[Help] Got extremely sick, didn't dose for a week, algae took over
About 2 weeks ago my 40B high tech was starting to really thrive. Algae was almost eradicated and I was feeling almost victorious. Then about a week ago I got hit with a flu that morphed to laryngitis/ear infection/crackling lungs/wheezing, go me?
During that week I barely kept my human kids alive (who i credit with feeding the dog). For the fish all I managed was feedings and in the haze shortening the photoperiod. Today I am finally feeling more like myself and the brain fog has lifted. Upon close inspection is clear that the algae took its chance and took over.
This is a 40B, my first high tech build. Pressurized CO2 using a carbon doser. Green drop checker, pH drop of close to 1 point (7.6 from tap to 6.8 with CO2 on). Using DIY Osmocote root tabs. Dosing dry ferts 5 days with 50% weekly water changes. CO2 on an hour before lights on. Normal schedule pre-sickness was 5 hours on, 2 hour siesta, 5 hours off, lights off. When I got sick I seemed to have pulled the second lights on so only 5 hours of a planted+ 24/7 on max was all that was happening. This has a Cascade 1000 and a Fluval HOB (forgot model, rated for 40-70Gs).
When I looked today, the same kinds of algae that I had almost destroyed are back: BBA and staghorn. There might be some signs of nutrient deficiencies but I figured battling the algae might knock those out too or I can work on them after the algae is gone. Affected are: manzanita branches, crypts, all my fern varieties and the powerhead/wavemaker and some of the rocks. There is some GSA but I have otos so if it keeps them alive, unless it takes over I leave it alone! The otos were even munching on the BBA/staghorn even with GSA present which surprised me!
I'm still kind of a newb, a year in the hobby and my other tank is a super low maint, low tech 20H. Seriously, I love that tank! All inhabitants thrive, multiply and the parameters are always perfect with just top offs. I do a 25% PWC every two weeks because our water here is pretty hard (I top off with distilled water).
Thing is, I suddenly feel overwhelmed in how to attack this problem. I was planning on doing maintenance after putting the kids to bed so I have several hours uninterrupted. But, what to do? Should I pull out the manzanita branches, the ferns and powerhead and do a H2O2 soak and scrub? Should I up the CO2 (while closely monitoring the comfort of the fish)? Should I fert more aggressively? Do a total lights out for a day or two?
Sorry about being all over the place, I just worked so hard and suddenly this happens and I'm just disillusioned and would like to get thing thriving ASAP. It's hard enough to find time to do maint uninterrupted then to get sick too? I love my kiddos but this is my one thing and it means a lot to me to see it to its full potential!
Thanks so much for your time!
kuhli loaches: making everything possible into hammocks