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-   -   Questions and pics of my two planted tanks (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-freshwater-aquarium/questions-pics-my-two-planted-tanks-132553/)

Homer16 03-18-2013 08:42 PM

Questions and pics of my two planted tanks
 
Okay, a while back I wanted to start a planted tank. I turned my 3 gallon LED tank into a planted tank first to see how it would work out. Then I tried my 5.5 but the colourmax bulb petsmart told me was okay for plants wasnt. So I went to my local fish store and they told me to buy an LED set or a new tank set up with LED's. I just spent the $60 on the tank with build in LEDS and blue lights. Its a 4 gallon and I wanted to downsize a bit anyway. So...heres the pics

4 gallon

I notice theres some algae build up on the sides of the tank right under where each LED light thingy sits under the lid...whats causing this? Is it good/bad and what can I do? Cant really see the algae build up in this pic
http://i1141.photobucket.com/albums/...psd50c6055.jpg

I put this single plant in and now it looks like it spread a bit and is making new plants? Its a Corkscrew Vallisneria plant
http://i1141.photobucket.com/albums/...ps06a660ec.jpg

I have a Red Ludwigia plant and a Banana plant as well as a Scarlet Temple maybe? I cannot remember the name of that one. The banana plant broke a piece off so I just stuck the leave into the sand a bit and now its growing thick white roots
http://i1141.photobucket.com/albums/...psc2bf4c92.jpg

3 Gallon

Same Algae problem on the tank sides and also on the terra cotta hut in the back.
http://i1141.photobucket.com/albums/...psd6293e86.jpg

Theres a tiny Corkscrew Vallisneria plant in there I took from the bunch when I bought it, this one to has thick roots moving away from the plant but no new plants yet. The Red Ludwigia on the right grew so fast its been trimmed twice already....It reaches the top in a matter of 1-2 weeks
http://i1141.photobucket.com/albums/...psb6dd942a.jpg

Then theres also a few Red Ludwigia and a couple Scarlet Temple (think its that) leaves that broke off from the plant I bought and I just stuck them into the sand it hasnt died yet its been a month but hasnt made roots. A banana plant in this one to
http://i1141.photobucket.com/albums/...ps17c36939.jpg

I am likely doing a few things wrong but im learning. What can I do to improve my tanks? I run the LED's for 10-12 hours a day, I dont over feed in fact the 4 gallon has a male Betta and 2 Ghost shrimp and the 3 gallon has a female Betta and 2 Ghost shrimp and I feed the bettas by the pellet. Heater is at 72-75 degrees and I run a filter in both. I change the water 3 times a week 50% in both. With plants can I get away with changing less?

Any advice is welcome, I want to buy more plants but not sure what else to add. I did have hornwort in there but it wasnt doing well and shedding stupid needles every where so I put them in the 38 gallon until my friend can come pick them up wednesday....every thing else seems to be thriving...

MoneyMitch 03-18-2013 09:02 PM

you seem to be well versed in the propagation of your selected plants from what you describe and show in the pics, awesome to see this! your seeing the algae for possibly a few reasons, too much nutrient in the water or not enough co2 or too much light hard to rule out either without finding out what you dose with if you dose and how often, going to assume no co2 injeection? kh can also efffect plant growth thus having a impact on algae. balanced planted systems will use all avilable well most nutrients and co2 with the light while having minimal algae buildup. anyway you can get a good shot of the algae? diffrent types of algae can signify diffrent problems. the water change topic has been very heated as of late so i will leave it at this. Personally i change atelast 30% every week and i have a 55gallon and have nothing but issues when i do not change my water, nothing drastic but enough that i can tell from the behavior of the fish and the growth/visual signs fromt he plants, i view it as no matter how mnay plants or sumps you have you should definately change your water atleast a few times a month.

Homer16 03-18-2013 09:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MoneyMitch (Post 1479009)
you seem to be well versed in the propagation of your selected plants from what you describe and show in the pics, awesome to see this! your seeing the algae for possibly a few reasons, too much nutrient in the water or not enough co2 or too much light hard to rule out either without finding out what you dose with if you dose and how often, going to assume no co2 injeection? kh can also efffect plant growth thus having a impact on algae. balanced planted systems will use all avilable well most nutrients and co2 with the light while having minimal algae buildup. anyway you can get a good shot of the algae? diffrent types of algae can signify diffrent problems. the water change topic has been very heated as of late so i will leave it at this. Personally i change atelast 30% every week and i have a 55gallon and have nothing but issues when i do not change my water, nothing drastic but enough that i can tell from the behavior of the fish and the growth/visual signs fromt he plants, i view it as no matter how mnay plants or sumps you have you should definately change your water atleast a few times a month.

I do not have co2 injector. Let me go try for a better pic of the algae and I will get the product I use for plant food or whatever it is they need lol

MoneyMitch 03-18-2013 09:28 PM

you dont use fertilizer? if your not using any i dont see a reason to add if your seeing such good results how long is you light on for?

Homer16 03-18-2013 09:34 PM

This is the best pic I can get of the algae. It only happens right under each LED bulb thingy on 3 sides of the tank (only sides with lights near the plastic sides.

It looks like circles of green algae.
http://i1141.photobucket.com/albums/...psda60205d.jpg

The 3 gallon just looks like a massive sand storm went on in there and some dust stuck to the glass to accurately describe it.

I use Leaf Zone from petsmart
Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Leaf Zone Aquarium Plant Food - Plant Care - Fish - PetSmart

It says to add 5ml per 10 gallons. I *just* add a tad bit and throw it in since I am dosing a 4 and 3 gallon. It says once a week but I will add a drop each water change. Maybe I am over doing it? My lights are on for 10-12 hours a day. I will admit sometimes I have conked out and they have been left on for 14 hours but that rarely happens

MoneyMitch 03-18-2013 10:00 PM

almost looks like diatoms to me but in the early stages, how long have you been seeing this? when u clean it off at w/c how long does it take to come back?

Homer16 03-18-2013 10:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MoneyMitch (Post 1479697)
almost looks like diatoms to me but in the early stages, how long have you been seeing this? when u clean it off at w/c how long does it take to come back?

I have no idea havent paid much attention I will say about 4 days...

jentralala 03-18-2013 10:16 PM

Where did you get your sand? I love it.

MoneyMitch 03-18-2013 10:20 PM

yea im gunna have to say thats diatoms, you said the lights tend to stay on for extended periods sometimes, this could be the cuplrit here or it could also be phostphates from your tap water, do you use any water conditioners for your changes?

Diatoms are most responsive to silca/silicates, but DOCs (Dissolved Organic Compounds), nitrates, and phosphates are food sources as well so depending what your substrate is made out of could also be the culprit. but saying all that heres what i would try if i were you.

Use a 50/50 mix of RO/DI with your conditioned tap water for water changers and invest into a timer for your light and take the light down to about 8hrs. being a smaller tank it shoudl be pretty affordable to obtain the RO or DI water for your water changes, i will also add make sure you can suck up all the mulm or nastys on the sand that you can these too can add to it. other then that i would keep with your fert dosing. if you still have the problem after you try this stuff you can send me a pm and i will gladly help you work through the problem. or then again others may come along with diffrent ideas or diagnoses but for me everything points to diatoms.

Homer16 03-18-2013 10:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jentralala (Post 1479993)
Where did you get your sand? I love it.

It is Quickrete play sand from home depot :)

Quote:

Originally Posted by MoneyMitch (Post 1480033)
yea im gunna have to say thats diatoms, you said the lights tend to stay on for extended periods sometimes, this could be the cuplrit here or it could also be phostphates from your tap water, do you use any water conditioners for your changes?

Diatoms are most responsive to silca/silicates, but DOCs (Dissolved Organic Compounds), nitrates, and phosphates are food sources as well so depending what your substrate is made out of could also be the culprit. but saying all that heres what i would try if i were you.

Use a 50/50 mix of RO/DI with your conditioned tap water for water changers and invest into a timer for your light and take the light down to about 8hrs. being a smaller tank it shoudl be pretty affordable to obtain the RO or DI water for your water changes, i will also add make sure you can suck up all the mulm or nastys on the sand that you can these too can add to it. other then that i would keep with your fert dosing. if you still have the problem after you try this stuff you can send me a pm and i will gladly help you work through the problem. or then again others may come along with diffrent ideas or diagnoses but for me everything points to diatoms.

What is RO/DI? I already have a timer so I will go ahead and set that now. I just bought it last week. I do condition my tap water every water change I just add enough to cover what new water im adding.


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