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Old 01-30-2020, 12:12 AM   #1
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Please help!!!!

Good Evening from the United States! My name is Tom and I'm in need of your expertise with thriving planted tanks. I entered the aquarium hobby about three months ago and have been struggling with keeping plants alive and keeping algae out. In the 5 Gallon tank is 5 Cardinal Tetras as the livestock who are doing just fine. I currently have a piece of driftwood, Red Ludwigia, Dwarf Hairgrass, and Anacharis. I have been putting in Flourish, Flourish Iron, and Flourish Excel to help the plants try to survive. I use a very bright planted light rated for a tank larger than my own so i know the plants are getting great lighting. The PH is between 6.8-7.0 as well. I keep the Nitrate at 10ppm for the most part and ammonia at .5ppm. what am i doing wrong?* The plants within tend to die and i just want a beautiful small tank to look at while i work at my desk at home. I also seem to have had a cloudiness come from over the water over the last couple of nights (brown ball-like algae as arose and green algae has begun to grow on driftwood). What can i do? am i missing something? what do you suggest i do? please help!I don't want to give up on this tank!
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Old 01-30-2020, 02:02 AM   #2
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For the basics, it might be too much light with too much ammonia causing algae and the cloudy tank.

Are you familiar with the nitrification cycle? In a nutshell, it is a process in which beneficial bacteria use ammonia from the tank to grow, survive and thrive in the tank, mostly in filter media and in some part in the substrate and a little bit so, on DW and stones.

Which makes the process of changing the dangerous substances of ammonia, nitrIte and nitrAte to unharmful substances in the tank, and the BB keep the tank in safe and healthy condition.

The filter pads and ceramic rings and sponges should not be changed and only rinsed with non toxic water / water from the tank or treated - dechlorinated water as to not kill the BB.

If you change the filter it removes the BB colony and the tank starts the cycle over.

If you keep the matured colony of BB safe - productive cycling the bad stuff in the tank, your tank is cycled. The process usually takes 6-8 weeks for the BB to grow.

If it isn't cycled, it can have a bacterial bloom, cloudy water.

.5 ammonia isn't healthy for the fish. Plants are fine with some ammonia though. Fish can be injured.

Is your tank cycled?

The ammonia should be removed by doing water changes a couple might be needed to get the ammonia out and make the tank safe for fish.

This article is really useful for getting the basics for keeping a tank. There are article links for doing a fish-in cycle meaning that you have a tank cycling with fish living in it.

Guide to Starting a Freshwater Aquarium - Aquarium Advice

I just learned about cycling but I already have fish. What now?! - Aquarium Advice

Planted Tank Basics - Aquarium Advice

Introduction to Fertilizing the Planted Tank - Aquarium Advice

This might be some basic stuff but also might give you some info which can help you!

Guide to Starting a Freshwater Aquarium - Aquarium Advice
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Old 01-30-2020, 02:41 PM   #3
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Thank you so much for your advice. I was thinking the same thing along the lines of a water change and such. I have been leaving the light on for about 10 hours a day sometimes for about 11-12 depending on when I get back to the tank in the evening. The Tank has been cycled and had been doing well for the first couple of weeks but now seems to be struggling if that helps you to understand my predicament more.
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Old 01-31-2020, 01:16 AM   #4
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A timer for the light and possibly raising it about the tank, and reducing the number of hours or splitting the photo period with a "siesta" rest time of an hour or 2.

Consider changing to lower light needing plants or adding a CO2 option. There are many really nice looking plants which can do very well in a small 5G tank without having to stress with the extra maintenance of many ferts and additives.
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