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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all.

My son and are have started our first planted tank after years of keeping fresh water fish. We are having a massive algee bloom!
Our setup:
65 gal / with overflow
Fluval 404 filter
2 X 96W C.F. lighting
3" Eco complete substrate

Our goal is a planted Discus tank with South American biotype. For now we just have a variety of swords and a some tetras, oto cats, corys etc. for cycling.

The tank has been up for about 3 weeks with 12h light / day. The plants show no growth. Over the last few day we have experienced massive algee growth (long green type on glass + driftwood. )
I know we need CO2 and am shopping around for the equipment. I thought the Eco would supply enough nutrients at least for start up.
I know that unused nutients will cause algee growth.

What should I be doing besides expediting the CO2 equipment??

Any help appreciated.

Thanks,

Mark
 

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Mark, don't get discouraged. I struggled with algae in my first planted aquarium.

From what you have indicated, I can offer a few suggestions. First, I would suggest reading this article (http://www.aquatic-plants.org/est_index1.html). I suggest you begin fertilizing the water column. Target the ranges mentioned in Tom's article. With experience one can fine tune the levels to meet each aquarium's needs. I learned a great deal of information related to planted tanks from visiting this and other forums that Tom Barr is known to frequent. I can attest to his method. It works!

Second, I strongly suggest that you supplement with CO2. There are many individuals that keep the "low-tech," non-CO2-enriched tanks with great success. I find that CO2 supplementation affords one the opportunity to select from a greater variety of plants in designing an aquascape. You mentioned that you are in the process of looking for CO2 equipment. Until you find a pressurized system, I suggest going the DIY route. This is a link to a good recipe for DIY CO2 injection (http://www.aquatic-gardeners.org/Nyberg_yeast.ppt). With your cannister filter, you may want to consider building a CO2 reactor. You can find many designs for a reactor in this forum's archives. After using an in-line reactor with my cannister filter on both the in-flow and out-flow side of the filter, I determined the out-flow to be much more quite and equally as effective. My favorite reactor looks like this (http://www.rexgrigg.com/reactor1.jpg), and can be built with parts that are available at most hardware stores.

Third, I suggest cutting your light back to ten hours per day. That should be sufficient to keep your plants happy, and will contribute to holding the algae at bay.

I'm sure I've missed some things, so hopefully our fellow members will contribute their suggestions or correct me if I've inadvertently provided misleading information.

Good day,

Rob G
 

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Mark,

Welcome aboard, and as Rob said, don't be discouraged. Your new tank set up, however, is practically selecting for algal growth. He gave you some very good info.

If it were me, I would do the following. First remove as much algae as you possibly can manually. Then do a massive water change. Until you get CO2 going, I would splurge and buy some Flourish Excel (a carbon source, but pricey for the long run). Dose the Excel according to directions. I would also start a fertilization scheme. You can't starve algae, but you can the plants and when you starve the plants, look out for the algae! Add enough nitrate to reach around 10ppm, and phosphates to reach between 1-2 ppm. Also add some micronutrients (Flourish, Plantex, there's a variety of these on the market). Do a search here for dosing directions, you'll find lots of info.

Be sure your tank is well stocked with plants. Make sure some of those plants are fast growing stem plants. I too would cut back to 10 hours of light. You have enough lighting there to grow pretty much anything you want.

You need to have some kits to determine your pH and KH, at the least. These will give you your CO2 concentration when you start CO2. It wouldn't hurt to also have a NO3 and a PO4 kit, but beware some of the cheaper ones sometimes aren't very accurate.

We've all gone through algae bouts, hang in there and good luck. Keep us posted on your progress.
 

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I have found that one of the best ways to help in the algae battle in a newly set up tank is lots of floating hornwort. It will cut down on light intensity and act as a "nutrient soak" as well. Once the algae is in check you can start removing the hornwort and replacing it with other, different types of plants.
 

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Sir_BlackhOle said:
I have found that one of the best ways to help in the algae battle in a newly set up tank is lots of floating hornwort. It will cut down on light intensity and act as a "nutrient soak" as well. Once the algae is in check you can start removing the hornwort and replacing it with other, different types of plants.
Hornwort is also allegedly allelopathic to algae, meaning that it releases chemicals that are toxic to some algae.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Test Kits

What are the recommended test kits. I have the basics (pH, gH, kH, nitrite, nitrate, ammonia)?

Mark
 

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Re: Test Kits

phil4nugen said:
What are the recommended test kits. I have the basics (pH, gH, kH, nitrite, nitrate, ammonia)?
Mark, it sounds like you have all that you need. I rarely use anything other than the pH, KH, and NO3 test kits. Once an aquarium is established and demonstating a desired growth pattern, then I only use a test kit if I expect something to be out of the desired range or if I am conducting an experiment.
 

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I would get a tap water report, and a lamotte co2 test kit. Nothing else is necessary right now. If weird problems arise, and i doubt it, then you should look into the other test kits. No point in wasting money, and test kits do expire.
 

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A PO4 test kit will come in handy also.
 

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ShaneSmith said:
I would get a tap water report, and a lamotte co2 test kit. Nothing else is necessary right now. If weird problems arise, and i doubt it, then you should look into the other test kits. No point in wasting money, and test kits do expire.
I'm curious as to why you would recommend a CO2 test kit? I just measure KH and pH...
 

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Way more accurate, i dont like things that depend on colors. Too much relies on the eye of the beholder.
 
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