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I set up my tank a few months ago but I get a brown algae on my monte carlo and s. repens. It doesn't wipe off. I also get green film on my glass but clean it every water change. I have low biomass at the moment. I was afraid to introduce more but I'm thinking that may be part of the problem? Is this diatoms? It does not seem to affect most of my other stem plants leaves except myrio, which turns brown too! Any help and solutions would be very appreciated. Thanks so much you guys, have a good day. :)

The tank is 24x18x18"
Co2 is on 10am-7:30pm
My lights come on in stages but are on for 71/2 hours a day with all of them on together for 7 hours of that time.
I do a 50% water change every 4 days. (bad?)
I have 3 T5HO 24" and an Ecoxotic E-series 24" 22" from soil.
My parameters:
Nitrates: 20ppm
Phosphates 3ppm
Ammonia 0ppm
Gh 4
Kh 3
Ph 6.3
Co2 30+
I'm still not sure how to measure Mg to Calcium ratio.
I dose: N,K,P, Fe and trace.

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Nitrates are a bit high. I think for your phos it should be at 15, don't quote me on that. Maybe try dosing lean? If you're using an active substrate it could be saturated and you don't need to add a much to the column.
 

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Try Seachem Iron to make the yellows go away. Then you need more plants to not only compete with the algae but to shade it out also.
I like Bacopa and C. balansae to take on algae. Background plants. Plus- fish wont pick them to pieces like they will Cabomba or Ambulia or some other stem plants.
 

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The water parameters look right. I just read in an old thread that T5HO are good for growing algae when you want to grow it. I wouldn't change the lights though. I'm sure they're good lights. I think @Stan510 is right about this. Give your plants some more plants to reduce the algae. I think your tank looks pretty good FWIW.

EDIT: Are you dosing micros @tinydanger?
 

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I'd start with CO2...you mention under your parameters that you have 30+ ppm CO2....any idea what your pH drop is from the addition of CO2? You want at least a 1.0 pH drop (from degassed water) via the addition of CO2
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'd start with CO2...you mention under your parameters that you have 30+ ppm CO2....any idea what your pH drop is from the addition of CO2? You want at least a 1.0 pH drop (from degassed water) via the addition of CO2
Took me awhile to get back to you! There is easily a 1.0 ph drop when I was adding less co2. I ended up turning down the co2 a bit though because I don't think it was degassing enough and wasn't fluctuating as much. Don't know if it's helpful or not but my kh/ph was clocking like 90+ ppm co2 which just seemed silly. Ottos didn't care though. Don't have any other livestock.

The water parameters look right. I just read in an old thread that T5HO are good for growing algae when you want to grow it. I wouldn't change the lights though. I'm sure they're good lights. I think @Stan510 is right about this. Give your plants some more plants to reduce the algae. I think your tank looks pretty good FWIW.

EDIT: Are you dosing micros @tinydanger?
Sorry it took so long to get back. I added more plants, more K and upped phosphates to about ~6 ppm and there seems to be improvement with the plants but not so much the diatoms. It's mainly on the montecarlo and billowly stems like cabomba - makes it look dingy. I also figured out my ca:mg ratio and started to add a tiny bit of Mg. :)
 

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I’m running into the same problem and found that dosing more ferts has helped me, but my macro levels were much lower than yours. I don’t seem to have any other algae other than the diatoms and green patina on my rocks. I imagine my lights are too intense and could cut down the photo period even further. I run 7.5 hrs with an hour siesta in the middle. I read a long time ago that plants are much more efficient at “turning on and off” photosynthesis so having a dark period in between can give plants the advantage and minimize algae growth. Does it really work? Not sure, but anecdotally it seems to be helpful for me.
 

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All your parameters are fine and your set up is good. I would try eliminating the Exotica light; three T5s are fine for that tank. Being a new set up its not unusual to get algae. I agree that you need more plants; you said you added some, let's see a picture, you may still need more.

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