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seeking advice - to begin EI ferts or deal with minor algae bloom first

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Hi,

My 1 month old tank is going through a minor algae bloom. The water turned a subtle green last week.

My 120G is stuffed with crypts, ferns, swords, vals and bacopa. I upped the co2 and added some new plants today (camboba and red ludwigia). I didn't reduce my lighting because I only keep my 4x54W T5's on for 8 hours a day and my tank is 26" high. I think most would consider this medium light.

Do I start using EI ferts now or wait until the bloom is over?

Thanks,
Adam
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Yea start your frets, that's about on track usually around 1-2 months you'll get an algae bloom. Trick is to find the magic balance of ferts and photo period. Keep up with more water changes to help clear the water and also excel will help some. Don't use the cloudy water fix or algaecide products. A little patience and it'll pass.

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Water changes and frets should fix that, probably works worse in person. When this happens I used a UV filter and it cleared in a day. If not a choice excel and a large water change will help

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Dosing EI has very little to do with the bloom. You should have really started dosing right at startup depending on your substrate. Your giving your plants co2 and light, but not ferts to grow? The idea of the plants is that they grow and absorb organic decay which results in NH3. Your algae bloom is based on the NH3 in the water that isn't 'filtered out' either by the plants or organic removal media. Also if you ran your lights at 8 hrs out the gate that didn't help either, plus you already added fish. Water changes won't do much for an algae bloom, UV is the best or you can wait it out after getting the tank growing and keeping it clean and reducing light.
 

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Would consider 4 x 54 watt T5's fairly high lighting.
Agree with dosing fertz asap.With CO2, and this lighting,,plant's will be demanding nutrient's in a big way.
In their absence,,algae will proliferate.(in a big way)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
My "watts per gallon" (I know, unscientific) is probably under 2. Also consider the 26" height. Those 2 things together make me think it's medium light. I'm just considering what I've learned on this forum.

Thanks for all your comments. Very helpful.
 

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My "watts per gallon" (I know, unscientific) is probably under 2. Also consider the 26" height. Those 2 things together make me think it's medium light. I'm just considering what I've learned on this forum.

Thanks for all your comments. Very helpful.
Whether it's medium/high doesn't really matter, it's good light to grow most plants and algae so I do agree with Roadmaster.

Another thing to consider is that yes your tank is tall so your thinking the light isn't strong reaching the bottom where the plants are growing, but the problem is the light is reaching the other areas of the water column before it gets reduced so the algae that has developed throughout the water column is using 'high' light to grow.

Tall tanks are tough since you need to drive light to the bottom, but the footprint for plant mass is reduced. Most use stronger light to do this which makes it even more important to keep the tank pristine, by reducing light duration from the getgo, water changes, organic removal media and putting in as much plant mass as possible and getting them to grow well.
 

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I agree with house of cards.
Plant's are very good at using available light ,Much better than some seem to realize.
Much easier to start with perhap's lower level's and slowly increase the intensity,duration until such time as CO2 get's dialed in.
Even those such as Amano ,use way less light than one might think and if they use more,,,the light fixtures are often raised relatively high over the tank.
As mentioned,,plant's are very good at utilizing available light but if lighting is putting plant's into overdrive and CO2/nutrient's are not readily available for that which is driving their growth,, then algae which need's much less of everything,,will be the result's.
Many folk's won't move off their lighting which drives EVERTHING in planted tank.
They resort to treating the symptom's rather than the cause over and over as some new algae appear's.
 

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Frequent water changes are the KEY to a good well set up tank in th 1st 1-2 months, like 2-3x a week, 50-80%. Once the plants have grown in nicely, the CO2 is dialed in correctly, then the tank is very robust and algae is a minor issue.

Most never seem to tell new folks or seem to realize that this is part of how to set up a good CO2 enriched aquarium. I've been saying this for decades, but no one listens. PPS vs EI is not going to save you either, they both add the same things, WELL above any algal limitation values.

EI simply adds more than the plants could possibly need, the algae are not limited in either case, so you run a risk of limiting the plants with other water column fert methods. ADA As and nutrient rich(N and P)soils will also provide non limiting ferts for a few months for N and a few years for the other ferts(not Ca, K, Mg etc, but most of the others).

Since EI targets a higher range, you can simply use that and then progressively and slowly reduce it till you see a negative plant response.
Thus it is hardly surprising we might find some folks having success with less than EI, in fact, 99.99% of hobbyist would, but that's not the point of EI, EI, just makes sure that the FERTS are independent , thus you can focus on other things that you need to fiddle with: CO2, water changes and gardening.

The goal here is to grow aquatic plants and garden with them. Stick with your original goal:cool:

Folks seem to lose sight of that quickly. PPS has some issues, 1st, they seem to want to sell it as some method to avoid water changes while suggesting that EI requires it, both are hogwash.
If you dose a very lean fert routine, how do you even know if the plants are limited by ferts or not?
you have no reference to base that conclusion upon, you might be or not, thus there's dependence or a strong case for it, with such routines. EI avoids that. EI also strongly advocates water changes and does not blow smoke up your hind end about the need either. It's a much better thing to teach and instruct new folks on than avoiding them and trying to sell your method, if your method needs to advocate bad avice to sell itself to new folks............well, it's bad advice.

ADA/Amano, myself, ADG, Karen Randall etc, we all suggest frequent large water changes, we come to this conclusion after decades and all independently of one another.
It's much more simple and a better habit for folks keeping virtually all aquarium types. EI takes advantage of that and then it's one less issue to fret over.
Will EI save folks from poor CO2? No, not dosing method does that.

Start right, then modify down if desired. Not doing so does no harm also, but I see no good reason to continue to lard it on either.
You can also modify the water changes once you find that critical point, where dosing a little less negatively impacts plants growth, once you get there, then you can back off the water changes and go a lot longer between water changes.
But this depends a lot of other factors, like plant species, say all Anubias and only say 50% of the tank area planted, vs a high light packed stem plant tank.
Too much light is also a common problem.

As you can see, ferts are relatively a minor, but needed part in all of this.
 

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Frequent water changes are the KEY to a good well set up tank in th 1st 1-2 months, like 2-3x a week, 50-80%. Once the plants have grown in nicely, the CO2 is dialed in correctly, then the tank is very robust and algae is a minor issue.

Most never seem to tell new folks or seem to realize that this is part of how to set up a good CO2 enriched aquarium. I've been saying this for decades, but no one listens. PPS vs EI is not going to save you either, they both add the same things, WELL above any algal limitation values.

EI simply adds more than the plants could possibly need, the algae are not limited in either case, so you run a risk of limiting the plants with other water column fert methods. ADA As and nutrient rich(N and P)soils will also provide non limiting ferts for a few months for N and a few years for the other ferts(not Ca, K, Mg etc, but most of the others).

Since EI targets a higher range, you can simply use that and then progressively and slowly reduce it till you see a negative plant response.
Thus it is hardly surprising we might find some folks having success with less than EI, in fact, 99.99% of hobbyist would, but that's not the point of EI, EI, just makes sure that the FERTS are independent , thus you can focus on other things that you need to fiddle with: CO2, water changes and gardening.

The goal here is to grow aquatic plants and garden with them. Stick with your original goal:cool:

Folks seem to lose sight of that quickly.
I got away with weekly water changes the first couple months but co2 was blasted way up there. I didn't dose anything either. Cool to see you ongoing helping the forum, each read is new information.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
With the addition of a carbon filter, continued weekly water changes and dry ferts, my algae bloom went away. Here are some pics.



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