Algae infesting my newly setup tank. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-28-2013, 04:48 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: nj
Posts: 442
Algae infesting my newly setup tank.

I set up my 46g bowfront a month ago. Lightly dirted withMiracle grow organic choice potting mix and capped with play sand. Big piece of driftwood that's leaching tannins. Planted with a bit of Ludwigia, a lot of Crypts, and a ton of Java Fern. I have what I think is black beard algae all over everything. It's a light grey fuzz all over the plant leaves and even the top off the sand has a weird layer of fuzz. I was doing huge water changes to get rid of tannins. I have a single 24 watt t5 bulb on top of the tank. Did doing huge like 90% once or twice a week cause a co2 imbalance enough to cause my algae prob? I have since stopped doing the changes and have been double dosing Excel. I don't know what I messed up with, all my other tanks are super balanced.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-02-2013, 10:36 AM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: nj
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135 views, no replies? Oh well. I made the decision today to tear the tank down and start over. I plan on bleach dipping any salvageable plants, bleaching the tank and equipment, and using a new bag of sand for substrate. I added 4 true SAE the other day and they could care less about eating the algae. They're great fish, very fun to watch, but seem completely dis-interested in the BBA!

I think my major mistake was underfiltering this tank, and using dirt when I just don't need it to grow the plants I chose. My dirted tanks in my little fishroom are mint, crystal clear water, no algae, but they're heavily planted compared to this tank. I hope the BBA doesnt come back the second time around!
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-02-2013, 12:21 PM
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Location: Atlanta, Georgia
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Algae infesting my newly setup tank.

I think you are right. Under filtration and the wrong dirt. Miracle grow has fertilizers mixed in some are even encapsulated for slow release. You could test to see if it is a phosphate/nitrate imbalance but urea could be it and testing accurately for urea is going to take more than an API test. Plus with slow release getting it balanced before all the fertilizer has dissolved is going to be like hitting a moving target. If you can wait 3 months you may have a better chance. Or add a fast grower that sucks up everything. Maybe frogbit or a hygro sp.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-02-2013, 04:09 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
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Yeah, I used Miracle Grow Organic Choice Potting Mix. Its the same dirt I use in all my other tanks, which have been really successful. My problem I think is I dirted and capped it, and then decided I wanted to go with low tech slow growing plants like crypts and java fern. I didn't really need the dirt or that amount of nutrients. Lack of flow and filtration I think was the icing on the cake. I tore the tank down this morning, and as I type it's filled with a bleach and water combo. Going to fill and drain it at least three times to wash it all out. Also bleached all the equipment too. Black Beard Algae sucks!
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