Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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LeopardCent 10-06-2007 05:55 PM

Out of control
Ill go thru the sequence of events that got me to othe disaster that sits in my living room now. I have a 29 gallon freshwater tank and about 6 months ago i wanted to put live plants in it so i got a few assorted live palnts at the local pet store brought em home and planted them. Well about a month later i noticed that all the new growth was considerably shorter than the old growth that it came from the store with. I gave it anther couple weeks and my midget plants got no bigger. To the local pet store i went, brighter lighting i was told/sold, 120 dollars later i had a dual tube coralife bulb (the 50/50 bulb). No change. Still stumpy. CO2 you say? Got it too, the yeast kind. Subsrate, well i replaced 1/2 of my regular run of the mill gravel with the plant friendly kind. I cant remember the name but it is a comman brand. No dice. Now my tank is half white gravel half natural plant gravel with short live plants on one side and big fake plastic ones for the fish to hide in on the other. To top it all off my tamk has now started to grow a green and red/brown algae rug on EVERYTHING that just wont die. Does anyone have any suggestions on how i can fix my frankentank. I guess the best part is that all my fish are still alive and they are actually thriving.

fish_4_all 10-06-2007 11:24 PM

Stunted, lack of growth is a sign of nitrogen deficiency. I will bet your nitrates are below 10 ppm which is not going to give you robust healthy growth. I full line fo ferts is going to give oyu the growth you want and regular dosing.

Is it possibly Eco Complete you have? Flourite? Turface?

Do you know the wattage of the new bulbs?

As for the algae, it sounds like diatoms. If it comes off really easy and is kinda moldy looking then it is. If not, a better description will help us figure out what it is.

mgamer20o0 10-07-2007 01:10 AM

google rex grigg there you will get a basic guide on everything you need to know about plants.

LeopardCent 10-07-2007 09:46 AM

More info
Well I looked at the gravel and it is flourite, and I checked the water and it is below 10ppm for the nitrogen. I have been using liquid fertilizers and it hasnt seemed to help. Is it possible to over filter the water in your tank? My filter is rather large (300gpm) and the lack of nitrogen hints to me anyways that maybe I am overfiltering the water. If I am wrong feel free to correct but when I bought my tank I bought the larger filter because I think it was in a book I read said "There is no such thing as overfiltering your water". But if that is what is tking all the nitro out....I ramble on. As far as the algae what you described seems accurate. I have pulled all the decorations out and scrubbed them and the algae comes off easily but within a couple days is right back ALL over everything. I have tried the algae removers from the store and they dont seem to work and my pleco only eats it of specific surfaces. The light box says it is a 65 watt bulb. This has become really frustrating for me because before i tried the plants my tank was stable and "pretty" and now it looks like a swamp with short plants.

Shannara 10-07-2007 11:50 AM


Originally Posted by fish_4_all
Stunted, lack of growth is a sign of nitrogen deficiency. I will bet your nitrates are below 10 ppm which is not going to give you robust healthy growth. I full line fo ferts is going to give oyu the growth you want and regular dosing.

So if my nitrates where low on my last testing...about 5 ppm...what do I need to be dosing with? I put a bunch of root tabs in a few weeks ago when I posted my thread. I haven't been using flourish because I didn't want to feed the algae outbreak I had. I still have about half a bag of KNO3 and KH2PO4. I also have KCI nd which one am I not dosing enough of if my nitrates are at 5 ppm?


I have been using liquid fertilizers and it hasnt seemed to help.
I have always been told the most effective aquarium ferts are the raw powdered the ones I mentioned above. I bought them from "Greg Watson's" website but I don't remember the link. From what I understand the liquid ferts are taken up quickly by the algae so root feeding and measured powder ferts are the way to go for healthy plants. I have a problem figuring out the dosing....obviously since my nitrates are also very low.

Hope you can figure out a fert regiment that works for you. I have had a hard time getting mine sorted out but am working on it again with some help from fish forum members.


Unrulyevil 10-08-2007 10:38 PM

Well my friend ... I can definitely feel your frustration but don't give up! tank with real plants much better than fake ones anyway.

Anyhow... the success for growing plants, keeping fish and enjoying your aqua is within the nitrogen cycle.

Fish, dead plants , fish waste , fish urine, all stay in your tank and get eaten down by natural bacteria that is suppose to live in your gravel, bio-wheel and water. When all the waste in your tank gets broken down and eaten by bacteria it becomes sort of fertilizer for your plants, plants extract nutrients out of it and feed on it. Simply adding all kinds of stuff for your plants will not do, as it does not provide continued supply of the minerals to the plants.

Plants feed on bi - product of almost everything including ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.

Ok! your lights! 65 W for 29 gallon is good enough but I'm not too sure about those 50/50 lamps. There are special lamps for plants that gives you a good spectrum range that is best for your plants. everything goes from 5000k to 10,000k ranges. 50/50 mainly for corals and not for plants.

When you get smacked by the green carpet that means that there is not enough of something in the tank, and your nitrogen cycle is not where it should be. In the proper established tank the green carpet has no chance because it can not compete with plants for food and therefor it simply doesn't grow

Don't get "assorted" plants from your local pet store before you actually know what are you getting. I bet you don't even know what plants you have.

IMO your filter helps bacteria in your tank to eat-up and to eliminate all the nutrients needed for plants and they dont get any. But thats just my opinion. In other words your tank is toooo clean. Get your self Seachem Ammonia alarm/meter and Seachem ph meter, they work 24/7 for months at the time and lets you see when you really need water changes and when your ammonia is high. These meters will enable you to load your tank(system) with more maybe fish? and in turn increase your waste level in your tank there for making more nutrients and feeding more bacteria to brake down all the waste.


Ohh yea and one more thing... when you will be able to see that your ammonia levels are stable you might wanna cut down on the water changes, or do less of gravel cleaning instead.

Fish====>plants====>>> fish.

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