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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have gone through pretty much EVERY SINGLE type of algae you can think of with this **** tank. And just when I thought i am finally home free, there is another major outbreak. Yes that hairy looking **** in the tank suppose to be my driftwood. The only thing i did was bury a few seachem root tabs all the way to the bottom of the substrate.

really losing confidence in my ability to setup planted tanks, never ever had this many problems in my previous setups. Not sure what i am doing wrong.
 

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The only thing i did was bury a few seachem root tabs all the way to the bottom of the substrate.
You also recently increased your potassium. Which was a good call. :thumbsup:

But now that the plants aren't limited so heavily by potassium, it may be that they've increased their growth rate to the point where some other nutrient has become limited instead.

In fact, I think I see a bit of yellow at the tips of the older dwarf sag leaves, which may indicate a nitrogen deficiency.

Have you retested your nitrogen levels since you started adding potassium? Have you calibrated your test kit? Even if you answer yes to both, it might still be worth it to increase the Tropica to 3ml for a while and see what happens.
 

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O wow is that stuff only on the bogwood? Maybe it's related to the wood and not your skills. How long as the wood been under water? You'll get it stay positive.
 

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38w of t5HO lighting over this tank is a lot of light. A lot. So much that keeping up with co2 and ferts is going to be an ever present, never ending battle.


The formula for algae is simple: too much light, too little co2, too little nutrients.

Too much light is the easiest to manage. Raise the lights, reduce the photo period.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Re DarkCobra: Yes i have tested for nitrate often, sometimes twice a day. it's still in the 20-40ppm (dark orange). My autofeeder feeds quite a bit daily, dont think that's the problem.

Re: Ixiblue: Yes only on the driftwood, it's been in the tank for a few months already. Now that think about it in my previous tanks i never had driftwood only rocks. But it makes no sense, why would some wood cause algae to grow?

Regarding lighting, do you guys really think this is too much light? 38W/15gallon is barely breaking 2wpg especially for such a small tank with total watts <40w.

As to dwarf sags yellowing, i have no idea why but yes i start to see the same issue posted in my link although not as severe. I thought it's because NOT enough light since the growth is getting dense, but you guys are saying it's too much light. :icon_ques

This tank is just being a disaster, i cant even reset it with so much fish in there and the precious otos will surely die if i remove them.

thanks
 

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Yes, I know that the lighting is the easiest correct issue. The algae you are getting is due to too much light, too little co2 or too little nutrients.

IF your co2 and nutrients are high, your lights are too high.

Run the lights less, raise them up, consider window screen as a diffuser.... something or multiple combinations of the above.

Look up H2o2 dosing for spot treating to eradicate so you can move forward.


WPG is completely worthless. Especially with t5HO.
 

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It looks like the wood can be removed without disrupting anything. So pull it out, manually remove what algae you can, then boil it for a few minutes to kill the algae's roots before returning it to the tank. If there is still a serious tank issue, it may eventually re-establish itself, but at least it will set it back enough that it will buy you some time; and let you cool off enough that a hammer isn't an attractive option. :)

I have dwarf sags too. In my experience if they don't receive enough light, the entire plant pales. Not just the tips, which are typically closest to the light. So I don't think too little light is a problem.

Tests can sometimes just be flat out wrong, or seemingly detect nutrient forms which are unusable to plants. When plant symptoms disagree with a test, it's usually best listen to the plants. If you go to 3ml Tropica+ for a couple of weeks and plant condition improves, then not only have you solved a problem, but also have evidence that the test is misleading you. If it doesn't work, then nothing is lost.

You cannot estimate actual light by watts per gallon when using T5 bulbs. That rule is intended only for T8's. T5's are more efficient, and you can achieve high (or excessive) light with far fewer watts. I have a high light 46G with only 78W of T5.

So put WPG completely out of your mind, as it will only serve to confuse you. What's most important with T5 bulbs is the number of bulbs, reflector type and quality, and distance between bulbs and substrate. Unless I overlooked it, I haven't seen the latter two in this thread or the one you linked, so we can't make a proper estimate of your light levels; but it is indeed possible you have too much light.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi guys, i am using 2x aquaticlife 6000K T5HO 18W lamps inside the nova extreme strip.

I have set the bubble magus daily dose per the following:
3ML tropica +
1ML flourish iron
2ML flourish potassium
(that looks like a LOT of nutrient for a 15 gallon!)

Also dialed up co2 to 2 bubble per sec.

Only thing left is to rise the lights.

Unfortunately i cannot remove the driftwood it's buried in the substrate with all the dwarf sags roots tangled around it. If i remove it it will create a mess and no way to put it back. Dont think this is the solution I have used a powerbrush and cleaned off everything from the driftwood, but they just grow right back at insane speed.
 

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Since you didn't post the actual distance between bulb and substrate, I'll assume 15" for now based on the available info. At that distance, just one T5HO bulb with a good reflector will put you near the upper limit of high light, which shouldn't be crossed:

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/lighting/105774-par-vs-distance-t5-t12-pc.html

Based on the best picture I could find of your fixture, I would say it's not optimal and is losing some light. But it should still produce considerably more light than an optimal single bulb fixture.

I would aim for a 20" bulb to substrate distance. At least replace the legs (last I see they were removed).
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Since you didn't post the actual distance between bulb and substrate, I'll assume 15" for now based on the available info. At that distance, just one T5HO bulb with a good reflector will put you near the upper limit of high light, which shouldn't be crossed:

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/lighting/105774-par-vs-distance-t5-t12-pc.html

Based on the best picture I could find of your fixture, I would say it's not optimal and is losing some light. But it should still produce considerably more light than an optimal single bulb fixture.

I would aim for a 20" bulb to substrate distance. At least replace the legs (last I see they were removed).
LOL, i purposely removed the legs(a while back) and placed the light strip directly on top of the tank to get more lights. Because in the original hood it came with 2x24W PC light so i was afraid not enough light.

Could this be the root cause of all the problems? too much light? Will be putting the legs back immediately which should add a good 4" to the distance. As it is now the driftwood is directly below the light starting at 2", max distance between light and substrate is 10" :icon_mad:

wow i will be really hating myself if it's because of too much light, thought i followed plantbrain's advise pretty well about going low light high co2, and noone said anything in other threads when i posted my spec. Now you guys are saying i have super high light! :icon_mad:

thanks darkcobra will leave everything else static and report back the difference.
 

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Yes, excessive light will cause all sorts of problems, no matter how good your other parameters are.

Sorry no one caught that issue before this thread. Things sometimes get overlooked, but I'm a bit surprised because I had the reverse experience. Having listened to all the warnings about too much light, and before I knew about Hoppy's awesome chart, I erred too far on the side of caution and ended up with too little light to support healthy plant growth. Which also resulted in algae. When I posted for help, it seems like when folks saw "algae", they stopped reading further and gave the standard advice of reduce light, increase CO2; which only made things worse in my case. It was three months before someone paid attention to my actual tank specs and noticed the real issue.

Was frustrating then, but in retrospect I learned a lot from the experience.

Hope it works out, and will be awaiting your report.
 

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taken from http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/driftwood.php

What's that fuzz on my driftwood?

Quite often after driftwood is added to an aquarium, a white almost transparent fuzz will grow on it. This fuzz can appear several weeks to several months after the driftwood is added to the aquarium. Popular thinking is this fuzz is either a fungus or a mold. Either way it's harmless, unfortunately it's not pleasing to look at. Some people have had luck just brushing it off. Others have had luck by introducing algae eating fish, as they will actually eat it. Neither technique will guarantee preventing this fuzz from recurring. The important thing is to have faith, as it will eventually disappear.
 
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