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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I just managed to get over a staghorn infestation. It took quite a bit of pruning and peroxide to kill the bugger off, and also resulting in a mini cycle..

I have good filtration as I am filtering 1000L/h in my 200L planted tank.

Photoperiod is 6 hours long.

What is the best way to prevent this from happening again. There are some sites which say it appears in high flow and some say it comes in low flow. Im after what is best to do so it wont come back.
 

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Best bet is to focus on plant health while keeping the photo period in check.

Ideally:

You'll want to start off with only 5-6 hours of light per day on a lower intensity.

Cut away all dying / poor plant tissue, and replant all the healthy, new growth.

Focus on dialing in a quality fertilizing regime + water change schedule.

While this is going on, focus on plant health and remove any algae you see.

Consider dosing Excel / Met14 at the "after water change" rate on the Excel bottle (less if using Met14) once per day - spot treat any badly invested areas with Excel or Met14 or H2O2.

Clean out the substrate by gravel vacuuming open areas and any dirty filter media in old tank water.

Maintain large weekly water changes.

Buy more plants or increase the amount of plant biomass in the system.

Ensure CO2 is dropping the degassed tankwater pH by at least a full 1.0. Ensure you are around while messing with CO2 because this is how fish get gassed if we aren't near by to pay attention.



This should help keep algae at bay. You'll never stop it from completely coming back, but you'll be on top of it if it does.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I had to dose with peroxide which ended up throwing me in a mini cycle. I did a 25% water change yesterday and 50% this morning and the nitrate is lowering finally.

I used to does with Seachem products: Flurish, Excel, Potassium and nitrogen. I have a feeling that dosing with Iron after every water change is what kick started my staghorn. Since then I decided to stop the seachem regime and I got hold of the Evolution Aqua Planted food fertilizer, but not sure if I should go back to the seachem regime as it has flurish and excel..

Really confused right now

Also when the Co2 goes off I have an airstone which goes on for the whole night till the CO2 goes back on
 

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My advice when it comes to fertilizing regimes:

Pick a brand / product(s) that contain all the essential macro and micro nutrients and stick with it.

If we focus on the fundamentals early, we can get away with vast amounts of various fertilizing methods.

Lighting - Keep limited at the start, slowly increase after a few months.

CO2 - Ensure the degassed tankwater pH is being dropped at least a full 1.0 from CO2 every day.

Maintenance - Large weekly water changes, removal of organics, trimming of unhealthy plant tissue and manual algae removal. Ensure source water is adequate for growing the plat species you have. Ideally you'll want a low KH with a moderate amount of GH. That said, planted tanks can be successful with a high KH and high GH too.

If these are in check, we can get away with essentially any nutrient regime:

Fertilizer - Ensure you've got all the bases covered with a good all-in-one like Thrive, or ensure NO3, PO4 and K are being dosed with any product(s) you like along with a good micro mix.
 

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My advice when it comes to fertilizing regimes:

Pick a brand / product(s) that contain all the essential macro and micro nutrients and stick with it.

If we focus on the fundamentals early, we can get away with vast amounts of various fertilizing methods.

Lighting - Keep limited at the start, slowly increase after a few months.

CO2 - Ensure the degassed tankwater pH is being dropped at least a full 1.0 from CO2 every day.

Maintenance - Large weekly water changes, removal of organics, trimming of unhealthy plant tissue and manual algae removal. Ensure source water is adequate for growing the plat species you have. Ideally you'll want a low KH with a moderate amount of GH. That said, planted tanks can be successful with a high KH and high GH too.

If these are in check, we can get away with essentially any nutrient regime:

Fertilizer - Ensure you've got all the bases covered with a good all-in-one like Thrive, or ensure NO3, PO4 and K are being dosed with any product(s) you like along with a good micro mix.
Everything @Quagulator said and a heavy emphasis on the "Large Weekly water changes". Aim for higher than 50% would be my suggestion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I was doing a water change of 30% weekly - I should increase that to 50% then..

Also I was looking into the 2hr Aquarist nutriants anyone use them here?

Never used Thrive to be honest - are they better than Seachem and do they have the equivalent of Excel to combat Algae or not?

TBH im still new to this hobby and there are so many things I am learning on a daily basis so if you tell me Thrive is the best fert to go for then that is what I will go for..
 

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I was doing a water change of 30% weekly - I should increase that to 50% then..

Also I was looking into the 2hr Aquarist nutriants anyone use them here?

Never used Thrive to be honest - are they better than Seachem and do they have the equivalent of Excel to combat Algae or not?

TBH im still new to this hobby and there are so many things I am learning on a daily basis so if you tell me Thrive is the best fert to go for then that is what I will go for..
50% would be better yes.

Thrive is an all-in-one fertilizer that many people find / claim as a good option. You can use Excel alongside Thrive without issue. I think there is a ThriveC which contains the same stuff Excel has. Thrive is much better than the Flourish lineup.

Ideally, you'd want to build your own.

This would be a very good starting point using DIY dry fertilizers:

KNO3
KH2PO4
K2SO4
CaSO4
MgSO4

These are dry fertilizers that you mix into a solution, or dose them directly. It's best to use a cheap jewelry scale to measure out these by weight.

KNO3, KH2PO4 and K2SO4 will cover the macro nutrients, and CaSO4 + MgSO4 will be for secondary nutrients into your RO water.

Then you can go with Flourish Comprehensive + Flourish Trace for your micro nutrients.

Target this into your tank once per week (assuming weekly 50% water changes):

15ppm NO3 using KNO3
5ppm PO4 using KH2PO4
20ppm K using the sum of K from the first 2 plus K2SO4


This website will allow you to enter your information, and it will tell you how much to dose.

For example: your 200L aquarium, you would dose this once per week (right after a water change):

4.89 grams KNO3
1.43 grams KH2PO4
3.78 grams K2SO4

Then, dose this once after a water change, and then every other day until the next water change (total of 4 doses):

12.5mL Flourish Comprehensive
12.5mL Flourish Trace

For you 50% water change water (100L), you would dose:

8.49 grams CaSO4 = 25ppm Ca / 3.5 dGH
12.68 grams MgSO4 = 12.5ppm Mg / 2.89 dGH


If you use the DIY fertilizers, you can customize to your tanks needs. They are cheaper long term compared to aquarium specific fertilizers.

If you did the above, it would be a very good starting point to build off of.

What is your substrate?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Wow thanks for that detailed reply! I am a bit hesitant on dosing dry ferts for now as still inexperienced. I don't really care if the ferts are expensive I just want something that works and balances my tank and keep algae at bay.. will increase the water change to 50% from now onwards. Will also look at thrive as a good fert to dose. Scared that with dry ferts I can do more damage than good
 

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Wow thanks for that detailed reply! I am a bit hesitant on dosing dry ferts for now as still inexperienced. I don't really care if the ferts are expensive I just want something that works and balances my tank and keep algae at bay.. will increase the water change to 50% from now onwards. Will also look at thrive as a good fert to dose. Scared that with dry ferts I can do more damage than good
You'll be fine. Find yourself a good reliable Mg scale that can get down to the thousandth's like this here! I myself use a Mg scale that only goes down to the hundredths and works alright to be honest.

Take note of all your doses, so that they will always be spot on.
 

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Dosing DIY dry fertilizers is the exact same as aquarium specific fertilizers.

They offer more control over your dosing.

The only thing tougher is sourcing all of them, but once you have a pound of each ingredient, you are set for years.
 

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I notice that George Farmer says 50% per week or more water changes. For his aquariums that usually have an extremely light load of small fish. Where water is very abundant and I mean cheap,scapers say daily water changes of 50% or more. Then,you have a few who just plumb a water line and toilet float like devices for constant water changes..how much per day it came to I don't remember. But not enough to need treating.
All that for algae free aquariums that you see featured on the net and magazines.
I myself see that weekly changes and hold strong to no more than 8 hours of light and keep well below 80f will do a number on algae. Plus,clean the filters every water change.
 

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Get some dosing measurement spoons and use those to dry dose. You do not need to pinpoint the precise amount if you are dosing EI and doing your weekly water changes. Measuring each dose with a scale is not necessary when you already get a good estimate of the correct amount using spoons via rotalabutterfly website.

also, you dont need to clean your filter after every water change. That’s overkill unless you have an inadequate filtration. Once a month or more should suffice.
 

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Lol I only clean my filters when a) I'm having issues b) when I noticed organics in the column c) when I do plant maintenance. Other than that it's maybe twice a year. I try for every 3 months but I won't lie- I forget, especially on non planted tanks.
 

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True in fish only tanks or only small fish tanks you can go much longer on changes and cleaning. But plant tanks with fish you feed 2 or 3 times a day like with full grown 5" Rainbow fish?..Water changes to keep algae down is numero uno defense against them.
I wish I had thought of a sump made of plywood and lined with heavy pond liner ( I have that too) and then a overflow box that hangs on without drilling into the aquarium when I reset this tank up 3 years ago. Would have given me all the room for media and great aeration of the water.
 

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Not quite sure what Stan510 is saying, but one weekly water change is enough and you don’t need to clean your filter after every change.

True in fish only tanks or only small fish tanks you can go much longer on changes and cleaning. But plant tanks with fish you feed 2 or 3 times a day like with full grown 5" Rainbow fish?..Water changes to keep algae down is numero uno defense against them.
On the contrary, small tanks need just as much maintenance and attention as the volume of water can create a lot of fluctuations in your water chemistry. Easier to mess up than a larger tank. And tanks that are fish only need a ton of attention as well. When you have plants in the tank, especially a fully planted one, the plants aid in the filtration by using the Nitrogen and Phosphates from waste and food and mulm etc. I’d stay away from feeding your fish 2-3 times a day. I feed my fish maybe two or three times a week. Too much food = too much organic waste that will feed your algae quicker than your plants.
 

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No,believe me smaller IS easier! A 10 gallon with HOB filter and internal sponge,the right lighting and plants and one Betta fed only live worms and shrimp? Is something that can go weeks with just top off water.
A 500 gallon with one 36" Pacu fed well?...is mucho bucks in equipment and time to keep clean!

OFR rescue had to emergency order a pool heater for $1500,and glad to have it. A Danio tank? Maybe just raise room temp to 72 from 68..lol. Or cheap small heater.
 

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My 40b low tech planted requires way more maintenance than my turtle tub. That being said performing maintenance on smaller tanks is a lot less intense. If you keep up with siphoning excess at feedings single species large tanks with messy eaters isn't really that hard at all, provided you have adequate filtration. You need excessive amounts of filter space for these set ups because they don't have the benefit of biological filtration through substrate and plants but when done right you don't need weekly water changes and there's a heck of a lot more room for error in a larger set up. Personal experience with barebottomed cichlid breeders and pond keeping is where I'm coming up with this from.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thinking about it, I have an airstone which goes on 30 mins after my co2 goes off. This remains on throughout the night and stays on till 30 mins before the lights go back on. Basically its on for 16 hours. Could this possibly promote Algae mainly staghorn?
 

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I just read someplace,somewhere, the claim that extra Iron causes heavy growths of BBA and I would think Staghorn.
No proof and I wont stop the iron since the results are seen in 48 hours unless you have a constant dosing system and that would be great to have. One gadget I could use.
Besides,plenty of people have BBA and never add iron.
 

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Not quite sure what Stan510 is saying, but one weekly water change is enough and you don’t need to clean your filter after every change.



On the contrary, small tanks need just as much maintenance and attention as the volume of water can create a lot of fluctuations in your water chemistry. Easier to mess up than a larger tank. And tanks that are fish only need a ton of attention as well. When you have plants in the tank, especially a fully planted one, the plants aid in the filtration by using the Nitrogen and Phosphates from waste and food and mulm etc. I’d stay away from feeding your fish 2-3 times a day. I feed my fish maybe two or three times a week. Too much food = too much organic waste that will feed your algae quicker than your plants.
You feed your fish 2-3 times a week?
What kind of fish are they and how long have you had them?
 
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