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Thread: ADA Mini-M Slow Growth

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    ADA Mini-M Slow Growth

    Seeing really slow growth on an ADA tank.

    Here's the tank in December:


    Here's how it looks now:


    No trimming of HC in between. Very light pruning of hairgrass.

    I'm not certain why the plant growth is so slow (or is this normal growth?). I'm using AS Amazonia, dosing 1 pump of ADA Step 2, Brighty K and Brighty Lights daily. Light is 5-6 hours as is CO2. Drop checker is on the lower side of lime green.

    Water changes are twice a week 50%.

    Am I perhaps neglecting some vital trace elements or merely expecting too much?

  2. Yeah it is slow, the colour looks great tho. If you want faster results, you can increase your lighting period. What kind of light do you have? Why such a low lighting period?

  3. #3
    Very slow indeed.

    Get some more HC and add more, mow the Hair grass.

    CO2, CO2, the diffuser seems too high, lower it and keep it nice a clean. Also, make sure the water level is the same , in small tanks the degassing can REALLY increase a lot with 1/2 inch of level change. So right after fill up, the tank is fine, plenty of CO2, 2-3 days later........not so much.
    Pay attention to the needle valve and not the drop checker.

    Increase light to 8-9 hours.

  4. #4
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    Unfortunately the diffuser is fixed at that level. The Mini-M/S diffuser sits really high.
    I had a major drop off with the ADA Mini-Solar bulb. Growth tanked and GDA took over. Could have been a different issue, but I think it has to do with the bulb. But that is SLOW growth!

    crank the co2 and, as tom mentioned, increase photoperiod 1 hour per week till you reach 8-9 hours.
    Last edited by Matt F.; 04-08-2012 at 08:49 PM.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for all the advice guys. I've increased the photo period by one hour today. I'll leave it a week and increase another hour each week until I'm at 8-9 hours.

    Matt F. is right the diffuser is very short:


    A few quick questions:

    1. Rather than replace the ADA diffuser with another glass diffuser would I be better off with a reactor? If so which would you recommend?

    2. I've noticed the otos start panting at the slightest increase of CO2. To avoid gassing the fish would orienting the lily pipe to agite the surface more help increase O2 concentration whilst also allowing me to raise the CO2 I'm putting into the tank?

    3. Is my fertilization regime sound then (not a limiting factor)? (ie. 1 pump of ADA Step 2, Brighty K and Brighty Lights daily)
    Last edited by leonroy; 04-09-2012 at 12:26 AM.

  6. #6
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    That diffuser does fine for that tank. No need for anything else. Just keep an eye on the water level, as Tom mentioned, and top off if needed.
    Here was my Mini-M with eleocharis "belem"




    Before chopping out the ludwigia arcuata:






    That diffuser provides plenty of CO2 even for HC. The only thing that had a drop off over time is the ADA MIni-SOlar light bulb. I am a proponent of EI fr fert supplimentation. It works. That way you can rule out other variables (nutrients) and focus on balancing the lighting and co2. My guess is the ADA ferts are leaving your plant starved for macros.Or you are not providing enough light--what type of light do you have over the mini-m?

    Save money on a new CO2 diffusion method and invest in some powdered ferts. Here is a good site for that:
    http://www.aquariumfertilizer.com/
    Last edited by Matt F.; 04-09-2012 at 11:23 PM.

  7. #7
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    Matt, I sure am jealousy because I want a Mini-M badly. I'm trying not to have too many tanks in the house. I'll have a 90p coming soon enough so I'm trying my best to hold off on the Mini-M. By the way, nice looking tank!

    Dan
    If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under.
    Ronald Reagan

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt F. View Post
    That diffuser provides plenty of CO2 even for HC. The only thing that had a drop off over time is the ADA MIni-SOlar light bulb. I am a proponent of EI fr fert supplimentation. It works. That way you can rule out other variables (nutrients) and focus on balancing the lighting and co2. My guess is the ADA ferts are leaving your plant starved for macros.Or you are not providing enough light--what type of light do you have over the mini-m?

    Save money on a new CO2 diffusion method and invest in some powdered ferts. Here is a good site for that:
    http://www.aquariumfertilizer.com/
    Beautiful tank Matt, I look forward to seeing growth like that in my tank.

    I'm using an ADA Solar for the Mini-M. Here's the full tank:


    After swapping the diffuser (the old one had been in place for about 6 weeks) I'm seeing a much finer mist of bubbles. I don't have a PAR meter sadly so can't check the light output. The current bulb has been in place since October of last year. I've replaced it with a new one just in case.

    I'll look into some powdered ferts, thanks for the link. EI seems the way to go especially since I'm not particularly keen on buying anymore overpriced bottles of ADA ferts with silly names.

    Will report back in four weeks!
    Last edited by leonroy; 04-10-2012 at 06:18 PM.

  9. #9
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    So far, the game plan is:

    Increase lighting 1 hour per week till you hit 9 hours (provided there is no increase in algae).
    Keep your diffuser clean (soak in bleach 1x per week)
    Slowly increase CO2 (make sure to be home the day you do this)
    Keep up with water changes (clean fresh water helps with plant growth issues)
    Maybe buy some powder ferts and start EI

    You can buy these measuring spoons for dosing EI iin smaller tanks:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-3080-Nor...item2c64710a75

    •Drop - 1/64 teaspoon
    •Smidgen - 1/32 teaspoon
    •Pinch - 1/16 teaspoon
    •Dash - 1/8 teaspoon
    •Tad - 1/4 teaspoon

    (taken from ebay listing)



    Quote Originally Posted by leonroy View Post
    Beautiful tank Matt, I look forward to seeing growth like that in my tank.

    I'm using an ADA Solar for the Mini-M. Here's the full tank:


    After swapping the diffuser (the old one had been in place for about 6 weeks) I'm seeing a much finer mist of bubbles. I don't have a PAR meter sadly so can't check the light output. The current bulb has been in place since October of last year. I've replaced it with a new one just in case.

    I'll look into some powdered ferts, thanks for the link. EI seems the way to go especially since I'm not particularly keen on buying anymore overpriced bottles of ADA ferts with silly names.

    Will report back in four weeks!

  10. #10
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    Thanks so much Matt, couldn't have got this far without your clear advice (well - maybe I could've got my thick skull around the principles of planted aquaria - eventually, but it would have taken a lot longer!)

    I cleaned my CO2 diffuser regularly, ensured that the flow was constant, that ferts were maintained, water changes weekly or bi-weekly when possible. I also gradually increased the lighting period to 9 hours (reduced it to 7 though due to BBA).

    I also took Tom's advice and topped up any evaporation since it seems even a centimeter or two drop in water level causes the CO2 to fluctuate. Something tells me that a Mini-L or larger tank would have been an easier first tank!

    Here's the tank as it stands, it's not perfect I'll grant you and I just did a fairly heavy prune but the algae is subsiding, the HC is growing fiercely and maintaining the tank has become a little more manageable.

    This planted aquaria stuff is a LOT more work than I realized (no doubt due in part to my inexperience) but I have to admit, despite all the effort involved I do get a LOT of enjoyment from sitting in my study and watching the fish and shrimp swim amidst my own little green and pleasant 'scape.



    I'm going to see if keeping the CO2 level constant over the next month or so will reduce the slight algae issues I'm seeing. Until then I assume I shouldn't increase the photo period to 9 hours until the algae subsides?

    I'm also dosing 0.5ml of Excel every other day since it seems to help reduce the amount of algae. I guess this might be more of a band aid and that I really need to ensure my CO2 levels are rock solid?
    Last edited by leonroy; 06-26-2012 at 01:25 AM.

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