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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had my nano 55l cube for about 6 months and I can't seem to get the balance right between co2, lighting and ferts. I'm permanently battling algae of some sort and the plants are dull and go leggy.
I've got injected co2 (co2 art dual stage regulator) my lighting is the lominie Asta F120 (which is a bit overkill) will be swapping for 2x fluval sky led lights and I dose EI ferts 10ml per day (followed instructions). I do 50% water change every week so I'm not sure what else to do. Don't want to give up with high tech but I think it is beyond my capabilities. My low tech tank is thriving.
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I’ll try include as much info as I can. The light is on for 6hrs a day but at 100% because its an older model which isn’t dimmabl. From the data I found online at substrate level (70cm below the light) it’s around 100par
the most recent tests which I did this evening, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 80 (which is way higher than expected so will retest) PH with co2 is 7.2, will get a pre co2 reading tomorrow. Phosphate 0, GH 18, KH 10. fish are fed frozen food once a day and only as much as they can eat in a min. Ferts and dosing are these. not sure what else to include.
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
@Greggz definitely a lot to think about and I’d like to get the tank looking good. sounds like a full reset is what’s needed. When you say to get my co2 dialled in, what exactly do you mean? I have my co2 coming on about 90 min before my lights come on and the drop checker has started to turn green and from what I can make out it stays lime green till well after the light have gone off. I have replaced the light with 2 less powerful fluval lights which I know work well as I’ve got some rotala rotundafolia in my shrimp tank, which is quite red and looking nice. As far as maintenance goes I clean and do a water change weekly. The feeding is kept to very small amounts, roughly enough for the fish to eat in a few seconds until they have all eaten. I’m Still new to the whole ferts thing and I was dosing what was recommende. I’ll start dosing again after a reset and just monitor it. I got a successful low tech planted tank. I see all these luscious and vibrant tanks and I just want mine to look like that. i dropped the water level to try increase the flow from the HoB. Might upgrade the filter to a small caniste. That’s a full tank shot. I look at it and want to cry.
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I wouldn't start over, getting the light down to a more manageable level is going to make it substantially easier to get co2 levels dialed in. Getting things super lush and colourful takes a lot of time, effort, and experience, also having plants that get colourful without having to pull tricks like nutrient restricting also makes it easier. Seeing the full tank shot, that doesn't even look that bad, while there is an excess of algae, the plant growth looks generally strong. I'm nearly 100% sure your issue was low co2 for the amount of light the asta 120 puts out, I have 2 of those on a much larger tank and it's borderline.
ive got a 250ltr 60cm deep tank that I’ll put the asta on to. I’ve altered the lighting so I’ll do a big water change and see how it goes. Just added some rotala h’ra so am looking to see how that grows.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I started with a large water change today and tried to re-engage as much of the algae as I could. While doing that I ended up removing the bonsai with the moss on it, the rotala wallichii and the pogostemen erectus which are now in the grow out tank. I've turned off the co2 for now in essence made it a low tech tank. I'll try figure out the amount of ferts needed and start dosing and hopefully clear the algae. Then I'll start the co2 up but really slowly to I get the drop checker light green all the while checking the pH difference. I'll look into a pH probe. It's driving me mad because it used to look really good until the algae took over.
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thank you for all your help, that’s why I love this forum, you guys are so helpful. One thing I forgot to ask. My diffuser, I have it placed about 2 inches off the substrate directly below the HoB filter so the bubbles rise and then are moved around the tank by the flow of the filter. Would this be the best placement or should it be neat the front where the flow hits the glass before returing to the intake?
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
@Asteroid I was considering a canister with glass lily pipes. That tank is meant to be a showcase tank so it's all about the scaping hence the need for me to get this right. I don't mind the maintenance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
@Greggz i did a ph test an hour before co2 came on and an hour afte it was on just before the lights turned on and before it was 8.0 and after it was 7.0 so 1 point drop Done with api liquid test. Without a probe, would this be what I’m looking for. I know it is just a guide.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
It's very likely good. But still hard to say for sure as API test can be off by quite a bit. What you see as 7.0 someone else may see as 7.2. And what you see as 8.0 someone else might see 7.8.

Keep in most tanks do not fully degas overnight. So you're true degassed pH is likely higher than you are measuring. So with a one point drop from just before CO2 comes on you should be OK.

What did the drop checker look like?? Should be pretty close to full yellow based on what you are reporting.
No the drop checker was blue but we had to go out so I didn't see how long it took to turn green but we have come home 2hrs later and the checker is green and the pH is 6.6
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
If you really had a drop from 8.0 to 6.6 the drop checker would be screaming yellow. But a drop checker is a lagging indicator so it shows where the pH was a couple of hours ago.

Keep a close eye on it today. If it starts turning more lime green then you are on the right track.

And keep on eye on livestock. If they start going to the surface back off a bit.
This is where im my own worst enemy. Since that last message I started to do a small water change and in the process pulled up some of the plants trying to get the algae off so I've removed the livestock to another tank and did a thorough clean and rescape. Will refill, and get it all running again and then monitor everything without livestock cause the neons were at the surface so I had a feeling there was too much co2. I've got a day off Tuesday so I'll time the co2 to change the drop checker to lime green and monitor pH as well. I'd rather play around with it without fish in the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Well I changed the lighting, got the co2 dialed in and I’m still getting algae issues.. these are 2 days after a 30% water change. Don’t know where to turn from here.
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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
How about the algae on the leaves?
That's disappearing too, it still appears after about 4 days but nowhere as thick and is easily cleaned off. I'll leave it another couple of weeks to settle down completely and then I'll start dosing liquid ferts again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
I’d say the light being way too powerful but it wasn’t one single thing. It was a case of finding that balance. The light I have now is sufficient to start the rotala H’ra tips going red and the growth on the other plants is noticeable. I
really appreciate all the help Thank you.
 
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