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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

Started a new tank about 8 weeks ago. This is pretty much my first real attempt at going somewhat high tech.
First weeks I had some diatoms, but those are already pretty much gone.

However, I'm dealing with some very aggressive form of brown fuzzy hair algae since two weeks. Definitely not diatoms, as it is hairy, soft and slimy to the touch.
Also my rotala's and AR mini don't look healthy at all. See pictures below.

Algae issue:
I try to remove the algae almost every day. It's growing really fast. I started dosing 4 ml Easycarbo a day, but I doubt this will help. Thinking about starting a hydrogen peroxide treatment, but open to suggestions.

Plants issues:
Funny enough, the plants are showing good growth and already needed to trim 3 times as the rotala's were blocking the lights (my tank is shallow).
The new growth on the rotala looks ok, but when trimmed all the horrible leaves and dying stems beneath it become visible again. It has transparant holes and are discoloring.
Also the Alternanthera Reineckii Mini is decreasing quite rapidly. It's turning brown and pale.
Monte Carlo carpet still looks happy though and became already a thick layer.

Info on the tank:
Tank size: 66 x 48 x 30 cm (custom size)
Tank volume: 96L / 25G
Filter: Oase Biomaster 350
Co2: Pressurised Co2 injection with inline diffuser, 3 bps, 1,5 hour before light on, turns off 1 hour before light off.
DC: Starts green in the morning, ends lime green/yellow
Light: 24W Leds (Chinese brand), lowered from 8 to 6 hours since a week.
WC: 50% per week
Substrate: Tropica Soil Powder
Fertilizer: Tropica Specialized Nutrients. Upped the dosage to 6ml a day since two weeks.
Plants: Rotala Rotundifolia, Rotala Colorata, Alternanthera Reineckii Mini, Monte Carlo.

Water parameters:
Temp: 23 celsius
pH: 6
KH: 3
gH: 10
NH3: 0,2 mg/l (This is new this week, is it because of the dying rotala?)
NO2: 0 mg/l
NO3: 20 mg/l
PO4: 0 (It's always zero! I sometimes don't trust this test 馃槄)

I'm getting a bit uncertain and lost in terms of dosing or other solutions. And it feels like I need to act fast.
Basically, my questions come down to this:
  1. How do I get rid of this brown fuzzy algae?
  2. How do I get my plants healthy again? If it's a fertilizing problem, should I dose more or less? I'm just not sure if there is a deficiency or if my water is getting toxic.

Really hope anyone can shed some light on this. I would love to have a thriving tank I can enjoy.

Thanks,
Dennis

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1026488


1026489
 

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i'm not an algae expert, but what little I know is that it forms usually when there is an unbalance. uaually nutrients or light. I might try and turn the lights down a bit, but I doubt that kind can be turned down. I guess you could raise the lights a bit. Then I would try and dose some potassium after another 5 days to a week of the reduced light, maybe the plants need a little more to help to boost their intake of other nutrients. I believe that PO4 and NO3 go hand in hand to a certain degree, not 1:1 but if one is depleted the plants won't take as much of the other as they would otherwise.

for results this instant-- grab an old tooth brush and get to sweeping that stuff up for now. or get some shrimp and snails.

at 8 weeks this may not be it. But in my experience, especially if you haven't cut the bottoms and replanted the tops yet on the stem plants, the plants will essentially die back a bit before they become the new plant they were meant to be in your tank. Those lower leaves still don't like your water and never will. pull the stem, cut the bottom section off and replant the tops.
 

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Your pH is a little acidic at 6. I would never go below 6.8 for most plants and livestock. This could explain some plant leaves browning. Plants need a suitable pH to facilitate efficient nutrient transfer.

That type of algae is caused by excess ammonia and intense light. You are either giving your tank too many ferts, too much light, or both. It could be that you are dosing heavy considering the amount of nutrients the substrate is providing.

I prefer dosing light and dealing with deficiencies rather than heavy and dealing with algae. Plant growth rate is limited, after a certain point more adding more light and more ferts will only grow more algae.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Your pH is a little acidic at 6. I would never go below 6.8 for most plants and livestock. This could explain some plant leaves browning. Plants need a suitable pH to facilitate efficient nutrient transfer.
So how would I best raise the ph a bit? I prefer to do this without adding any chemical stuff.

That type of algae is caused by excess ammonia and intense light. You are either giving your tank too many ferts, too much light, or both. It could be that you are dosing heavy considering the amount of nutrients the substrate is providing.
I'm not sure where the ammonia is coming from. Does it come from the dying bottoms of the rotala? There are no inhabitants.

Also, I've been told there might be a deficiency in iron. Does this sound plausible?
 

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I would leave your ph alone. I WISH I had a ph of 6 as it would dramatically open up the number of plants and animals I could keep.

Anyway your issue is you are not getting rid of the old stems. Stem plants need to be 'topped'. This means you cut off the new growth which looks good. Cut the old growth off where it exits the substrate, and replant the tops. As you found out once plant leaves are affected by algae/deteriorate they don't really recover. Fortunately the fast growing nature of stem plants mean they don't have to. The topping should be done every trimming for best results though if you are happy with the base you can let it go until they start to deteriorate. Over time you will get a feel for when this is.

Anyway with this one issue your algae problems go away based on your original post which means you have already achieved balance, congrats ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Anyway your issue is you are not getting rid of the old stems. Stem plants need to be 'topped'. This means you cut off the new growth which looks good. Cut the old growth off where it exits the substrate, and replant the tops. As you found out once plant leaves are affected by algae/deteriorate they don't really recover. Fortunately the fast growing nature of stem plants mean they don't have to. The topping should be done every trimming for best results though if you are happy with the base you can let it go until they start to deteriorate. Over time you will get a feel for when this is.
This does make a lot of sense. However, (and maybe I stated it wrong) they do grow quite fast, but the replanted tops aren't looking that healthy either. Not as bad as the old leaves but certainly not thriving too. And the AR mini keeps getting more brown and pale as well.

Anyway with this one issue your algae problems go away based on your original post which means you have already achieved balance, congrats ;)
I really like this to be true, but it looks like they're still missing something (or on contrary, the water is toxic) and I'm not there yet in terms of a balancing.
 
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