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I’m wondering if the Finnex Stingray 2 is too powerful a light for my 29 gallon planted community tank and causing me to have bad algae problems.  The algae keeps heavily covering my plant leaves, to which I have to constantly rub off.  I currently have crypts, java fern, water sprite, anubias, and vallisneria in it.  As well as growing on the plant leaves, a lot of the algae is concentrated on the gravel around the vals and crypts where I have root tabs buried. I currently have 12 neons, 4 corys, 1 red eye tetra, and just added 6 nerite snails to help eat the algae. I keep the light on for 7 hours and water parameters are: temp-75, pH-7.6, ammonia-0, nitrite-0, and nitrates 30ppm. Any help with this would be much appreciated. 

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For what it’s worth I’m NOT an expert but I grow everything you have just not crypts i do Hornwort instead in my one tank. I leave my full spectrum super bright plant grow light think it a hygger can’t remember....9.5 hours full power no blue I have never fertilized anything anyway in this tank. Save for a dot of green here and there on the glass never have algae I have to trim all plants every week or I can’t see my pets. I keep my nitrates at 15-20.  I have 2 Anubius currently blooming in that tank  

Perhaps more light less ferts? Again not an algae expert at all so take it with a tablespoon of salt please. 

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On 6/11/2021 at 7:26 PM, Patrick_G said:

It might be a little to bright. You can adjust the power level on that model right? Maybe turn it down to 50% and see what happens. 
Otocinclus catfish and Amano shrimp are a big help in my tanks. 

I don’t think this model has an adjuster on it. I did think about adding some patches of black electrical tape over some of the LEDs to decrease the brightness if that was the cause. 

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I also use a stingray 2 but on a 10 gallon so I don't think the light being too strong is necessarily the issue.

Looking from the pictures I'm seeing multiple things going on but at first glance, these are two things that stick out to me:

On 6/11/2021 at 3:38 PM, Mike Poth said:

a lot of the algae is concentrated on the gravel around the vals and crypts where I have root tabs buried

On 6/11/2021 at 4:49 PM, Mike Poth said:

light was added about 6 months ago

Is it just one root tab or did you put several? Are you using any other fertilizers as well?

The crypt is a slow grower so it still could be adapting to the changes from your light which might explain the algae. But the color of the algae is confusing me a little (it might just be the picture).

The condition of the valisneria is a little odd to me too... how long has that been in your tank?

Although I don't think the strength of the light is necessarily the issue, instead of  covering it with tape, you can just float your water sprite.

 

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On 6/11/2021 at 10:02 PM, Koi said:

I also use a stingray 2 but on a 10 gallon so I don't think the light being too strong is necessarily the issue.

Looking from the pictures I'm seeing multiple things going on but at first glance, these are two things that stick out to me:

Is it just one root tab or did you put several? Are you using any other fertilizers as well?

The crypt is a slow grower so it still could be adapting to the changes from your light which might explain the algae. But the color of the algae is confusing me a little (it might just be the picture).

The condition of the valisneria is a little odd to me too... how long has that been in your tank?

Although I don't think the strength of the light is necessarily the issue, instead of  covering it with tape, you can just float your water 

 

I used several root tabs around the Val and crypts, spaced accordingly as per the directions. This was back in February and I haven’t added any since. I’ve also been adding one pump of Easy Green after water changes probably for a month now but the algae has been a problem since February. 
 

The Val looking bad and the condition of the algae is from me using Flourish Excel and an algae remover which I stopped using about two weeks ago. The algae has spread through the gravel to where the pebbles stick to each other in clumps. 

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On 6/11/2021 at 7:45 PM, Mike Poth said:

The Val looking bad and the condition of the algae is from me using Flourish Excel and an algae remover which I stopped using about two weeks ago.

Ahh ok that makes much more sense

On 6/11/2021 at 7:45 PM, Mike Poth said:

I used several root tabs around the Val and crypts, spaced accordingly as per the directions.

I think this could be one of the issues here. Your plants are at a very early stage in their growth so you don't really need root tabs just yet. Assuming that your 30ppm nitrates is mostly coming from easy green, there should enough nutrients available through the water column. Crypts (not sure if its lutea or parva) are pretty slow growers and at that size I don't think you need root tabs just yet.

This is just a suggestion, but I would approach this by doing a 50% water change to reset water parameters. During that water change gravel vac around the areas you put the root tabs and get what you can out of the substrate. Proceed with the standard dose of easy green (raise to 20ppm nitrates or 3 pumps a week) until algae dies back and you begin to see new growth from the vals.

I would hold off on the root tabs until you get the algae under control but heres some areas where I would put root tabs in later down the road.

For a tank like this I would only put one at each arrow and replace 2-3 months.

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But really I think you can get away with one right in the middle 

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On 6/11/2021 at 6:41 PM, tonyjuliano said:

That means definitely too much light intensity.  Electrical tape is your friend.

This is actually a great direction. Alternatively, floating plants that block light, if you like that sort of thing.

The deal is, you just moved your plants from part shade to blaring full sun...at the equator...at noon...in the dry season... Not having feet, plants are not adapted to such rapid changes. Algae, being more mobile, are adapted to more rapidly take advantage of a broader range of conditions. If you gradually increase your light intensity and your fertilizer only WHEN YOU SEE YOUR PLANTS RESPOND with new growth, you will eventually have very happy plants. They just need to catch up. In the meantime a tiny bit of manufactured shade will help.

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The stingray 2 is a powerful light. However, algae isn't indicative of just excess light. Nutrient imbalance and low CO2 levels in the tank (causing poor nutrient uptake by your plants) can also have a huge impact on algae growth. If you create an environment where your plants outcompete the algae for nutrients, you'll win the fight every time. 

Of course, reducing light intensity or photoperiod is the simplest of the solutions. 

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