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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

I have noticed some algae which I believe is staghorn. It is really the only algae problem I have right now and I would like to get rid of it, or at least understand what is causing it.

Tank Stats:
10g,
2x 16w T5 (one 10k, one plant bulb) - 8 hrs total per day, 4 hrs on, 4hrs off, 4 hrs on, 12 off
CO2 about 1 bubble per sec (although my CO2 setup is that awful fluval mini one with the unreliable regulator, so in practice it is 1 bubble every 1-5 seconds depending on how much I adjust it).
PH - about 7.4 or 7.6
DHK - 6
DGH - 6
(Boston water)
Nitrate - between 5-10ppm

Ferts/Substrate
I dose seachem trace weekly per the instructions, so about a half capful for my 10g.
Substrate is Eco Complete red.

Maintenance
Water changes - 40-60% every week

Fauna: 1 betta, 6 harlequin rasboras

First off... I know my irregular CO2 dosing has to be part of the problem. I am trying to find someone who carries the Taam CO2 regulator for paintball canisters but I can't find it online anywhere. For now I am stuck with this piece of crap fluval CO2 "system" with the 16g cartridges.

Getting the CO2 under control will probably lower the ph which I am sure will help...

I wonder if I have enough water circulation in the tank. I have an aquaclear 20 running at full speed. I had it mounted on the side of the tank (expelling water lengthwise across the tank) but I found that it was creating a lot of current, so I put it back to mounted on the back and expelling forward across the width of the tank. I question my water circulation patterns due to all the mulm buildup.

Other issues: I have a piece of bogwood in there that despite multiple boilings makes the water quite tannic after only a day or so. I have no doubt it is decreasing the amount of light to the bottom of the tank (would explain why my glosso looks like sh*t). There is also a tremendous amount of mulm in the tank. It gets stuck on the plant leaves (although easily brushed off), in the plants, etc. Maybe I have too many plants and since this is a new-ish (2 months planted) tank it could just be a process of the plants acclimating to the tank. I don't know. I removed the bogwood as the mulm was ALL OVER IT (wish I took a picture) and will see how much it accumulates over the next week.

Here are some pictures of the algae and the mulm. I just did a 40% water change to give you an idea of how much mulm there is in there.

Algae is the branching stuff coming off the giant hygro leaves - it is very firmly attached



More of the same algae with some mulm attached (out of focus, sorry)





Mulm mulm mulm!






Also, I travel a lot and am frequently away for 4-5 days at a time. The lights are on a timer but during this time the CO2 will basically stop (thanks again, fluval). My girlfriend does her best to stop in and check the CO2 but clearly I just need a new CO2 setup.


Any help is much appreciated!!

Thanks!
 

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You look like you have fuzz algae getting out of control and if you are seeing staghorn near the surface or around equipment with flow this is normal. There are two fixes you can go through at this point. You can either:

A. Try to figure out how to make your water algae proof by way of testing, overly managing ferts, and finding a good lighting solution... OR

B. Fix/replace/repair your Co2 system. Consistent Co2 is your best algae defense and allows you to "overclock" many aspects of your planted tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks! I agree that I should get my CO2 squared away first. I am not the kind of person who will test the water for ferts every day to get the perfect balance. So it looks like CO2 is the place to start.

That driftwood has been out of the tank for less than 24 hours and already the water has stayed so clear! I have no doubt that the glosso on the bottom is getting a lot more light as a result. Given that I boiled that log twice and it still leaches like hell, is there any chance of me using it in my aquarium? I kind of like the tank without it now though... but I'd like to know if it's just too much tannins for a small tank.

Thank you again :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
An update... I got a proper pressurized CO2 system and a drop checker. Drop checker is showing "green for good" - but the staghorn algae is out of control.

I was doing a pretty funky lighting regimen (4 hours on, 6 hours off, 4 hours on), which may have not been particularly helpful. I've changed that to 8 hours in one fell swoop.

I've decided to stop dosing Iron due to issues with long green hair algae, and let the iron enriched substrate do its thing. If I start to see signs of Iron deficiency I will add it in again.

Nitrates are 10ppm currently.

And I have a TON OF blue green algae!! :(

I learned that I should be dosing phosphate and haven't been doing so. I am going to pick some up within the next few days.

But my tank has severe algae problems... and I'm wondering if I should do a blackout too.

Advice??

Thank you :)
 

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You can use erythromycin for the bga. I've heard total blackout works as well. In my case I upped my CO2, started dosing nitrates, and it went away in about a week. I'm also struggling with a staghorn infestation, but I think mine is because I'm still trying to make my CO2 consistent.
 

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I've had the same issue when I put some "crush and run" rocks in my tank. Remove the rocks, the stuff goes away, put 'em in, the stuff comes back. I learned that the rocks I used have very high iron content. It wouldn't surprise me if your extra iron is making this stuff grow. You have VERY little, compared to my giant nest of green algae everywhere.
 

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I had staghorn algae during the first couple weeks when I started off my TWO planted tanks. Just like diatoms they went away on their own. Excel works too, just spot treat them. Is your set up new?
 
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