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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
View attachment 73964 View attachment 73965
 

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I see nothing wrong with your tank. Next time you come across a bladder snail (sometimes called, pond snails), don't get rid of it. Put it in your tank and they will make short shrift of your green algae.
 

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What plants do you have?

The most common cause for algae is too much light. You could try reducing the hours your lights are on or reducing the intensity.

I've had hydrogen sulfide-related issues with Equilibrium in the past. I would definitely recommend using something else to change your hardness. Diana's recipe is great or you could use Wonder Shells if you can get your hands on them as they're a bit simpler.

Your tank is lightly stocked: does this mean you feed lightly as well? If so, perhaps the nutrients in the substrate are being used faster than they can be replenished by feedings. This could lead to the plants not growing as much. If you think nutrient deficiency might be a factor, there are a few methods on the forum for reintroducing nutrients to the substrate (you could just stick some root tabs in as well).
 

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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 .
These plants initially did well due to sufficient nutrients in the water. But as they used them up they ran into nutrient deficiencies that cause growth to slow or stop. Looking at your photos i cannot identify any deficiencies but that is not unusual for many deficienies. The nutrients plants need are nitrogen, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphate, sulfur chlorine (not toxic CL2 but in the form of a safe chloride salt). iron, manganese, boron, zinc, copper, molybdenum, nickel.

in your tank Tap water is probably the primary source for, chloride, copper, zinc.Try reducing the frequency of your water changes to 4 weeks. 8 weeks is a bit long and you might allow something to run your. If that nutrient is mainly form your tapp water it might be running low after a couple of weeks.
 
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