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Discussion Starter #1
So I'm in need of some help...

I have always had an issue with algae (mostly green spot algae and a brown hair type that grows on the leaves of my plants). For the longest time I thought it was because of my lighting; that it was too strong or on too long. In my 10 gallon I have two daylight compact fluorescent bulbs that rate 6500K, and on my 30 gallon I have a Finnex FugeRay Planted+ LED light. From what I've been reading, I don't think the lighting is the issue.

I recently went to a LFS and mentioned my problem and the girl there mentioned that I probably had a phosphate issue. She sent me home with Seachem PhosGuard and I put it in my HOB filter after I scraped down my tank glass and did a water change. For about a week to two weeks, things were looking great! I was super excited. But now the algae is coming back. :-(

I guess my question is, is there a way to keep Phosphate down? From what I read, the PhosGuard only lasts for a few days. Do I have to keep buying more to put in the tank? That will get quite expensive. The water I use is tap water from a well that I treat with Prime before putting it into my tanks. I've also bought a Phosphorus test kit off Amazon that will arrive next week that I can use to test my water with actual numbers (and then update here). But I also would just like people's opinions on this. I spend close to $100 on plants and then they are destroyed by algae not even a month after. It's quite frustrating.

Oh! And I like the look of bubble strips and wanted to add one to my tank... but I'm not sure if that would help or hinder my issue as well.

Here is the algae I'm dealing with:




Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
UPDATE:

So... I don't think it's a phosphate issue. :-(
I just got the phosphate test kit in the mail and it's reading 0.5ppm - both from my tank and the tap. So I'm thinking that's not my issue.

MORE PICS:











MY ISSUES:

* New plants melt and die right away, literally disintegrating to where I have no plant left.
* Or if the plant does do fairly well and starts to grow, it soon gets algae all over it (like the pictures) and looks awful.
* If I try to trim the plant to get algae off, the new growth takes forever and never seems to take off. And/or the new growth gets algae on it as well.

TANK SPECS:

Light: Finnex FugeRay Planted+ LED (on for 6 to 7 hours a day)
Water: Well water from tap (dosed with Prime at water changes)
pH: (high) 8.2
Ammonia: 0 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrate: 30 ppm (this is really high - normally it’s around 5 to 10pmm. Could be ‘cause I haven’t done a water change in almost 3 weeks because of the holidays… oops)
Phosphate: 0.5ppm

QUESTIONS:

* As you can see in the first picture, my LED strip sits on the glass of the tank. I’ve read that possibly I should raise the light higher? Could that be an issue - that it’s too powerful and lets the algae thrive?

* I’ve read conflicting views on surface agitation and CO2. I’ve been considering adding an air stone - would that help or hinder my issue?
Also from the first picture you can see that my tank doesn’t have that many plants. I always hope that the plants I buy will take off and grow and I can fill in my tank. But that never happens. Maybe I need more plants from the start?

* What plants would you suggest? I have issues with melting and swords never seem to do well. Do I need fast growing plants?

*Ferts - which to use? Should I use them?

How do I fix my tank!? I just really want to beat this algae issue and have a nicely planted tank. If any of you are able to make suggestions, I would truly appreciate it. I’m at my wits end. :cry:

Thank you!
 

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Just did some reading.
You might want to leave your light on longer. Maybe increase the lighting.
There was also mention of high silicates in the water. Your well water might have that.
The lighting issue was mentioned most. Power and duration. Seems the algae doesn't like it, most, but not all plants do.
It can take some time to shift the balance from algae thriving to plants thriving and denying the algae what it needs.
I keep my LED lights on for 12 hours. When I get up in the morning, I first turn on the room lights. Go do some business. Come back and turn on the tank lights. That is 7:00 AM. I turn off the tank light at 7 or 8:00 PM. The room lights stay on for several more hours.
Maybe get some really fast growing hardy plants, even if you don't particularly want them. Maybe they will take up some of the excess stuff that is feeding the algae. Get a few algae eating fish. My Cories will vacuum my plant leaves now and then. Not much, but they do clean them off. There are dedicated algae eaters, that will enjoy cleaning your tank. Make sure they like the algae that you have. After the battle is done, you will then have the pleasure of buying algae tablets to feed them. Good help doesn't come free.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you for your reply! :-D

I also posted on another forum and got answers there too. I completely rescaped my tank, scrubbed all the algae off my tank, rocks, and plants and also bought a bunch of new, hardy plants. The intensity of the light might have been an issue, so I've also raised it. So far things have been going pretty good. Some of the plants are doing the usual melting, but I'm hoping they bounce back quickly!

Here is my tank now:
 

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Nice looking tank. Mine is still pretty sparse looking. By some stroke of luck I only had a slight episode of algae on the glass while getting it set up and cycled. I am hoping to get a couple more types of plants. And some real rocks too. My current fish have been so very tolerant of a lot of messing around with things.
 
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