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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First I'll give you the specs:
~ 38 gallon tank
~ commercial grade medium sand substrate
~ 110 watt cf strip light
~ NO C02
~ Plants are jungle val, corkscrew val, rotala indica, rotala rotundifolia, green hygro and dwarf sag.
~ Fish are 1 angel, a pair of apistos, 4 zebra loaches and 3 kuhli loaches

When I first decided to try plants, I only had a dual-tube NO strip light, which was 60 watts. My jungle val was doing great but the other plants weren't growing at all. I switched to the 110 watt, and all of the plants started growing, but I've been battling BGA like crazy. I originally had fluorite substrate, but it was really hard to clean from the algae, so I swapped it out for sand. I realize that this is a lot of light without C02, but is it possible to have this much light and not have problems with algae? I ordered some dry ferts from Greg Watson, and the plants grew faster (especially the rotala) but it didn't help with the algae at all. Someone on another forum suggested that I stop dosing the ferts and stop doing water changes, because the clean water helps to feed the algae. It's been two weeks since a water change, and there is algae all over the tank, covering the sand and most of the plants.

I still have the dual-tube NO strip light (60 watts), should I switch back to that and make it a low-tech tank? I don't want to have to mess with C02 right now because I'm getting married in 3 months and its been pretty hectic around here. The only problem with the NO light is that the dwarf sag doesn't grow at all because I don't think the light penetrates to the bottom of the tank. The tank is 38"x12"x20". Here are some pics, any help would be great.

Here is the tank with Fluorite substrate. The big clump of jungle val started off as 3 little strands, so it is growing good.


Here is the tank with the sand substrate. I seperated the big clump of jungle val into 4 smaller clumps.


Here's a couple pics of the nasty algae.


 

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It looks to me like you have too much light to do without CO2. You could get some Seachem Excel and dose that as a supply of carbon for the plants. But, CO2 would work better. You also don't have many plants in the tank. If you have lots of growing plants the plants keep any ammonia spikes from building up, and algae use the presence of ammonia to tell them it is time to start growing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ok thanks. I have Excel and Leafzone, how often should I dose? I also just got some anacharis and more rotala, and I am planning on getting more green hygro. So should I just stick with this light then, and dose Excel rather than switching back to the 60 watt? Thanks for the help.
 
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