Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Vancouver, Canada
My opinion is to listen to hoppy and tone out the rest. He has posted some very informative guides to lighting and has experimented a lot for others benefits. Your issue is too much light, and it is a common issue for many people with stock t5ho tank set ups. The best solution is the screen, it reduces overall light to the tank without reducing light coverage. Other ways people go around this is with glass, more for topless tanks though, or through reducing the bulbs. Because all my tanks at topless i raised my lights.
Just an example 1x4 foot strip of t5ho lighting about 650 mm off the substrate was enough to growout hc with no algae. The key is to balance your lighting to your tank needs.
The solution is not buying better substrates, not investing in high tech gear, not changing your light fixture, it is totally to do with cutting the outpu of the light to your substrate.
Your plants are low demand and dont need co2. or ferts beyond fish food. Maybe trace twice a week but that is all. I keep java fern in most of my tanks as an indicator. If it starts to turn brown, i have too much light or not enough nitrate. If daily feedings are not enough to keep up with the java fern demands, then i have too much light.
Just a point about how i keep fish tanks. Cheap diy and simple is my approach. I have been through high tech, expensive substrates abd loys of ei dosing and i find things alwaya crash because i have kids and work that often wear me out and causes me to be lazy with the tanks from time to time. What works for me is sand, balanced lighting and root tabs. Fish waste are normally enough for my rhizome based plants. As long as i get growth witjout trimming headaches im ahead of the game
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Filstar pimp #116!
aka Neven elsewhere
v2 planted community; 10G guppies; 5G
nano; 2.5G Betta
old scapes: 29G