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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
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


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


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


3 Gallon

Same Algae problem on the tank sides and also on the terra cotta hut in the back.


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


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


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...
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
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.


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
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Where did you get your sand? I love it.
It is Quickrete play sand from home depot :)

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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dont take this as demeining but here are the definitions. DI water RO water click to be linked.

DI=de ionized water
RO= reverse osmosis water

linking the wikis to give you the pure facts with hopefully no confusion and so you can understand the diffrences.
basically both are very pure water with nothing in it, just the h2o no phosphates chlorine microorginisims nothing... this will elminate a potential food source for the diatoms and thus allow you to keep ferting
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
dont take this as demeining but here are the definitions. DI water RO water click to be linked.

DI=de ionized water
RO= reverse osmosis water

linking the wikis to give you the pure facts with hopefully no confusion and so you can understand the diffrences.
basically both are very pure water with nothing in it, just the h2o no phosphates chlorine microorginisims nothing... this will elminate a potential food source for the diatoms and thus allow you to keep ferting
Okay, Yeah I know what that is I just havent seen short term used for it before. I can see what they want price wise for them here. I researched a bit myself and from what I read Diatoms are reddish brown or can they be green to?
 

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yea, they start out like a dusty type greenish brown and can form into dark green and spread liek fire if not kept in check. as far as the ro or di water i know my local krogers meijer and even walmart sells by the 3gallon for like 5$ after u buy the jug. if your only using liek a 50/50 mix that should last you a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
This algae is bright green and its not fuzzy. I looked up a few pics of the Diatoms and it does not look like that. Is there any fish or something that doesnt get to big that I could add into the tank to keep it under control? I dont mind cleaning it when I do a water change. I can check walmart for that water when I am there. Im in Canada so it will likely be a bit more expensive but thats fine
 

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Do you by chance live in Canada? On another thread we're discussing regional differences between Quikcrete products, trying to find some sort of correlation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Do you by chance live in Canada? On another thread we're discussing regional differences between Quikcrete products, trying to find some sort of correlation.
Yeah I am in Canada (Niagara Region, Ontario). I paid $7.54 each 20kg bag of Quickrete Play sand at Lowes :)
 

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This algae is bright green and its not fuzzy. I looked up a few pics of the Diatoms and it does not look like that. Is there any fish or something that doesnt get to big that I could add into the tank to keep it under control? I dont mind cleaning it when I do a water change. I can check walmart for that water when I am there. Im in Canada so it will likely be a bit more expensive but thats fine
now that makes me think green spot algae, does it easly come off when you rub it or does it take some effort or a scrubby pad to remove it? sorry pic looked like a cross between brown/green
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
now that makes me think green spot algae, does it easly come off when you rub it or does it take some effort or a scrubby pad to remove it? sorry pic looked like a cross between brown/green
No its definitely green for sure. It comes off if I run my finger over it. I just generally use a scrubby because its easier for me
 

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Like the tanks :D
I would suggest planting the taller plants - like the Corkscrew Vallisneria and Red Ludwigia - at the back, so it makes a nice screen and the heater/filter doesn't show that well :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Like the tanks :D
I would suggest planting the taller plants - like the Corkscrew Vallisneria and Red Ludwigia - at the back, so it makes a nice screen and the heater/filter doesn't show that well :D
The heater wont damage the plant if they touch?
 
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