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Jessica.

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Jessica. last won the day on October 5

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  1. I've run co2 for a few years, currently run it on 3 tanks and keep non-co2 tanks as well. I'm a fan of Green Leaf Aquariums's regulators, diffusers, and tubing. Lifetime warranty, built in USA, very well made, and excellent customer service. I've needed to clean my regulator out a few times and they've walked me through it in email. I also hear good things about co2 art, but have never tried their products. A good first step would be for you to figure out how you're going to be refilling your tanks, so what size tank you want. I use paintball co2 tanks and get them filled at dicks sporting goods. Many other people go to a welding shop and get larger tanks (5lb-20lb) filled there. The nearest welding shop to me that would refill was 45 mins away and they were rather grumpy, while dicks sporting goods is 10 minutes and I grocery shop in the same plaza. So, that's convenient for me. Obviously the downside to a smaller paintball size tank is you have to get it refilled more often. Whichever would be better for you will help you decide what set up you buy. You can buy cheap no name brand regulators on amazon, but they are usually lesser quality. A regulator is a bad piece of equipment to cheap out on, as a malfunction can gas your tank, killing all your fish. I ran the cheapo amazon regulators for 2 years before upgrading to the GLA products. One evening I was sitting in the living room and heard a loud hissing coming from my regulator - something internally had failed, and co2 was pouring out from the needle valve connection point so quickly the tank was frosting up. That was the day I threw out the cheap regulator and spent more for the quality. Here's a video from Cory about setting up co2-
  2. @Streetwise What's your experience with running your lights on the Siesta schedule? Have you noticed any reduction in algae, any changes in plant growth? Or, mainly the same as a single photoperiod but you get more time to enjoy your tanks? Hope it's not poor form on my part to bump up an older thread, but sink you linked to it.. πŸ˜‰
  3. @StreetwiseGreat to know. Thanks for sharing! I'll have to re-read walstad section on that. I've been a lurker over on Tom Barr's forum, and he seems to think the siesta period isn't beneficial.
  4. You're a step ahead in that you know your issue is balancing the tank. Your plants all look easy to grow and low tech, based on the tags you posted above. So, lack of injected co2 isn't your issue. Balancing light, ferts and plant load is. A few things come to mind- 1. Why do your lights have two breaks in the day? I have heard of planted tank people doing a "siesta" for their lights, but I'm get to see any research that backs up the idea that a break in light is good for plants. When in doubt, we can look to nature, and the sun doesn't have break in the photoperiod for plants. I would cut lights back to 6-8 hours per day and no breaks in the photoperiod. Your algae issue might be caused by the "long break" in your light. If the plants are only photosynthesizing for the first period, then your lights go off, when they eventually come back on your plants have ended their photoperiod and algae uses your second & third light period to grow. Striking this all, as Streetwise mentions below there may be benefits to it. 2. The seachem line of ferts is difficult to use. Seachem Flourish does not contain high enough levels of macros, you have to dose them separately and buy other bottles from seachem. To dose everything (nitrate, potassium, phosphate, micros, iron...) you'd have to buy 5-6 bottles from seachem. This is why many people prefer an all in one fert, like easy green from the co-op. This article from the co-op is a good explanation of seachem's line - Which Planted Tank Fertilizer Is Right for You? WWW.AQUARIUMCOOP.COM 3. While an excess of nutrients can cause algae, so can have too few nutrients. you mentioned your frogbit tank has 0 nitrates. If your frogbit is sucking up all the nitrates, there is nothing left for your other plants to use. Algae is far more opportunistic and will thrive when only a few nutrients are present, or excess light. What are you using to keep NO3 at 20-30ppm? If you're using seachem flourish to do it, you must be adding half the bottle in? Many planted tank problems can be solved with a high plant load and balanced fertilizing. If I were you, I'd buy a bottle of an all in one fert (could be easy green), I'd spread that frogbit you have between all your tanks, and work to mantain 10-20ppm nitrates in all your tanks from easy green as the source.
  5. I once had a discus develop Hemorrhagic Septicemia. It displayed it as red nostrils and some red in the pectoral fin connection (armpit area). I believe it developed because my nitrates were running a bit high for a month or so. Work was exceptionally busy for me and I got behind on water changes. The fish eventually got better with the only treatment being keeping water quality pristine, but it took 6 months. I got back on the ball and did 2-3 water changes per week, keeping nitrates low (10ppm). Over 6 months the fish slowly recovered, and today (about 1.5 yrs later), the fish is fully recovered. The first month or more I saw almost no improvement, then it sloooooowly started getting better. Like your cichlids, this fish never displayed symptoms beside the red nose and "armpit" and continued to eat voraciously. He was actually the boss of the tank. I considered feeding meds and I was at the point that if the fish got any worse, I was going to put in into a hospital tank and dose antibiotics. I actually took photos every week so I could look back and see if it looked better or worse. Discus and yellow labs are certainly quite different, but I'd say don't give up on them.
  6. If it were me in your situation, I would try to manage the tap nitrates with plant growth. I just know if I had to mess with RO filters at every water change, I'd burn out faster. I think it would be do-able to manage that nitrate level with plants, and would be the least expensive and most sustainable (for me personally) in the long run. Maybe also have the RO unit on hand as a backup. A well planted tank could use up 20 ppm nitrates in a few days or less, and if you're only water changing a few times per month, you won't be adding that many nitrates to the tank. I kinda enjoy figuring out the balance of a tank, so that would be my approach. There's nothing wrong with going towards the RO units if that's your preference. Granted, I don't know what fish you're stocking, so that could change this. If the bio load was especially high or the fish were extra sensative, maybe you can't get away with not pre-filtering. A bunch of floating type plants, like water lettuce, salvinia, frogbit, would help with nitrate uptake. You can also grow pothos out of your tank and leave the roots in the tank- Tropica makes a fertilizer that has everything except nitrogen (nitrates) or phosphorus. It's meant for a tank with a heavy fish load, where fish are producing all the nitrates and phosphates. Perhaps it would help in your situation? You'd need to see if your tap also has enough phosphates for plants, or maybe the fish would produce enough. Or, you dose tropica premium after a water change, then dose easy green when the nitrates dip from plant consuming them. Tropica Premium on Amazon Link
  7. I'll echo what others have said - you're probably dosing too much easy green. You want the plants to use up some of what you've put in before you keep adding more. You can test for nitrates as a measure of how much easy green the plants are using. About your plant load- Looking at what I quote above, this isn't an especially high plant load for a 55 gal. Anubias are all very slow growing and won't suck up ferts too quickly. The swords are primarily root feeders. Your stem plants, mostly the ludwigia, will probably be your biggest nitrate sinks. The monte carlo will as well, but if it's new from tissue cultures, it's likely to be a few more weeks before it gets rolling in terms of growth. It's my experience that when I first get a plant, it takes a few weeks for the plant to settle in, adapt to my water, and start growing & using nitrates. You might benefit from adding more fast growing or stem plants or floating plants to your set up, until your plant mass increases. Water sprite, hornwort, guppy grass, water lettuce, and salvinia are a few examples of the many options for this purpose. You may run into algae issues in the future, as a tank with fewer plant is far more difficult to keep balanced. High Nitrates- There are also reports & rumors that high nitrates (more than 60 ppm) may actually inhibit plant growth in some species of plants. It's interesting to look into. Either way, a constant 10-20 ppm nitrates dosed in an all in one fert should keep plants happy. Nitrates Inhibiting Aquatic Plants WWW.AQUATICPLANTCENTRAL.COM Aquatic Plant Central @Irene wrote about dosing with easy green in the blog post, "Which Planted Tank Fertilizer is Right for You?" She wrote, about easy green: "Directions: 1 pump per 10 gallons of water once a week for low to medium light tanks (and double the dose for medium to high light tanks) For a 55 gallon low light tank, that means one bottle will last you about a year. If your aquarium has medium to high light, then dose two to three times a week. The key is to use a test kit to measure your tank water and aim for 10-20 ppm of nitrates. It’s as simple as that." Edited to add: About water changes- When you think about if you should change water, it's first good to know what changes it will make in the tank. In this case, you want to lower nitrates. Test your tap water to see what the ph, ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites are. For me, ludwigia reacts well to a water change. Generally plants can hold up to the stress of a water change better than fish. But this all depends on what's in your tap water. If your tap water has 60ppm nitrates, then water changing won't help you here, although this example is exaggerated and it's very unlikely your tap has 60ppm. It's also helpful to know the "PH swing" of your tap water (more helpful with sensitive fish, but good info to have). Test the PH of your water out of the tap, then set a glass of water out and test it again at 12, 24, 36 hours. Some water will change PH, others will not. Many people who keep discus age their tap water in barrels before doing water changes to avoid stressing the fish with big PH swings. If your tap changes PH drastically, then you know a large water change (50% +) will likely stress out fish. That was a longwinded way to say yes, you should probably change water over the next week or two to get to 10-20ppm nitrates and then try to keep it there. For me, with my water, I can do huge water changes with few ill effects on my tanks because my tap water (well) does not have much ph swing and I don't need to dechlorinate it. Cory did a good video on water changing-
  8. Ah, okay, I missed that in my last reply. I though you were only dosing per the package instructions, and considering stopping mid way through treatement. I haven't used meds in that way, so I have comment on what your next move should be beside that I'm sure if Cory recommended it, it is a good treatment plan. If you're working on using a plan he recommended then never-mind me.
  9. It's generally a good idea to finish a course of treatment, especially if the fish is looking better. The fungus/bacteria are more likely to become resistant and come back stronger if you use a half dose, or stop treatment at the first sign of improvement. Ever have a doctor tell you to finish the course of antibiotics, even if you feel better? It's the same thing going on in your aquarium, and actually a big issue in terms of antibiotic resistant bacteria, globally, but that's a different topic. You should refer to the directions on the meds, but I believe maracyn calls for 4 doses total? (Don't quote me on that, read the instructions on the meds). If you've given dose 2 and are considering dose 3, it'd advise you run through all 4 doses as instructed on the package at full strength.
  10. The little plant ledges? Very handy for growing out epiphyte plants. I get them from Han Aquatics. I actually buy them from a facebook auction group that Han sells on, H&V Aquatic - https://www.facebook.com/groups/214327919120253 Han also sells them on his website- 3D Printed Products - Han Aquatics WWW.HANAQUATICS.COM
  11. I bought the bulbs only from these type of lights and run them on a nano 2.5 gal tank that's a catch all for random buce stems. link to these- amazon.com/gp/product/B07N2V51WQ/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 I've been happily surprised with the performance. The buce is putting out nicely colored new growth, I'm having zero algae issues, seeing new growth on everything. I put the bulb in a piano lamp I found at an antique store. The color is very much on the yellow/warm white side. This set up has been running with this bulb for about 6 weeks. Light runs for 9 hrs per day. This buce got beat p in another tank and snails ate some of it, so pardon the half eaten leaves. This pic here is showing the color of the new leaf under the light bulb, bottom right leaf that is pinky salmon color is new growth.
  12. Lobster dinner for you Angels? Could be. For what it's worth, I keep amanos with adult discus and they ignore them.
  13. Are Amano Shrimp an option for you? I run amanos and otos in all my tanks for algae control. This image & caption is from tropica, showing how effective amano shrimp are at eating algae. source- Algae control - Tropica Aquarium Plants TROPICA.COM The right aquarium - The right plants - The right fish
  14. A note is that the recommendation from those sources I link above is to use both kanamycin and nitrofurazone together. So, it's not a one or the other choice – if you decide to try this option, use both together at full dose. The med combo I linked to from discususa.com is a blend of 3 antibiotics, meant to be dosed all together. But, I names furan-2 and kanaplex because it's likely a LFS will carry both those, so you don't have to wait on shipping. Columnaris can be stubborn and difficult to eradicate. It's also difficult to correctly identify which bacterial infection a fish is suffering without a microscope. I'm not saying you should or shouldn't try these meds – definitely do your own research, and hopefully someone else can chime in. I understood this to mean you ran the med trio (including maracyn) for a week, then waited 5 days, then treated with maracyn again for 5 days. That would be more than 9 days of treatment with maracyn total? Are you seeing improvement with the erythromycin (maracyn)? Maybe I misunderstood, I though the original post said this cropped up while you were treating with the med trio, including maracyn. I think other may find your results helpful here, even if you lose more fish. Keep us posted.
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