02-20-2012, 11:07 AM
Join Date: Jan 2008
| | Help w 70 gallon algae control
I have a 70 gallon tank (18 inches tall) that has been set up for ~5 months. I have a pair of apistos and ~10 corys and ~10 serpae type tetras that I feed once a day. I have ADA soil and inject CO2. The lighting is 130 watts of CF (19 inches from the substrate level) and a 24 watt T5 (again 19 inches from the substate). (I removed an additional 130 watts of CF lighting 4 weeks ago when I first starting having algae issues.)
About a month ago I removed most of my fast growing Alternanthera reineckii 'Rosaefolia' because it had hair algae at the top of the plant (at water's surface) and because it was getting 'leggy'. I kept only a few stems tops that I could remove the algae from and replanted them.
My problem is with continued and expanding hair algae and staghorn algae and spot algae. The hair and staghorn is appearing primarily on the long leaves of my Vallisneria spiralis (plants are anywhere from 14 inches to 30 inches so they have a large floating presence on the top of the tank) the amazon sword plants (including Echinodorus 'Ozelot Red') and very heavily on the Aponogeton crispus (and the plant's flowers - again, leaves ~20 - 24 inches long and floating on the surface) and the Cryptocoryne crispatula var. balansae.
I have manually removed as much of the algae as I can using a toothbrush and cotton swabs. I believe the problem, according to what I've researched here and elsewhere on the web, is 1) not enough circulation (the val, balansae and crispus are very dense in places), 2 poor macro nutrients (I don't fertilize except root tabs) and 3) low CO2.
I am ordering some small powerheads to improve circulation, especially in 'dead' spots where there is no water movement at the surface. (I currently have a 2213, 2217 on the tank). I will also increase water changes from ~25% once a week to 2-3 times per week. I will readjust the CO2 injection to get better consistency and I will start using Excel Flourish with each water change. (I don't use any test kits on the tank).
Does this sound like a reasonable approach? Also, if I trim the crispus leaves at substrate level will the plants grow back? What about the balansae?
Any assistance is appreciated!