Spot algae tank out of whack I think
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Old 03-01-2007, 05:32 AM   #1
pittiepride
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Spot algae tank out of whack I think


I'm pretty new and have a 30 g tank moderately planted with hygro and wisteria and java fern as well as an althernanthera.

I have recently doubled the light but it is still low light, 1 wpg or so. The substrate is an epoxy gravel that has increased the GH to 13 degrees and the KH to 6 degrees (tap water is 3 DGH and 1 DKH). The tank pH is 7.8.

I've been adding macros 2 x per week and micros 2 x per week. Lights are 12-14 hrs/day. We've also been trying the DIY CO2 with no luck. Can't get the pH to move at all, besides the trouble getting it brewing.

So getting to the point, i've always had some spot algae that has been slow growing on the back glass but just in the last week with the addition of light, nutrients and maybe the CO2 it has become very noticeable on the older leaves of the soft leaved plants. THe alternanthera has many of the bottom light facing leaves covered.

SO what do you recommend to do? Should I cut away all the leaves affected or can they be cleaned? What do I need to change to help keep this algae in check?

Thanks, kara
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Old 03-01-2007, 11:40 AM   #2
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Lower your photo period.....at least that's what help me but I am running about 7x the amount of light, dose much more than usual and have a heavily planted tank.
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Old 03-01-2007, 12:01 PM   #3
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First, I don't think the algae on the plants could be due to the added lighting. It's probably a response to being under waaaay to low of lighting previously. I'm not so sure those plants would grow at all in a 20g with <1 wpg. Or even AT 1 wpg. Insufficient lighting would allow the algae to take hold.

There are a couple approaches you could take:
1) remove the "algae" leaves
2) Be patient and wait for the plants to adjust
3) Add more lighting
4) get the co2 going better.
5) reduce fertilizers
6) Get rid of nasty epoxy gravel

here's a couple quesitons first:
-what's your diy co2 recipe? How are you trying to dissolve it? Do you have a bubble counter built?
-how much and what kind of ferts are you dosing?
-what are your lights? If I were to guess, I'd say you previously had the single 15 watt strip light and now upgraded to another of the same.
-how long were the plants in there with the lower lighting?
-how old is the tank?
-what's the fish inhabitants?

Sorry, lots of questions....
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Old 03-01-2007, 03:31 PM   #4
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here's a couple quesitons first:
-what's your diy co2 recipe? How are you trying to dissolve it? Do you have a bubble counter built?
2C sugar dissolved in 2C water
1/2 tsp yeast dissolved in 1/4 c warm water + pinch of sugar
I have a 2 L setup with a second bottle used as a bubble counter, then into a powerhead diffuser. This has not produced more than 3-5 bpMINUTE so I am not impressed. My pH has not changed.

-how much and what kind of ferts are you dosing?
I have the nutrafin Plant Gro Iron Enriched micro and the NPK 0.6-0.3-2.4
I'm using 10 ml per dosing day each.

-what are your lights? If I were to guess, I'd say you previously had the single 15 watt strip light and now upgraded to another of the same.
They are 30" flourescents, I guess probably 18W, times two.
-how long were the plants in there with the lower lighting?
Most of them over 2 years, and the alternanthera and wisteria just the last 6 months.

-how old is the tank?
3 years

-what's the fish inhabitants?
Breeding pair of kribs and babies, 3 columbian tetras, 3 black skirts (mature), 2 zebra danios, one yoyo loach and one otto

1) remove the "algae" leaves - might be the best option for now
2) Be patient and wait for the plants to adjust - going to be setting up a 54 g planted so wanted to get the plants going before moving them
3) Add more lighting - maybe in the future but think the tank will just be quarantine
4) get the co2 going better - still trying to experiment with this
5) reduce fertilizers - okay, going to dose once per week, 25% water change 2 x per week
6) Get rid of nasty epoxy gravel - well, maybe when the tank is tore down, as it stands now it'll have to do, I understand that none of the plants are heavy root feeders so the gravel isn't much of a problem, it is fine in texture.
These are prelight pictures about 2 weeks ago.


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Old 03-03-2007, 01:44 PM   #5
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Thanks for a detailed reponse! Sounds like the co2 issue is definitely the one that's having the most trouble. I would suspect that there is a leak. Have you ever done the "soapy water test"? It's where you apply (carefully so as not to get it in the tank) soapy water to the joints of the system to see if there is a leak.
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Old 03-06-2007, 06:44 AM   #6
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I think the algae is the least of your problems. Look at the eyes staring out of the hole in the log in the last picture...spooky
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