Algae ready for harvest. Not what I wanted - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-01-2013, 05:27 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Halstead, UK
Posts: 7
Algae ready for harvest. Not what I wanted

erg where do i start. Been running this tank for about 3 years and every time I get the CO2 up and running the whole tank throws a wobbly and one type of algae explodes in a couple of weeks so I usually give up and take it out and stop ferts. Its impossible to manage through cleaning as its on every single plant/rock/leaf in the tank. Its killing all my new plants, again
Here are the facts
  • 20% water change once a week + vac lightly over gravel
  • I dose liquid ferts as per bottle which is Tetra Platamin.
  • Using a 4dkh drop checker which is green. KH has risen to 12 and by chart comparison that gives me around 22ppm CO2.
  • PH 7.2
  • Nitrite=0
  • Nitrate=0
  • Ammonia=0
  • 33g
  • 96w (Arcadia 2x Plantpro 2x Freshwater) 9hrs/day
  • Pressurised CO2 8hrs/day, inline diffuser

Plants were doing great, bubble streaming out of leaves, rapid growth, nice green leaves. In the past my thoughts were i've overcooked the ferts but if I dose anything less the plants loose green and stop growing and the algae still grows!

Im not sure how to work out the balance issue here. Im still learning this planted lark

My best guess is this is string algae as its not fine threaded like hair algae. Am i correct?

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-01-2013, 05:43 PM
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Location: Filer,ID
Posts: 274
Someone told me that hair algae grows on dead or decaying plants. Right now, I have a dying plant that is brown and is covered with out so I'm assuming that it is true. Not sure about your situation.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-01-2013, 06:46 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,510
Up the CO2. Sounds like you have a ton of light. That may be part of the problem. 9 hours is also a long photo-period with that much light. 7-8 is fine. When was the last time you changed out the bulbs?
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-01-2013, 08:25 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: uk
Posts: 95

Your aquarium isn't getting all the fertilisers it needs either.
You need n,p,k and micros.

Adding the co2 is increasing the demand for the ferts even more.

This IS your main issue.

Also cut back on the light.

Your light is that high, it means it will be more difficult to supply sufficient co2.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-03-2013, 10:39 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Alaska
Posts: 99
Understanding balance of a planted tank is the key to success. It all starts with the light. The more light the faster the plants will grow therefore more demand for nutrients and carbon dioxide.

First off ditch using those KH/PH charts. They are completely useless.

You need to take some tank water and aerate for 24 hours and test pH. You then need to test pH directly from your tank at the end of your photoperiod. Compare the 2. The tank with CO2 injection should be 1 degree lower. If your pH is 7.6 then you want to aim for 6.6.

Reduce photo period to 6 hours for now. Then remove as much algae as possible, even if it means doing some trimming of plants. Perform a 50% water change after. Start double dosing with Flourish Excel for a week.

Now, your fertilizers. Zero nitrAtes is a bad thing in a planted tank. You want to aim for 10-20 ppm of NitrAtes. This is a necessary macro nutrient for plants. You need a Nitrogen Supplement if you can find one.

Macro Nutrients:
Potassium (potassium deficiency are pinholes in leaves and sometimes curling leaves)
Phosphates (lack of PO4 can be Green Spot Algae showing up)

Micro Nutrients also known as Trace Elements:
Magnesium, Boron, Manganese, Iron, Copper etc.

Check your current Fertilizers. They most likely may only be Micros.

What is your GH reading? This tests both Calcium and Magnesium. If your Mg. is low then adding Epsom Salts will help; Magnesium Sulfate. Signs for deficiency are leaves will have yellow patches/green veins. Almost like Iron deficiency.

You need to make sure you are providing all of these necessary nutrients and that your CO2 is efficient. Sounds like you have an issue with imbalance with CO2/fertilizers.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-03-2013, 11:09 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Queens, NY
Posts: 817
As said, you need better fert dosing for that tank. Maybe look into buying some dry ferts from a member on this forum. You can't have zero nitrates in a planted tank.
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