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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Everyone

Can you help me? I am very grateful for your resonses
In my Walstad tank I am running into trouble with steady algae growth that slowly overwhelms many of the plants. Plant growth is fairly slow and has been for a long time


The algae is attached, mostly ½” long and olive green. The tank is 2.5 years old and just a year ago I added a bunch of fast growing plants to try to discourage the algae. While the new plants initially did fairly well, now, almost a year later, they are dwindling .

The tank is 33 gals and is 12 inches deep. It has two TMC Gro-beam 600s for light. (too much light?) The lights are on a timer (6 hrs on, 4 off, 6 on) There is a soil layer capped with gravel. I have been running UV contiuously for disease prevention. An small internal pump and filter provide flow to the UV. I remove duckweed every 7-10 days.
The tank is lightly stocked ( 2 bronze cordoras,4 brilliant rasboras, 1 cherry barb, 2 dwarf gourami) . The water tests out at KH 7, GH 11, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 0, Ammonia 0, pH (high) 7.6 . I do a 30% water change every 8 weeks of so.

I have been using Seachem’s Equilibrium for GH and I know there is a danger of hydrogen sulfide in that. I probed the soil layer with a skinny stick and in 15 “pokes” released a few bubbles in 3 locations. I am currently organizing to use Ms Walstad’s recipe for maintaining GH.

Can UV treatment cause trouble like this? Or too much light? Or presence of hydrogen sulfide in soil layer?

Fall is here and I should order some more plants before it is too cold to do so. But before I do, I sure could use help figuring out what is wrong.

Many, many thanks
Plant Rectangle Wood Bottle Grass
Plant Terrestrial plant Sunlight Natural landscape Wood
 

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Looks like the light is too intense. You can lift the light up to reduce the intensity. The algae are black beard algae or staghorn. You'll have to manually remove them.
 

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Your tank is filled with lovely plants.

I would try a few things. Turn off the filter and UV. Turning off filter--even if just during the day-- will increase levels of the all-important CO2. UV is only important if you see disease or have added new fish to the tank or the tank has green-water algae.

If you order plants, consider getting some Frog Bit and/or Water Shield. These are stronger floating, water purifying plants than duckweed. I think you have more than enough rooted plants. You just need to get them growing enough to out-compete algae.

Stop adding the Equilibrium. Those sulfates could be doing major damage to your rooted plants that a little poking won't compensate for. Use my recipe or Wonder Shells. However, at a GH of 11 and with your infrequent water changes, you probably don't need to add anything for many, many months. So relax now about GH.

I'll be interested to hear how this tank responds to a few changes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for your suggestions. And they are easy to implement, which is great!
I am still wondering I have too much light but i do not know the rules of thumb for LED lighting. The specifications for the lights are 12 watts, 1029 lumens and PAR 61 at 400 mm in air per unit. I am running two units. The tank is 12 inches deep.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you Mr. Green. I have reduced the lighting somewhat by adding a layer of black window screen .

Is there anyway to determine whether using Equilibrium has ruined the substrate?. i tried to determine if there is alot of hydrogen sulfide gas in the substrate by poking it 15 times with thin stick. Doing so produced 2-3 bubbles in 3 locations. Doesn't seem like alot but maybe my method is useless.
If I need to tear the tank down and start with a new substrate, I need to do it soon, before it gets too cold in Maine to ship plants.
 

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Is there anyway to determine whether using Equilibrium has ruined the substrate?
Have you noticed any plants with black, slimy, stinky roots? Maybe you can look through the glass at any roots growing on the edge of the aquarium, or gently pull one plant up a bit to check. From your pictures at least I can see some healthy roots. You could also do some more periodic poking if you're worried. But sounds like things are not extreme enough to warrant tearing down everything.
 

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Thank you Mr. Green. I have reduced the lighting somewhat by adding a layer of black window screen .

Is there anyway to determine whether using Equilibrium has ruined the substrate?. i tried to determine if there is alot of hydrogen sulfide gas in the substrate by poking it 15 times with thin stick. Doing so produced 2-3 bubbles in 3 locations. Doesn't seem like a lot but maybe my method is useless.
If I need to tear the tank down and start with a new substrate, I need to do it soon, before it gets too cold in Maine to ship plants.
The Equilibrium will not ruin the substrate once you stop adding it. The sulfates will gradually be removed by water changes and H2S gas released from the substrate. Since yours is an established tank, it's possible that you are making the substrate too aerobic by unnecessary poking. The gas bubbles could easily be CO2.

I think you have enough plants.
 
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