Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Freshwater > Freshwater & Brackish - Planted Tanks
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 08-14-2016, 08:16 PM   #1
Grand Poobah of Fish Poo
 
Barliman's Avatar


 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Los Angeles, 3rd door on the left
Posts: 1,899
Advice needed with algae problem

Hello. My name is Barliman and I have an algae problem.

So, after several months with little to know algae, in the last feww weeks it's really taken off in my tanks. There are three types I've spotted. Green spot, Green Fuzz, and Green Beard. It's a very Green tank.

Here are a couple of photos.

Green fuzz and green spot:


Green beard:


The green fuzz has mostly attacked my alternanthera, which was once a lovely red, now a bilious green, It seemingly came out of nowhere over the span of about ten days and mostly covered it.

The green beard is weird stuff: I've never encountered algae that grows of the substrate before. It first appeared on some drift wood months ago, but that's since vanished. However it grows in large patches on the substrate --for example at the base of my e. tenellus-- and sometimes I find patches growing amongst leaves. Am I right to suspect it likes low-flow areas?

Anyway, I ran tests on my aquarium and tap water. Here's the data:

Tap as of 8/10 (after sitting 24 hours):
PH 7.6
NH3 <.25
NO2 0.0
NO3 <= 5
GH 7-8
KH 3
PO4 0.0

Aquarium as of 8/7, after a water change (a week ago, but the readings have been stable):
PH 7.4
NH3 0.0
NO2 0.0
NO3 0-5ppm (and I'd bet on zero from the chart)
GH 8
KH 3-4
PO4 0-0.25
Free Iron <= 0-.1
Chelated Iron .25-.5

The test kits were an API Master kit and a Nutrafin iron test.

Hardware:
20-long tank
Aquaclear 50 and 20 filters, one at each end of the rear wall of the tank. The 50 has sponge, purigen, and biomedia. The 20 has sponge and biomedia.
Finnex Planted+ LED, on eight hours a day. Distance from light to substrate about 12 inches.
100 watt Visitherm heater
40 pounds of Eco-complete substrate.
Fertilization is liquid: I dose the whole Seachem line including Iron and follow the instructions on the bottles. (I may soon be switching to Aquarium Co-op's "Easy Green" to replace much of the Seachem and cut expenses.)
The tank gets a 20% water change every week. It's been running since February, has had fish and plants since April.

Inhabitants:
11 neon tetras
6 adult platys and a bunch of fry, soon to be moved to another tank.
5 amano shrimp
2 otocinclus
Numerous tiny snails.

Plants:
Cardamine Lyrata (grows like a weed)
Ludwigia repens (grows fast)
Hygrophila corymbosa stricta (slow grower)
Echinodorus tenellus, narrow leaf (spreading nicely)
Alternanthera reineckii roseafolia (slow grower)
Marsilea hirsuta (mostly gone)

So, I'm open to suggestions and advice. I think I've done generally well with this tank, but something is out of whack, and I'd like to get it to the pretty aquatic garden it was a few weeks ago. For now I've upped the Excel to 3ml daily to see if it will retard the algae

My theories:
Nitrogen starvation
Carbon starvation
A combination of the two
Evil spirits


Thanks much in advance!
__________________

__________________
----
Now open: "JJ&J's Seafood Buffet" 20g long planted freshwater.
Barliman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2016, 08:55 PM   #2
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
TMaier's Avatar



POTM Champion
Tank of the Month Award
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Concord, CA
Posts: 4,234
Evil spirits.


Sent from my iPhone using Aquarium Advice
__________________

__________________
Old lady with tanks...
TMaier is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2016, 09:23 PM   #3
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
Stacey W.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 619
Lol TMaier! Anyway, this is what I did (advice from an awesome fish shop).
1. Decreased my lighting (from 8hrs to 6hrs)
2. Stopped all ferts until I saw deficiencies
3. Crammed packed my tank with Wisteria and Watersprite.
4. Used lots of patience

With lighting you can also create a break in the light cycle to give CO2 a chance to built up.

Sent from my SM-N920T using Aquarium Advice mobile app
__________________
Stacey W. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2016, 09:54 PM   #4
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
TMaier's Avatar



POTM Champion
Tank of the Month Award
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Concord, CA
Posts: 4,234
I have never had any issues with algae and a few months ago brown crud covered my tank. I got rid of it in a few weeks but I still think it was evil spirits. My corkscrew Val was all lost, but everything else pulled through.


Sent from my iPhone using Aquarium Advice
__________________
Old lady with tanks...
TMaier is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2016, 10:31 PM   #5
Aquarium Advice Addict
Community Moderator
 
Fresh2o's Avatar



Tank of the Month Award
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 12,517
Advice needed with algae problem

Ouch.
What intensity are you running the 24/7? Full (100%)? Less than that? I would drop it down until you can get the ferts and carbon to adequate levels (to match the lights). In my moss only shrimp tank I don't add ferts or carbon and run the 24/7 at 10-20%.
IMO the plants are starving. Very low nitrate and phosphate. I cannot comment on the Seachem line outside of I've used Flourish Comprehensive paired with API Leaf Zone for about a year. They worked fine (no real algae issues) but I was not measuring nitrate and phosphate at the time. I then stepped up the lighting from a FugeRay to a Planted+ and went from FYI to pressurized CO2. I then went with GLA PPS-Pro dry ferts. Much more economical; I ordered a $30 kit back in DEC 2013 and I might be halfway through it as this point. I also bought a phosphate test kit. I try to keep the nitrates between 10-20 ppm and phosphate between 5-10 ppm. I run a FugeRay AND a planted plus on my 20 long (on separate timers with a 1-2 hour overlap). I used to get green spot algae when I used the PPS-Pro macro mix at the suggested concentrations (measured 2-3 ppm phosphate). I then read about a correlation between GSA and low phosphate and triple dosed it. Within weeks the GSA disappeared.
I believe the plants are starving and the algae are being opportunistic. Consider trying either PPS-Pro or Estimative Index (EI) methods of fertilization. Both basically flood your tank with nutrients. With enough carbon present, you should get good plant growth and minimal algae.
Edit: Order Metricide 14 online. A single gallon ($20?) is equivalent to 7.5 bottles of Excel volume wise and equal to 15 bottles based on active ingredient (Glutaraldehyde). Make sure it is Metricide 14 and not 28 (big and potentially toxic difference).

Sent from my iPhone using Aquarium Advice
__________________
I am an ALGAE farmer.
Terms of Service | Community Rules | FresH2O's Planted Tank | Fresh2o's Shrimp Tank
Fresh2o is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2016, 01:21 AM   #6
Grand Poobah of Fish Poo
 
Barliman's Avatar


 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Los Angeles, 3rd door on the left
Posts: 1,899
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMaier View Post
Evil spirits.
I KNEW IT!!!
__________________
----
Now open: "JJ&J's Seafood Buffet" 20g long planted freshwater.
Barliman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2016, 01:41 AM   #7
Grand Poobah of Fish Poo
 
Barliman's Avatar


 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Los Angeles, 3rd door on the left
Posts: 1,899
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fresh2o View Post
Ouch.
Tell me about it.

And, before we go any further, thanks for the detailed advice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fresh2o View Post
What intensity are you running the 24/7? Full (100%)? Less than that? I would drop it down until you can get the ferts and carbon to adequate levels (to match the lights). In my moss only shrimp tank I don't add ferts or carbon and run the 24/7 at 10-20%.
It's the prior model, the Planted+ with no control or ability to change the intensity. I almost sprang for the 24/7...

I wonder if cutting the lights back to 6-7 hours would have a similar effect?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Fresh2o View Post
IMO the plants are starving. Very low nitrate and phosphate.
That's what I thought.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fresh2o View Post
I then went with GLA PPS-Pro dry ferts. Much more economical; I ordered a $30 kit back in DEC 2013 and I might be halfway through it as this point.
That would be this kit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fresh2o View Post
I run a FugeRay AND a planted plus on my 20 long (on separate timers with a 1-2 hour overlap).
Wow. That's a lot of light. How long is the photoperiod in total?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fresh2o View Post
I used to get green spot algae when I used the PPS-Pro macro mix at the suggested concentrations (measured 2-3 ppm phosphate). I then read about a correlation between GSA and low phosphate and triple dosed it. Within weeks the GSA disappeared.
Hmm... Since I have the materials at hand. I might just up the dose of Seachem's Nitrogen and Phosphorus gradually to bring the nitrates and phosphates up to the levels you describe. Carbon would still be a limiting factor: I'm reluctant to take the Excel much beyond 3-4ml daily, because I don't know how sensitive Otos and shrimp are to glutaraldehyde. I may yet have to break down and either DIY or install a pressurized CO2 system, but it makes me a bit nervous to leave those unattended during the day. (Silly of me, I know. )

Meanwhile, I think I mentioned in the initial post that I had treated a patch of green beard algae with hydrogen peroxide on Sunday. Checked it today and the results were noticeable: the patch was shrinking and fading. I'm going to keep this treatment up to get rid of the worst spots.

Thanks again!
__________________
----
Now open: "JJ&J's Seafood Buffet" 20g long planted freshwater.
Barliman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2016, 09:42 PM   #8
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Bert2oo1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 2,548
DIY isn't worth it if u ask me. I'm running medium to high light and 3bps on DIY and I chew through a batch of citric and bicarb in about 4-5 days. I'm just about to go to pressurised as it's cheaper in the long run and less to maintain


30g planted, 90g Oscar tank
__________________
Bert2oo1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2016, 10:28 PM   #9
Aquarium Advice Addict
Community Moderator
 
Fresh2o's Avatar



Tank of the Month Award
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 12,517
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bert2oo1 View Post
DIY isn't worth it if u ask me. I'm running medium to high light and 3bps on DIY and I chew through a batch of citric and bicarb in about 4-5 days. I'm just about to go to pressurised as it's cheaper in the long run and less to maintain


30g planted, 90g Oscar tank

I thought those batches were supposed to last much longer than that. Are you shutting it off during non-lighted hours? If I was ever going to get back into DIY CO2, I was going to try the citric acid method.
I did yeast based CO2 for almost a year before I switched to a pressurized setup. I was using a Finnex FugeRay over a 20 long (PAR ~45 @12"...lower end of medium lighting) so 1 bubble every 2-3 seconds seemed to work out. Here's a pic of the tank about a month before I switched to pressurized. I wanted to venture into more demanding stem plants and needed a consistent source of carbon.

I agree, it's less maintenance and probably more cost effective (after the initial purchase) going with a pressurized setup + timer.


Sent from my iPhone using Aquarium Advice
__________________
I am an ALGAE farmer.
Terms of Service | Community Rules | FresH2O's Planted Tank | Fresh2o's Shrimp Tank
Fresh2o is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2016, 01:24 AM   #10
Grand Poobah of Fish Poo
 
Barliman's Avatar


 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Los Angeles, 3rd door on the left
Posts: 1,899
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fresh2o View Post
I thought those batches were supposed to last much longer than that. Are you shutting it off during non-lighted hours? If I was ever going to get back into DIY CO2, I was going to try the citric acid method.
That's one reason I haven't set up the citric acid CO2 system I have, even though I've gathered most of the parts: I'm not home during the day to open the valve when the lights come on. (I've also read other people who say DIY can be left running at night, but I'm not comfortable chancing it.)

That's a beautiful tank, by the way.
__________________

__________________
----
Now open: "JJ&J's Seafood Buffet" 20g long planted freshwater.
Barliman is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
advice, algae, problem

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
New & have Problem. Advice needed qotsa Member Introductions 7 06-27-2011 07:02 AM
Possible Hydro Sponge Filter Problem? Big Problem or Little Problem? Frank15 Freshwater & Brackish - Getting Started 7 03-05-2010 01:47 AM
alge problem advice needed unskilled Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 8 02-02-2008 02:45 PM
algae eater-advice needed sarah5775 Freshwater & Brackish - Getting Started 4 09-15-2006 01:47 PM
Help! Noive needs advice with Algae problem benjamin_sf Saltwater Reef Aquaria 4 09-02-2003 03:17 PM







» Photo Contest Winners








Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:29 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.