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Qwazarr

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  1. I'm a total newb so take everything I say as extremely relative, I have a full aquarium of thriving plants though and learned something which is: Too much light at the beginning of a setup might lead to algae taking over while your plants are getting comfortable, my plants partially acclimated after 2 weeks, but the real growth started after 3 months, I'd consider shortening the photoperiod to 4 hours and adding 1 hour each 1/2 weeks depending on results until reaching 8 hours and lowering the intensity. You have mostly epiphytes which grow very slowly and don't pull many nutrients from the water column, you also have (like me) a lot of aquasoil, I'd lower the light intensity to 30/40% for a couple of weeks (8 hours photoperiod) and then ramp it up slowly to the point you see plants are doing well and algae are not taking over. Some plants just die, in my setup I had a lot of plants deemed "difficult" or "slow growing" which just took off and never looked back and plants which were labeled as "easy", "hardy" and "fast growing" which just died off and needed manual removal by my side, each tank is different and sometimes some plants don't work. What I did with my tank when I had issues was basically manually remove all the leaves which were beyond salvation, sometimes even removing everything but the roots altogether, lower the light intensity (I can't so I just reduced the time the lights were on), reduce fertilization (aquasoil still leeches nutrients in the water column) and do small frequent (10% every other day for a week) water changes (I just put 1/3rd of the reccomended fertilizer dose in the water I changed each time). Also some waters (like mine) are very rich in silicates by my online researches those can feed algae a lot, I switched to RO/DI but maybe you can find a solution to just remove the silicates. Also if I have to be completely honest, I'm pretty sure the key to the success of my plants is the fact that I have an enormous Limnophila Sessiliflora (I believe Ambulia nana is the name which is more common in the USA) sucking up a lot of nutrients from the water column, I sincerely recommend it, but if I were to re-scape from scratch I'd put it in a ceramic vase, burrow it halfway in the substrate and cover it with some rocks because that plant grows so fast and so much it's a pain to keep in check. If that's difficult to find or you don't like it floating plants like Water Lettuce, Frogbit or Red Root Floaters are excellent at removing nutrients from the water and your Betta would love them (all the info I have on floating plants is from research, I don't currently own any). Hope I've been at least a bit useful, don't get discouraged you'll be amazed at how good plants are at coming back from apparent death, good luck with your tank!
  2. You and all the others have been of great help, at least you guys gave me some things to consider. Yesterday I did some maintenance and changed 1/4th water, usually the water doesn't have any smell other than a "planty" scent, this time it lightly smelled bad (like sewage but it was not pungent just something I noticed trying to concentrate on the smell of the water as I changed it), as I said I can't see any form of algae apart from those forming on the front glass, I haven't for sure seen any BBA. Regarding testing I am following the instructions closely and tested my tap water just to make sure it gave out different outputs and it did, so I suppose I'm testing correctly. I think the filter is working correctly even though I had some doubts, I'll look further into it what I'm sure is that the impeller is working since water is coming out at the expected rate from the outflow, I had doubts water was passing through the sponge compartments and I tried lifting the "head" out of the surface, water was still coming out so I suppose it's sucking it from the sponge compartments below, so I think it's working as intended. I decided to resume water changes, I changed 5 gallons yesterday, will wait a couple of days to see the developments (today the water looks more clear than yesterday), change another 8 gallons midweek and if it keeps getting better will do a 50/60% water change next weekend to wrap things up and reset, will resume with my regular 5 gal weekly then. I don't use the blue light function, lights are just on for 8 hours on a timer in the "day" setting, at the moment I was thinking my lights were just barely sufficient, I was in fact planning to add some crypts to the foreground since not much light hits the foreground (the limnophila creates a lot of shade, but I like how it looks and I suppose fish will love to hide in it, so I'm keeping it as it is and just adjust having low light requiring plants only), the Alternatera is struggling a bit, and I'm sure it will never be super red, but it also looks like it's adjusting nicely and putting out new leaves which are orangey/brownish and good looking and I'm just fine with that. Honestly, if cyanobacteria can just cloud the water without it being extremely green and not form in slimey patches but just float around, at this point I might think I've got these since the water had a bad smell, the condition is lasting too much to be a bacterial bloom and there are no other apparent causes. Thanks for your inputs!
  3. Algal bloom sounds better than misterious lenghty bacterial bloom, thank you, we really are putting a lot of effort and love in making a nice fish home. Here are another couple of photos I took today of the "smokey mist", the water from the side and from the top. Thank you for all the help. I know it looks really green but the water itself isn't, or at least when I put it in a cup doesn't look like it's green, when looking from the side of the tank it kinda does. Thank you for answering, tried to take a photo of the "smoke" and opalescent effect, my camera isn't the best hope it suffices. The smoke is free floating and it follows the filter's flow, the opalescence is mainly seen when looking from a specific angle with the lights off, pretty hard to get on camera. Thanks for your help!
  4. Hi and thanks for the answer, I have a photo from last week will do a couple more tonight, yesterday the situation was a bit better than in the photo here. Patience is not a problem and I'm already really enjoying the hobby, I also find the community to be awesome, thanks for helping!
  5. Hi everyone! First of all thank you for the time you'll spend reading and answering this very long post. Over the last five weeks my aquarium water has been extremely cloudy (checked in a white container every week, the water is milky, not green), over the last week the water has been clearing up a bit everyday and even if extremely slowly, it looks like it's going to clear up at some point, even if it eventually does I'd love to understand why this happened, how to prevent it in the future and if it actually was a bacterial bloom or something else, being pretty new to the hobby I would love your help. Also, I'm based in Europe (hoping for Aquarium Co-Op products to hit my country!), so many products available in US are not available to me. My tank's hardware and decorations are the following: 33 gallon (aquael optiset 125) Substrate is 2 bags of ADA Amazonia V1 (if I were to re-make it I would just use 1 capped with medium grain sand) Filter is a Sicce Sharkpro 750 (I ordered a second internal filter which I'll add to have more surface for BB and better surface agitation) Heater is an Oase Heatup 200 Lights came with the tank, 2 14w leds (Aquael Leddy Tube Sunny Day&Night), on a timer for 8 hours a day (started at 4, ramped up 1 hour each week for the first 4 weeks, worked really well and my plants are all doing good) Tank is decorated with 2 pieces of bogwood and some stones from WIO (inert they say, I haven't noticed any changes in the water chemistry which I could test) The plants in the tank are: A lot of Limnophila Sessiliflora, which is growing extremely well Bacopa Caroliniana Anubias Nana Pinto Bucephalandra Kedagang Alternanthera Reineckii Mini Rotala H'Ra Weeping Moss Water parameters, I use RO/DI water which I remineralize: PH: 6.4 (stable and never changed since I first filled the tank up, it's being buffered by the soil) GH: 6 KH: 0 (I initially was going for 3, noticed that it always went down to 0, studied a bit and it looks like Aquasoil will just suck up KH and remineralizing it will just deplete the soil faster, so I'm not remineralizing it anymore) Ammonia: non measurable since month 2 Nitrite: non measurable since month 2 Nitrate: Have been stable at 30ppm since last week, this week it's been sitting at 0 (non measurable) Tank Inhabitants: I have not added fish to the tank yet, I wanted to take my time understanding how all this stuff worked before adding livestock, however I have a thriving population of Ramshorn Snails, Detritus Worms (very short, very thin white fellas which I see way less nowadays), Copepods and some flatworms which really don't look like planaria or other nasties (they are extremely small, have a rounded head and look extremely harmless, I've seen them interacting with the 'pods and snails, all they do when they meet them is changing direction, most of the times burrowing in the substrate), all this guys most likely came with the plants. The situation: As I said my water has been murky for the last month and a week, it's now very slowly clearing up, as per the directions I've found on most websites/videos I haven't done any water changes and I've noticed the following: I had some stringy algae (nothing bad, very discreet and manageable) and some of these things which form in high flow areas (diatoms? brown stuff), most of that disappeared during this phase (I suppose whatever is clouding the water is eating what the algae eat, the fact that my nitrates went down from 30 to 0 somewhat supports this, but I'm a complete newbie so this is just my best guess), the result is that apart from the murkyness, my tank looks super clean and the only algae forming are those on the front glass (and not that many anyway). If I look closely at the darker areas of the tank, I can see what I can best describe as "smoke" flowing around, if I look at the tank from an angle it sometimes looks "opalescent" Initially, after a couple weeks of cloudyness I gave a look at the filter's sponges and they are pretty clean, suggesting BB aren't colonizing a lot in there (or at least that's my guess). Plants have always grown very well, but during this phase they have grown even better, everything is exploding in growth right now, the limnophila is taking over, moss and bacopas are super healthy even the epiphites are putting out 1/2 new leaves every week, I've tried thinking about what could be causing this and my guesses are 1. whatever is happening is burning oxigen and producing CO2 so my plants are happy, 2. They just settled after 3 months and this is the way they grow, 3. some mysterious chemical thing I'll never understand. The animals all look very good, the snails are eating and growing, the pods to their thing, the worms do whatever they've always done worming around, the only strange thing that has been happening during the last week is that one of the Ramshorns started climbing to the top of the tank, floats around a bit, then gets back gliding on the glass, little friend looks to be doing great otherwise, the other snails look happy and healty. Changes which happened before the cloudiness situation: I wanted to move some plants around, I did so, obviously disturbing the substrate, I have done this before (never did changes as radical as the one I did this time though), all the plants I moved are doing great right now. Changed 25% of the water (I'll test the water from the RO/DI thingie before putting it in the tank with the next water change to see if something funky is happening with the water I change but I've done plenty of water changes in the beginning and this never happened). Summer arrived, I've kept the temperature at 72 before, it now went up to 78/80 (and will keep going up to a peak of 86/90 in the peak of summer), I guessed oxygen so I added the venturi valve to add bubbles to my filter's flow to further agitate the surface (the flow is aimed at the surface) the situation is getting better but I don't believe it's related to the added oxygenation. Mixed stuff which I believe could be meaningful: I "cycled" the tank by just adding water, plants and waiting (obviously the filter was on all the time), the aquasoil leeched ammonia in the water by itself so I guessed I was set this way, one thing I thought is that maybe the soil stopped leeching enough Ammonia to keep the BB colony going and what happened is that the good guys just died off and I'm facing the consequences of that. The "Cycle Complete" stage happened at the sixth week, my ammonia and nitrates dropped at 0, nitrates stayed at 30 up until this week, they are now at non measurable levels too. I've read that PH below 6.5 could hinder someway the growth of BB, what is strange to me if that's the case is that for 2 months my water was consistently crystal clear. I used to fertilize with APT Complete, stopped doing so since I've noticed an increase in microfauna activity (I'm ok with having worms and copepods, less ok with having lots of worms and pods at least for now that I don't have fish which can snack on them) and the plants are just going crazy anyway. And that's everything I believe, if you've read so far and still have energy to answer, thank you so much! Wish you all healthy plants, happy fish and transparent water!
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