My 30ltr tank is running since October, all was good with no major drama until about 5-6 weeks ago when algae took over. My wife liked to feed the fish and let the lights run for ~ 10h a day, the algae mended her ways.
Drastic action caused the algae to disappear but the water remained cloudy so for the last 2-3 weeks I change ~ 30% water (10ltr). However, there is white foam floating on top with lots of brown algae (yesterday changed 13ltr and cleaned the plant's leaves with paper but today it looks as I did nothing). The water parameters are good, 0 ammonia, 0 - 0.25 nitrite, nitrate was not tested but the tap water are at 40ppm. I can't see the nitrite climb drastically in 2-3 days period.
It seems that due to Brexit Tropica have problems shipping to the UK and the plants that I have ordered will take longer to arrive, as a result I have started to consider other options.
In the past I bought plants from some of my local shops but then I had black snails in the tank, I have noticed them before they multiplied and got rid of them and obviously don't want them back. Can I use Methylene Blue, Malachite Green or Formalin to kill them and any imported bacteria? Are these chemicals safe for the plants?
I have decided to use Tropica Substrate and capped it with gravel, this is for the back and centre of the aquarium where the plants will be positioned, the front is sand.
Just for general information, I have checked with Tropica whether sand is acceptable or gravel is mandatory. The answer was that sand can be used but gravel is preferred as it does not compact the substrate and allow the water an easier reach.
Re: Help please fish dying. Nitrates in tap water?
I had the same problem as you, aquarium level was ~ 80 and tap water , I think ~ 50, also used API liquid tester. The shop recommended Tetra Nitrate tester instead and said that this is the most accurate tester in the market. I have started to use it and my levels dropped to 25 - 50 as the colures are a bit too close for me to distinguish. Also, I have started to dose the water with liquid carbon (on top of the liquid fertilizer) for the plants. As a result the plants started to grow and became healthier effectively consuming ammonia and nitrate from the water column.
I don't know if this will solve your issues but might be something to try.
Thanks for that. No, am not looking to complicate my life with carpeting plants etc. It will be fairly dense with tall plants at the back, gaps in the middle and law plants at the front with moss and Anubis attached to wood. Currently I use liquid carbon and liquid fertilizer, once the carbon was added the water stabilized and the Nitrate dropped from ~80ppm to 25ppm.
Did not have a reply on the Tropical section so trying again on this one. Apologies for the repeat. -----------------------------------------------------------------------
Would like to ask about aquarium substrate and which way to go.
What is better for a planted aquarium, planting soil covered with sand or sand and fertilizer tablets by the roots? Also, is it beneficial to install an under gravel/sand heater for water flow by the roots? any benefits?
EBAY and Amazon are your friends, lots of second hand, Also do Google search, otherwise, companies like ND Aquatics can fit you with one, or...why won't you build it yourself? Decide on the dimensions and glass thickness and it's all done. Very easy, years ago I built my own including the unit and it never leaked.
Can't help you with the type of wood but if you were worried about bacteria then you had to soak the wood in salty water. For the last 3 weeks I have several pieces in a container of 40ltr dosed with 4kg of cooking salt. This weekend I will change the water back to fresh and leave it inside for another 3 weeks so the salt can come out. I might be OTT but am happy with it.