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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My tank has only been up and running for 4 days and already diatoms and thread and hair algae is growing rampant on the edges of my plants. The diatoms are on the surface of the nice big hygro leaves and wisteria and the hair/thread on the stems of the slower growing alternanthera, java fern and sunset hygro.

I have dosed with macros and micros. Twice for macros, full tank dose on day one of planting and 1/2 full dose on day two. Full dose of micros day one. I am using plant grow NPK. It says 1 cp per 10 g gives 3.5 mg/l nitrate, 0.5 mg/l phosphate and 2.5 mg/l potassium
The iron enriched says TN = 0.15%, Chelated Iron 0.26%, Mn = 0.05%, Zn = 0.0005%, boron = 0.0005%, molybdate = 0.0007%.

Lighting is 2 x 65 w coralife on the 45 g corner bowfront. Kh <1, Gh = 3, ph 6.8.

What should I be doing? I am waiting for the CO2 canister to arrive and then I will have CO2 up and running. it may take two weeks and at this rate who knows what the tank will look like.

Should I dose more? Should I cut back the light? Should I increase flows and circulation? (currently only running Fluval 303).

Thanks, kara
 

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You need fast growers in there, and a lot of them, to start. Plants like java fern are not going to help you. Get a high biomass of plants in there.

Is "Plant Grow" the brand name"? It seems the ratio of potassium should be higher.

It wouldn't hurt to cut back on lighting until you get your CO2.
 

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You should be dosing macros and micros on alternate days.

Drop the lighting to one bulb like everyone said. Find a bunch of Rotalas and anacharis and pack your tank full of them. Or even Hygrophilia species. Get everything in your tank growing, add the CO2, then start to swap out plant species for ones that you want.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok so I've cut back to one light today, and bought some excel and plan to spot treat the worst affected alternanthera and sunset hygro. Will also move more giant hygro and wisteria into the tank as well. Have ordered a new filter and CO2 is on the way too. Hopefullly flow and co2 will help this algae go away.

kara
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Last night I planted another 8 or 10 stalks of giant hygro and wisteria just before lights out and this morning they are already showing diatoms all over thier leaves...algae is crazy I tell you!! I am doing a water change and excel treatment tonight.

kara
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
It's been a week or so now. The algae is prolific and covers most of all of the glass and quickly covers new leaves on plants including the fast growing hygro. The excel treatment may be too late by now.
I think it is brush and/or fuzz/hair algae. it is short, 3 mm or so, bright green and grows in patches. It covers the rocks like a lawn.

I'm thinking about dosing the entire tank with excel anyways and also macros so see if it will give the plants some energy to kickstart. I am also going to raise the lights a few inches off the glass. I have been running one of the 65w lights 10-12 hours.

What do you think? It is a stop gap untill the co2 arrives. I have added the new filter so water circulation is excellent now.

Kara
 

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Get an algae eater crew in there.. They'll help out a lot.
I think any sucessful tank will have algae eaters because algae is omnipresent and you just have to live with it.
I'd recommend rubber lip, bristle nose, otos, SAEs, flying fox, flag fish, apple snail, maybe shrimps.

and cut back your photo period to 8 hours.
 

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Did you just start dosing and add the 2x65w light? and shortly after you got all that algae? With out co2 most of those nutrients and all that light are just causing algae and probably not inspiring much plant growth.
example.
on a scale from 1 to 3. this is your tank.
light 2, nutrients 2, co2 1
those three things need to be balanced. you could have co2 at a three but because your light is only at a two your only going to get growth at a rate of a 2.
Stop all dosing, clean as much of the algae by hand as you can, trim leaves, do a huge water change and shut your lights off for a few days and don't feed your fish while the lights are out.
4 days later hook up your co2, do a huge water change then begin dosing accordingly. you will find things are much better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I started the tank with only one light and have not had the 2nd light on at all.

I cannot put anymore plants in it, the substrate is 80% covered in hygro and wisteria.

I only added excel and macros yesterday to see if maybe it would boost the plants. They are growing very slowly for hygro and wisteria.

The plants were taken from a tank with harder water, low light (1.2 wpg) and macros 2x per week, micros 1 x per week; they were growing like weeds in there.

I have added a dozen cherry shrimp but will look for some Ottos or apple snails. SAE are near impossible to find here.

I'm not ready for a black out yet, I will use that as a last ditch effort. Thanks for the advice. I'll see if I can't get some newer pictures up.

kara
 

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Black outs kick the *ss of high light inspired diatoms. Not even a full black out just leave the lights off a day or 2. When you turn the lights back on have the CO2 running and all macros available. Start out with both tubes running for no more than 8 hrs. per day.

Don't be afraid to turn the lights off with a water change before and after. It "resets" the tank and gives you the opportunity to regain control of the ecosystem.

If you're dead set against a black out you might see good results running 4 hrs. of light until you get CO2 running.
 

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Black outs kick the *ss of high light inspired diatoms. Not even a full black out just leave the lights off a day or 2. When you turn the lights back on have the CO2 running and all macros available. Start out with both tubes running for no more than 8 hrs. per day.

Don't be afraid to turn the lights off with a water change before and after. It "resets" the tank and gives you the opportunity to regain control of the ecosystem.

If you're dead set against a black out you might see good results running 4 hrs. of light until you get CO2 running.
wonderful tips memphisbob.
i agree, too much light for the tank size with no co2. maybe a blackout for 2 days with water change before and after would help. like memphis bob say, it resets the tank. i think you should dose less.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thank you. I have dosed with excel at water change. Cut lights back to 6-8 hours as well as purchased 8 ottos.

The algae has stabilized a bit, it is no longer completely covering the glass the day after cleaning. The plants are starting to grow so it will take some time I think. I am going to do a big clean up this weekend, scrape the glass and cut out any bad leaves. I think it is fuzz algae...short green and tough as nails....so the plants that have it will not recover those leaves.
The diatoms have dissappeared with the ottos in the mix. Love those guys and look forward to seeing if they;ll make babies...
Thanks for the advice guys!

kara
 
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