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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

Thank you so much for taking time out to read this and for helping me out!

I'm trying to combat what i think is BBA and also diagnose what deficiency my plants are suffering from.

Whenever I can (about 1 a week, or once every two weeks), I scrub the black algae of the plants using a sponge and then do a PWC.

Can you please refer below for more info and advise me on what i should do? If possible, please recommend a timeline for the course of action.

Thank you! :)

Tank size: 60 gallons. 120 cm x 45 cm x 45 cm.

Lighting: 1 x Arcadia T5 Original Tropical Plant Pro (pink light), 5 hours daily

Substrate and fert: Seachem Flourite Original, about 3cm deep. Seachem flourish tabs added about 1 month ago near every sword plant and 3 tabs in between the 4 crypts. No liquid fert. No CO2.

Filter: Eheim pickup 160. Last washed about 2 weeks ago.

Livestock: 5 discuses, 4 Rummies, 5 Sterbai cories and 1 Panda cory. No signs of disease.

Feeding regime: Australian black worms, Canadian beef heart, Hikari frozen blood worms. Occasionally Hikari bio-gold.

Plants: 7 Swords, 3-5 x Java fern (attached to driftwood), 4 Crypts, 2 anubias (attached to driftwood), some floating water sprite

PWC frequency: I do a 25% PWC weekly.

Water parameters: The tank is cycled. I condition my area’s tap water dechlorinise with SeaChem Prime and then condition the water with Sera Super Peat for about 1 to 1.5 days.

The water parameters are maintained at around:
PH: 6.0 or lower
KH: 0
GH: Unknown - No test kit

Temp: 27C/81F
Ammonia: 0 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrate: 5.0ppm

Tank water parameters from my area if you want to know more: http://www.pub.gov.sg/general/waters...gWQReport.aspx

Pictures of my tank
 

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Well, I think for starters without dosing at least a small amount of K, which food does not contain, your plants are lacking one of the required nutrients. With your water being so very soft and acidic you may also be lacking in some basic minerals, mainly calcium and magnesium. Another factor with very low PH can be sluggish bacteria which may mean that your food/waste is not being converted to nitrates very quickly which would also prevent good growth.

Your plants are all pretty slow growers that do not require tons of nutrients but you may be completely lacking in one or two and that would be enough to cause the issues you have. Unfortunately it is more difficult to balance a tank with so few slow growing plants. With larger animals in the tank you often will get more fish damage than a slow growing plant can replace and the plants have a hard time competing against algae.

You could try dosing some API Leafzone for now and see if it perks them up. It has the K, (potassium), that food lacks and it may be enough to get things on track. Your other option is to get a full line of fertilizers and begin supplying all the nutrients that way. That will probably require larger water changes which would be a good idea anyway.

I have found that BBA is often caused by lack of maintenance and water changes, and both fish and plants like water changes. Along with the ferts I would up your water changes to 40 or 50 percent each week.
 

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I have found that BBA is often caused by lack of maintenance and water changes, and both fish and plants like water changes. Along with the ferts I would up your water changes to 40 or 50 percent each week.
I agree,maybe a few more fast growing plants and if not using co2 try dosing excel.and 50% water changes each week maybe twice a week until algae is controlled.Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi keymastr and Doggy262,

Many, many thanks for your replies! :)

I think my algae may not be BBA as some one told me BBA actually looks like this: http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/attachment.php?attachmentid=43106&d=1454767818 , so apologies for the mistake

I have planted seachem tabs (Seachem. Flourish Tabs) near the 'root plants' so idk why they are still in such distress. I guess water column ferts are needed too?

I have API leaf zone, and also seachem flourish, and seachem potassium. How much to dose?

Also, is my lighting ok? And, do you think is should get more plants to fight the algae or jus worry about the ones i have first?

The PWC part is something I don't quite get. I am also seeking help else where and some people have advised me to to reduce PWC (volume and frequency) as my tank is low tech and acidic. I value everyone's advice, please don't take it the wrong way as I now am unsure if I should PWC more or less. I read somewhere that one way is to give plants all the fert they need and then 'reset' the water by doing huge changes of PWC (tom barr method?) However, if that the case, i'll incur more a lot more costs!! But anyway, do let me know what you think about others' suggestions that i should PWC less.

Thanks!!
 

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The easiest thing to do would be to reduce the light, either by dimming or raising it above the tank a few inches. Water changes are always a good thing even in a low tech tank. There are some who do not change water much by prescribing to the Walstad method but that is a very specific looking tank with few inhabitants and not for everyone.

Plants and fish all use minerals, electrolytes etc. and the best way to remove toxins and replace mineral balance is through water changes. At least 25% each week is suggested, more if you have a large fish load.
 
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