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Old 01-21-2009, 06:46 PM   #1
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Algae Problem!

Hey guys I noticed recently I started getting some algae growth...heres a picture of it...its like green blotches growing on the glass of the tank

Does anyone know how to get rid of it? I have a phosphate sponge in the tank right now so hopefully that will bring my phosphates down and prevent anymore algae...

And I just bought a timer so I'll have a planned lighting schedule from now on...i set it for 10 hours a day...is that enough light for my plants? I have a 130watt light and my tank is a 28 gallon bow front
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Old 01-21-2009, 08:06 PM   #2
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I get that all the time, so I just clean the glass with one of those magnetic glass scrapers.
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Old 01-21-2009, 08:19 PM   #3
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I have the same problem in my tank. If it is green spot algae, an algae sponge won't remove it, so I take an old credit card and scrape it off. If it is a soft film you can wipe it off or buy an algae eater. I just got a rubber lip pleco after a disaster with my goldies an ottos. He does a suprisingly good job with this type of algae.

Hope this helps!
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Old 01-21-2009, 09:40 PM   #4
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Are you injecting CO2 or dosing fertilizer? More than 4WPG is an awful light of light to have over the tank if you are not. Nutrient or CO2 deficiencies in the presence of high light can result in problem algae. If you are lacking fert or CO2, you can keep cleaning up the algae but it will continue to come back in full force.

BTW, 10 hr photo period should be more than adequate.
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Old 01-21-2009, 10:29 PM   #5
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Would Eco-Complete be considered a fertilizer? I recently purchased Flourish Excel which is suppose to be CO2 in a bottle and you add it every other day so hopefully that helps
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Old 01-21-2009, 10:39 PM   #6
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Ecocomplete has some essential micronutrients in it, but I bet with that much light you could still bottom out on macros (Nitrogen, Phosphorus, or K (potassium)) depending on how many plants you have in your tank.

I can tell you that under medium high light (which is a little more than half what you have over your tank), I experienced a lot of algae growth until I got my CO2 levels up and started religiously dosing a comprehensive micro formula, as well as individual solutions of N, P, and K. Once I did this, the algae growth almost disappeared.

Excel is a source of carbon, but it would be difficult to maintain the levels needed under those lighting conditions by solely using excel. It is better as a spot control for difficult BBA and the like. I would consider at least adding a DIY CO2 system to your tank, or downgrading the lighting. You could build 1 for about 5-10 bucks with some soda bottles, some super glue, and a few parts from your LFS.

In the mean time, there are some excellent algae control resources posted in the sticky at the top of this forum.

What kind of plants are you growing?
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Old 01-22-2009, 12:21 AM   #7
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I got a assortment of different plants, unfortunately i dont know specific names...heres a pic of the tank so far...i know theres some swords, crypt, java moss and java fern

the light i have is a Coralife Aqualight with duel bulbs, maybe I could just leave one of the bulbs off? Would that help any? I have no expierence with CO2 is it hard to maintain? How often do you have to refill it?

Also, I had a Anarchis in there and it died recently, what do you think caused that because I heard those plants are really hardy...
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Old 01-22-2009, 12:42 AM   #8
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Anacharis is super sensative to excel- there are a few plants that excel will "melt". My guess would be that's what did it in. I think one bulb would be more than adequate for you. It is important the bulb be the proper color temperature as well. Algae, being a simpler organism than plants, can utilize light that your plants may not be able to. I would suggest using 1 bulb with a 6500-6700k temp. Search the forum for DIY CO2. You will see some setup that forum members are utilizing. There is also a pic of my old DIY system in the 29G photo album linked below. You can determine how high maintenance you want to make it - I was very big into stabilizing my co2 because of the implications for reducing algae, so I changed the mixture in each bottle every six days or so. This equated to a mix change in one of the bottles every three days since I staggered my 2 reactors. A mixture change took about 5-10 min. Cost to keep it going with sugar and yeast was probably about 2 bucks a week. Some people though go a a couple weeks between changes. It just depends on your system, and your goal for co2 concentration level.

If u r into set it and forget it, you can invest in a pressurized system. That can set you back between 100 and 200 bucks for a basic setup, depending on if you invest in a pH controller to go with it. However these systems are virtually maintenance free. They can go months without adjustment or refill.
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Old 01-22-2009, 12:56 AM   #9
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The 2 bulbs on my light setup are a 65 watt 6700K fluorescent bulb...I'm guessing thats good? lol so you would suggest just using one and keep the other one switched off?
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Old 01-22-2009, 12:58 AM   #10
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BTW, you have a very nice looking tank.
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Old 01-22-2009, 12:59 AM   #11
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The 2 bulbs on my light setup are a 65 watt 6700K fluorescent bulb...I'm guessing thats good? lol so you would suggest just using one and keep the other one switched off?
Yes, with no ferts and no co2, and the plants you are growing, 65w is more than enough for your tank. Some might even argue that is still too much.
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Old 01-22-2009, 01:06 AM   #12
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thanks! i appreciate all the helpful information, i feel kind of dumb now for purchasing this light if i only needed one of the bulbs lol i spent like 200 bucks on it! i should of just stuck with a single instead of the duels, oh well...live and learn i guess, so would i still need a CO2 system if I switch it back down to one bulb?
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Old 01-22-2009, 01:12 AM   #13
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It would help get the algae under control, but you can manage without it. I can tell you this: if you are really into the FW plants, once you get co2 going, you probably wont want to go back... But it is a committment

Is it too late to return the fixture? You could get by with a dual t5ho fixture instead of the CF's and save $100 or more if you buy used on eBay.
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Old 01-22-2009, 01:30 AM   #14
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I guess I could return it but I dunno I may just keep it...another problem i have with the fixture is it's to bulky, even with the legs propping it up i can still barely open the top lid which is really annoying because i have to take the light off if i wanna do any type of cleaning in the tank

so what type of fixutres would you suggest if i were to replace it?

The guy that sold me the light seems to know alot about planted tank and told me it was better to have high light because light diffuses quickly in tanks and alot of light wont make it to the roots at the bottom
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Old 01-22-2009, 01:42 AM   #15
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Just a word of caution: most local fish stores will tell you whatever gets u to spend more dough. It is an unfortunate truth, but most of these stores are small struggling businesses so they need sales. You can read 100s of stories here about people being duped into buying things like non-aquatic plants sold as aquatic, unneeded (sometimes even harmful) chemical additives, etc etc. It's not that they are neccessarily dishonest- just trying to sell as much product as possible. Forums like this one (especially this one! ) are the best place to get advice. Proper light is absolutely important (maybe the most important factor for a great planted tank), but too much light is as bad (maybe worse?) than not enough. Roots don't need light btw. Photosynthesis occurs in the green chloroplasts found in the leaves of plants. This is the part of the plant that absorbs light. And also a standard flourescent tube will penetrate to the bottom of a 28 gal bow tank.

I have a NOVA extreme 2x24W T5HO fixture as a primary that would provide enough light for your tank if you wanted to stay low tech (no co2,etc). It is about 5"wide. However, there are a multitude of options out there, that just happens to be the fixture I settled on.
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Old 01-22-2009, 01:52 AM   #16
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so something like this would be good?

Current USA 24" Nova Extreme T-5 Fixture 2x24W 10K/Freshwater - AquaCave

i really should of researched this better lol
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Old 01-22-2009, 01:56 AM   #17
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Yes that is one of the fixtures I have, except mine is 30". Not sure on the x dimension of your tank. I have been happy with it. Just search around so you can find the best price. Aquabid.com and eBay are excellent resources if you feel comfortable buying used.
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Old 01-22-2009, 09:11 AM   #18
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Does anyone know how to get rid of it? I have a phosphate sponge in the tank right now so hopefully that will bring my phosphates down and prevent anymore algae...
Remove the phosphate sponge. Phosphate is one of the nutrients that plants need to grow. Unless your Phosphates out of the tap are sky high, there is absolutely no reason to lower the levels.
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Old 01-22-2009, 10:25 AM   #19
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BTW, you have a very nice looking tank.
I second what Fort384 said!
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Old 01-22-2009, 03:11 PM   #20
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Keep in mind that some algae in an aquarium is perfectly natural. All tanks will require a level of cleaning, and removal of algae.

Sometimes its hard to see all of the pictures online of picture perfect tanks, green plants, no algae and then look at your tank and see a couple of yellow leaves and a little algae, however; Ill make you one guarantee.... the pictures you are seeing are all taken right after a good cleaning.

I think I have a very healthy, medium-high light tank, with pressurized CO2 and a rigourous fert schedule... and every week when I am changing the water I am cleaning a bit of algae off the glass.

Just something to consider.
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