Algae on DHG, Tank Walls - Setup Advice? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-26-2020, 04:36 PM Thread Starter
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Algae on DHG, Tank Walls - Setup Advice?

I’ve got a really nasty case of brownish algae attacking my DHG and green algae slime on my glass. I took photos after a water change and some trimming so the tank is looking better than average. With the DHG it seems to start at the ends of the blades and work it’s way down to the base. It seems to be killing individual blades of grass. I can remove it with my fingers and some trimming but sometimes entire blades will fall off while doing this. Removing it seems to work temporarily but it comes back quickly sometimes even in a day or two. Also getting frequently pelted with green slime on the glass and lava rocks every couple days.

A little background: My gf got a small betta bowl last winter that has slowly evolved into a high-ish tech planted tank. I got a rimless 17gallon for her for Christmas and over time we’ve added a second light, pressurized Co2, dosing and upgraded from a HOB to an Eheim canister.

My hunch is that either the lighting isn't intense enough down at the substrate (which would be unfortunate since I just bought a second Satellite Planted Plus) or somehow changing my filter reset the nitrogen cycle. Each light puts out 36 PAR at 12" and I have them as close together as possible shining right down on the front of the tank where the bulk of the DHG is. I would think where the light cones are overlapping the grass is getting at least 60 PAR but that could be wrong, I'm having difficulty researching how overlapping light affects PAR. I kept my HOB filter running for a week while the new Eheim ran to get the media cycled but the HOB actually started leaking so I took it off sooner than I planned on. I also discovered a kink in my Eheim's hoses which was significantly reducing flow - maybe killing the beneficial bacteria? Fixed that as soon as I found it.

Water parameters:

• Ph - floating between 6.5–7
• Ammonia - 0
• Nitrite - 0
• Nitrate - 5–10ppm
• Kh -5–7

Tank Setup (pics attached):

• 17 gallon Landen rimless tank
• 2x Current USA Satellite Planted Plus LED
• 5lb Co2 with regulator + solenoid
• Eheim 2217 filled with Seachem Matrix and polyfil
• Substrate: mixture of ADA Amazonia and Fluval Stratum

Maintenance, Dosage, Etc:

• 1-2x weekly 50% water changes
• Daily dose of Seachem Flourish Excel 2-3 ml
• 3x weekly dose of NA Thrive
• Co2 comes on at 9 am and turns off at 6pm (1.5-2 bubbles/second)
• Lights come on at 11am and turns off at 6pm (no dimming)
• Trimming and picking off dead bits of grass and algae daily and scrubbing glass
• I'm feeding the fish very carefully, little pinches of fry and bug bites and make sure all is eaten before feeding more.


• Struggling carpet of DHG
• 3x anubias nana petite
• Few stems of Bacopa caroliniana (not in love with this, thinking of removing it)
• I'll be adding more anubias nana and some java ferns next week


• 1x female betta
• 6x neon tetra
• 2x green tetra
• 1x zebra danio
• 10x amano shrimp
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Last edited by ande3480; 06-30-2020 at 03:07 AM. Reason: moving photos, formatting
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-29-2020, 05:30 PM Thread Starter
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-29-2020, 11:40 PM
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Drop checkers looking a bit blue. Personally, I'd move the diffuser to the other side, might help it get distributed and dissolved better. I would also start the CO2 an hour before lights up and off an hour before lights out. Do you need flourish and thrive? If you're dosing full EI with the thrive then I'd probably stop the flourish. I don't have any experience with those lights and can't speak on the overlap so no input there. I used to struggle with bba, the only way I was able to defeat it was dialing in the CO2 in combination with solid lighting and excellent maintenance (especially vacuuming the substrate thoroughly). Also, I don't remember if the period goes on the outside or inside of the parentheses.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-30-2020, 03:06 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for getting back to me Marc. I did have the diffuser on the other side before but the Co2 flow seems to be better in this corner where it's already getting pushed up and into the current. When it was behind the lily pipe it seemed to get stuck in a dead zone between the outflow and the intake. The flow is pretty strong from the Eheim 2217 (it's rate for much bigger tanks than my 17 gallon). I think the drop checker is blue because in the photo because I took these hastily right after a water change -- it's always green during the day by the time the lights kick on. Re: the Flourish I meant Flourish Excel liquid carbon not the ferts -- will fix the original post. I've been vacuuming and picking out dead plant matter from the substrate like a mad man so I don't think that's it, but I will adjust my Co2 timer.

Any recs on a new lighting setup? Or any knowledge on PAR requirements to get a Dwarf Hair Grass to carpet nicely? Maybe I'll see if I can borrow a meter somewhere to see if I need a new lighting setup. Thanks again.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-30-2020, 03:28 AM
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I'm not the best at diagnosing tank imbalances admittedly, hopefully a more experienced person can chime in at some point. As far as part meters go, I think ABC aquarium in Fairport rents them but I'm not 100 percent sure on that. Has the hairgrass been sreading at all or just been kinda stunted?
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-30-2020, 08:27 PM Thread Starter
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Oh nice, didn't realize you were in Rochester. I'll look into ABC, definitely want to get a PAR reading at the substrate level. The grass is actually putting out runners and started to spread, the grass itself just doesn't look as healthy as what I've seen on here, maybe I just need to give it time.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old Today, 01:35 PM
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You said you do 1-2x a week water changes but you didn't mention if you use RO or tap water.

Are you dosing Micros? Specifically anything that adds Iron?

Do you know your Calcium and Magnesium levels? If you use tap water you can get a tap water report from your municipal water supplier.
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algae, dhg, dwarf, hairgrass, planted tank

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