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Diatoms, BBA, something else that isn't even algae related!?? Argh!!

That’s a nice looking tank. I’d just go with the light changes and avoid adding chemicals to kill the algae. Your Kh of 2 from the tap is great, I honestly don’t think you need to add anything to increase it.
Thanks! I just read that KH should be between 4 and 8 for the fish I have. Really hoping the lights being down and on for less time works. Fingers crossed.
 
It's difficult to tell for sure from photos but it looks like lowering the intensity of the lights has brought it down to a more acceptable level for a low tech tank but I personally wouldn't have reduced the duration to less than 8 hours and if it's been working for you for the last 2 1/2 years I wouldn't reduce the fert dosage either. The trouble is once you start starving the plants of light and nutrients they will start to degrade which creates an ideal environment for algae to proliferate. Large alterations of the parameters can also induce shock to the plants which will put them on a backfoot for a couple of weeks until they transition to their new environment again giving algae the upper hand. There was a recent thread on here concerning the same/similar type of algae and as far as I remember it never reached a conclusion as to what it definitively is. I personally would just get stuck in for a couple of weeks doing as large and frequent water changes as is feasibly possible, incessant cleaning (just before water change), trimming off of any effected leaves and then strive to bring about stability. To be fair though you've definitely got good plant growth and can't be too far away from a remedy.
As always, this is just my take on the world and I also can't guarantee it will be the solution.
 
BTW, 2dKH is absolutely fine for those tetras and rasboras. I'm not sure what your GH is but it may be beneficial to add a little Magnesium to achieve an approximate 3:1 ratio with the Calcium if you're not already doing so.
Cheers!
 
Hi all,

I'll do that and take it down to 5 hours and less intensity.
Honestly don't, you run the <"real risk"> of not providing enough light intensity (PAR) or light duration for your plants. Plant growth looks good at the moment and that really is the most important thing. Edit, what @bazz says.

Humans are incredibly poor at <"judging light intensity">, but we can take that variable ("lack of PAR") out of the equation by <"using floating plants"> (not CO2 limited) as both <"nutrient reducer"> and <"net curtain">.

The basic question is: Why would 19 hours darkness benefit an organism that uses intense light (and CO2) to make its food?
My worst fear from the start was getting BBA!
You are always going to <"end up with algae">, it might be possible to exclude BBA for a while, but diatoms, cyanobacteria and green algae (Chlorophyta) are <"universal in fresh water">, I know its difficult, but you have to concentrate on plant growth, that is the thing that matters, not any algae.

I'm <"deeply cynical"> but I think that the aquarium products industry has an interest in demonising "algae" (or "pest snails"), because that gives them an endless chance to sell useless products.
That looks like start of BBA and unfortunately no one here or anywhere else can tell you why and how.
We have some threads <"What exactly causes BBA?"> & <"What exactly causes BBA? Part 2 - Bacterial imbalance">, but not any definitive answers.

We also know that BBA can mysteriously detach and disappear, but again we don't know why <"Iron, Flow and BBA">.

cheers Darrel
 
It's difficult to tell for sure from photos but it looks like lowering the intensity of the lights has brought it down to a more acceptable level for a low tech tank but I personally wouldn't have reduced the duration to less than 8 hours and if it's been working for you for the last 2 1/2 years I wouldn't reduce the fert dosage either. The trouble is once you start starving the plants of light and nutrients they will start to degrade which creates an ideal environment for algae to proliferate. Large alterations of the parameters can also induce shock to the plants which will put them on a backfoot for a couple of weeks until they transition to their new environment again giving algae the upper hand. There was a recent thread on here concerning the same/similar type of algae and as far as I remember it never reached a conclusion as to what it definitively is. I personally would just get stuck in for a couple of weeks doing as large and frequent water changes as is feasibly possible, incessant cleaning (just before water change), trimming off of any effected leaves and then strive to bring about stability. To be fair though you've definitely got good plant growth and can't be too far away from a remedy.
As always, this is just my take on the world and I also can't guarantee it will be the solution.
This was EXACTLY my thinking during this process. I know many probably most when suspecting algae will say lights down or even off. However I bought the proper Aquasky light and decided to increase light. As my thinking was the plants need to outcompete the Algae. Also this started with lower light and higher light hasn't seen it go either. I do clean the glass and do weekly maintenance at the same time of water changing every week. My water clarity is something a lot comment on as to how I get it so clear lol. So I know my filter is doing just fine and I use two baskets of ceramics, filter wool/floss etc. I do have to take in to consideration that I have two light bars now. Albeit the original is pretty low at 24 watts and the new Aquasky is 33 watt so again not particularly strong. But still it's doubling wherever the light crosses. So perhaps I might raise my whites to 30% meaning both lights together when mixing will give approx 60% whites and so on. I mean 60% white mixed from a 24 and 33 watt LED strip is really not that strong especially in PAR as far as I know. So I'll adjust the lights I think to around the 6-7 hour mark with a bit of an increase to intensity. That is based on what you say which matches my initial thoughts. That algae can grow in low light, plants not so much.
 
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I may have missed it, but did you mention if this algae is well adhered to the leaves or not? You mentioned that you cleaned the algae on the filter before the picture. I ask because it kind of looks like cyanos to me in one of the pictures.
 
I may have missed it, but did you mention if this algae is well adhered to the leaves or not? You mentioned that you cleaned the algae on the filter before the picture. I ask because it kind of looks like cyanos to me in one of the pictures.
Not sure what you mean cleaned algae off the filter? I must be getting confused. But yeah the algae (if that's what it is) is almost like it's a stain. It's weird as there's no feel/substance to it. It looked velvety on the anubias leaves, yet when I took it out and rubbed the leaves I couldn't even feel it. It was like the leaf was stained or the algae is welded to the leaf. Not something I'm familiar with at all. I soaked the anubias plants in Easycarbo and they've cleaned up nice. But my Hyrgophilia has affected leaves with black on. I am going to start dosing Protolon 707 because I believe that if I can get whatever it is to die off, I'll be able to get my plants to outcompete this. Therefore dealing with the source which I believe light fluctuations triggered this. So keeping to a lower but enough and simpler light regime. With no sunset setting at the end of day, meaning reduced red lighting.
 
BBA will often be on the equipment inside the aquarium and is very hard to remove, often in or near the inflow, BGA generally removes easily ,can be syphoned up but if left alone can envelop your plants looks thin green sheet "spider web" look ,again it can be removed with the twisting toothbrush method but soon reappears if the cause is not addressed, but generally fish and shrimp will not touch it but health wise not affected.
 
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