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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello guys,

Quick question: would two Finnex Planted Plus 24/7 HCL be considered high light for my 20-gallon high aquarium (24x12x16). I had started out with just one, but I was not getting any pearling with CO2 injection and with dry fertilizers. I want to grow a DHG carpet, so I wanted to make sure I was giving enough light. I bought the second Finnex and ever since then my plants have really taken off and are even pearling.

My question about whether or not it is considered "high-light" is to guide myself when using fertilizers and to proportionate the correct dosage. At the moment, I have a diatom algae bloom; which I read is due to silicates and phosphates. Any tips for that?

Thanks
 

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Definitely not an expert, so take this with a grain of salt...

I have a 22 long, so 36x12x12 but with one of the same light.

I've found myself consistently lowering the lighting level to combat staghorn algae. I can't be sure it's directly related or if it's a different problem, but it seems to have stagnated now that I've gone down 5 clicks from full bright.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The tank is about two months old. I have DHG, Marsilea, an Amazon Sword, S. repens, some Anubias, Amazon Frogbit and Java Fern. It cycled pretty fast since I have had plants in it from the beginning. It currently has 15 Neon Tetras, 2 White Skirt Tetras, and 2 Black Skirt Tetras.


I run an Eheim 2213. Inject CO2. Carbonate hardness is about 6dKH. The pH is 7.5 in the mornings and 6.0 after being gassed. Ammonia and Nitrites are 0 PPM. Nitrates range from 20-30 PPM. I am currently using the EI dosing method, using recommendations for a medium-light setup (not sure if this is the culprit now that I have the two lights). I do a 50% water change every Sunday.


I was running the light in the 24/7 mode, but after the bloom started I have them on for about 7 hours.

My phosphate will obviously be elevated because I am dosing it with the fertilizer. I tried getting information about silicates in my water supply but found nothing in the city’s report. I ordered Seachem Phosguard and plan to add it to my canister filter to see if neutralizing the silicates does the trick.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
How long do you turn your lights for? Do you use the predetermined 24/7 setting? Honestly, after adding that second light, my plants have been doing great. My amazon sword throws out a new leaf every three days. Even the java fern is starting to produce offpring and the carpeting plants have started to grow.
 

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How long do you turn your lights for? Do you use the predetermined 24/7 setting? Honestly, after adding that second light, my plants have been doing great. My amazon sword throws out a new leaf every three days. Even the java fern is starting to produce offpring and the carpeting plants have started to grow.
No, I customised the 24/7. It's on from 9-9 but very low for the first and last 3 hours. I initially had it on max from 12-6, but have since lowered that to 5 clicks below max.

My plants are doing great! Monte Carlo is carpeting nicely, dwarf hairgrass is sending out new shoots constantly.

The new plant growth is healthy and algae free, so I'm wondering if it's just a matter of letting the tank age.

My rocks and bonsai tree are growing staghorn on the edges though, so that's why I've been lowering the light and upping CO2.
 

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I would say with the two finnex your at high light. Diatoms are fairly common in new setups, I wouldn't worry about eliminating phosphates, you need them especially in high light.

I wouldn't run both lights full power for a full light cycle. Not sure what you doing, but for example if one light is 7 hrs full run the 2nd one 2-4 hrs full. This gives the high light the carpet needs and helps you in the algae department. You could probably even run the other light less in 7 on full

Keep dosing and changing water on a regular basis. Keeping it organically clean is very important with good light.
 

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Your tank looks great!. I am not sure what's going on with mine. Plants are definitely using the nutrients and the CO2, so I am leaning towards it being a maturity problem. That and possibly silicates. Not sure diatoms respond to light, but still, I have cut back on mine just in case.

Bump: Hello, Asteroid. Hope you are doing well. Right now I have them on full power from 12-9 so I am definitely overdoing it. What do you recommend: should I do one full power for about 7 hours and the second full power the last three hours of the cycle?

I am worried about my S.repends and marsilea. They are growing well, but the diatoms are covering them pretty bad. I was planning on giving them a brush this Sunday when the water change is due. Should I clean the glass and the rocks as well or just leave everything as it is?

Hello Asteroid,

I hope you are doing well. I am running them from 12-9 at max. So, not good I imagine. Do you recommend that I do one at max for about 7 hours and turn on the second one at max for the last three hours of the cycle?

I need to do a water change this Sunday so I was thinking about giving my plants and rocks a brush. They are pearling fine, but they are starting to become smothered by the diatoms.
 

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I think the 7hr, 3hr cycle sounds good. You'll get a feel for it, but that is plenty of time for the plants to grow. I've done full thick carpets with 5 hrs and 2 hr peaks. The diatoms are pretty harmless since they don't really stick hard to anything and will cycle out once the tank matures. You know otos and amano shrimp will clear it out pretty quickly. Yes, vacuum out what you can and try not to disturb the substrate and release anything into the water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I will definitely give that a try. What are your thoughts on the Seachem Phosguard? Should I attempt that?
 

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I agree. I was reading a lot about how silicates in the tap water may be responsible for the shell in diatoms. The Phosguard also neutralizes silicates. I am waiting for a phosphate kit to arrive. Maybe I'll test the phosphates first. If they are way too high all use the phosguard and just keep an eye on the PO4 PPM.

Based on this should I dose according to high light standards or should I wait until all of this resolves?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Update

I waited until Sunday to do my weekly water change. By then a lot of the diatoms had disappeared from rocks and larger plants. I gave the whole thing a thorough clean and I have three otocinclus fish that are eating what remains in the smaller leaves of the DHG and marsilea. Because I saw improvement, I decided to hold off on adding the Phosguard. I just recently received a Phosphate test kit and currently, the value lies at 1.0 PPM.


With all that being said I am going to try a different approach. I have been reading a lot and I believe my main issue is that the tank has not been balanced properly. I have 2 Finnex Planted Plus 24/7 but I was dosing dry fertilizers using the guidelines for low and medium light setups. I have also added some high-light and fast-growing plants to my tank (R. indica, A. reineckii, and Ammania sp. Bonsai). I believe that should help with utilizing the nutrients (I will start dosing using high-light guidelines) so that they do not accumulate in excess and create more algae. That leaves the CO2 which I am trying to increase as far as I can without harming the fish. That way, the CO2 becomes the limiting factor and will be prevented more effectively.

Any thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Never used a phosphate remover in a planted tank. I mean you need some phosphates and in high-light you'll go through them. i'm also in the camp that N and P don't cause algae issues since i always run these pretty high and don't have algae even with my slow-growers.
UPDATE:

I waited until Sunday to do my weekly water change. By then a lot of the diatoms had disappeared from rocks and larger plants. I gave the whole thing a thorough clean and I have three otocinclus fish that are eating what remains in the smaller leaves of the DHG and marsilea. Because I saw improvement, I decided to hold off on adding the Phosguard. I just recently received a Phosphate test kit and currently, the value lies at 1.0 PPM.


With all that being said I am going to try a different approach. I have been reading a lot and I believe my main issue is that the tank has not been balanced properly. I have 2 Finnex Planted Plus 24/7 but I was dosing dry fertilizers using the guidelines for low and medium light setups. I have also added some high-light and fast-growing plants to my tank (R. indica, A. reineckii, and Ammania sp. Bonsai). I believe that should help with utilizing the nutrients (I will start dosing using high-light guidelines) so that they do not accumulate in excess and create more algae. That leaves the CO2 which I am trying to increase as far as I can without harming the fish. That way, the CO2 becomes the limiting factor and will be prevented more effectively.

Any thoughts?
 

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UPDATE:

I waited until Sunday to do my weekly water change. By then a lot of the diatoms had disappeared from rocks and larger plants. I gave the whole thing a thorough clean and I have three otocinclus fish that are eating what remains in the smaller leaves of the DHG and marsilea. Because I saw improvement, I decided to hold off on adding the Phosguard. I just recently received a Phosphate test kit and currently, the value lies at 1.0 PPM.


With all that being said I am going to try a different approach. I have been reading a lot and I believe my main issue is that the tank has not been balanced properly. I have 2 Finnex Planted Plus 24/7 but I was dosing dry fertilizers using the guidelines for low and medium light setups. I have also added some high-light and fast-growing plants to my tank (R. indica, A. reineckii, and Ammania sp. Bonsai). I believe that should help with utilizing the nutrients (I will start dosing using high-light guidelines) so that they do not accumulate in excess and create more algae. That leaves the CO2 which I am trying to increase as far as I can without harming the fish. That way, the CO2 becomes the limiting factor and will be prevented more effectively.

Any thoughts?
Sounds good, in most cases, your better off dosing more. It's really more about light/co2/organic control then it is absolute fert levels. Don't cheat on water changes. Do them consistently and keep peak light period short if you have algae issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Do them consistently and keep peak light period short if you have algae issues.
I am going to do about 7 hours of peak light on both Finnex Planted HLCs. My question was the following: I have not been using the 24/7 mode that comes with the lights because I don't like the color distribution or simply because I do not need my tank on at 6 am. That being said, would I be okay using the lowest level of RBG in one light a the lowest level of blue in the other for about three hours at night?
 
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