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Need some help with my 46 low light

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by PRSRocker3390, Dec 10, 2010.

  1. PRSRocker3390

    PRSRocker3390 Junior Poster

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    Well my 46 bowfront is a couple months old now. It is housing 6 peppered cories and 9 rummynose only at the moment. Everything has been great. I set it up as a low tech tank. The parameters right now are no ammonia or nitrites of course, 10 ppm of nitrates (I add fertilizers, i'll explain in a little), ph around 6.6, and last check on gh was 8 a month ago and kh a 3. Temp is about 79 degrees. The tank has pool filter sand as a substrate (which I love) with root tabs added to it every couple months as needed. I have a nice piece of malaysian driftwood in the center and my plants consist of 3 kinds of hygro, two kinds of bacopa, marsilea minuta, java fern, multiple crypt wendtii, 3 crypt spiralis, one big aponogeton ulvaceus and possibly something else i forgot. The tank runs on a Rena XP2 with seachem matrix for more bio and a HOB Aquaclear 50 set up with a sponge, seachem matrix for extra bio and purigen. My lights are the coralife 2 x 21 watt T5 Normal Output (Not the high!) (1 6700k bulb and 1 Colormax, these came stock and seem to be growing my plants excellent!) They are only on 9 hours a day. Lastly, I dose ferts once a week like in the Tom Barr low tech method. I dose 1 gram of KNO3, .25 grams KH2PO4, and 1.5 grams of K2SO4 on one day and then the next day micros which is 1/8 tsp of Plantex CSM+B. This is all only dosed once a week. I feel like I'm doing I great job with everything and my plants look very very healthy in my opinion.

    Now the problem...Well I went through a diatom and brown algae problem in the beginning but that went away like normal. I notice now only a tiny bit of GSA on the back glass which I don't mind. But I have a nice little outbreak of BBA now. I only notice it growing on my heater, a few smalls tufts on my driftwood, on 3 leaves of my aponogeton ulvaceus, like 2 or 3 leaves on my java fern and on a couple leaves on my crypt wendtii and spiralis. (it seems like the closer the plant is to the light, the more heavy the BBA grows, although even my wendtii really small and close to the substrate still get BBA too just not as bad.) What is wrong here or what's causing it? It is so frustrating! I feel like I'm really on top of this tank and being patient. I have excel on hand but I don't want to have to dose that daily to prevent BBA, I want this to be low tech. At worst, I guess I could dose excel once a week if I had to but I don't know it that would be effective. I just want to keep this tank simple and not more work than it is now. Right now it is perfect maintenance wise. I just added some frogbit in as a floater today thinking it might block some light in case it is just a tad bit much but I doubt it since others use that same light with no problem. I know its easy to blame the excess nutrients for the algae but a lot of us here know that nutrients don't cause that and Tom has proven that to us many of times over the years.

    Please help me out. Thanks,
    Bryan
     
  2. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    Hi,

    Since BBA is a CO2 problem I'd take back the lights another hour. If this means you're looking at a dark tank at night, you could also think about a two hour midday lighting break, with two light periods of 4 hours. A lot of non-CO2 tanks don't allow more than 8 hours of light.

    Adding excel just once a week may be even counter effective, so that's not very useful.

    Everything else seems to be ok. Nutrients is not the cause of BBA.

    regards,
    dutchy
     
  3. PRSRocker3390

    PRSRocker3390 Junior Poster

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    I will try that and cut the lights back. Do you think the two 4 hour intervals are better than 8 hours straight? I also did raise up my lights about 2-3 inches in the last week or two and still BBA grows.
     
  4. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    Intervals or one period doesn't make any difference really. It's just for your convenience. Don't expect dramatic changes in one week. 4 weeks should make a difference. Watch if new growth stays algae free. Old leaves are a lost battle if you don't add excel.

    regards,
    dutchy
     
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