Could use some help going forward - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-26-2017, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
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Could use some help going forward

Ive had a lowish tech tank for the last year or so, but it has gotten out of wack and im trying to right the ship. Admittedly, i went cheap off the bat trying a bunch of DIY tech(co2, ferts) and i was having decent luck, but i took a family into my aquatics room after the harvey floods(i was barley spared) and couldn't stay hands on. Killed the Co2 and the lights and Co2 got out of control, and as you can imagine algae thrived. Did a 3 day black out, but ive still got some very slight hair algae on my Val, and some of my leafs still have some residual darker green algae.

Well, ive finally got the means together to have the right equipment, and do things proper. My GLA pro reg /atomic dif just showed up, and my Nilocg's Liquid NPK+M Macro/micro bottles as well. Im running a Finnex planted + and a Planted +LE over a 65 gallon tall tank.

Is the move to cut everything out that has any algae on it to start fresh, or will the tank balance itself and starve the algae out with proper nutrients and Co2? Im excited to have a hands off Co2 setup after all this time struggling with damned DIY baking soda/citric acid and crap needle valve.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-26-2017, 07:11 PM
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While you can keep a planted tank balanced with a lot of intervention the approach never lasts long, by long I mean 5-10 years. I am also done tinkering. I just want a pretty, quiet tank that's relaxing to look at because I am not worried about it.

My approach lately (since maybe 2010) has been just to "fertilize" by water changes. Your tap water probably has a fair amount of NPK in it from fertilizer run off, we've been dumping ag chemicals since WWII. A lot of nutrients come in via fish food. The more you depend on high power lights, ferts and co2 the more potential you have for imbalance. With my "stable balance point" low input technique I can ignore the tank for months.

Cut off the worst of it, do some changes and maybe add some fast growing but easily removed plants to sop up whatever is in there causing the problem. Duckweed can do this, then you just scoop it out. Ideally you'd have a nutrient starved water column and plants mostly feeding from their roots, where algae cannot grow.

I have co2 and fertilizer but run the co2 very low and fertilize at a rate that's, maybe, 1/50th the amount recommended. The goal is to not have anything left over to feed the algae. That means not adding too much in the first place.

It's true I do not have spectacular growth and just a little bit of pearling these days, but those came at the cost of too much attention and worry.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-26-2017, 07:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by novitt View Post
While you can keep a planted tank balanced with a lot of intervention the approach never lasts long, by long I mean 5-10 years. I am also done tinkering. I just want a pretty, quiet tank that's relaxing to look at because I am not worried about it.

My approach lately (since maybe 2010) has been just to "fertilize" by water changes. Your tap water probably has a fair amount of NPK in it from fertilizer run off, we've been dumping ag chemicals since WWII. A lot of nutrients come in via fish food. The more you depend on high power lights, ferts and co2 the more potential you have for imbalance. With my "stable balance point" low input technique I can ignore the tank for months.

Cut off the worst of it, do some changes and maybe add some fast growing but easily removed plants to sop up whatever is in there causing the problem. Duckweed can do this, then you just scoop it out. Ideally you'd have a nutrient starved water column and plants mostly feeding from their roots, where algae cannot grow.

I have co2 and fertilizer but run the co2 very low and fertilize at a rate that's, maybe, 1/50th the amount recommended. The goal is to not have anything left over to feed the algae. That means not adding too much in the first place.

It's true I do not have spectacular growth and just a little bit of pearling these days, but those came at the cost of too much attention and worry.
wouldnt tanks running Estimative index dosing be algae fields in this case? No or little nutrients in the water column has actually brought algae growth on in a few of my set ups, if theres not enough for the plants to maintain optimal growth algae will take advantage and grow while the plants stunt.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-26-2017, 08:23 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by KrypleBerry View Post
wouldnt tanks running Estimative index dosing be algae fields in this case? No or little nutrients in the water column has actually brought algae growth on in a few of my set ups, if theres not enough for the plants to maintain optimal growth algae will take advantage and grow while the plants stunt.

I feel like this is the case with what happened to my tank. I never had any algae issues until i quit running Co2 and fertilizers because i couldn't work on my tank. With no nutrients left in the column, the plants quit growing, and the algae seized the opportunity and took over.





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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-30-2017, 05:15 PM
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The algae should die off as you up the CO2 again. But it wouldn't hurt to clean up the overgrown algae until then. Get a big water change in and start over. Only fertilize minimally until the algae is gone. Tweak the CO2 and ferts as needed overtime, with the hope that you eventually don't have to do much to the tank and can sit back and enjoy like novitt is talking about.

"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again."
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-30-2017, 06:09 PM
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If you don't already have a clean-up crew, you could get some ottos, shrimp, snails, or scuds.

The leaves that are really covered in algae you proably want to cut back.
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