Asian Biotope Algae Question


New Member
21 Aug 2019
Evening all,

I run a 125l tank with a variety of low light plants (java fern, jungle val, some limnophilia sessiliflora (stems but currently floating, variety of crypts, water wysteria, Helanthium Quadricostatus and recently some java moss). I dose TNC complete 2ml daily and 10ml immediately after water change.

I'm after some advice please. My tank has been up and running now for 2.5 months, and the fish have been in just over 2 weeks now. The stock is 6 honey gouramis and 12 pentazona barbs, because these fish inhabit low flowing streams in Asia and don't like high flow I've recently stopped using the additional my koralia nano circulation pump as it seemed to be creating too high flow in the tank and the barbs were overly timid and would spend the time hiding so it seemed to be stressing them out.

I've also stopped dosing Excel Flourish as i read that it can stunt Jungle val (certainly seems that it has grown much quicker without it (i was dosing the correct daily amount as stated on the bottle).

Anyway, although new growth in the plants is appearing green, i seem to have quite a lot of diatoms blooming (i think) both on the plant leaves and on the glass of the aquarium, i went through a big bloom when cycling but upon adding the fish they seemed to get rid of the worst of it.

I use a fluval 3.0 but have it throttled to 50% with blue light all the way down, it has a 7 hour photoperiod.

I'm worried the lower flow has contributed to the diatoms, but is this just coincidence and 'part of the cycle' given the tank is still finding balance?

I'm just struggling with so many moving parts, i could reduce the light intensity further, the fish seem to like the new 'shade' provided by the floating stem plants, and i guess i could reintroduce flourish excel to the tank, the plants are going OK and there is new growth, but i'm worried they will be hindered by the diatoms on their leaves.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated, i'm manually removing as much of the algae from the leaves of the plants as i can and doing weekly 40-50% water changes, is it a case of sit it out and hope it is a phase? My main query is about the flow, i run a Fluval 306 cannister filter with the outtake pointing from the back of the tank into the centre - if i need to increase flow how do i go about this but at the same time continue to mimic the low flowing rivers and streams that make up the fish habitat?

Thanks in advance for the help and apologies for the long post - in summary, would relying on the output of a filter constitute low flow and if so, could that be the cause of diatoms or is it just part of the 'fun'? :)


Global Moderator
Staff member
15 Aug 2013
Lelystad, Netherlands
2 Weeks is short, keep cleaning, doing waterchanges maybe add some cleaning crew ( amanoshrimp, snails). Should clear up.
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