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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all, Been years since I've had an aquarium. Used to have a 55 gal long ago and gave it up when I left for college. I recently got a 5 gal nano tank and have it setup as planted for now, no livestock. Plan on eventually getting some shrimp and maybe a beta in a month or so.

I've never really had much success w/a planted aquarium in the past. This time around, I have a DIY CO2 setup with an air stone, which I've read isn't the best. However the air stone seems to be dispersing fine bubbles that is mixing well with the water movement generated by the power head. I have a ceramic diffuser and a CO2 drop test kit on the way.

For lighting I have a Finnex 10" Fugeray running in addition to the weaker LEDs that came with the tank. I'm not convinced that this is enough light as the Finnex has a PAR rating of 18 at 12". I was thinking about getting another Finnex 10", but not sure if it would make that much of an improvement. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! I have baby tears which I know need CO2 and good lighting. Yesterday the they were pearling O2 under the lights, so hopefully that is a good sign that they are happy.
 

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You could always just monitor the growth or lack of growth and adjust your lighting accordingly. Better to start off with lower light and scale up if all is well.
 

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With a young tank, I find algae is normally not far behind if you witness excessive pearling.
Much more so with the inconsistency of DIY CO2. Everything looks healthy from a distance.
I would think twice before adding more light...
How long has the tank been up and running?
 

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That's not what I said...
When you have enough light to get heavy pearling, you are in dangerous water as far as creating optimal conditions for an algae bloom unless you have both the biomass in plants, fertiliser and CO2 spot on.
Same tank, well established with all plants grown out to the point where they require trimming back, will be less likely to respond with a bloom.

Does that explain what I was trying to say better? Sometimes things gets lost in the translation from thoughts in Afrikaans to words in English.
 

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That's not what I said...
When you have enough light to get heavy pearling, you are in dangerous water as far as creating optimal conditions for an algae bloom unless you have both the biomass in plants, fertiliser and CO2 spot on.
Same tank, well established with all plants grown out to the point where they require trimming back, will be less likely to respond with a bloom.

Does that explain what I was trying to say better? Sometimes things gets lost in the translation from thoughts in Afrikaans to words in English.
Thanks for clearing that up, wasn't sure of the reasoning. I see your point. Unusually high pearling rate can indicate light may be too high I imagine. I think I've witnessed this in my own tanks early on.
 

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Your tank looks lovely! What a nice start. I agree with an earlier poster, that at this point, it would be best to monitor the tanks growth to see how well the plants do with the lighting that you now have. You may find that you have enough light. I think your more challenging aspect at this point will be consistent co2.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
With a young tank, I find algae is normally not far behind if you witness excessive pearling.
Much more so with the inconsistency of DIY CO2. Everything looks healthy from a distance.
I would think twice before adding more light...
How long has the tank been up and running?
@Nordic, touch of sky & RyanMan - Thank you, the tank has been up for about a week now. I will hold off getting another light and will keep an eye on things.

As a side note, I'm using Eco-complete planted aquarium substrate. PH has been steady at 6.0 - I've been leaving the CO2 on 24/7 as I don't have fish.
 

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If it can go two weeks without obvious algae forming, you may be able to increase it.

My favourite tank, is still one with inert substrate and little over 1WPG linear tube @ 8 hours, I just put plantamin in once a month, and I never have to worry about algae. I don't even wipe the glass.
The water always looks good enough to drink clean. Sure growth is slow, but nothing stretches, dies or wilts away
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
If it can go two weeks without obvious algae forming, you may be able to increase it.
So this morning I noticed a little diatom algae growth on a couple of leaves of my crypto - other plants look okay for now. I know that diatoms is common in new tank setups. Is there anything that I should be doing now or should I just let it run its course?
 

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Make sure you have good water flow in those areas....maybe move your filter
You should see very little diatom build up with sufficient water movement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Make sure you have good water flow in those areas....maybe move your filter
You should see very little diatom build up with sufficient water movement.
Will adjust the nozzle to point in that area and see if it makes a difference. Thanks.
 

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Doing any better? I was just reading how new studies claim that diatom algae is the strongest known biological material...i.e. harder than the enamel on your teeth. Assuming you have teeth, of course. :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Doing any better? I was just reading how new studies claim that diatom algae is the strongest known biological material...i.e. harder than the enamel on your teeth. Assuming you have teeth, of course. :p
Yes I think so. I used my finger to rub some of it of the leaves yesterday and it hasn't gotten any worse. I also threw in a bag of Purigen in the filter that I was going to add in eventually -not sure if that will help. Keeping an eye on it, so far so good thanks. Interesting read about diatoms ; ).
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Diatoms are spreading, now on the tips of my foxtails and baby tears. I realize this is normal for a new tank, but I fear it will block the amount of light getting to my HC.

Doing research, some say cut down the amount of light hours per day, other say increase the strength of the light. Others recommend using Algae Fix or Phosguard, some suggest doing frequent water changes. Not sure water changes will help as I have hard water in my area, may be high in silicates. What is the downside of using Algae Fix? Any advise would be greatly appreciated.
 

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So just how long do you run them then? With strong light I start at 6or 7 hours, then incrementally up that by 30 minutes if no algae forms after 2 weeks, rinse and repeat...
Put a few snails in so long to clean your leaves a bit. My 6 gal did the same as yours for a while, but it seems gone now, and I just see some green algae on the glass, near the light (i.e. intensity issue)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
So just how long do you run them then? With strong light I start at 6or 7 hours, then incrementally up that by 30 minutes if no algae forms after 2 weeks, rinse and repeat...
Put a few snails in so long to clean your leaves a bit. My 6 gal did the same as yours for a while, but it seems gone now, and I just see some green algae on the glass, near the light (i.e. intensity issue)
Lights are on about 10hrs. The 10" Fugeray is rated as a low to medium PAR light I believe. I'll try to cut back the light a little and see if it makes any difference. Thanks
 

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I would cut at least to 8 hours, 7 if it were mine....
I set my lights to come on about 4 in the afternoon and run to 11.
 
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