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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am setting up a tank (24"x12"x15"). I've got about 50 guppy fry growing up in a tiny breeding net and this tank will be in my office basement for them. I bought only the tank and a 2x24 T5 light. I already have a bag of Prodac Fondo Vivo iron rich substrare, some Tetra Plant Initial sticks, and some fine washed white gravel to go on top. I also have a small cotton box with power head running in another tank for a few weeks to seed.

The idea is to keep cost down and use this tank to grow the guppy fries. I have a lot of plant cuttings and excess plants from my other tanks so I want it to be fairly heavily planted, without CO2. I am hoping to sell the guppies once they are big enough and replace them with another batch of fry. That should hopefully pay for the food at least.

From my previous set ups, I remember facing hair algae for the first few weeks. The algae seemed to double overnight. Is there any way to avoid this and have an algae-free tank right from the start? This is going to be a guppy only tank so no SAE.
 

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Like most initial setups, just stick with the basics. Get some good fast-growers in there to suck up extra nutrients. I also like having surface plants like duckweed to pull real fast, plus they pull directly out of the water and don't compete for CO2 with the submersed plants. Otherwise just be smart about reacting to what goes on in the tank. Adjust any lighting, water changes, ferts, etc. as you go. Unless someone else has the magic wand and isn't telling anyone, that's my advice.
 

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Hi gsparsan,

I agree with eco-mod about the fast growers and floaters. In addition I start with about a 4 hour light period. I also start with about 1/2 of normal fertilizer dosage. Possibly with your substrate, no ferts at all at first. I increase my light period about 30 minutes per week, watching for signs of algae blooms. If algae looks like it is starting to really take hold, I cut back light by a hour (and ferts), wait a week, and start increasing again a week later. It's not always successful, but it works pretty well for me. To do this well, a timer to plug the light into is almost a must!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I was going to get a timer anyway. I'll try the reduced photoperiod and increase gradually. As for ferts, I'm hoping to not add any for a while.
 

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IMO best way would be setting up the tank with the water from your other tanks and performing water changes of at least 30% twice a week. Hand removing of any alg you may see will also help in early stages.
 
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