Well after weeks on here reading countless threads and algae related info I cannot seem to figure out what I have growing in my tank. I hate redundant threads so I am reluctant to post until I have done all I can.
To start with this tank is about 2 months old and is carpeted with HC and has some L. Red as well. I run constant paintball co2 and my drop checker is yellow. I have medium to high lighting running for 8 hours which I had cut back from 10 previously. I dose weekly liquid micro and macro fert mixes made by a member here which have always done well for me. I keep no animals in this tank.
Over the past few weeks i have started to notice some type of algae growing on my hc and ludwigia. However, this is not the typical thread algae I am used to treating with hydrogen peroxide. This algae is very short and dark green and I can rub some off with my fingers but it is difficult to get off. I have tried peroxide and its not effective which has led me to believe its BGA. However, BGA from pictures appears more like a slime. This algae looks fuzzy but not like fuzz algae. You cant see individual strands. My ludwigia has very lightly colored leaves which I suspect may be a deficiency related to the issue. I have read that it may be due to lack of nitrogen but I do not to want to jump to that immediately. There is so much conflicting information out there that I am at wits end.
I am now thinging of doing a 3 day blackout, but I would prefer to balance my tank out and let it work itself out. Any help is appreciated!
Pictures would probably help if possible. How often do you change the water? I see the tank is only 2 months old, and frequent water changes tend to be beneficial for newer tanks.
What does medium to high lighting mean? I have found it pretty much impossible to guess at lighting levels without measuring PAR. Could be your PAR is higher than you need it to be if you have not yet measured it.
I do not know how to measure par. I have two 6500k cfls above the tank and its a 5.5 gal. Its pretty bright. I have tried to get pictures of the algae but its so fine that it just looks like a dark green area. I also tried again with peroxide and i had some bubbling, but not as much as i get with hair algae. I have changed the water several times once almost fully after i went back to see family for the holidays and i had an algae outbreak. I should also mention that i have an internal filter due to my external having a leak.
how are the CFLS positioned? Are they horizontal or vertical. My guess is that you have too much light, not enough fertilizers. more light = more demand for fertilizer / co2. you can try raising the light more off the tank, or adding more fertilizer / co2. Since you do not have living things in the thank other than the plants you can crank up the co2 and eliminate that as a cause. I know that both my flora and 40b are running almost twice the recommended fertilizers for a tank that size due to the light, and plant mass. do not be afraid to add more to eliminate that as a cause as well. It will typically take a couple weeks to notice a difference.
They are both vertical. And my co2 is pretty much maxed. Algae growth is not fast but i feel like my plant growth is being slowed by it.
Vertical CFL's give the most par. My best guess is that you have enough light, you have enough co2, but your plants are limited by fertilizers. I would up the whole lot of fertilizers to 1.5x what you are dosing now, if that does not change try 2x and see if that rectifies the situation. If you were to post pics of the specific algae, we can help diagnose which fertilizer you are most likely low on. upping them is not going to hurt anything though.