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I’ve been a subscriber to this list for a couple years now, but this is my first
posting. My tanks (the plants) haven’t been doing as well as I had hoped lately,
and I was hoping for some advice. I have two 29-gallon tanks with Aqua-Tech
power filters hanging off the back of each (running at their slowest speed)
with filter media but no carbon. Both tanks are 78 degrees.
Tank 1 also has a power head with DIY CO2. It is fairly heavily loaded with
fish: 1 Angle fish, 6 cories, 1 clown pleco, 6 cherry barbs, 1 red tailed shark,
and ½ a dozen small snails (pond I think). Plants include two amazon swords,
a few crypts, a couple aponogeton, a few java ferns, and a good amount of egeria
densa. Its lighting consists of three 20 watt fluorescent bulbs (2 Chroma 50
s, and a GE Plant & Aquarium bulb) running 12 hours a day. Fish are doing well,
but I am battling black-brush algae. The e. densa is growing very well, and
is quite thick at the top. I have to trim it back every week. The swords are
just maintaining their selves. I pull of the leaves as they start to get algae,
but I believe that the swords should be able to outgrow the algae. The substrate
consists of about ¼ to ½ inch of a mixture of about one hand full each of the
following: soil, vermiculite, peat moss, and play sand. This is covered with
ordinary aquarium gravel. It’s been setup for over a year. The java ferns
are very small and get dark spots on the leaves. I do have some Jobes plant
spikes pushed under the swords and crypts, and I fertilize daily with PMDD (1.5ml,
over the last few weeks I added KNO3 in the PMDD) and occasionally with Flourish.
I also add ¼ teaspoon of K2SO4 twice a week and during a water change. I change
1/3 of the water every other week. I correct the Ph of the water with ¼ teaspoon
of NaHCO3 during water changes.
Tank 2 had the same lighting, but a storm took out the dual bulb strip, and
currently I only have a single Chroma 50 on the tank. It is also fairly heavily
loaded with the following: 2 small clown loaches, 1 small horseface loach, 1
clown pleco, 1 platy, and about 12-15 guppy’s. It has a 4x4 inch patch of crypts,
½ dozen aponogetons, 4 small java ferns, 2 patches of java moss, and egeria
densa also. It has the same substrate as above (also about 1 year old), and
no CO2. The crypts have actually done better with the lower lighting. Overall
this has proved to be a less that spectacularly tank. Water is changed as above
although I did add about 1 teaspoon of sea salt per 10 gallons of water during
water changes. I have been slowly lowering that recently to see what happens.
(I have had good growth in the past in this tank).
Here are my most recent tank parameters taken in the evening:
Ph Fe P Nitrite Nitrate Kh Gh
Tank 1 6.7 0.1 0.2 0 <2.0 0 7
Tank 2 7.1 0.01 2.0 0 <5.0 0 11
Tap <5 0 0.001 0.01 2.5 0 5
Water is taken unfiltered from a well. I believe that the water contains a
good about of CO2, as I get “periling” after a water change, both on the plants
and the glass. I’m not sure if it’s real periling from the plants or not, or
just the CO2 escaping. Normally the plants NEVER peril. I have tried turning
off the power filter… Any ideas? What am I doing right and what am I doing
wrong? Is it my water? Another interesting thing is when doing water changes,
I usually mix my K2SO4 and NaHCO3 together with tap water. I get bubbles escaping
from the solution—CO2 probably? I don’t really pick up any odor. I tried adding
each first but it’s combination that creates the bubbles. Also I can’t seem
to get my Kh up without resulting in a high Ph.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.