need help with 20 gallon high planted tank - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-12-2018, 06:58 AM Thread Starter
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need help with 20 gallon high planted tank

Hello everyone, first time poster. I've been running a tank since July of last year. My tank has never flourished as I wanted to but I assumed I could only see such growth in high tech setups. For the past month however, I have been battling a nasty case of algae. I think it had to do with the new plants that I've bought that introduced it to the water. I bought some java fern and alternanthera rosaefoila. Hair algae started growing on the java fern, and green tufts of algae started growing on rocks and the leaves of the alternanthera. The diatoms that have previously been overcome are back and coating the frill plant. The water, a day after a 50% water change is foamy. The good news is that the cyanobacteria that I've been battling for a long time are gone. I'm not really sure as to what caused the bloom since there were a lot of changes made prior to this outbreak.. If I had to list it out it goes:

1. House got a water softening system so the tap currently has 0 GH
2. The new plants introduced
3. Started using NilocG's Thrive but stopped using 4 weeks ago to see if it was causing the outbreak (algae is still pretty bad/continues to come back after weekly cleaning and 50% water change)

My Equipment:
- Aquaclear 50 HOB filter
- 24" finnex planted plus 24/7 SE, on MAX mode for 8 hrs
no co2, no ferts, but excel every other day which hasn't been helping much.

I'm very worried because the algae is eating away at a lot of my plants Any help is very much appreciated!
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-12-2018, 08:14 AM
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Your water softener removes calcium and magnesium and you do not fertilize anything. What do your plants eat?

That's your step number one - help your plants grow by providing balanced diet of nutrients.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-12-2018, 09:51 AM Thread Starter
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Ok, I will start ferts again. My water is very hard without the softener (13 dGH) and my plants had stunted growth when I had hard water which led me to think that there was some kind of overdose. I live near a riverbed/ocean so the water is insanely hard here.. pH of around 8.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-12-2018, 08:46 PM
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On a smaller tank, RO or tap+RO mix might be worth considering. I feel your pain.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-12-2018, 09:00 PM
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1. You have too much light without CO2. Go back to 24/7 mode.
2. Start dosing Thrive again, not dosing is helping your algae more than your plants
3. Spot dose excel/algae eliminator. Remove as much with hand as possible.
4. Alternanthera does not do well without supplemental CO2. Its probable slowly rotting and releasing organics triggering more algae spores.
5. Sodium in your soft water system is more harmful to plants than hardness and alkalinity. Source water from the bypassed line of the soft water system. 13gH isnt too bad. Whats your kH? What substrate are you using?
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-12-2018, 10:45 PM
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You could do a DIY CO2 system. I've had great results with it. My Java fern was growing a ton of algae before I implemented mine. Also if your jacket fern is planned in the substrate the it to a rock or piece of wood. It shouldn't be in the substrate. Those two changes drastically fixed my Java fern problem

-Zachary-
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45g Planted Community Tank
29g Silver Dollar/Bichir Tank - Soon to be 55g
20long planted
5g Planted Fluval Chi
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-13-2018, 09:12 AM Thread Starter
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My KH is also around 13, last time I checked. I have eco complete under some fluval stratum. I'll be starting theb CO2 again, I moved it to a 5.5 gallon that has a hc carpet going.. which I'll find a replacement CO2 setup for. I also set the light to 24 hr mode which I've heard is also a lot of light but we'll see. Thank you for the advice everyone. I definitely considered doing RO mix but my lfs (only one in town) charges 60 cents per gallon for DI water so that is a no go.
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