How do i eliminate this algae?
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Old 03-07-2013, 04:06 AM   #1
boosted23
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How do i eliminate this algae?


Hello all, I am fairly new to planted tanks. I have been doing this since dec. and am still a noob to this. I need your help to figure out how i can rid my tank of this algae what looks to be diatoms/hair algae. I have been battling it for a month or so and cant seem to rid my tank of it. It keeps blooming back with in a week. My tank readings are ammonia 0ppm, nitrite 0ppm, nitrate 120 to 160ppm, kh is 9 degrees with co2 added at a ph of 7.1. PH without co2 is 7.5. Gh is 19 degrees. I do a 80% wc every sunday with tap water and prime as the treatment. I have eco-complete as a substrate in which i root tab with seachem root tabs. I EI dose with KNO3 at the rate of 4tsp, KH2PO4 at the rate of 1 Tsp in 9 oz of fluid. I add 3 Oz of the mixture 3 times a week with seachem flourish as my trace element at 2 capfuls 3 times also, alternating days with each. I also dose excel at the rate of 3 capfuls daily and 15 capfuls at waterchange. My tank is a 150 gallon planted fahaka puffer tank. I have a sun sun 505 with uv sterilizer with purigen in it. I also run a cascade 1200 and an aqueon 700 circ fan. Temp is maintained at 80degrees and i run an odyssea 4x54w t5ho with cool wave 6700k and redwave bulbs. I run my light 2 bulbs starting at 11 am with a midday burst of 4 bulbs from 1-3pm and then 2 bulbs from 3-8pm. 8pm-10pm is blue led's.

I don't understand why it is blooming so much, it is attaching to some of my plants in which i suck most of it off with my python at waterchange time. also the substrate too. I had to redo my plants once because it was all over everything!!! That was when i ran 4 bulbs from 10-8pm, then switched to 12-8pm. Now i am at the schedule as describe above. Can anyone help me or lead me in the direction i need to go or start to rid my tank of this Pain in my A**? Thank you.
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Old 03-07-2013, 04:13 AM   #2
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Default Re: How do i eliminate this algae?

Here are some pics of what i am battling and the plants in my tank.
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Old 03-07-2013, 05:29 AM   #3
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More plants, and maybe cut the excel for a while... Some plants don't care for it...

You could try spreading out some of the bunch plants. Sometimes breathing room is nice.

Is your uv always on?

And holy nitrates.... Is that normal for EI?
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Old 03-07-2013, 05:49 AM   #4
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More plants.......

And holy nitrates....

+1. Add more plants. Consider some that are nutrient sponges like wisteria, hygrophila, etc. they grow fast and will out compete the algae in time. I would KEEP using excel, and perhaps double or triple dose for a few days. Increase your Co2. Make sure your drop checker for Co2 is lime green. Also, try adding a rest period with all lights off in the afternoon. Try 4 hours on (2 hours with two bulbs and a burst with all four), followed by one to two hours off, then another four hours with two on. Start you Co2 30-60 min before your lights go on and end 30-60 min before lights go off at end of the day.
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:02 AM   #5
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More plants
+2 more plants worked for me. You could add hornwort or floaters temporarily as they're huge nitrate sinks and will eventually choke out the algae for nutrients.

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Old 03-07-2013, 06:04 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by steven p View Post
More plants, and maybe cut the excel for a while... Some plants don't care for it...

You could try spreading out some of the bunch plants. Sometimes breathing room is nice.

Is your uv always on?

And holy nitrates.... Is that normal for EI?

i am gonna add more plants. Thats what i was thinking too. I just have to find ones that my puffer wont chop down. Its up to him if they stay.lol i didnt spread because the original plant were spread and they were overran worse than this. Total loss on those plants. u.v. Is always on. I think nitrates are high due pottasium nitrate dosing and his diet of snails. I get protein film on my surface.


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+1. Add more plants. Consider some that are nutrient sponges like wisteria, hygrophila, etc. they grow fast and will out compete the algae in time. I would KEEP using excel, and perhaps double or triple dose for a few days. Increase your Co2. Make sure your drop checker for Co2 is lime green. Also, try adding a rest period with all lights off in the afternoon. Try 4 hours on (2 hours with two bulbs and a burst with all four), followed by one to two hours off, then another four hours with two on. Start you Co2 30-60 min before your lights go on and end 30-60 min before lights go off at end of the day.
I will try those plants. I dose excel solely to slow the rate of algae growth. Gotta be careful on the overdose of excel. Fahaka puffers are sensitive and i almost killed him once doing that. Superfast major waterchange saved him. I neex to buy a drop checker. My ph controller is on 24/7 so co2 is never off. Dont want the ph swing to affect my puffer. I will get my lady to try that lighting schedule. I work all day so i wont be here to run that.

thank you both for your input so far.
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:06 AM   #7
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Just buy a couple of $5 timers at Home Depot for your lights and Co2 (Mechanical, not digital). Set them and forget them.
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:10 AM   #8
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Just buy a couple of $5 timers at Home Depot for your lights (Mechanical, not digital). Set them and forget them.
Issue is, 1 cord for whole light setup. Has built in timer for 2 bulbs, 2bulbs, and then led lights with only one on, one off adjustment. I had to cheap out on the light fixture due to the rest of the tank and upfront cost of startup costing over 2k in a matter of 1 1/2 months. Gotta save up for a better light.
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:12 AM   #9
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+2 more plants worked for me. You could add hornwort or floaters temporarily as they're huge nitrate sinks and will eventually choke out the algae for nutrients.

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Thank you for those suggestions. I will check my local planted tank store for those and the wysteria and other rapid growth plants. Time to spend more money.lol
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:19 AM   #10
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There's a thread somewhere.. maybe at the Barr Report?? That hinted at the uv limiting iron. It could be that your plants cannot get enough of the iron consistently and the algae is capable of surviving on less.
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:25 AM   #11
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There's a thread somewhere.. maybe at the Barr Report?? That hinted at the uv limiting iron. It could be that your plants cannot get enough of the iron consistently and the algae is capable of surviving on less.
I have been reading up alot before i posted this. I didnt see anything about that. I did kill my uv light for 1 day and the next 2 days after it carpeted most of my substrate. Might have been a fluke since my u.v. Light is built into the filter and is only 9 wats with a length od about 6-8 inches.

you guys have helped confirm one of my suspicions on needing more plants. I cant add all that i want to cause my puffer needs swimming space along with no carpeting style plants cause he will pull them all up while huntong for snails...
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:33 AM   #12
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Its tough trying to balance a puffer/planted tank cause my puffer thrives in higher ph, hard water and is sensitive to things like co2, excel, etc. Cant have tank mates like snails, schrimp, algae eating fish cause he eats them. He has killed like 5 nerite snails, 10 amano schrimp and like 30 ghost schrimp. He is a solitary creature. Plants thrive in lower ph, soft/r.o. Water. I am just trying to have a happy median that is being spat on by algae. Lol
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:07 AM   #13
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Its tough trying to balance a puffer/planted tank cause my puffer thrives in higher ph, hard water and is sensitive to things like co2, excel, etc. Cant have tank mates like snails, schrimp, algae eating fish cause he eats them. He has killed like 5 nerite snails, 10 amano schrimp and like 30 ghost schrimp. He is a solitary creature. Plants thrive in lower ph, soft/r.o. Water. I am just trying to have a happy median that is being spat on by algae. Lol
right now, fresh out of the tap.. my water is 360+ppm i have never had any plant die because of the mineral content. hornwort and vals(and many more) really appreciate hard water. plant variety helps. floaters are awesome too.

this is that thread btw http://www.barrreport.com/archive/index.php/t-7295.html
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Old 03-07-2013, 02:04 PM   #14
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I think your issue is flow. Are all your plants swaying? even the bottom most leaves.

Also cut back your fert dosing to half because you don't have the much plant mass. You might be better to cut it to a 1/3 of the dosing. Focus on growing your plants, the algae with correct itself.
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Old 03-07-2013, 04:53 PM   #15
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My susn sun is rated at 525 g/hr. Lets say 400gph with media. Cascade 1200 is rated at 384 gph. With media and spray bar lets say 250 gph. The aqueon 700 fan is 700 gph. So thats 650 gph filtration turn oover and another 700gph of flow which is 1350 gph of turn over flow. I think flow is good? I had to adjust them in a manner to where they werent tipping my plants completely over with flow. You can see the algae sway on the substrate with this flow but is attached to the rocks.

i will do my weekly 80% w.c. On sunday. Get more plants and cut dosing to see what happens.
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