High Tech & Algae - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-25-2015, 04:29 PM Thread Starter
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High Tech & Algae

To start, I converted my reef to a planted tank about two months ago. It's a 135 gallon with herbie overflow into a 30 gallon sump with a filter sock and ceramic bio media. I also run purigen, but no other filtration media. I have a Mag 9.5 return pump with a CO2 reactor and an AquaUV 25w unit inline. I am dosing micros and macros with two dosing pumps according to EI dosing schedule.

Lighting is two Ecotech Radion XR30s running a 7000K profile at 50% intensity for 8 hours at peak with 1 hour ramp at at each end. I calculate this to be about 93 watts of light at peak. I do not have a PAR meter.

Substrate is pool filter sand and I'm using osmocote root tabs.

My CO2 is pH controlled, holding 6.4 throughout the day, which should be just under 30ppm at 2.2-2.5dKH. Drop checker reads a solid green. Nitrates sit at about 20ppm and phosphate has been out of control at over 10ppm.

Last week I did two 50% water changes and cut my macro dosing in half. Nitrates and phosphates are nearly unchanged (phosphate maybe a touch under 10) and I lost a ton of leaves off of my hygrophilia. I also did a serious trim on my rotala at that time and it seems stagnant in growth.

Anubias have short furry algae on leaves and I'm growing spotty algae on my glass. Definitely not as algae free as my last tank and the growth is not as rapid as I know it could be.

What am I missing? Too much light? Too much nutrients? Am I missing anything in my dosing?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-25-2015, 07:18 PM
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How many plants do you have? What types of plants?

High tech doesn't really work unless you have a lot of pretty fast-growing plants. Also I think those fixtures put out a TON of light so you may have too high of light anyways.

A few thoughts...

If your tank is not quite heavily planted then you need more plants to handle going that high tech. Again I don't know how much PAR those fixtures put out exactly but I think they are in the stupid-high-light range at max output. Even at 50% it might be too much but I can't say for sure.

Do not assume your CO2 is at optimum levels based on charts/pH readings or drop checkers. I would slowly raise your CO2 up a little just in case.

In general anubias cannot handle being blasted by light so don't be surprised it has algae on it under those lights. If it is well shaded then it could be fine. Generally speaking again anubias does not do well under high light. Some have been able to pull it off but usually it gets caked in algae on older leaves.

I wouldn't screw with fert levels too much but having that many phosphates and that low of nitrates means you are for sure out of balance. This could be part of the problem.

If you are losing leaves on things you have big deficiencies. If leaves are straight up falling off the bottoms of your stems then I would point to CO2 or light deficiencies. From what I have seen fert deficiencies are a different animal - you would see holes in the leaves, stunted growth, yellowing, absorption of leaves, etc... If they are straight up falling off then look to light or CO2. Probably CO2 as I feel like you have a lot of light.

Pics of the tank are paramount to any real advice being given. Without pics we can only make assumptions. Plant mass / what types of plants / how healthy they are play a MAJOR role in all of this. Most people forget that fact


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Last edited by klibs; 08-25-2015 at 07:33 PM. Reason: wut
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-25-2015, 09:40 PM Thread Starter
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I'm going to slowly increase my CO2 and cut back my light significantly. I just read a good thread with a lot of input from Tom Barr. Linked here for those interested: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...ad.php?t=94031
Basically I just need to slow it down and get a handle on things before I try to really take advantage of the "high tech" side of it.

My tank is currently lightly to moderatly planted which would explain my excess of nutrients. I will need to get the plants growing and uptaking those nutrients before I can truly consider it 135 gallons in EI terms..

The anubias covered in algae are getting pretty well blasted. I suppose that's just how it will be if I want to keep them where they are, though perhaps the algae growth will be more tolerable once I get this system dialed in.

Tons of credit to you planted people! I consider myself very experienced with reef tanks and had no trouble with a thriving SPS tank, but planted tanks are a whole different animal. I even had a "high tech" 40 gallon planted tank about 4 years ago that did pretty well and this is still giving me a rough time. In time..
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-31-2015, 03:38 PM Thread Starter
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Just an update, I increased my CO2 by dropping my controller a further tenth of a point, and cut my lights from 50% intensity to 30% and shaved an hour off of my photoperiod. Algae growth is minimal, but I noticed a few patches of BBA show up. I also changed my dosing to include K2SO4 instead of KH2PO4 because of my elevated phosphate levels. I will test before my water change this week to see if PO4 is down to normal levels and add it back to my dosing regimen.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-31-2015, 04:07 PM
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Get a ton more plants and see if things are stable for a few weeks. Then begin ramping up lighting/nutrients/CO2 slowly.

You are correct in saying that you need an established setup to fully take advantage of high tech


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