GaryC Posted December 5, 2022 Share Posted December 5, 2022 Hello all, I am new here so first, a summary of my setup. I have a 65gal (36in x 18in x 24in) that has been set up for several years. the aquarium currently has 9 Cardinal tetras, 2 Black Skirt Tetras (old, have lost the others), 1 Platy, 6 Panda Cories, 2 Reticulated Hillstream Loaches, 8 Amano Shrimp, 6 Nerite Snails, 1 Siamese Algae Eater, 1 Male Betta. The Skirt tetras, Platy, and Siamese Algae eater are long time residents while all other livestock was added on 11/23/2022 shortly after the rebirth of my interest in maintaining the tank. There have been several crypts (I think, got them at Petsmart a few years ago, can't remember what they called them) and a tiny bit of java fern that have been in the tank for several years as well and on 11/22/2022 I added a Amazon sword, some Jungle Val, and some Micro Sword that I got from Aquarium Co-op. There is a fairly large piece of Mopani driftwood and SeaChem Flourite substrate in the aquarium (both for years now) The aquarium has been light by a Marineland 24/7 LED. I can't recall the model but it was on for 12hrs daily with a few hours of the blue "moonlight" each night. On 11/26/2022 I switched to the Fluval 3.0 Planted and am running pro mode using Bentley Pascoe's Daylight Sim Red Late settings (I'll include an overview pic). Oh, and I have a Marineland Magniflow 360 canister filter. I've also added a 20-40gal Nicrew internal canister with sprat bar because I wanted to increase flow across the bottom o f the aquarium. I've not decided if I want to continue this, move the spray bar to the surface or just remove it entirely. Several of the fish seem to enjoy swimming in the current but I don't know if I'm just creating cirvculation overkill with it. I have Easy Green and Easy Root tabs on hand but given the nitrate level, I'm not sure if or how frequently I should use them. My water parameters, using the API 5 in 1 test strips (I understand these aren't the best and will eventually get the API master kit), I'm seeing low GH, very high KH, pH around 8.4 (similar to tap water, from well), no nitrites, nitrates around 160 so, very high, I think. Near future changes to set up, I'll be doing a bit of a reset. My plan is to pull all plants and remove as much algae as I can. I'm going to put the existing flourite sub into mesh bags and and then I'll be adding up to 60lb of Caribsea Super Naturals Tropical Jungle sand on top of the flourite. I'll then put plants back in. I have a number of small "boulders" I want to add and I have two nice large pieces of spider wood coming soon. Not sure if I'll keep the Mopani in as well. It might look weird with the spider wood but the Amanos sure seem to love hanging out on it and I actually like the algae growing on it. I also want to add more fish, inverts, and plants after I get things settled. I can also add leaf litter as I have several bags of magnolia and live oak that I bought for other bioactive setups. My problem that brought me here today is that I have always had a terrible algae problem. I have green hair and I think black beard algae that grows on the substrate, plants, driftwood, the tank itself. everywhere. Now, full disclosure, I almost never did water changes (only topped off when the water splashing in from filter got too loud to hear the tv) and I cleaned the filter even less frequently. These behaviors are currently being modified as I get back into trying to have a beautiful aquarium rather than a large green acrylic block on a stand... Might I expect this issue to clear up with the change in lighting and with the addition of regular water changes? Can I do anything to help keep the plants alive or help them fight back against the algae? Should I be overly concerned with KH and pH? I have some pH Down but I'm afraid I'll just end up constantly trying to fight the high pH and it will just continuously rise and fall as I try to find some balance. I would think constant fluctuation would be worse for the inhabitants than just having a consistent but high pH. Would the addition of natural materials such as the leaf litter help to bring pH down a bit? What else should I be testing, perhaps Phosphates? I don't want to buy a bunch of different tests if there are specific tests I should focus on. Sorry for the information dump but though I've had the aquarium for several years, I'm still very much a beginner when it comes to growing plants and understanding water parameters and how to maintain/adjust them. I really want to get this aquarium looking its best and I want to improve conditions for everything living in it and this seemed like a good place to ask for help. The goal is to do well with this aquarium to further support my desire to upgrade to a fully planted 150gal for behind the sofa :) My wife is actually kind of on board with this idea! I've attached current pics of the aquarium, as well as my lighting overview and test results because photos are often better than words. Thank you very much! Gary Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Create an account or sign in to comment
You need to be a member in order to leave a comment
Create an account
Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!Register a new account
Already have an account? Sign in here.Sign In Now