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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A few weeks ago, I was having trouble with brown algae. Even though it turned out to be not as bad as I had thought, it was still bad. Eventually I happened to find the thread on algae, and organic pollution.

So today I replanted the few stems I have left of Alt. R. I started out with over 120 stems that were in really bad shape. But I got them all for fifty cents; I will not complain about that. I now only have a few over twenty stems left.

Since I had picked out most of the dead leaves, and stems as they began to die off, I figured I had gotten most of them. What ever I didn't pick out with tweezers, or by hand, I got out during water changes. Yesterday, while moving the substrate around, I noticed a huge chunk of dead roots. Today while I was replanting, I moved a LOT of substrate around. Guess what! A LOT of decaying chunks of roots from the Alt. R. were still there.

I fanned the water with my hand to get as much of it out. There were dead roots floating EVERYWHERE! I didn't panic, since today is one of my water change days. I remembered to use Prime, again. I only use RO water, but, since I bought it by mistake, I've been using it to help protect my new shrimp from any of my mistakes. After seeing the horror of all the floating organic matter, I was sure not to forget dosing Prime.

I hope this was the reason why my nitrates kept going up so fast. If this is the case, I hope to see quite a change, at least after the next water change. Even though I do 30% water changes each time, the flow rate of the hose I use never seems to give me enough time to suck out everything I want to get out. But if I got a smaller diameter hose, it would probably not suck enough out anyway.

Anyway, one thing I learned is that when I see a dying plant, from now on I will not only pull out the stem, I will also check for any roots it may leave behind.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Hmm... Idea!

I'm thinking of stirring up the water, and cleaning up the intake sponge daily. Since the sponge is not my main biological filtration, I just use it to filter out large particles so they won't get in the filter, I don't see it affecting the the cycle enough to be a concern. The mix of stirring up the substrate, AND cleaning the filter... that may be.

Thoughts?
 

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Hmm... Idea!

I'm thinking of stirring up the water, and cleaning up the intake sponge daily. Since the sponge is not my main biological filtration, I just use it to filter out large particles so they won't get in the filter, I don't see it affecting the the cycle enough to be a concern. The mix of stirring up the substrate, AND cleaning the filter... that may be.

Thoughts?
Is the tank being cycled now?

How is everything now?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The tank had cycled several weeks ago. I lost track; maybe two months ago. The brown algae was gone within a week. I imagine it was because of the substrate I moved around.

I plan on doing that to give the shrimp something different to eat, from time to time. I figure I can do small portion of the substrate once a month.
 
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