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Re: New tank.

> Date: Sat, 31 Mar 2001 10:47:26 -0800
> From: "Arvind Goel" <arvind.goel at home_com>
> Subject: Newbie plant questions (long)
> Exactly 2.5 months after purchasing our first-ever tank, we now have a 10g
> with 7 plants (hornwort, bacopa, rotala indica, pygmy chain sword, tropica
> sword, sagittaria and water sprite), and 5 fish (3 danios, 2 CAEs).  I blame
> these ng's for the inspiration to get plants :-).  Now I can't imagine
> keeping a tank without live plants.  The learning curve has been steep so
> far (killed 10 fish 1.5 months ago because didn't know about ammonia), but
> I've just scratched the surface.

Good. You'll like it and you may lose some hair along the way:) Uhh, hair
algae I meant to say...

> I have two categories of problems - plants and algae.  Hoping some of you
> experts have the patience to read all this and provide some pointers.
> A. ALGAE -
> The tank had a bad case of brown algae before the CAEs.  This was completely
> cleaned off by the CAEs.  However there are 2-3 other types still around.
> 1. green brush-like algae on 2-3 rotala leaves.
> 2. long strands of algae growing on 6-8 leaves (rotala and bacopa)
> 3. numerous 1-2mm green spots on the glass - slowly increasing in number.
> The CAEs don't seem to touch any of these.
> Overall question - how do I get rid of this unsightly stuff while still
> growing healthy plants?
> 1. Rotala - was earlier covered with brown algae, is now doing better after
> the CAEs cleaned this off.  Sprouting new leaves from top (pink, large) and
> bottom (green, small).  Also a long root 1/3rd from the top of one of the
> stems.  The problem here is disfigured leaves from the old algae, and algae
> # 1 and 2 listed above.
> 2. Hornwort - seems to be growing very quickly.  It hit the top of the water
> and is sprouting branches and new leaves all over.  No problems here except
> trimming.  BTW, I read that hornwort is supposed to suppress algae - is this
> true?
> 3. Bacopa - had nearly died off due to low light and algae (before the new
> fluorescents, CAEs and CO2).  The few remaining stems are sprouting lush
> green leaves and copious amounts of roots.  Still fragile.  Has algae #2 on
> some leaves.
> 4. Pygmy chain sword - earlier covered with brown algae, is now green again
> thanks to CAEs.  Does not seem to be doing much.  Some old leaves are dying
> off, but not much in terms of obvious new growth.
> 5. Tropica sword - Is rapidly sprouting new leaves, which is great, except
> they're coming out nearly transparent and slightly torn.  Too little
> chlorophyll (iron deficiency??).
> 6. Sagittaria - Newest addition.  Some old leaves dying off, no obvious new
> growth.
> 7. Water sprite - Some old leaves dying/breaking off.  Some new green growth
> is apparent.
> Overall question - how do I stimulate healthy growth and propagation without
> lots of algae?

Good eyes and good question(s).
> Other details -
> NH4, NO2 = 0, pH=7.2-7.4 (baking soda used for buffering)
> Temp = 82F (too high?)
> 2x15W fluorescent 5000K bulbs on 12.5 hours.
> NO3 = 0-15ppm (test kit is unreliable).
> O2 = 7-10ppm
> Don't have phosphate, GH, KH, CO2 readings yet. The kits are expensive, but
> I'll go get some tests done at the LFS soon.
> Aquaclear mini filter with 2 sponges.  UGF removed.
> No aeration (day or night).

Honestly with a ten gallon tank, I find it's plain not worth it to fool with
complex notions on how to do it well.
Your Temp is fine. Light is fine. I'd test the KH and pH only too see if
your getting close to a good range( say Kh of 4 and pH of 6.8 etc check the
krib for more). You have fish and crittwers so just keep the load semi light
and feed well and that should take care of most of the N and P supplied to
your tank.
I just add CO2 to the intake of the hang on filter. A 1/4 teaspoon of yeast
to 1 cup of sugar and the usual set upand I place the bottle on top of the
hood so the heat warms the the brew keeping it going well. Change it every
2-3 weeks(hopefully). I use flourite and don't add much of anything else
except fish food. A bag of flourite will be worth it on such a small tank. I
know you don't want to change it but it will help in the long run. The
flourite will cost less than the test kits. It's not that bad on a small
tank like this. Water changes, adding a few shrimps would help.

You could easily iron limit the water column and the flourite will provide
most all of the iron needed for the plants but not the algae. They don't
have roots but still need the iron. The pale color is often from lack of N,
not iron. That's the easy long term way to help solve your algae problem.
You can further optimize your tank later as you can afford the kits etc and
absorb more info. This will give you a good base to fall back on if
something goes screwy.
You can add trace elements(kent etc) after a water change which can likely
go sometime in between.
Tom Barr