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My 75 Gallon Community Journal - Mitch


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Nitrites are still reading on test strips, but I am getting zero on master test kit. I reached out to the Co-Op this morning for any insight. 

Meanwhile my nitrates continue to climb. I am not seeing any new nitrates except from some green spot algae on my anubias. Which is frustrating. I am hoping someone might be able to suggest my next move. Most of my plants are root feeders so I’m not sure that I should keep my nitrates elevated. I do have some floating Water Sprite and Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus that is rebounding quite well from the nitrate fast to kill off the BBA.

Should I increase my light intensity or duration to promote the use of the nitrates? Or will this just fuel the green spot algae on the anubias? Nitrates are around 50 ppm right now. Should I keep the lights where they are and perform a water change? I’ve been trying to limit my water changes to keep from fluctuating everything and promoting black beard. 

Hopefully some of you balancing experts can help me decide whether to hold steady, adjust lighting, or water change... or a fourth option that I haven’t considered. Thanks everyone. 

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I am working on it. Nitrates have stayed lower this week. They haven’t gotten over 25 ppm. I dosed Easy Green yesterday morning. Nitrites are still showing high on AC-O test strips. I hit 1 ppm on the strips yesterday. I tested the water with two separate bottles of API Master Test Kit Nitrite and both read zero. It’s crazy. I dosed Prime just in case, but I knew I couldn’t do the water change last night. I am about to test on my break and if it is still elevated I will dose Prime again. I think I’m changing water this evening. Which will be one week from the last water change. 
 

I did order some Pothos to try in the tank. I’ve been trying to decide what to put above the aquarium anyway. 
 

I have also been in contact with a livebearer breeder who has been walking me through some corrections to battle the illnesses I’ve experienced this year with my Mollies. We are taking a deep dive into my tank and looking at ways for me to improve their environment. He suggested that I turn my lights on even longer and do the weekly fertilizer. He said most fertilizers (and he suspects it could be true for Easy Green) contain some algae prohibiting components and that regular dosing will 100% help. He encouraged me to keep learning from my mistakes. The “Starve the algae” plan was one of my biggest in my opinion  

Thanks for asking for an update! I planned on sharing info after work, but I couldn’t resist replying to your comments! 🤣

 

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@Mitch Norton that is crazy. I wonder if there is something in your water that could be causing a false reading on the test strip. One thing that I always do is make sure to keep the test strip horizontal so that the water does not spill over to other tests on the test strip. I notice that my hardness always seems to drip and mess up my buffer reading. Could that possibly be happening to your nitrite reading? Maybe the nitrate reading is dripping onto it? 

I bought some golden pothos from Home Depot and that plant has been growing incredibly fast for me. It is amazing how fast the roots and leaves began to grow.

Yeah usually algae is able to adapt to things quicker than plants so you will likely starve out the plants before starving the algae. 

I feel you on the “need” to respond to a comment 😂

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Posted (edited)

@Isaac M I think it is possible. I lay the strip on the rim of my tank. If anything bled over I would think it would be nitrite bleeding into nitrate. 
 

I have good news. Looks like someone broke into my home and put frogbit in my tank... Seriously, I haven’t added anything but a couple of snails in months (other than two Crypt Parva from the Co-Op), and today I noticed what I assume is frogbit in my Water Sprite!?

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Edited by Mitch Norton
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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Update!

First off, the Aquarium Co-Op Multi-test strips are awesome, and they have been right all along. I took my water to be tested at my local store and I was reading .6 ppm nitrite. This matches the test strips. The store owner told me that if you do not release the droplets from the liquid kit quickly you get varied sized droplets that can give you an inaccurate reading. And with that, I am done with liquid kits. LoL

The algae battle rages on! But, I feel like we are winning again. The Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus is growing again. I moved all of it (almost) to the left side of the tank. I still want to move some plants around, but I’m trying to give them some time. 
 

The Green Spot Algae doesn’t appear to be spreading anymore. Here is what I have done: My light is on 9 hours with 15 min sunrise and sunsets, I am dosing Easy Green at least to 20 ppm nitrates if they drop, I will continue to dose Easy Green at least once a week even if nitrates are higher, and I have added Pothos and Frogbit (apparently) to help keep the nitrates from getting too high between water changes. 
 

I still have a few fish in quarantine. All except one (who I lost this morning) have made recoveries and I will probably move them back into the tank in a couple of weeks if they continue to do well. I’m going to wait a couple of more weeks before I remove some of the young fish to take to a local store. 
 

That’s it for now. Here’s a video of the tank to enjoy. 
 

 

Edited by Mitch Norton
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  • 2 weeks later...

Oh man, I must be doing something right because I am overloaded with Molly fry. I know they are extremely easy to breed, but I have new fry every time I look in the tank. I did add some more Ludwigia. I have a couple of kinds. One reminds me of Repens, the other has a red stem with dark green leaves. One of my local stores sells stems 6 for $15 to members so I grabbed three bundles of each. I also came across a Flame Sword that looked really cool. It is a little deep in the Amazon Swords right now, and I may need to move it.


 I have been cleaning out leaves almost daily. I hope the Ludwigia are adapting to my water. I may be seeing less algae. I am keeping the tank fertilized. My nitrates went from 20 ppm to less than 10 ppm in three days with some pretty heavy feeding. I added Easy Green today assuming the plants are using up the nutrients. I’m trying to watch the stems to make sure they don’t begin to melt at the bottom. 

My fish have been healthy ever since I treated for livebearer disease. Hopefully, I can take some to one of the local stores for credit and lower the bioload a little.

Anyway, here’s a quick video. 
 

 

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This makes the fourth time I’ve tried stems. The first two probably shouldn’t count because I had no idea what I was doing. 
 

The last time I starved them to death trying to starve off algae. I have since learned my lesson. Haha. I’m trying to keep nutrients in the water for them, and keep the light intensity high. I’m currently at 70% on my NICREW Plus Planted. I am seeing some growth. 
 

The first picture is a screenshot from the update (which was actually filmed on Sunday)

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and this second pic was taken just now. I need to trim that PSO. 

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38 minutes ago, HH Morant said:

When a plant breaches the surface as yours are doing, does it begin to get CO2 from the air?

My understanding is that we plant can absorb CO2 from the air once they get that large. 
 

My concern over CO2 is that the water changes could cause CO2 fluctuations in the water and I know I’ve read that BBA thrives off the instability. But you are right, the plants that break the surface are not limited by CO2 in the water. 

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26 minutes ago, Patrick_G said:

So far I find I get some algae on the lower parts of leafy stem plants, but my big problem is the lower stems losing leaves and ratty. 
Your PSO looks super healthy but I like the convex look of your scape in the first pic. 

I have had that too. My understanding on that is the plant isn’t getting enough light on those lower areas. Maybe turning up the light would help? I think placement can be a factor too. If they are shaded out you will lose those leaves. If the stem melts it probably has more to do with the lack of roots. I think you need to cut the melting stem to the first roots node and replant if you are seeing stem melt. 

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  • 1 month later...

I’m going to do another update soon. 
 

BUT I wanted to share. I went on vacation recently. I was gone seven days. This was the first time I didn’t scramble for a feeding block or shop auto feeders. I was nervous, but Cory said seven days should be ok. 
 

I came home to find…

 

Everything was fine! I still had fry and I have more Red Cherry Shrimp than before. Thanks for the advice Cory. I certainly worried a few times while gone, but the next time I will be more relaxed about it. 

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  • 1 month later...

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