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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an algae problem.
I have two 36 watt bulbs on a 55 gallon tank. They are 6K.
The algae grows like crazy but my plants are this yellowy color.
The roots arent healthy looking, or long.

What is a Cheap-ish way to restore health to my tank?
 

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hhhmmm... do you dose ferts at all? what kind of plants do you have? are you running any CO2? sounds like you've got nutrient deficiency in your plants, you probably want to bleach dip what you have and keep the ones that survive (bleach dip is 1 part bleach, 20 parts water) and the probably focus on more hearty species of plants for your tank. I don't know if that really counts as "cheap" for you, but that's what I'd do if I had your problem. kind of a... starting over kind of thing. manually remove as much as possible...

flourish excel also helps, but it's best to start at the beginning and set everything up correctly. I recommend digging around in the algae part of this forum and reading what everyone has done and see if you can do that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
well

I have some Rotilla, Hygro, thats it. I dont use CO2 or ferts.

So i should just bleach them and start over with ferts?

Should i change to a 10K light instead? that was my brothers opinion.
 

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The absolute cheapest way would probably be to add a lot more plant mass, which, if thriving, will outcompete your algae for nutrients but I'm not sure that you can sustain that much plant mass with 1.3 wpg. I will defer to those more knowledgeable than me that will hopefully be able to give you more information...
 

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you have a VERY low light tank, you may get better results by switching your plants to things like mosses, anubias and crypts. The color of the the bulb (6000K vs 10000K) isn't going to make one whit of difference - the colors of both are good for growing plants - it is the amount of the light you have. If you want to grow more stem plants, you'll need about 2 watts per gallon. If you don't want to change your bulbs, you can also just change the reflector. For example, the reflectors AH Supply sells in their retrofit kits (they sell them separately also) are so efficient that you get an extra 62% of light. 72 watts X 1.62 = 116.6 / 55 = 2.12 wpg. You would be able to grow most plants but at that point you'd need to put in some Excel or do DIY CO2 and probably add some ferts. Hygro is a nutrient sponge which is why it's not really happy now in your current tank. However, you can make a very beautiful tank with just low light plants so decide what look you're going after.

HTH,
Christine
 

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I agree that the temperature of the lights are just fine. I have 6700K lights and practically no algae. I'm assuming since your picture is an otto you know the value of them as algae eaters, and enough can't be said of amano shrimp either.

I also agree higher plant mass, remove what you can and dose some ferts. A good gauge of what to dose for a tank like yours can be found at www.barrreport.com and under the articles sections there an article called "non co2 methods" It's extremely informative.

One thing to be cautious of if you do choose to dose excel it can negatively effect very few plants.
 

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Whatever else you do, you need to feed the plants. They need some nitrates, phosphates and potassium, as well as some trace element mix. It won't take much fertilizing for that light level, but you have to provide some. If you have heavy pooping fish that will supply some of the ferts, but not necessarily a balanced ration of them.
 

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I'm probably off the mark a bit, but isn't yellow veins/new growth a sign of iron deficiency?

Tommy
 
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