The Planted Tank Forum banner

1 - 2 of 2 Posts

7 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have a 90 gallon freshwater community tank, and haave some general questions about the tank, algae, and my fertilization. Picture of my tank attached.

Since early this year (2016) I've been running a tank with the following equipment:

90 Long (24" tall)
Eheim Professional 3 (450 gph)
Aqueon 700 gph circulation pump
Hydor inline heater
CO2 with inline diffuser on the filter output
Substrate ADA aquasoil (with powersand under, and powder on top)
BuildMyLED MC Series - Dutch Planted Tank 6300K (90deg beam angle) - should be around PAR 80-90 at the bottom of the 24 inch tank.
Tank runs 75 degrees.
stock: siamese algae eaters, cory cats, neon and bleeding heart tetras, oto cats, dwarf gourami.

First, the story- then the questions.

I dose GLA PPS-Pro ferts, 9ml of the Macros, and 0.9 ml of the micros solution once per day. I do one weekly 50% water change.

My photoperiod is 6 hours, tank gets minimal indirect sunlight during the day- its in the basement as far away from windows as possible.

I recently had a major outbreak of what i believe was staghorn algae (long fibrous black stuff).

After weeks of trying to fight it the manual way removing what i could manually and increasing CO2 (my dropchecker was already green before increasing), THe stuff just wouldn't die. It did seem to keep growing, and my SAE was munching on it, but it just didnt seem to be going away. I think it was also regrowing a bit.

My water parameters were generally okay prior to the outbreak. I didn't test for the first 2 weeks of the outbreak (mistake). But, when I did, I had high Nitrates, which I believe can be a buffet for algae.

Out of frustration, I did an overdose of flourish excel (like 3x the suggested dose) as suggested by randoms on the internet. This was another mistake. Now, the algae started to die in a few days, turning pink. However, I lost 3 fish- 2 cory cats, and a bleeding heart tetra. When that started to happen, I did 50% water changes, 2 days in a row. And then another water change (25%) a few days later.

Since then, everything has been stable, and oddly enough my plants have never looked better. Everything is bright green and growing strong.

I've continued dosing flourish excel, the recommended dose, but every other day.

So, long story short: i killed a bunch of algae, and a few fish, after an algae outbreak.

Now for my questions.

1. Even though my dropchecker was green, was my co2 possibly too low? I'm afraid of gassing my fish so i've been reluctant to increase. Plus the water already looks fizzy enough as well. My bubble counter was bubbling at a rate that i couldn't really count so hard to guess the bubbles per second- maybe 8? My intuition is that if my plants are doing so well now that i'm putting in flourish, then my CO2 was too low before.

2. Is it okay to continue flourish along with the PPS ferts and CO2 injection?

3. Some green algae remains on my driftwood (not hairy stuff, just regular green algae). Should I wait and see if it dies out on its own? Or should I take action?

4. For anyone else who doses PPS, do you dose 1 ml of macros and 0.1 ml of micros per gallon once per day? It feels weird dosing out less than 1 ml of liquid for my 90 gallon tank. Also, their previous recommendation was for much more, at 1 ml per gallon (to match the macros), now my micros bottle lasts almost 10x longer than the macros (which means i throw away a good bit of micro solution when i make fresh batches according to their recipe).

My major question is, what likely caused the outbreak of staghorn? I would absolutely love to never have that problem again.


21,012 Posts
My opinion is that 80-90 PAR is a light level suitable only for very experienced planted tank hobbyists, who are extremely reliable at doing all of the routine maintenance needed to use that level of light. I didn't notice any of your plants being very high light demanding plants, so I don't think you need that much light. The more light you have, once you get beyond medium light, the more likely you are going to have algae problems.

If you have that much light you can't just rely on a drop checker to say you have adequate CO2. You should have the experience to be able to nudge your CO2 level up to where it is optimized for your set-up, and a drop checker isn't of much, if any, value in that process.
1 - 2 of 2 Posts