This is my first post in the planted tank forum after several years. This tank is about 1 and half years old. I have been battling all kinds of algae like crazy. I have tried all kinds of things, but still unable to battle algae and my stem plants are just dying. Please see the following
to see the video of my tank.
I would like to share my experience with with you and then ask some questions.
The following are the settings of my tank:
Tank Size: 45Gallon
# Fishes: 18, 10 serpae tetras, 5 Kerri blue, 1 Angel and 2 German blue rams
Cleanup Crew: 5 nerite snails and 4 otocynclus
Beamworks Beamswork DA 6500K 0.50W,
Co2 - running about 1 and half bubbles per second.
Gravel - floramax planted aquarium substrated. Not a great one I guess, got it from petsmart.
Filter -> fluval aqua clear
Water changes mostly once a week. If there is increased algae, I do twice a week.
Plants - Staurogyne repens (srepens - for carpet), Amazon sword, Java fern, monte carlo (Micranthemum), rotala Hra ('Vietnam H’ra’) and Egeria Densa.
I am no expert in aquascaping or plants and all the knowledge I got was through YouTube.
Diatoms -> I constantly get brown algae.
First 6-8 months:
I started my tank with Srepens and Egeria Densa. The only fertilizer I had was sachem flourish and it did not help much. The Edgeria Densa was growing really fast, but the Srepens growth was very slow and they looked bad. I found that their leaves sometimes had a cut (guessing it was due to my snails munching on weak leaves). Srepens was constantly attacked by diatoms, but the Edgeria remained relatively diatom free. I then planted Rotala Hra (shown in the video at 1:27) and suddenly Edgeria completely stopped growing and Hra took over and grew really fast. Now, algae started to form on Edgeria and their growth really suffered from hereon.
My tank was completely decimated with Cyanobacteria (green slime algae) and I thought I could do nothing (since no amount of water change, cleaning filters, reducing light, etc. helped). You remove them, they again come back real strong within few days. All my plants were severely affected by this algae and most of them almost died. Finally, I found chemiclean and within a couple of weeks the cyanobacteria was gone. After this, the plants started to rebound back. Especially the Hra, which came back pretty strong. However, Srepens still suffered heavily. Their growth was extremely slow.
12 months - to now
My objective was to get the Srepens going. So, I ordered individual ferts from seachem namely potassium, iron, nitrogen, and phosphorous. I tried to dose as per the instructions, but ended up with a lot of algae growth. I suspected this was due to some major imbalance and I did not know what Fert was causing this. To make my life simpler I purchased Nylog thrive + (link here). After this, I found a significant improvement in srepens growth. You can see in the video that they are doing quite well. They started to grow quickly and I propagated them to all areas of my tank. I was really surprised and this was my first major change for the good. However, although my Srepens was doing well, the Hra has completely stopped growing (please see the video). I tried replanting Hra by cutting its branches, but they din’t grow. As you can see from the video, they are just battered with black algae (not sure what algae are they guessing diatoms? Please let me know). I tried adding just 1.25ml of flourish iron, but immediately there was an algae bloom. So this din’t work. I constantly check for phosphate level and they are fine. I even added phosguard, but that din’t help. I also suspected the flow in my tank. So, I tried adding a flow pump, but that did not help. Currently, I am running with two hang on back filter, one on the left and one on the right. But this did not help in any way.
I understand that balancing nutrients, light and co2 is the key. So, far I have failed to achieve this. I am not sure what mistake I am doing. I know it has been a lengthy post, but it will be great if someone can help me out with this situation. Any help is appreciated.