Green Water - solution to the problem

I got a very bad algae bloom (Green Water) due to CO2 and HOB filter malfunctioning. At first I wasn't sure what to do. I had very little free time and such Green Water case needed many water changes and adjustments.
I decided to try something new :-) Instead of everyday water changes and fuss I decided to introduce LOTS of floating plants, almost covering all the water surface. I got Salvinia natans floating plant.
Since "green water algae" thrive in water with NH4 and strong lights, I planned to add floating plants to shade the tank (something like black-out) and to uptake the NH4 from the water column.
I also started dosing Easy Life FFM (fluid filter medium) in USA aka Easy Neo. This fluid product has a very good CEC (cation exchange capacity) and is able to bind NH4 very fast. I dosed Easy Life FFM every second day (recommended is once a month).

This next photo was taken approx 10 days after I had introduced the floating plants and Easy Life. Amazing!! And I didn't do any water change at all !!

Today this aquarium looks like this. I disconnected the CO2 and am running this tank as a Hi-light Low-tech covered with floating plants. The submersed plants seem not to mind these unusual conditions without CO2. I do dose Tropica+NPK 10ml every week. Instead of water change I only top up the evaporated water and re-dose with 10ml of Easy Life. Today I have no algae at all and plants which grow healthy.


Easy Life FFM aiding the system

As already mentioned earlier I tested some NH4 (0.6ppm) and my Amano shrimps were obviously under stress (not eating just hanging on one spot).
I started dosing Easy Life FFM (fluid filter medium) and just half an hour after dosing it the shrimps started behaving normally (eating, foraging).
This product probably contains liquid Zeolite which has a very good CEC (cation exchange capacity) which had removed the NH4.
Now I dose this product to all my tanks instead of the Tetra Aqua Safe.
Read more about Easy Life FFM here


The way it started and now

I set-up this tank in May '08. I used the DRY START method to cycle the soil. I cycled it for 4 month. I used mini landscape stones to create the hard-scape.
Two weeks ago I flooded this tank and started planting.
CO2 kicking in (1 bps)
Yesterday I received a few more plants which I ordered from Singapore.
I like this light green color (drop checker) :-)
54 litres tank 60x30x30
2x 24 watts T-5's (lights on for 10 hours)
2x 200 l/h HOB (hang on back) Aquatic Nature filters
2 kg CO2 Aqua Medic bottle, 1 bps non-stop
CO2 Drop Checker
CO2 dissolved via ceramic diffuser (mist)
Substrate - potting soil 4cm and 4 cm of fine reddish gravel (1.2mm grains)
Water change every week 30%
Dosing Tropica PlantNutrition+NPK 3x week 5ml each time
after wc 1/4 teaspoon GH-Booster and bicarbonates.

5 Amano shrimps

Eleocharis parvula (front), Pogostemon helferi (sides), Blyxa japonica (sides), Hemianthus micranthemoides (in the middle), Limnophila aquatica (left back) and Bacopa caroliniana (back right), Ludwigia arcuata (back), Ludwigia repens (centre back), Rotala rotundifolia "Green" (back left)

I did some testing today;
NH4 at 0.6ppm but could be less the color is very light Nutrafin test)
NO2 at 0 ppm

I have some algae on glass and some Staghorn on Blyxa and Eleocharis parvula. Also some minor Hair algae. I dosed Easy Carbo will see how it goes.
I will start dosing this tank with Easy Life Fluid Filter Medium which can bind NH4 (high CEC) That should fix this minor algae issue caused by NH4 presence