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Re: [APD] keys to an algae-free low-light tank

> 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.

? The deal is the same. You might only add 1-2x a week instead of 3x a week
is all. Adding CO2 to 20-30ppm in a low light tank produces most excellent
results. 50% weekly water changes etc. Much less algae for the average
person starting out and easier/more flexibility/more error without issue.

> Most folks seem to say they do
> very little, few water changes, no ferts, no CO2, and manage to have little or
> no algae.

No, CO2? Now things/method need to change. Do not mix these two methods(CO2
vs non CO2/carbon enriched) together.

You might try using Excel, but you may as well use CO2 then.

A CO2 tank needs some dosing(NPK, traces), a non CO2 tank grows so slowly
that fish waste/food supplies the nutrients for the plants and also some
from the substrate(Some use soil, mulm, peat etc with gravel flourite
etc-generally non CO2 plant tanks have/can have deeper richer substrates).

The substrate issue of replanting is not as difficult since you are not
replanting nearly as much in a non CO2 tank.

But it requires more trial and error with plants and takes more time to
balance the tank out.

When you add CO2, you no longer can add enough fish waste/food to supply the
plant's needs. So you need to change methods, use water changes etc to your
Try adding 10-25% surface area with floating plants, eg water sprite, etc.
Don't do water changes, just top off the tank for evaporation losses.

Water change after pruning.
Add herbivores like Amano shrimps, SAE's.

These will be more effective per critter as algae will also grow slower in
these tanks.

Add more plants/some fast growing types like moneywort, Egeria najas, water
sprite, coon tail etc.
Consider adding another 15w/light or a PC light.
On a 20 Extra Tall, this is not that much light. 2-2.5 w/gal would do well.

Also, you might want to add a 1/2" of ground peat and maybe some mulm from
another tank to the bottom and cap with 3-4 inches of onyx sand.
Then you'll be up and running with the non CO2 approach.

Some fish loads:
2-3 SAE
10 Amano shrimps.
School of tetras, maybe 10-12 etc. School of cherry barbs etc.
A few Cory cats
Small Ancistrus type pleco

Tom Barr

> Tap Water
> pH 7.0, KH 1, GH 2, zero NO3, PO4 .2 ppm
> Tank
> 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
> Nutrigrow
> pretty heavily planted in a large variety of Crypts, Anubias, Java moss and
> fern, Bolbitis, ludwigia and some dead pellia
> James Brady

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