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  • Need some help from the aquarium nerds!

    I'm having a few issues with my live planed tank and i was hoping someone could recommend ferilizer type thing for me... Or a different product if need be.

    I have a 20 gallon long tank with my African clawed frog, and right now I have 4 zebra danios too, but they will eventually be eaten LOL. ACF are super sensitive to copper ad metals in their water, so I'm pretty hesitant to use any fertilizer products... I might just be paranoid though!

    I read the bottle of API Leaf Zone Plant Food, and I'm wondering if that stuff might work since it doesn't seem to contain copper, but I couldn't find any info on whether or not it is frog-safe for sure.

    A few of my live plants are gettig yellowed leaves, and I have a lot of that stringy "black beard" algae growing on my plants too. I have a Coralife T5 light, and my plants are java moss, java fern, anubias, water sprite, westeria, marimo moss, a rosette sword, and red leaf ludwugia. I work at a pet store, so I tend to just a little overboard on my plant obsession... :P

    1.0. Shih Tzu: Chuey
    1.0.Dutch Rabbit: Smudge
    1.0 Bearded dragon: Dudley
    1.1 Leopard geckos: Stanley & Stella
    1.0 Crested Gecko: Dexter
    1.0 African clawed frog: Squishy... and 0.0.6 hermit crabs!

  • #2
    You definitely aren't overboard on your plant selection. You are, however, overlit. Those plants are excellent beginner plants, but they don't require much in the way of lighting. You're pumping in ALOT though. Leaf zone doesn't contain any copper, just potassium and iron. I usually only notice iron deficiencies in my Java ferns, when they start to get black spots on their leaves. Iron deficiencies usually show up as holes in the leaves, adding some to this tank will likely only make matters worse.

    A closer picture, would help me diagnose your algae better, but black beard algae is usually caused by a lack of co2. Easiest way to get rid of it, big water changes, maybe 30 or 40% daily for a few weeks, as well as manually picking the algae out, and dropping your light cycle down to 4ish hours. I would also recommend some floating plants. Duck weed, salvinia, red root floater, dwarf water lettuce, any of the above should help.

    Adding a few root tabs underneath your root feeders will encourage them to grow faster, sucking up the nutrients quicker, slowing down the production of algae. This would also mean you'd have to stop vacuuming your substrate.

    Some people have had excellent luck using Florish Excel to spot treat the algae areas, as to much tends to kill off the black beard algae. However, it will continue to come back until you get your tank balanced.

    The other, more challenging, significantly more expensive route, would be to add pressurized co2 to the tank, as well as daily dosing of fertilizers. You'll have stupid fast growth, but it will probably take a while before you learn how much of all the nutrients you need to add and get your algae problem under control. Also, its expensive.

    How often are you doing water changes?
    What kind of bulbs are in your fixture?
    How long has the tank been setup?
    What kind of filter are you using?
    What's your feeding/cleaning regimen like?
    What temperature do you keep it at?
    How long is your photoperiod? Is the light on a timer?

    Answer these, and we can find a way to work this out.

    Comment


    • #3
      Is your light a T5NO or T5HO? If you're running T5HO over this tank you'll probably need to set up CO2... dosing enough Excel to supply enough carbon to keep up with that much light will probably end up costing a fortune otherwise.

      You can also do an Excel "dip" on some of the worst affected plants; basically 2x the recommended "initial dose" in a bucket of water, let the plants soak for 5 min. I'm NOT sure if this dip is safe for the moss, but the rest of the plants should do fine. FWIW, I'd routinely do an Excel dip on any plants you pick up from big chain stores. I'd also wait a few weeks before stocking with livestock, as ich can be transferred via plants if any of the fish that were in the tank the plants came out of from the store happened to have it.

      Your stem plants should definitely appreciate the CO2, especially the Ludwigia (which I've never been able to keep alive and nicely red in any of my own non-CO2 setups).

      And aquarium ferts are frog-safe.

      You might try on www.plantedtank.net for some help putting together a good fert regimen.

      Comment


      • #4
        Root tabs and excel.. ive had great results with Excel.. when i first started my 75 gallon i started using Aquavitro Activate, by seachem, i love this stuff had some good growth .. Excel only improved on this.. (considering i have a low tech setup - no added co2) As for root tabs ive used APIs root tabs and seachems root tabs both are good i am very happy with the results... different plants will have different needs of corse.. Plantedtank.net is a good site.. check it out good luck

        Comment


        • #5
          I would check out http://pfertz.com/ if you want some nice pfertz that wont break the bank. Also if you are running t5ho on a 20 long and you have it right on top of your tank. You have way to much light and you will need to do CO2 unless you can raise up the lights a bit.

          Comment


          • #6
            Gosh, I didn't know I was doing so much wrong! I thought buying that light would be good for my plants, I didn't know I was overdoing it so much. :/ That's frustrating, I hope I didn't just waste my money.

            How often are you doing water changes? Once a month.
            What kind of bulbs are in your fixture? My light is HO, and I have a 6500k light and a "Colormax" light.
            How long has the tank been setup? I just upgraded to this tank last summer, but the tank I transferred everything over from was setup for 4 years.
            What kind of filter are you using? AquaClear 50 HOB
            What's your feeding/cleaning regimen like? Feed every other day, 50% water change once a month.
            What temperature do you keep it at? 70 - 75 F
            How long is your photoperiod? Is the light on a timer? 7 hours, and yes.

            I really don't want to spend tons more money on this. ): what specific products should I get? I've heard a lot of good things about Excel and I had been looking into it, but it contains copper and that made me a little worried!
            1.0. Shih Tzu: Chuey
            1.0.Dutch Rabbit: Smudge
            1.0 Bearded dragon: Dudley
            1.1 Leopard geckos: Stanley & Stella
            1.0 Crested Gecko: Dexter
            1.0 African clawed frog: Squishy... and 0.0.6 hermit crabs!

            Comment


            • #7
              Really, you aren't doing that much wrong, you just got a little carried away with your lighting. Other then that, your water looks clear, your fish and frog look healthy, and the plants under the algae look like they're growing pretty well. I think with a couple easy changes, you can probably, given enough time, get everything back into a stable system.

              1. MOAR WATERCHANGES! Frogs are messy! I would bump it up to probably 30% weekly.

              2. Raise the lights up. If you can suspend them from the ceiling, or even from some sort of hanger over the tank, this would be beneficial. You'll have to play around with how much, but I would start with probably 18 inches. That will cut down on your lighting quite a bit.

              3. Lower your photoperiod for a few weeks. This isn't a permanent thing, but drop it down to 4 hours a day for a couple of weeks. Combined with the water changes, and raised lighting, this should slow the algae down, and the plants should hopefully start growing nicely again. Once the plants have bounced back and started really growing, you can add back lighting by 20 or 30 minutes every few weeks and get them up to a longer cycle again.

              4. Start manually removing the algae. Everyday. Make it part of your checking in routine. You can also cut off affected leaves, but daily plucking has been how I've had the most success removing algae.

              Personally, I don't much care for adding additional products to my aquariums if I can avoid it. With time, even the most seemingly out of balance aquariums all eventually fall together for me, patience and good husbandry will take you a long ways.

              If you want a quick fix though, look into DIY co2 or pressurized co2, and dosing daily fertilizers. Your plants will grow like crazy, its more maintenance, but it might solve your algae problems, and alot of people are really into the high tech look.

              Comment


              • #8
                Thank you for all of the help! I will raise my light this weekend. Are the bulbs I have good? I was told not to use the 10,000 K light my hood came with, cause it will promote more algae growth, so I got the 6500 K one instead.

                I admit I've been really busy lately and I've been putting off my water changes a little more than usual. I guess I just have to work on getting into a better routine and giving my tank a little extra TLC! I will do some more research on fertz and CO2, but I try to avoid adding stuff to my tank too.
                1.0. Shih Tzu: Chuey
                1.0.Dutch Rabbit: Smudge
                1.0 Bearded dragon: Dudley
                1.1 Leopard geckos: Stanley & Stella
                1.0 Crested Gecko: Dexter
                1.0 African clawed frog: Squishy... and 0.0.6 hermit crabs!

                Comment


                • #9
                  You're lights should be fine. Really, I like the color of the 10,000k better, so I tend to chose those over th 6500k, but either works. The only one you REALLY want to avoid, is an actinic bulb.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I agree, your bulbs are fine. I also happen to like 10k (it's bright white light- some people don't like it b/c it can "wash" out colors visually, but IMO it looks great in combo with a pink or a 6500k bulb).

                    Pooky gave some great advice; I agree raising your light up, reducing your photoperiod, and manual removal and/or using Excel to kill off the algae you're currently struggling with are also what I'd do.

                    I'd consider your tank's current setup as "medium light." Raising the light fixture should get you back to "low light," which should dramatically reduce your plants' demand for carbon (CO2/Excel) as well as everything else.

                    Pfertz like Dale recommended has easy to use squirt bottles, formulated to make dosing really easy. Buying dry ferts in bulk is always a ton cheaper- but also takes a lot more research to learn how to put together a good dosing regimen. Seachem also has a good lineup of liquid ferts- kind of 1/2 way between the cost of Pfertz and bulk dry ferts, and there is (or used to be?) a dosing instructions chart on the Seachem website. Again, reducing your light level will help reduce the fert demand.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      So can I use my 6500 K and 10000 K lights together? I liked the look of the 10000 k better too!
                      1.0. Shih Tzu: Chuey
                      1.0.Dutch Rabbit: Smudge
                      1.0 Bearded dragon: Dudley
                      1.1 Leopard geckos: Stanley & Stella
                      1.0 Crested Gecko: Dexter
                      1.0 African clawed frog: Squishy... and 0.0.6 hermit crabs!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Leaf Zone still contains copper in trace amounts. I've had trouble with it in the past killing my inverts. I've had great success with Flourish Comprehensive (dosed properly) and I use it in my frog tank.

                        And now, for your viewing pleasure:
                        A naughty hugging frog threesome.
                        Click image for larger version

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                        In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.
                        http://www.youtube.com/user/svalnahel?feature=mhee

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Yep! Supports plant growth just fine

                          Originally posted by Jess4921 View Post
                          So can I use my 6500 K and 10000 K lights together? I liked the look of the 10000 k better too!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Cute naughty froggies!

                            One last question... If I get the Flourish products, should I get the Excel AND the Comprehensive? So I would have the CO2 and a fertilizer?

                            I just dug through my tank and took out a big wad of algae and dead leaves... Lovely.
                            1.0. Shih Tzu: Chuey
                            1.0.Dutch Rabbit: Smudge
                            1.0 Bearded dragon: Dudley
                            1.1 Leopard geckos: Stanley & Stella
                            1.0 Crested Gecko: Dexter
                            1.0 African clawed frog: Squishy... and 0.0.6 hermit crabs!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Jess4921 View Post
                              Cute naughty froggies!

                              One last question... If I get the Flourish products, should I get the Excel AND the Comprehensive? So I would have the CO2 and a fertilizer?

                              I just dug through my tank and took out a big wad of algae and dead leaves... Lovely.
                              That depends on who you ask. If you were to ask me, I would say yes. Also, I agree with a 30% weekly water change. A monthly wc won't cut it and you'll have problems eventually.
                              In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.
                              http://www.youtube.com/user/svalnahel?feature=mhee

                              Comment

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