Just a thought but is all this happening because I haven’t injected co2 and I’ve focussed on a lot slow growers (not shading them enough) with a few tricky plants - Cyperus helferi, Ludwigia super red and Bolbitis heteroclita? I’m reluctant to add it in this tank as I want to start a shallow tank (now very delayed with this one occupying all my time!) that may have co2 injection so that will already be two tanks with co2. Really hoping I can get this all under control and it will grow nicely without it…
Lighting is the main issue in a low energy new set-up, there is always far too much light duration/intensity at start up!
Co2 would be beneficial but is not necessary for slow growing plants like Anubias and Bucephalandra.
I'm sure you can get this tank back on track implementing the changes....its more of a waiting game!
Yes that makes sense. I just treated this as I did my last high energy tank - increasing the light week on week thinking the plants needed the light to out-compete the algae. I’m assuming my massive melt was because the light was too powerful as well. It’s an interesting learning curve - I didn’t think too much about it as I’ve set up two other low energy tanks no problem - but I think the lights were less powerful and I had very easy stem plants in them. I actually didn’t even have a timer or dimmer with my first one and the plants were just in sand with straight tap water (which I find much easier to grow plants in actually). So if I had thought this through properly, would I have kept the light at say 50% for 5 hours for say a whole month and not a week like I did. And could it be that this tank stays at around 60% 6/7 hours a day? It’s funny I thought using co2 was harder but I guess each set-up has its challenges at different stages.
Now I’m nearly two weeks into changing things I thought it would be a good time for an update here.
Seems like the algae craze has calmed down - I don’t seem to be getting anything new. I’m seeing some new plant growth which is very reassuring. The floating plants have gone mad and nearly covered the water surface.
I guess I need to think about what next. I’m wondering about clearing some of the floating plants first so more light gets through (rather than changing the light) as a first step for a few weeks, then increasing the light % and duration v slowly. Not sure what my end point is mind you - it’s 60% for 6 hrs right now. Maybe I move to 7 hrs first and see.
Be great to hear what everyone else thinks. I don’t normally have floating plants so not sure what the ideal surface coverage is really.