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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all!
This is my first planted tank, and well I've got some algae. My initial goal was to have a low tech setup with little possibility of algae and slow growth, but as I read and learned more I upgraded. I've got a 37 gallon tank that's been running 22 weeks, here's all the specs:
-filter is aquaclear 70
-light is Finnex Fugeray planted + (supposedly 55 PAR from 17" so medium light?)
-duration is 7 hours on with 4 hour off period
-ferts are seachem comp. once a week and some root tabs
-20% weekly water changes, did a 50% two weeks ago to try and remove algae
-pressurized co2 with 3 bps
-fish are 3 juvenile angelfish, 5 harlequin rasboras, 1 or 2 trumpet snails that snuck in
-plants are Amazon swords, hygrophila difformis, hygrophila corymbosa (both added recently so are adjusting), staurogyne repens, anacharis (floating because I only got it to help with algae problem, I don't really want it in the future), and dwarf sagitteria (added recently also)
-1 peice of manzanita wood
-substrate is plain old Petsmart stuff, national geo's crystal lake sand
-levels are ammonia and nitrite 0, nitrates stay around 5, pH 7.7. The others I don't know yet, I've got a phosphorus test coming in the mail
-I also ordered Seachem's N,P,K to try and start dosing macros

So the algae I believe started around week 15. I've got diatoms all in the substrate, some spots of GSA, black beard at the top of my wood right under the light, types of hair algae on places, and green dust algae on the glass at times. The diatoms (I know new tanks usually get them while getting matured), started before all the other kinds, which they started about 2 weeks later. I'm trying to find the balance between everything. If anyone could help I would appreciate it!!! Thank you.
 

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Sounds like the light is a big problem. Put it up some more or if it has a dimmer use that. Put the light on for 8 hours a day.

Are you fertilizing? I think the sand is inert and provides no nutrition.

The goal, obviously, is to get the plants to grow and use up the light. It sounds like you have quite a collection of algae. I know this can be terribly discouraging but I think reducing the light will help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
UV sterilizer maybe to keep it from spreading and some Tetra Algae Control

Tetra Algae Control | Petco Store perhaps.
Thanks for the quick reply! I've heard of uv sterilizers but never read up on them, I'll do a little research on them. And I'll pick up some algae control next time I go to the store, maybe that'll help kill it off?

Bump:
Sounds like the light is a big problem. Put it up some more or if it has a dimmer use that. Put the light on for 8 hours a day.

Are you fertilizing? I think the sand is inert and provides no nutrition.

The goal, obviously, is to get the plants to grow and use up the light. It sounds like you have quite a collection of algae. I know this can be terribly discouraging but I think reducing the light will help.
Thanks for the reply also!
When I initially got the algae I reduced the light first thing to 7 hours and even to 6 for a while. I've been looking into ways to raise the light without anchoring in the ceiling or anything so I'm heading to raising it some, any idea how high? Will 6 inches be enough? And yes I dose seachem comp. once a week and I have root tabs under my heavy root feeders. I have macros coming in the mail to try and start dosing them. I had a theory that maybe my plants are getting the right nutrients to grow and out compete the algae cause I've got light and co2 pumping like crazy, somethings missing.
 

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Your plants are all low to low medium light plants, as best I can tell. So, you don't really need that much light to get them to grow well. With that much light, they are driven to grow fast, but that means they need adequate amounts of all of the nutrients, NPK, trace elements, and carbon. You may have enough carbon (CO2), but you can't tell from the bubble rate. You don't have the P (phosphate), K (potassium), and probably trace elements, since you only dose the trace mix (Flourish Comprehensive) once a week.

You can put a layer of gray fiberglass window screen, from Home Depot, between the light and the tank, and that will reduce the light intensity by 40%, down to about 35 PAR, which is enough for those plants. That would eliminate the need to have the CO2 running at the highest you can get it. If you then added Flourish Excel to your dosing you should have much less algae too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Your plants are all low to low medium light plants, as best I can tell. So, you don't really need that much light to get them to grow well. With that much light, they are driven to grow fast, but that means they need adequate amounts of all of the nutrients, NPK, trace elements, and carbon. You may have enough carbon (CO2), but you can't tell from the bubble rate. You don't have the P (phosphate), K (potassium), and probably trace elements, since you only dose the trace mix (Flourish Comprehensive) once a week.

You can put a layer of gray fiberglass window screen, from Home Depot, between the light and the tank, and that will reduce the light intensity by 40%, down to about 35 PAR, which is enough for those plants. That would eliminate the need to have the CO2 running at the highest you can get it. If you then added Flourish Excel to your dosing you should have much less algae too.
Hoppy it is so funny that you replied because just 5 minutes before reading this I read a post from you about the window screen:
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/10-lighting/114756-window-screen-light-filter.html

I looked up ways to raise my light fixture and this came up to help reduce intensity. I found another post on using hangers to raise it:
https://m.reddit.com/r/PlantedTank/comments/2zlycu/diy_risers_for_finnex_fugeray_fixtures/

I will try the window screen first, attached to the light. Once I do this, would continuing to only dose trace once a week suffice? As I said above I have Seachem's N,P,K coming in the mail so would dosing those maybe twice a week be a good place to start?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I would dose more than just Flourish Comp. Here is a thread about how I decided how to dose my tank, with similar light intensity: http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/1...fertilizing-65-gal-low-medium-light-tank.html
Alright so I'll definitly dose macros (Seachem's N,P,K) along with traces. I'll try doing comprehensive once a week and N,P,K twice a week and adjust until I reach my ppm I'm aiming for. Thanks for the help hoppy!

I also added screen to my light today. I had some extra screen from when we re did our porch so that works!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just want to give you guys an update!

Usually after a water change the algae removed just returns with in a couple days, but since my last water change it seems to be staying at bay! I'll start dosing NPK today. I'll begin with 2mL nitrogen, 3mL phosphate, and 4mL potassium twice a week. Those are according to the seachem directions but I'll see how that raises my levels. I'm also having light mounts built that'll raise my light 7 in above its normal height. Any idea how much 7 in will effect my PAR? My light is supposedly 55 PAR from 17".
 
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