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Old 03-28-2012, 10:32 PM   #1
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Low Nitrates

50g, dual T5HO 6500k lights on about 8-9 hours a day, magnum 350 filter. I have only recently added Co2 and the tank has been running since mid/end January and has been cycled since the beginning of February.

My plants: Bacopa, Java moss, java fern, wisteria, skinny leaf ludwigia, micro sword, glosso, moss ball, star grass, cabomba, frogbit, dwarf water lettuce, pennywort, amazon sword

My fish: A dozen cherry shrimp, 8 celestial pearl danios, 2 otos, an albino bn pleco, 4 lemon tetras, 2 honey gourami, 3 swordtails

I have a major algae issue going on and I'm not seeing the plant growth I was hoping for and I think it's actually because I have too little Nitrates.

Since the tank stabilized, I have never seen the Nitrates above 10 and most of the time the color is light enough I'm sure it's below 5. I do weekly water changes of roughly 25% simply to keep up on the poop, not to control the chemicals. Ammonia and Nitrites are 0, pH is consistently 7.8. Apparently, I have an awesome filter. The pleco and otos all have fat bellies and are constantly pooping, so I know they are doing their job, but not eating what is driving me the most nuts.

Anyway, here's my question: What's the best fertilizer I can add to supplement the plants for the missing Nitrates?

I use flourish once or twice a week, have eco-complete, and have stuffed root tabs in it.

I am thinking about adding a couple nerite snails and some amano shrimp to take care of the hair/string algae and the green stuff on the walls for an immediate fix, but I would like to figure out the cause for a long term fix, any ideas besides too little nitrates?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-28-2012, 10:35 PM   #2
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Oh, and I use the API master test kit
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Old 03-28-2012, 10:44 PM   #3
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I had the same hair Algea growing in my heavily planted tank as well. My fix was to cut way back on the lighting to 4-6 hours a day. I also replenished my DIY Co2 setup. I believe some of the hair/fuzz algae grows when there is low CO2.

I also did a 3 day blackout with towels wrapped around the tank so no light could get in.

As for the green spot algae, you just need to manually scrape that off.
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Old 03-28-2012, 11:08 PM   #4
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I've been scraping the walls as needed, but scraping everything else is a pain. I've only had Co2 for a week and a half.

I had a 1/2 gallon diy setup, I just added another 1/2 gallon to the setup. I'm hoping that will help.

I worry about die off if I lower the light period. I was leaving the light off entirely one day a week, but now I have a timer so I won't be doing that. I could do a black out for a day or two tho I guess and see if that helps.
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Old 03-29-2012, 11:28 AM   #5
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Any ideas for supplements for the plants? Am I wrong about the low nitrates causing slow growth of the plants and too much algae?
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