Each week in Aquascaping Answers, I do my best answering your aquascaping and aquascaping related questions. Just leave your question in the comments section!
This week's questions both deal with common misconceptions. The first is probably going to be a bit of a let down, but at least you know you aren't doing anything wrong!
When you're working with CO2 setups with proper fertilizer dosing, can you eliminate algae? When I see pictures, I never even seen specs of green dust algae on the glass. Is this because of the good tank balance or are people putting their best foot forward and cleaning up the tank prior to photo shoots?
When you see pictures of an aquascape online for a competition or just for show, most of the time you won't see any algae at all. This is achieved through proper fertilizer dosing and lighting, but also via manual removal and maintenance before the photo is taken. It is almost impossible to create an aquarium setup without algae. Algae is natural will always be present. Dosing correctly and keeping your tank in "balance" will keep algae in check and minimize (but not eliminate) it. Often, manual algae removal is required as that last extra step to make a balanced tank really sparkle. I don't know anyone who doesn't scrape down the glass now and then. It's just a part of keeping a planted aquarium. Keeping a well balanced aquarium just means you have to do it much less often.
Could you post some more info on stocking Planted Tanks? Like, not recommended fish/algae eaters, but post what bio-load of fish Planted tank are good with?
There are many differing opinions on stocking levels for aquariums, it's best to do, but the general rule of thumb is about 1 gallon for every 1 inch of fish. Some fish are dirtier than others though, so you'll have to adjust this slightly. Also, remember to determine the gallons per fish based on the full size of the fish, not what size it is now! For planted tanks, this rule relaxes, but only slightly. I wouldn't push it much beyond this stocking limit, even with lots of plants. So if you have 25 inches of fish to house, I wouldn't try to cram that in anything smaller than a 20 gallon with lots of plants.
Ask a question about aquascaping, keeping aquatic plants, plant-friendly fish, lighting, CO2, fertilizing, or any other aquarium plant related question in the comments to this post, and I'll answer them in next week's edition.
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