year.

I can't say the light is the issue but if the tubes are getting old it may be.

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