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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all :smile2:

I have a 5 gal Fluval Spec V that's been set up for several months – since Sept 2015 – which has been really interesting and challenging as I'm new to the hobby. (Love it!)

I was battling what I believe to be GSA since upgrading the stock light (to Finnex Planted+) early on and have mostly eradicated it after a ton of trial and error.

Trial and error:
I played around with co2 (got an Aquatek mini regulator eventually) which seemed to help with GSA buildup on the glass between WC, tried shrimp (too scared of the betta...), dosed a little extra Nitrogen (my NO3 always seemed to be 0), and tried bringing Phosphates down (they always seemed crazy high). I should mention that I didn't try this all at once :laugh2:.

What really made a HUGE difference was the addition of a few tiny snails. Within 2 weeks, the GSA, which covered nearly every inch of my Java Fern, bits of my Pennywort, and was strangling a tiny Crypt, was basically gone. Though, now I have a ton of tiny snails. They're the least of my worries for now though.

Ok, getting to the real problem.
As soon as GSA was close to elimination, I seem to have developed what is probably Cladophora (Blanket Weed) (James' Planted Tank - Algae Guide). The weird thing is that I noticed a bit of this algae in another 1 gallon tank I have to the side (houses a few shrimp separately) which has a dramatically different low-tech setup. It happened at a similar time. Maybe contamination as I use the same equipment for both...

The Cladophora (in the Spec) is annoying and difficult to remove manually. It's all over my hairgrass, growing on parts of my driftwood and a small rock, and generally clings to the gravel substrate.

I've done a little bit of research on this algae and from what I can tell it just needs to be removed manually with stable nutrients. Is there anything else I can do to better remove it? The battle seems to be a stalemate right now, with bits of it growing but not overtaking the tank... yet.

Also, I haven't changed anything from the fix for GSA in my tank aside from reducing the light dramatically (4 hours a day now).

I'd love to hear tips from others who have battled Cladophora.


Fluval Spec V (5 gal)
CO2 probably 30ppm ish, drop checker is always green & PH is 6.8-7.0
Finnex Planted+
Seachem Flourish with WC
 

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I suggest you approach your problem differently. Instead of trying to eliminating algae, concentrate on growing healthy plants.

Trying to reduce nitrates and phosphates is the opposite of what you should be doing. Those are nutrients the plants desperately need. Flourish is a Brand name including many products. I assume you are referring to Flourish comprehensive? If so this is not nearly enough.

I suggest you review dosing methods and follow one. EI and PPS-Pro seem to be the most popular. I prefer EI for high tech setups. Here is a post explaining the basics of it,

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/11-fertilizers-water-parameters/517945-ei-concept-explained.html

Provide what the plants need to thrive and algae will be essentially eliminated. In your case, the most glaring issue is fertilizing.
 

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I'd attack with lower intensity or reduction of photoprriod. And water changes. Wc will tackle most but it's a slow process which has to be repeated. Ppl don't see results right away and seem to give up, but if u do it and observe u can do away. If lighting is too high, u can try anything and it won't matter. Fert seem fine, just don't overdo it like u seemed to with the N
Just do it consistently
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Coming back to this even though it's been a while. Sort of as a journal (and hopefully useful to other newbies like myself).

Thanks Zorfox and StrungOut btw. Since my original post I've been doing a lot more reading on EI – definitely struggled to understand what it meant and am still learning, but I've made some good discoveries for myself. I'm still using Flourish (comprehensive and others) but mainly as an experiment and to finish up the bottles before I buy some dry ferts. I realize it isn't super ideal as I've come to realize that experts tend to avoid them.

I'm still having some issues with hair algae and a little of gsa but they're certainly not overgrowing anymore. I don't expect them to fully go away until I go dry fert, but it's interesting seeing the changes now that I'm using "proper" EI. Before all this, I always noticed that NO3 was always 0, not understanding that that could be a deficiency for my plants. PO4 was always super high and I never really understood what that meant either.

Since then, I raised my lights a few inches and have been dosing much larger quantities of Flourish(es) on a schedule in my 5 gal according to EI and not Seachem. My plants are looking great and for once I've noticed fluctuations with PO4. (Meaning I actually have to dose it now). I'm noticing that my PH swings a little between daytime and nighttime but it doesn't seem to be that huge and I do have my C02 on a timer (trying to keep it 30ppm). I'll continue to monitor until I run out of these products and move onto something new.
 
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