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Photo 1:  Sword is weak colored.  Some of the leaves are translucent and break off.  They are very crisp/crunchy when broken.  Also dark green algae on older leaves.  What kind of algae is this?  Does this look like nitrogen deficiency?

Photos 2 and 3.  What are the tall reddish plants.  They seem to struggle and drop lower leaves.  Also some of the dark green algae in leaves.  
 

Photo 4.  Reddish/maroon algae in wood.  Algae on the wood doesn’t bother me.  Just curious what it is and if it gives a clue about water quality.

 

I dose Flourish comprehensive 1x week at recommended rate.  I have dosed phosphate hoping that would help get rid of algae on plants.  Also have dosed iron a few times which seems to disappear very quickly when tested.  Irregularly dose excel.  I have reduced lighting several weeks ago by putting a piece of screen under the light.  This seems to help cut down on algae. Several weeks ago I did a complete rescape.  Replacing all black gravel with pool filter sand and placing 1 nilocg fert tab under the swords and stem plants.  I have been reluctant to dose more Flourish Comprehensive as it only has a little nitrogen and I worry about minerals building up since I don’t do water changes. I have been looking at the Nilocg potassium nitrate salts and dosing light.  This is a 30g display with 20g sump containing porret foam and fluorite black gavel.  I am pretty committed to the no water change concept but it would seem the sump may be working too well and the frogbit I added for asthetics only suck up more nutrients.  I am open to setting an auto dose system for ferts/excel.  Co2 is off the table at the moment.  I appreciate everyone’s input.

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Nice looking tank! I’m a bit of a newbie myself but the first thing that comes to mind is a Nitrogen deficiency since you’re not dosing a high N fertilizer.  What is your Nitrate level? 

The tall reddish plants looks like Ludwigia to me. I’m surprised it has that much algae since you’re dosing Excel.  Are you also using a clean up crew? I have Otocinclus and Amano Shrimp. They’re a huge help with algae. 

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Hey patrick.  Nitrates always 0  😬.  I have 1 small otto.  I had 2-3 others die while out of town and have not replaced them as they hid all day and didnt seem to keep up with algae.  also have 1 nerite zebra and 2 SAE.  Those 2 cleaned up my hair algae problem in about 2 days.  also have 2 amano shrimp.  they hide in hollowed out driftwood because the big angel hunts them.  Just picked up a bamboo shrimp and the angel goes after him as well 😐  The stuff that looks like ludwigia has done poorly since day one.  a lot of it would rot at the stems and drift away.  also lots of leaf dropping from bottom up.  Sounds like I need to get some nitrogen.

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  • 1 month later...

Posting again about this algae.  It’s a burgundy/maroon color.  Excel is not killing it.  Is it considered brown algae?  If anyone can identify it, what does it indicate about water parameters.  Phosphates look to be around .25 ppm.  I got the Salifert nitrate test and it has been showing 25 ppm for the last couple weeks without change.  I stopped feeding for about 3 days to see if it would drop but it did not.  Kind of wondering if it is not accurate..  I was briefly dosing potassium nitrate but stopped after I tested with Salifert and found nitrates were not reducing naturally.

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Those Salifert test kits are pretty good. I would start dosing 1 to 2ppm PO4 and 15 to 25ppm K. I would find a good micro mix and start dosing that as well. .2 to .9ppm Fe as proxy. Start low though.

I would test KH and GH as well. 

Fish load and feeding could be all that's needed to keep those nitrate numbers, which is not a problem, but the tank needs PO4 and K for sure.

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So I have seachem comprehensive but probably  need to dose more.  I was just looking at seachem trace and it looks like it has most of the same stuff with the exception of nickel and vanadium.  Should I go with both or stick with comprehensive?  If both, how should I go about dosing as there will be a lot of overlap.  

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How old is the tank? I’m beginning to think you might be going through new tank growing pains. In my first planted tank I spent a lot of time manually scrubbing this type of algae off my plants. I cut and replanted the leggy plants and removed leaves on the Epiphytes as necessary. Eventually the tank balanced and the algae went away. 

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It’s been up for a year.  I have had a few spots of BBA which was more tufts of blacking blue but those have cleared up.  It looks nothing like the BBA I have had but the closest picture I could find was on an article about BBA.  So far I have not done any scrubbing.  I want to figure out the root cause and hopefully it’s something I can manage.  The 2 SAE nibble on it but doesn’t come off.  Going to work on fine tuning my fertilizer schedule as Mmiller2001 has suggested.  I think it’s time to invest in an auto doser 🙂Also working on Raising KH which is 0 or close to it.  Tank is slowly improving and I am loving it.  Thanks everyone for chiming in.

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