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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a cycled 38 gallon (36"x12" and 20" tall) thats been going for 2 months. About a month ago I decided to go planted. I did not use any special substrate as I wanted to go low tech. I started out with a few plants and only the 17 watt bulb that was built into the hood.


Since then, I now have 2x39watt T5 HO bulbs in a fixture over a glass top on the tank. I have amazon, rubin, and rangeri swords; anubias nana, rotala, hygrophila corymbosa, lutea crypts, watersprite, and dwarf hairgrass. No CO2 equipment, lights had been turned on at 7am and turned off at 10pm.


I have begun to notice significant fuzz algae. It is not dense like some of the beard algae pics I see, more like a faint fuzz of individual light green hairs. I bought a timer today so that lights are off during the middle of the day from 10:30am-3:30pm hoping it will help. Per the advice of others, I went to my LFS in search of Seachem Flourish Excel, but after not finding it I came away with Brightwell Aquatics FlorinMulti. It was suggested to me that I may need more carbon, and this multi nutrient suppliment has carbon. However, I had also read about Excel killing algae outright.


At this point I am so confused, I dont know what direction to take with this. I am seeing growth in my plants, but anything plant matter that pre existed before planting is getting a lot of the algae, especially the crypts, watersprite, and rotala. Should I order some excel online?


Here is the tank, the background sorta blends into the foreground
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I prefer the looks of the tank with both bulbs, if necessary I can reduce the daily lighting period even more. For the short term, I hope to just use a liquid carbon source to see how things go. Will my product fill that need or do I need to find something else?
 

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Welcome to TPT! There is a lot of help here. People are very friendly and eager to help.

I did look at the Brightwell Aquatics FlorinMulti. How long have you been using it? I don't know if it has enough Carbon for your lighting. The problem with mixtures to provide carbon is how do you adjust it if you need more. You can't put more of the other stuff in too, if you don't need them.

I doubt even excel will do it. That's a significant amount of light. You're talking T5s here. I would guess that with that much light you will need to go pressurized CO2. If you can get pressurized or even DIY here is a way to infuse it into your tank. It's cheap and works great!

http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/diy-aquarium-projects/44053-tiny-super-efficient-co2-reactor.html

I have used DIY CO2 with the above device for many months with 2 bottles of yeast mixture changed out on an opposite cycle. As long as you keep the bubbles coming it will be consistent. That is the key to DIY CO2.

You might be able to put a light shield between the tank and the light. You could try floating plants and a glass tank cover. That would help. You could also try raising your light.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So you would agree that a lack of CO2 could be the source of my difficulties? I have thought about getting the Hagen CO2 kit, and then just mixing my own yeast solution after using whatever comes with it as opposed to the expensive tablet refills. Could I hook that up to the DIY reactor you linked?
 

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So you would agree that a lack of CO2 could be the source of my difficulties? I have thought about getting the Hagen CO2 kit, and then just mixing my own yeast solution after using whatever comes with it as opposed to the expensive tablet refills. Could I hook that up to the DIY reactor you linked?

I do agree that it's lack of CO2. Your plants look lush so it appears you have enough nutrients in your tank. If you're talking about that ladder kit thing, I don't think that will give you enough of what you need. Besides if you're going to do DIY CO2 why not just do that and not buy anything else. You don't need it. Here is a video about it. I had two bottles going to a y connector to the middle bottle and then to the DIY reactor that I linked before. It worked great!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdhQzgVcHCU
 

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Very nice tank. Especially in comparison to mine, which is very similar to what you have going. I also have a 38 gallon tank with 2x39w HO lights. I originally had these plus the original 25w light going, but was advised to take it back a noch - and am considering going to one bulb.

I am having trouble getting any significant growth on my plants. I also have a small algae problem, however I have been dosing with Excel for the last week and it appears to be having an effect on the algae. But, I still can't see any real signs on growth on my plants.

Given our similar situations, I plan to keep an eye on your tank and see if I can learn anything from your past or future experiences.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
In contrast, can you provide some examples of pressurized injection kits that would have everything I need? Budget friendly ones would be preferred.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well, I decided to just go with a method that I know will get it done. I just bought the kit from http://www.greenleafaquariums.com/complete-co2-systems/primo-co2-system.html

Obviously was the most expensive option, but I have a place nearby that refills CO2, and this seems like the best way to get consistent and regulated CO2 delivery both from a timing thing (solenoid allows me to have it on only when my lights are on via timer) as well as a CO2 flow thing (precise needle valve plus bubble counter).

My checking account feels the hit right now, but if this solves my CO2 issue without argument then it is probably the most cost effective and reliable setup in the long run.
 

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My checking account feels the hit right now, but if this solves my CO2 issue without argument then it is probably the most cost effective and reliable setup in the long run.
Very true. Over time, algae treatments, and plant losses take their toll. On the other hand plant sales cut your costs. :D

You'll love pressurized CO2. It's worry free once you get your CO2 level dialed in. :D
 
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