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HELP! Staghorn Algae!


You have a number of parameters that need to be balanced. You're providing
2.6watts/gallon but not providing an environment where the plants can
utilize that much light. I would suggest that the first and simplest step is
to unscrew one of those light bulbs until you get other things set up
properly. There's no use keeping such a high light load if your plants can't
use it to their advantage. Once you get things running in balance, you can
up the wattage again. Getting things in balance can take as quickly as a few
days or take as long as eternity. All depends on what you have available and
are willing to do.

The plants need the co2 if you expect them to utilize the light and
photosynthesize. With a pH of 8.2 - and your confession of removing co2
altogether is a problem. Get the co2 running. Keep the yeast generator
recharged every couple weeks. Are you using an airstone in the tank for the
co2, a bell jar, power head, feeding it into filter or what?

Next, print these two pages, read them, laminate them and hand them near
your tank for reference. http://www.sfbaaps.com/reference/barr_02_01.shtml

As you will see from reading this article, you need to have balanced
fertilizers added to the tank. Don't keep dosing the Seachem, since your
plants can't use it. Get your co2 going, use the pH,KH chart to guide you
will co2 levels. Once you get the co2 levels up, then you can start dosing
the ferts and get the watts/ gallon up.

At this time, don't worry about how the plants are looking and wondering
what deficiencies they have. You problem with the tank is with some basic
set-up issues. Get the co2 going, get the ferts balanced, let the plants
grow, then learn to 'read' them for signs of deficiencies.

Continue to test for pH, KH, No3, Po4 to get a better understanding what is
happening in your tank. Do weekly water changes 30-50% perhaps.

Keep the list posted with changes you make and how they affect your tank.
Keep asking questions.


[[[[[I am having trouble with poor growth of some plants and luxuriant
growth of staghorn algae.  Tank parameters: 10 gal. with two 13W screw-in CF
lights Set up in January 2003
Substrate: Fluorite (replaced gravel 2 months ago)
Fertilizer: Seachem Flourish--once a week, amount according to the
directions on the bottle
pH: 8.2
GH: 1 degree
KH: 15 degrees
Ammonia: 0 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrate: < 5 ppm
Fish: 2 black mollies, 2 panda cories, 4 guppies
Plants: Water wisteria and some other form of Hygrophilia, Rotala, Java
Fern, Vallisneria

Oh, one more thing--I used a yeast-soda bottle source for CO2 for awhile,
but quit when the staghorn algae started getting out of control about a
month ago.  Should I start it again?  Should I go without CO2 or fertilizer?
I'm really at a loss, this is so new to me!]]]]