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Discussion Starter #1
I'm having some algae problems. First, my tank specifications and water parameters:

30 gallons
2 WPG (1 Hagen AquaGlow tube, 1 FloraGro tube)
ADA aquasoil substrate
DIY CO2
10 neon tetras
2 cories
2 Bolivian rams
1 oto

Ammonia and Nitrite 0
Nitrate 10 ppm
pH 6.5
gH 3
kH 1
Phosphate 0

I've been dosing twice weekly with the recommended amount of Flourish, and every other day with Excel. I do a 30-50% water change once a week. The filtration is an AquaClear 70. I had been keeping the light on for 12 hours, but based on what I've read on this forum since the algae problem started, I've cut it down to 10. The tank is what I would considered well planted, in that I would find it difficult to add anything else. I have a lot of fast growing stem plants, as well as some plants like cryptocoryne and some swords. All of my plants have been growing like crazy since I started the tank. There didn't even appear to be an adjustment period for most of them, so as far as I can tell, the plants are very happy.

In the tank, I have two pieces of Malaysian driftwood. The driftwood was where the algae started, and for a long time it was confined to it. It started as what I'm assuming to be hair/fuzz algae. It grew almost exclusively on a certain piece of driftwood, and even now it stays mostly there (I think it recieves more light than the other piece). Two weeks ago I noticed that this same kind of algae had started to grow on a few of the highest reaching stem plants, on leaves right below the surface. It was easy to remove and by pruning the plants and replanting the tops a little lower, the algae doesn't seem to be getting problematic. I hope it stays that way, but any advice to ensure that would be appreciated. I also have some green spot algae growing on the glass and on a few of the older leaves of my tropica swords, but not enough to be bothered by between water changes.

So, the big concern I have is some blue green algae that started probably about three weeks ago. Originally, it was again confined to the driftwood, but this time grew on both pieces. I was a little worried at first, but it seemed to just grow in small amounts in a few spots. However, over the three week period, it has gradually increased. Other than the driftwood, it started growing on some pieces of ADA powersand that had ended up on the surface of the substrate after some maintenance (it's been there practically since I first set up the tank). It hasn't reached what I would consider epidemic proportions, but a few days ago I noticed that it had also started growing on some plant leaves. The last thing I wanted was to lose a bunch of plants to this algae, so I cleaned the algae off meticulously, did a water change and started using some Maracyn to kill the BGA.

But, I know it will come back if the cause of it isn't addressed. The problem is, I don't know the cause. I'm inclined to think that the idea of a lack of current is bunk. There is a moderate amount of current throughout the tank, except for maybe one corner where it's pretty still, but the BGA isn't even a problem there. Other causes I've read are high pH or kH, but obviously that isn't the problem in my tank since both are low, or poor water quality. If I have poor water quality, then it must be in areas I have no tests for, because as far as I know the above are all good. So, I'm left with the idea, based on what I've read on this forum, that it's due to a nutrient problem, but I'm not sure how to solve it. I'm far from being a chemist or whiz at math conversions, and every time I've read a website claiming to have a solution to algae in a plant tank by adjusting nutrients, my brain just kind of shuts down. So, I want to fix this, but I'm not so sure how to go about it. Any recommendations, or am I totally off base with this being a nutrient problem?
 

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First thing... pics would be helpful. 10 hours is still a lot of light, how heavily planted is it? Usually dosing to the recommended levels would do well for moderately planted tanks, but if you have swords and crypts, it may be too much throwing your tank off of whack. Cut the light a little more, you're not home for 10 hours a day right? Algae should subside when you find the right light/dosing regime.

Careful, maracyn to kill BGA ought to kill off your biofilter.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well, I have some swords and crypts, but I also have tons of fast growing stem plants (they make up the bulk of the plants in the tank). I'm monitoring the water parameters because of the maracyn. I've used it before in another tank and didn't have problems with the biofilter, but I'm being cautious. How much light would you recommend? A lot of things I've read about planted tanks say 10-12 hours, so that's why I had picked that range. Also, any pointers on how to adjust the dosing regime would help. I'm not against not using a premade product like Flourish, as long as it doesn't require too much calculating to figure out how to do it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the links, they are both helpful. Another question, though: Both of the links refer to "high light" tanks with CO2. Everything I read seems to give me mixed messages on what kind of light 2 WPG qualifies for on a 30 gallon tank. I see people that say anything less than 3 WPG is "low light," and others that say 2-3 is moderate light, and yet others that claim that even 2 WPG is "high light" and that anything else is excessive. The plants have been growing like crazy, much faster than I thought they would, so I have a hard time believing I really have a low light tank, but high light seems like an overestimate. Since I'm going to try to figure out a good dosing regimen based on this, I'd be interested in hearing what anyone else here would consider my set up in terms of light.
 

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As far as my research goes the WPG rule doesn't seem to be applicable anymore. I think it depends on the type of light. I'm still trying to figure out the lighting thing. Rex seems to be very knowledgeable when it comes to lighting. Maybe someone that knows more than I could help with your lighting question. Sorry I couldn't be of more help.

Check out this site. Rex's Lighting Guide
It might help. I'm gonna go back to reading it....
 

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I'm having some algae problems. First, my tank specifications and water parameters:

30 gallons
2 WPG (1 Hagen AquaGlow tube, 1 FloraGro tube)
ADA aquasoil substrate
DIY CO2
10 neon tetras
2 cories
2 Bolivian rams
1 oto

Ammonia and Nitrite 0
Nitrate 10 ppm
pH 6.5
gH 3
kH 1
Phosphate 0

I've been dosing twice weekly with the recommended amount of Flourish, and every other day with Excel. I do a 30-50% water change once a week. The filtration is an AquaClear 70. I had been keeping the light on for 12 hours, but based on what I've read on this forum since the algae problem started, I've cut it down to 10. The tank is what I would considered well planted, in that I would find it difficult to add anything else. I have a lot of fast growing stem plants, as well as some plants like cryptocoryne and some swords. All of my plants have been growing like crazy since I started the tank. There didn't even appear to be an adjustment period for most of them, so as far as I can tell, the plants are very happy.

In the tank, I have two pieces of Malaysian driftwood. The driftwood was where the algae started, and for a long time it was confined to it. It started as what I'm assuming to be hair/fuzz algae. It grew almost exclusively on a certain piece of driftwood, and even now it stays mostly there (I think it recieves more light than the other piece). Two weeks ago I noticed that this same kind of algae had started to grow on a few of the highest reaching stem plants, on leaves right below the surface. It was easy to remove and by pruning the plants and replanting the tops a little lower, the algae doesn't seem to be getting problematic. I hope it stays that way, but any advice to ensure that would be appreciated. I also have some green spot algae growing on the glass and on a few of the older leaves of my tropica swords, but not enough to be bothered by between water changes.

So, the big concern I have is some blue green algae that started probably about three weeks ago. Originally, it was again confined to the driftwood, but this time grew on both pieces. I was a little worried at first, but it seemed to just grow in small amounts in a few spots. However, over the three week period, it has gradually increased. Other than the driftwood, it started growing on some pieces of ADA powersand that had ended up on the surface of the substrate after some maintenance (it's been there practically since I first set up the tank). It hasn't reached what I would consider epidemic proportions, but a few days ago I noticed that it had also started growing on some plant leaves. The last thing I wanted was to lose a bunch of plants to this algae, so I cleaned the algae off meticulously, did a water change and started using some Maracyn to kill the BGA.

But, I know it will come back if the cause of it isn't addressed. The problem is, I don't know the cause. I'm inclined to think that the idea of a lack of current is bunk. There is a moderate amount of current throughout the tank, except for maybe one corner where it's pretty still, but the BGA isn't even a problem there. Other causes I've read are high pH or kH, but obviously that isn't the problem in my tank since both are low, or poor water quality. If I have poor water quality, then it must be in areas I have no tests for, because as far as I know the above are all good. So, I'm left with the idea, based on what I've read on this forum, that it's due to a nutrient problem, but I'm not sure how to solve it. I'm far from being a chemist or whiz at math conversions, and every time I've read a website claiming to have a solution to algae in a plant tank by adjusting nutrients, my brain just kind of shuts down. So, I want to fix this, but I'm not so sure how to go about it. Any recommendations, or am I totally off base with this being a nutrient problem?

You wpr gallon sounds like it way off. How many watts is each bulb? I am really sure that the bulbs are 30 watts each. They should be like 20 watts each giving you 1.3 wpg which would make it low light and not a high light tank.
 

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I solved my BGA problem by increasing the nitrate levels a bit (I don't know where they are as I have no test, I just increased the fish load), and cutting the light back to 9 hrs/day. I technically have about 4W/gallon, but a lot of that doesn't make it into the tank. I made those changes, cleaned out the existing BGA (it wasn't dying on its own), and it hasn't come back.
 
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