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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Any advice would be appreciated.

I have an amazon sword and the stem & leaves are turning black. It has been in the tank for about 3 months now and seems to be getting progressively worse. Hopefully the fix is fairly easy. Some details are:

- 29 gal tank with about 2" of flourite and 1" of gravel on top. I moved some of the gravel so roots in contact with the flourite when planted.
- 2 - 18 watt T5 bulbs; 1 a 6700K and the other is a full spectrum.
- Using root tabs and flourish excel
- Have Red Sea CO2 (basically sugar & yeast system)
- Water temp at 78

Thanks
 

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You need more light.
CO2, ferts and light have to be balanced.
Only 1+ WPG isn’t enuff, IMO.
Maybe you can add a strip light or ODNO the current light hood.
Charles
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You may be right, I just stuck my arm in the tank and some gently rubbing removed a bit. What's the best way to get rid of this and also prevent the algae from returning.

Open to all suggestions including some sort of fish that might enjoy dining on the algae. I thinking of getting a few more fish anyway... don't want any kind of snail though.

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Diatoms are tan colored.
I think it's BBA.
Buying a fish won't help.
Not many will eat BBA, although I’ve read that mollies will.
You have to find out what is causing it.
With DIY CO2, the CO2 output will not be consistant.
A fresh batch will put out more CO2 thatn a batch that’s 2 weeks old.
That’s an invitation for an algae outbreak.
I have three smaller tanks with DIY.
I use 2 bottles on each plumbed in tandem.
I mix a new batch every week and replace the oldest bottle.
With pressurized CO2, the output is consistant until the bottle rusns low.
Also, fertilizing by EI or PPS along with a higher WPG is necessary.
Adding CO2 with just a bit over 1 WPG won’t help at all.

Root tabs will work for Swords and rooted plants,
but if you have stem plants you need to fertilize the water column.
You can do a 4-5 day total black out.
Use black plastic garbage bags and old bath towels.
Tape them tightly so no light gets in.
On the last day, remove them and do a massive water change.
Your livestock will survive OK, some plants may fade some but will recover.
But, you still have to find the cause.
Charles
 

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If its rubbing off easily, its diatom. BBA has a much firmer grip in my experience.

To solve your problem, first you need to identify what type of algae it is exactly.

Like Cbwmn said, your Red Sea CO2 system isnt going to cut it for a 29 gallon, but I suppose its better than nothing. You can set up a second DIY bottle (just make one with a soda bottle, those Red Sea things are a waste of money imho), and alternate switching each one out every two weeks. There DIY formulas that last quite a long time, like the jello formula.

Before doing a 4 or 5 day black out (seems kind of long to me), I would just clean off your plants manually. Is that algae all over the rock below the sword too?
 

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The nice thing about a 4-5 day blackout is that ALL the algae spores are killed.
Then, the secret si to eliminate the source fo the algae surge.
When I was DIY CO2 on my 46, I had terrible BBA. I COULD NOT GET RID OF IT WITH EXCEL DOSES, or pulling it off with an old toothbrush. The spores were still there.
When I added a 2nd CO2 bottle, it stopped the BBA. Important thing is to stagger the bottles so the CO2 output is constant.
And use quality ferts, not those in a bottle from the big stores. From Aquariumfertilizer.com or somewhere like that.
And increase the light intensity.
If you’re on a budget, do a google for ODNO (or search on this forum). That would cost you about $35 or $40 and would give you more light.
Also, regular weekly water changes are necessary.
A well maintained planted tank is a joy, but there is some work involved. It pays off when friends come over and are amazed at how good it looks.
Charles
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the suggestions

I'm just getting into this hobby so everything is new and exciting.

I perfom weekly testing of my water and then water change (about 25%). There is a local fish club meeting tonight so I plan on taking a leaf with me for them to take a look at (seeing the real thing better than photo) my other option would be going to my LFS. I am looking into getting more lighting and would go from 36 watts to to 72 watts on 29 gal tank (too much?).

I'll probably go pressurized CO2 but don't want to jump into that too fast.
 

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Thanks for the suggestions

I'm just getting into this hobby so everything is new and exciting.

I perfom weekly testing of my water and then water change (about 25%). There is a local fish club meeting tonight so I plan on taking a leaf with me for them to take a look at (seeing the real thing better than photo) my other option would be going to my LFS. I am looking into getting more lighting and would go from 36 watts to to 72 watts on 29 gal tank (too much?).

I'll probably go pressurized CO2 but don't want to jump into that too fast.
Yes 2+ WPG would do a lot better on your tank..
If you don’t want to jump into pressurized CO2 yet, why don’t you go DIY with 2 bottles of mix?
I did well on my 46 and would still have it except that I got tired of mixing a new bottle every week.And don’t forget the quality (and cheaper) dry fertilizers.
I mix mine and store them in old H2O2 bottles because those are dark and don’t let light in them.
I use a cheap medical syringe to dose the ferts daily (PPS-pro method with 50% water change weekly).
Good luck
Charles

PS:\Here’s some pics of my 46:
http://gs69.photobucket.com/groups/i60/7NOBMDJJ0N/?sort=ascending?sort=ascending

It has 2 WPG. The newer pics are with pressurized CO2.
Those on the third row on down are all with DIY CO2.
 

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Your plant apears to have been grown emersed, the leaves with the long "stems" are going to die off pretty quick anyway, allready i can see 3 or 4 submerged leaves.
 
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