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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-27-2011, 06:58 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
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Hi everyone! Just joined tonight because I need some advice. Here are my basics.

55 gallon
substrate is flourite and play sand
1 large piece of natural driftwood
beginner amazon swords and anacharis
eheim ecco pro
6500k t5 2 light strip
1 light regular strip with plant bulb
flourish once a week

corys, ghost shrimp, bamboo shrimp, neons, a couple guppies and a pair of angels

I dream of a beautiful moss covered aquarium! BUT, I think I have 2 things standing in my way. First, I am unsure about how to choose media for my filter. I know bio, chem and mech but don't know how to narrow it down. I also am finding it hard to find good info on layering the media. My filter has 3 baskets. And, I've heard completely different thoughts on how often to replace each.

Second, and this is making me crazy, is that I have an issue with either a brown fuzzy fungus or algae. I can't seem to get rid of this!!! I almost feel like tearing it down and starting over. It covers all my plants and decor and can be shaken off, at least the top layer.

Please help!!!!!
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-27-2011, 07:20 AM
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You can put whatever you want in the filter baskets, as long as some of it is some sort of sponge/floss type media. You need it to catch debris.

Simple diatom algae will be dealt with by otocinclus, other types can generally be dealt with by Amano shrimp.

To backtrack a bit, though, if you want to deal with the cause of algae in the first place, I would suggest that you dial down your lighting. Failing that, you should more intensively add fertilizers according to some N,P,K + Trace regimen. Flourish Comprehensive isn't anything remotely close to comprehensive, despite its name.

If your lighting is T5NO, you might be fine leaving it there and just adding some fertilizers. If it's T5HO, you will either need to raise it a good amount, cover it with mosquito netting, or add both CO2 and comprehensive fertilizers.

Check the PAR sticky in the lighting forum to figure out more exactly what height lighting you have. And add the exact make and model here in this thread if you'd like more input. Good luck!
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-27-2011, 11:21 AM
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hi there, iam pretty new at all this but i can tell you i have learnt the hard way with a lot of things.. the only thing i might suggest is that in my 55g i dont use a complete fertilizer as when i stated to use it i immeadiately had a huge outbreak of algae. My tank is pretty new also and i would suggest to let the plants use the ferts in the flourite as a complete fertilizer will also feed the algae.
i am now just using flourish excel, a carbon fertilizer that the algae wont use, some even report it killing off algae...
like i said im no pro but it worked well for me.... i dont have any advise for lighting sorry as i have just bought new lighting and too early to tell...
as for media, it is just personnal preference really, experiment a little. As long as there is a course sponge first to remove large particals then youll be ok.
I use Coarse filter pad, Ehfimech, Substratpro (2 layers) and Fine filtration Pad in 1 filter and the same but with carbon and fluval water polish pads in the second. This seems to work a treat, however some will tell you not to use carbon....
good luck
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-27-2011, 12:30 PM
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Being a huge fan of ADA I would say the best method is for now use the basic eheim filter filler. Then after a few months I would switch to all bio filtering media. My thought process, which im sure is what ADA figured out, is that after a few months heavy mech filtering shouldnt be needed. And the two filter pads will take care of the rest, not to mention the bio media will still act as a mech filtering as well. Plus the more good bacteria you have, the less cycles through the canister is needed to convert the bad stuff into good stuff. Making the filter more efficient. And thats on top of what all the plants do for the tank as well.

My plan in the near future is from bottom to top ... Blue coarse pad fill with bio-rio to the top, then last thing is white fine filter pad.

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Disclaimer: Take my advice with a grain of salt. I only give advice based on first hand knowledge or from the knowledge of others. If im wrong please let me know.
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