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Discussion Starter #1
I am plagued with sting like algae. I am at a loss! Is it just new tank syndrome or am i missing something? The tank has been up for about a month which i know is nothing in the grand scheme of things. All of my other tanks have been running for years and i dont recall ever getting an algae bloom to this extent in the beginning. So let me give you guys a run down of my system, h20 parameters, fertilizing dosing methods, and livestock.

System: ADA 60-p (roughly 17-18 gallons), eheim 2215 ( i have a extra bag of carbon cause i never really liked carbon pads, and a bag of seachem phosguard in the canister.) 9 watt UV in line on the return side of the filter, 200 watt inline heater. 150 watt hqi ADA solar 1 for lighting. pressurized co2 on a timer with an ADA beetle diffusor. I also have the cal aqua x double drop checker. I am also using RO/DI water for water changes, and Kold-steril auto top off. Both have relatively brand new filters/membranes.

H2O param's:
NH4+ = .001ppm (colorimeter)
NO2= .002ppm (colorimeter)
NO3= 10 (elos kit)
ph = 7.68 (ph meter)
gh= 3 (elos kit)
temp= 26 C (TL1A Series thermometer)
(I have access to high precision testing due to my line of work. I am not that crazy to spend that money on my fish tanks hahaha. well maybe i would be but i dont have to :) )

Live stock
5 x amano shrimp
3 x rasbora het.
for plants i am only growing dwarf baby tears.

For ferts i am using pfertz. I am dosing the recommended dose for a lightly planted tank as they advise to do on their website.

Am i missing something? why is my algae so horrible?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
i forgot to add that the algae got worse since i started dosing the ferts. is this the possible cause. I think the algae is outcompeting the HC and maybe the reason the algae is thriving. Also would like to add that i cut my lighting cycle back to 4 hours a day in attempt to slow the algae growth. Should i leave it at 4 hours? cut it back more? or increase it? Should i stop using the ferts? change the amount i am dosing or change the amount of an individual fert?
 

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Why are you using carbon and phosguard? Both of these ideas seem wrong to me. Plants require micronutrients which are effectively removed by the carbon. A phosphorus defeciency will often favor the formation of algae as well.

We can debate the ins and outs of algae and nutrient levels forever, but in simplest terms, if the plants are happy, algae do not proliferate.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
im not looking to debate anything i am looking to solve my problem. i have been only keeping reefs aquariums for the past x amount of years. In a reef tank po4=bad! if you think the phosguard is actually the contributing factor than i will remove it and see if there lies the issue.

as for the corbon i added it to clear the cloudy water. it is probably expended by now anyway since the tank has been running for a month or so.
 

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Oh, I'm referring to a fairly old argument that existed in the world of planted aquariums about 5 or 10 years ago. Back then there were a group of people who insisted that the key to controlling algae was to limit phosphate levels.

Unlike in reef systems, it's been pretty convincingly proven that phosphate is an essential nutrient to healthy plant growth. I wrongly jumped to the conclusion that since you were using Phosban, that you were still of the "old school" mindset that removing phosphate would "fix" your algae issues.

Most of us with higher-light systems and CO2 supplementation add nitrate and phosphate on a regular basis. This concept seems outrageous to reef people, but the plants sure appreciate it.

If you take care of the plants first, you'll find algae issues to be much less of a problem. In general, more CO2 and a balanced system of macro (N, P, K) and micro (mostly Fe, but also B, Mn, Mg, etc.) fertilization will take care of the needs of the plants.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
so i should stick with the ferts, go back to a full light cycle, can the carbon, and can the po4 remover? then in due time the algae will start to recede?
 

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Well, that's a good start. It looks like you're already using pressurized CO2. Make sure you're using enough.

Generally, establishing good conditions and healthy plants will prevent the formation of new algae. Pre-existing algae will need to be manually removed, along with any plants that aren't exhibiting good health and vibrant growth. It can be a slow process, but if you focus on growing healthy plants you'll have 90% of the battle won.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
well i am using pressurized co2 and according to the drop checker it appears that i have the right level of co2...

I have been removing algae as much as i can manually with forceps and by hand. The plants are new and are just beginning to root so i dont want to pull the plants to remove the algae so i am using the forceps as much as a can for the algae growing on them. i removed the phosguard and the carbon from the filter. So i guess i will keep you posted on the progress.
Thanks for the help.
 
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