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Re: Subject: Yet another beginner trying to beat BBA

Jason (a fellow chemist) <camara at chemistry_ucsc.edu> wrote:

> Subject: Yet another beginner trying to beat BBA
> Yet another beginner trying to beat BBA.  I have a 6 gal System Six Eclipse
> tank that I have tried to set up for plants. I set up the tank 2 months ago.
> The substrate is gravel with Laterite.  The lighting was initially the 8
> watt T5 fluorescent that is standard in the hood. No CO2 initially.  Water
> parameters:

I've got the same tank, Jason, with the same light and no CO2. 
Flourite as a substrate.

> pH 7.6
> NH4/NH3/NO2 0ppm
> NO3 5-10ppm
> PO4 unknown
> kH 8-9 dkH
> GH 15 dGH 
> 76 ­78 F

Looks good
> Needless to say BBA appeared fairly quickly.  I went looking for help and
> landed here.  I set up DIY CO2 and swapped out the lighting for a
> CustomSeaLife CSL22 that has a 9 watt and a 13 watt compact fluorescent
> bulbs (7100K).  For a while looked as though I was winning, but things have
> started going down hill once more.  This is where Iım at now.

Wow! That's bright. I got the 13w CF from AHSupply (6500K). I had 
it hooked up for about a week and that booger was bright. I finally 
figured it was too bright for such a little volume of water. With 
rocks, plants, etc., I think my tank holds a little under 5 gallons. It 
was under 3 w/gal, but looked as though it was 10w/gal! I grew 
every kind of non-wanted plant there was. I've got java moss and 
vals and several J.dickfeldis as residents and my parameters were 
a lot like yours. I finally swithed back to the T5 8w bulb and things 
have calmed down a lot. It still grows BBA and hair algae on the 
vals that float right under the light, but the overall algae growth has 
slowed greatly.  I think the 8w light could grow most average plants 
(my vals attest), but I also think it'd be harder to do than in a 
bigger, normal-sized tank. The light is just so bright over a small 
area. The "rule" of 2-3 w/gal really doesn't fit on smaller tanks, at 
least for this one. I guess I don't have to tell how fun it is trying to 
clean steadfast algae from acrylic walls ;-). Try the lower watted 
light and see what happens. The plants may not grow as fast, but 
with CO2, that's still not a concern. What may be a concern is if 
everything DOES work out with the 9w and 13w light with CO2. 
You'll be in it every other day clipping hydrocotyle and bacopa. It 
doesn't take a lot to fill 5 gallons. 

Also, give the tank some time to settle in. Some algae growth is 
going to be normal at the beginning. You've rinsed and moved 
things around and it'll take a little time to restore harmony. Good 

Jamie    <"\\\>< Aquatic plants, water chemistry, and cichlids
Greenwood, SC     http://www.ais-gwd.com/~jjirons