Is my tank "Heavily planted" - Algae issues - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 11 Old 08-16-2013, 05:43 AM Thread Starter
Is my tank "Heavily planted" - Algae issues

I have:

1x ozelot sword with about 8 leaves
5x Stems of Wisteria
11x Stems of Ludwigia
1x pot Crypt (I believe its wendtti(SP?)) 1 pot is about 8-10 plats with about 3-5 leaves each
10x Vallisneria Spiralis
15x water lettuce (about 1/2 the surface is covered by these floating plants)

this is all in a 20gal tall.

Is this a "heavily planted" tank?

I have been losing the fight against algae and trying to get it all honed in. I have 2 t5-ho's (a 5500k and a 6500k) also dosing Co2 and Seachem Excel Comprehensive. Excel Comp, about 3ml per week, at each water change.

Just read how to get an estimate of Co2 in the water by checking pH and KH...This test resulted in "low levels" of Co2. Plan on upping from 1 bps to 2bps in the mean time.

Lights are approx 3-4" off the water surface, again about half the water surface covered with floating plants. Lights run about 8 hours. 8am - 4pm they ARE on a timer.

Sorry if this is a longer message than it needs to be, just trying to include all the info i can. Thank you for you input in advance.
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post #2 of 11 Old 08-16-2013, 06:02 AM
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It does sound like you could class it as heavily planted :) My 10 Gallon only has 5 plants and seems to take up a lot of room. Maybe you could post a picture?

If you're losing the fight against algae, maybe you could get an Algae eater of sorts?

"Don't leave something good, to find something better, once you know you had the best, the best has found better" -Drake


10 Gallon Planted Freshwater Tank:

- 7 Harlequin Rasbora
- 1 Bristlenose Pleco
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post #3 of 11 Old 08-16-2013, 06:34 AM
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I think well planted, not heavily based on your pictures... but maybe they aren't up to date.

I assume that "Seachem Excel Comprehensive" is actually Seachem Flourish Comprehensive?

None of those plants needs CO2 but the lighting seems too much... I'm not that familiar with fluorescent lighting so maybe im off but none of the plants need a lot of light either. The Ludwigia is probably the highest light plant in the bunch.

Seeing as one of the largest factors that seem to contribute to algae overgrowth is over lighting, I'd suggest to only go with one bulb for a while. Drop the CO2 for this period as it won't be needed and see what happens, there really isn't much else that you can change in your setup.


Total years fish keeping experience: 7 months, can't start counting in years for a while yet.

The shotgun approach to a planted tank with an LED fixture

Small scale nitrogen cycle with a jar, water and fish food; no substrate, filter etc
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post #4 of 11 Old 08-16-2013, 06:46 AM Thread Starter
pictures are not current, i replanted the other day. about half as many crypts, double the wisteria and added 2 pots of "Italian Val" which also said Vallisneria Sipralis on the label. I will update with new pics within the next couple hours. and yes, sorry i always do that! Seachem Flourish Comprehensive. this one....

Last edited by xfatdannx; 08-16-2013 at 06:50 AM.
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post #5 of 11 Old 08-16-2013, 08:04 AM
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You could raise the light up some more or shorten the hours they are on to help against algae.

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post #6 of 11 Old 08-16-2013, 08:56 AM Thread Starter
2 new pics uploaded to aquarium log.
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post #7 of 11 Old 08-16-2013, 09:35 AM
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Nice, that will grow out well and verges on heavily planted... it's a such a subjective thing. My home tank is well planted and my wife thinks it's a freakin' jungle, "why do you need so many plants?". She would have been happier with a chichlid or saltwater tank.


Total years fish keeping experience: 7 months, can't start counting in years for a while yet.

The shotgun approach to a planted tank with an LED fixture

Small scale nitrogen cycle with a jar, water and fish food; no substrate, filter etc
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post #8 of 11 Old 08-16-2013, 12:38 PM
As it currently stands I'd personally consider it to be lightly planted. It will grow, but we're talking about this very moment.

What sort of algae issues are you having?

High tech tanks are complex. I grow a huge amount of fast growing stems in mine and if I'm off with dosing algae will appear. I dose dry ferts according to the Estimative Index. I've never used a liquid fert so don't know how they compare. Normally when you increase CO2, you increase ferts to keep the balance. Here's the thing though in your case, you have mostly root feeders that receive little benefit from a column fert. You do have some Ludwigia, wisteria, and DWL but might be dosing more Comprehensive than they need. Are you using root tabs for the swords, vals, and crypts?

When does your CO2 come on and go off?

The light is probably a bit much. You can raise it as boredomb said or cut down on the time (my high tech is on for 7 hours). You can also add more fast growing stems or letting the water lettuce expand more. Lots of things to try in addition to maybe fertilizing less/differently.
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post #9 of 11 Old 08-25-2013, 07:23 AM Thread Starter
i do not use root tabs, any suggestions on what to consider if i go that route?

in the mean time i lowered my light duration and have stopped using the co2, seems to have cut back the algae A LOT! My crypts would have been covered by now the way i was running it before.
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post #10 of 11 Old 08-25-2013, 09:36 AM
I think what is happening is you're using high lights and lotsa dosing plus co2. And getting algae.

I would kill the lights, stop feeding the fish, stop the dosing, stop the co2 and let the algae die off.

then resume with less of all that and adjust until the plants thrive but not the algae.

my .02

maintain Fw and marine system with a strong emphasis on balanced, stabilized system that as much as possible are self substaning.

have maintained FW systems for up to 9 years with descendants from original fish and marine aquariums for up to 8 years.

With no water changes, untreated tap water, inexpensive lighting by first starting the tank with live plants (FW) or macro algae( marine)

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