Nano low light non-CO2 - algae trouble (picture incl.)
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Old 04-12-2013, 01:47 AM   #1
artresz
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Nano low light non-CO2 - algae trouble (picture incl.)


I've been battling with algae in my java moss for a little while now. My guess was because it is fairly close to the light. I have a 10 watt 5100k CFL about 8" from the substrate (3 gallon tank) and I've only been leaving it one sparingly (1-4 hours) for the past week. The algae is starting to show up on the lower plants as well now. HELP!

The algae seems to be a brown hair algae, though it doesn't look too much like photos I've seen of any kind. (Though I'm sure it's nothing special.) If you think pics would help I can always upload some. The link in my signature will show you what the tank looks like.

Is there anything I can do without CO2 to get rid of it? Do I need to start dosing ferts other than the root tabs I've already put in? I keep reading conflicting information about whether that's a good idea or not. I'd like to carpet some riccia but don't want to mess with it too much if I can't get rid of this algae.

Any thoughts? Please?

Last edited by artresz; 04-30-2013 at 03:42 PM.. Reason: update
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Old 04-12-2013, 03:40 AM   #2
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not big enough for Bristlenose Plecos, maybe some amano shrimp might eat that up.
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Old 04-12-2013, 02:05 PM   #3
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Sadly I'm as stocked as I'd like to ever get for this tank.
There are three endlers livebearers, a nerite snail and an otocinclus. I'd really rather find the imbalance, not just stick more critters in there. :/
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Old 04-12-2013, 05:42 PM   #4
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Add more plants and manually remove as much of the algae as you can. Low tech you should not need too many ferts as fish waste can provide sufficient amount but you can add some more if you like. I don't think you need EI, just dose like 1/4 of it. Really, it depends on how much light you have and without PAR readings, i cannot for certain tell you. What I can say is having the light on occasionally is not something you want to do. Algae can live in much harsher conditions that plants, but without light, it dies fast. Since you are giving very little light, you probably are helping the algae especially if you only used 4 hrs of light this past week. You can also think about supplementing with excel if you don't have super sensitive plants.
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Old 04-12-2013, 06:58 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info. Unfortunately I'll be putting in riccia and I've heard that it really doesn't do too well with excel. I've also heard the opposite to the lighting thing and that's why I had it on less. That algae would die off eventually without light but the plants could do alright with the inconsistent lighting (same amount just on, off, on, off)
For PAR I was just guessing from reading stuff that I'm getting low light, if not extremely low light compared to a 14 watt 6100K bulb at about the same distance from a chart I read.
I'm probably just gonna clean off the algae as best as I can and plant more. I'll probably lightly dose ferts. But one step at a time. I really hope I can get this under control.
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Old 04-13-2013, 09:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by artresz View Post
Thanks for the info. Unfortunately I'll be putting in riccia and I've heard that it really doesn't do too well with excel. I've also heard the opposite to the lighting thing and that's why I had it on less. That algae would die off eventually without light but the plants could do alright with the inconsistent lighting (same amount just on, off, on, off)
For PAR I was just guessing from reading stuff that I'm getting low light, if not extremely low light compared to a 14 watt 6100K bulb at about the same distance from a chart I read.
I'm probably just gonna clean off the algae as best as I can and plant more. I'll probably lightly dose ferts. But one step at a time. I really hope I can get this under control.
Plants are stronger than algae which is why they can live through a 72 hr blackout but algae dies fast. Some algaes liek BBA can live though. IME, green algaes like hair and diatoms are really weakened after the blackout but plants are fine. So what i was saying is that giving the plants and algae limited light might give algae the upper hand since the plants would not be doing as well. You are correct that higher light induces algae faster than lower light, but healthy plants = less algae. Even in high light tanks we maintain algae to a minimum purely because our plants are healthy and can outcompete the algae. Low light plants grow much slower but algae also suffers here. However with the amount of light you said of 1 hr a week sometimes, you could be stunting the growth and health of your plants, and thus you might see algae prevail.
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Old 04-15-2013, 02:15 PM   #7
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Oh, there was definitely a slight misunderstanding with the amount of light I was giving. When I said 1-4 hours I meant per day for the week. I didn't specify, sorry. :3
My 6 hour photoperiod is just consistently growing what looks like BBA in my java moss and hair algae lower in the tank.
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Old 04-30-2013, 03:47 PM   #8
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So I'm guessing this is BBA, am I right?

It's starting to take over more than just my moss now though. I'm really frustrated and don't know what to do. I cleaned it up myself about a week ago and it all basically came back worse than before. I've varied my lights (on 2 hours off 3 hours, on 4 hours off 15), I've increased the flow on my filter (now it's just creating a lot of bubbles when my water level lowers even slighty, could this be causing more of a problem??).

I'm just getting so frustrated because all of the information I'm reading is making it out that it's not actually possible to get rid of the stuff....?
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