Tank getting a bit out of control
It's been a while since I've posted, but I wanted to show some pics of my current setup and get some advice. You can find detailed specs in my profile. I seem to be getting quite a bit of algae (I realize it's probably from my T5HO). Also, I notice some of my taller plants will decay or something towards the top, so I'm not getting a lot of height in my plants. I have a small, grass-like foreground plant, but I can't remember the name of it now. It's spread out throughout the substrate, but doesn't seem to get real lush. Or, some parts will be longer grass, and some just lies flat. I have fertilizer, but I haven't been using it. My corkscrew val has taken over lol and I don't know if (or how) I should propagate it down.
Also, I wonder if my filter output is causing too much disruption? I've tried adjusting the flow, but it keeps pushing my floating plant to the side. That plant also tends to attract the black beard algae a lot too.
I'd like to get this tank back in control and get some sort of "plan" to it. I'm totally open to suggestions. Thanks!
Light is almost certainly the reason for the algae. If changing the fixture is not in the cards, try reducing the duration. You have to balance the light with the other nutrients, and as soon as one of them is exhausted the continuing light will cause algae. Light should be the limiting factor to plant growth. More floating plants would help to shade the lower tank, plus reducing the duration. No mention is made as to what it now is, but you can go down to 6 hours and still have good plant growth.
Using a good fertilizer is essential with so much light. This is likely the issue with the stem plants (Hygrophila), since normally in brighter light they would quickly be at the surface. A comprehensive (complete) liquid fertilizer like Flourish Comprehensive Supplement used once or perhaps twice weekly would probably solve this issue. And it would help control algae too, as the plants can use the light and nutrients and keep algae from taking advantage.
Vallisneria is a very fast-spreading plant. Simply pull up the newer plants (cut the runner) to keep it as you want it.
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