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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
While away for a week, my DIY CO2 set up broke. The bottle cap was cracked and leaks now. So I came home to my planted tank that is now loaded with a gooey-looking algae growing on the plant leaves - even snail shells!

Anyway, I got the CO2 setup because I was having troubles getting plants established. Well they're established now. In a big way. So I am wondering if I could just take a scissors and trim out those leaves with algae and let it go without CO2.

From what I've read it is CO2 fluctuation that causes the algae - not necessarily a lack of CO2. Or will the algae just keep growing back if I don't get my CO2 system fixed?

I have a 30 gallon tank with an Amazon Sword, Crypts and Dwarf Saggitaria. A half-dozen male guppies and some celestial pearl danios, a couple ottos, a couple nerites, and a few cherry shrimp.
 

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Yes, you should be able to grow those plants without CO2, but algae can also grow without it too. If you switch to a low tech tank, you will probably need to adjust your other parameters accordingly - the plants will grow slower, so they will need less light and fertilization as well. You're going to have to work to clean up the algae you have and bring your tank back in balance no matter which path you take.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, you should be able to grow those plants without CO2, but algae can also grow without it too. If you switch to a low tech tank, you will probably need to adjust your other parameters accordingly - the plants will grow slower, so they will need less light and fertilization as well. You're going to have to work to clean up the algae you have and bring your tank back in balance no matter which path you take.
ok I don't add liquid ferts, and I can cut back on the light. Can I dose with seachem excel to kill the algae, or will I then be committed to regular doses because it's like adding co2? Or should i go at it with the scissors as planned?
 

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Algae can grow with and without CO2. It usually shows up when there is some imbalance in the aquarium. Without CO2, you are looking at moderate to low light, or possibly high light with an incredible diversity of plants (including emersed), and whatever nutrient conditions suitable to what’s growing. It’s a game of balance, regardless of whether you inject CO2.
Excel can be a mild deterrent to some degree. Most low-tech folk will dose it at 2x the recommended dose. However, going above that could cause problems with certain plants and fish/inverts.
 

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Yes, I would absolutely recommend manually removing as much algae as possible, including removing heavily infested plant matter. I have never used Excel before, but I have spot treated with hydrogen peroxide in conjunction with other management strategies (reduced light, increased tank cleaning) to bring an algae disaster to heel and found it to be a big help. I don't dose it regularly though.
 

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Algae is just a lower form of plant life and will grow where/when ever there is enough light and nutrients, regardless of CO2. Plants compete with algae for nutrients and CO2 is like speed for plants...so when it quit, plant growth slowed so algae had a window opportunity.
I don't like Excel although I used it once to fight some dreaded black beard algae.
In any event, without the CO2, you need less ferts and light - plants grow slower, but algae should reduce. In the meantime, houskeeping to get the algae in check. :)
 
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