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107 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 45 gallon tall planted tank. Recently Ive been having some serious algae problems in which im not sure what i should do to balance things out and get the plants to grow. I want this setup to be fairly low tech, but i guess i wouldnt mind if it the plants actually grew. Here is the setup :

45G Tall | Dimensions : 36"l, 12"w, 24"h
1 x 96 watt Bright kit from AH Supply (6700K bulb)
1 Whisper 2 power filter | One Penguin Mini (put there to keep the bacteria alive since i hadnt a tank to put it on. I should just shut this one down huh?)
Substrate is Shultz APS bottom layer about 2", natural gravel top layer 1 - 1.5"
C02 - im not running any right now, but if needed i can plug up two 2L bottles connected to a hagen bubble ladder.
Ferts - none being dosed

Fish :
5 corys
5 Lemon Tetras
5 White Clouds Mountain Minnows
3 Sawbwa resplendens
1 Kribensis
1 Black Phantom tetras

Plants :
Amazon Sword (Echinodorus bleheri) - this plant is doing very poorly, the leaves are slightly yellowed with brown spots here and there.
Cryptocoryne wendtii 'red'' - hanging in but does have some green algae on the leaves
Cryptocoryne wendtii 'bronze'' - big plant i just received, planted yesterday
Jungle Val (Vallisneria americana) - been in for a while but hasnt grown many new leaves. The leaves are transparent brownish.
Hygro - one bunch was put in a few weeks ago and hasnt done anything but develop a very minut amount of algea on the top leaves.
Java Moss - just put in yesterday, very brown.
Java Fern - recently put in
Anubias barteria - one or two new leaves, this is the only plant that has shown some growth.
apon. bulb - has been in there for a week or two and it grew well at first but now it has stopped growing
mini watter lettuce - growing well

There are various other plants that i just received yesterday, looks like some rotala, some tropica hygro (never heard of it and it doesnt look the same as my hygro), and some other plant that i havent looked into ID'ing.

Water Parameters :
pH - 7.6
gh - 2
kh - 4
N03 - 0 -5 ppm range, this stays fairly low as i do a waterchange once a week

And here is a picture of the horrible looking tank :

As you can see there is quiet a bit of green and brown algae thriving on the back tank wall as well as the gravel. The one SAE i have is eating it but not nearly as fast as it grows. I wondering if i should get myself a pleco to help clean up ..

Here are two pics of the plants : - you can see the unhealthy vals as well as a great deal of algae on the tank walls and gravel .. - you can see the unhealthy amazon sword ..

So i beleive that covers everything. The piece of driftwood in there takes up way to much floor space so soon i will replace it with another piece once i find a good one.

My main priority with this tank is to get the plants growing before i aquascape or anything. Im a far ways away from that right now but as i said the aquascape isnt a priority now.

Im asking if someone can please give me a few pointers and suggestions as to how i should go about balancing this tank out a bit to get my plants to grow and flourish. There is a decent amount of lighting on the tank but im unsure how i should go about this now. The plants arnt healthy and dont seem to be growing so i dont know how i should best go about trying to get the plants to grow. So anybody please, i need to do something with this tank.


1,195 Posts
well it looks like u need some help so I will try. I think your lighting is a bit low, especially for a sword plant. They like higher lighting, probably 3 wpg or more. It appears like you have about 2 wpg. Also, for the 24" depth of your tank the lighting should be strong. I also think you need the Co2. Try to maintain 30ppm. This should deter the algea and promote your plant growth. Also, you need to fertilize regularly. If some plants do well in the beginning and then fade after 1-2 weeks then its because they have exhausted there internal supply of nutrients from their origianl tank and since you had not supplied any they are stunted now. I suggest lighting first, Co2 next and you have to fertilize. Depending on the damage and how bad the tank is you may not see any results for a few weeks. There are multiple threads here about fertilizing and lighting/Co2 methods. Good luck!

Premium Member
7,965 Posts
1) Hook up C02 and keep between 20-30ppm

2) Start adding KN03 to up your Nitrate to 10ppm

3) Test your P04 and keep it at 0.4 ppm

4) Keep lights on 10-12 hours per day.

5) Add Ottos, small Pleco and algae eating shrimp.

6) Add more fast growing plants, Hornwort works well.

7) Clean as much algae off by hand as possible, cut badly affected leaves off, scrub off decor and equipment.

8 ) Do 50% water changes each week.

9) After 2 weeks once the algae starts to die off start adding ferts, slowly.

Looks to me as if your not getting good plant growth to out compete the algae due to a lack of N03, C02 & ferts.

107 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Uh, i couldnt of asked for more thanks trenac. The list is perfect.

I just made a batch of C02 so ill have one 2L running pretty soon. Ill get another one hooked up once i get myself a T airline connector piece.

The nitrate as of now is 5 ppm. Ill leave it at that till the C02 is up and running then do a big waterchange and dose N03.

For P04 would seachem flourish be adequate. I havent looking into a test kit but will soon.

The lights are on for 12 hours already.

Ill get a few ottos next time i stop in a LFS.

Ive tried hornwort in the past but it deteriorated in a matter of days and made a huge mess.

Thanks for the suggestions ill follow them and see how they work.


Premium Member
7,965 Posts
Before adding P04 make sure to do a test first to see where your levels are, if they are low then you will need to add pure phosphorus, I use Seachem. You can use Fleet enama also but I have never used this method.

With the Hob filters make sure to turn the flow rates down so you will get as little surface aggitation as possible, to much aggitation and you will lose to much C02.

Did you plant your Hornwort? I does much better floating.

Glad to help!
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