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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 40 gallon breeder. Since day 1 last october I've been fighting one type of algae or another. First it was brown diatoms, then I increased the light a few months ago and those slowed down (not stopped yet though) but at the same time, a new algae started. It's brown and slimey and grows in fluffy filamentous clouds across my java moss and among my dwarf sag and eventually there are long strings of it trailing in the current. It comes off easy, but it's so pervasive that I can't ever remove all of it. There's also a bit of black brush algae on the java moss and the wood, but I've been treating that with hydrogen peroxide.

I am thinking of doing a 3 day blackout, but that won't keep the algae from coming back. I am wondering if there is anything drastically wrong with my setup that would cause so much algae or if I just have to keep fighting it until I find that magic balance. Here are the details of my setup.

I have 108 watts over it from CFL's. The only "reflector" they have is some white paint behind them. They are about 22" above the substrate.

I do EI dosing, 1/4tsp Nitrate, 1/16tsp potassium, 1/16tsp CSM+B three times a week. I cut down to 2 times a week but that's when the new algae started getting out of control. 50% water change once a week, sometimes twice.

I had DIY CO2 hooked up to a powerhead as a diffuser. Two one gallon jugs, the batches 2 weeks apart, changed every 4 weeks. Just today I hooked up a paintball CO2 tank to it instead, don't know how much of a difference it will make.

Stock is one 3" Ctenopoma Acutirostre, and one 3" Atya Gabonensis, and an unkown number of MTS.

Plants include Rotala Rotundifolia, about 10 stems of Ludwigia Repens, two red tiger lotus, 4 large anubias nana, two anubias barteri, two small anubias nana petite, one small java fern, 5 large crypt wenditti, several small crypt lucens, and a growing carpet of dwarf saggitaria, as well as some java moss. All the plants are healthy and growing steadily despite the algae. Plant density is medium.

Thanks for any suggestions.
 

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problem was most likely lack of adequate CO2 levels...its hard to do with DIY CO2...also, a paintball tank may help, but it will be aggravating how often youll have to refill...save up and buy at least a 5# tank...do you have a drop checker?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I do not have the money for a more expensive CO2 setup right now. Likely once the plants get better established and filled in, I will decrease the light and remove the CO2 all together and make it a low light tank. The only money I have to spend on my tanks right now is whatever I make from selling junk on craigslist and what my dad pays me to mow the lawn.

I do not have a drop checker either.

Here is a picture I took today to give an idea of plant mass. I did a water change today and cleaned out as much of the algae as possible. The tank is alot less brown in person too...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The circulation is fine, I've got an AC 50 plus a 170 GPH powerhead. The water is always moving, there's even some pieces of wood that won't stay put because the current keeps pushing it over.

I'm dosing the ammount for EI dosing, but that might be too much with all my slow growing plants. I think I will take a bulb out of the hood and see if that helps along with the new CO2 setup.
 
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