Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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sharkbait23 09-07-2010 04:35 PM

Beginner needing plant help!
I just got a tank given to me and I got it all set up and read how to cycle it and test everything. Shortly after stocking it, I notice that my two plants in the front of my tank have this black algae growing on it and I think one of my plants is already too far gone. How can I save the other one? How can I stop the growth? Chemical/Less feeding/More cleaning? file:///I:/BlackBerry/pictures/IMG00254-20100907-1408.jpg

Inga 09-07-2010 05:02 PM

without seeing the plant it would be more difficult to guess. You will need more info though like, How long has the tank been set up?
- What kind of plants?
- How often do you change water?
- What are your current water parameters?
- What are the water parameters of your source water (tap) ?
- Are you using any fertilizer, and if so, how much and how often?
- How long are you keeping the lights on and what kind of lights are you using?
- How large is your tank?

sharkbait23 09-07-2010 06:41 PM Here is a pic of the plant in question.

1.Dwarf Sagittaria
2.I change the water every other day 20% changes
3.Safe Ammonia Level, Ph at 6.8 - 7.0
4. I use a Nutrafin Aqua Plus Tap Water Conditioner
5.I am not using any fertilizers at the moment
6.I have been keeping the lights on about 12-14 hrs a day I turn them off at night Lights Of America: 10 Watt Mini Fluorescent Aquarium Bulb
7.Marineland Eclipse Hex 5 Gallon Aquarium Kit

Am I doing something wrong? I have been trying to educate myself on this stuff, but I'm still pretty new at it.

Inga 09-07-2010 06:48 PM

Sorry, one more thing... How long ago did you plant the plant in the tank? Often times when you first plant them they get rough looking for awhile before picking up and starting to look good again. I would definitely recommend fertilizing it and the fertilizer most often recommended on here is Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive fertilizer for the planted aquarium. Might not be a bad idea to add a root tab near the roots of this plant as well since you have normal gravel. Hopefully in time, it will turn around. I think you have light on a little long too. Maybe cut that back an hour or two and start with the fertilizer and you should be alright.

I am sure someone that knows a lot more about plants will chime in soon. Hang in there. :)

Byron 09-07-2010 06:54 PM

Hello, and welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.

I took a look at the data for this tank under your "Aquariums", and also what you provided in response to Inga's questions. Reducing the light period a bit and using a comprehensive liquid fertilizer should resolve the algae issue. What is there won't go away, but it will not increase, or not like it has been anyway.

Algae takes advantage of excess light, and without fertilizers the plants are missing some nutrients so they can't make full use of the light. Have a read of the 4-part series "A Basic Approach to the Natural Planted Aquarium" at the head of this section of the forum; that will give you some background info on what I am talking about.

Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquarium is the fert I highly recommend; it has all nutrients in it, and you use very little--in your 5g about 1/4 tsp once a week is it. Reduce the light to 10 hours max each day; a timer like you can buy for lamps in the hardware store is a good investment as it maintains the same light schedule every day.

When you say "safe Ammonia level," what exactly do you mean? Ammonia should be zero if you are using a test kit. Might have more on this when you've responded.


sharkbait23 09-07-2010 06:55 PM

I planted them about 3 weeks ago and they started off really green and started to change about 4-5 days ago with the black algae on them. Thanks for the fertilizer tips I will try it and see what happens.

sharkbait23 09-07-2010 07:01 PM

I will definately try the fertilizer. The ammonia test kit that I have is Mardel LiveMeter Master Aquarium Water Testing Kit. It just sits on the side of the tank and monitors the ammonia levels constantly.

Byron 09-07-2010 07:10 PM

OK, I wouldn't worry about ammonia then; it is prob zero.

Get the Flourish (make sure it is exactly the one I named, Seachem make several products in the "Flourish" line), reduce the light period, and I think you will see improvement. Keep us posted on development.


sharkbait23 09-07-2010 07:12 PM

Alright guys thanks for the advice I will let you know how it improves.

SinCrisis 09-10-2010 01:17 PM

Could that be thick brown diatoms? Diatoms are very common in new tanks and die off after a while or get eaten by any algae eater. Also i beleive those monitors use a variation of the technology used in test strips are are actually not as accurate as the liquid test kits.

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