Frustration setting in. Suggestions? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 55 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 04:47 AM Thread Starter
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Frustration setting in. Suggestions?

Two months I have been experiencing a fair amount of algae on most but not all plants. Things got out of hand and I pulled all affected plants. I cleaned and removed all algae infected stems, leaves, and plants. This was one week to the day. Since the remodel I lowered the light from 7 to 6 hours but algae has still decided it wishes to stay. Prior to this 2 month algae party things were well balanced and I only had a small amount of algae on my ar which I could clean off during water changes. This particular type of algae that is present cannot be removed by wiping off. Any suggestions on what route to take going forward and keeping my tank free of this nuisance?

Tank
40g breeder

Stocking
2 Angels
4 Golden Zebra Loach
10 Cherry Barbs
8 Peppered Corys
7 Otos
10 Amanos
5 mix of Nerite & Mystery snails

Filtration
Canister
Purigen
Tons of media

Plants
Anubias
Wisteria
Dwarf Sag
Crypt Something
Ludwigia Repens
Java Fern
Tiger Lotus
AR Something
Rotala Something
Madagascar Lace
Crinum Calistratum
Crinum Natans
Amazon Sword
Salvania Minima
Frogbit
Duckweed
A few unknown stems

Stats
Temp 78
PH 7.2
Ammo - 0
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 5
No other kits to test GH, KH, or anything else you may ask about.

Light
6 hours 3 on, 3 off, & 3 on
Finnex 24/7

Dosing
Macro & Micro Daily using PPI
Metricide Daily (mixed to excel concentration)

Feeding
Twice Daily

Substrate
Black Diamond with osmocote root tabs

Water Change
Twice weekly 30% or more each wc.

Bump:

Bump:

Bump:

Bump:
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Last edited by Carpathian; 04-10-2017 at 04:53 AM. Reason: Pictures
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post #2 of 55 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 05:26 AM
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When in doubt, buy a squad of amano's. 40g breeder, I would get 20 amanos and 20 otocinclus. I would also recommend a hydrogen peroxide treatment... some livebearers pick at algae too!
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post #3 of 55 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 05:29 AM
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I would try a once per week 50% w/c,be sure to clean the filter each week.You might increase the siesta period from 3 to 4 hrs.Also,you might think about switching to EI method of dosing,!/3 once a week for macros,1/3 twice a week for micros.Maybe less with the Ocote+ in the substrate.

How's the plant growth?

Also,doing macro and micros on the same day will lead to much of the nutrients precipitating out,creating an imbalance.dose micros on alternating days from the macros.
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post #4 of 55 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 05:30 AM Thread Starter
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Here is a shot when this first started occurring. The crypt spirals started to show algae which I attributed to the fact that if was growing so close to the light. Clearly I was wrong, as this has now taken over a majority of plants and I'm afraid it will continue if I don't get help. My troubleshooting has proved ineffective but I was able to save the plant by cleaning it and place it in another tank and it had been fine ever since.
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post #5 of 55 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 06:17 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sharambil View Post
When in doubt, buy a squad of amano's. 40g breeder, I would get 20 amanos and 20 otocinclus. I would also recommend a hydrogen peroxide treatment... some livebearers pick at algae too!
My amanos haven't touched the algae. I dropped around 12 in there and they all hang out on the sponge filter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MtAnimals View Post
I would try a once per week 50% w/c,be sure to clean the filter each week.You might increase the siesta period from 3 to 4 hrs.Also,you might think about switching to EI method of dosing,!/3 once a week for macros,1/3 twice a week for micros.Maybe less with the Ocote+ in the substrate.

How's the plant growth?

Also,doing macro and micros on the same day will lead to much of the nutrients precipitating out,creating an imbalance.dose micros on alternating days from the macros.
I have a pre-filter attached that I clean every wc, the filter is inspected every two weeks but I usually don't have to touch it till 3-4 weeks.

I will have to research the EI and its dosing guidelines. I imagine I have to dose more at once then the little I dose daily.

Plants overall show new growth and do well enough to survive, but at a much slower rate than previously. By the time each leaf reaches its potential size it is ready to be clipped due to the algae coverage. The wisteria always needed to be trimmed once a week, but now it barely gets out of hand.

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post #6 of 55 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 06:19 AM
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I found that the hydrogen peroxide was the most effective, spot treatment especially. I had an algae problem once, and I fixed it by rescaping completely while using established substrate. I would do a 3 day blackout. Should be effective enough, then smack the algae with hydrogen peroxide.

Bump: Try increasing height of light, should decrease intensity.

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post #7 of 55 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 06:27 AM
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I'd decrease the feeding amount and frequency. Try not to let the Amanos get any of the prepared food if possible. Is this a Non-CO2 system?
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post #8 of 55 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 06:35 AM
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Am curious what type of media other than Purigen exist's in the filter(s) and how often the filter(s) is/are serviced.
Some believe Bio-media compete's directly with plant's for same food's and with this in mind,bio-media in well planted tanks is often swapped out for mechanical media such as foam pad's,floss,etc.(all becomes bio media eventually)
Goes without saying that anything in the way of nitrate /phosphate remover's used in planted tank effectively takes food away from plant's.
40 gal breeder is fairly shallow tank and the 24/7 may need to be dimmed if able to or place glass top over the tank and set the light on the glass to help dim the light if dimming feature is not available on the Finnex 24/7.
Hard for many to keep light's dimmed once they see what 100% of light's capability look's like.
Would take slower growth and less algae that dimmer light can often provide over brightest setting and algae woes.(just sayin)
I too use metricide daily Without fail and would continue this.
I have been guilty in the past of loading the substrate with product osmocote which will release ammonia for week's.
Light in excess and ammonia is quickest way I know to induce all manner of algae and over doin it with Osmocote could have been trigger?
Add to this,, uprooting plant's recently, allowing more ammonia to escape from the substrate in the form of dissolved organic matter, and or the osmocote prill's (seen in photo's),and I could see ongoing issues.
As example,I use about half a measured cup of osmocote as sprinkling on bottom layer of soil in four foot long 75 to 80 gal tanks.
I have way over did it loading substrates, and often resulted in slowly burning root's and plant's beginning to suffer which in turn triggered prime condition's for all manner of algae.
Not sayin you over did it with substrate loading with osmocote, but rather relaying my own purely unscientific observation's.
No way to fix over done substrate short of tear down and using less product next time.
Could be fighting no win battle for week's month's with slow release of too much.
Hope thing's turn around soon.
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post #9 of 55 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 06:48 AM
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Roadmaster the winner. I see stag and bba(maybe). Looking at spec I see no mention of co2. Ammonia and co2 is where id focus my attention.

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post #10 of 55 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 06:59 AM
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I think the metricide the OP is using can provide source of liquid carbon that all plant's need but,,maybe not enough to allow full light intensisty from the Finnex 24/7.
The liquid carbon supplement's aren't as effective as proper gas injection, but do help plant's in low tech ,lower light energy tank's.
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post #11 of 55 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 07:09 AM
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My algae problem was helped considerably by raising my light higher above the tank.
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post #12 of 55 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 07:12 AM
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Stated plants growing well. Which look like it. Depending on intenisty op has I would think at 40b depth with pps youd need more than carbon.
Ammonia plus low co2 typically equals stag

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post #13 of 55 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 07:38 AM Thread Starter
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@sharambil During remodel I did everything shy of spraying the tank with H2o2, I will try that

@SubstrateSource My fish are far too hungry to let the amanos get a piece of food. No Co2

@roadmaster
Filter
Bottom tray - coarse
2nd tray - fine
3rd tray - matrix media
4th tray - poly fill topped with purigen

Maintenance schedule
prefilter rinsed every wc
visually inspect trays every two weeks. rinse every 3-4 weeks. Change every 6-8 weeks or when degraded

Glass lid equipped. The tank shown at initial outbreak had little floating plants as my fish would eat them before they could reproduce. Since then I grew the floaters in another tank and was transferred enough so they can keep up with the fish appetites . I would say there is aprox 65% coverage of floating plants now

The osmocote has been in there 4ish months and i wouldn't think it would still leach ammonia, could be wrong though. The uprooted dwarf sag and osmo balls are from my last wc on Friday. I was so frustrated from the algae that I was going to pull them and stopped myself halfway. I gravel vac every friday so Im not sure where the extra ammonia is coming from and I wouuld think it would show in at least one of the multiple test that I have run over the weeks. Could be completely wrong on that one too though. I'll gravel vac most of it up next friday and pull it out with tweezers.

The consensus seems that ammonia and co2 seem to be my issue. Was looking at a co2 setup not too long ago but got sidetracked with life.
How does this plan sound?
Gravel vac most osmocote.
H2o2 the affected plants.
Should I dose prime lightly to bind any excess ammonia for say a week?
Drop feedings to once daily or twice every other day.
See where I am at in two weeks and then re-evaluate based on results.

Thank you for your quick responses, I greatly appreciate your help.
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Last edited by Carpathian; 04-10-2017 at 07:39 AM. Reason: thanks to all
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post #14 of 55 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 07:42 AM
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no problem, I think that investing in CO2 is great and pays for itself over and over thru the life of the regulator and system. It is not needed right away though. First figure out the issue. I would do heavy gravel vac-ing as well as lots of manual removal/h202 treatment.

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post #15 of 55 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 07:49 AM Thread Starter
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With the dwarf sag being so low i'm assuming I'll have to pull that and re-plant, correct? I have worked out a deal to swap a huge acetylene tank for a co2 canister with my local supplier, I now have to decide what reg and other parts i want to buy. I would like to build myself as I love diy and saving $$, it just got a bit overwhelming. I will have to go back and read the threads I have bookmarked.

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