Does sunlight really cause algal blooms? What can I do?
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Old 10-01-2010, 11:00 AM   #1
snafuspyramid
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Does sunlight really cause algal blooms? What can I do?


Ive just had a green water outbreak in my 90 gallon.

1/2tsp KNO3, 1/4tsp KH2PO4, Seachem Equilibrium, Flourish and Prime all go into the tank once a week with a 20% water change. Also a bit of bicarb soda to keep the pH at 6.8-7

Gluteraldehyde approximate to 1.5x Excel dosage goes in daily.
Lighting is 106w T5HO. Might seem a lot, but its 4 off the surface and the tank is 24 high.

Nitrate stays 10-20ppm. Dont know about phosphate levels.

Ive seen this exact setup work for others with no problems.

The only thing that has changed in the set-up is the fact that the seasons are changing, so much more sunlight is coming through the skylight. It falls directly on the tank for around an hour a day.

So assuming that, judging from that setup, its the sunlight thats causing the green water, what can I do about this? Just turn off the lights when the sunlight strikes the tank? Reduce the photoperiod? Or do I have to board up the skylights?
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Old 10-01-2010, 03:13 PM   #2
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Too much light is almost always the driving force for algae.

I'd go with eliminating the sunlight until the season changes.
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Old 10-01-2010, 10:25 PM   #3
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Sadly, eliminating the sunlight is absolutely the last resort. For the time being, I've set the light timer to switch off for two hours during the day when the sun is highest. I should say that the tank only gets direct sunlight for about forty minutes. I've also reduced the photoperiod to eight hours. Is there anything else I can do to accommodate the sunlight in the system?

Is there anything in particular about sunlight that triggers algae, aside from its intensity?
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Old 10-01-2010, 11:58 PM   #4
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Just intensity.
I have sunlight tanks by the way. You must give little additional light besides the sun. And have a lot of plants to block out the sun.
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Old 10-02-2010, 12:56 AM   #5
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Alright, so I'll maintain my dosing regime (decreasing it every now and then to get as lean as possible, until I see deficiencies).

I'll reduce the photoperiod to 7 hours, in addition to the sunlight.

The green water actually isn't too bad. So long as it doesn't harm the fish I don't mind. But how can I eliminate it now that it has bloomed? Just wait until the plants can retake the turf?
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Old 10-02-2010, 01:00 AM   #6
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Keep doing regular water changes and if you have a UV sterilizer, that'll kill off the green water.
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Old 10-02-2010, 11:13 PM   #7
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Looks like I might have misdiagnosed the cloudiness.

I put in flocculent, left it overnight, with no effect at all (API Accu-Clear)

I put carbon in the filter. No effect.

I put in some Seachem Purigen.

Next day it's almost back to normal.

The guy at the LFS showed me a tank with a similar type of cloudiness to mine, and said it simply comes in with the tap water sometimes (he's very close, so same supply). Never had that happen before, but I followed his advice (for the first time ever) and it seems to have worked a treat...

Although at the cost of $45 for only 250ml of Purigen. Man that stuff is expensive
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Old 10-11-2010, 04:10 AM   #8
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I have had out break of Green water few months back....tho' having UV sterilizer on hand I didn't use it..lots of hardware plug-ins and so on....Assuming you are using Canister filter....Best bet to remove Green water in matter of hours is Diatomaceous Earth. It worked as a charm in 3-4 hours in my tank. but it has to be Food grade(not sure) since you have fish, shrimps and so on in your tank....at least thats what I used....I can send you some, but Mate!! you are down under...best bet is try to find locally.
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Old 10-11-2010, 12:35 PM   #9
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too much light from the sun lead to algae
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