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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok for starters I did a dark start and let the tank cycle for 3 weeks or more and used Seachem stability to kick start it. I’m using Tropica soil, with RODI water as my house uses a water softner. So after the 3 weeks I got a bunch of plants, lots of stems and some carpet plants and planted them in. I use injected CO2 and a very high intense light, 6 bulb ATI fixture which is dimmable on a 40 gallon tank.

All was going good was following APT complete ferts dosing once a day, doing weekly water change. Now after a few weeks I have what looks like diatoms all over the plants a stringy brown algae. Not sure what went wrong, I noticed my CO2 was up a little bit so adjusted my regulator to fix that problem, and only other thing I did was add fish. Not sure if adding fish messed something up biological, I make sure to add Stability after water changes and adding new plants and fish.

So I’m going to suck up what I can I add a clean up crew, and will do weekly or even a couple water changes a week. Should I continue to add ferts to the tank or stop, things were growing like crazy, now it’s just looking ugly? I also dimmed my light down to 60 percent and will have the photo period stop at 6 hours now instead of 8. I did check all water parms and Ammonia was at 0, Nitrite was a 0, and I checked Nitrates twice and both times it’s telling me 0. Not sure on PO4 need to get a freshwater kit. Anyways any other suggestions and what should I do with ferts stop or cut back some? Thanks
 

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It's pretty interesting how you got diatoms without having sand and using RO water. How bad is it, can you post some pictures? Diatoms are usually caused by high levels of silica together with high levels of Nitrates and light. Your Nitrates and Silica are in check but your light was too high, which you have fixed.

Keep your light lower until you get it under control then slowly raise it once a week while keeping a close eye. Diatoms are common in new tanks and can last for few months. I have a 20gal that still has diatoms 6 months later. It's gotten a lot better but not completely gone. But I have sand and high silica in tap water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I was thinking the same thing about diatoms, but if it’s not diatoms then not sure what it is. I sucked a lot out last night and when I would touch it, it feels like slime and would leave brown marks. So I know it’s not a green hair algae, I thought maybe a cyno, but I don’t know much about the freshwater cyno. I remember in Saltwater it would be a red color, and would form in low flow spots. Well on my 40 gallon tank I have a Oase 600 biomaster filter, I would like to think I have enough filtration and flow in the tank.

As far as Ferts should I continue them, I have both APT complete and APT zero. I was doing the complete which has the NPK in it, where as the Zero does not contain the NPK. I was think since it’s a new system, maybe the Tropica soil is giving the plants the NPK it needs, and I’m over doing it with adding the APT complete? Just a thought?
 

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75g, 33L, 2g and play tanks
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As far as Ferts should I continue them, I have both APT complete and APT zero. I was doing the complete which has the NPK in it, where as the Zero does not contain the NPK. I was think since it’s a new system, maybe the Tropica soil is giving the plants the NPK it needs, and I’m over doing it with adding the APT complete? Just a thought?
I would think that the soil is giving plenty of nutrients off right now. Soils usually need way more water changes for the first couple months because of the excess they give off, no? Thought you're doing 2-3 a week for a few weeks then 2 or a larger one for awhile and 2-3 months later you're finally leveled out until that stuff runs it's coarse and you're back to adding your own ferts.

So my opinion is that I wouldn't add anything for awhile and then start again in a couple weeks with a lower dosage if you see no bad changes in the plants during those few weeks of no added ferts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well I actually started this tank trying the dark start method, after adding the soil I filled the tank with RO water and I let it sit for 3 weeks, and seeded the water with bacteria. I was really hoping I would not get a huge algae outbreak, but guess I’m not that lucky lol.
 
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