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[APD] Heavy bioload is tough on a plant tank!

We often read that a heavy bioload is tough on a plant tank. Here's one example of why that's true.

My ancistrus bred unexpectedly recently. Their timing was awful because I didn't have any free tanks to house the fry, and I was just about to convert the plant tank to a Tom Barr system.

For over two months, I kept the 175 fry in a breeding net in the plant tank. Those fry ate more than 3x as much food as the rest of the tank combined. Every day they ate a half teaspoon or more of crushed spirolina flake food, 10-20 peas, and a thin slice of zucchini. The Barr system improved plant growth, but blue green algae was persistent.

Finally I cleared a tank for the fry and moved them out. The persistent blue green algae disappeared from the plant tank on its own, without a blackout or manual removal, after two weekly 50% water changes. Stem plants finally took off and started to crowd the top of the tank. The only change I made was to increase added KNO3 to keep the level at 5-10 ppm.

Now the plant tank is back to 30 tetras, 7 corys, 8 juvenile angels, four ancistrus, two loaches and some otos, which seems to be an easily sustainable bioload. At least until the angels grow up and I have to remove most of them!

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