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Beard and String Algae

1176 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  MrJP
Here is the deal.. It is a 37 gallon tank. 130 watts of pc light on timer for 10 hours per day. 90% flourite substrate (10% quartz). Fertilize with excel and potassium weekly. Co2 recently added (to stop the water from going green and help plants outcompete beard algae growing on them and wood; 2 bubbles per second. Water is ro/di and 40% changed monthly. Feeding is once a day and minimal.

Since adding the co2 (5lb bottle with Blueline regulator) and new plants, the water has not gone back to green, but the algae has spread onto the new plants. Phosphate tests show minimal readings. Nitrite is zero, Nitrate is reading at lowest level on test.

I posted this question on a non-planted tank forum and it was suggested that I add nitrate to help the plants outcompete algae. Any thoughts? If I do this, will Seachem's Nitrogen work for this? -Andrew
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That much light (3.5w/g) over a 37g puts you in the high light category. In your case pressurized CO2 is almost mandatory, so it is a good thing you got that going. It's also probably the reason you have black beard algae (BBA) and string algae all over the place.

Unfortunetly that is only half your problems. Dosing excel and potassium once a week is not nearly enough to get your plant the nutrients they need to make some good use of that kind of light intensity and co2. You need to start a serious ferts schedule for your plants, otherwise algae will continue to have a field day in your tank! In addition to potassium you also need to dose nitrate, phosphate and trace elements.

Look into EI dosing method. Make a search for it on this forum and read the "sticky" in the "water parameter" section. Read Rex's planted guide.

In the mean time:
- manually remove as much algea as you can
- cut down your lighting to one 65w bulb to try to limit the damage while you figure out how dose ferts daily.
- keep that co2 cranking.
- do lots of large water change. 40% monthly is not going to cut it. I am thinking more like 50% weekly.
- do lots of reading!

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