Tank running for two years, recurring algae problems - Page 2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #16 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-03-2019, 03:28 PM
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Well, I would rather get pressurized CO2 than more powerful lights.

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post #17 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-03-2019, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by daichotomy View Post
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A little bit of background, I've had this 75 gallon tank running for two years. Being a student, the tank is in my parents' house and I am away for 8 months at a time...
My first question would be, what are you parents doing with the tank while your away 8 months?


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post #18 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-03-2019, 11:55 PM
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If the 1st pics are example of what’s going to happen when your brother or someone else is taking care of your tank while your away I’d say their really not up to task and I’d be rethinking whole strategy and going to a more simple, easy plants and a couple fish setup until you get to point in your life where you can be a proper husband to the tank.

Also what kind of light timers setup are the led on?
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post #19 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-04-2019, 02:27 AM
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I think the biggest issue no one has pointed out is tanks do best when there is stable and consistent parameters, light, ferts, co2. Being gone for 8 months leaving a tank to someone that doesn't have a good understanding of aquariums isn't going to help. Tanks do best when you have consistent water changes, co2 levels and dosing amounts. This will resist algae taking over and will promote good plant growth. Not trying to bash on you just trying to say consistency is key.
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post #20 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-04-2019, 04:10 AM Thread Starter
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I appreciate the advice and I understand where you guys are coming from, but it was not the fault of my parents for the current condition of the tank. When I was at home, these algae problems still existed even when I was maintaining it. It was my fault for not learning as much as I should have and doing adequate research. I will have this tank up and running by the time this summer ends and I will transfer the knowledge to my parents and brother so they will be able to handle the aquarium when I am gone. I will be the owner of a thriving aquarium by the time this summer ends.
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post #21 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-05-2019, 03:03 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward View Post
Well, I would rather get pressurized CO2 than more powerful lights.
What is more important for plant growth? Pressurized CO2 or powerful lights?

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Originally Posted by aydemir View Post
Based on the size of your tank (height mostly) I would say you're in the low-medium light category...just my opinion though. A par meter would be a much better measure to judge the level of light your plants are getting. Also in the first picture there is only one LED fixture? If that is the case your lighting is definitely inadequate for a planted tank with any plant that requires medium or high amounts of light.

Anyways my point being - if you fertilize as described by others, my concern would be that the plants aren't able to grow fast enough to utilize all the ferts because the light isn't intense enough. To put it very very simply, plants utilize 3 things to grow (again not an accurate explanation but it works well enough here):
1) light
2) ferts (macro+micro)
3) co2


If all three of these are at optimal levels, you will not have algae problems. The plant growth will be maximal and if conditions are correct (fert/co2 level/intensity of lighting) there will be no excess of nutrients for algae to become a problem. Of course you will have small amounts of algae growing in your tank (like in a natural setting) but no nuisance algae/takeovers. BUT, if just one of these is too low (light for example), it will act as a bottleneck to the plant growing process, and the growth will be slower. In addition, since the plants aren't using the other 2 elements to their fullest capacity, those will be in excess in the tank (ferts/co2 in this case). These excess elements will be used by algae to grow, hence why it is important to find a balance.



Common occurences:
- Low light, fertilizers, no co2: Algae because plant growth stunted by light/co2
- Good light, fertilizers, no co2: Algae because plant growth stunted by lack of co2, LOTS of algae this way
- High light, no ferts, no co2: Algae, not as much as above
- Low light, no ferts, no co2: (ultra low tech) Not much algae, but slow plant growth. Throw in some anubias/moss balls and you have a very easy low tech algae-free setup...only low light plants with this setup.



There are more combinations but they all follow the same reasoning. All 3 elements need to be in balance for optimal plant growth and minimal algae save for the ultra low-tech setup mentioned above.
Sorry for the long response. I just feel that lighting is too overlooked as an aspect for algae when it is usually the root cause. If you have the right lighting your plants can grow without the need for co2 and ferts, the growth will just be incredibly slow, and you won't have too much algae to worry about. Obviously some plants cannot be grown successfully without a good balance of those 3 elements, but usually the beginner plants (i.e. anubias, moss balls, moss in general, etc) can be grown in a low tech setup with low intensity lighting. Plants that would need high lighting are usually of the smaller leaf variety (carpeting plants for example).
Thank you for the detailed response. Lighting is one area you cannot skimp on but being in college, money is an issue. I am aware that LED lights are increasingly popular due to their electricity economy and the preference of PAR over watts/gallon. Does lighting intensity matter as much as the correct spectrum for color? And also are there any affordable LED lighting options you guys could recommend?
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post #22 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-05-2019, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by daichotomy View Post
What is more important for plant growth? Pressurized CO2 or powerful lights?
Pressurized CO2 is essential when medium or high light energy is used.
You have two LED lighting systems, 2 x 55W = 110W. I don’t know it’s PAR but still, 110W LEDs should be good enough when running at 100% intensity with fertilizer and pressurized CO2.
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