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Old 02-06-2009, 12:24 AM   #1
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Need help plz!!!

Heres my situation, im new to the aquarium thing and was hunting around for a reasonable sized tank, and then my friend gave me a rather large tank...
Its around 540 litres (143 gallons), i had it cycling for about a month with a large canister filter, i did all the right steps in helping the tank along.
come 4 weeks, at this time the water was not quite clear, it had a yellowy green tinge to the water, i caried out 4 water changes and it did clear up but still has the yellowy green tinge , just not as bad.it planted out with around 15 plants and curently has 8 fish in it, two tube flourescent lighting, air pump and a 300watt heater.

I was wondering if there is anything wrong with the tank, and how to get the water to a crystal clear finish?

please help, im tired of looking at a nearly there fish tank.
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Old 02-06-2009, 12:34 AM   #2
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Pleco,

Welcome to AA!

Some water parameters would help...

Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates, Temperature, pH?

What kind of fish? What kind of plants?

What kind of lighting are you using (wattage, bulb type, and spectrum of bulbs?) Also, how long are you leaving the lights on each day?

What kind of canister filter are you using? How many Gallons per hour does it turn?

At what point did you put the fish in? How did you cycle the tank?

What kind of filter media are you using? Did you seed the filter or tank with any biological media from an already established tank?

Are you putting in additives in the tank? (algaecide, pH up or down, water clarifier, etc)?

Do the fish/plants appear healthy? Have you had any fish die?

These are just a few of the questions that will help some of the folks here assist you in determining what the problem is.
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Old 02-06-2009, 01:22 AM   #3
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cool thanks
The ph is around 6-7
Ammonia= 0.5 ppm
Nitrate=5ppm
Nitrite=0.25ppm

after 4 weeks of cycling the tank i put in the fish.
The cycling process was with all the plants in the tanks, and an additive of Stress Zyme, to encourage bateria growth. both the lights, filter and heater were on in that 4 weeks.
I have 1 rainbow shark, two swordtails, 1 spotted catfish, 1 ghost catfish, 3 barbs
two fish have died sice i have stuck them in, intially only four fish were in for a week, and in that time 1 fish got sucked up the filter tube (my mistake), another four went in a week later, and yesturday one died for no apparent reason.

I have one 36w white fluro tube and another purple tropical tube (not sure of the watt), they are left on for around 10-12 hours
I got a via-aqua canister filter capable of pushing out 1000 litres per hour.
the filter has two sponges in one tray, ceramic noodles in another, and carbon in the bottom of the filter.

No chemicals are added except for Strees Zyme and Strees coat to remove chlorine.
I had a borwn algae outburst in the cycling process and the plants are growing and looking healthy, however some have had the bases of the stem roting away, and some leaves are coated in the algae.

thats about it
Thanks
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Old 02-06-2009, 01:23 AM   #4
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oh and the temerature stays around 26-28 degrees.
thanks
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Old 02-06-2009, 01:36 AM   #5
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Ok, a couple of things... do you know what kind of plants they are? If they are rotting at the base you might have unknowingly put in non-aquatic plants... they are often marketed at major chain pet stores as aquatic plants. If you don't know what they are, pictures would help. This could be a problem.

Also, the lighting you have does not sound like it would be sufficient to grow even low light aquatic plants. However, it would be enough to grow algae. Especially if they were left on for 4 weeks in a row. It is important to establish a strict standard photo period of about 10-10.5 hrs. You can pick up a cheap timer at your local hardware store to aid with this.

If the plants are rotting, it will add extra material to the water column that can encourage an algae bloom and algae growth. This could be part of the problem, and part of the reason your water is not clearing up.

What kind of substrate (gravel, sand, etc) are you using?

It sounds too like your tank is not completely cycled. Ideally you want your ammonia and nitrite to be 0. I would continue to do water changes every 2-3 days (roughly 10-25%) until your nitrite and ammonia reach 0.

I would also consider adding a second filter to your tank. The canister filter you have is borderline. You want your filter to be able to turn your water over at least twice per hour... and if it is rated at 1000LPH, that is when the filter is perfectly clean and has nothing gumming it up. An established filter will not be able to turn over as much water as when it is brand new. You may see a benefit in adding an additional hang on back filter or smaller canister filter to help clean your water up. You have a big tank there (I am jealous!) so it takes a lot of filtration to keep it clean.

Be careful when feeding your fish too - most people over-feed when they first start a tank. You want to feed just enough so all of the food is eaten in about 3 minutes. While you still have ammonia and nitrate readings, you could reduce your feeding to every other day to aid in getting your water quality up. Extra food in the bottom of the tank will add ammonia, extra nutrients for algae, and generally negatively affect the health and clarity of your water column.

By the way, good call on the chemicals. I would encourage you to stay away from any algaecides or other additives - they treat the symptoms, not the underlying problem, and can end up causing more problems than they solve. A good chlorine remover for doing water changes (treat the water before you put it in the tank, even small amounts of chlorine and upset your biological filter, and set your cycling back) should be about all you need.
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Old 02-07-2009, 01:27 AM   #6
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Thanks
the plants ive got do still seem to grow, they just had some trouble in the start to root, that would be partly my mistake, due to alittle coarse gravel. it is a mixture of 3-5mm gravel and 50-100mm river stones.

If bought a small internal filter today, and was given one.
One has a flow of 560lph and hte other 450lph, that combined with the canister filter is around 2100lph, is that alright??

Also looking back i may have been feeding the fish alittle to much, so ill be looking on cutting that back.

thanks heaps
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Old 02-07-2009, 01:47 AM   #7
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I think that will do nicely for you... that gets you up well over that threshold of 2X per hr. Let us know if that does anything for you in the next couple of days.

Keep an eye on those plants... I still think you are going to run into problems with the small amount of light you have over the tank... and some pics of the plants well help some folks give you some better advice on the care they require.

Substrate should be ok... my 29Gal has some pretty coarse aquarium gravel in it, nothing special, not made for plants, and my plants seems to do ok in it.
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