Just can't seem to win - The Planted Tank Forum

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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-15-2012, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
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Just can't seem to win

Every time I manage to get rid of one algae a new type blooms.
My fuzzy algae is starting to recede but now green algae is starting to blanket my tank again. I know that throwing snails and algae eaters isn't going to fix this issue long term. So here's my tank details hopefully someone can give me some insight into why i can't seem to reign in the algae.

Tank Hardware and Dosing
- 20 Gallon Long
- T5HO 4x18W bulbs (wattage I'm not 100% sure, but I'll check and edit when I get home)
- I've got a Top Fin 50 powerhead running to move the nutrients and CO2
- Top Fin 30 Filter
- Top Fin 10 Filter
- Top Fin 30 gallon heater if I'm not mistaken
- Dose 1 capful of Seachem's Flourish on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
- Dose recommended amount (2mL if i remember right) of API's Liquid CO2 every morning
- Flourite Substrate
- Flourish Tabs every 3 months
- First Layer Laterite underneath the substrate
- Water Changes 25% every week
- Lighting for 9 Hours regulated by a timer.

Plants
- Water Wisteria
- Anubias Nana
- Teleanthera Reineckii
- Windelov Java Fern
- Dwarf Hairgrass
- El Niño Fern
- Amazon Sword

Fish
- 8 Black Neons
- 1 Glolight Tetra (leftover from an ich outbreak from an old tank about a year ago
- 1 Harlequin Rasbora (Had a decent school in another tank but the rest died)
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-15-2012, 02:46 PM
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Algae Problems

Hello Brian...

The best way to deal with algae problems is to remove the food source. Algae is a primitive plant and takes its time digesting dissolved food in the water.

If you feed your fish and plants too much, then there's unused food that dissolves in the tank water and creates a perfect environment for all kinds of algae.

I would gradually reduce the amount you feed. You want to get to the point where you only feed fish and plants a couple of times a week. As for the fish, just feed a little frozen a couple of times a week and just what will be eaten in a minute or two.

Large, weekly water changes will help a lot. Just remove and replace half the tank water every week. The changes will remove extra dissolved nutrients.

This process takes a couple of months, but if the food is removed the algae will slowly shrink.

I went through this several years ago when my tanks were new and removing the food and adding some "Ramshorn" snails worked great. The snails can breed pretty quickly, but again, if you don't feed too much, the snails don't get to be a problem.

B

"Fear not my child, just change the tank water."
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-15-2012, 02:58 PM
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If that's all the fish you have in the tank then you don't need to worry about their feeding as they can't put out enough waste to do anything to this tank.

Cut the amount of light reaching the tank some by using something to block(floating Riccia) or just turn the lights on for only 5-6 hours daily adjusting as you notice the plants slowing down in growth. Put in some really fast growing plants to catch up on the nutri's.,(Vallisneria, and any others you like) and cut nutri's. down by half for a while to see if the algae has nothing to eat. Plants are a higher order of nutrient eater than algae and can out-compete algae in most situations.

Any pics? especially of algae Test params? would probably be helpful.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-15-2012, 03:14 PM
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4xT5HO is ALOT of light for a 20 long. How high is the fixture above the tank? Either way, unless the fixture is a foot or more above the tank your PAR values at the substrate are probably in the very high light regime which means you need ALOT of CO2 and nutrients to balance it out.

I am positive that that is the problem. If you reduce the lighting to two bulbs it will be much easier to balance the carbon demands to the light.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-15-2012, 07:20 PM
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you're blasting your tank with light. cut the light and do a 3x excel regimen + spot dosing.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-15-2012, 07:27 PM
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Yep. Simply too much light.

---
Get shrimped out!
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-15-2012, 07:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tharsis View Post
4xT5HO is ALOT of light for a 20 long. How high is the fixture above the tank? Either way, unless the fixture is a foot or more above the tank your PAR values at the substrate are probably in the very high light regime which means you need ALOT of CO2 and nutrients to balance it out.

I am positive that that is the problem. If you reduce the lighting to two bulbs it will be much easier to balance the carbon demands to the light.
+1 i agree! And warm water holds less gas.

How are you injecting co2?


A heavily planted shrimp tank is possible!
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-15-2012, 07:29 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tharsis View Post
4xT5HO is ALOT of light for a 20 long. How high is the fixture above the tank? Either way, unless the fixture is a foot or more above the tank your PAR values at the substrate are probably in the very high light regime which means you need ALOT of CO2 and nutrients to balance it out.

I am positive that that is the problem. If you reduce the lighting to two bulbs it will be much easier to balance the carbon demands to the light.
I can probably do this since the fixture has 2 ballasts so I can run 2 bulbs at a time instead of all 4. As far as testing the algae parameters, I don't know what that is or how to do it.

As far as pictures, I don't have any of it in my tank because my camera can't take close up pictures, but these two are the ones that I'm having the main problem with

This is one that was really bad and killed off a lot of my wisteria, it seems to be subsiding a bit now. I've found gently rubbing the leaves between your fingers seems to roll and peel the algae off the leaves pretty well.


Now that that type of algae is fading away, this green spot algae is starting to really go crazy.




Quote:
Originally Posted by pejerrey View Post
+1 i agree! And warm water holds less gas.

How are you injecting co2?
Liquid, I posted it in the main post. It's API's I do about 2ml if I remember right as per the dosing directions on the bottle
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-15-2012, 07:42 PM
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There is no liquid co2 unless is under toms of pressure like in a co2 tank. That is why I asked.


Api liquid It's another form of carbon.

With that light You need the gas form of carbon and baking soda (hc3) as that is what plants use.

Or just go low light and use the atmospheric co2.



A heavily planted shrimp tank is possible!
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-15-2012, 07:45 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pejerrey View Post
There is no liquid co2 unless is under toms of pressure like in a co2 tank. That is why I asked.


Api liquid It's another for of carbon.

With that light You need the gas form of carbon and baking soda (hc3) as that is what plants use.

Or just go low light and use the atmospheric co2.

My plants started pearling when I started adding liquid CO2. They never did before then. I'll give you it's probably not as effective as pressurized (which when I start a bigger tank I'll invest in) but I feel like it's better than none.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-15-2012, 09:32 PM
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Was pearling co2?


A heavily planted shrimp tank is possible!
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-15-2012, 10:33 PM
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this
- T5HO 4x18W bulbs (wattage I'm not 100% sure, but I'll check and edit when I get home)
99% of algae problems

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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-15-2012, 10:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBradbury View Post
The best way to deal with algae problems is to remove the food source.
This is not practical because you'd kill the plants too.

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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-15-2012, 11:06 PM
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just limit your lighting
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-15-2012, 11:59 PM
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2xt5HO is perfect 6" or so above the top, with co2 (even DIY), & fertilizers. It sounds like too much light. how far above the tank is your fixture?

Last edited by AoxomoxoA; 10-16-2012 at 12:12 AM. Reason: facebook
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