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Algae Break In Period

Kelly wrote regarding a new 75 gallon tank with black brush algae:  >>>
I fertilize with Duplaplant tablets at water change, and Dupla drops (3
drops a day).  I didn't have time to measure iron today (got a LaMotte
kit for that), but the last time it was close to .2ppm.  This tank is
CO2 injected, of course, 220 watts of VHO URI AquaSuns.>>>

I didn't really believe this until Karen Randall kept making the point,
and I finally learned how to do it myself, BUT there need not be an
"algae hell break in period" for a new tank.  It's a matter of finessing
the early introduction of plant nutrients and timing the introduction of
fish.  You didn't say what week you're in, so it's a little hard to say,
but I'm going to guess you're in the first few weeks with your new tank.

My rule of thumb during the early run in weeks with a new tank is to use
about half the dosage of nutrients that I expect to use after the tank
is up and running well.  You might even start with less.  As long as I
get no more than a bit of green spot algae on the glass or maybe a
strand or two of green hair algae, I stay calm and keep dosing.  If
other algae appear, or anything remotely resembling an algae bloom
begins to appear, I REDUCE the plant nutrients immediately (with no
dosing for a few days or a week to give the plants a chance to clear out
the nutrients).  Water changes can also be helpful in this situation.  I
tend to continue with regular water changes during early run in.  I know
some other successful folks don't do early regular water changes, but I
would bet money they go light on plant nutrients during this period.

Fish are handled the same way as plant nutrients.  Start with a few
algae eaters or no fish at all, and don't add the rest of your fish
population until the plants show good growth and the tank is beginning
to fill out a bit.  Even then, I try not to add the full population of
fish until the end of the second month.

My recent experience is that the tank will be completely grown out
(crypts, swords, R. macranda and just about everything else I grow) and
ready for serious trimming with a full complement of fish in 10 - 14
weeks.  It's not instant gratification, but its amazing and wonderful to
watch a tank grow out a thick cover of vibrant glossostigma in 10 weeks
with no algae problems of any kind!  Very satisfying.

One thing you've said indicates that you have an excess of nutrients
and/or an imbalance of nutrients.  0.2 ppm iron is way too much iron,
especially early on.  We have often talked on this forum about 0.1 ppm
being an upper limit on iron, with quite a few of us believing even this
is too much.  My preferred level of iron is "just detectable."  Why are
you adding 3 Dupla drops per day when your iron level is 0.2 ppm?

Best of luck,  Steve Dixon in San Francisco