Discussion in 'Aquascaping and Member's Setups' started by Kryo, Nov 4, 2013.
Update time Cher, update time
Sorry it's been such a long time in updating my thread. Things have just been a mad house since December that I haven't had much time to do anything! I should have time soon as I'm going for an operation on Friday that will leave me home bound and unable to drive for 4 - 6weeks.
Anyway, since my return from holiday in December I have been battling with the tank. Being away the usual happened, the tank took a dip and I returned to a horrendous algae outbreak and a few fish loses (Emperor Tetras).
The algae has really been a nightmare. I had various wonderful types which ranged from hair (UGH!), beard, green spot and the dreaded BBA. The hair completely took over the moss in the tank and I was forced to remove the moss entirely. The threads also attacked the glosso carpet and the cobra grass and I eventually gave up using the tooth brush and pulled out the carpets. The BBA and beard algae severely attacked the wood and rocks but strangely only a few of the plants got affected.
Long story short I finally have it all under control and only have a few small patches of BBA left that are falling off and being sucked daily with the Eheim Quick Vac Pro.
So how did I get it all under control?
- The fish deaths while I was away caused an ammonia spike which cause the initial algae bloom. So I did several water changes when I got back... but this didn't help.
- I then checked the Nitrate and Phosphate ratios. Both were elevated... I think when my friends came to stay over they over fed the fish. I had left small containers with the fish food for my helper and feeding once a day wouldn't have caused such a high spike. So taking into consideration the fish loss which caused the ammonia spike and possible over feeding these levels were to be expected. So I increased water changes to three times a week.
- My increased water changes did not help the BBA though. I was removing too much CO2 with every water change, so my plants were not taking in enough to over take the BBA. So the BBA got worse thanks to the fluctuating CO2 levels. So once I got the Nitrates and Phos to an acceptable level I reduced water changes to the usual 50% weekly. But lets face it... BBA is a SOB!
- I decided that my 1000L/H powerhead just wasn't cutting it flow wise and went out and bought two Sun Sun JP101's. The BBA had completely covered the internal surface skimmer I had so I bought an Eheim Surface skimmer to assist with keeping the surface clean. With all this algae nonsense the tank had a lovely stinky "herbal" smell but after installing the surface skimmer the smell was much less noticeable. Very cool little piece of equipment.
- With all this new equipment and changes the BBA was still gaining an advantage in the tank. I honestly couldn't figure out why, until three weeks ago when I realised that my CO2 delivery method into the tank via spray bar could be the problem. I removed the spray bar and put on a lily extension (that came with the canister) and directed a powerhead to blow the bubbles as they were released into the tank. I then nuked the BBA on the wood with a massive dose of H202, and did a huge trim on all the leaves that were infected with algae and followed with a massive water change.
- The week following the BBA nuking I used the Eheim Quick Vac to catch all the dead BBA that was floating around the tank and I also added a stunning little Royal Plecostomus who decided ALL the remaining algae in the tank was the best thing since Algae flakes and took to cleaning EVERYTHING.
So there you have it, I am now comfortable enough to say I think I have control over the algae in the tank and the plants are now taking off again nicely.
Here is what the tank looks like now. Please excuse all the visible equipment. This is an on the fly photo. Its a pity the cobra grass and glosso carpets didn't make it because they covered the entire open section you see in the front of the tank.
Sadly I have to report that we lost Sweet Pea my big female pigeon discus in the photos contained in this thread. Have no idea what caused her death as she had just eaten from my hand like a piggy and I went to the kitchen to wash my hands and came back to the tank, she was floating on the top. It must've been a heart attack or something but it was a total shock to us all and her tank mates as they were circling and nudging her... She is greatly missed as she was such a character.
For Valentines Day my hubby bought me two new baby discus. Does my man know me or what!!! They are the most beautiful tame little guys I've seen in a long time. Shortly after putting them in the tank they devoured blood worm from my hand pushing the bigger discus out the way with their gluttony! Too adorable for words they are!!!
Anyway, I hope to start updating this thread more often soon.
Let me know what you think of the tank as it is now.
Considering all the tank issues, it's still looking quite good.
Algae is always a nightmare in the first 3 months, you have to close your eyes and push through,
Being a aqua scaper does require patience.
I think that your spray bar was part of the CO2 issue. just check the KH of the water to make sure ( above 4 should be good).
Good luck with the Opp
Thanks Angus. Yup and a holiday in between didn't help the situation either.
Yup check the KH and GH.
KH - 5
GH - 6
Those have always been stable and I have crushed coral in the canisters to help keep it that way.
Looking good. Are those huge crypts on the left?
dont worry about the algae.. just keep up the maintenance and it will be on its way out soon! my tank took like 4-5 months to become almost algae free!
its still looking pretty good as Angus said!
Looking nice and natural, perhaps try and position some of the nice wood branches higher so they
break the horizon of your blue background to show them off better as they are currently all but lost in the dark crypts, I did not realise there was even wood there until I had a closer look
deleted, as stuffed something up with double post ..
They are Apons. ulveous and crispus.
Thanks for the advice! Will see what I can do. I still have some spider wood left over so might just add a few more branches.
good luck with the operation on friday, just a little advice which i have picked up over the years.
remember to take extra vitamin c, calcium and get some extra sun (for vitamin d which helps your system absorb the calcium better), vitamin b never hurts with the stress thou either.
the other best piece of advice i can give to speed the healing process is to meditate, breathing is important, extra oxygen and focus of the area you wish to heal fast, project healing energy.
if you want extra oxygen in a room, just place h202 in a glass and it will release O2, if you want to speed the process just add algae to the mix and away we go, extra O2 in the air.
best of luck
The tank is looking amazing.. not bad for a tank that is recovering..
Thanks for the good luck wishes!
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