New tank with.....algea
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Old 12-14-2003, 02:02 AM   #1
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Hi everyone. I'm fairly new to fishkeeping. It started with a "donated" 55 gallon tank. That tank is doing wonderful in the living room with plants growing beautifully and happy fish.
Now my problem is with my new 39 gallon tank that I try to get ready for some discus fish. My water parameters are: temperature 84 degrees Fahrenheid, PH 6.8, GH 100-150 ppm. Nitrate and ammonia levels are zero. I do not earate, it is an eclipse 3 tank with the mechanical, carbon and biowheel filter system. Lighting (probably not enough) 40Watts (2x 20 Watts bulbs) x 9 hours. My amazon swords do seem to grow a little, my Java fern doesn't grow at all. Green and bronze wentii (cryptocoryne) grow great as does pennyworth, but the water sprite does seem to die. I do have a little duckweed that seems to do well. 6 ottocynclus algea eaters are alive and kicking. Now this system has been cycling for about two and a half months and since the last two weeks I see black brush algea(BBA) developing on some leaves and on some of the substrate. A rosy barb that I put in there for a week, did not seem to do a lot, and the little ottocinclus neither. I can remove some by hand and it looks better, but is there anything else I can do? Would better lighting (say2x 40 watts bulbs make the plants grow better...but won't the algea grow more with more light as well?? What about a CO2 injection system?? or ferilizer (althuogh phosphates will make algeas grow...I thought).
All suggestions are welcome.
Rene vanWieringen
Tampa, Florida
A "donated" 55 gallon tank rejuvenated my interests in keeping fish again in January 2003. I now have three tanks (55 gallon, 37 gallon and 29 gallon) at home and one at the office. I'm getting ready to dedicate one of them to discus fish. I'm very excited. I grew up in The Netherlands where my father and grandfather had wonderful planted tanks and I cannot imagine having a tank without plants, or even worse, with plastic plants.
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Old 12-14-2003, 01:21 PM   #2
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Hi Rene! Welcome!

If you'll take some spare time and look around here, you'll find many questions almost exactly like yours with many helpful answers. There's also a good article on getting started with planted tanks on the main page of this web site and Rex Grigg (look for one of his posts) has a nice page with good "getting started" information too.

What kind of substrate do you have?
What plant fertilizer(s) do you use?

Your lighting works out to about 1 watt per gallon, which is pretty low. Going with 2 40 watt bulbs would get you to 2 watts per gallon - which is better.

You asked about "CO2" injection. Whether or not you want to do that will affect lighting recommendations, fertilizer suggestions and plant selection. With CO2, the plants will make good use of a lot more light. Without it, a lot more light might make more problems than it solves. In your case, you might want a little more light even if you don't go with CO2. One watt per gallon is really not very much light. The "getting started" articles will explain.

You said "ammonia and nitrAtes are both zero." Did you mean "nitrIte" or "nitrAte"? Check the spelling on your test kit. If your nitrates are zero, that's a bad thing in a planted tank. You want nitrate in the 5 to 10 part per million range. Do you know the phosphate level in your tank? You want phosphate levels that are about 1/10th the level of nitrate (.5 to 1 part per million).

Read some of the posts here and the getting started articles and get back to us with your substrate, fertilizer, and nitrAte versus nitrIte information and you'll find lots of folks happy to help with any remaining questions you may have.

Good luck!

Chief 51, Engine 511, Engine 513, Rescue 511, respond to an algae outbreak at...
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Old 12-14-2003, 03:22 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response. I do not remember exactly what my substrate is, but it had flourite mixed into it (advise from lfs). And it is Nitrite that is zero, I do not have a test for nitrate. I used Florapride for a little bit (from TetraPlant), which states it is a phosphate free formula. I will get some more Wattage today and see what that will do.
Talk to you later. By the way, this is a great website for people like me.
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