Bit lost, Algae and Plant Problems - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-23-2020, 10:44 AM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Bit lost, Algae and Plant Problems

Hey all,

Rather new to planted tanks and aquariums in general, but have learnt a lot lately! I have set up a small 45l low tech planted tank and I am running into some problems.

The first 4-6 weeks went well, plants were looking good, and only a small amount of algae, few plants melted due to being grown emerged. But these are coming back.

But the last 8-12 weeks the tank has been getting worse. I think hair algae has started going onto plants, rock and wood. Some small black spots are coming on my anubius and amazon swords. Holes in some bacopa and hydrophilic. Even my frogbit is having having some leaves dye off, yellow or holes in them.

So I am running a 45l, with a Seachem Tidal 34 HOB filter, with the sponge and 100ml matrix that came with it. (I did put purigen in for a bit, but it seemed to strip the nitrates back way too much, 5-10ppm. So that is out at the moment, as it seems to have gone downhill since that went in. ) Should I have more matrix in there, definitely room for a bit more?

Lights are on for 7 hours, slowly dropped down from 9 when I started it, have just lowered the brightness to try to stop the algae at the moment. This is a Nicrew LED light.

The substrate is the Tropica soil.

Water parameters are, 0 Ammonia, 0 Nitrites, and 20-40 ppm Nitrates. Have just started using the Tropica specialised first, which went a brought the nitrates up a bit to much, so doing a WC as we speak to bring it down to more the 20ppm.

Live stock, 5 danio fish, 4 ammano shrimp and one nerite snail.


I am bit lost as to what to try next, and why it went downhill so fast. Maybe from not dosing to regularly at the start?

Would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions.

Thanks in advance,
Tyler
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-30-2020, 08:40 PM
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I'm still pretty novice as well, but I have had a few tanks over the years, all low tech. I would reduce your light exposure time by half or even less and do frequent water changes with no fertilizer until the algae decreases. In my experience with low-tech tanks, it's better to be stingy with light and fertilizer in the beginning (like for several months) until you get a feel for how far you can go without causing an algae bloom. It's not unusual to have the light on for only an hour or two per day to start, especially if there is any ambient light from a nearby window. Daily small water changes have been really helpful in controlling algae for me too.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-31-2020, 01:41 PM
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I'm still a novice to planted tanks as well but had reef tanks for years so take my advice for what it's worth. I can only speak from my personal experience so it may not work for you. I had the same type of issues when I first started my tank before switching to high tech.

What I did was purchased a timer for my lights that would allow me to dim them and I cut them back to about 70%. I was running a single beamswork DA pent 6500k. I also cut my time in half and went from about 7 hours to 3.5 or so.

I started dosing with excel doing a double dosage of it. Some say triple is fine but I don't trust it so I just go double. When dosing, I spot treated the problem areas with a syringe. So on water change day, I double the loading dose and then the daily dose gets doubled as well. (some plants don't like excel at all like vals or ancharis, however it's spelled)

Cut back on feeding to every other day or so or cut back what you are feeding in half. Most of us grossly overfeed our tanks because we want our fish to be "happy" when in reality, they aren't burning near the energy in our tank as they would in the wild and they are cold blooded to begin with so they don't regulate their own temp.

Frogbit leaves will rot if the tops get wet and stay that way for a long period of time. I can't keep frogbit in my pea puffer tank because of the HOB filter.

Make sure whatever you do, do it consistently. This is especially critical with dosing. Algae is a good indicator of an imbalance of some sort in your tank. Either too much light for the plant mass you have. Too many nutrients for the light you have and plant mass. Or too much light and nutrients and not enough carbon for growth.

Once again, I'm still rather new on the forum and with high tech but over the past couple of years I have dealt with pretty much any issue that can be thrown at a tank. Best wishes and don't get discouraged.
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