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new tank blues
A while back, a really desperate fellow with algae problems posted here
what sounded like a final cry for help -- he was about ready to abandon
his planted tank effort. I'm not quite to that point, but I am getting
frustrated. This is my second planted tank, and I went by the book, such
as it is (thanks APD!), but now, after two months, I'm grappling with
some particularly tough green, "long-hair" algae that's not responding
to the standard approaches. I have a feeling I could get it under
control with the right tweak, but I'm just not getting it. I'd
appreciate a nudge in the right direction from some veteran out there
The tank is a 20-gallon long; 3-5 inch gravel substrate with laterite in
the bottom third; 55 watts of light (1 20W Triton, 1 20W GE "plant and
aquarium", 1 15W Penn-Plax cheapie); Aquaclear 200 filter running with
peat and a sponge; DIY CO2; moderately stocked (6 glowlights, 5 otos, 2
brass tetras, 1 pencilfish) and planted with half a dozen swords,
ludwidgia palustris, pond penny and some corkscrew vals. PH is 6.8. dKh
is 4. CO2, according to George Booth's chart, should be in the 18 to 20
ppm range. Nitrates are between 0 and 10 ppm -- it's a Tetra test :-(
For a while I was using PhosSorb (sp?) in the filter but took it out
because it did not seem to be having an effect on the algae growth. (My
water company report indicates minimal nitrates and phosphorus in the
tap). I used the Duplaplant tabs initially, and have been using the
DuplaPlant 24 drops every day. The lights are on a timer, 11 hours a
When the algae growth became really bad two weeks ago, I removed many of
the plants and gave them the 5% bleach treatment and manually removed
much of the other algae in the tank. I did three, 50% water changes over
a week and have done two smaller changes this week. The algae always
returns in a day or less. It grows on the edges of leaves, on the
surfaces of weaker leaves, and just about every other object in the tank
except the fish! It forms, long, flowing gossamer type hairs that can be
removed with some rubbing.
Anybody see anything obviously wrong that I'm doing here?
My thoughts: 1) Plants may be too close to the light source. A
20-gallon-long with a 3-5 inch substrate leaves less than a foot of
clearance in many places. 2) I'm lacking some nutrients? I looked at
the analysis of Dupla drops in the archives (thanks again, George!) and
it would seem most of the trace elements are covered, but ... 3) Light
"day" is too long, too short?
I am, by the way, getting good growth from all of the plants.
Like I said, just looking for a nudge. :-) And thanks in advance for
your patience with us newbies.
in New Haven, where it's sunny!