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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's been a long time since I've been in the aquarium hobby. But I realized how much I miss having aquatic plants, so last month I finally decided to get back into it. I went out and bought a 20L aquarium and a 38W T5 lighting system. First picture here was 10/21/2012 a few days after my initial setup. The plants are tied down onto the drift wood, and I think there were 8 cardinal tetras in there.

I wasn't happy with the java ferns in the middle left because they look too messy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
This picture was taken today, 11/20/2012. Right now I have 7 cardinals in there. One mysteriously disappeared last week.

I added a breeder net with some juvenile red cherry shrimps and I am waiting for them to start breeding before moving any into the main tank. I am going to keep the breeder net for a while for small shrimps, at least until the ground cover grows in and the baby RCS have places to hide from the cardinals.

Since the last picture was taken I've had to deal with a bunch of crap. I had an ick outbreak a while back that I treated with heat and salt. It worked, but the plants did not do well. The cryptocoryne lucens in the front left corner did especially poorly and I'm not sure if it's going to make it. The microsword in the front right also has not done so well either, and neither has the bronze crypt wendtii. The java ferns didn't seem to do so well either, with some of the leaves melting away pretty badly, and others getting covered in algae. But the echindorus sword, the corkscrew vals, the anubias and the christmas moss didn't seem to mind.

I've pruned down some of the java ferns. I'm still not happy with their appearance but I really like the small bushy bunch in the middle. The lace javas just look really messy, I may just get rid of them entirely.

I'm fighting a battle against algae at the moment too :( ... There has been a fair amount of blue-green algae on the large piece of driftwood on the right, diatoms on the glass and a bunch of brown algae on the leaves. The java ferns were being hit pretty hard so I trimmed all the leaves that looked like they were at all dying. The anubias seem to be doing OK but there is some yellowing around the edges of the leaves. I'm doing 25% water changes every day or two as a measure against the algae, and I also started using a bit of API CO2 booster, which I hear is supposed to inhibit algae growth but I am a bit concerned about the shrimp. So I'm only using a half dose of it.
 

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Nice little setup, I'm guessing the algae outbreak could be because of too much light on your tank.
 

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Opae Ula Crazed.
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The brown algae sounds more like diatoms to me.

Common in new tanks, frequently leaves on it's own. Otocincus (?) will help clean it up.

Sent from my Samsung Galaxy S III using Tapatalk 2
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Do you have any suggestions on what to do about too much light? I mean aside from the obvious answer of getting a new lighting system :D
I thought with 38 W for a 20G tank would be 2WPG which is moderate light.

Since I'm out of town for the holiday weekend I covered the tank for a total blackout so I hope when I come back the blue-green algae at least will be gone. That stuff spreads really fast.
 

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Do you have any suggestions on what to do about too much light? I mean aside from the obvious answer of getting a new lighting system :D
I thought with 38 W for a 20G tank would be 2WPG which is moderate light.

Since I'm out of town for the holiday weekend I covered the tank for a total blackout so I hope when I come back the blue-green algae at least will be gone. That stuff spreads really fast.
It's T5 lighting though, brighter than normal bulbs. I had the same issue in my 20H, so I swapped for bulbs with less wattage. I think I now have 2 14W 6,700.
 
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