Major issues with Algae - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 08:59 PM Thread Starter
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Major issues with Algae

My tank has been up for over 1 1/2 years (low tech, no co2) and I continue to struggle with algae. I believe I have black beard algae, hair algae, green algae, etc. I have plenty of filtration 2 AC 70's. I do 30% water change every other week. My light is a Finnex 24/7 +. It is on a timer for 11 hours. The light isn't very intense the whole 11 hours because of the way it cycles through. Is this still too much light? I was thinking that I would try adding some floating plants to reduce the overall light I am getting into the tank. I add excel 1 time per week and that doesn't seem to help. Will the floaters help? If so which ones would be best? Should I just put the light on for less hours?
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 10:00 PM
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too much light, not enough plants
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 10:11 PM Thread Starter
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What plants should I add? Which ones will grow fast? What about floaters?
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 10:11 PM
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Try reducing the light to 9 hours, do you have any algae eating fish in the tank ? Does it get any additional sunlight on top of the lighting cycle.?


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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 10:17 PM
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I would start by reducing your lighting to 8 hours max, and doing more water changes. Also, please provide your Nitrate and Phosphate levels. 30% every 2 weeks is really pretty light for water changes. Remember, your filters only house beneficial bacteria and mulm. They do not remove nitrates from your tank. That is what water changes are for. If you have high lighting, you are walking a dangerous line with having an algae explosion.

Edit: just noticed you are not running CO2. You need to lower your light levels and perform larger, more frequent water changes.

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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 10:17 PM Thread Starter
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I'll reduce light. It doesn't get any other light. I don't have any algae eaters. This tank has a beta sorority, yoyo loaches, and rummy nose tetras.

Bump: Nitrates are 10-15. Haven't tested phosphates. I'm not a fan of how these light works. When it's on a timer it defaults to 24/7 mode when it comes on. I didn't think this light was that intense.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 11:12 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Funken_A View Post
You can do a Hydrogen peroxide spray on those plants and it won't hurt anything.

Just need a good spray bottle.


This should help you at least regain control of it while you work the parameters back to optimal


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geFDaOhCphA
I've read a lot about this. I'm just very nervous and don't want to lose my fish. But, I may resort to trying this.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-21-2017, 01:44 PM
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Be very careful with h2o2 don't overdose, I've killed a few fish that way.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-21-2017, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by msujohn View Post
I'm not a fan of how these light works. When it's on a timer it defaults to 24/7 mode when it comes on. I didn't think this light was that intense.
Buy a cheap timer from Amazon or a local big box store and use that. Set the light to Max or sunny mode and run it for no more than 8 hours. I have the same light and this is what I have to do. The 24/7 mode is fun, but not good for the plants. It only gives you 3 hours of Max light time, which really isn't enough for the plants. But then it's on at much lower levels for way too long. This provides only a small benefit to the plants, and a very large benefit to algae which only need a little light.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-21-2017, 02:05 PM
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Just sharing an experience. I have just flooded my tank 2 weeks ago after doing a dry start with ADA Amazonia and dwarf hairgrass. I cut my lighting to 8 hrs a day and was waiting results of testing over a few days to ensure I was ready to stock. day 3 in I was at 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and 15ppm nitrates and ready to stock but by day 3 due to my high light (finnex ray2) my tank had literally turned into a thin green mat of algae covering everything but the plants. I decided to leave the algae for my cleanup crew that I was getting to see just how effective they would be. This consisted of 2 American flagfish, 6 ottocinclus catfish and 3 nerite snails. The flagfish did nothing for the type of algae I had but are good for hair algae. The nerites slowly picked away at it and did a decent job. The 6 ottocinclus were like watching lawnmowers on crack I mean literally 2 days and no trace of algae. I have now increased my lighting to 12hrs a day in an attempt to get as much growth from my plants as possible and the cleaning crew seem to have no problem keeping up. I am not saying this is a solution to your problem but I do feel every tank could use a cushion to make it easier to maintain.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-21-2017, 02:43 PM
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Have you tried dosing Excel daily? Once per week doesn't really do much. I would also recommend a thorough clean up. Manually remove as much algae as you can, take affected plants out and do a peroxide dip, vac out excess organics.

I have a 20H low tech with the same light running in 24-7 mode and have very minimal algae. It is jam-packed full of plants, though. I have had a variety of floaters since start-up about a year ago which probably helped. Most of the floaters are gone since the 'Duckweed Extermination Protocol' I went through a few months back, but still have minimal algae.

So it isn't necessarily 'too much light,' although it may be 'not enough plants for the amount of light'. Always a tough one to figure out. Increased plant mass can't hurt. Floaters may help in the long run. Amano shrimp and/or some snails may help. Regular tank maintenance definitely helps. Daily dosing of Excel as soon as you see algae starting up can keep it from taking over.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-21-2017, 03:29 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by elusive77 View Post
Buy a cheap timer from Amazon or a local big box store and use that. Set the light to Max or sunny mode and run it for no more than 8 hours. I have the same light and this is what I have to do. The 24/7 mode is fun, but not good for the plants. It only gives you 3 hours of Max light time, which really isn't enough for the plants. But then it's on at much lower levels for way too long. This provides only a small benefit to the plants, and a very large benefit to algae which only need a little light.

My light is currently on a timer. But, when it goes off and comes back on it defaults to 24/7 mode. I was running it for 11 hours a day and now I'm going to try 8 hours. When you use a timer and it goes off and comes back on, it stays in the max mode? I wonder if I have an issue with my light?

Bump:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dman911 View Post
Just sharing an experience. I have just flooded my tank 2 weeks ago after doing a dry start with ADA Amazonia and dwarf hairgrass. I cut my lighting to 8 hrs a day and was waiting results of testing over a few days to ensure I was ready to stock. day 3 in I was at 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and 15ppm nitrates and ready to stock but by day 3 due to my high light (finnex ray2) my tank had literally turned into a thin green mat of algae covering everything but the plants. I decided to leave the algae for my cleanup crew that I was getting to see just how effective they would be. This consisted of 2 American flagfish, 6 ottocinclus catfish and 3 nerite snails. The flagfish did nothing for the type of algae I had but are good for hair algae. The nerites slowly picked away at it and did a decent job. The 6 ottocinclus were like watching lawnmowers on crack I mean literally 2 days and no trace of algae. I have now increased my lighting to 12hrs a day in an attempt to get as much growth from my plants as possible and the cleaning crew seem to have no problem keeping up. I am not saying this is a solution to your problem but I do feel every tank could use a cushion to make it easier to maintain.
Dan
My tank temp is set at 79 (too high for Otto's - I believe). I also have yoyo loaches, so can't add any nerite snails. Very limited options for a clean up crew with my stocking currently.

Bump:
Quote:
Originally Posted by d33pVI View Post
Have you tried dosing Excel daily? Once per week doesn't really do much. I would also recommend a thorough clean up. Manually remove as much algae as you can, take affected plants out and do a peroxide dip, vac out excess organics.

I have a 20H low tech with the same light running in 24-7 mode and have very minimal algae. It is jam-packed full of plants, though. I have had a variety of floaters since start-up about a year ago which probably helped. Most of the floaters are gone since the 'Duckweed Extermination Protocol' I went through a few months back, but still have minimal algae.

So it isn't necessarily 'too much light,' although it may be 'not enough plants for the amount of light'. Always a tough one to figure out. Increased plant mass can't hurt. Floaters may help in the long run. Amano shrimp and/or some snails may help. Regular tank maintenance definitely helps. Daily dosing of Excel as soon as you see algae starting up can keep it from taking over.

I plan to add quite a few more plants very soon. I'd like your thoughts on some fast growing plants, as well as some floating plant options.
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-21-2017, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Funken_A View Post
Its almost impossible to really overdose unless you're completely careless. Directly spraying your fish snails or shrimp probably would stress and kill them but residual spray most likely will have little effect . Just make sure no creatures are in the spray path. You can spray directly inside the tank but you have to be close enough for the H2O2 to make contact with the algae/plants before rapidly breaking into separate H20 and O molecules. Literally need to be 1 to 2 inches (24 mm to 50 mm away) away from the infected area.

I usually do a water change shortly after or I do a peroxide spot treatments or while in the middle of water change / prune / basic maintenance so this would also help with any toxicity concerns.. Mostly because if I am treating algae I'm also scraping glass and trimming leaves so a water change helps ensure I get as much algae infection out as I can while investigating the root cause(s)

if you can you can pull some plants and do a 50% peroxide water soak for a few minutes. I do this with driftwood pieces.. I also can spray and let H2O2 sit for a while when its a pulled plant then just place the plant back in the tank when I think its had enough

I bought some nice amber spray bottles off amazon.com that have a really powerful spray pump and a wide misting ability at close range. These are the ones I bought.. Very nice

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1


There are multiple videos on youtube regarding how to go about this. You will see some really incredible tanks and these owners quite liberally using H2O2 in there tanks.. SO your concerns should be put to rest quickly
I had a couple of beloved chain loaches swim directly into the area where I was spot treating on two occasions, first and second time was at least a year apart. No other fish were affected except the ones that swam into the area. I guess you could have a net in the area to scare away fish. I am extremely careful after those 2 times.
If you are really careful spot treating works but if you don't figure out why you were getting algae in the first place it'll most likely come back.
Good luck! Nothing more I hate than BBA lol
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-21-2017, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msujohn View Post
My light is currently on a timer. But, when it goes off and comes back on it defaults to 24/7 mode. I was running it for 11 hours a day and now I'm going to try 8 hours. When you use a timer and it goes off and comes back on, it stays in the max mode? I wonder if I have an issue with my light?

Bump:

My tank temp is set at 79 (too high for Otto's - I believe). I also have yoyo loaches, so can't add any nerite snails. Very limited options for a clean up crew with my stocking currently.

Bump:


I plan to add quite a few more plants very soon. I'd like your thoughts on some fast growing plants, as well as some floating plant options.
Otto's should be fine at 79.

Dan
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-21-2017, 03:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msujohn View Post
My light is currently on a timer. But, when it goes off and comes back on it defaults to 24/7 mode. I was running it for 11 hours a day and now I'm going to try 8 hours. When you use a timer and it goes off and comes back on, it stays in the max mode? I wonder if I have an issue with my light?
It should not default to 24/7 mode on power on. It should default to it's last setting. The 24/7 mode can be tricky to get out of though. When setting it to 24/7 mode, you have to press the 24/7 button, the time button, and then 24/7 button again. If you don't push the 24/7 button the 2nd time, you will still be in the 24/7 config mode, and you will not be able to use any of other modes (max, sunny, rgb) until you press it again. If you can press the Max button and see a very noticeable difference, then it should be working. At that point, if you power off and back on and it defaults to 6am, then it's not working correctly.
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