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Old 12-31-2014, 10:16 PM   #1
Sammie1
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Help :(


Is this green dust algae I'm fighting? Everything I've read said it doesn't settle on hardscape or plant leaves but it has. Or maybe I have several types I'm fighting? Stuff on the glass is easily removed. The stuff on the annubias felt rough and doesn't come off easily.

It's been a low tech tank for a long time, just went to higher light setup about 3 weeks ago. Plant growth is okay and I get pearling, but the ones with algae on them are slowing down. They still pearl.

60 gallons
96W CFL x 2 (can't raise them)
Phosphates ~5ppm
Nitrate 40-60 ppm
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
pressurized CO2 with yellow drop checker
Eco complete capped with black gravel. Also has root tabs in it.

8 harlequin rasboras
1 BNP
3 ottos
5 cherry shrimp
1 SAE

crypt wendtii (both green and red)
annubias nana
ludwidgia peruensis (aka Ludwigia glandulosa)
wisteria
Echinorodus tenellus
amazon sword
Cardamine lyrata

I just added a 240gpm circulation pump. I noticed I have almost no algae near the intake for the canister filter so I wondered if it was a circulation problem? Algae is worse around the more densely planted areas. I've got a 500 gpm pump I can turn on if it'd help and isn't too much (the filter is a Fluval 405 which is 340 gpm or there abouts).
Phosphates and nitrates were much higher because I was using EI. Got algae and tested, found them too high and started water changes to correct it. I've been dosing CSM+B but haven't been dosing anything else in order to get levels down.

What I thought was green dust algae started on the driftwood. It's been about two weeks since it's shown up and I haven't noticed it slowing down. I know you aren't supposed to touch it but I'm starting to get worried I've identified it incorrectly. The algae on the plants is getting worse though and I worry about the plants getting snuffed out.
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Old 12-31-2014, 11:30 PM   #2
Diana
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I would continue to do water changes until the P is about 1 ppm, maybe a little higher is OK and the NO3 is between 10-20 ppm.

Do you have a test for iron? Many people monitor the micros by dosing enough to keep the Fe at about 1 ppm or a bit less.

Other than that, I would do a pretty good clean up, get rid of as much as you can, then see if it comes back.

It does sound like you are dealing with at least 2 kinds: The softer, easier to remove algae on the glass, and a different type on the leaves. If you cannot gently rub it off the leaves you might have to try something like hydrogen peroxide, excel or something else. Do some research to see which of these is most likely to work, dosage and so on.
These are ways to get rid of it, but obviously it can keep coming back as long as conditions favor it.
You can test some of the methods, dosages etc. on the driftwood to see if they even work before subjecting the plants to it.
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Old 01-01-2015, 03:16 AM   #3
Midnighttide102
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Take a look here it might help you out

http://www.theplantedtank.co.uk/algae.htm
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Old 01-01-2015, 04:20 AM   #4
Raymond S.
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Is that actual Watts on the CFL bulbs ?
A picture of the light set up might help.
You can't raise them, but can you take them out...LOL...
A lower Watt bulb seems like a good idea.
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Old 01-01-2015, 02:13 PM   #5
Radiation91
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what are the ottos doing?! my ottos would go ballistic if they had algae like that

i had an algae outbreak when my tank hit 40ppm. i just cleaned the tank walls (roughly), did some WCs to get the nitrate ppm down and let the ottos do their job with the rest of the tank. it was back to normal in 2 weeks.
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Old 01-01-2015, 05:18 PM   #6
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The ottos are gobbling up as much as they can. I haven't seen the algae get worse so I think I'm going to try a 3 day black out, do a water change and then see.
I couldn't plant as heavily as I wanted due to cost so I think I was kind of behind in that sense. So I'll see if stuff has been able to catch up. The sword seems to have doubled in size the past few days. Maybe things are finally getting established and can take off.

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Originally Posted by Raymond S. View Post
Is that actual Watts on the CFL bulbs ?
A picture of the light set up might help.
You can't raise them, but can you take them out...LOL...
A lower Watt bulb seems like a good idea.

Each bulb is 96 watts and there are two of them. I can't put in a lower wattage bulb because the connection is different. If I take one out, it becomes a low light tank and some of the plants need high light.
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Old 01-02-2015, 10:43 AM   #7
Raymond S.
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So can you put a picture of the whole tank, including the end glasses, in here ?
It might help to see the overall picture.
2.1 WPG is not very high. But it can act that way if on for too long.
The Anubias for example will die if not given some shade soon. The leaves stay on them for a long time because of how slow they grow. So they collect algae if not shaded.
But other issues may be obvious if a whole tank picture can be seen.
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Old 01-02-2015, 01:43 PM   #8
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How long do run the lights? Every time I have had this problem I cut the length of time my lights are on. I don't think a 3 day lights out will do any good but it couldn't hurt to try. Has it been better are worst since your light change?
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Old 01-02-2015, 06:04 PM   #9
Sammie1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raymond S. View Post
So can you put a picture of the whole tank, including the end glasses, in here ?
It might help to see the overall picture.
2.1 WPG is not very high. But it can act that way if on for too long.
The Anubias for example will die if not given some shade soon. The leaves stay on them for a long time because of how slow they grow. So they collect algae if not shaded.
But other issues may be obvious if a whole tank picture can be seen.
I started the blackout before I saw your post.
By my math, I've got 3.2 WPG but my math has been wrong before. It's on 8 hours a day. I tried an afternoon siesta before and it seemed to make the algae worse. I've heard that less than 8 hours isn't long enough though?

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Originally Posted by Clear Water View Post
How long do run the lights? Every time I have had this problem I cut the length of time my lights are on. I don't think a 3 day lights out will do any good but it couldn't hurt to try. Has it been better are worst since your light change?
They run for 8 hours.

I've been making adjustments based off of info I've gleaned from the forums. The nutrients were way too high initially. I learned that nutrients that are very high can reduce plant uptake so that might have been why the algae started. I also had trouble getting the CO2 level right. Mine is aquatek and the needle valve leaves much to be desired. I've had to use pliers to adjust it because it's so difficult to fine tune but I think I got it. Also had trouble with a faulty timer. It wasn't turning on or off like programmed (it was new too). So CO2 levels were fluctuating. I got a new timer. CO2 comes on about two hours before lights are on as of this week.

I did water changes over the past few weeks to correct the level of nitrates and phosphates. They were off the charts. Phosphate level was such that it was hard to see through the vial. I've done multiple 50% water changes and readings are still higher than desired but at least they aren't beyond the charts. That was because my dosing was wrong. Also added CSM +B which, considering the way the plants improved they seemed to need. I had been using flourish comp but was underdosing.

I watched it for about a week and the algae didn't seem to get worse. But it wasn't dieing either. So that's my reasoning for a blackout. I'm hoping I've got the balance closer to correct and after a "reset" I may be able to get things under control. Right now, the amount of algae is overwhelming and I was worried about the green dust algae getting worse if I cleaned it off the glass.

Anyway, that's my reasoning behind the blackout.
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Old 01-06-2015, 02:23 PM   #10
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I'm back after a 4 day blackout. I'm disappointed with the results. Not much improvement.
The pump on the back wall isn't running. It's like 500+gph and was too strong. I haven't taken it out because I'm considering H202 treatment next. The 240gph pump on the side is running.





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Old 01-06-2015, 02:39 PM   #11
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The leaves with algae are not going to recover and lose the algae, you should just pinch the worst ones off to be honest.

I had a problem with the GDA on my glass recently and could never get rid of it. I did a water change of about 80%. With the water out I used paper towels to wipe off the GDA (up and away from the water, this is important cause if you scrape it in the water it just clings back to the glass eventually). After I had it all wiped, I put peroxide in a spray bottle and sprayed the cleaned glass and let it sit for 15 min. I wiped the glass again and filled the tank. GDA hasn't come back since.

Might be worth a shot...this is just my experience, but it seems wiping it out removed it from the tank coupled with the peroxide spray.
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Old 01-06-2015, 02:53 PM   #12
Sammie1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsantucci View Post
The leaves with algae are not going to recover and lose the algae, you should just pinch the worst ones off to be honest.

I had a problem with the GDA on my glass recently and could never get rid of it. I did a water change of about 80%. With the water out I used paper towels to wipe off the GDA (up and away from the water, this is important cause if you scrape it in the water it just clings back to the glass eventually). After I had it all wiped, I put peroxide in a spray bottle and sprayed the cleaned glass and let it sit for 15 min. I wiped the glass again and filled the tank. GDA hasn't come back since.

Might be worth a shot...this is just my experience, but it seems wiping it out removed it from the tank coupled with the peroxide spray.

I may do this. I need to do a big water change anyway because phosphates are still too high.
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Old 01-12-2015, 02:32 PM   #13
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Did a big water change (80%) and while the water was low, I sprayed H2O2 on the glass, exposed driftwood and plants. I let it sit for 5 min and then refilled. I checked nitrates and phosphates after filling. Nitrates were about 20ppm, phosphates about 5 ppm. I dosed some CSM+B and let it go with that. I didn't do any trimming of the plants.

Six days later, I can see a serious die back on the algae!

The driftwood had been completely coated solid in what I think is green spot algae. Now only about half of it has green spot algae and it's been geting better every day! The plants have less algae, even the ones I couldn't get to with H2O2.

Looks like I'm on the road to recovery.
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