week 2 questions


Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Nov 21, 2007
Los Angeles, CA
I set up my 50G tank 2 weeks ago ...

-- fully planted with CO2 canister injection -- CO2 stays at 30ppm pretty much all day, according to my drop checker
-- my plants are growing quickly -- if anything they are over-amped. One of my banana plants has 3" diameter leaves and is currently shooting up a leaf on a 16" stalk -- still waiting for it to stop growing and open! Probably a combo of too much fertilizer with too little light.
-- 96w CF lamp -- I move the lamp during the day to get better coverage (approx. 3 hrs front, 3 hrs back and 4 hrs middle of tank -- another 96w kit coming tomorrow, so I'll have 2 of these in a couple of days to get better coverage)
-- I am using EI and started with 1/2 tsp KNO3 and 1/8 tsp KH2PO4 4 times per week and 10ml of TMG 3 times per week, with a weekly 50% water change. At some point, I read the EI articles more closely and realized I was dosing too much because of my lower light (soon to change). I am now doing 2 times per week of KNO3 and KH2PO4, the day after doing 10ml of TMG, then a day off ...
-- I seem to have plenty of flow in my tank with a Fluval 305 and a Emperor 280 (on and off during day, but on all nite) and the CO2 pump during the day

My problem: After the first week's honey moon, I started getting diatom and thread algae. Since my ammonia and nitrites went to 0 ppm and stayed there, I borrowed 9 nerite snails from a friend and purchased 4 SAEs, 3 Otos and 3 Amano shrimp (and 9 very small cardinal tetras). Diatom is completely gone now. The thread algae is only on the very narrow or needle-leafed plants (anachris -- small amounts, cabomba -- thriving there). I spend 10-15 mins removing the vast majority of it with a toothbrush in the evenings ... but, it keeps coming back. I've only seen one of my SAEs chomping on the thread algae, but he cannot keep up with it, besides it's not his favorite. When I get extra lighting next week, perhaps the plants will beat out the thread algae ... not sure. I'm tempted to pull out the cabomba and replace it with cuttings from my Ludwigia, which has zero algae. The cabomba is greedy anyway, as it wants to lean over from the back of the tank and block light from all of the other plants. I finally tied it back some to stop that, which didn't help the algae situation, I'm sure.

My only current test kits are pH, GH & KH, Ammonia and Nitrites. Should I get others? I really don't know what adjustments to make without different information.

Once I get the extra 96w, I'll go back to dosing the Ks 4 times per week and the TMG 3 times per week. If the thread algae does not go away at that point, I'll definitely pull the cabomba (if I haven't already done so) -- unless someone has a better recommendation. Long term I will be replacing my "weeds" with better plants ... I've been compiling a list of non-weeds from old/new posts on this site.

All of my fish are doing great, by the way, even play in the current a lot. One little tetra got pulled into the Fluval intake and got stuck for about an hour which has since been covered with a pre-filter (filter floss for now) ... I rescued him but he did sustain some damage. He's a fighter though and has been hanging in there for almost 2 days! One Oto looked like he started bleeding internally (red patches deep within his body -- parasites?) -- I quarantined him immediately on day 2 and he died shortly thereafter. Other than that, all is well.