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Is this a normal amount of algae on a new aquarium during a heavy plant + fertilizer cycle? 75 Gallon freshwater

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Hey everyone, first post here. Will post in the introduction area later, but wanted to post this question first. 

I'm currently cycling my aquarium with plants I've gotten from local fish stores and I'm about 2 weeks into my cycle on my first tank ever. I've taken the route of doing the cycle using the plant + fertilizer method, as I agree with the theory of being able to grow life before adding any fish. I've got CO2 setup and have been injecting it for about 4 days now.

I'm now in the algae stage of the cycle and was wanting to know if this is a normal amount of algae. I don't want the algae to get out of control, so just checking in here to see if this is considered normal.



I've been using the easy-green fertilizer to feed the plants and increase the nitrate levels, as well as adding Seachem equilibrium to up the water hardness a bit since it was virtually 0 (city tap water). 

I just tested my water this morning and here are my results:


Nitrates: 60 ppm
Nitrites: 3.0 ppm
Hardness: 300 ppm (wayyy too high since I think I added too much equilibrium)
Chlorine: 0 ppm (duh)
Total Alkalinity: 150
Ph: 6.9
CO2 levels: Green drop checker (around 30ppm)

I know my water Hardness is too hard right now for the type of fish I want (which will be a nano tropical aquarium with some shrimp), but I'm not adding fish until at least February. I do happen to have one snail that I got for free off of a plant though, he is alive and trying to eat some algae. 

I just wanted to know if this amount of algae is normal. I think I've been leaving the lights on too long, but I wanted to try to grow my plants as much as I can before I add fish. I've been giving the plants about 12 hours of light and then leave a blue moonlight on at night. I have two LEDs, one is the basic LED that came with the marineland 75 gallon tank, the other is one I got off amazon here: LED BUY LINK  (incase you wanted more details on the lighting)

  • Lumen: 520071pW3eatF1L._AC_SL1500_.jpg.3f87faeef337b5d9fdc14a15838951b1.jpg
  • LEDs: 120x 0.50W

I've been reading that algae is good during a cycle, just want to make sure this is an ok amount. I haven't done any water changes yet, should I do one soon or wait until before I add any fish?

Edited by BigRedd
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6 hours ago, Colu said:

I would reduce lighting to eight hour a day your nitrates you want to be about 20 maybe cut back on the  the easy green


5 hours ago, lefty o said:

kill the blue light at night, and cut a couple hours off of the white light.

Last night the Nitrates were at 60, just did a test, now they are at 20 ppm.

Ammonia went down from 2.0 ppm to .5 ppm and now the Nitrites at at 5ish ppm.

I turned off the light early today and halted the co2 during the night, should I just wait for the NItrites and Ammonia to go to 0 and then I'm cycled? 


Should I expect another Nitrate spike once the Nitrites are going down?

Edited by BigRedd
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