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Re: Algae Paranoia?


I'll answer this one because my tank is (was) very similar to yours. I have
a 46 gal that used to have 90 watt of normal fluoro light (3 X 30 watt), 
laterite+vermiculite substrate and yeast CO2. A little higer kH, a little 
lower gH, same temp and pH (after CO2 injection), PMDD, high fish load. 
I also started with heavy planting and a plant mix similar to yours. IME that 
light level wasn't enough to fight algae, I got a little (or a lot, depending 
on the type) of everything. It really started to get better only after I 
replaced the double fluoro strip with a double 55 watt PC fixture (keeping 
the single fluoro fixture in place). This upped the light level to 140 watt, 
eventually killing all algae except in a few places where some stubborn green 
spot still lingers around. 

As for the nana (anubias, I presume), mine got entirely covered with that 
filamentous black stuff that *can't* be removed. I prunned some leaves but 
new growth got infected as well. The only way I found to fix it was to move
the plant to an emersed culture box. My first large sword was eventually 
pruned beyond recognition to get rid of infected leaves. IMHO slow growers 
and plants with long-lived leaves have no place in a new tank. In a new
tank I wouldn't care too much about the looks (the aquascaping) and would
instead spend more real state to keep fast growers that can effectively fight 
algae and help achieve that elusive balance. Then, in time, when things 
eventually get stabilized, slowly replace the plant work force with plants we
really want to keep in the long run. Now in retrospect I can say that my
tank reached that balance point at about the 6th month.

My suggestion would be to increase the number of fast growers, eventually
removing plants that don't help in fighting algae and just get covered with
it. Then, wait. If things don't improve in a few *months*, thinker with the 
lighting. In the meantime, keep the most regular routine you can (feeding, 
fertilizer, water changes, etc)

-Ivo Busko
 Baltimore, MD