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[APD] keys to an algae-free low-light tank
My apologies to all if this made it to the list already. I posted it during the changeover, and either I didn't get a digest or it was lost in the shuffle:
For my first foray into planted tanks, I decided to take it slow (read:low
light) at first and get the knack for an "easier" setup before going
to a faster tank.
Easier. Ho ho. Anyway, after 3 months I'm continuing to cycle through
different types of algae and not really finding the sweet spot. At first, it
was BBA. I cut a lot of that out and continued on. Then, green fuzz on the
glass, followed quickly by green spot. Only one Anubias in the tank is not
covered in spot algae, and it is at the bottom under the driftwood. Now, it's
brown algae. I have an otocinclus that looks like a tadpole with dropsy. Poor
guy is completely overwhelmed. Note, all these have not replaced their
predecessors, but maintain embassies all around the tank. I've tried a number
of little tweaks, changing the lighting from 30W NO to 36W PC, some CO2, some
fertilization. Rather than upset the balance in the tank any further, I've
decided to pull the CO2, no ferts (except perhaps Flourish if things improve).
Now, on the positive side, the plants have grown pretty well. Anubias are
putting out new leaves about every 3 weeks, crypts are growing very well.
Balansae and spriralis hit the surface and came back down. The tank looks
really good if you don't get too close.
There is a pretty famous routine for dealing with a high light tank, (e.g. CO2 +
ferts ala Tom Barr's estimative index & 50% weekly wcs). I don't see much with
respect to what to do with low light tanks. Most folks seem to say they do
very little, few water changes, no ferts, no CO2, and manage to have little or
So my question is the subject line. Anyone willing to offer some guidance is
very much appreciated. I am going away this coming weekend and think I'll do a
trim/clean tank & filter and black out the tank to start over. Will be
incorporating suggestions as they come. Have listed parameters below.
pH 7.0, KH 1, GH 2, zero NO3, PO4 .2 ppm
20g XH (same footprint as a 10g, but 24" tall)
KH 8 (from Onyx sand substrate)
pH will change, just pulled CO2 where it was 6.7
currently have a twin tube NO fluorescent that will be going into service on the
tank after the blackout (30W total) with one tube GE P&A, the other a
pretty heavily planted in a large variety of Crypts, Anubias, Java moss and
fern, Bolbitis, ludwigia and some dead pellia
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