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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok so my 10 gallon had the following specs
1 5500k 9W spiral flourescent
1 6500k 15W spiral flourescent
DIY Co2 using bamboo diffuser
NOT DOSING ANY FERTS AS OF NOW

There is evil algae problem in this tank... the hair algae keeps infesting my rotala rotundofolia and any other plant it can get its hands in. i have no clue what to do. my Co2 seems to bring on the algae.... should i try EI dosing again? There is also green spot and diatom algae in this tank...
the leaves on my large java fern trident are also quit holy and black on some of the leaves... An ideas?
 

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I'm almost positive that you are going to get at least 10 replies which say that DIY CO2 is erratic and often insufficient. Many of the "seasoned vets" who have had success with their tanks say the same thing.

From my own experiences I can say this:
When I had DIY CO2 I had hair algae, diatoms and GSA on everything. The algae eventually won. No matter what I did it always came back. All of my plants died. I had to start over and make some upgrades. I bought and planted a bunch of plants. I got a pressurized CO2 system. And last I bought a dry fert package and started EI dosing.

After I started using pressurized CO2 I also developed hair algae, diatoms and GSA on everything. I had to make some more upgrades. I got a decent needle valve. The one that came with my regulator was a cheap knock-off and I was constantly having to adjust it. I bought a drop checker and made some 4dKH solution in the lab at school so I could better monitor CO2 levels. I was using Chuck Gadd's CO2 calculator but the calculations were off so I wasn't dosing enough CO2.

Once I had the CO2 dialed in I did the following:
1. a 3 day black out
2. pulled all the plants and equipment out and manually removed as much of the algae as I could
3. did a large WC
4. misted the salvageable plants with some H2O2 and then rinsed them
5. replanted said plants
6. backed off my light intensity and photoperiod

Once all of that was complete none of the algae came back. A week later my plants came roaring back to life. Through it all I never stopped EI dosing. I read in too many places that although continuing to dose may seem counterintuitive you never want to stop dosing. You may scale back a bit and then slowly bring your dosing to an optimum level, but never stop dosing completely.

This is what I kept reading about, post after post, and what eventually worked for me. Sure people make other methods work. But time and time again the tanks that I read about with the most success are the ones with stable, consistent CO2, the right amount of light and a good dosing regimen.
 

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Ok so my 10 gallon had the following specs
1 5500k 9W spiral flourescent
1 6500k 15W spiral flourescent
DIY Co2 using bamboo diffuser
NOT DOSING ANY FERTS AS OF NOW

There is evil algae problem in this tank... the hair algae keeps infesting my rotala rotundofolia and any other plant it can get its hands in. i have no clue what to do. my Co2 seems to bring on the algae.... should i try EI dosing again? There is also green spot and diatom algae in this tank...
the leaves on my large java fern trident are also quit holy and black on some of the leaves... An ideas?
I'll try to tackle these issues one at a time:

Algae: There comes a time in every tank's life where you need to choose between winning the battle, or winning the war. I had a time like this recently, and it was very similar to yours. I had 3-5 types of algae combatting eachother for right to crowd my plants out. I had a choice, either i could invest in a long, costly, and arduous battle against the algae, or i could simply nuke the tank, rescape, and plant what little bits of the plants didn't have algae on them. I chose the nuclear option and it took 2 months for my plants to return to their former glory. This time with no algae (after i adjusted my parameters to stop the algae growth).

Holey Fern: I'd say you may need to step up the ferts again. Your tank seems to be in that questionable area where there's enough light to think about a solid fert regimen, but it doesn't seem super necessary. I'd say it's better to be safe than sorry. Dose your ferts, and you won't be disappointed.

CO2: If you're gonna keep up with refilling your DIY, then do it. Otherwise you're just going to be fighting algae every time you forget to refil your bottles.

Questions: What does your photoperiod look like? How densely covered is your tank?
 

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I second that maintaining the co2 level consistent will help eliminate most of the algae issues. However, just adding pressurized co2 does not mean you'll never have any other algae issue again. Apart from consistent CO2

1. Make sure to clean your filter periodically (i do once every alternate week) to remove caught up organic waste
2. Follow a fert regime (especially if you have high tech setup). GSA thrives in low nitrate and phosphate levels.
3. Maintain stable PH. Wide fluctuations will deter plant growth and assist algae.
4. Don't use too old light bulbs. They might not be radiating the right spectrum required for healthy plant growth
5. try some fast growing stem plants.

Brown diatoms normally appear during startup of a tank. In my experience you need not worry about it. They will disappear on their own once the tank matures as long as co2, ph, light and cleaning are consistently maintained.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
OK to clarify

The Co2 is consistant but i see what you mean about pressurized i'll look into that...

the tank used to be cover with duckweed buti pulled alot of it off the top... the tank is about 80% full of plants and the only so far algae resistank one is my ludwiga cuba

my photo period is from 630am to 900pm

so i should start dosing but not in full swing? or dose full swing and see if that fixes it?
 

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i would say that you probably want to hit it hard with the dosing if you're going to do it... easing into it will do nothing but buy the algae more time to fortify their defenses
 

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Fertilizing isn't optional. You need to begin fertilizing right away. Full swing or not, that's up to you, and whether you are going to be using test kits to determine how much you need, or whether you will be using EI. You basically don't need to worry about putting too much ferts in your tank, as long as you do your weekly 50% water change.

I think it's safe to say that the majority of your problems comes from lack of fertilizing.
 

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ok i'll start right now... i know how to dose your basic KN03 KH2P04 and GH booster and trace but i still have K2S04 and MgS04 and have no clue on how to dose that
K2SO4 and MgSO4 (note that in all the chemical formulas, they are the letter O, and not the numeral zero; sorry to be picky, but it changes the meaning a lot) are part of the GH booster. If you are already dosing it, there will be no need to (in effect) double the dosage of MgSO4 and K2SO4.
 

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Definitely too lengthy of a photo period on that tank, like Paul said. If you don't already, buy a light timer so you can have a fixed photo period every day. 8 hours would reduce green spot algae. Make sure no indirect sunlight is hitting the tank too.

Brown diatoms are normal in any planted tank early in development. Many algae eaters Love it!

Like Malaybiswas stated about 'cleaning' your filter often, never Clean it, but gently rinse it in Used tank water during water changes to get the bulk of organic matter out. Excessive organics/Nitrate (fish waste, fish food, even ferts) and 14 hours of light could be the main contributors to your algae nightmare.
 

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Try some hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), a shot (maybe 1/4cup?) right on the areas most affected with hair-type algae. I use a turkey baster, though the H202 will spread around (looking for algae to terrorize). Within a few hours or overnight, the algae should turn an orange-crimson and disintegrate. I figure it cannot stand too much oxygen.

I just noted that the board calls me an "algae grower", but this isn't the case at all in my 6G and 10G tanks. Maybe because I have so many plants. If I get algae, it does tend to be the hair type, and if it bugs me (and I'm pretty relaxed about it all if the fish are happy), it gets the H2O2 treatment.
 

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Your local grocery store, or drug store, or walmart, or just about anywhere that has aisles for health/hygiene/medicine.
 
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