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I'm an algae farmer
Well, now that things have cooled down a bit... I could really use some
advice. I have applied my newfound APD smarts to setting up my new
70G plant tank. It looks like this:
Substrate - 3+ inches of sandblasting silica sand with laterite in the
bottom 1/3. Also buried Flourish Tabs evenly throughout.
Lights - Custom hood with 2 2-bulb 48" shoplights (160 watts, 1 Triton,
2 SPX50, 1 Chroma50 - all T12), on from 10am to 11pm.
Filtration - Aquaclear 500, using sponge only.
Water - pH=7.3 (tap water - Amquel only, no pH adjusters), KH=3, GH=5 (Tetra)
temp=76, Fe=~.1ppm (cheesy Red Sea kit), Nitrates<10ppm (even
cheesier Wardley kit), 6ml PMDD
daily, no CO2 (yet).
Plants - 6 swords, hygro (giant and dwarf), corkscrew vals, java fern,
rotala indica, anubias lanceolata, pygmy chain sword.
Varmints - one breeding pair of Marble Angels, 4 small gold superveil
Angels, 7 assorted Rainbowfish, and 2 Farlowellas.
It has been running for three weeks now. The fish are happy, the plants
seem to have gotten established and are now growing well...
I am rapidly becoming overrun with green (beard/hair/thread?) algae. It
is growing on all the leaves, the driftwood, even the gravel. Everything
in the tank appears "fuzzy". In a white pail the water has a green
tint (easy now...). I know the tank is still settling in, but I have this
fear that if I don't do something I will be looking at a 70G swamp.
I have searched all my local fish shops looking for SAEs, but the best I got
was a promise from one to try and get some in. The local stock of Otocinclus
are tiny. I was planning on getting a DIY CO2 setup going, but I'm not sure
if this will make things worse. In the mean time I am planning to cut back
the light cycle (maybe 10 hrs.), cut back the PMDD (4ml?), dump in some
floating Water Sprite, and learn to truely appreciate the understated
elegance of fuzzy green algae.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated. And thanks to George, Karen, Neil,
Dave, and the rest of the APD for all the great tips, ideas, and stuff (kinda
sounds like Oscar night all over again!).
Thom (soon I'm gonna be the owner of a drop-dead gorgeous plant tank, but
for now I'm an algae farmer!)