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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have had a 92 gallon tank for around 6 months now. The tank has a sand bed in front with eco complete capped with amazonia in the back. In this tank I have 2 types of anubia, java fern, italian val, and amazon sword. I have had problems with diatoms and now algae since the very beginning when I started the tank. The anubias and the java fern grow very well with regular cleaning of the algae but the amazon sword and the italian val never grow and never get big and fill the background like they should. I do not know if this is caused by the algae killing the leaves, if it even is algae, not enough light, not enough nutrients whatever. I will list the properties of the tank and please give me some help!

Eco Complete packed with amazonia,

- Root tabs under italian val, amazon sword once every month or two.

- I have two kessil 360WE's turned about halfway up running from 3PM to 10PM every day. I started out with them turned higher which made the italian val spread and send runners off almost every day but never grew above 4 inches.

- I have a 10LB co2 tank that starts 3 hours before my lights come on and turns off when the lights turn off.

- I was doing EI dosing at half the recommended dosing level but stopped due to algae and brown crap all over the tank plants.

- I have one gold nugget pleco and one yo-yo loach in the tank, the other yo-yo loach died I know I shouldnt have it alone.

- Weekly 30%-50% water change.

If I am not able to solve these problems with the tank I will probably take it down and change the substrate to all sand because it isn't nice having dead leafs on plants or leafs that are completely covered in algae. Please give any advice you can.

Here are some pictures of the tank I took today to give you guys a better look. These pictures were taken after a very deep cleaning of the tank. First picture are of the right side of the tank with the java fern in front doing good and the sword in the back not doing so great. The second ones are of the anubias doing good and the italian val doing absolutely terrible behind it.
 

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Did you always only dose 1/2 fert? Is the tank getting enough co2?

Instead of cutting things out I would do the opposite and go from there. Lots of light, lots of co2, and proper fert dosage. With light co2 and no fert you are just aglae farming now.

I also dose some glutaraldehyde with my fert every day as a precaution and haven't really had an issue with algae other than some green spot algae now and then.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I am pumping tons of CO2 into the tank because it has a sump and gasses off quick. But the reader is almost yellow so there is a lot of CO2. With high light, high co2 and low ferts it will farm algae?

Thanks,

Chad
 

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I am old in the hobby but new to a planted tank since I recently got a Finnex Planted+ 24/7 and planted low tech...but also am/have battled algae. Algae seems to have an upper hand in an immature planted tank that has yet to find balance. Algae requires nutrients and light. Some would suggest reducing either or both, but I have read recently that reducing ferts is not wise as given a chance, plants will out compete algae. So we need to fight algae with scrubbing and [less] LIGHT.
With light there is intensity and duration. Your duration is only 7 hours so I suspect a very high intensity...perhaps normal when adding CO2? However, I'm thinking the algae may be beaten with less intensity over a longer duration.
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In my case, I outsmarted myself thinking that because of my 24" depth in my 60g, I needed more light to get plants established. I took it out of 24/7 mode, lowered the light by removing the leg mounts so it sat right on the glass canopy, and used maximum light for a period....and the algae went wild. After advice from my friend Byron and several posts here, Following an algae scrub water change, I went back to running in 24/7 mode (which presents a higher intensity from roughly 11am to 4pm) and I placed a piece of fiberglass window screen (acting as shade cloth) on the canopy beneath the light and put the legs back on the light (raising it about 2"). After a few days, it appeared evident that the algae was at bay, but I began to notice that my dwarf sag was yellowing and looking poorly. I have just removed the window screen hoping that more light will bring it back.
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So I think it's a balancing act until plants are well established with enough light to support the plants, but not so much that the algae goes wild. I believe (or is it hope!) that once the plants are established and growing well there will only be slight, manageable algae.
Your high tech situation is a bit different, but I'm convinced that the algae battle in the newly planted tank is primarily won with less light at least until plants are well established.
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Food for thought: My friend Byron has also suggested that using [more] root tabs and reducing liquid ferts may lead to better water quality promoting better fish health and less algae problems.
 

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I am pumping tons of CO2 into the tank because it has a sump and gasses off quick. But the reader is almost yellow so there is a lot of CO2. With high light, high co2 and low ferts it will farm algae?

Thanks,

Chad
Right, its a delicate balance. If one thing is off then algae will take advantage and over take your tank. If plants are getting the correct amount of light, co2, and fert then there will be little to nothing left for the algae to use. With the amount I see in your tank you are going to really want to try and clean out as much of it as possible. Remove any dying or decaying plant foliage and replant heavy. Full dose fert, do 8 hours of high light with co2. Large water changes weekly and clean out any algae you see start to grow. If you notice algae growing I would start with adjusting your lighting. Shorter periods or possible lower intensity. Just make sure when you adjust any of the 3 ( fert, co2, lights ) don't make drastic changes because if it throws the balance off too much then algae explodes.

If you really don't want to fertilize then I would cut off the co2 and lower the lights. Most plants will survive without fert/co2 injection.

Fighting algae sucks. You have a nice tank and once the plants do start to take off then it will become much easier to manage. Just hang in there.
 

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I have the same tank as you and it presents some challenges. 24" depth is tough to get light to the bottom, plus the unusual shape is difficult to get good flow everywhere. I'm using 2 canister filters, a small power head in each front corner and another that pumps water through a skimmer and CO2 reactor. You've really got to play with things with a corner tank to keep from having dead spots. It doesn't matter how much carbon and other fertilizer you dump in the tank if it never gets circulated to where the plants are! It's also tough to light the front corners.

I can't say much about your lighting. Mine has been cobbled together over time. Right now I have an 18" and a 24" Beamworks EVO (good deep penetration) and an old 3' double t-8 fixture. 1/2 of EI rate for fertilization should be more than enough. You have a very light plant load. I would start by getting some more vegetation in there! Something that grows quickly and will utilize some of what your putting in the tank. Mine's a jungle right now. Had to trim heavy the other day because the plants growing across the surface were blocking all the light. I haven't dosed anything for a few weeks other than CO2 and I have minimal, manageable algae.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks Kubla your tank is stunning! I love how nice your java fern are nice huge leaves. Some of mine will get that big but then they will roll into a circle kind of like a cigar but still be really tall, I think its because the plants aren't mature enough yet. I have turned the lights down and added a bunch of root tabs which seems to have greatly helped. If you look at my picture you will see the log comes forward over the rocks and there is some space behind the big long rock on the left and the log. Do you have any ideas for good easy midheight plants that I could plant there? I put in some starougyne repens but it never seemed to take off. Is that plant really dependent on root feeding?
 

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I'm on board with AbbeysDad in that a balance needs to be achieved. FWIW, I have a 24 inch deep tank and use two A160WE's that I run at 50% intensity during the peek of my photoperiod. The plants that you have in there will do very well with less light and there's no need to worry so much about CO2 and fertilizers with less light. Those are all pretty undemanding plants. You're just pushing them a bit hard with the amount of light you're giving them. The saying "slow and steady wins the race" applies to aquariums and I think it would benefit your tank quite a bit. I would trim out as much algae infested plants as is necessary and lower the light intensity. You can lengthen the photoperiod if you want to increase your viewing time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have turned the lights WAY down, to nearly as low as they can go for 8 hours a day. I went in and trimmed every leaf I could find that was over run by algae off the amazon sword and off the italian val. It is just very strange to me because I have nearly every type of algae possible in this tank. Green Dust algae, black beard/brush algae, long strands of black stringy algae, brown algae which wipes away super easily, a tiny bit of cyno or whatever. I have been rubbing the algae off every single plant leaf in the tank every day. I completely stopped EI dosing and turned the co2 down as well only, I added some really nice root tabs though. I have a TON of jungle val and crypt parva I am going to add which hopefully will help. Here are some update photos, I will add more tomorrow when I get the new plants in.
 

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I also just came out from your situation. Like everyone said, balance. Balance in light, nutrition and water circulation. Water change also help with algae growth. I was using 24/7 also, but then i moved to kessil A150 Amazon sun and cut down the some of the EI (sulfate and trace only by half). I was still seeing algae until i reduced the intensity slightly by moving the light away from algae invested area. Light was scheduled 8 hours a day. Hope you'll find the solution.
 

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I agree in part with what others have told you. I would do one other thing. Your tank has a lot of good plants, but they seem to be mostly slow growers. Get a few bunches of fast growing inexpensive stem plants, and plant them all over. Let them grow out as much as possible, cutting them back only as needed. The idea here is to use the stem plants to out compete the algae for food. Once they do this and the other plants have grown out a bit, you can remove the stem plants.
 

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Plants can never out-compete algae for food, because algae don't require much nutrients, compared to plants. If you have lots of healthy, growing plants, algae usually isn't a big problem. Perhaps that's because algae tend to grow on surfaces that don't change a lot over time, like slow growing leaves, but not on new growth that continues to grow. I'm not convinced that anyone knows exactly why algae grows well sometimes and not well other times. One thing we do know is that lots of light encourages algae growth and sustains it, so less light slows that growth even if it doesn't prevent it
 

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Java fern is like algae velcro. Actually amazed mine is staying so clean. But tank has also been up since November with several sets of fish, Currently just housing peppered corys, does't even have a filter in. Just a CO2 ladder and an airstone for circulation.
 

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The addition of lots of Cryptocoryne Parva isn't going to help, it's the slowest growing substrate plant you can grow in a planted aquarium next to Anubias Nana. You need lots of fast growing 'easy' stem plants like Hygrophila PolySperma, Difformis and Ludwigia Repens. Plants that will actually overrun your tank's volume given a couple of months time.

You also have light colored substrate which with too much light will also exacerbate your algae problem, less light, way more plants in the sandy areas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I have a weird black algae growing in my tank. I do have the black brush algae but I also have a black algae that is not hairy at all. It is almost like a super thin layer of sludge on stuff and it wipes away VERY easily. Is anyone familiar with what this is? I can try to get pictures later.
 
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