Boom and Bust cycles.... - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 1 (permalink) Old 03-02-2018, 02:34 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
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Boom and Bust cycles....

Hi all - brand new here. Came across the site in a search for a new light fixture recommendations.

I've just started going through all the "stickies" and doing searches, so forgive if I end up touching on typical "beginner" things that everyone seems to ask, over and over....

So, the back story:
A 20H Marineland "kit" setup. Originally given to my son-in-law. Of course, they moved across the country not too long after, and I have had custody for about 1 1/2 years. As he delivered, std. gravel substrate, 3 different crypts, and an amazon sword. He supplemented the supplied LED hood light, with a clip on led strip light. Initial fish were 3 rosy tetras and a small pleco. All was happy for a couple of months, and plants were growing fantastically. I boosted the fish count with 4 neons, 3 white cloud, 2 glows, and 3 rasbora. Knew I was perhaps pushing it.....
Plants grew strongly for several months, but started to get progressively worse algae. Did algaecide of a while, that helped some, but not enough, so stopped. Talked to the local shop, who suggested 3 zebra snails and more plants. Added cabomba and some corkscrew val. Val died almost immediately. Cabomba took off, sprouting roots everywhere and need lots of cutting back. But algae went away. Crypt rot set in, and the sword died back significantly. Then cabomba died off. Crypts and sword started to recover. More conversation with the shop - started dosing with Flourish and CO2 booster. Lost two of the snails and 2 neons over a few months. After several months with little algae, tried adding elodea and hornwort. Both boomed - super fast growth, with lots of pruning. Then they stopped growing. Shop advised adding potassium/nitrogen/phosphorus. Elodea and hornwort now almost gone. Crypts and sword remain mostly inactive - not sick looking, but stunted with little to no growth either. Throughout all this I've been testing with the API kit, and everything has stayed perfect, with the exception of pH which is at 8.2 due to available water. Water changes once a week - about 3 gal.

Now the main LED light from the kit has died, so have been shopping for a replacement. Which leads to thinking about substrate, perhaps upgrade from the kit "biowheel", maybe even going a bit bigger, if I can find a tank that will fit the space (height limitations).

Before going all crazy, any suggestions on how to get a handle on the boom/bust cycle of plant growth I seem to be subject to?
sande005 is offline  


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