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Discussion Starter · #1 ·


I have been battling with algae/ growth issues for a long time now and decided I needed some expert help.
Tank was set up in August 2015

Tank Details:
ADA Mini M (5.4 Gal) with glass lid
Aquasky (10hrs/day)
ADA Amazonia powder soil
GLA Paintball co2 with do aqua diffuser (drop checker reads a light green)
ADA Superjet 150 filter 80% Biorio 20% bamboo charcoal
-I recently added an eheim 2211 inline with the superjet
Twinstar M3
Two biggish pieces of seriyu stone and a few smaller pieces

Plants:
HC, DHG, Riccia, Glosso

Fauna:
12 boraras fed 1 pinch of food/day
2 Amano shrimp (they tend to be suicidal)

Ferts:
Green Brighty Step 2 1-2 pumps/day 5 days/week
Brighty K 1-2 pumps/day 5 days/week
5 Osmocote root plus tabs (put in 1month ago)
Green gain after trim (2/month)
ECA 2/week
50%water change 1/week

Water Conditions:
PH without CO2 before water change 7.2 caused by stones/soil?
dKH Before water change 5-7
Low Nitrate/ite and ammonia (all close to 0ppm)
Water change with NYC water (very low kh and gh) w/10 drops aqueon water conditioner sits for 15mins before change

The problems:

I've always had BGA problems (especially in the corners of the tank) but got them under control about 3 months ago but then my DHG was growing poorly and had spongy brown slime at their bases. I added Osmocote tabs (5) interspersed throughout the tank and started brighty lights and eca to bring the DHG back (low iron was suggested as the cause). BGA outbreak happened almost overnight so I stopped the brighty lights and the eca which made it slightly better. Then I added the eheim 2211 inline (2 weeks ago) hoping it would help with current as that was also suggested as a potential cause of the BGA. Now its still pretty bad and my HC carpet is looking unhappy. DHG is growing a bit better but now looks a bit pale and my glosso which is usually strong looks weak too. Also getting some minor hair algae for the first time since month 1 of the tank.

Thanks for all the help!
 

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I've had algae bloom in my nano tank quiet a bit, similar to yours. I tried excel, just regular excel and my algae problem disappeared after a week or so. You can try Excel dose along with your CO2 injection and see if that kills them off.

Note that, Excel is a reducing agent meaning it will reduce the amount of O2 in the tank so that it can stimulate CO2 creation for plants. It usually doesn't do much as to suffocate fish... but that's a note to keep in mind.

A daily dose of Excel (1 cap full) depending on tank size should assist with your algae problem and prevent algae growth.

As for your list of supplements and ferts:
Green Brighty Step 2 - Shouldn't be needed unless your plants have iron deficiency.
Brighty K - Shouldn't be needed unless your plants have potassium deficiency.

50% water change is quite a bit of water per week. Use AqAdvisor - Intelligent Freshwater Tropical Fish Aquarium Stocking Calculator and Aquarium Tank/Filter Advisor with your stock size and it will determine that amount of water change % per week or bi-weekly basis. Especially for such a small tank.

Limit your amount of lighting to 6-8 hour a day, 10 is quite excessive for a small tank as well. Which means decrease the amount of CO2 injection.

Given the tank size, you are also wayyy overstocked haha.
 

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I can't find anything about that light fixture, but it may not be giving you enough light for an aquascape of only very low growing plants. You can get a $20 luxmeter from Ebay, Amazon, or other internet stores, and measure the light intensity, out in the air, at the distance your substrate is from the light. Divide that number by 70 and you have a crude measure of the PAR you are getting. It should be 40 or more, maybe even 50 or more.

Poor plant growth equals OPPORTUNITY for algae.
 

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I can't find anything about that light fixture, but it may not be giving you enough light for an aquascape of only very low growing plants. You can get a $20 luxmeter from Ebay, Amazon, or other internet stores, and measure the light intensity, out in the air, at the distance your substrate is from the light. Divide that number by 70 and you have a crude measure of the PAR you are getting. It should be 40 or more, maybe even 50 or more.

Poor plant growth equals OPPORTUNITY for algae.

I think he has a Fluval Aquasky LED, OP correct me if I am wrong :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks everyone for the help. I did use excel to good effect but was worried about the fish health with long term use. I'll also drop the lights down to 8hrs to see if it helps. Here is the light

I never have ammonia issues so I assume my fish load is fine. Boraras are micro fish (1/2" or so in length). ADA recommends a weekly 50% water change when using the brighty series. Also it helps to keep my KH/GH down as the seriyu stones seem to disolve quite a bit.

Bump:
50% water change is quite a bit of water per week. Use AqAdvisor - Intelligent Freshwater Tropical Fish Aquarium Stocking Calculator and Aquarium Tank/Filter Advisor with your stock size and it will determine that amount of water change % per week or bi-weekly basis. Especially for such a small tank.
AqAdvisor says 49% water change/week, I think I'm in the ball park but it does say I'm overstocked.
 

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get rid of the charcoal, it is not helping...
Also, I agree 50% changes is too much, it has been anecdotally linked to causing algae blooms.

If you need to do 50%, I'd change it to 25% twice per week.
I use a much simpler/slower fertiliser regime which is premixed with my replacement water.
 
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