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CO2 vs algae

Karen B.

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I absolutely HATE algae. And while in my 4 other tank I can manage it pretty well, with the occasional use of excel, it’s not working with my 20 gallons high. Twice now I took all the plants out and did the double dose of excel in a bucket tricks. It works, but it’s a lot of job and it traumatized the plants.

I know if I have algae it means I lack something somewhere but I am really bad at figuring things out. I do use a liquid fertilizer and root tabs. 

I am wondering if a CO2 system (a real quality one like CO2 art) would help? Or should I invest in some drop testing first to try and identify what I lack in the aquarium to reach my perfect balance?

If so, what are the main one to check? Iron, phosphate, potassium…?

Thank you!



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Your tank looks great even with a bit of algae. And make no assumption, every tank has some algae regardless of CO2 or not. That said, I would encourage you to try CO2, it opens up an avenue that's not possible without it. It looks like you have a good grasp on planted tanks, and after some additional research, I'd imagine you would have one heck of a nice tank. 

Algae is not caused only by a lack of something, but can also be too much of something. This is usually too much light and using CO2 will allow your plants to use that extra light without an algae outbreak. Honestly, go for it. It's not complicated, it just takes a bit more research and understanding. And in my case, that's what makes this hobby fun and interesting. Trying to solve problems while injecting CO2 is very rewarding. I cringe when I see "don't chase numbers", not only will you be chasing those numbers, you're going to learn how to set those numbers. The chase will make you a better under water gardener, and you will probably "cringe" when you see similar comments with your new found knowledge.

CO2art is an excellent entry level regulator and they offer nice packages as well. 

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Like @Mmiller2001 said, there's a little algae in every tank. Your tank is absolutely beautiful. If you'd like to try CO2 injection, I use CO2art's regulators and they're working very well for my purposes. Bentley Pascoe's youtube channel has a lot of great guidance and advice for the high tech tank, and I sort of follow his philosophy of 'there's no real need to max out CO2 to get great results.' Pumping up the CO2 and finding the right mix of macros, micros, CO2, and light will allow you to grow some really intensely red plants and achieve amazing, quick growth in even the hardest-to-grow species. Just think about your goals and what you'd like to get out of your tank. If your goal is to eliminate algae completely, that probably won't happen -- but you can minimize it with the right combination. Also consider that over the life of your tank and your plants, you'll probably be slowly adjusting ferts and CO2 along with  increased plant mass.

Good luck!

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