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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm new to the hobby and have a lot to learn with the planted tank. I read at much as I can but when it comes to lighting.. I'll be honest, I'm an idiot.

With that said I'll try to keep this short and to the point. I have a 40gal bowfront freshwater tank. It is fully cycled and stocked. I keep the temp around 83. I have two wisteria plants, two other species I'm not sure of but I will post pictures and a little bit of java moss attached to a hiding rock. I was told at my LFS they are low light plants as that it what I asked for. I drove in feet first with getting some plants to help finish up my cycle a few months ago.

My substrate is 1.5in Miracle Grow organic potting soil and 2in of pool filter sand to top it off. My lighting is Zoo Med Aqua Sun with these two bulbs Bulb One Bulb Two
I currently am dosing CO2 by using the drops and I dose ferts once a week. I keep my lights on around 8-9 hours a day.

If you can see from the pictures I am having a brown algae issue on my whole tank.. plants, driftwood, tank, and my filter media is covered. I am also starting to notice some green algae on my sand and my one driftwood.. it is very minor but I don't want to have it get worse.

I could use some info on what I'm doing wrong. I've read that with good substrate you can have plants with less lighting (dustinsfishtanks on youtube) so I was thinking I'm having the lights on for too long so I plan to cut down to 4 hours a day until my brown algae issue is solved. I also read that because I put the plants in and didn't slowly dose ferts and build up to the dose needed that could cause my algae problem.

I could really use some advice.. money is tight so if I need more lighting do you have any ideas for someone on a budget? Am I not using the correct substrate? I don't mind doing a rebuild if I have to. I went and for 4 oto cats to help with the algae as well.

On a side note I think the brown algae started due to over feeding for a week.. I would feed and then my husband would feed later. Once we figured out we were doing that we have since gone back to once a day feedings and only enough food that the fish eat up in two mins.

Thanks for your help!

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