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Discussion Starter #1
I have been trying to switch our tank over to a planted tank and have been having trouble in doing so. I am looking for some advice on what to do next. Our test results are:
PH 7.4
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 80-90
Temp 71

Every time I buy some Anacharis it looks nice and dark green but after installing it in our tank it dies. What am I doing wrong?





We have also had a issue that just started with brown algae. I was thinking about tomorrow going and getting some more plants and some Otos to help with the algae. I have been reading that Oto's are big green poopers so do you have to vacuum more to get rid of the green poop?



Thanks for any insight that you can provide,

Eddie
 

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Your nitrates are high so that probably explains the algae; it'll probably go away once you do a sizeable water change. Also, how long do you leave your lights on? If the light cycle is too long, algae goes crazy. Corys do a great job keeping things clean and add a minimal amount of waste IMO; I keep schools of them in all my freshwater tanks. Do you fertilize at all? Anacharis does really well with fertilizer
 

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I don't know if you are in the same situation I was in, but when I tried switching my 55 into a planted tank, it went horribly wrong. I didn't have anything in the bottom but plain jane gravel. So the plants didn't get the nutrients that they needed. Everything would die, or look sick. I gave up and pulled everything but the anubis and some java moss. This summer I am going to put mineralized soil under the gravel. I did that to my newest tank and WOW what a difference. The plants grow and grow. I did have an algea problem at first but after about a month I got everything worked out and there is minimal algea now. The fish seem to really like it and my shrimp are breeding like crazy
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I have been using the fert tabs should I try the liquid fert? I am guessing I should not do any thing until the nitrates come down. Doesn't the anacharis and other plants really thrive on nitrates and if so why are mine dying?

Thanks
 

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What lighting do you have for this tank? I can't see nitrates being the problem to be honest. Plants don't need 80ppm to survive, something like 10-20 is where you want it for fish and plants to be happy.

Anacharis won't be fed by root tabs because they are really floating plants (even though they'll survive buried in gravel) and feed from the water column. Those white tipped plants you have to the right of the picture are non-aquatic plants and stand no change of survival in an aquarium. Their scientific name is Dracena sanderiana Also if that's real bamboo, it's won't survive completely submersed and will rot and die eventually.

You may want to try some easy to grow aquatic plants like java fern and moss to begin with, generally it will survive in any environment and since they shouldn't be buried in the gravel, they aren't reliant on nutrient rich gravel. Even some nice vals should do okay in low(er) light conditions/regular gravel.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
What lighting do you have for this tank? I can't see nitrates being the problem to be honest. Plants don't need 80ppm to survive, something like 10-20 is where you want it for fish and plants to be happy.

Anacharis won't be fed by root tabs because they are really floating plants (even though they'll survive buried in gravel) and feed from the water column. Those white tipped plants you have to the right of the picture are non-aquatic plants and stand no change of survival in an aquarium. Their scientific name is Dracena sanderiana Also if that's real bamboo, it's won't survive completely submersed and will rot and die eventually.

You may want to try some easy to grow aquatic plants like java fern and moss to begin with, generally it will survive in any environment and since they shouldn't be buried in the gravel, they aren't reliant on nutrient rich gravel. Even some nice vals should do okay in low(er) light conditions/regular gravel.

Our tank is a 66 gallon and it has a 130 watt light that I was running for about 12 hours. I just cut it back to 10 hours. I did get some liquid fertilizer but I wasn't sure if I should put it in the tank now. Wouldn't that just make the algae grow faster?

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Our tank is a 66 gallon and it has a 130 watt light that I was running for about 12 hours. I just cut it back to 10 hours. I did get some liquid fertilizer but I wasn't sure if I should put it in the tank now. Wouldn't that just make the algae grow faster?

Thanks
With that much light and no co2 injection, you're probably going to have algae problems as the plants can't grow fast enough to compete with algae growth. You'll also need far more plants than that to keep algae at bay with 130w of light. Try getting a bunch of anacharis, and maybe some hornwort and vals in there too. Also take the fake plants out as they will hurt your water quality.

What kind of fertilizer did you get? Does the light fixture have more than 1 bulb? If so, it might be wise to take one out until you have more plants and a CO2/fert routine.
 

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It looks like you have brown algae and green spot algae. Brown algae likes lower light and silica (plastic). You will see this on your plastic ornaments, your corners and in darker areas. They are more common in new tanks, and seem go grow better in areas with less water flow.

I would try to keep your nitrates between 10-20ppm. Do weekly water changes, this adds nutrients and removes wastes.

How are your barbs with that angel? Most are tail nippers.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
With that much light and no co2 injection, you're probably going to have algae problems as the plants can't grow fast enough to compete with algae growth. You'll also need far more plants than that to keep algae at bay with 130w of light. Try getting a bunch of anacharis, and maybe some hornwort and vals in there too. Also take the fake plants out as they will hurt your water quality.

What kind of fertilizer did you get? Does the light fixture have more than 1 bulb? If so, it might be wise to take one out until you have more plants and a CO2/fert routine.
The only type that our local store had was Florapride. Is it any good and if not what should I look for? Where does everyone get their plants from? We have a Petco and a stand alone fish and neither one every has any anacharis and if they do it will only be one bunch. What is that plant that you have as your avatar it is a really nice looking plant? Is it a good starter plant?

Thanks,
Eddie
 

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Online stores and forums are great places to get plants. I've purchased plants from aquariumplants.com and found them to be reasonably priced.
 

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The only type that our local store had was Florapride. Is it any good and if not what should I look for? Where does everyone get their plants from? We have a Petco and a stand alone fish and neither one every has any anacharis and if they do it will only be one bunch. What is that plant that you have as your avatar it is a really nice looking plant? Is it a good starter plant?

Thanks,
Eddie
95% of my plants are purchased online. The rest I find very occasionally at a LFS. Petco is garbage and sells more non-aquatic plants than real ones imo, not all petco's are the same though. You may find some members here who give plants away regularly instead of trimming and throwing.

I've never used Florapride but it seems to list Iron and Potassium, which are both needed, but it's probably not a complete formula. (no nitrogen, phosphorus, and all the micro (or trace) nutrients. Lots of people use the Seachem Flourish line, but it does get expensive for a big tank quickly.

The plant my avatar is water wisteria (hygrophila difformis) and should grow OK for a beginner, but I only got it to blossom like that after adding CO2 and fertilizers. Now it's a struggle to keep it in the tank and from taking over even with weekly trimmings!
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
It looks like you have brown algae and green spot algae. Brown algae likes lower light and silica (plastic). You will see this on your plastic ornaments, your corners and in darker areas. They are more common in new tanks, and seem go grow better in areas with less water flow.

I would try to keep your nitrates between 10-20ppm. Do weekly water changes, this adds nutrients and removes wastes.

How are your barbs with that angel? Most are tail nippers.
I am going to do a 50% water change on Saturday morning. I have never notice the barbs nipping at the angel. We got that angel about two months ago and it has almost doubled in size. I looked at the pics of your 75 gallon tank and I got to say that it is a gorgeous looking tank. Where did you get those beautiful discus?

Eddie
 

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Discussion Starter #17
OK, I did get to do a 50% water change today. Now how long do I wait until I test the water again? I also removed all of the non-aquatic plants and put in about 100 stems of anacharis. I am going to place an order on Monday for some vals, hornwort and wisteria. I have been looking around at CO2 systems and I am thinking about getting a Red Sea CO2 Pro System Paintball Deluxe w/Solenoid. Can anyone give any input about this system or any other? Are the Co2 systems easy to use or is there a big learning curve?

Thanks,
Eddie
 

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If you get that CO2 system, it will be easy for my to learn because you will be my guinea pig. I was looking at that system for my 55.
 

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If you get that CO2 system, it will be easy for my to learn because you will be my guinea pig. I was looking at that system for my 55.
I did purchase that Red Sea paintball CO2 system and since I did my plants have just went wild. I purchased my system from bigalsonline.com they had the best price that I could find with online coupons. I also bought three 20 oz paintball cylinders from pntball.com. They had the best price that I could find but be aware that their free shipping took 10 days. The CO2 system was very easy to setup and even easier to maintain. I would recommend it to anyone.

Eddie
 
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