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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, hoping someone can help me with my algae issue as I'm at my wits end.

I have a 10 gallon tank, been set up since late July. I got a 10 gallon top fin starter kit, for filtration it's still the stock silent stream 10, but the light I changed to a 14W LED.

Lights are on about 5 hours a day, with intensity set to level 2 out of 5.

At least weekly 30-40% water changes. Testing has always been normal (nitrates, nitrites, ammonia, ph, gh, kh). Never had a spike of anything, and two different stores have also tested my water and said it was fine. Using tap water, for what that's worth.

I dose excel most days when I remember to, and regular flourish a couple times a week.

Substrate is stratum. No CO2.

Fish are 3 neons, 3 scarlett badis, 2 otos, 6 amano shrimp, all doing fine.

All that said - I cannot get a handle on hair algae. I have to clean the plants and wood literally every day for it not to look disgusting. I did a really big clean about 2 weeks ago, removed all the dead plant matter I could find, and planted quite a bit more (wisteria and what was labeled hygrophila compacta but pretty sure that was wrong). Other plants include anubias, crypts, Java fern, and a sword, and that helped as it took about a week for the algae to come back but it came back with a vengeance.

Specific questions are -

  • Is CO2 my problem? I would bite the bullet and get a system if I thought it would solve the problem.
  • Does aquasoil make the issue worse? Would tearing everything down and restarting with sand or gravel help?
  • Could I add a Siamese algae eater orb would that tip the bio load too high?
  • Is the tank under filtered? There is definitely room to upgrade the filter since its just the stock one now, but the parameters all being fine make me wonder if that's an issue

Plant Plant community Vertebrate Water Nature


Thanks for any advice!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks everyone for the replies. As far as testing - nitrates have always been low, essentially 0. Phosphate is the one thing i don't have a test kit for, but I've had a fish store test it and he said it was good (i don't know the level specifically, sorry).

I've changed my light to be on ~2.5 hours in the morning and then 3 or so hours in the evening based on a few recommendations I've gotten.

With regards to getting the Nicolg thrive, should i do that before starting CO2 or is it pretty much necessary to have CO2 for that to work?

Someone asked how often i feed - probably feed 2/3 days, flakes for the tetras (pretty much all of which gets eaten) and i squirt in some frozen brine shrimp for the badis as i never see them eat the flakes, and given they're still alive i assume they're eating the frozen shrim. (i don't put in a ton, i scrape off like half a fingernail's worth with scissors and use a syringe to squirt it in). Should i do less?

I'll lower the light to the lowest intensity setting. I could even put on the stock light that came with the kit if anyone thinks that would be better, but i figure that might be too low/crappy light. And its not as nice to look at.

I can add or upgrade the filter easily too so maybe I'll do that this weekend. As far as filter media - right now i have a top fin cartridge in there but i also wedged in a sheet of filter foam. In could get rid of the cartridge altogether and just use foam if that's better.

Thanks again for the help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks all for the replies! Someone said that i need to decide what i want out of the tank and I've been thinking about that a bit. Given that there's spot algae on the anubias meaning there's too much light for it, I'm thinking about going back to the stock light from the beginner kit and just trying to starve the algae of light, and seeing what plants survive and going from there. I want a nice tank, but if I'm honest i don't want a huge big project, and if i can have a nice low tech low light setup with anubias, Java fern, and some crypts (and no algae), I'd be happy. When i set the tank up i thought i needed a better light to grow any plants at all so i bought the one I'm using now but i think it might just be way over kill for what I'm capable of at the minute.

Again thanks to all for the input
 
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