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Troubles With A 40B Journal


Chad C.
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I’m starting this thread to be a personal journal on the trials and tribulations of my 40 breeder. I’ve had it up and running a little over three years. It was first setup with some inactive Flourite red substrate, a Fluval 306 canister, and Fluval Plant 3.0 led. In it I was keeping a guppy colony, a school of neons and some Cory cats. Once the neons started dying out a few months ago I moved the guppies and corys to a new 20 long and that tank has been doing great. The 40 had started growing a large amount of bba so once the fish were moved I drained the tank as much as possible stirred the substrate and let it sit with no light for a week or so. I purchased a variety of different crypts and planted with root tabs here and there. Filled the tank up. Turned everything back on waited two weeks and added 10 phantom tetras and two angels. This was about three months ago. The first month everything was going as planned. I was dosing liquid fertilizer per recommendation during this time with a light cycle of 8 hrs. Low and behold I’m now growing every algae known to man including Cyanobacteria. It’s basically beat the snot out of my smaller crypts (parva and lutea) Lasy week I pulled them out of the tank cut the leaves and tossed the root structures in a non affected tank. I don’t know if the will recover but here’s hoping. I’m going to snap a picture later and post it if any of y’all have words of wisdom. My battle plan for now is weekly water changes and bi weekly filter maintenance with manual removal of the algae I can get my hands on. 

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Algae is just a symptom of an imbalance, just gotta figure out which one. I'd test the water to see where your nitrates are maybe you're over-fertilizing. Cut the light back a couple hours or lower the intensity. Once you start fertilizing the race is on between your plants and the algae. The algae will win if your plants don't grow fast enough. Id suggest some fast growing stems plants to soak up nutrients/fertilizers and out compete the algae. Maybe remove the tetras to lighten the bio-load, add some snails possibly. You can dosing erythromycin to knock out the cyano. All algae can be beat getting the fertilizer/light balance figured out, it just takes time.

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56 minutes ago, MickS77 said:

Algae is just a symptom of an imbalance, just gotta figure out which one. I'd test the water to see where your nitrates are maybe you're over-fertilizing. Cut the light back a couple hours or lower the intensity. Once you start fertilizing the race is on between your plants and the algae. The algae will win if your plants don't grow fast enough. Id suggest some fast growing stems plants to soak up nutrients/fertilizers and out compete the algae. Maybe remove the tetras to lighten the bio-load, add some snails possibly. You can dosing erythromycin to knock out the cyano. All algae can be beat getting the fertilizer/light balance figured out, it just takes time.

Totally agree with pretty much all that. However, I noticed that when I cut back light, algae got worse. In my humble opinion, 8 hours is a little short. I recommend bumping it up to 10 hours, and watching the nitrate consumption like a hawk. I keep it between 20-40 ppm at all times, and dose with fertilizers twice a week. If, after a water change, my nitrates are below 20ppm I dose with Easy Green. If over 20 ppm I double-dose with Flourish instead, which is essentially everything but the nitrogen, and a little watered down (hence the double).

But when I cut back to 8 hours I get algae again.

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