Having major algae issues with fluval spec 5 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 09:46 PM Thread Starter
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Having major algae issues with fluval spec 5

Ok so I have a fluval spec 5 that I recently added the finnex 16in planted plus light. Recently green algae has taken control. I have 3 nerite snails and 3 otocinclus to combat it and still losing the battle. The only other fish is a betta. It has anubias nana on driftwood, 3 Moss balls. One plant of lacy water sprite and one java fern which. Replaced the purple cabomba I had because the algae just took it down.

Light normally is on 8 hours a day or so. I do 2 gallon water changes every 3 days. I have purigen rather than carbon in the filter as well. Ph is 7.0 no ammonia or nitrite and not sure on nitrate but it can't be more than 30ppm if that. What should I do? Would adding hornwort help? I've read that sucks up nutrients like crazy.
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 09:53 PM
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Are you running any CO2? That is a lot of light for that tank.Also most of your plants are slow growing and do not need a lot of light.


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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 09:58 PM
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Ok so I have a fluval spec 5 that I recently added the finnex 16in planted plus light. Recently green algae has taken control. I have 3 nerite snails and 3 otocinclus to combat it and still losing the battle. The only other fish is a betta. It has anubias nana on driftwood, 3 Moss balls. One plant of lacy water sprite and one java fern which. Replaced the purple cabomba I had because the algae just took it down.

Light normally is on 8 hours a day or so. I do 2 gallon water changes every 3 days. I have purigen rather than carbon in the filter as well. Ph is 7.0 no ammonia or nitrite and not sure on nitrate but it can't be more than 30ppm if that. What should I do? Would adding hornwort help? I've read that sucks up nutrients like crazy.
your light is too strong for a build like that. your light strength would be considered as HIGH light for a tank that size. 8 hours is a full shift for the plants. Theyre getting burned out. Algae is flourishing off the light.

you could get away with 8 hours with the stock light. I would recommend doing 3-4 hours with the planted+ light.

water change every 3 days is overkill. changing the water once every two weeks - month is more like it. if you change the water all the time, you're causing the plants to adapt to a new environment all the time, they can't get a time to catch up and take a breather, while the algae is flourishing because they can adapt to a new environment 100x better and faster than the real plants.
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 10:32 PM Thread Starter
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Are you running any CO2? That is a lot of light for that tank.Also most of your plants are slow growing and do not need a lot of light.
I don't. I replaced the stock lamp because it's far to dim. You can't even see the colors in the fish with it.

I've never ran c02 and don't want to. I have spent so much into this set up I just can't justify it
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 10:33 PM Thread Starter
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Ok so I have a fluval spec 5 that I recently added the finnex 16in planted plus light. Recently green algae has taken control. I have 3 nerite snails and 3 otocinclus to combat it and still losing the battle. The only other fish is a betta. It has anubias nana on driftwood, 3 Moss balls. One plant of lacy water sprite and one java fern which. Replaced the purple cabomba I had because the algae just took it down.

Light normally is on 8 hours a day or so. I do 2 gallon water changes every 3 days. I have purigen rather than carbon in the filter as well. Ph is 7.0 no ammonia or nitrite and not sure on nitrate but it can't be more than 30ppm if that. What should I do? Would adding hornwort help? I've read that sucks up nutrients like crazy.
your light is too strong for a build like that. your light strength would be considered as HIGH light for a tank that size. 8 hours is a full shift for the plants. Theyre getting burned out. Algae is flourishing off the light.

you could get away with 8 hours with the stock light. I would recommend doing 3-4 hours with the planted+ light.

water change every 3 days is overkill. changing the water once every two weeks - month is more like it. if you change the water all the time, you're causing the plants to adapt to a new environment all the time, they can't get a time to catch up and take a breather, while the algae is flourishing because they can adapt to a new environment 100x better and faster than the real plants.
are there different plants I could go with that would fix the issue?
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 03:58 AM
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 04:14 AM
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Yes, get a bunch of fast growing plants like hornwort, you can also add floating plants to help dim the light. Also reduce light to 4-5 hours a day and either raise the light or place window screen between the light and top of your tank. This can be in place of floating plants.

Whatever you do also try to remove as much of the algae as possible and get a few water changes in, and keep up the 40-50% every 2-3 days.


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Fluval EDGE slightly modded, low tech
3+ gallon (40 x 16 x 20.5 cm) aquatic soil, low-tech
Fluval spec V (sitting in a box)
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 04:15 AM
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I'm running the same setup,same tank,same light.I run the light on a 3 on,3 off and 3 on schedule.Some frogbit or water lettuce would help as a nutrient sink.

I had some algae in mine until I rebooted it with MGOCPM.I've also got some fast growers and dose ferts,1/3 EI macros once a week,and 1/3 EI micros twice a week.My 3 big water lettuce try to cover the surface once a week.

This is what's working for me.

Is the purple cabomba doing ok? The last time I tried it in a low tech tank it melted and was followed by an outbreak of BGA.

here's the thread:

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/12...-now-dirt.html
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 04:11 PM Thread Starter
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So no way to get around this without ferts and co2?
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 10:42 PM Thread Starter
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I modified the light with electrical tape. Would this work? It's dimmed the light a lot
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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 11:30 PM
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So no way to get around this without ferts and co2?
I'm not using any co2.Just ferts and weekly 50% water change.I find I see algae if I miss a a water change.

the DIY liquid ferts from nilocg are cheap and easy.Plus,the plants need food as well as the livestock.

The EI package supplies 2 mixing bottles with EI dosing on the side,you just mix a packet in each with distilled or ro water,and the 15 or 20 dollar package will last you at least a year if not more,especially with doing fractional ei dosing.
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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 11:35 PM
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I'm not using any co2.Just ferts and weekly 50% water change.I find I see algae if I miss a a water change.

the DIY liquid ferts from nilocg are cheap and easy.Plus,the plants need food as well as the livestock.

The EI package supplies 2 mixing bottles with EI dosing on the side,you just mix a packet in each with distilled or ro water,and the 15 or 20 dollar package will last you at least a year if not more,especially with doing fractional ei dosing.


Agree 100%. He needs ferts. You can get the nilocG thrive which is even easier so all you need is a few pumps and are done. And all plants get what they need. Either way the plants need nutrients just like fish need food.


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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-29-2017, 01:06 AM Thread Starter
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Ok so I will get the ferts. What about the mods to the light I made?
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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-29-2017, 06:24 AM
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Such a shame paying for the best light, then can't have it on much to enjoy it. Maybe shoulda gone with a stingray.
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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-29-2017, 08:40 AM
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I modified the light with electrical tape. Would this work? It's dimmed the light a lot
No,remove the tape before it melt's from the heat and %^&# up your light fixture .
Can buy window screen to fit over the tank and reduce intensity and floating plant's will help also (duckweed work's well)
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