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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all, I've basically had my planted tank set up for 2 weeks now. Because I didn't have a timer (bought one today) and working longer hours lately; I've been having the lights on for an average of 12 hours a day. Now I have what I believe is an algae bloom (long green strands on leaves/green spots on the glass/etc. pretty much everywhere). I have no fish because I wanted to let the plants settle as well as in anticipation for going away for the Holidays. I was wondering if it would be a good idea to pick up some amanos or ottos to leave in the tank to help control the bacteria. Keep in mind that no one will be home to add attentional food/water changes for the week. My original plan was to deal with the algae when I get home.

A little info about the tank: My tank is set up with 65W over 20H tank with diy co2. I've been fertilizing with seachem fluorish/excel/nitrogen/phosphurous as per bottle directions. The tank heavily planted with baby tears, sunset hygro, water wisteria, dwarf hairgrass, anarchis, ludwigia repens, and some unknown plant.
 

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Amano shrimp along with all inverts. are very sensitive to Ammonia, and nitrites. Your tank may not be fully cycled yet, and would be met with disaster if you were to add them this quick. Although the little suckers are GREAT at keeping the stuff under control.
 

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If the tank is heavily planted to start off with, you may be able to introduce invertebrates (as well as fish) to your tank. Planting heavily from the start will produce a "silent cycle".
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
THanks guys. Darkblade, that is what I thought. The tank is planted heavily and I thought amanos/ottos have a low bio load. I just did a 50% water change and cleaned the equipment. Hopefully I got most of the algae off.
 

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If you're going to be gone only 3-4 days I'd just leave the tank w/out light. Plants will be fine for that long, but it will probably take care of most if not all the algae.

Then invest in a $10 Xmas tree light timer when you get back. 12 hours is obviously too long for your tank. :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks guys, I decided otos probably wouldnt make it through the week, I'm gone this saturday and back the sunday after Thanksgiving. Rather than risk the amanos/otos; i'm going to just let the algae have their way and deal with it when I get back. I did get a timer and put in a new diy co2 bottle in so hopefully that should do for the week. Thanks for the input!
 

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I vote for just leaving the lights off for a few days. That way you don't have to worry about fish or invertebrates dying, and it will kill of the algae. The plants might get set back a little, but they should come out of it fine, especially if they're more hardy fast growing types.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hey guys, so I'm back from almost 9 days away from home. Here are some pics of what I came back to.

About a week before I left for vacation:


And what I have now:
















As well as brown/black-ish dots on my sunset hygro and ludwigia repens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I figured 9 days without light would have been too long for the plants. I'm going to black it out for 3 to 4 days while I cycle the tank. Hopefully have some algae eaters in by end of next week.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hey, so I did a 3 day blackout and here is the end product.

Right after I took off the covers:


And right after some more scrubbing and a 60% water change:


So where do I go from here? It's been about a month now since I planted. I believe I'm "heavily planted". Ammonia was 0 after the blackout (dead algae doesn't produce any?) I'd like to put in either 3 otos, some amanos, or 1 SAE. Will ammonia register if I do a fishless cycle or will the plants suck some up?
 
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