Found this forum when searching for a 'cure' to Black Beard algae and have been reading non-stop since!
Have had FW tanks since as long as i can remember, was up to about 15 tanks between 5-55gal when i was younger. Moved a few yrs ago and only had room for my current 28g (i think) bowfront i got as a gift.
Its been up for about 2.5yrs, with a semi-complete take down when i moved last yr. it was lightly planted with a few amazon and melon swords along with a few 'grass' type plants i cant remember the name of. Im a tetra fan so i had neons, glowlights, black neons, head and taillights, a few rasboras, 2 small corys, pleco and khuli loach and the head of the tank a Deep Red colored Betta.
Unfortunately work and life got in the way and i slacked off (not stopped) on the water changes these last few months... add in 2 out of town trips where i used 'auto-feeders' that im sure didnt help.. i began to get the dreaded black beard algae.
I finally got a chance to do a much needed cleaning that involved a 50% change using a gravel-siphon to suck up excess junk, used hot water and scrubbed off the algae coated rocks, trimmed the affected (infected
) leaves and tried to scrape off as much of the algae as possible. once that was done i did another small 15% change just to make sure all was good.
I decided i wanted to plant more for a more natural look so i picked up 2 larger swords, a java fern and 2 bunches of a red/green leafed plant i cant remember the name for (long week guys, sorry). Also picked up 2 Otto's and a few more Neons the day after the replant.
Here is the tank info that i can remember. I want to stay low tech as possible.
-28g Glass Bowfront Tank
-TopFin 30 Outside Filter (activated carbon, ammo rocks filter media)
-Whisper 40 air pump going to 2 stones powering an undergravel filter
-Eclipse 17w Florescent light
-gravel (2-5mm stones) over undergravel filter
Now for the questions and hopefully some suggestions from the experienced planters out there
1) light - for the plants i have, is 17w enough? is the stock generic bulb ok or should i get diff temp (6500k) or 'aqua-glow' type light? or higher wattage or 2 light setup) remember, i want to keep low-tech but want to make sure my plants are getting what they need to keep going. (also dont wanna blind my tetra's
2) additives - do? dont? from what i read Phosphorus (K) is all that is usually required for a mildly planted tank cause of the N and P already there from fish waste and feeding. when do i need to even think about CO2 ? will the airstones and filter do enough to keep CO2 constant by pulling in outside air?
If anyone see's anything or thinks of anything i should do, not do or is just good info i may not know... please post.
here is a blurry shot of my tank, i turned the tank light on just for this pic so most of the fish or hiding. and i think the curved front made the perspective really wierd, it looks much better in person