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Discussion Starter #1
I am currently running what I would call a low tech tank;

-20 gallon tank with regular rock substrate
-It has been running for about a year now
-Daily dose of excel
-Weekly fert from api
-root tabs
-weekly water change
-2 Led light strips, both finnex, one 24/7 and one of the fugeray 12 inch
-about 6 fish, 8 shrimp, 1 snail, and 2 dwarf algae eaters
-hob filter with sponge, carbon, and aquaclear rock things
-a host of different plants(will show in pictures if I can figure out how to post)

Anyways, I am having a problem with hair algae taking over a couple of plants, more water changes have helped so it is not as bad as it was when I came back from a 2 week vacation but still not looking great. I read somewhere to try and use ro water to help so that will be next water change.

As for the plants, they just look so meh, some newer plants browning while my red plant has kept most of the red but has turned more of a pink then vibrant red at the tips, I have also noticed the roots are not as strong as they used to be. The plants themselves haven't been growing like they used to. I am not sure if it is not enough light, too much light, not enough ferts or whatever host of other explanations there could be. I am not against getting a co2 setup but would rather not unless it is needed.
Any advice would be splendid as it is kind of depressing to put so much time and money into something that just isn't working.

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Probably to much light. I would turn the 24/7 down in intensity or switch to pressurized Co2 and pps pro or EI dosing. Too much light not enough Co2 and ferts= algae. Too much light not enough ferts= plants are deficient
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Any recommendations for co2 setup. Something that wont break the bank but works well, I have been all over researching co2 and there doesn't seem to be a solid answer between buying one already together or diy. Its like the more I read the more confused I get.
 

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Find a gas bottle coempany who supply pubs, builders, camping etc. You can normally hire a co2 for peanuts. Aquarium shop for the fittings etc. Cheapest option. Mine is 50p per month to rent a 6kg bottle of co2

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Aquatek paintball regulator is around $80, tank $20, refill $3. hoses, diffuser, drop checker $20 to $60ish. Check out amazon, you can get good prices there and some decent Chinese brands. GLA inline diffuser is my personal favorite.
 

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I got mine from there. I got 2 difusers. They get algae on them so i tend to have one cleaning while other is in use then swap over. Some good deals out there. I think they are standard size thread on the regulators.

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Discussion Starter #7
Aquatek paintball regulator is around $80, tank $20, refill $3. hoses, diffuser, drop checker $20 to $60ish. Check out amazon, you can get good prices there and some decent Chinese brands. GLA inline diffuser is my personal favorite.
So I broke down and got a regulator and defuser and ect. When I get all that do you recommend running both lights still at full or cut back to one light, or both lights with the 24/7 on lower. Thanks a ton for your help mate.
 

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Lighting for about 8hrs a day should be fine. Too much will cause algae. Trial and error though because everyones tank, water, lighting etc is different

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So I broke down and got a regulator and defuser and ect. When I get all that do you recommend running both lights still at full or cut back to one light, or both lights with the 24/7 on lower. Thanks a ton for your help mate.
When you do get everything set up take it slow. I have the 24/7 myself and opted to just have it on a timer and only set to about 80% output running for 8hrs. Like what was said above the next step is trial and error. I would start with the 24/7 running regular and have the other light on for 3hrs when the 24/7 is at its max. Make sure the Co2 is running high enough. Start with maybe 1 bubble per second or less and dial it in (up/down) until you get a nice lime green on the drop checker. It will take time, maybe a month, but once everything is dialed in and you have steady Co2 you'll see some insane growth and colors. There is an amazing amount of knowledge in this forum that will help with lighting, Co2, Fertilizer, and troubleshooting. Good luck!
 
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