Re: Algae problems with a new tank

> From: George Booth <booth at hpmtlgb1_lvld.hp.com>
> Based on my experiences, a new tank will cycle through various types
> of algae as the various parameters seek their equilibirium values.
> A new tank is biologically unstable and seems to drift through
> different conditions favorable to different types of algae. Thus, it
> important to have different types of algae *eaters* in the tank from
> the first. As long as the algae is controllable by whatever means,
> just be patient - it will get better. 

I'm trying to be patient, but I am having a horrible time with green water in
my 2-3 month old planted tank.  Details are listed at the bottom of this 
message, but basically after I added two Vitalites (I already had two Tritons)
I got great plant growth, along with algae.

At first it was just green algae on the glass, which was no problem as I
have 3 SAE's to keep it under control.  Next over a 2-3 day period my
water turned green as my nitrates dropped from 3.0ppm to unmeasurable.  
Assuming that excess light and nitrates were the problem, I removed one
Vitalite, lowered 'daylight' time from 11 hours to 9, and began doing
25% water changes every couple of days.

Then I had a minor disaster.  One of my timers broke (unknown to me) just 
before I went away for a couple of days.  One Triton/Vitalite combo was on 
for about 36 hours solid.  When I returned my tank was almost opaque green.

I did a 50% water change and things look a bit better.  Should I just continue
with the water changes and reduced light, or will it require something more
to get rid of the green water?  One thing I'm concerned about is that when
I do a water change, the tap water treated with de-clorinator tests positive
for ammonia.  Assuming my bio-filter just converts the ammonia into nitrates,
am I ADDING food for the green water 'algae' by doing water changes?

More details on my tank below:

  38G (36x12x18)  | pH:    6.9 (morning)        | Anubias nana    (growing)
  glass top       |        7.4 (evening)        | Crypt. balansae (growing)
  2x30W Triton    | CO2:  15 ppm (morning)      | Ludwigia repens (great!)
  2x30W Vitalite  |        4 ppm (evening)      | Hygro. poly.    (growing)
  AquaClear 300   | KH:    4.0 dH (+2.5,b-soda) | 'Java Fern'     (dormant)
  Dupla Laterite  | GH:    20 ppm (dropping)    | 'Java Moss'     (growing)
  DIY Yeast CO2   | Temp:  81 F                 | E. tenellus     (just added)
  2 pc. driftwd   | Amm-N: None
  3" small gravel | NO3:   3.0 ppm (dropped to 0)

I have three very active and growing 3" SAE's (no other fish) which I do not
feed.  All my plants are growing and producing O2 bubbles. Thanks for any help
you can give.
Steven Hicks,            ILX Systems                  212-720-3148
steveh at ilx_com           111 Fulton Street            212-312-2983 (fax)
                         New York, NY  10038