I'm starting to get a little frustrated with algae issues in a month old tank. I got back into the hobby after a break and I think LED lights are doing me in. I've always used fluorescent. I started with the "default" settings on the Fluval Fresh and Plant 3.0, overdosed EI when I failed at the API nitrate kit (didn't shake bottle 2 enough), and got the worst algae farm I've ever had in 30 years in the hobby. I threw out the worst of the plants 2 weeks ago, changed water to fix the EI ferts, lowered lighting, and it's better but I still can't quite get the tank free of algae. I'm stumped.
I'm getting tufts of brownish hair algae here and there around the tank. It reminds me of cotton candy. When it gets to 1-2 cm and I can get it with tweezers I pick it off things, but it breaks up and new bits grow where it lands. It's growing all different places. It's established and tightly attached on the spider wood, growing on healthy R. rotundifolia right in the water flow under the light, on the substrate, in the shade inside the Nymphaea, and killing the Christmas moss I tied to the wood.
I'm also having small patches of BGA on the substrate and on the wood right in the filter outflow. I've never had BGA in a new tank with measurable nitrates. It's really weird. I also had tons of GSA and green fuzz on new plant growth but that seems to have calmed down. Some diatoms on the filter but the otos have that handled.
- 10 gallon tank, moderately planted though I just added a bunch more plants
- 22W Fluval Fresh & Plant 3.0. 1H ramp-up. 3H 66%. 2 H "siesta" with 15% white and 7% red to see the fish. 3H at 60%. 1H sunset. 10% dusk warm white/cool white/red for a few hours to see the fish. 8H fully dark. The bright photoperiod is essentially 8H.
- CO2 at about 20 ppm. The evil little 45g Fluval is hard to adjust but levels are steady. Waiting on a Red Sea reg I found on eBay to arrive.
- 0 ammonia/0 nitrite/~15 ppm nitrate (API kit is hard to read), 8dKH, 9dGH
- EI dosing 2x a week, 50% water changes
- Fluval U2 filter
- Dosing Flourish Excel 1 ml 3x a week out of desperation
- Added some Chemi-pure Green to the filter in case organics from the wood are triggering the BGA
- Cleanup crew is 3 Amanos, 2 otos, and a nerite none of whom will touch the stuff.
- Plants are growing decently
I'm thinking maybe this is still a lighting problem? I have some R. macrandra mini and am trying to establish monte carlo I bought this weekend so I want to run bright. I'm wondering if I'm getting too fancy with the programmable light or running too long a light cycle? I'm used to running 8-10 hours of T5 with no algae issues so clearly LEDs are different. Lighting seems a bit on the low side now but I've read the Fluval 3.0 has high PUR. There is also a fair amount of ambient light from the kitchen.
Can someone suggest a strategy to get rid of this darned fluffy brown hair algae for good but run bright enough to keep the R. macrandra happy?