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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

My 20 gallon is facing a HUGE algae issue right now. The infamous BGA has taken over and it's a losing battle on my side.

I believe that there are a few reasons for this but I don't have enough confidence to make any decisions yet.

For one, there's most definitely excess nutrients in the water column. My tank isn't "overflowing" with plants so this doesn't really seem outlandish to me, although I am making weekly water changes (50%). The other reason would be the lighting. I have an Aqueon 30" T5 Dual Light Fixture with 2 6700k bulbs. There used to be one colormax and one 6700k, but they aged and I finally replacd the colormax bulb with a new 6700k bulb. In other words, I have one new 6700k bulb and one year-old 6700k bulb.

So, here are some of my concerns: Is the year-old 6700k bulb the main cause of this BGA outbreak? If I were to replace this bulb, would I want to get another 6700k bulb or get a different one-- colormax for example? Is this enough light to sustain the amount of growth my co2 and EI dosing method could allow?

I have some dwarf hairgrass in there (a 20 gallon long, so not too deep) and I'm afraid my lighting isn't sufficient enough.

Any help is greatly appreciated, you guys have my six time and time again.

Additional info:

-stock: 2 peacock gudgeons, 2 otto's
-plants: amazon sword, water sprite, wisteria, anubias nana, hairgrass, rotala, and micro sword.
-EI dosing: 1/16 tsp KH2P04, K2SO4, and PLantex CSM+B 3 times a week on separate days
-CO2 about 1 bps 24/hr (recently added a power head to chop up the bubbles and add some current)
-two 20-30 gal HOB filters
I also recently rescaped the tank with some additional substrate (Eco Complete separated by regular sand), the current scape is about a month old

Here's a pic BEFORE the BGA outbreak and before the hairgrass and rotala (which are in the white sand). The plants have also grown quite a bit.
 

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Can't answer your light questions, but that seems like some heavy dosing for a small plant load. Do you dose KNO3? Sometimes low nitrates can lead to BGA, as can excess organics. What are nitrate and phosphate levels in the tank?

Have you tried a three day blackout? Erythromycin may be a last ditch effort to get BGA to resolve...but you must address the cause for it not to come right back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Can't answer your light questions, but that seems like some heavy dosing for a small plant load. Do you dose KNO3? Sometimes low nitrates can lead to BGA, as can excess organics. What are nitrate and phosphate levels in the tank?

Have you tried a three day blackout? Erythromycin may be a last ditch effort to get BGA to resolve...but you must address the cause for it not to come right back.
Nitrites are zero and I don't have a phosphate tester. I'm considering the 3-day blackout like you said, but I'd like to find the cause first.

Are there any specific plants that will grow fast and suck up some of that nutrients?

Thanks.
 

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Yeah, EI dosing for that tank is 1/4 tsp KNO3 3 times a week and you are not dosing any. That coupled with a very small fish load means you are not getting many nutrients from fish food and what you do get is completely used up. EI is supposed to dose a good bit extra so you never run out of any one nutrient.

In my 20 gallon I dose 1/4 tsp KNO3, 1/16 tsp KH2PO4 and 1/4 tsp K2SO4 3 times a week and 1/16 tsp CSM+B 3 times a week on alternate days.
 

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I would replace the old bulb to be on the safe side, usually they only last about a year before they become less effective. Good luck with the algae battle, a blackout or peroxide can work quite well.
 

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Way too much light / not enough plants.

Need more plants. High tech tanks don't work unless you have the plants to take advantage of it. Running high tech on easy low-consumption plants does not work. Adding CO2 and ferts does not mean that any amount of plants can handle all that light.

The BGA will 100% come back unless you lower your light and add more plants. You can nuke it with peroxide but I guarantee you it will come back under those conditions

Your options:
- Scale back your lighting and fert dosing (keep the CO2) and run much lower light
- Add a LOT of more demanding plants.
 
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