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TO be honest. You don't need CO2 to achieve a balanced tank. I successfully have High Tech and Low tech tanks. Both experience algae issues within the first year of setup. Its all about finding a natural balance.

In my absolutely honest opinion, just go with this. Keep up with maintenance, keep up with a holistic approach to algae control, remove as much as possible with a tooth brush or something. Cut off leaves or remove plants that are dying. Find ideal light intensity/cycle. Etc etc. Eventually the tank will balance itself.

In my honest opinion, doing drastic things can often send the balance straight out of whack again. It could take a few weeks or even a few months to find balance. Just ride it out and soon it will look great.

I have taken this holistic approach to algae issues for over 15 years. Had all the algae's you can think of. Time has always been the best cure, aslong as you keep a healthy tank, with regular weekly or bi-weekly water changes. It will find its balance and when it does, it will be a very healthy tank and the only way you will get algae again is if you do something that makes a big change to the balance. Like changing the light, big change to bio load or introducing CO2, or adding extra/new ferts. etc etc

I have had tanks look way way worse than yours. A little patience and small tweaks is all that i made and generally I had them under control and looking great within a few months. Then none-to little algae for years afterwards.

My advice is, it might look awful. But given time, it will find balance.
 

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Here a small 10 gallon tank. Had set up for a 4-5 months. 3 month ago, I had a nightmare in this tank with thread and BB algae. It looked awful. Way worse than the OPs tank. NO Co2, sand substrate and just basic cheap all round liquid fertiliser is all I use. And my own cheap home made fert tabs. And yes that is a lush carpet of Hemianthus.

Its not amazing. But its lush and healthy. With zero algae. All because I knew not to panic and do drastic thing when I had an algae breakout.
Plant Plant community Green Natural landscape Natural environment
 

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I actually said you don't need co2 to have a healthy and balanced tank. I also said that I have High Tech and Low tech tanks. Meaning tanks with Co2 and tanks without Co2. I did not at any point mention having High tech tanks with no Co2.

A few things you mention. "adding co2 is not going to create some crazy new bio load or set your tank out of whack." I made absolutely no connection of Co2 and bio load. And yes, addition of Co2 to a tank can throw it out of whack. Not guaranteed to happen, but it can cause stability and balance issues as well as other problems. Adding any chemical, be it dissolved salts, or dissolved gases can cause issues to arise.

Its also important to note that having a tank setup since July, does not mean that they have algae issues since July. Its perfectly normal for some level of algae bloom in a tanks first year. Normally within the first few months but a newly established tank can take time to find natural balance. I suggested small changes and a holistic approach.

I did not completely disagree with your comment. Although I did wish to warn the OP in a friendly manner that Co2 is not a magic fix all, and I have experienced as much algae issues with my Co2 setups as my tanks without injection. Algae blooms are typical of a new setup, regardless of what tech is used. Throwing everything but the kitchen sink at it, can cause more problems than it helps.

As you have said. Healthy plants fight algae. It is not necessary to inject Co2 to have healthy plants. Millions of hobbyists can show evidence of that, including myself.

No intention of upsetting you, simply a different way of looking at the problem.
 

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People are really doubling down on this notion that I said 'do nothing' lol.

Interestingly if you do follow the 2hr aquarist. Read the article on 'Algae and Tank maturity'.
Where it is said that "Green dust algae and filamentous algae are also common in immature tanks." and
"The first step is to not panic and do dramatic changes that will shake up the system any more."

I think its pretty clear that I never said 'do nothing' and my comments pretty much echo that of the 2hr aquarist blog.

I'm gonna step aside anyway. All this straw man getting thrown around is giving me hay fever. 😄

Take care all.
 
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