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First aquascape, need some advice


New Member
15 Nov 2021
Hi All,

My first aquascape is 2 weeks old,

I dry started the montecarlo until it had mostly carpeted then used superglue to fix the mosses to the wood and filled the tank 2 weeks ago, its a 75l tank
Using Tropica soil
ADA Aquasky light set for 8 hours a day
CO2 injection (approx 1 bubble every 3 seconds) set for the same time as the light is on
Oase biomaster thermo 250 filter

I'm doing 50% water changes about every 3-4 days

I'm starting to get this fine algae everywhere, should I shorten the light duration? more water changes?

Thanks in advance


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CO2 injection (approx 1 bubble every 3 seconds) set for the same time as the light is on
This unfortunately does not provide much information about your CO2 levels. Do you use a drop checker? It should be lime-green throughout the photoperiod, some people push into the yellow. Have you checked the amount your pH is dropping? Take a small sample (like a small cup/container) of tank water and leave it for 24 hrs, then check the pH of that water. That is your baseline. Take the pH of your tank the moment the lights turn on. You should have a drop of at least 1.0 from your degassed water to lights on. This drop should be stable throughout the photoperiod (this part is important).

Do note that these are just guides, neither a lime-green drop checker or 1.0 pH drop indicate perfect CO2 for your tank conditions, but they are very useful places to start, and many find this alone is sufficient. If a CO2 issue is still suspected after this, then the levels can be slowly increased by watching fish/livestock stress, and plant health.
I'm starting to get this fine algae everywhere
Do note that you have a new tank, so algae will be expected for a while. Although, I would expect a diatom phase before getting this type of algae so quickly.
should I shorten the light duration?
Yes, reduce both lighting duration AND intensity. Have the lights on for about 6 hours. When a new tank is first started up, it becomes very easy for algae to take over - plants are adapting to submerged living, so often they lose a lot of their old growth or otherwise leech organics into the water column. This attracts algae, and since the plants haven't adapted yet, they aren't growing healthily, which allows a great environment for algae to take over. To combat this, keep your lighting levels low until the plants have adapted, and keep your CO2 levels high and stable (the stability is important). You want to get the plant health growing healthily, and this will naturally inhibit algae.
more water changes?
Your water change schedule seems sufficient to me.
Thank you,
I’ve reduced the lighting to 6 hours a day but I can’t adjust the intensity with my light, it’s either on or off.
I do have a drop checker and it’s showing a blueish green so I’ve upped the CO2 bubble rate.

I’ll get some more olants in next week and keep up with the 50% water changes every 3-4 days