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Problems with weak plant growth in combination with "Hamburger Mattenfilter"

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  • Problems with weak plant growth in combination with "Hamburger Mattenfilter"

    Hello there!

    After reading the threads here for some weeks now and applying the EI method for my tank I still have a lot of problems. I would really appreciate any help.

    So I'm starting with a list with things I already changed and the general setup of my tank.

    Volume: 550 litre / ~ 350 gallons
    Lightning: 2x80 w t5 with reflectors, 12 hours a day
    Filtration: "Hamburger Mattenfilter" with 2 "mammoth-pumps" which nets about 1600 l/hr
    Co2 with drop checker: About 20 mg/l right now. Mixed in with a diffusor, directly under the "Mattenfilter"
    Temperature: 28 °C
    Substrate: Only Sand
    Tap water analysis: http://www.amperverband.de/media/fil...urzanalyse.pdf , please scroll down there
    Water changes: About 40% Each week, 50/50 - RO Water and carbonfiltered tap water

    Fertilization:

    Due to my low lightning I started to fertilize as follows:

    Day of water change:

    4,9 g KNO3
    1,2 g KH2PO4
    13 g Epsom Salt

    The day after:

    Seachem Iron 8,5 ml
    Trace 10 ml

    Plants:

    Mainly Echinodorus, which should be one of the easier plants to grow.

    I measured Nitrate, Fe and Phosphate. Nitrate was between 20 and 30, Fe was nearly unmeasurable, although I'm already adding Seachem Iron, Phosphate was around 2.


    Problems are the following:


    1. Leaves are starting to turn yellow, beginning at the edges
    2. Some are turning dark green
    3. Some leaves are "twisted" and "wavy" - I hope this is the right adjective for it
    4. The following algae are growing: Mainly Cladophora algae and GSA

    Questions:

    1. I already searched in other threads for this but didnt find an answer: My surface agitation is really high, does this affect the co2 negative? I already increased the Co2, now it's about 3-5 bubbles per second, so normally this should be enough. Any opinions on that?

    2. Is there anything I can optimize right now? The only thing I'd like to keep is the light, but maybe it's too low to grow anything...

    Hopefully my writ wasnt formulated too bad, since English isn't my mother tongue ;-)
    I know it's a long post but I really don't know how to fix my problems.

    Thanks in advance!
    Greetings
    Matt
    Last edited by ErnieohneBert; 03-05-2012, 11:56 PM.

  • #2
    Welcome! We are Not So Much Rude As Confused

    Hi Matt,

    Welcome, :glee: don’t worry about post length, information is more than brevity.

    With lighting that low I would not be running much more than 10-mg/L (10-ppm), if that any…:nonchalance:

    What plants? What type of Echinodorus?

    What kinds of fish and invertebrates?

    Echinodorus tend to be root feeders so enriching the substrate is more important than fertilizers in the water column. The also like 5-7 centimeters of substrate, less than that you are probably best off with a pot.

    Biollante
    The first sign we don't know what we are doing is an obsession with numbers. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

    Disclaimer: I am not trying to make you mad, it is just what I am, an evil plant monster, 'nuf said.
    • I believe the information I am giving is sound, I am not a veterinarian, professional chemist or particularly bright and certainly not a "Guru.".
    • I assume you are of legal age, competent and it is legal for you to acquire, possess and use any materials or perform any action in your in your jurisdiction.
    • When in doubt "don't."

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for welcoming me and also the answer

      *Echinodorus Planted: Echinodurs Bleheri. They have a very hard time growing.
      *Cryptocoryne Albida (?) I'm having a hard time identifying this one. After searching for this one I saw some pictures on the internet where the leaves are wavy aswell. Maybe this plant is growing like this?

      Fish and invertebrates:

      A couple of Discus, one l 134, and about 10000..000 red fire shrimps. I think they are really enjoying the algae growth I never thought one shrimp could be that fat


      My substrate is about 5 cm high, but no extra enriching. Maybe like you said thats the main problem for the Echinodorus? Maybe I should get some other plants, just to see if they are doing better.

      Matt

      Comment


      • #4
        Is there any way I can add some enrichment to the substrat while there's water inside the tank? Maybe this is the biggest problem in my setup. Maybe just pure sand as the basis isn't enough. What do you guys think?

        Matt

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by ErnieohneBert View Post
          Is there any way I can add some enrichment to the substrat while there's water inside the tank? Maybe this is the biggest problem in my setup. Maybe just pure sand as the basis isn't enough. What do you guys think?

          Matt
          Yes. Fertsicles

          Folks stuff osmocote, etc in ice cubes and stuff em in the the substrate... quick and easy, clean too....

          Search this site for 'fertsicle' or ice cubes and I bet you find a good thread or two with great info...
          Thanks,

          Gerry.

          'When something's not right, it's wrong'. Bob Dylan

          Current 220 scape

          http://www.barrreport.com/showthread...3219-220-video

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi,

            I am still digesting your thread, but sounds like c02. If you have high surface ripple or rapids, this will certainly outgas c02 quicker, so you may need more c02, than if the surface was calm.

            Only the plants can tell you over time if you have enough or not. Adjust SLOWLY over 2-3 days to observe fish and plants. Do not increase daily and assume all will be well. Co2 is toxic to fish and inverts so be careful.

            Cutting back on light, increased EI dosing, and extra water changes will all help while increasing c02..

            You have a large tank so I would question ferts and c02. I have a large tank myself and it can be tough/difficult to get enough c02 into it...Can you expand more on your c02 setup?

            Your light 'seems' not too much, but 12 hours is too much. Can you go 7-8 for a few weeks? Just use 1 fixture if possible for nighttime viewing?

            Your English is fine and your posts are not too long...My response will be longer by the time I am done

            Welcome!
            Last edited by Gerryd; 03-05-2012, 11:36 PM.
            Thanks,

            Gerry.

            'When something's not right, it's wrong'. Bob Dylan

            Current 220 scape

            http://www.barrreport.com/showthread...3219-220-video

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks Gerry for your reply

              "Cool" idea with the icecubes. I will definitely try that

              Right now I also think there are some Co2 issues so I'm already increasing every few days. But how I said, the Co2 bubble number is getting uncountable soon. (About 5 / second atm)
              Do you really think I should reduce the lighting period? It's only about 0,5 w / g and I thought thats very low lighting.

              Matt

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by ErnieohneBert View Post
                Thanks Gerry for your reply

                "Cool" idea with the icecubes. I will definitely try that

                Right now I also think there are some Co2 issues so I'm already increasing every few days. But how I said, the Co2 bubble number is getting uncountable soon. (About 5 / second atm)
                Do you really think I should reduce the lighting period? It's only about 0,5 w / g and I thought thats very low lighting.

                Matt
                Forget the bubble count. It will be whatever it takes to get the plants healthy and growing well...toss the drop checker too as it has up to a 2-4 hour lag time and is not that accurate, Focus on plant health and growth, and all else will fall into line,.

                Yes, I do think 12 hours is too long. Just for right now, try 7-8 for two weeks and see..

                wpg is not that useful either, sorry to say...it sounds low light but w/o a PAR meter, no way to tell for sure.

                What are the tank dimensions?
                Thanks,

                Gerry.

                'When something's not right, it's wrong'. Bob Dylan

                Current 220 scape

                http://www.barrreport.com/showthread...3219-220-video

                Comment


                • #9
                  Fe was nearly unmeasurable, although I'm already adding Seachem Iron,
                  1. Leaves are starting to turn yellow, beginning at the edges
                  Fertilizers like Seachem did not last any long in the water column and using any test kits is really senseless there.
                  You always need to dose such fertilizers "like the plants look". If you are not sure in doing so - you should perhaps simply better switch back to any stronger chelated stuff (like Tropica Pflanzennahrung flüssig, Drak Ferrdrakon, AR Macro Basic or so).
                  But you may keep in mind: "Hamburger Mattenfilter"
                  Generally, such filters "eat" a lot trace nutritions and this is not a "good effekt" in any tanks with plant focus.
                  And yes, you can try to feed Echi+Crypo with some additional root fertilizer stuff like Terrdrakon or whatever so.

                  My surface agitation is really high, does this affect the co2 negative?
                  Certainly too much surface agitation is not a very smart thing if it will quickly gas out Co2.

                  The following algae are growing: Mainly Cladophora algae and GSA
                  Green Spot algae is primary related a PO4/Co2 issue, you need to fix this.
                  Clado: You can only kill it with H202 Spotthreatments.
                  Other things will not really work.

                  Maybe I should get some other plants, just to see if they are doing better.
                  There is really no sense in trying and buying any other plants - because doing so did not fix anything.
                  Nearly all water plants are at last easy to grow.
                  But you need to fix (many) things:
                  - Fertilizer/trace dosing
                  - Water temp (28 °C = not all plants like such high temps)
                  - MattenFilter (obvisiously replace it)
                  - optimize (!) yours waterflow
                  - optimize Co2
                  - optimize Substrate
                  - getting ridd the algaes
                  This is a much to-do- list.
                  Last edited by Petex; 03-06-2012, 12:40 AM.
                  The Plant Trading List ... if it is rare, it is there

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Gerryd View Post
                    Forget the bubble count. It will be whatever it takes to get the plants healthy and growing well...toss the drop checker too as it has up to a 2-4 hour lag time and is not that accurate, Focus on plant health and growth, and all else will fall into line,.

                    Yes, I do think 12 hours is too long. Just for right now, try 7-8 for two weeks and see..

                    wpg is not that useful either, sorry to say...it sounds low light but w/o a PAR meter, no way to tell for sure.

                    What are the tank dimensions?
                    The tank is 160x60x60 cm and the lamps are about 150cm long. I'll reduce to 8 hours for two weeks. Let's see what this will change

                    Matt

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Petex View Post
                      Fertilizers like Seachem did not last any long in the water column and using any test kits is really senseless there.
                      You always need to dose such fertilizers "like the plants look". If you are not sure in doing so - you should perhaps simply better switch back to any stronger chelated stuff (like Tropica Pflanzennahrung flüssig, Drak Ferrdrakon, AR Macro Basic or so).
                      But you may keep in mind: "Hamburger Mattenfilter"
                      Generally, such filters "eat" a lot trace nutritions and this is not a "good effekt" in any tanks with plant focus.
                      And yes, you can try to feed Echi+Crypo with some additional root fertilizer stuff like Terrdrakon or whatever so.


                      Certainly too much surface agitation is not a very smart thing if it will quickly gas out Co2.


                      Green Spot algae is primary related a PO4/Co2 issue, you need to fix this.
                      Clado: You can only kill it with H202 Spotthreatments.
                      Other things will not really work.


                      There is really no sense in trying and buying any other plants - because doing so did not fix anything.
                      Nearly all water plants are at last easy to grow.
                      But you need to fix (many) things:
                      - Fertilizer/trace dosing
                      - Water temp (28 °C = not all plants like such high temps)
                      - MattenFilter (obvisiously replace it)
                      - optimize (!) yours waterflow
                      - optimize Co2
                      - optimize Substrate
                      - getting ridd the algaes
                      This is a much to-do- list.
                      Alright. That's at least a starting point.

                      1. I'll think I'll keep my tracing dosage until everything else is optimized.
                      2. Maybe I can lower this to 27 °C, but anything lower would harm the discus long term. What do you think?

                      3. Filtration:

                      I think I should clarify my filtering. It's basically a filter tank inside my main tank. That means that some glass stuff is glued in so the water has to flow through this. The medium is foam + siporax.
                      Can I work with that or do I have to replace it with a standard canister filter? Maybe remove the siporax and only filter through some foam? Any ideas on that? The main problem with my system are the mammoth pumps I think.

                      4. This goes hand in hand with 3 I think. I thought about adjusting the pipe in a 45 degree angle to the surface, so the surface agitation is reduced.

                      5. Will increase the Co2 slowly every few days.

                      6. I'll get some fertilizer like Osmocote, freeze it and dump right beside the plants. Any tips on dosage? I read something like 5 g per 25x25 cm.

                      7. I'm already removing algae by hand but I guess this problem will only get better when the plants recover.


                      Anyway, thanks for all the great tips ;-)

                      Matt

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        If yours tank size is really 60cm high,
                        well, I think a T5 LSR will ovisiously not give enough light for proper grow. OK, exspecially Cryptos are fine for that (as "slow-pace-plants"). Tweaking Co2 is always good, but it will not do "any miracles & wonder" in such setups. Generally, I also would suggest to look around what other Discus keepers have for plants that fits for such special conditions.

                        Maybe remove the siporax and only filter through some foam?
                        I would still use filter foam and no sipo, Helix, bio balls or so.

                        I read something like 5 g per 25x25 cm.
                        Sry, I don´t know Osmocote, the other guys may tell you more about it

                        7. I'm already removing algae by hand but I guess this problem will only get better when the plants recover.
                        Clado will grow under each condition (and also if plants recover). It will be almost impossible to get it rid only by hand in such large tanks, but if you are able to remove most algae - it should be perhaps "ok" and not be too much annoying in the future. Sometimes Clados can "look nice" - I have seen on Ebay some smart guys selling their Clados as Moos.
                        Last edited by Petex; 03-06-2012, 01:29 AM.
                        The Plant Trading List ... if it is rare, it is there

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Petex View Post
                          If yours tank size is really 60cm high,
                          well, I think a T5 LSR will ovisiously not give enough light for proper grow in such deep tanks. OK, exspecially Cryptos are fine for that (but "slow-pace-plants). Tweaking Co2 is always good, but it will not do "any miracles & wonder" in such setups. Generally, I also would suggest to look around what other Discus keepers have for plants in such setups.


                          I would still use filter foam and no sipo, Helix, bio balls or so.
                          Alright, I'm going to remove the sipo tomorrow. Just Foam stays in.

                          Yeah the height of my tank is another problem, but I thought Echinodorus and Anubiae are on of the more undemanding plants e.g. not so light consuming. Aren't they? I recently switched from HQL to T5 because the efficiency of the HQL seems to be quite bad.

                          Greetings
                          Matt

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Yours plants are fine for the setup, but mostly slow pace plants.
                            I would look for some medium-faster growing stuff as addition. Obvisiously things like Nesea Triflora (it is good plant for low light) and Najas Roraimia (or other Najas species) may work - perhaps also some Ludwigias, Polispermas, Heteranthera and few Lindernias, Limnophilias like Sessifloras may work too -perhaps things like Marsilea sp. for the ground, but I am not sure about each under that conditions.
                            Last edited by Petex; 03-06-2012, 01:47 AM.
                            The Plant Trading List ... if it is rare, it is there

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