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Fixing my algae outbreak


Clovis
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On 9/26/2021 at 12:20 AM, Torrey said:

So, about an hour per day?🤔

 

🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

 

Yeah, I had that experience. 

Once.

Now I may use almost as much gorilla glue as MD, and should probably buy stock in plastic craft canvas, lol

Felt like it took all day when I was finally done tying!  Then I glued smaller bits onto the tiny points for another hour or more.  At least I don’t have to worry about those puffers ingesting the tiny glue specks I used.  🤦🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️😉

I had been planning to drain most of the water so I could pull the tank forward and apply my black window film to the back of the tank the same day.  But by the time I was done tying and gluing, I was DONE with tank fiddling.  I’ve been so busy the last couple weeks I haven’t had a chance to do anything but feed the tanks.

I’ll eventually get the window film on the back to see how it looks, maybe in the next week or so since my schedule is a little more settled.  I’ve got a lot of catching up to do since I’ve been skating by with the absolute minimum the last couple weeks.  I’ve got plants in buckets that still need situated.

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On 9/26/2021 at 1:00 AM, Torrey said:

This is the smallest canvas I buy, I also get 12" × 18", and I buy a variety of colors.16326132661806209232368646253263.jpg.175fe95662a643d3c3a62a8919f931da.jpg

I use these to make my "plant-in-a-box" so that the turtle doesn't eat my plants (I underestimated the determination of my ornate ornata to get **into** the plant in a box if I have a bad flare and don't change out the plant in time, so I have to make a new one), I use it to make custom sized UGF, and rolled up you can put them on end ==> fill with dirt ==> stick stem plants in the sides and plant plants that need **strong light** on top (I will be doing this to create a few "mesas" in my 4')

I made floating moss tubes out of canvas scraps for my bettas, and they loved lounging in them as they aged.

Now my danio fry and male guppy/endler crosses use them to play hide and seek.

16326138537483897494232736121122.jpg.569de3df33adcf9d654e437d97beb1b9.jpg

I put straws under a scrap of canvas, and test outdoor mosses to see which ones will convert to aquarium living best, too.

16326139122088204055270987836938.jpg.4d55d5e369a9671c8f74617b18698cb8.jpg

So far, the moss on the right that came from an acequia is growing the best.

The duckweed liking the canvas was a surprise that I have capitalized on, as a means of keeping duckweed from overtaking tanks.

Cut a piece of canvas in a pleasing shape, add sealed straws or airline tubing underneath to act like a flotation device, and the duckweed stays reasonably well contained.

Works with my water lettuce, too.

 

16326141639697097515436646094249.jpg.3220e9cdfefaeb918af77a2efd8b349b.jpg

 

This one is still a work in progress, as I am looking for a flowering plant for my spouse's 4' tank. The plastic canvas is supporting the pothos for now, and in the spring I will add more dirt to the back (unless someone changes their mind. Apparently the baby guppy fry hide in the canvas and eat back there, so this may stay a permanent guppy nursery🤷‍♂️)

 

16326143861566285114416440849245.jpg.02cdd6daefa8310f3156ac5e643a8c3c.jpg

Amazing! Definitely copying you, ordering some plastic canvas asap. 

Thanks!

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On 9/26/2021 at 6:20 AM, Torrey said:

So, about an hour per day?🤔

 

🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

 

Yeah, I had that experience. 

Once.

Now I may use almost as much gorilla glue as MD, and should probably buy stock in plastic craft canvas, lol

Sorry another question if I may! (Also a fan of MD here btw!) 

Is there a trick to using gorilla glue? I was attempting to glue a small anubias to a small piece of slate and I just could not get it to stick, like at all, ended up tying it again but I really want to master gluing as I prefer the end result and I have a small stock of driftwood that I plan to stick lots of anubias etc to when I have my fish room built. But my first attempt was a total fail! 

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On 9/26/2021 at 1:20 AM, KentFishFanUK said:

Is there a trick to using gorilla glue?

Yes, there is. 

When you read the cleaning directions that say "use a clean dry cloth to wipe the nozzle, don't get the nozzle wet" the reason you don't want to get the nozzle wet is because water facilitates a faster bond.

I recommend using gloves (I have lost skin by not following my own advice), ensure that the plant is *wet*, and only put a tiny dab of Gorilla glue on the rock where you want the anubias (or any other plant) to stick.

 

Too much glue / too dry surface = lots of frustration 

On 9/26/2021 at 6:07 PM, Odd Duck said:

Here’s a pic from this morning of my vagrant threads.  They’re even more loose than just a couple days ago, so I’m quite certain I’ll have to pluck some out.  I’m hoping to leave them as long as possible to get moss better established before I start plucking.

111C572E-F2CA-46F6-9B68-5BC53F39104B.jpeg

I like the green thread, and I would not have remained calm, lol

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On 9/26/2021 at 2:20 AM, KentFishFanUK said:

Sorry another question if I may! (Also a fan of MD here btw!) 

Is there a trick to using gorilla glue? I was attempting to glue a small anubias to a small piece of slate and I just could not get it to stick, like at all, ended up tying it again but I really want to master gluing as I prefer the end result and I have a small stock of driftwood that I plan to stick lots of anubias etc to when I have my fish room built. But my first attempt was a total fail! 

I pick my spot on the rock/wood, try putting the plant against it to see how it will look but also to see if I need pressure to hold it in place.  If I need much more than the smallest amount of pressure to hold it in place I try to reposition until it doesn’t need more than the smallest amount of pressure possible.

If the plant is under pressure then the surface of it will be more likely to shed a layer and release the plant before it grabs hold of the rock/wood on its own.  The smoother the rock or wood, the faster it lets go.

Once I have my position selected, then I apply 1 or 2 small dots of glue to the spots on the plant that will be against the item and I apply the gel, hold the plant in place as long as I can stand it (I like to think it’s at least 30-60 seconds), then let go.  I don’t usually make any effort to dry the item or the plant since it’s moisture that sets the glue.  If the item is small enough, I will often apply, position, then hold the glued area or the whole thing under water until set.

If I think it’s going to be an especially tricky spot to get the plant in the best position (in a deeper crevice in the wood or rock or something similar) I will sometimes lightly pat things dry, apply glue, position it, then either dribble or spray water on it or hold it under water.

I have also glued stuff fully underwater but you need to be able to stick your hand/arm in and position the plant very quickly and precisely after applying the glue to the plant.  Glue, stick, done!  Or it’s too late, try again!  😝 😆  Oops, too late, try again!  Dang it, too late try again!  Then I end up with a huge glop of glue.

It just can’t always be done in a filled tank depending on where in the tank, angles, position, etc.  Sometimes things like putting plants on already placed large wood pieces or rocks can be done easier during a large water change if you get the water low enough.

I did all the tying and gluing on the wood in the 29 gallon by pulling the pieces out since I don’t have fish in there yet and I could do it with minimal disruption to already planted flora.  Not that the tying has turned out well.  🤦🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️

On 9/27/2021 at 2:36 AM, Torrey said:

I like the green thread, and I would not have remained calm, lol

I see so many more emergent things every day at work, this is inconvenient and might delay my schedule a little bit, but overall not a huge deal.  I’m currently sitting in my house without power but I have battery back ups for the air pumps, so everything’s OK with sponge filters.

Edit to add I may get a double posting on this since I made a post, sent it, then got a notice “there was a problem posting”.

Edited by Odd Duck
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On 9/21/2021 at 7:33 PM, Clovis said:

I have a 15 g Fluval flex which is heavily planted and had 4 pea puffers. I’ve gotten rid of the puffers and want to stock the tank to balance it and clean up the algae outbreak. 
 

I am thinking of some Amani shrimp, a few neurogenic snails and a pleco. 
 

good or bad idea? Better ideas?

5573E156-5E9B-4C09-8854-BE8DF970EA9F.jpeg

66ED25FD-70B8-435C-A80E-E379C5447CBD.jpeg

2B7A8BE3-29BE-47E4-A684-97448A922570.jpeg

Hi Clovis! I tuned in late to this thread, but I see that your original question relates to your algae outbreak, and I thought I'd add my 2 cents without detracting from the great advice others have given! Please disregard if you already know this info. Your pictures are really helpful in developing a game-plan.

Algae grows on plants that aren't getting all the nutrients they need for some reason. It also grows in an abundance of the wrong type of nutrients. I believe both of these issues are what is going on in your tank.  For simplicity, I will say what I would do if tasked with tidying up this tank. BTW, your tank is very pretty, I think it just needs some tidying. 

1) Wave your hand above the gravel and siphon all mulm that gets disturbed. Now that I've had planted tanks for a while, I believe less mulm is better for plants. Mulm doesn't provide the right kind of nutrients, adds to algae growth, and it looks messy (sorry mulm lovers). You may have to do this over several water changes to get all the mulm. 

2) Trim dead, dying, or algae covered leaves. Is that a yellowing anubias in the middle ground? If so, it is severely nutrient deprived.

3) Add root tabs around the base of all crypts and swords and everything else! 

4) Fertilize with liquid fertilizer regularly (I fertilize 1X per week after a water change. Sometimes I do a half dose around mid-week or so if my plants are growing strongly).

5) Do weekly 50% water changes.

6) Use Aquarium Co-Op's Easy Fertilizer range - its economical and easy - and it works!

Almost everything I've said is controversial, and you will find a lot of contradicting info on the internet. I believe that is partly because each aquarist has differing goals. For instance, I've found that some breeders really like mulm, but the tank isn't exactly show-quality. In my experience, if you want a beautiful, pristine, planted tank, then this is a good way to get it.  Good luck and keep us posted!

Cyndi 🙂

 

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On 9/27/2021 at 9:39 AM, Odd Duck said:

I see so many more emergent things every day at work, this is inconvenient and might delay my schedule a little bit, but overall not a huge deal.  I’m currently sitting in my house without power but I have battery back ups for the air pumps, so everything’s OK with sponge filters.

Edit to add I may get a double posting on this since I made a post, sent it, then got a notice “there was a problem posting”

Amen to more emergent issues taking the priority for energy expenditure. 

 

My issue is 90% of the work I do is with traumatized people, so I expend a lot of energy coregulating.

Then, something like all the threads coming loose allows an emotional outlet of word salad painting (as long as no one else is around). Basically, aquarium keeping is self-care. The fish look at me a little funny when I experience overload and need a pressure valve release moment, but they don't seem to internalize it as people potentially can, and it's hard to remain frustrated, angry, depressed, or in some other funk with 50 to 60 pairs of eyes looking at you in commiseration, followed by "you could always feed us again and watch us eat, that'll cheer you up, I  PROMISE!!!"😅

Where are you that power is out?

 

I hope you are safe and everything is okay!

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On 9/27/2021 at 8:36 AM, Torrey said:

Yes, there is. 

When you read the cleaning directions that say "use a clean dry cloth to wipe the nozzle, don't get the nozzle wet" the reason you don't want to get the nozzle wet is because water facilitates a faster bond.

I recommend using gloves (I have lost skin by not following my own advice), ensure that the plant is *wet*, and only put a tiny dab of Gorilla glue on the rock where you want the anubias (or any other plant) to stick.

 

Too much glue / too dry surface = lots of frustration 

I like the green thread, and I would not have remained calm, lol

 

On 9/27/2021 at 4:39 PM, Odd Duck said:

I pick my spot on the rock/wood, try putting the plant against it to see how it will look but also to see if I need pressure to hold it in place.  If I need much more than the smallest amount of pressure to hold it in place I try to reposition until it doesn’t need more than the smallest amount of pressure possible.

If the plant is under pressure then the surface of it will be more likely to shed a layer and release the plant before it grabs hold of the rock/wood on its own.  The smoother the rock or wood, the faster it lets go.

Once I have my position selected, then I apply 1 or 2 small dots of glue to the spots on the plant that will be against the item and I apply the gel, hold the plant in place as long as I can stand it (I like to think it’s at least 30-60 seconds), then let go.  I don’t usually make any effort to dry the item or the plant since it’s moisture that sets the glue.  If the item is small enough, I will often apply, position, then hold the glued area or the whole thing under water until set.

If I think it’s going to be an especially tricky spot to get the plant in the best position (in a deeper crevice in the wood or rock or something similar) I will sometimes lightly pat things dry, apply glue, position it, then either dribble or spray water on it or hold it under water.

I have also glued stuff fully underwater but you need to be able to stick your hand/arm in and position the plant very quickly and precisely after applying the glue to the plant.  Glue, stick, done!  Or it’s too late, try again!  😝 😆  Oops, too late, try again!  Dang it, too late try again!  Then I end up with a huge glop of glue.

It just can’t always be done in a filled tank depending on where in the tank, angles, position, etc.  Sometimes things like putting plants on already placed large wood pieces or rocks can be done easier during a large water change if you get the water low enough.

I did all the tying and gluing on the wood in the 29 gallon by pulling the pieces out since I don’t have fish in there yet and I could do it with minimal disruption to already planted flora.  Not that the tying has turned out well.  🤦🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️

I see so many more emergent things every day at work, this is inconvenient and might delay my schedule a little bit, but overall not a huge deal.  I’m currently sitting in my house without power but I have battery back ups for the air pumps, so everything’s OK with sponge filters.

Edit to add I may get a double posting on this since I made a post, sent it, then got a notice “there was a problem posting”.

Thanks guys! I think maybe my surfaces were too dry and that's why it didn't stick? Maybe I was also using too much, was only a small amount but probably more than a "tiny dab". Will try again next time. I scored a free java fern from the store when I picked up a couple new oto's (along with two new types of fish food - in my defence I really did need the cat food I went in for 😅) so might try it with that next!

Now to really derail the thread, do you have experience with either red tiger lotus or dwarf lily? Trying to decide if I want to give them a go in my community tank or in my project tanks when I have them set up. Not sure of they play nice with the other plants though or if they take much maintenance etc. 

@Clovis sorry for the hijacking and the tangents - it's all good info and relevant I promise! 

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On 9/28/2021 at 2:50 AM, KentFishFanUK said:

Thanks guys! I think maybe my surfaces were too dry and that's why it didn't stick? Maybe I was also using too much, was only a small amount but probably more than a "tiny dab". Will try again next time

You just have to play with it a bit.  Sometimes I end up with more glue than I want but it’s needed to get a bond with the crevices in the rock/wood item, or I have to use a bit more pressure/flex on a rhizome than ideal so more glue has to be used.  When I glue moss to spots where I can’t tie, I definitely use the tiniest dab possible and stick a small hunk of moss to each side of the glue dab.  If there’s still any glue showing, I stick another chunk of moss on that.

On 9/28/2021 at 2:50 AM, KentFishFanUK said:

Now to really derail the thread, do you have experience with either red tiger lotus or dwarf lily? Trying to decide if I want to give them a go in my community tank or in my project tanks when I have them set up. Not sure of they play nice with the other plants though or if they take much maintenance etc

I love red tiger lotus (Nymphea lotus ‘Zenkeri’), am a bit ambivalent on dwarf lily (Nymphea stellata).  Red tiger lotus has more robust stems and a much brighter color.  Dwarf lily has very fragile stems and they can break even with no fauna in the tank.  They have OK color, but nothing like Zenkeri has.

Zenkeri has nice, bold red with dark flecks on green with brighter red undersides with even halfway decent light.  It sends up leaves on strong stems even when it hasn’t reached the floating pad stage.  It has very broad floating pads which are beautiful but can seriously block the light for other plants (the biggest drawback IMO).  It tolerates being moved very well, it has great height effect especially when it’s in a heavy growth stage, but it can really take over a smaller tank.   Have to,keep it wrangled for my 100 gallon, but it doesn’t take much trimming to keep it under control for a bigger, taller tank.  When I was growing mine up - first in a 6 gallon, then in a 20 long - it got challenging to wrangle until moved to a more appropriate tank.  It would do fine long term in anything 20 gallon tall or bigger.

Dwarf lily does tend to stay smaller and much more controlled and easier to contain in a smaller tank.  The bulbs are a bit less likely to sink on their own - they can be chronic floaters.  If you can coax them to root, they behave.  They have a nice color but it’s not as bold.  The leaves tend to be smoother in physical and visual texture and are a softer color overall.  They give a much more delicate appearance and could be kept in a 10 gallon for quite a while much more easily than a Zenkeri (unless you started with a tiny baby Zenkeri like I did, even so I moved it up in just a few months).

I don’t have a good pic of my dwarf lilies since they’re currently in a bucket, but here’s pics of my Zenkeri.  Base and pads (ignore the not clean glass, it’s overdue maintenance day).

 

 

E58B3EC5-C936-4EE9-89D5-DC52B1C01333.jpeg

84886FE4-32ED-4D34-830F-EC2EF66AE107.jpeg

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On 9/28/2021 at 1:25 PM, Odd Duck said:

or I have to use a bit more pressure/flex on a rhizome than ideal so more glue has to be used

@KentFishFanUK and @Odd Duck in cases like this, use a tiny piece of paper towel rolled up, to fill the gap and not apply too much pressure to the rhizome. Apply enough gorilla glue for the rolled up / folded up piece of paper towel to be saturated, but not dripping.

Wet the piece of wood or rock, and wet the plant. Place the gluey paper towel on the hard scape (I use lady's needle nose tweezers to hold it) and apply the plant. Hold in place for a solid count of 30 (I generally sing a song or play a YouTube video and gently hold a minute or two if it's a good video🤷‍♂️) and the plant will stay. By the time the paper towel disentegrates, the plant will have attached to the hardscape.

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On 9/28/2021 at 10:41 PM, Torrey said:

@KentFishFanUK and @Odd Duck in cases like this, use a tiny piece of paper towel rolled up, to fill the gap and not apply too much pressure to the rhizome. Apply enough gorilla glue for the rolled up / folded up piece of paper towel to be saturated, but not dripping.

Wet the piece of wood or rock, and wet the plant. Place the gluey paper towel on the hard scape (I use lady's needle nose tweezers to hold it) and apply the plant. Hold in place for a solid count of 30 (I generally sing a song or play a YouTube video and gently hold a minute or two if it's a good video🤷‍♂️) and the plant will stay. By the time the paper towel disentegrates, the plant will have attached to the hardscape.

I just figure that plant doesn’t want to go in that spot and I switch to a different plant or adjust to a slightly different spot.  I tend to get clusters if I like the plant, although I’ve tried out a few singletons here and there.  So I adjust which plant I put where, usually, instead of  trying to make a specific plant go a very specific spot.

This is a good idea.  I’ve seen the auquascapers do this and add crumbled substrate over the paper towel and glue to blend them in better.

Edited by Odd Duck
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On 9/28/2021 at 8:25 PM, Odd Duck said:

You just have to play with it a bit.  Sometimes I end up with more glue than I want but it’s needed to get a bond with the crevices in the rock/wood item, or I have to use a bit more pressure/flex on a rhizome than ideal so more glue has to be used.  When I glue moss to spots where I can’t tie, I definitely use the tiniest dab possible and stick a small hunk of moss to each side of the glue dab.  If there’s still any glue showing, I stick another chunk of moss on that.

I love red tiger lotus (Nymphea lotus ‘Zenkeri’), am a bit ambivalent on dwarf lily (Nymphea stellata).  Red tiger lotus has more robust stems and a much brighter color.  Dwarf lily has very fragile stems and they can break even with no fauna in the tank.  They have OK color, but nothing like Zenkeri has.

Zenkeri has nice, bold red with dark flecks on green with brighter red undersides with even halfway decent light.  It sends up leaves on strong stems even when it hasn’t reached the floating pad stage.  It has very broad floating pads which are beautiful but can seriously block the light for other plants (the biggest drawback IMO).  It tolerates being moved very well, it has great height effect especially when it’s in a heavy growth stage, but it can really take over a smaller tank.   Have to,keep it wrangled for my 100 gallon, but it doesn’t take much trimming to keep it under control for a bigger, taller tank.  When I was growing mine up - first in a 6 gallon, then in a 20 long - it got challenging to wrangle until moved to a more appropriate tank.  It would do fine long term in anything 20 gallon tall or bigger.

Dwarf lily does tend to stay smaller and much more controlled and easier to contain in a smaller tank.  The bulbs are a bit less likely to sink on their own - they can be chronic floaters.  If you can coax them to root, they behave.  They have a nice color but it’s not as bold.  The leaves tend to be smoother in physical and visual texture and are a softer color overall.  They give a much more delicate appearance and could be kept in a 10 gallon for quite a while much more easily than a Zenkeri (unless you started with a tiny baby Zenkeri like I did, even so I moved it up in just a few months).

I don’t have a good pic of my dwarf lilies since they’re currently in a bucket, but here’s pics of my Zenkeri.  Base and pads (ignore the not clean glass, it’s overdue maintenance day).

 

 

E58B3EC5-C936-4EE9-89D5-DC52B1C01333.jpeg

84886FE4-32ED-4D34-830F-EC2EF66AE107.jpeg

Thanks! I think I prefer the lotus too, will it do ok if I keep cutting off the large stems? Where I'm thinking of having it I could probably allow one floating pad but any more would block out too much light, it is a 20 gallon tall but lots of other plants in there too. Would it thrive long term with only one pad and keep putting out underwater leaves? Also it's hard to get a sense of scale from the pics, if it was in the corner of the tank how much 'floor space' would it take up? TIA ☺️ 

On 9/29/2021 at 4:41 AM, Torrey said:

@KentFishFanUK and @Odd Duck in cases like this, use a tiny piece of paper towel rolled up, to fill the gap and not apply too much pressure to the rhizome. Apply enough gorilla glue for the rolled up / folded up piece of paper towel to be saturated, but not dripping.

Wet the piece of wood or rock, and wet the plant. Place the gluey paper towel on the hard scape (I use lady's needle nose tweezers to hold it) and apply the plant. Hold in place for a solid count of 30 (I generally sing a song or play a YouTube video and gently hold a minute or two if it's a good video🤷‍♂️) and the plant will stay. By the time the paper towel disentegrates, the plant will have attached to the hardscape.

Now that's the sort of tip you don't hear everywhere! Definitely going to try this. Minus the singing part, noone wants to hear my singing myself especially 😂

I'll report back how it goes when I try it, though I'm half expecting the tweezers to end up part of the feature after I accidentally glue them in place 🤣

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On 9/29/2021 at 12:01 AM, KentFishFanUK said:

Thanks! I think I prefer the lotus too, will it do ok if I keep cutting off the large stems? Where I'm thinking of having it I could probably allow one floating pad but any more would block out too much light, it is a 20 gallon tall but lots of other plants in there too. Would it thrive long term with only one pad and keep putting out underwater leaves? Also it's hard to get a sense of scale from the pics, if it was in the corner of the tank how much 'floor space' would it take up? TIA ☺️ 

Now that's the sort of tip you don't hear everywhere! Definitely going to try this. Minus the singing part, noone wants to hear my singing myself especially 😂

I'll report back how it goes when I try it, though I'm half expecting the tweezers to end up part of the feature after I accidentally glue them in place 🤣

I let my put out surface pads intermittently.  When I tried cutting all the surface pads the plant tried to fade away.  You could let it keep 1 or 2 surface pads and cut the rest.

 

I've certainly tried to glue myself to items plenty of times!  Better the tweezers.  They come off easier than skin.

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