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3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello all,

I started the tank on the 15th of June, a birthday present for myself, and since then I've been in a constant battle with algae and plant degradation.


  • 7-8 vallisnerias
  • 1 alternanthera bush
  • 1 rotala bush
  • 2 echinodorus python
  • 2 echinodorus ozelot
  • 1 regular anubias
  • 1 petite anubias
  • 1 lagenadra
  • some microsorum
  • java moss
  • little eleocharis parvula
  • 1 dwarf bucephalandra

I started with 6-7 pieces and the rest of the plants have been added gradually or replaced ones that were algae infested. I also tried to use floating plants but they thrive for 1 month and then they die off and turn to mush.


  • 4 honey gourami
  • 6 celestial pearl danios
  • 1 SAE
  • 2 german blue rams
  • 5 cory
  • 8 amano shrimp
  • 2 bamboo shrimp


  • aquarium with a capacity of 112l, measurements: 80L x 35l x40h.

  • 700 l/h Eheim experience 250 filled with 3kg of seachem matrix and some siporax on bottom
  • newly introduced Aquaclear 20 hob 378 l/h filled with eheim substrat
  • 650 l/h Eheim powerhead.

  • lights Aquael LEDDY SLIM 32W SUNNY - 6500k, 3300 lumens. 3-2-3 program (2h off in the afternoon)

For the time being i use a yeast - sugar fueled DIY CO2 kit from dennerle, but i have a pressurised one ordered and on the way. The output right now is 1 bubble every 2-3 seconds.

The substrate is 8 kg 0.8mm sand mixed with 5 kg 2 mm gravel, both washed thoroughly. Almost all the plants have been planted in ADA amazonia substrate pockets that i have below the sand.


1.5 ml profito - daily
2.5 ml NO3 - daily
0.5 ml PO4 - daily
2.5 ml Excel carbon - daily

At water change i add JBL aquadur to bring up GH and KH.

Water parameters:

6.8-6.9 PH
210-230 TDS
0 ammonia
4 KH
8 GH
0.025 NO2
3-5 NO3
0.5 PO4

The weekly cleaning routine consists of vacuuming the sand, cleaning the glass, 50% water change. Monthly i clean the pipes and the filter (rinsing the matrix and sponges in aquarium water). The pipes have brownish goo deposits when i clean them, same with the sponge.

The issues i have are on and off GSA, filamentous algae on everything that grows in the top 1/3 of the tank, staghorn (i think) on the vallisneria plants and ozelot where the flow is high. Most of these are localized and do not expand to other areas. I also have BBA that i clean manually from the places where i don't like it (plants). What is the most discouraging issue is the dirty look of the plants caused by what i suspect are diatoms, this has gone worse gradually.

I'm getting desperate, I read so much and applied all the knowledge and still i have so many issues...

Please help,


349 Posts
Could try reducing the light, dimming or shortening the time lights are on. I don't dose ferts so not sure what to suggest for those.

3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
@Griznatch Is the light looking too bright? I've been told that before but really the calculated output (3300 lumens) corresponds to medium intensity. And they run only 6h a day.

@Hugo ago go Yeah, i have my hopes up high regarding the pressurized co2. If i don't daily dose phosphate and nitrates they go to 0. I only fed once a day till i got the CPD last week. I now feed 2 times (very fine food in the morning and not too much of it) because the CPD eat so little. I have yet to test if the NO3 and PO4 went up.

Thanks for your answers

3,625 Posts
Too much light, heavy fish load, dying plants and no co2 create an alga's dream tank. You don't have co2. One bubble every 2 to 3 seconds in that size tank is nothing, you really need pressurized for that setup to get consistently high level of co2.

It's not only fish that produce ammonia, it's decaying plant tissue as well so it just adds fuel to the situation. Not sure what you did with the amazonia, but if you had been disturbing it when planting and not doing water changes a good amount of ammonia would be released. A combination of ammonia and light causes algae in most situations.

3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
@Asteroid First of all thanks for the reply.

I'll have the co2 system later this month, i also ordered an inline diffuser with it. I guess with the help of the co2 system the light amount will be acceptable. So that should be 2 birds with one stone.

Regarding the fish load/decaying plants, idk what to say, the ammonia or the derivates (no2, no3) do not reflect in the weekly tests that i'm doing. Thanks for the tip, i'll water change when planting from now on, even though the fish waste does not drop below the sand usually. I vacuum the sand on top weekly.

Btw those grey bristles on the vallisneria plants is that staghorn? it does not grow more than 1-2 mm.
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