Relying on pH controllers when the lights are on can cause issues, make sure the pH reading is the same with the light on as it is when its off.
Stray current(lights in particular) often causes false positive CO2 levels=> test say more is there than actually is in reality!!
One of my fellow locals here has 13 discus and a 180 gal tank and has some mild algae issues we are working on.
He finally got his CO2 issue addressed.
We are adding 1/2 the KNO3 dosings.
He is not feeding as much as Shalu.
Another local, Bob, has 13 in a 120 gal and adds about 1/2 the total N from fish and the other from KNO3.
As long as you do not get above 70% of your total N coming from fish waste, you can still get enough K+ from KNO3.
Adding some K2SO4 will not hurt though. Dose it after the water change, about 1 teaspoon.
Crank the CO2 when the lights are on.
Add 3x a week: 1/2 teaspoon of KNO3, 1/4 of KH2PO4
Traces: 3x a week: 30 mls
Trim well, prune and clean, attack the algae and clean off equipment well, keep filters clean and you should have things in much better shape in 1-3 weeks.
Main thing is to stop new algae growth, if you do that, then you can beat any algae.
This will account for a heavily fed tank, you might not add 1lb a week like some folks, but Shalu does more water changes to make up for that.
The N comes in as NH4 waste which is a good way to get algae but with the water changes, he's able to get away with it.
I and at least one other person have done NH4 dosing purely, no NO3 dosings.
We did this with daily water changes, no algae.
Larger tank tend to requitre more work should something go wrong, therefore less light, slower growing plants etc, water changes get to be an issue, but water is cheap and once you start, it genmerally does not take any longer to do 25% vs 50%. Once you get more experience, you can vary the routine and not do weekly water changes but rather 2 weeks and guess in between the water changes like you do with weekly routines.
I just suggest weekly as it solves problems easier for many folks till they get things back on track. Most come to ask these questions because they are havign issues, not becuase they have great plant growth and want to do less water changes.
When they complain they have all this plant growth and pruning, then we suggest less light, plant choice changes etc.
Slowing a tank down is relatively easy, but a good re set and default is somethign folks need to see as we all screw our tanks up and get algae at some point due to neglect, so knowing what to do there and how to fix that is a good thing.
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