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Old 09-04-2015, 12:39 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by metallhd View Post

I am convinced (therefore) that direct sunlight and direct sunlight only is what will cause a bloom if nothing is there. Just my two cents but the cause in this case was obvious and had an immediate effect.
Lots of tanks that never see sunlight have algae, so I don't understand your line of thinking....
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Old 09-04-2015, 12:51 PM   #62
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Lots of tanks that never see sunlight have algae, so I don't understand your line of thinking....

I believe OP is saying that in the case of direct sunlight it will cause an algae bloom regardless of other factors.


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Old 09-04-2015, 01:01 PM   #63
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Regarding algae and nutrients.. I think people get confused by the idea that "excess" nutrients contribute to algae growth, which is inaccurate. Algae does not need anywhere near an "excess" of nutrients in order to thrive, not even close. Algae can thrive on tiny amounts compared to what is required by more complex organisms. You're better off limiting light duration/intensity for algae control. In my planted tank I add roughly 20 ppm nitrate, and 6 ppm phosphate every week (along with weekly 50% water changes), and this is on top of what is added by the fish's bioload. Loads of potassium too, not exactly sure how much, around 0.4 ppm of iron, and micro-nutrients as well. There is no algae to be seen. The only time it ever starts to rear its head is when I forget to change out my diy co2 generator bottles.

I've never owned a sw tank, but it's my understanding that keeping nutrient levels as minimal as possible is not as much for the purpose of algae control, it's more for the benefit of livestock, especially corals (for control of zooxanthellae population). In reality, the presence of algae is beneficial for corals, because it also contributes to nutrient control, which is why algae scrubbers are such a genius idea.
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Old 09-04-2015, 01:17 PM   #64
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I've never owned a sw tank, but it's my understanding that keeping nutrient levels as minimal as possible is not as much for the purpose of algae control, it's more for the benefit of livestock, especially corals (for control of zooxanthellae population). In reality, the presence of algae is beneficial for corals, because it also contributes to nutrient control, which is why algae scrubbers are such a genius idea.

Not quite, while algae scrubbers can be a good way to control "excess" nutrients in a system, algae growing in the display can over run corals and be far more detrimental to the over all health and appearance of the tank. And if there aren't excess nutrients in the system algae turf scrubbers don't really take off, it's better to just keep your nitrates to below about 5ppm and phosphates to a range of .03-.07ppm. Corals do need some small amounts of these, but to much is never a good thing. Strictly speaking of sw here


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Old 09-04-2015, 01:36 PM   #65
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Not quite, while algae scrubbers can be a good way to control "excess" nutrients in a system, algae growing in the display can over run corals and be far more detrimental to the over all health and appearance of the tank. And if there aren't excess nutrients in the system algae turf scrubbers don't really take off, it's better to just keep your nitrates to below about 5ppm and phosphates to a range of .03-.07ppm. Corals do need some small amounts of these, but to much is never a good thing. Strictly speaking of sw here


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Right, but the idea is to keep algae localized by providing favorable conditions (flow/lighting) within the system, just not in the display. My buddy's reef tank is picture-perfect, but the algae scrubber is overrun with loads of algae. Granted I have no idea where his nutrient levels are kept, I just know that all of the corals have beautiful coloration.
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Old 09-04-2015, 01:40 PM   #66
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Not quite, while algae scrubbers can be a good way to control "excess" nutrients in a system, algae growing in the display can over run corals and be far more detrimental to the over all health and appearance of the tank. And if there aren't excess nutrients in the system algae turf scrubbers don't really take off, it's better to just keep your nitrates to below about 5ppm and phosphates to a range of .03-.07ppm. Corals do need some small amounts of these, but to much is never a good thing. Strictly speaking of sw here


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+1 even sw fish are more sensitive to excess nutrients. Rarely see even a FOWLR system that's overstocked. One of the reasons marine aquariums have such a higher setup cost. My 15g nano tank, that I have yet to add corals too, with only 2 fish in it has a sump with nearly as many gallons of the display. I haven't had an algae issue but I also only have .5w LEDs on the main till I add photosynthetic life and compact fluorescent grow lights on the sump. So light might also be major factor here as well.


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Old 09-04-2015, 02:25 PM   #67
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Working retail sometimes makes me cry a little inside when ever customers buy filter media. if none of my bosses are around i try to explain why they shouldnt bother, you should see their faces when the cashier starts sounding smart xD
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Old 09-04-2015, 02:37 PM   #68
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Yes i wasnt suggesting having an unlit tank. Thanks for your response though.

If you research into EI nutrient dosing you will see it is all about excess nutrients. Plenty of tanks using EI with no algae.


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Yes it's true, The EI people get good results from the ratio trick. I never could get that to work in my tanks. I recently had a minor GHA issue which according to the balancing articles should be caused by high Nitrates. Mine are undetectable. Having high phosphates I should be getting cyano instead. Not what is happening So I removed the phosphate and my GHA turned white and started to fade out. Let phosphate re accumulate and it's green again. Grrrrr I really wish I could get this ratio trick working. It seems so much easier. I am starting to suspect that Alelopathy is a much bigger player in planted tanks then anyone realizes. More then nutrients. If nutrients are great and plants are great then maybe they just kill the crap out of the algae I know that approach can work because so many people here do it every day. Frustrated
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Old 09-04-2015, 02:53 PM   #69
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Regarding algae and nutrients.. I think people get confused by the idea that "excess" nutrients contribute to algae growth, which is inaccurate. Algae does not need anywhere near an "excess" of nutrients in order to thrive, not even close.
Micro Algae needs nutrients to be present in the water column to live. What level they need is debatable. They must have some. Just like they must have some light too.

Plants do not have to have nutrients in the water. They can also take it from the substrate. If you go along with that strategy then any nutrients in the water at all are "Excess" and make algae a possibility. However, The high tech planted tank people love to load up there nutrients so the plant will always have them available and grow as fast as possible. They maintain a certain ratio which for them seems to prevent algae somehow. Plants also do chemical warfare called alelopathy which can kill the algae. That may be another reason why no algae is present in these tanks even with lots of nutrients.

I would propose that too much or the wrong type of light, too much or the wrong ratio of nutrients, and the alelopathic chemicals of aquatic plants can all be issues that could cause algae to thrive. It is a complex system and no one of them is going to cause the problem in every case. You have to look at your system as a whole and try to see what is the most likely culprit.

In the cases of green water I have looked into the problem always seemed to be exposure to daylight and super high nutrients both phosphate and nitrate.

In the cases of green colored algae where the keeper was aware of nitrate, phosphate was still off the chart but only because the keeper was not aware of it. Once that was solved, the algae went away.

The whole light vs nutrients vs alkalinity vs co2 level argument is ongoing because they are all factors I believe if a person does what they can to address these factors, they will most likely have very little algae.

A few oto cats or bristle nose never hurt either

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Old 09-04-2015, 03:40 PM   #70
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Plants do not have to have nutrients in the water. They can also take it from the substrate. If you go along with that strategy then any nutrients in the water at all are "Excess" and make algae a possibility. However, The high tech planted tank people love to load up there nutrients so the plant will always have them available and grow as fast as possible. They maintain a certain ratio which for them seems to prevent algae somehow.
In low light tanks with nutrient-rich substrate and certain types of plants you might get away with no ferts added to the water column, but to say that plants don't need nutrients in the water is a broad statement that does not apply in most cases.

I find that the idea of needing a specific ratio is also flawed. Of course I dose roughly proportional amounts, but I don't worry about specific ratios.

I add plenty of ferts to my low-light 5.5 tank also. It generally has even higher nutrient levels than my main tank with co2, and it does not have algae either. I could add even more ferts to the 5.5 than I already do, and there would still be no algae, because the lighting is just enough to grow plants without the need for injecting co2.

Let's say you have a planted tank with slightly excessive lighting but still no algae. The aquarist adds some fertilizers, and then algae shows up, so the aquarist blames the fertilizer, when the actual reason is there was a bit too much light to begin with, and adding the nutrients enabled the algae spores to take advantage of the available excess light energy. This is because the lack of nutrients is no longer limiting growth, and the insufficient amount of co2 now becomes the limiting factor for plant growth. The plants struggle with insufficient co2, algae not so much, so guess which one wins. Keep adding the ferts, but either reduce lighting, add co2, or add more plant mass, (or all three) and you would very likely see the algae subside and not return.
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